Skip to comments.'Right to bear arms' decision would improve gun control
Posted on 12/16/2002 8:10:29 PM PST by Dallas
When the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco earlier this month upheld California's assault-weapons ban, it said the purpose of the Second Amendment was to maintain effective state militias, not to give individual Americans a right to bear arms. Thrilled gun-control proponents claimed a major victory and predicted further victories once the Constitution is eliminated as a barrier to any and all gun controls.
But they should be wary of what they wish for. More gun control could be achieved if the courts accepted a different interpretation of the Constitution, the one held by the National Rifle Association (NRA), Attorney General John Ashcroft (news - web sites) and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans -- that the Second Amendment gives individuals a constitutional right ''to privately possess and bear their own firearms.''
That would open the door to a national registry, a database on the whereabouts of every firearm and a critical precondition to such controls as comprehensive licensing and ballistic fingerprinting. A national registry would require that when guns are sold and resold, the seller and buyer submit paperwork to the government. Police then could trace a bullet or spent shell casing to the owner of a murder weapon. It would also enable the police to determine from whom and where an unlicensed gun owner obtained his firearm.
Database needs support
An effective registry, however, cannot be created without the cooperation of tens of millions of gun owners who fear that registration would lead to confiscation, as happened in Great Britain after the 1996 school massacre in Dunblane, Scotland. Gun owners must be secure in the belief that they enjoy an inviolate constitutional right to keep and bear arms. If the Constitution were read to guarantee U.S. citizens a right to possess firearms, gun owners might support firearms registration and other gun controls aimed at preventing and solving gun crimes.
The Second Amendment states: ''A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'' The NRA and millions of gun owners, focusing on the second clause, believe that the amendment guarantees adult Americans with clean records the absolute right to possess and even carry weapons. Gun-control proponents, emphasizing the first clause, argue that it guarantees the states only the right to control their militia units.
Ironically, in their zeal to eliminate the Second Amendment as a barrier to unrealistic gun controls, the gun controllers have in fact constructed a huge obstacle to achieving any gun control, including ballistic fingerprinting.
Incredibly, the Supreme Court has not decided a Second Amendment case in almost 70 years. Just recently, the court declined to review the 2001 case in which the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the individual-rights theory. This long period of Supreme Court silence has given gun owners the time to develop and nurture a confident belief that the Second Amendment is a vital individual right, just like and just as important as the First Amendment right of free speech.
A different interpretation
If the Supreme Court were so inclined, it could easily render a strong individual-rights interpretation of the Second Amendment. There is a mountain of impressive scholarship supporting that view, some of it produced by mainstream and even liberal constitutional law theorists. A decision -- especially a unanimous one -- recognizing that the Second Amendment protects individuals, not states, would change the whole nature of the gun-control debate by paving the way for a national registry that makes ballistic fingerprinting, comprehensive licensing and other forms of regulation possible to implement and enforce.
In the end, such action probably would not entirely prevent tragedies such as the recent Washington-area sniper murders. But it could save lives and help capture criminals by enabling the police to trace a bullet or casing found at a crime scene back to the owner of the gun that fired the bullet.
James B. Jacobs is the Warren E. Burger Professor of Law and the director of the Center for Research in Crime and Justice at New York University Law School. He is also the author of Can Gun Control Work?
So are they saying it would help owners of stolen guns that are used in crimes get their property back?
Didn't think so.
Just how does that follow?
Does the First Amendment allow for licensing of newspapers?
And interesting statement, don't you think? Anyone who thinks these Nazis are about "reasonable gun control" is delusional.
It will be an infringement on the lives of the bastards who try to force registration, also.
I wish it were that easy. The fact of the matter is that gun control has proceeded from exactly such incremental means in the areas cited and some others beside: Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and even here in New York and California. Unfortunately, the clear pattern on the part of gun controllers and legislators in general in those areas is one of uniform deception, consistent misrepresentation, and ultimate betrayal of the very trust that the author suggests such a Supreme Court decision would engender. It is a sad thing to say, but such a Supreme Court decision is no protection against executive orders that must be challenged in court at great cost in order to overturn. It offers no protection against the cleverly-worded state and local ordinances passed to accomplish one thing and enforced in an entirely different direction, "stretch[ed] as far as I possibly can," in that master prevaricator Bill Clinton's words. In short, the trust is gone, and rightfully so.
It used to also mean "well equipped" or "well provided for" which when read in context to the Second Amendment makes the whole thing a lot clearer.
The initiative urges the local government to measure the number of firearms in the city and increase police confiscation of the weapons in the Historic Center??????
read this little snip of info. Notice the part about sharing info!
The most frightening part of this story ..... Molon Labe.
It doesn't even allow special taxes on newsprint or ink. Only as part of a tax on some larger category of items can these be taxed.
Now the ammo tax was originally pushed by the hunters, but then Billy Jeff started using the money for taking land out of hunting and to directly benefit non-game species. It was illegal, of course, but that never stopped BJ from doing much of anything.
It's the militia that needs to be "well-regulated" not the guns, although that would obviously be a Good Thing too. In this context "Well regulated" meant and means today, properly functioning, fit for it's intended purpose. One purpose of the militia was said to be to prevent the establishment of a standing army, or if such an army were to be raised, to be able to overwhelm it if it were turned to tyrannical ends, rather than defending the nation from foreign threats. The other purpose of course was to defend the country, from both foreign and domestic enemies. But that is neither here nor there. The right protected, not granted or established, by the second amendment is said to belong to the "people" not to the militia. And that right "Shall not be infringed", which registration, licensing and all other the gun control nonesense certainly does, since "infringe" means to break in upon, even in the slightest amount. "Shall not be infringed", is much stronger than "shall not be violated" would have been, which is how the milder gun-controllers want to read the amendment.
Hate to tell you this, Jimmy my boy, but it does read that way. Don't hold your breath waiting for gun owners in general to support that stuff. We've seen to many "assurances" that guns would not be confiscated, or that "they weren't after hunters guns and hobbyists guns" and so forth, to give an inch, even if the Constitution allowed it, which it does not.
Of course they don't understand basic English grammer, of the 18th or 21st centuries. The milder gun controllers often state that the wording is ambigious or at least akward. It may be be awkward to 21st century illiterates, but it isn't ambiguous and was neither to the very literate men who wrote it and passed it.
The reason the Second Amendment provides for private ownership of weapons is so that the government would not have to pay for weapons for a "well equipped" militia. Everybody was supposed to provide their own guns.
More Orwellian BS from the gun grabbers. The very same gun grabbers who claim the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right are the same ones who have been pushing all these controls and more, and have had some success in enacting them. The way is paved by gun grabbers and clueless sheeple, not by a SCOTUS decision affirming an individual right.
One must wonder if this reporter is 100% wrong because of simple ignorance, or by deliberate attempt to alter public perception in advance of such a decision.
Yep. Various legal dodges were used to prevent blacks from voting for a century, notwithstanding the plain and unambiguous language of the Fifteenth Amendment. Gun grabbers have the same low cleverness as their Jim Crow soulmates.
My reading of the Founders' stated intent suggests that the only possible legal significance of the militia clause is to permit the authorities to make a distinction between the armed populace of a community on the one hand and a random armed gang (like the bad guy's minions in a spaghetti Western) on the other.
That's one of the biggest misconceptions around. "Executive Orders" only apply to employees of the Executive Branch. The President cannot order private citizens who are not employees of the Executive Branch to do anything. The orders don't apply to you. They are just what they say. They are "orders" to Executive Branch members to do something. The President can order the members of the Executive Branch to (attempt to) confiscate your weapons, true, but he cannot order you to turn yours in.
Stupidity on this scale is staggering.
These efforts to portray the amendment as reading that way or having that intent are assinine, lack credibility on their face, and reveal the dishonesty and moral bankruptcy of those who are attempting to carry off this foul deception.
No lie can stand in the face of the truth forever, and these enemies of the Constitution will be exposed for what they are.
These folks ought to be real careful about what they wish for. They'd be wise to study the battles of Lexington and Concord. Here's a description:
In response to the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773, British troops occupied the city, believing it to be the center of colonial sedition. The King declared the Colony of Massachusettes to be in a state of rebellion. Outside Boston, rebellious citizens began to form their own militias. On March 23rd, 1775, Patrick Henry delivered his "Give me liberty, or give me death" speech, calling on the colonists to fight for their freedoms. The British response was to order the seizure powder and shot from Concord. On the morning of April 19, the advance guard of a 700-man British force met about seventy colonial militia, or Minutemen, at Lexington Green. The Americans were dispersing as ordered when a shot rang out, the "shot heard 'round the world," leaving eight militiamen dead.
The British column marched to Concord, as ordered, and another firefight ensued. After destroying some military supplies, the Redcoats marched back to Boston, only to be pelted by fire from militiamen hiding behind cover. By day's end, the British had suffered some 273 casualties; the Americans, 93. Within a few days of these actions, thousands of men joined the militia which encircled Boston.
Here is yet another description:
"A description of the attack on the British Troops returning from Concord Mass. to Boston on April 19, 1776.
"It was also in Menotony that the Briitish met their most formidable individual opponent, the aged Sam Whittemore. An old soldier who was out to stop the British even if he had to do it all by himself. Whittemore,who in his younger days had commanded a troop of dragoons for the Crown, was a tough customer, and always had been. The Middlesex Court Records for January 1741 show that he was hauled into court for expressing publicly his opinion that one Colonel Vassal was no more fit for selectman than his horse was; whereupon Colonel Vassal had him clapped in jail and sued him for defamation of character, claiming damages of L10,000. The court ruled that the words were not actionable, and when Whittemore heard the verdict he commenced action against the colonel for "false and malicious imprisonment" and recovered L1,200 damages.
Now eighty years old, Whittemore was not the kind of man to be cowed by a mere 1,500 redcoats. Having heard that the British had marched through town, he spent the day preparing his own private arsenal, which included a brace of pistols, a saber, and a musket. Then he loaded himself with his gear and told his wife he was going up town to meet the regulars.
He joined the men going into position near Coopers Tavern, where the road to Medford branches off to the north, and stationed himself 150 yards off the road, behind a stone wall that offered him a good view of the route to Boston. This location put him directly in the path of the flanking companies of Colonel Nesbitts 47th Regiment, as well as in the way of the main body.
When the heavy firing began, Whittemore waited until the flankers were almost upon him, then fired his musket and dropped a regular in his tracks. He jumped up and fired off both pistols, killing at least one and possibly two more redcoats before a round hit him in the face and knocked him down. The men around him were driven back and the regulars, who lost several men getting across the Medford Road, leaped over the wall as Whittemore fell and bayonetted him again and again. Then they moved on, satisfied that they had killed at least one of their elusive tormentors. But with his face half shot away and thirteen bayonet wounds in him, Sam Whittemore survived and lived to be almost a hundred years old, always insisting that if he had to live that day over he would do the same thing again. "
From The Minute Men by John R. Galvin, Brasseys 1989 p.220-221.
Whittemore may be long dead, but many in this country have a bit of his spirit. The modern-day Redcoats best be careful. If they want to start eliminating the most basic rules of our nation, then they will get what they want: NO RULES. Let's see, their opponents number 80 million and have a quarter of a billion firearms. I wonder who will win that free-for-all?
I want what this guy is smoking. His reasoning is that gun owners, having finally secured their rights after a 70-year battle, will suddenly decide to give their natural enemy, a powerful central government, a complete listing of every gun owned, plus every form of identifying information possible about themselves, not to mention a "ballistic fingerprint" of their firearms. They will just give all of this to people who have ached for their entire lives to have just such a listing, all the better with which to aid in the confiscation of those very weapons? WTF?
If this dreaded day ever arrives, the black market for guns will grow to rival that of illegal drugs. ....The War on the People of the U.S. and the Bill of Rights continues.
The way that government bureaucracies work, once a system of "ballistic fingerprints" is in effect, and it is shown that the "fingerprints" can change, the law will be modified to say that gun owners must have their weapons "retested" regularly, and any "modifications" such as new barrels etc which can "alter the ballistic fingerprint" will be illegal unless permission is granted for the "change."
That's the plot of my book!
well regulated in 18th century English ment...I believe... using the same size bullet for supply issues...trained in accurate shooting etc...am I wrong
I wonder what that guy's reaction would be to my idea of such security:
1) There are no more FFL's. Anyone can buy or sell as many guns as they want at any time, without paying any sales or transfer taxes to any agency on any level of government.
2) You can order guns mail order, send in a money order and have them sent to your nearest Mailboxes, Etc.
3) There are no waiting periods, no background checks, no permission of your local PD to buy any non-WMD weapon. Yes, this includes machine guns.
4) Guns have no serial numbers.
5) Kids over age 12 can own guns if Mom or Dad say it is OK when any police officer asks about it.
6) People with sufficient money can buy tanks, aircraft or ships, fully armed, though use of any of the above for any purpose other than a joyride would require obtaining Letters of Marque from the Congress.
Somehow or other, I don't think he'll allow me to feel that secure.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances
Does "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" speak to a collective right of "the states?"
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Does "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,against unreasonable searches and seizures..." speak to a collective right of "the states?"
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Shall the enumeration of rights in the Constitution not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by a collective right of "the states?"
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.
Why is it that "the States" and "the people" are mentioned seperately here, if from the previously mentioned amendments, "the people" refers to a collective right of "the state."
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.
I suppose that this is the only case where the authors of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution messed up, and wrote "the people," when they really meant "the State."
I have yet to find anyone who claims to not have a political motivation to explain to me how the Founding Fathers managed to trip up on this one amendment. As mentioned earlier in this thread, "well regulated" has a meaning other than what the "gun grabbers" believe. How about an example of what a "well regulated militia" is, based on the writings of Alexander Hamilton, from Federalist 29:
The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious if it were capable of being carried into execution. A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, nor a week nor even a month, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry and of the other classes of the citizens to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people and a serious public inconvenience and loss.
In this case, "well regulated" means "properly functioning," not "run by the state," as so many of the gun-grabbers seem to believe. In fact, let's try rewriting the second amendment, to see how that fits:
A run by the state Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the state to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
A properly functioning Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Personally, I choose the second version. Another reason to prefer the second is from an obsolete definition from the 1989 Oxford English Dictionary (2nd Ed) that in 1690 defines "regulated" as "properly disciplined" when describing soldiers.
I always thought that "well-regulated" as applied to a technological device meant "synchronized." Regarding guns, a double-barreled shotgun is "well-regulated" if the shot patterns from both barrels impact the same point at some specified range. Regarding the militia, "well regulated" means "well trained" or "well organized."
It sure as $hit doesn't mean that you have to get the permission of some constipated dolt whose son is on drugs, whose daughter is a ho, and whose wife beats him regularly, and who also happens to work for the government approving firearms applications.
Ya'll Stay Safe, Cache, and BLOAT !!
In Marketing 101, this would be the "catch phrase" with the "weasel words".
My sense of it is that the author sees the writing on the wall and is attempting to fashion a response to keep his agenda moving foreward.
Either that or he is delusional and needs help.
He is correct about the politics, however. The best argument to use against these registry schemes is "That would lead to confiscation, just like it did in (Fill in the blank) ." Such a ruling would make make it obvious that confiscation is flately illegal; it takes the wind out of the sails of the "it would lead to confiscation" argument.
Of course, were registration to be tolerated, it would lead to an endless list of other just-short-of-confiscation rules and regulations. The goal would be to make gun ownership so inconvenient as to be impossible. (Just as post-Civil War voting laws in the South didn't make it illegal for Blacks to vote, they did make it exceedingly hard for them to do so.) The author seems to recognize this as well. Perhaps he hopes that his fellow travelers will accept the half a loaf now in hopes of getting everything but that final statutory crumb later.
ONCE THE CONSTITUTION IS ELIMINATED says it all. Once the Constitution is eliminated we have no law in the USA period. All we have is force of arms. Without a Constitution my court system that I set up is as valid as anything anyone else sets up. Since a whole lot of people swore an oath to defend the CONSTITUTION against all enemies foreign and domestic and these people clearly state they are opposed to the Constitution the response is clear. The Constitution is the only thing keeping these folks safe.
Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown
The sole exception to this is except when acting in self defense from attack. Merchant vessels were armed as a matter of course in the 18th, 19th and early 20th Centuries especially if they were entering waters that were known for having many pirates. By about 1910 such armaments were usually dispoensed with simply as a matter of cost effectiveness. The Navies of the civilized world had pretty much swept the seas of large armed pirate vessels and the need for cannon aboard merchant ships had disappeared. Small arms for officers of most ships were still common until the 1960's and almost every old merchant ship contained a small arms locker.
Further, these vessels could in times of war become auxillaries to naval vessels without specific letters of marque. British liners in WWI were officially designated as crusiers if they were to sink or capture a German ship (See the Congressional debates on the sinking of the Lusitania).
Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown