Skip to comments.To Keep and Bear Arms
Posted on 03/24/2008 12:30:11 PM PDT by neverdem
Nearly 135 years ago, the United States experienced what may have been the worst one-day slaughter of blacks by whites in its history. On April 13, 1873, in the tiny village of Colfax, La., white paramilitaries attacked a lightly armed force of freedmen assembled in a local courthouse. By the time the Colfax Massacre was over, more than 60 African American men lay shot, burned or stabbed to death. Most were killed after they had surrendered.
Though it caused a national sensation in post-Civil War America, this horrible incident has been largely overlooked by historians. It deserves fresh study today not only to illuminate the human cost of Reconstruction's defeat but also to enrich our understanding of constitutional history. Some of the most relevant lessons relate to the issue at the heart of District of Columbia v. Heller, the case on the D.C. gun control law currently before the Supreme Court: whether the Constitution guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms.
During oral arguments on Tuesday, the justices debated what the framers of the Second Amendment intended. The members of the court did not mention Reconstruction. Yet during this period, we the people gave the Union a second "founding" through constitutional amendments abolishing slavery, granting blacks citizenship and enabling them...
Firearms pose threats to modern-day urban dwellers -- crime, suicide, accidents -- that may outweigh any self-defense they provide. Unlike 19th-century rural Americans, we can call on professional police.
In the D.C. gun case, the Supreme Court should find that local governments may enact reasonable and necessary restrictions on dangerous weapons. To be sure, if the justices also back an individual right to keep and bear arms, that will be harder for legislators to do. But as a matter of historical interpretation, the court would be correct.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
When seconds count, the police are only minutes away, but they are doing really important work, writing summonses and raising revenue.
Common sense from the ComPost???
Are there pigs flying somewhere?
Why not go back more recent. April 19,1993!
Read it again. Pigs resoundingly on terra firma.
That statement is asinine. The police cannot protect you when someone is breaking into your home at 3 am, and they will tell you so.............
Haven’t there been court cases that said that the police are NOT responsible for an individual’s safety?
What really needs to be studied is how this new republic reject finds a forum to spew his liberal tripe.
How is it possible for a person to write eight paragraphs of coherent historical discussion strongly supporting the need for the government to recognize an individual’s right to keep and bear arms, and then conclude with five sentences that directly contradict every point just made?
I guess only someone with a graduate degree in journalism can be that foolish.
On a side note, many of my state’s gun laws were enacted during Reconstruction to disarm blacks. Racist Democrats supported them then, and Democrats (who may still be racists) support them today. It’s just a little surprising to see an article in a major national newspaper that supports these gun laws even while explicitly acknowledging their racist purpose.
Check again. Although the article was common sense, the idiot author managed to force a conclusion exactly opposite of what the article stated.
It all depends on how any particular government agency chooses to define “reasonable and necessary.” I’m willing to bet their definition is a lot less 2nd Amendment friendly than I would be happy with.
Not to mention that if I wanted to commit suicide, there’s dozens of ways to do it that have nothing to do with firearms.
More racebaiting from the Compost.
Nope ... for that ya gotta call Hillary!.
The Eloi and the Morlocks..............
I believe that is the last decision in a long line of them. To add insult to injury, felons can't be prosecuted for not registering their firearms.
It pays to save your links.
Heller is about interpreting the 2nd Amendment, specifically an individual's right to own a handgun in the District of Columbia.
Nothing to do with racism, everything to do with the right to bear arms.
> Check again. Although the article was common sense, the idiot author managed to force a conclusion exactly opposite of what the article stated.
Alternatively, perhaps an idiot editor didn’t like his conclusions and re-wrote the end of the article for him?
Yeah, what’s the point of this race-baiting?
To further indocrinate blacks and encourage them to further hate and attack whites? Like they haven’t been doing that for years. I’m sick of this “poor oppressed black” bullcrap.
Nah, don't think so. Ever heard of a police artist? They're the guys who come out after a crime and draw those really neat chalk lines around the folks who waited on the cops to protect them.
No...it don’t need to be relooked at. It was a different time and a different era. It has nothing to do with life as it is today. So give it a rest....let it go......get a life!!!
“Firearms pose threats to modern-day urban dwellers — crime, suicide, accidents — that may outweigh any self-defense they provide. Unlike 19th-century rural Americans, we can call on professional police.”
Check the founders’ context again. It was the militia at Lexington and Concord, a loose confederation of like-minded and equipped individuals. The overarching concept of the Second Amendment is defense against tyranny. It is the individual’s responsibility to be armed. It is the government’s responsibility do defend the country (calling on the militia if needed). That an armed society is more polite (criminals have less traction) is simply a joyous byproduct of individual taking on the responsibility of personal and familial defense.
“...a ship can get you work. A gun can help you keep your ship.”
“Unlike 19th-century rural Americans, we can call on professional police.”
Because all Americans live in cities today.
Oh, wait. They don’t.
My parents live less than a mile outside a city, and have had to wait several hours for law enforcement to tend to a wreck on the road in front of their house. Good thing nobody was breaking into their house.
> Unlike 19th-century rural Americans, we can call on professional police.
I haven’t had that good a laugh in a long while.
Nothing beats the 3 S’s (Shoot, Shovel and Shutup.)
Did you see the story posted here last week, about a Covina CA woman who was killed by burglars, while she was on the phone begging the 911 operator for help?
“reasonable and necessary” is a cover for pretty much unlimited restriction in this case. Don’t grant the WP any Constitutional common sense.
“Firearms pose threats to modern-day urban dwellers — crime, suicide, accidents — that may outweigh any self-defense they provide. Unlike 19th-century rural Americans, we can call on professional police.
In the D.C. gun case, the Supreme Court should find that local governments may enact reasonable and necessary restrictions on dangerous weapons. To be sure, if the justices also back an individual right to keep and bear arms, that will be harder for legislators to do. But as a matter of historical interpretation, the court would be correct.”
The entire Colfax incident that the writer recounts is one proof why people need to keep and bear arms. Then the writer contradicts the entire premiss of the article by the above-quoted statement.
Has human nature somehow changed or improved since the Colfax massacre? The massacred blacks had no access to police promptly arriving on the scene, but today we do...
What comes to my mind are the images of a local SWAT team waiting outside Columbine High School until the shooting stopped before taking “effective” action...
Many departments BARELY require a GED for the police accademy!
Professional Police with one the highest rate of domestic violence of other careers?
Professional Police who are routinely shown to tamper with evidence and manipulate testimony. (ie drop guns, stepping too close to a suspect to induce a trip which causes arms to fling up and the officer can claim self defense, tasering anything that moves, absurd swat overtraining, police who routinely violate civil rights...)
If the police do manage to “get to you” in time, you become expendible as long as they have contained the perpetrator in your house.
The central dishonesty of this approach is that it steals from the American people our right to control our own Constitution, through the amendment process. The control of our own government is the very first political right stated in the Declaration of Independence. Yet this writer tramples it without even noticing that it is there.
P.S. I wrote one of the briefs in the Heller case, supporting the opposite conclusion from this guy.
It has always been open season on Black Republicans.
Redcloak linked it in comment# 3, thanks.
I posted it for the story of the Colfax massacre.
It is the strict scrutiny test which the left fears.
If every piece of gun control has to pass a strict scrutiny test, the same high level of examination which freeom of speech cases have to pass, then many gun laws will go down in massive flames.
Just like in all states where gun ownership leads to lower crime levels, it will eliminate the “government will protect you” taxation gravytrain.
This guy sounds like a weenie that runs away from a kid holding a squirt gun.
Weren’t the cops outside for around 3 hours?
"Waite's objection was that the Second Amendment protected that right against violation by Congress, not by private parties such as the paramilitaries at Colfax. Thus, only a state, not the federal government, could criminalize the conspiracy that Beckwith charged." --Charles Lane, washingtonpost.com March 22, 2008The other example is Presser v. Illinois.
"The provision in the Second Amendment to the Constitution, that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," is a limitation only on the power of Congress and the national government, and not of the States." --Presser v. Illinois, 1886In my opinion, these examples reflect that the USSC was unaware of John Bingham's inclusion of the 2nd A. in examples of constitutional statutes containing privileges and immunities that the 14th A. applied to the states, John Bingham having been the main author of Sec. 1 of the 14th Amendment.
"Mr. Speaker, that the scope and meaning of the limitations imposed by the first section, fourteenth amendment of the Constitution may be more fully understood, permit me to say that the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States, as contradistinguished from citizens of a State, are chiefly defined in the first eight amendments to the Constitution of the United States. Those first eight amendments are as follows:Regarding things that the USSC takes into consideration to decide a case, I have noticed that Court opinions often reference the opinions of previous cases as opposed to the Congressional Record or its precursors, such as the Congressional Globe from which the above Bingham excerpt was taken. Although it appears like the USSC was "uninterested" in congressional discussions concerning amendments to the Constitution, I suspect the following.
[first eight amendments listed]
These eight articles I have shown never were limitations upon the power of the states, until made so by the fourteenth amendment." --John Bingham, Appendix to the Congressional Globe http://tinyurl.com/y3ne4n
My guess is that since computer-assisted archive searches were non-existent in the 19th century that it was too inconvenient for justices to "walk across the street" to review congressional archives as a help to deciding cases. If this is the case, and hopefully some FReepers can provide some insight, then the USSC's "ignoring" of the Congressional Record is disturbing for the following reason.
"The true key for the construction of everything doubtful in a law is the intention of the law-makers. This is most safely gathered from the words, but may be sought also in extraneous circumstances provided they do not contradict the express words of the law." --Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 1808. ME 12:59Note my first exposure to all the materials that I reference came from a computer screen.
He was sentenced to roughly 2.5 years of supervised probation! The sentence was appealed after public outrage & upheld.
Gives you some idea of the standard of justice here don't it folks. p.s. this ain't the first time this kinda cr*p has happened with the O.P.D.
Thanks Recloak, I’d have clicked it if the link had a title!
Wait, I thought the Supreme Court said shotguns were not "militia" weapons. But that posse is just the militia wearing a different hat. (Of course the Supreme Court did not actually say that, they just said they couldn't say they were militia weapons without some evidence being heard or presented. Since the respondent, Miller, was not represented, it's not surprising no such facts were presented.)
I'm under the impression that all fact finding has to be decided at the district court level, and that appeals to the Circuit Court or SCOTUS are limited to violations of due process, stare decisis and violations of the Constitution, conflicts between Circuit Courts excepted for the SCOTUS. All corrections are appreciated.
If Hillary wins the nomination, we should all call her at 3AM to congradgulate her. The next day at 3AM to complain about gas prices. The next day at 3AM to.......
I think theoretically yes, but practically, as in this case, no. The facts of Miller's violation of the law were not in dispute. So the "fact finding" is not really that, but rather a matter how the law or Constitution is to be applied in the case at hand. That may take "evidence" of previous applications or of the intent of the framers, or some other fact that bears on the application of the law/Constitution to the facts in evidence.
Thus, I believe that if Miller and Layton had been represented, their attorney or attorney's could have introduced "evidence" that sort shotguns had been used for military/militia purposes.
But I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one. I do have a daughter and son-in-law who *are* lawyers, but I've not asked them about it. I'll try to do so when next I see them, which will be in just under two weeks I think, although next weekend is a possibility as well, since the daughter often needs "relief" from caring for the 4 month old identical twins and the almost 3 year old daughter. :)
The Heller case is one of "conflict among the Circuits" since other Circuits than D.C. have held that the 2nd Amendment protects only a collective ("militia") right, whereas the D.C. Circuit ruled it was an individual right.
The Court should have taken the Emerson case from Texas, two years ago, on the same basis, because that was an "individual" rights ruling. But since there's no appeal above the Supreme Court, it can duck any case it is scared of, and no one can say otherwise. I think the change of Justice Alito for Justice O'Connor is why the Court took this case, and why it will decide in favor of an individual right.
I made an error. Blacks murdered 934 whites in 2005. 4,497 was the number of black on black murders.
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