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Breaking News
posted by takyon on Sunday June 12 2016, @06:00PM   Printer-friendly

A suspected Islamic terrorist opened fire at a gay nightclub in Florida, killing 50 people and wounding another 53 before he was killed by police. While authorities continue to investigate to determine whether this man had ties to ISIS, the terror organization has not been quiet in praising the attack. This comes three days after ISIS announced they would attack somewhere in Florida. Today's attack marks the largest act of terrorism on US soil since 9/11.

takyon: The gunman reportedly called 911 emergency services to pledge allegiance to ISIS. The President will hold a briefing momentarily. Compare this article to the original submission.

Original Submission   Late submission by physicsmajor

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  • (Score: 1) by BenFenner on Tuesday June 14 2016, @05:24PM

    by BenFenner (4171) on Tuesday June 14 2016, @05:24PM (#360023)

    The Second Amendment, taken literally, is absolute. You can bear arms - weapons, any weapons. A strict literal reading would say that citizens can own and use nuclear missiles.

    This is incorrect. The 2nd amendment, taken literally, is absolute. I will give you that. However, you can bear "arms", which is not the same as "weapons". In the context in which the second amendment was written, there were two types of weapons. "Arms" and "ordinance". Arms are smaller weapons able to be carried by a single person over a reasonable distance in battle and the like. Ordinance describes larger pieces of weapons equipment carried by horses at the time (think cannons) or assembled on site after being carried by mules (think mountain guns) and as technology has moved on it now includes tanks, planes, and your aforementioned nuclear missiles. The 2nd amendment does not provide US citizens the rights to bear these ordinances.

    Reasonably carry and operate on your own? Arms.
    Larger weapon system? Ordinance.

  • (Score: 2) by gman003 on Tuesday June 14 2016, @07:06PM

    by gman003 (4155) on Tuesday June 14 2016, @07:06PM (#360091)

    I highly doubt that is correct.

    The earliest attestations of "ordnance" (or "ordinance", as it was originally) in a martial context have it meaning "anything a military needs to operate", including weapons of all types, ammunition, clothing, and food. Its current meaning focuses more on weapons and ammunition, particularly for the artillery, but even today you can refer to a carbine as "ordnance" and be correct (otherwise, the term "heavy ordnance" would be meaninglessly repetitive, because all ordnance would be heavy). It would be improbable for a word to condense in meaning to an extremely strict subset, and then relax back to more-or-less the original meaning. Particularly in only six centuries.

    The same holds true for "arms". You can trace that back to Latin and still get a meaning that covered everything from "swords" to "catapults" (the main difference in meaning is that Latin "arma" included armor as well as weapons, with the two distinguished as "arma noctiva" and "arma defensiva"). We've dropped "defensive arms" from the meaning but "arms" still refers to any weapon.