Billy Brown (
Thu, 1 Apr 1999 08:00:44 -0600

it appears as if joe dees wrote (I think - the formatting on this post is badly scrambled):
> Automatic weapons
> did not exist when the framers wrote the Constitution, nor
> did rockets or nukes. May I be so bold as to suggest that,
> had they, the Constitution itself would have pried them from
> the fingers of the general populace?

Actually, the Constitution explicitly presumes that private citizens will own naval warships (see: Letters of Marquee and Reprisal), which were the most expensive and specialized weapons of the day. As I understand it, their main reason for favoring private weapon ownership was as a defense against tyrannical government, which obviously requires private access to just about anything.

Of course, today there is a real question as to whether an armed citizenry is really a significant barrier to oppression, but that's a different argument.

Billy Brown, MCSE+I