Skip to comments.Rewrite the Second Amendment?
Posted on 06/02/2004 12:44:36 PM PDT by neverdem
Richard Skidmore is a professor at Los Angeles Pierce College, Woodland Hills, California, having taught at Pierce College since 1975.
O Hear ye, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in their December decision that the Second Amendment of the Constitution was not adopted "to afford rights to individuals with respect to private gun ownership or possession."
The left hails this courts decisions as decisive and correct, while the right sees the court as a bulwark to destroy our republican form of government and forging the links in chains of usurpation. Remember, this is the same federal court that declared the Pledge of Allegiance an unconstitutional endorsement of religion and has a record of more decisions reversed than any other court.
Have these judges made a sound judicial decision or legislated from the bench? The answer is in our history, our Constitution and especially the Second Amendment, a part of our "Bill of Rights." Some may think that surely this is a trick question that only a judge can divine. However, I assure you that the answer is meant for the common man in jury to resolve.
Judge for yourself, the Second Amendment states: "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Todays media debates are often pro-gun and anti-gun advocacy matches. But reviewing the debates that confirmed our Constitution and our "Bill of Rights" we recognize that todays debates are similar to those of 1787: Should we have a federal government that is overreaching and infringes on individual liberties or should the individual be protected and the federal government be limited?
Indeed I hear your question: Where can I find the answer to a limited or infringing government which in turn can resolve the debate on gun control and determine if the 9th Circuit Court gets an A or an F in its decision?
The answer is in two books, "The Federalist Papers" and "The Anti-Federalist Papers." One may obtain them at any quality bookstore, each at under $10.
Federalists sought a central federal government to assure a "more perfect union," with the benefits that an energetic government would bring in commerce and prestige much as England had. James Wilson, Supreme Court Justice and signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, saw with particular clarity, strong government could as much serve the people when controlled by them as it could injure them when it was hostile.
Anti-federalists were skeptical of any new constitution and saw the federalist hopes as lust by ambitious men for a "splendid empire" where, in the time-honored way, "the people would be burdened with taxes, conscriptions, and campaigns." They saw the enlarged powers of any central government as familiar threats to the rights and liberties of the people.
Be not mistaken in this, Federalists understood the need to limit the powers of government having endured the long struggle to end the "tyranny" of kings and wanted insurance that government would be faithful to the people, stable, and filled with wisdom in its enactments.
As the debate over the new Constitution progressed, anti-federalist objections crystallized into specific proposals for amendments that would assure the new federal governments limited powers. In some state conventions, these amendments were insisted upon prior to their ratifying the Constitution. Their proposals being similar in nature were later included as the first ten amendments, which we call "The Bill of Rights."
Consider Virginia, in 1788, offered 20 amendments for consideration.
Its 17th states: "That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and protection of the community will admit; and that, in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power."
Similarly Pennsylvania, upon ratification, issued 14 recommended amendments and the 7th reads: "That people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and their own state and that the military shall be kept under strict subordination to and be governed by the civil powers."
Considering our recorded history, one could reasonably ask: Did the 9th Circuit judges abrogate the history of our nation, ignore the grievances that compelled us to separate from England, discard the debates of the Federalists and Anti-federalists, legislate from the bench which is not their responsibility, and thus compel another re-writing of our natural history to justify their decree, relying on the general ignorance of the people to allow their decisions to stand? A simpler question is: What part of "shall not be infringed" is not understood?
Richard Skidmore is a professor at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Ca. He may be contacted at email@example.com.
© Copyright 2003 by Magic City Morning Star
The 9th circus sucks. Simple as that. Leftist who support socialism and homosexualism. Nothing more.
Very clear and well put! Excellent post!
Not at all. They write what they think will work. They don't care a whit how well supported it might be in law or history. After all, liberals are fascists; to them, this is about using power to get what they want by any means necessary.
ping and a bump.
We cant expound on this enough.
Good article. Bump.
Is it time to stop playing nice yet?
I believe Kozinzki actually fled the Ceausescu regime in Romania, so perhaps he values his liberties a bit more than does the average citizen. In any event, Judge Kozinski explained that history could have been vastly different had American slaves or European Jews been able to arm themselves and fight back against the governments that oppressed them.
"The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed where the government refuses to stand for re-election and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees, he wrote in his dissent. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.
Kozinski also made special note of the interpretive inconsistency of the judges on the Reinhardt panel given their usual proclivity to find individual rights when the Constitution uses the words people or person. Had they brought the same generous approach to the Second Amendment that they routinely bring to the First, Fourth and selected portions of the Fifth, they would have had no trouble finding an individual right to bear arms, he wrote.
You know Judge Reinhardt (the moron who cited Bellesiles' already-discredited book in his ruling, then later deleted that little "oops") must hate Kozinski's guts.
Kozinski's dissent alone serves to show how the 9th Circuit is trying to re-write the meaning of the 2nd Amendment.
Add the words - "this time we really mean it."
Yes, as the 9th often has and will no doubt do again. Next question.
The answer, of course, is a resounding "Yes!" And this is why the Left has targeted our institutions of
education indoctrination: if you can control how the majority of people think (or fail to think), then you can control the nation.
America must dis-band the country's largest and most powerful union: the National Education Association (which is affiliated with the Democratic Socialists of America). And I urge all parents to pull their children out of the public "school" system.
Methinks the 9th Circuit isn't grounded properly. Somebody needs to make sure their wiring is up to code.
We already home school.
I've even got her first .22 picked out. ;-)
In the above article, the Ninth Circuit was ruling on a California state law, which is not affected by the second amendment (which only applies to the federal government).