Skip to comments.Gun-control ruling affirms the Confederacy
Posted on 03/30/2007 5:09:20 PM PDT by neverdem
Earlier this month, in the case of Parker v. District of Columbia, a three-judge panel of the Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia broke with all other federal circuits by holding that a gun-control statute violated the Second Amendment.
In a split decision, the court found that the District of Columbia's ban on handguns and a companion law that requires that legally owned firearms be stored disassembled could not be reconciled with the text of the amendment.
The amendment reads, "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." The only modern Supreme Court case to look at the issue, United States v. Miller, found that the Second Amendment was designed to preserve the effectiveness of the organized militia.
The Parker case breaks from this precedent by finding that the militia purpose is but one among a laundry list of other individual uses of arms protected by the Second Amendment, including hunting, self-defense, and protection from the "depredations of a tyrannical government."
This last claim, that individuals have a right to take up arms against representative government, was last tried out by the Confederate States of America.
When Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860, many Southerners, fearing that Lincoln would abolish slavery, felt they had no obligation to accept the results of the election. Southern attempts to withdraw from the union quickly led to individuals taking up arms to fight what they perceived as federal tyranny.
As president, Lincoln acted on his belief that violence against the government was illegal and unconstitutional. In his first inaugural address he stated, "It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination."
As he asked the nation to go to war to protect its sovereignty, Lincoln added, "And this issue embraces more than the fate of these United States ... It presents the question, whether discontented individuals, too few in numbers to control administration ... can always ... break up their government, and thus practically put an end to free government upon the Earth."
Lincoln made it clear that individuals or even states did not have the authority to determine what was "just cause" to wage a war against the union. As much as it pained him to send young men off to die, he did so to vindicate the idea that the Constitution and its amendments did not create some kind of national suicide pact.
Following the Civil War, the Supreme Court, in the case of Texas v. White, adopted this view and held that the Constitution did not countenance armed rebellion against the federal government.
The Parker court, by implicitly reviving Confederate constitutional theory and wrapping it in the authority of the federal courts, takes the ideals of conservative judicial activism in a lunatic direction.
The case is likely to be appealed. Let's hope that the rest of the D.C. Circuit knows enough history to recog´ nize that Lincoln, not Jefferson Davis, is the guiding spirit behind our system of constitutional government.
Horwitz is the executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and a visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The tcpalm.com does show some editorial balance.
Never believe anyone's opinion on the 2nd amendment who thinks you can explain United States vs. Miller in a single simple sentence.
Abe Lincoln used the Guardian of Forever. ;-)
I'm no fan of the Confederacy, but this is just stupid. The southern states, not individuals, took up arms to fight against "federal tyranny."
the Constitution did not countenance armed rebellion against the federal government.
Of course it didn't. Confederates never claimed it did. They withdrew from the Constitution, basing their "right" to do so on the theory that the states retained their full sovereignty even after joining the US under the Constitution.
As a backup justification they had the right of all men to revolution, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence.
This is merely a very lame attempt to associate the recent DC ruling with the Confederacy, guilt by association and all that. Won't work.
>The Parker case breaks from this precedent
Piss on precedent, Parker broke from history and principle.
Unless you win.
In his first inaugural address he stated, "It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination."
Yes, they all do. It's called the people.
Good grief - he's (1) wrong about the ruling, (2) wrong about the Second Amendment, (3) wrong about the Confederacy, (4) wrong about the Civil War, and (5) wrong about the Constitution in general. I'd call it a clean sweep.
Lincoln was clintonizing before we were wetting our diapers. This is classic:
""It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination." "
The Declaration of Independence, written 4 score and 7 years before Gettysburg, says that the people can abolish their government when they deem it no longer SERVES THEM!
4 score and seven years before Gettysburg, our fathers brought forth a new Confederacy!!!
The attempted connection is nonsense. The whole idea of the population being armed is to prevent the gov't from even considering abusing the rights of the citizens. The Civil War was just that, a civil war, and supposedly over states rights, not individual rights.
And the point of this is, exactly, what? Forget about the Civil War, this person would be writing on behalf of the Crown in 1776, of course. Exactly the same things.
The South shall rise!
Pretzel logic from committed socialist.
And do what? Give us more Wal Marts and race car drivers? ;-)
If ol' Abe was trying to say that it was impossible to peacefully break away from a representative government, then I would ask which type of government can one peacefully leave, and exactly how does one do that?
Most folks from Northern states would argue that it requires permission from the Federal government, but we did not have George III's permission in 1776. The only difference between 1776 and 1861 is that the revolting party LOST the war.
Having said that, I also recognize that IF the CSA had won, slavery would still have been abolished --just like in England, France, Mexico, and other countries, but this country would not be the global power that it is today.
I guess it was God's will that we fill our own destiny.
I would surmise that had the CSA successfully and peacefully seceded from the Union that slavery would have died out due to the economic pressures from industrialization. Automation (the cotton gin, tractors and the like) would have made slaves uneconomical to keep in any large numbers.
It is also likely that eventually the CSA or at the very least some of the boarder states would have rejoined the Union. The economic wealth of the North would have made it desirable to rejoin after Lincoln left office and the differences dealing with slavery had rendered themselves moot.
It is also possible that war would have arisen on the issue of Western territories. Namely which nation would have the right to which territories.
However it happened I believe the two would have reunited eventually.
Good point. Most of them have no clue about the background of that case or, more importantly, the context provided by its author - James Clarke McReynolds. Justice McReynolds' opinions are famous for their intentionally sparing use of words. He was an ultra-strict constructionist and basically believed that a court ruling shouldn't try to say much of anything beyond answering the questions of the case. So Miller means exactly what McReynolds said in it - that the trial court erred about the constitutionality of the NFA tax and the case is remanded to them for further proceedings. Anybody claiming that Miller established some sort of broad-based rule allowing only state militia members to bear arms is reading something into the ruling that its author never intended to be put there.