Skip to comments.The end of the 2nd Amendment?
Posted on 08/18/2006 12:24:13 PM PDT by neverdem
Ngoc Le heard his wifes screams and ran from the back of the wireless store he owns in Camden, New Jersey. His wife was behind the counter, as was a masked man wielding a knife. The man brandished the blade, herding the couple into a back room. Once there, he tied the 28-year old businessman to a chair, then proceeded to rape 22-year old Kelly Le. Once the brutal rape had finished, he slit the couples throats, then ran away. There was no 2nd Amendment, no right to own a gun, and Antonio Diaz Reyes got away with murder.
That isnt actually how the events of December 31st, 2004 played out. We do have a 2nd Amendment in this country, after all. So when Antonio Reyes held Kelly Le at knifepoint, Ngoc Le was able to shoot and kill the attacker with his legally owned firearm. DNA tests later determined that Reyes was responsible for a string of rapes in downtown Camden that had terrorized the city for months. The Les were shaken by what happened, but there were no regrets.
I was reminded of this armed citizen story when I read Tom Derbys recent piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Derby, an English and reading teacher in Camden, New Jersey, says its time for the 2nd Amendment to go away. In fact, he says, The premise of the Second Amendment, the need for minutemen, no longer exists. In a free society we must rely on the police. We have more important rights to fight for than the right to bear arms.
Mr. Derby is an English teacher, so perhaps he can be forgiven for not knowing that the U.S. government has said our individual security and safety is not guaranteed by the law enforcement in this country. There are several Supreme Court decisions that hold citizens have no constitutional guarantee of protection by police (South v. Maryland and Castle Rock v. Gonzalez come immediately to mind), and many more decisions have been made at lower levels (in the case of Warren v. District of Columbia, for example, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen.). Despite what Mr. Derby says, we are responsible for our individual safety. The law enforcement community performs a valuable service each and every day, but any cop will tell you that they cant be your personal bodyguard.
Tom Derby also says, When wolves and human predators roamed freely Northeast, one was entitled to defend ones family and property with firearms. Circumstances have changed; we need to reconsider that entitlement. How have circumstances changed? Derby has taught in Camden, New Jersey for 18 years. He should be all too familiar with the human predators that still roam the streets. Camden, after all, was named the most dangerous city in America for the second year in a row last year, and has been in the top ten each of the past eight years, according to Morgan Quinto, the company that ranks cities on their crime rates. In 2004 the citys murder rate was 60.8 per 100,000 residents, more than 11 times the national average. Its robbery rate was almost 8 times the national average, and its rate of aggravated assaults were more than 4 times the national average. Yet Derby says we should no longer be entitled to defend ourselves?
Derby seems to think that if we scrapped the 2nd Amendment, all the criminals in this country would lay down their weapons. Yet the criminal element doesnt rely on the 2nd Amendment any more than child pornographers rely on the 1st Amendment. Get rid of the right to legally own firearms, and the gang members and street thugs plaguing Camden wont even blink. But the legal gun owners, like Ngoc Le, will pay the price.
Tom Derby appears to be a teacher who cares a great deal about his students, and he should be commended for that. In his piece, he writes about several who have fallen victim to violence. One of the students he mentions, a boy named Len, was an A student who eventually joined a gang. Derby writes, I lost track of Len, and a colleague brought me the bad news before the papers got it: He had become a professional assassin, and his own gang killed him and set his body on fire in a football field in North Camden.
But Derby seems to be blaming Lens death on an inanimate object, rather than the human beings who took Lens life. Nothing is said about Lens choices in life that placed him directly in the path of violence. In the end, Derby says its not a person responsible for Lens death, but a thing.
Its easy to take this approach. We dont have to think ill of the dead, wondering why they chose a life of crime instead of a life inside the boundaries of the law. We dont have to be angry with them for inflicting violence on others, because its not their fault. The devil didnt make them do it, the gun did. But if were going to make excuses for the criminal behavior of those we love, we cant expect them to change their ways.
My wife lived in Camden for nine years, and if she and I had never met, theres a good chance that my 15-year old stepson would have been in Mr. Derbys class. I know my wife would be glad that he had a teacher who cared about him, but shed be livid knowing that his teacher thought she should be disarmed so she couldnt protect her family from the wolves roaming the streets. I dont think Mr. Derby is a bad man, just horribly misguided.
Hard to say, for sure.
Shotgun behind the front door jamb. Handgun in each vehicle. Open gun rack with three rifles over the sofa. Handgun in the desk next to the 'puter. Handgun for wife's purse. Open gun rack with two rifles in bedroom. Handgun in drawer next to the bed.
Other long guns here & there around the ranch buildings.
ALL legal & legally obtained. All loaded. All accessable. None locked.
LOTS of ammo for each.
For most of those which use them, I have extra, loaded, magazines.
Reloading equipment & supplies for most of them.
i agree 100% that the commie dictatorships use 'mental institutions" to suppress political dissent-i was thinking along the lines of schizophrenics with command hallucinations for example or people who stuck up a convenience store-the government does have a legitimate function in extreme cases-under the 1st amendment you can't physically threaten the president or other people for that matter nor just start speaking out of turn at school,in a courtroom,etc.-basically we don't disagree-i believe if someone wants to own a machinegun or antitank rifle there's no problem-if they use it to commit a crime,then the law should deal with them,but otherwise stay out of our lives-illegal aliens i don't think is debatable-they're invaders-you don't arm invaders if you can help it
I agree with what you said, especially illegals.
AFAIC, illegals are just another criminal to be apprehended or shot in the attempt.
"We the People of the United States,..." simply does not include intruders, under any rational interpretation.
I have no problem with the seriously mentally ill, IF it is competent medical authority AND the courts, AND normal 'due process', complete with attorneys & even a guardian, if necessary doing the finding & ruling.
I get queasy about felons getting an automatic loss, just on the basis of what has been elevated to a felony in recent years. OTOH, violent felons, especially repeaters, shouldn't be on the street, anyway.
OK, yes, that's in the First Amendment. I was talking about free speech and freedom of religion.
But freedom of assembly is by definition a collective right. There is no news in the fact that the Framers said "of the people" in regard to freedom of assembly.
They did not need to say "of the people" in the Second Amendment. The fact that they did suggests that their basic concern was that the people as a whole be able to own weapons. That requires an individual right, but raises the question of whether all individuals, regardless of personal characteristics or behavior, have a right to own guns, as they do have such an absolute (in that sense) right to speak and worship freely.
Again, I simply cite this as a justification for the constitutionality of laws that restrict ownership of guns by felons or noncitizens, to the extent that such laws exist. Whether they're a good idea or justified is a separate question.
I appreciate your modifications on the question of ownership (illegals, and the seriously mentally ill).
I would actually add another point that I'm sure you'd agree with: Even ex-felons have some natural right to self-defense. It must be balanced against their potential danger to society, but still, there's a natural right to self-defense that is not erased by past behavior.
Hard@$$ me, I only consider a pardoned citizen to be an "ex-felon". Once a felon, always a felon. Now, a felon MIGHT be an ex-inmate, and maybe even an ex-criminal.
By definition, a felon is one who has been convicted of a felony; no "ex" applies without a pardon. Same applies to "convict".
However, that is hairsplitting. As I said about "violent felons": They don't belong on the streets in the first place.
The way the clause is phrased, the phrase ALSO applies to the right to petition the government for redress of grievances.
By your analysis of the construction, then the right to petition would also be a collective, not an individual, right.
Being a teacher was surely the last thing on my mind as a choice of profession. Unfortunately all those I did love and actually tried (law enforcement, army officer, law school) just didn't quite work out. Then I married a teacher and I felt a deep urge to try my hand at it. I was experienced...all US Army Infantry Lieutenants are skilled teachers...they just teach different subjects. You know, when God Almighty chooses a path for one of his children, sooner or later....his will BE done. When I actually applied to the system I was told rather bluntly that I was the wrong race and ethnicity and pretty much the wrong gender too. But funny, doors started to open. I slid thru a system already set against me without a problem. I have stayed there and taught the other side of the AGENDA for over 16 years. Greater is HE who is in me than he who is in the world....
The Philadelphia Inquirer lets him print such drivel.
Some progress was made. Alaska went from shall issue to unrestricted. Now you only need paperwork if you want reciprocity in other states that observe reciprocity for their shall issue privilege.
Repealing the 2nd Amendment to stop crime is like repealing the 1st Amendment to stop porn!
Let's put the 2nd Amendment FIRST!!!
Good for Alaska! At least ONE state out of fifty has FREE citizens.
The term "collective right", as generally used, refers to "rights" of the people as a whole or, more typically, the "rights" of 50%+1. The freedom of assembly is definitely not in that sense a collective right. If two people want to assemble they have the right even if the "collective will" of everyone else is that they be forbidden.
It's a Fait Accompli--We've got the guns--how are they going to get them?
It's two states.
Socialist loving Vermont never had shall issue. IIRC, Vermont never infringed on the 2nd Amendment.
I agree. Solo FReeps are protected by the Constitution, of course.
The reference to "of the people" in the rights to peaceably assemble and petition the government is simply a recognition that people can get together in large groups for these purposes. Normally, though not always, demonstrations and petitions involve a group.
Gee, "only" 48 & DC to go!
Three. Now we're talking "progress".
"With out the 2nd,we all become victims of fear of the criminal element."
To hell with the criminals, it's the government that will go totalitarian in a heartbeat.
Yes, it's called progress. The anti's didn't do it over night and we won't get it back over night. Not unless we continue to drive the dems out of office and stack the Supreme Court with true Second Amendment judges.
You have to remember though, there are those right here on FR who won't join the NRA because of what happened thirty or forty years ago or won't vote Republican because of some issue that isn't half important as defending your life.
That goes with out saying. You could also call it, "Criminal government." So its two sets of criminals we have to worry about.
Now you're dancing and I don't think you understand the severity of my point. I could tell you what it is but I think you'd mentally assent to it without really believing it. It's in my first post.
And the other fallacy here is that once they confiscate guns, no other weapons will be used to kill. That's pure nonsense. I just heard something on the radio about knife confiscation in Scotland....because of all the "knife violence." What's next? Screw drivers? Axes? This is nuts. Absolutely nuts.
My friends didn't live on a huge ranch at the time of the attack, they lived in a tiny 800 square-foot condominium. If they owned their current handgun at that time, it would have been in his hand by the third instance of the ax striking their door. Not everyone has the flexibility to keep firearms in the open.
~ Blue Jays ~
Been there, done that. No hassle, but I'd prefer that we could exercise our right bear arms without such permit. Although my ugly black rifle is a larger caliber than the average US grunt carries.
Perhaps you live in the wrong state?
The need to be well trained with the weapon of our choice is still needed in the world and ever will be until mankind ceases to hate his own flesh.
A fool bereft of any real knowledge of history and human nature.
How long a waiting period would the Second Amendment allow? A week? A month? A decade? Do please bear in mind that one of the design goals of waiting periods is to increase the hassle of purchasing a firearm. Someone who does not live conveniently close to the point of purchase must make two trips. If the gun store is 45 minutes away, that's 90 minutes of the purchaser's life wasted. Any reason that much hassle is okay, but requiring the person to show up ten times, on separate days, to buy a gun wouldn't be?
Also, while states have the authority to brand convicted felons as slaves who are forbidden from owning firearms, and while the Second Amendment and the "full faith and credit clause" would probably allow for some federal statutes that would make such prohibitions issued in one state applicable in others, explain how the federal government has the authority to declare that anyone convicted in any state court of any crime whose sentence could be more than 366 days in prison (regardless of the actual amount of time to be served). Shouldn't the question of firearm prohibiton be a matter for the sentencing state's government to determine?
This sentence struck me too, for a couple of different reasons.
And of course it also begs the question: if your other rights are attacked after you're disarmed, what are you going to protect them with? Spitballs?
The NRA's cowering "endorsement" of Bob Dole in 1996 wasn't 30-40 years ago, and IMHO had a lot to do with the passage of the Lautenberg Abomination.
A short waiting period, which is what we have.
I don't know if I favor the Brady Law or not.
But gun-rights advocates don't help themselves
with the public when they whine about "90 minutes" of trouble for the purchaser.
Any time a person who has a right to acquire a firearm and would have gotten it in the absense of government-created hassles, doesn't get one, that person's rights have been infringed.
Further, I would have to ask: under what cirumstances would a person be so dangerous that they could not be trusted with a gun, and could not be trusted not to buy one, and yet not be so dangerous as to justify imprisonment?
Why is it that many liberals are keen on letting criminals walk the street, and yet are supposedly so concerned about them getting guns that they impose hassles for all the honest people? Shouldn't the rights of honest people outweigh those of criminals? Or is hassling the honest people the real goal in the first place?
Sorry, but there is no state in which a citizen can go out and buy a newly made M4 rifle like many troops carry. None.
I know that, it's a federal deal, specifically a last minute amendment to the Firearm Owners Protection Act, of the mid 80's. IIRC 1986. And it's in blatant violation of the second amendment, The previous "tax based" restrictions (National Firearms Act) were too of course, but at least it wasn't a complete ban. Supreme Court has never ruled on either law. Never.
However you said:
Try buying a rifle like the troops carry (or even a defanged one that shoots one shot per trigger pull.)
I was responding to the part in bold. You can buy a semi-auto only clone of the M-4, a similar version in 7.62x51, or a SA clone of the M16A4. Complete with bayonet lug and flash hider. Just not the burst fire capability.
That's not that much of a loss, sustained rate of fire with burst is about 90 rpm, in semi-auto, it's 45 rpm. (M-16/M-4).
The waiting period part of the Brady Law has sunset. All that remains is the "instant" background check. However that can, in theory, result in up to a 3 day wait, IIRC. However it hasn't for me and I've bought 4 firearms since then, (plus one right before Brady went into effect (1911A1) and one (serious social purposes shotgun) right before it began to apply to long arms. Only bought two subject to the check though, the others were from private sellers, not subject to the law. The two checks took less than an hour each, how much less I'm not sure, since I wandered off to look at more guns. :) (both at gun shows).
Of course YMMV depending on your state. Some states do have waiting periods. And bans on things the federales do not.
There have been suspicious incidents of the instant check system being down, resulting in, at minimum, very long delays in purchasing firearms. IIRC, once was shortly after 911. Plus, even though the law required that the records of approved transactions be destroyed after approval, the system was designed to save them for an indefinite time. The current state of that seems to be that they are purged daily. However that's not to say they aren't on the backups for the computer system. The system could have easily been designed such that the data never made it out of RAM, unless the buyer was ineligible, but it wasn't. The Clinton administrating was keeping the records for an indefinite period.
But the principal is the same, requiring government permission to exercise a right.
Exactly.. The 2nd amendment is not protect our right for target practice or to own antique firearms.. like many Gun rights groups seem to suggest....
Did the NRA endorse Dole or not? What's that have to do with the Launtenberg Bill?
You're going to have to ask yourself the question, if those other gun groups are so important and powerful, Why didn't they stop the bill?
So does the fourth amendment. You think convicted criminals who have served their full sentences have no right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures? The courts have rulled that anyone who lives here is part of the group "The People" in conjunction with fourth amendment rights.
Another matter of scope recently addressed by the Court is the category of persons protected by the Fourth Amendment--who constitutes ''the people.'' This phrase, the Court determined, ''refers to a class of persons who are part of a national community or who have otherwise developed sufficient connection with [the United States] to be considered part of that community.'' 28 The Fourth Amendment therefore does not apply to the search and seizure by United States agents of property that is owned by a nonresident alien and located in a foreign country. The community of protected people includes U.S. citizens who go abroad, and aliens who have voluntarily entered U.S. territory and developed substantial connections with this country.
Two, it's not called "Alaska carry" but rather "Vermont carry", Vermont has, AFAIK, never had any laws against bearing arms, concealed or not.
And what if an attacker shows up during that time? "Excuse me Mr. Rapist--would you mind coming back in a couple days when I have my gun?"
Also, please explain why people who are so dangerous they must be prevented from buying guns are not so dangerous that they belong in prison, and why the freedom of such people should be put ahead of the freedom of the law-abiding.
Except for the part of the NFA that applies to short barreled shotguns, and then the ruling was based on no evidence having be presented as to the military utility of such weapons. I think even the Supreme Court would have allowed taking judicial notice that a Thompson or a BAR had such utility.
It's really too bad Miller and his buddy didn't have one of those, as more notorious criminals of the time did.