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There's No Such Thing As Sensible Gun Laws
News By Us ^ | Dec 02, 06 | John Longenecker

Posted on 12/04/2006 2:04:25 PM PST by neverdem

News By Us, not news bias

This caught my eye this morning: Paul Helmke’s anti-liberty rant Guns and Governing, on The Huffington Post, December 1, 2006. Helmke is head of The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence. Here is my response, December 1, 2006.

First of all, very first of all, when it comes to guns, there is no governing to be, with the exception of protection of the Bill of Rights. Since the right to bear arms is absolute, there is no governing over it. there can be only protection; you protect the rights of the people on that and that’s your oath. Simple. Anything else is an attack.

Refusal to understand this not only reflects a poor understanding of the law and practical values in America, but reveals a hidden agenda to overthrow us all. All of us, not just those who support rights, but all of us. That would include Mr. Helmke, himself, unless he wishes to own a gun secretly.

In fact, if any anti-gun activist owns positively any sort of weapon in the home for self-defense – I don’t care if it’s a baseball bat! – he/she supports self-defense and the use of up to lethal force. Or, don’t they realize what they’re saying and doing? Most anti-gun nuts do in fact own weapons. Right, Rosie? N’cest pa, Dianne?

The second amendment isn’t about guns, it’s about personal sovereignty and the use of force to back it up.

Anti-gun activists, therefore, are to be discredited utterly.

In three itemized issues, Helmke lays out mention of straw purchases, political clout of the gun rights lobbies versus election wins, and he mentions gun violence.

The first two arguments are themselves straw arguments, since straw purchases are way exaggerated as many, many writers have pointed out in the past in detail, and since the election wins and losses are not gun rights based, but far, far more based on republican disappointments, border control issues and size-of-government issues. Every voter knows it. It is silly to write that republicans lost because they listen to the NRA when voters (readers) know darned good and well their own minds and why they didn’t vote republican this time around.

The third argument got my attention: Gun Violence.

Again, there is the call for sensible gun laws, but in fact there is no such thing as a sensible gun law. Could there be such a thing as sensible censorship? The only sensible gun law exists purely as a civil right, and it is absolute. If you want sensible gun laws, try no one under eighteen owns a gun, felons don’t own a gun, and non-citizens don’t own a gun, and then, repeal all gun laws. Now, that’s sensible.

Here is my analysis as Mr. Helmke’s piece summons of me.

The Second Amendment was made absolute and impervious to due process for a reason. The Founding Fathers knew very well what they did not want any more of – no more over-reach, no more abuses of powers, no more warrants without local supervision (jury) and more – and just as certainly as the fact that they ratified it all, they knew that it all had to be backed by force forever. That force is in the hands of the People, individuals like you and me, and it is this sovereign authority that cannot be infringed. It is being infringed various different ways. It is your authority which is being infringed. Remember that gun control is attacking not guns, and it’s not attacking violence; it is attacking individual sovereign authority which is backed by lawful force.

In many ways, Americans are being bluffed out of their sovereignty.

Attacks on guns are attacks on personal sovereignty to undermine the power of the People to remain in control over the country: gun control is an attack to wrest that control from the people in an immense transfer of authority, convincing people or coercing people out of it. Remove the lawful force of the people, and the rest can simply be taken unopposed.

Many laws toward that goal come in the form of anti-crime measures, so that little by little, the people surrender – Americans cooperate – in handing over what they think will help fight crime. Americans will do a lot and put up with a lot if they believe it will help.

It’s a scam, a trap. Because of the sovereignty of the People and the People’s own lawful force to back it up, the idea of one-sided force in this country is a trap.

Helmke summarizes, “More guns are likely to make a home, a state, or a country more dangerous, not more safe.”

This is, of course, wholly untrue, and I’ll say just where.

Well, America, if you want to help fight crime and violence, listen up.

I’ve said a thousand times that police have no mandate to protect individuals. Most officers will nod and agree with this if asked. I’m surprised that some younger officers are not even aware of it. Hell, even some legislators aren’t aware of it, but it’s true. This is important for everyone willing to help to fully understand. As always, I am speaking not to gun owners, but to non-gun owners and the impartial, people looking for both sides of the issue. Heads of household who really want to understand. I know it’s hard to accept, but every head of household must come to understand that police don’t have to protect you.

Police join law enforcement to help, but in actuality, in the most critical moments of a crime emergency, you are on your own.

As benign as it might sound at first, ‘governing’ guns and people who own them means restricting before-the-fact your right to act at the moment action is needed most – when you are facing grave danger alone, and let’s be realistic: only you have the right to make that call. I support the idea of investigation for reasonableness under the circumstances, but before-the-fact restrictions (gun control) are entirely unreasonable and unlawful. It grows crime by permitting it to succeed unopposed in case after case after case, hundreds of thousands of times every year.

Equally realistic is the fact that some Americans believe preparedness in self-defense to be an unwanted burden. Their over-reaction of being expected to grow up and protect loved ones manifests itself as name-calling gun owners as Cowboys and Vigilantes. It’s merely a denial or a refusal to take responsibility for something that unavoidably belongs only to them.

For an example of this, please visit the YouTube Video Confession Of A Rat: An anti-gun newspaperman admits to his wife (and to himself) that he can’t be counted on to protect her life.

‘Governance’ over guns and people who rise to meet their responsibility is a ruse to disarm individuals to pave the way to grow crime to the advantage of officials. In a very obvious way, the anti-gun crowd uses the crowd who refuse this burden to increase numbers of anti-gun voters. Minions. Minions by the millions.

As I say often – very often – personal disarmament is a trap for the American household and a payday for officials.

Who is the real thief in this issue?

Why is the Second Amendment absolute and made impervious to due process? Why can there be no such thing as so-called sensible gun laws?

Because the individual victim of crime is the first line of defense, and no matter what law you write, we always will be. Gun control takes away the power but leaves the ultimate accountability, the typical bureaucratic trap. This is anti-violence? This is American? Is it good for your household to be denied the power, but left with the responsibility anyway?

The individual is now and always will be the first line of defense. And when crime is an excuse to transfer liberty and authority out of the hands of the people, this then makes the citizen the first line of defense for the entire nation. Taking away that anywhere/anytime, instance-by-instance defense is in no way sensible.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2ndinterpretation; banglist; bradywatch; democrats; sovereignty
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1 posted on 12/04/2006 2:04:30 PM PST by neverdem
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To: Joe Brower
BANG!
2 posted on 12/04/2006 2:05:31 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem

I thought the Second Amendment was a sensible gun law.


3 posted on 12/04/2006 2:08:18 PM PST by rightwingcrazy
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To: neverdem

I don't have a problem with someone with a record of violence not being allowed to carry a handgun but the fact that I was arrested for drunk driving more than a decade ago shouldn't mean that I have no right to defend myself.


4 posted on 12/04/2006 2:11:11 PM PST by cripplecreek (If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?)
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To: All
Guns and Governing megabarf alert!
5 posted on 12/04/2006 2:13:19 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem

The single biggest thing we need to do is to settle whether or not RKBA is individual and not collective right as some interpret Miller v. US.


6 posted on 12/04/2006 2:15:37 PM PST by umgud (I love NASCAR as much as the Democrats hate Bush)
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To: umgud

From my cold dead fingers.......

Meadow Muffin


7 posted on 12/04/2006 2:21:09 PM PST by rwgal
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To: rightwingcrazy
The Second Amendment is not a gun law at all. It is a law that prohibits government from interfering in freedom and liberty. The Bill of Rights enumerates rights and does not grant anyone rights. The assumption of the Framers is that you have these rights no matter what laws may be on the books. Governments can ban guns all they want, you still have the God-given right to own, carry, and use (as needed) firearms.

Were Thomas Jefferson or any of the Framers alive today they'd feel free to carry concealed in NYC or Washington, D.C. with no concern whatsoever to the illegal and unConstitutional gun bans in place there.

What am I saying?

If any of the Framers were alive today they'd be locked up in Gitmo as terrorists for their "radical" ideas.

8 posted on 12/04/2006 2:24:38 PM PST by PeterFinn (B’fhearr Gaeilge briste na Béarla cliste.)
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To: umgud
The single biggest thing we need to do is to settle whether or not RKBA is individual and not collective right as some interpret Miller v. US.

I agree, but I have no confidence in Anthony Kennedy.

9 posted on 12/04/2006 2:25:07 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem

Alaska has a sensible gun law.

HB 102, signed by the Governor on June 11, 2003 changes Alaska Statute 11.61.220 to allow anyone 21 or older, who may legally carry a firearm to also carry it concealed without having to obtain a special permit.

http://www.dps.state.ak.us/PermitsLicensing/achp/


10 posted on 12/04/2006 2:29:32 PM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: neverdem
THE UNABRIDGED SECOND AMENDMENT

by J. Neil Schulman

If you wanted to know all about the Big Bang, you'd ring up Carl Sagan, right ? And if you wanted to know about desert warfare, the man to call would be Norman Schwarzkopf, no question about it. But who would you call if you wanted the top expert on American usage, to tell you the meaning of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution ?

That was the question I asked A.C. Brocki, editorial coordinator of the Los Angeles Unified School District and formerly senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Publishers -- who himself had been recommended to me as the foremost expert on English usage in the Los Angeles school system. Mr. Brocki told me to get in touch with Roy Copperud, a retired professor of journalism at the University of Southern California and the author of "American Usage and Style: The Consensus."

A little research lent support to Brocki's opinion of Professor Copperud's expertise.

Roy Copperud was a newspaper writer on major dailies for over three decades before embarking on a a distinguished 17-year career teaching journalism at USC. Since 1952, Copperud has been writing a column dealing with the professional aspects of journalism for "Editor and Publisher", a weekly magazine focusing on the journalism field.

He's on the usage panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and Merriam Webster's Usage Dictionary frequently cites him as an expert. Copperud's fifth book on usage, "American Usage and Style: The Consensus," has been in continuous print from Van Nostrand Reinhold since 1981, and is the winner of the Association of American Publisher's Humanities Award.

That sounds like an expert to me.

After a brief telephone call to Professor Copperud in which I introduced myself but did not give him any indication of why I was interested, I sent the following letter:

"I am writing you to ask you for your professional opinion as an expert in English usage, to analyze the text of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, and extract the intent from the text.

"The text of the Second Amendment is, 'A well-regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'

"The debate over this amendment has been whether the first part of the sentence, 'A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State', is a restrictive clause or a subordinate clause, with respect to the independent clause containing the subject of the sentence, 'the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'

"I would request that your analysis of this sentence not take into consideration issues of political impact or public policy, but be restricted entirely to a linguistic analysis of its meaning and intent. Further, since your professional analysis will likely become part of litigation regarding the consequences of the Second Amendment, I ask that whatever analysis you make be a professional opinion that you would be willing to stand behind with your reputation, and even be willing to testify under oath to support, if necessary."

My letter framed several questions about the test of the Second Amendment, then concluded:

"I realize that I am asking you to take on a major responsibility and task with this letter. I am doing so because, as a citizen, I believe it is vitally important to extract the actual meaning of the Second Amendment. While I ask that your analysis not be affected by the political importance of its results, I ask that you do this because of that importance."

After several more letters and phone calls, in which we discussed terms for his doing such an analysis, but in which we never discussed either of our opinions regarding the Second Amendment, gun control, or any other political subject, Professor Copperud sent me the follow analysis (into which I have inserted my questions for the sake of clarity):

[Copperud:] "The words 'A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,' contrary to the interpretation cited in your letter of July 26, 1991, constitutes a present participle, rather than a clause. It is used as an adjective, modifying 'militia,' which is followed by the main clause of the sentence (subject 'the right', verb 'shall'). The to keep and bear arms is asserted as an essential for maintaining a militia.

"In reply to your numbered questions:

[Schulman:] "(1) Can the sentence be interpreted to grant the right to keep and bear arms solely to 'a well-regulated militia'?"

[Copperud:] "(1) The sentence does not restrict the right to keep and bear arms, nor does it state or imply possession of the right elsewhere or by others than the people; it simply makes a positive statement with respect to a right of the people."

[Schulman:] "(2) Is 'the right of the people to keep and bear arms' granted by the words of the Second Amendment, or does the Second Amendment assume a preexisting right of the people to keep and bear arms, and merely state that such right 'shall not be infringed'?"

[Copperud:] "(2) The right is not granted by the amendment; its existence is assumed. The thrust of the sentence is that the right shall be preserved inviolate for the sake of ensuring a militia."

[Schulman:] "(3) Is the right of the people to keep and bear arms conditioned upon whether or not a well regulated militia, is, in fact necessary to the security of a free State, and if that condition is not existing, is the statement 'the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed' null and void?"

[Copperud:] "(3) No such condition is expressed or implied. The right to keep and bear arms is not said by the amendment to depend on the existence of a militia. No condition is stated or implied as to the relation of the right to keep and bear arms and to the necessity of a well-regulated militia as a requisite to the security of a free state. The right to keep and bear arms is deemed unconditional by the entire sentence."

[Schulman:] "(4) Does the clause 'A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,' grant a right to the government to place conditions on the 'right of the people to keep and bear arms,' or is such right deemed unconditional by the meaning of the entire sentence?"

[Copperud:] "(4) The right is assumed to exist and to be unconditional, as previously stated. It is invoked here specifically for the sake of the militia."

[Schulman:] "(5) Which of the following does the phrase 'well-regulated militia' mean: 'well-equipped', 'well-organized,' 'well-drilled,' 'well-educated,' or 'subject to regulations of a superior authority'?" [Copperud:] "(5) The phrase means 'subject to regulations of a superior authority;' this accords with the desire of the writers for civilian control over the military."

[Schulman:] "(6) (If at all possible, I would ask you to take account the changed meanings of words, or usage, since that sentence was written 200 years ago, but not take into account historical interpretations of the intents of the authors, unless those issues can be clearly separated."

[Copperud:] "To the best of my knowledge, there has been no change in the meaning of words or in usage that would affect the meaning of the amendment. If it were written today, it might be put: "Since a well-regulated militia is necessary tot he security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged.'

[Schulman:] "As a 'scientific control' on this analysis, I would also appreciate it if you could compare your analysis of the text of the Second Amendment to the following sentence,

"A well-schooled electorate, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not be infringed.'

"My questions for the usage analysis of this sentence would be,

"(1) Is the grammatical structure and usage of this sentence and the way the words modify each other, identical to the Second Amendment's sentence?; and

"(2) Could this sentence be interpreted to restrict 'the right of the people to keep and read Books' _only_ to 'a well-educated electorate' -- for example, registered voters with a high-school diploma?"

[Copperud:] "(1) Your 'scientific control' sentence precisely parallels the amendment in grammatical structure.

"(2) There is nothing in your sentence that either indicates or implies the possibility of a restricted interpretation."

Professor Copperud had only one additional comment, which he placed in his cover letter: "With well-known human curiosity, I made some speculative efforts to decide how the material might be used, but was unable to reach any conclusion."

So now we have been told by one of the top experts on American usage what many knew all along: the Constitution of the United States unconditionally protects the people's right to keep and bear arms, forbidding all governments formed under the Constitution from abridging that right.

As I write this, the attempted coup against constitutional government in the Soviet Union has failed, apparently because the will of the people in that part of the world to be free from capricious tyranny is stronger than the old guard's desire to maintain a monopoly on dictatorial power.

And here in the United States, elected lawmakers, judges, and appointed officials who are pledged to defend the Constitution of the United States ignore, marginalize, or prevaricate about the Second Amendment routinely. American citizens are put in American prisons for carrying arms, owning arms of forbidden sorts, or failing to satisfy bureaucratic requirements regarding the owning and carrying of firearms -- all of which is an abridgement of the unconditional right of the people to keep and bear arms, guaranteed by the Constitution.

And even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), staunch defender of the rest of the Bill of Rights, stands by and does nothing.

it seems it is up to those who believe in the right to keep and bear arms to preserve that right. no one else will. No one else can. Will we beg our elected representatives not to take away our rights, and continue regarding them as representing us if they do? Will we continue obeying judges who decide that the Second Amendment doesn't mean what it says it means but means whatever they say it means in their Orwellian doublespeak ?

Or will be simply keep and bear the arms of our choice, as the Constitution of the United States promises us we can, and pledge that we will defend that promise with our lives, our fortuned, and our sacred honor ?

(C) 1991 by The New Gun Week and Second Amendment Foundation. Informational reproduction of the entire article is hereby authorized provided the author, The New Gun Week and Second Amendment Foundation are credited. All other rights reserved.

About the Author

J. Neil Schulman is the award-winning author of novels endorsed by Anthony Burgess and Nobel-economist Milton Friedman, and writer of the CBS "Twilight Zone" episode in which a time-traveling historian prevents the JFK assassination. He's also the founder and president of SoftServ Publishing, the first publishing company to distribute "paperless books" via personal computers and modems.

Most recently, Schulman has founded the Committee to Enforce the Second Amendment (CESA), through which he intends to see the individual's right to keep and bear arms recognized as a constitutional protection equal to those afforded in the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and Fourteenth amendments.

11 posted on 12/04/2006 2:31:09 PM PST by groanup (Limited government is the answer. Now, what's the question?)
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To: cripplecreek
but the fact that I was arrested for drunk driving more than a decade ago shouldn't mean that I have no right to defend myself.

Have you been denied on that basis?

If you live in a "non-shall issue" state like NY I recommend that you retain an attorney before you start you application or do what I do. Buy your guns out of state and don't register them.

12 posted on 12/04/2006 2:39:17 PM PST by Ouderkirk (America won't win another war until the 1960's flower children are pushing up petunias.)
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To: PeterFinn

I think the Bill Of Rights are often simply civil rights, not divine rights. For example, the Seventh:

"In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law."

I haven't found anything in the Bible or other sacred text which establishes a threshold of $20 for the right to a jury.

That being said, the Second Amendment makes perfect sense for a republic that wants to ensure individual liberty.


13 posted on 12/04/2006 2:39:41 PM PST by rightwingcrazy
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To: stevie_d_64; Eaker; humblegunner
nice review of the language of the 2nd amendment.
14 posted on 12/04/2006 2:41:56 PM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Ouderkirk

I'm not real concerned about it because my wife can carry anyway. Also I like long guns. (This is in michigan by the way)


15 posted on 12/04/2006 2:42:40 PM PST by cripplecreek (If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?)
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To: umgud

***The single biggest thing we need to do is to settle whether or not RKBA is individual and not collective right as some interpret Miller v. US.***

Go to the DREDD SCOTT case and read what Supreme Court Justice John tanney had to say about it.

He said that if Blacks were to be free men they would have the same rights as other men. That is, The right to enter and leave states un hindered, the right to hold political meetings and THE RIGHT TO GO ABOUT ARMED WHERE EVER THEY WENT.

Is it any wonder that before the Civil War the 2nd ammendment was considered a personal right but after the Civil war segregationists began to claim it was a "collective" right.


16 posted on 12/04/2006 2:48:13 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (ISLAM "If you don’t know what you have to fear, you will not survive."---Hirsi Ali)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

The problem is Miller v. US. It was never settled because the vic died, but many gun grabbers, Fienstien in particular, cite it as proving the RKBA is a collective right. Us gun lovers really want this to be heard before SCOTUS, but would like to see some of the libs off the court before this happens. This is why elections matter.


17 posted on 12/04/2006 2:52:38 PM PST by umgud (I love NASCAR as much as the Democrats hate Bush)
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To: neverdem

So, lets see what laws the anti-gunners have tried to force on us without the NRA stopping them.

1961. Thomas J. Dodd and Emanuel Cellar said...We don't want to take your guns away, we only want to register handguns. Long guns will not be affected.

1964. We don't want to take your guns away. We only want to register all of them!

1968. We don't want to take your sporting guns away. We ONLY want to register them and ban ONLY the import of foreign Saturday night specials and five shot WWII military bolt action rifles!

1968 "Today we make America safe by taking the guns out of the hands of criminals!"...LBJ when he signed the 1968 gun control act into law.

1971. We don't want to take your sporting guns away, we ONLY want to ban Saturday night specials.

1976. We don't want to take your long guns away. We ONLY want to ban all handguns!

(From the original Handgun Control Inc group)...."We only want to control handguns. Long guns will not be affected."

1981. The NRA is a rifle organization! They should give up their handguns! And they can keep their rifles! (Actress Lee Grant on GMA)

1989. We don't want to ban your hunting rifles and shotguns. We ONLY want to ban handguns AND Assault rifles and shotguns.

We ONLY want to ban assault rifles and shotguns AND all fifty cal. rifles and handguns!

I could go into more detail but that is plenty. Thankfully the NRA has been a lightning rod for such claims.

For those who are not NRA members do you really think you personally have the clout to sway congress and hold off an organized attempt by the Brady bunch and others? Can you come up with enough money to buy air time to counter the false claims of George Sorios and his billions?

If not YOU NEED TO BE A MEMBER OF THE NRA!


18 posted on 12/04/2006 2:54:56 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (ISLAM "If you don’t know what you have to fear, you will not survive."---Hirsi Ali)
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To: groanup

[Copperud:] "(5) The phrase means 'subject to regulations of a superior authority;' this accords with the desire of the writers for civilian control over the military."


Agree with most of it, but not this. Etymolgically speaking, "well-regulated" in the 18th century vernacular meant well-prepared by my understanding.
http://www.guncite.com/gc2ndmea.html
But,hey, the guy's a journalism teacher, not a historian. He was probably looking at it in terms of 20th century english.


19 posted on 12/04/2006 2:57:05 PM PST by Constantine XI Palaeologus ("Vicisti, Galilaee")
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To: groanup
Nice argument, but...

...forbidding all governments formed under the Constitution from abridging that right.

To play "devil's advocate" (i.e. the role of an ACLU attorney), this is the weakest point of the argument. The prevailing leftist view is that the 2nd Amendment only limits the Federal government, and that "the people" meant the States collectively.

To make the argument complete, this notion needs to be discredited -- which probably means including the federalist papers et al.

20 posted on 12/04/2006 2:58:06 PM PST by AndyTheBear (Disastrous social experimentation is the opiate of elitist snobs.)
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To: Constantine XI Palaeologus

Whoops, I meant to post this in response to the article, not the comments made by groanup. Sorry, Groanup


21 posted on 12/04/2006 2:59:13 PM PST by Constantine XI Palaeologus ("Vicisti, Galilaee")
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To: AndyTheBear
The prevailing leftist view is that the 2nd Amendment only limits the Federal government, and that "the people" meant the States collectively.

Don't most state consitutions provide language similar to the 2A but at the same time preserve the state's right to regulate concealed weapons?

22 posted on 12/04/2006 3:04:50 PM PST by groanup (Limited government is the answer. Now, what's the question?)
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To: PeterFinn
Were Thomas Jefferson or any of the Framers alive today they'd feel free to carry concealed in NYC or Washington, D.C.

Ummm. I doubt they would carry concealed. Rewind about 100 years ago when dual Colt single sixes were worn.

23 posted on 12/04/2006 3:22:15 PM PST by Cobra64 (Why is the War on Terror being managed by the DEFENSE Department?)
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To: neverdem; All
The Right to Keep and Bear Arms

REPORT
of the
SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE CONSTITUTION
of the
UNITED STATES SENATE
NINETY-SEVENTH CONGRESS
Second Session
February 1982

Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary

Click here to read the report BY THE SENATE that finds an INDIVIDUAL RIGHT to keep and bear arms

"The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner."


±

"The Era of Osama lasted about an hour, from the time the first plane hit the tower to the moment the General Militia of Flight 93 reported for duty."
Toward FREEDOM

24 posted on 12/04/2006 3:50:09 PM PST by Neil E. Wright (An oath is FOREVER)
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To: cripplecreek
I don't have a problem with someone with a record of violence not being allowed to carry a handgun

I would consider disarmament of criminals to be lawful when, and only when, those criminals are slaves of the state. The Second Amendment clearly never applied to slaves, and the Thirteenth Amendment allows states to enslave criminals.

Otherwise, those with violent tendencies would be advised against cerrying firearms as doing so might prompt them to do something deadly foolish, but generally the people who shouldn't have guns don't try to get them, and those that do try will often get them regardless of what the law says.

25 posted on 12/04/2006 4:08:57 PM PST by supercat (Sony delenda est.)
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To: umgud

The question the Supremes were asked to answer in the Miller case was whether or not a sawed off shotgun was appropriate for militia use.

The implication being that if a sawed off shotgun was found to be appropriate for militia use then Miller's conviction would be overturned.

Unfortunately, and I don't recall the specifics as to why, Miller didn't present any evidence of a sawed off shotgun's utility as a militia weapon. The court found, because of a lack of evidence to the contrary, that such a shotgun was not appropriate for militia use.

Tha antis try to twist what is clearly written in the opinion to suit their own "collective right" interpretive wishes.


26 posted on 12/04/2006 4:14:08 PM PST by KeyesPlease
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To: Cobra64
Ummm. I doubt they would carry concealed. Rewind about 100 years ago when dual Colt single sixes were worn.

Firearms would more likely have been carried openly in the days when doing so wouldn't cause hysterical panic, but I would expect carry (especially of blades) was often somewhere between open and concealed. Not trying to hide one's armament, but not trying to overly advertise it either.

27 posted on 12/04/2006 4:26:41 PM PST by supercat (Sony delenda est.)
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To: groanup
"So now we have been told by one of the top experts on American usage what many knew all along: the Constitution of the United States unconditionally protects the people's right to keep and bear arms, forbidding all governments formed under the Constitution from abridging that right."

All governments? I thought the second amendment only applied to the federal government -- in other words, the federal government could not infringe the RKBA.

I also thought each state has their own gun laws, guided by their state constitution. This is why some states have concealed carry, for example, and why some don't.

Am I wrong?

28 posted on 12/04/2006 4:32:34 PM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: groanup
Don't most state consitutions provide language similar to the 2A but at the same time preserve the state's right to regulate concealed weapons?

I don't know. The critical question is whether the language of such constitutions presupposed they had the power to legislate such matters, or like the 2nd Amendment presumed it was already an inherent right beyond their interference -- at the time the Bill of Rights was ratified.

29 posted on 12/04/2006 4:36:27 PM PST by AndyTheBear (Disastrous social experimentation is the opiate of elitist snobs.)
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To: KeyesPlease
"Miller didn't present any evidence of a sawed off shotgun's utility as a militia weapon."

He wasn't there. He flew the coop.

"The court found, because of a lack of evidence to the contrary, that such a shotgun was not appropriate for militia use."

The U.S. Supreme Court, not having the authority to make that determination, kicked it back to the lower court for them to hear testimony. Since Miller was gone to parts unknown, they let it drop.

No decisions were made one way or the other. But since the U.S. Supreme Court asked the question, that gives us an idea what they were thinking.

30 posted on 12/04/2006 4:37:24 PM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: KeyesPlease
The question the Supremes were asked to answer in the Miller case was whether or not a sawed off shotgun was appropriate for militia use... Unfortunately, and I don't recall the specifics as to why, Miller didn't present any evidence of a sawed off shotgun's utility as a militia weapon.

Miller and Layton were not under indictment at the time of U.S. v. Miller. Basically, the question before the Court was "Is there any combination of evidence that might conceivably be presented which would allow a conviction consistent with the Second Amendment." Judges must make such determination must be made without relying upon any personal knowledge that might be controversial. The Court ruled that it was conceivable that such a combination of evidence might be offered.

What should have then happened would have been for the indictment against Layton to have been reinstated (Miller was dead at that point), and for Layton to have introduced at trial evidence of the shotgun's military usefulness. Unless the state could rebut such evidence (doubtful), Layton would then have been acquitted.

Instead, however, as soon as it won the right to indict Layton, the government decided to offer a plea-bargain instead. I'm unaware of any other time the government has offered a plea-bargain after winning a court case. Are there other examples?

31 posted on 12/04/2006 4:38:19 PM PST by supercat (Sony delenda est.)
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To: robertpaulsen
He wasn't there. He flew the coop.

Since he wasn't under indictment, he had no obligation to show up.

Since Miller was gone to parts unknown, they let it drop.

Miller was dead. His co-defendant was not, however; the government for some reason decided to offer a plea-bargain instead of going ahead with prosecution and have some creative reporting fill in the gaps.

32 posted on 12/04/2006 4:40:59 PM PST by supercat (Sony delenda est.)
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To: AndyTheBear
"To make the argument complete, this notion needs to be discredited"

If the second amendment applied to the states, wouldn't all the states have to have the same laws? Wouldn't they all have to allow concealed carry, for example? Doesn't due process mean that all citizens are treated equitably -- that we don't have two sets of laws?

Think of the first amendment. Or the fourth amendment. Don't they apply to all citizens in all states equally?

33 posted on 12/04/2006 4:43:07 PM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: neverdem; 7thson; alarm rider; Albion Wilde; Alexander Rubin; Allegra; AmeriBrit; ...
Ping to those who might support Condi Rice

Of all the potential Presidential Candidates in the Republican Party, only Condoleezza Rice would understand and agree with the above article and defend our Second Amendment rights. She is a self-described "Second Amendment absolutist".

From her interview with Larry King on May 11, 2005

KING: "We have a Second Amendment. People can own guns. By the way, what do you think about gun control?"

RICE: "The way I come out of my own personal experience, in which in Birmingham, Alabama, my father and his friends defended our community in 1962 and 1963 against White Knight Riders by going to the head of the community, the head of the cul-de-sac, and sitting there, armed. And so I'm very concerned about any abridgement of the Second Amendment. I'll tell you that I know that if Bull Conner had had lists of -- of registered weapons, I don't think my father and his friends would have been sitting at the head of the community, defending the community."

KING: "So you would not change the Second Amendment? You would not..."

RICE: "I also don't think we get to pick and choose from the Constitution. The Second Amendment is as important as the First Amendment."

KING: "But doesn't having the guns, while it's protection, also leads to people killing people?"

RICE: "Well, obviously, the sources of violence are many, and we need to -- to get at the source of the violence. Obviously, I'm very much in favor of things like background checks, and you know, controlling it at gun shows. And there are lots of things we can do. But we have to be very careful when we start abridging rights that our Founding Fathers thought very important. On this one, I think that they understood that there might be circumstances that people like my father experienced in Birmingham, Alabama, when in fact, the police weren't going to protect you."

KING: "Did you see him take the gun?"

RICE: "Oh, absolutely. Every -- every night he and his -- he and his friends kind of organized a little brigade."

34 posted on 12/04/2006 4:52:53 PM PST by Solitar ("My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them." -- Barry Goldwater)
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To: Solitar

Awesome post, thanks for the ping.


35 posted on 12/04/2006 4:57:28 PM PST by Silly (Still being... Silly)
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To: Solitar

Thanks. I din't know that about Condi, since god knows I can't stomach larry king:)


36 posted on 12/04/2006 4:59:11 PM PST by Kakaze (Exterminate Islamofacism and apologize for nothing.....except not doing it sooner!)
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To: neverdem

In Vermont we have sensible gun laws: NONE!


37 posted on 12/04/2006 5:03:32 PM PST by Candor7 (Into Liberal flatulance goes the best hope of the West, and who wants to be a smart feller?)
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To: KeyesPlease

Good and accurate summary.


38 posted on 12/04/2006 5:06:57 PM PST by umgud (I love NASCAR as much as the Democrats hate Bush)
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To: Solitar

Thanks for the Ping. Generally, I've a high regard for her, and I am very much impressed with her support for the whole constitution. It's good to see an academic defend the 2nd Amendment with personal, existential, realistic examples of what the heck we're talking about when we say don't truncate the constitutions for the latest fashion. I'm a little troubled that her support for Israel lately has been tepid, but I'm impressed with her support for Iraqis freedom. And, finally, I think she's cute.


39 posted on 12/04/2006 5:25:16 PM PST by elhombrelibre (Iraq: the next country Liberals want to abandon just before Israel.)
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To: supercat
"Unless the state could rebut such evidence (doubtful)"

Let's see. A) We have a federal law saying that <18" shotguns need a stamp, the reason being that they're used by criminals.

B) You're saying that Layton would go to court and somehow present evidence that his <18" shotgun was useful to a militia and therefore protected by the second amendment.

C) Let's say that happens. Then what? Same thing? The lower court dismisses the case then the prosecution takes it back to the Supreme Court?

Does that one lower court judge have the authority to rule that, based on the evidence, a <18" shotgun is indeed a militia weapon and thereby negate a federal statute? Doesn't Congress make that determination?

40 posted on 12/04/2006 5:28:08 PM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: Solitar

I have some concerns about her. But so far I don't see anyone better on the Repub side, at least no one who wants it.

And, in fact, she says she doesn't want it either. But for now there isn't anyone else.


41 posted on 12/04/2006 5:39:02 PM PST by marron
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To: neverdem
What these "gun control" people don't understand is that to ensure the 1st amendment, the framers of the Bill of Rights added the 2nd amendment. Without the 2nd there is no way (as the colonists found out) to protect any freedoms.
42 posted on 12/04/2006 5:44:50 PM PST by Trunk 71-74 (A god that needs man to carry out his dirty work is impotent!)
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To: neverdem

Ehh, that depends on what you mean.

I don't think it's a good idea for a random citizen to be able to walk into a Wal-Mart and buy an anti-tank rocket capable of blowing up a store or something. If you want to define THAT as a gun, I'd say, no, there are some sensible gun laws.

As far as regular stuff goes? I tend to agree.


43 posted on 12/04/2006 5:46:29 PM PST by zbigreddogz
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To: Constantine XI Palaeologus; thackney; humblegunner; TWfromTEXAS

I started to post the same thing and fortunately read down and saw that you did a better job of it than I could.

Thanks for the post and thanks to thackman for the ping.

TW, thought you might be interested.


44 posted on 12/04/2006 6:04:24 PM PST by Eaker (You were given the choice between war & dishonor. You chose dishonor & you will have war. -Churchill)
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To: wardaddy; Joe Brower; Cannoneer No. 4; Criminal Number 18F; Dan from Michigan; Eaker; Jeff Head; ...
Please read comment# 11, if you think this title is "over the top."

Stem Cells Figure Prominently in 2006 Election

ABOUT THOSE IMAMS(RICHARD MINITER EXPOSE')

Beyond Hegemony More interesting as a series of thought experiments, it doesn't do justice to our current engagement with a resurgent Islam.

From time to time, I’ll ping on noteworthy articles about politics, foreign and military affairs. FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.

45 posted on 12/04/2006 6:11:25 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: umgud

There is not a word in the Miller opinion to support the "collective" right notion. What there is, which is arguably reading limitations into the Second Amendment that aren't there, is a holding that guns only qualify as a Second Amendment-protected right if they are a type which can have a military use. As you probably know, the court in Miller did NOT hold that the defendants didn't have a right to own the sawed-off shotguns in question -- the court remanded the case to the lower court for a determination of fact on whether sawed-off shotguns had any legitimate military use. The historical facts show clearly that they do, but the lower court never addressed the remanded case, as one defendant had died and the other had agreed to pay a fine and be done with the whole thing.

Any legitimate reading of the Miller decision concludes that while it did not confirm our individual right to own "Saturday Night Specials", it most certainly DID confirm our individual right to own any and all guns that have potential military applications, which obviously includes full-auto machine guns, 50 calibers, guns with large capacity magazines, bayonet mounts, flash suppressors, pistol grips, folding stocks, and grenade launchers.


46 posted on 12/04/2006 6:12:12 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: AndyTheBear
and that "the people" meant the States collectively

So 'people means the states? That means that the 1st, 4th and 10th Amendments are for the states?

If that is true then the 10th Amendment is written very strangely. "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." would mean 'The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively or to the States.'

Doesn't make much sense does it?

47 posted on 12/04/2006 6:32:23 PM PST by Hazcat (Live to party, work to afford it.)
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To: robertpaulsen
I think you are right. But, if you are, it would mean that states can make their own freedom of speech laws, their own freedom of religion and press laws, wouldn't it?

My take is that the states reserved for themselves the right to regulate concealed carry.

Open carry cannot be infringed. IMHO. ???

48 posted on 12/04/2006 6:42:54 PM PST by groanup (Limited government is the answer. Now, what's the question?)
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To: KeyesPlease
KeyesPlease said: "The question the Supremes were asked to answer in the Miller case was whether or not a sawed off shotgun was appropriate for militia use. "

The prosecution also asked that the Supreme Court find that only members of a militia and certain others were protected by the Second Amendment. The Court did not agree and pointed out that people called for militia duty were expected to appear bearing weapons supplied by themselves.

49 posted on 12/04/2006 6:48:31 PM PST by William Tell (RKBA for California (rkba.members.sonic.net) - Volunteer by contacting Dave at rkba@sonic.net)
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To: Solitar

Hear hear. Ya know, having grown up with things like that - I have even more respect for her. Condi's got my vote.


50 posted on 12/04/2006 6:50:39 PM PST by farlander (Strategery - sure beats liberalism!)
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