Gun-Rights case reveals one true “constitutional” justice

By a five to four majority last week, the United States Supreme Court ruled that neither a state nor a city acting under a grant of authority from the state, can deny a person the right to possess a firearm as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution.  Interestingly, of that slim, five-member majority, only one justice had the constitutional backbone to rule the right way for the right reason.  It was not Chief Justice Roberts, and it was not Antonin Scalia, considered by many as the most conservative of the tribunal’s nine members.

Standing alone in his correct and bold interpretation of both the Second Amendment and the Fourteenth, which figured prominently in the Court’s consideration of McDonald v. City of Chicago, Illinois, is Justice Clarence Thomas.  Thomas — who was savagely attacked by Democratic opponents in the Senate when the first President Bush nominated him in 1991 – solidified his reputation as the true constitutionalist on the Court.

The bottom line in last week’s decision was never really in doubt.  Ever since the Court’s 2008 decision in Heller v. District of Columbia, in which the three-decades old ban on firearms in the nation’s capitol was struck down based on a ruling that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm, most legal scholars anticipated the Court would apply the same principle to a state or city gun ban.  What was in doubt was the reasoning on which the court would base such ruling.

Alan Gura, the young, Virginia-based lawyer who presented both the Heller and the McDonald cases before the high Court, argued persuasively that the right to keep and bear arms was a fundamental right of citizens within the United States, and must therefore be protected as a basic “privilege or immunity” of citizenship under the Fourteenth Amendment.  A ruling based on this provision would have firmly established the right to possess a firearm as an unquestionably fundamental right, akin to other fundamental privileges such as the right to vote.  It could not be taken away without a clear and compelling case being made, based on an overriding governmental interest.  In this scenario, restrictions on the exercise of one’s Second Amendment right – while still permissible – would be scrutinized very rigorously by the courts, with the burden being on the government to sustain them rather than on the individual to challenge them.

Justice Thomas, in his concurring opinion in McDonald, citied the legislative history of the 1868 Fourteenth Amendment, which included language clearly indicating one of its purposes was to ensure that freed slaves could not be deprived of their right to protect themselves by use of firearms. He then applied this history and reasoning to 2010’s McDonald case. Thomas’ more timid colleagues, while correctly concluding that Chicago’s gun ban was indeed unconstitutional, exhibited less courage by basing their ruling on the premise that the ban violated a citizen’s right to “due process of law.”  This majority opinion ensures continued wrangling over whether and to what extent the fundamental right to keep and bear arms can be limited by states and cities, based more on process than substance.

Justice Scalia, who sarcastically attacked Gura during the oral argument in the case last March, offered perhaps the least persuasive argument in favor of adopting the more limited, although questionable, “due process” basis.  The acerbic Scalia cited allegiance to a late 19th-century case that severely — though in the view of many constitutional scholars, erroneously – limited the reach of the “privileges or immunities” clause, as a reason for refusing to return the clause to its rightful place in constitutional law.  A precedent is, after all a precedent, even if it’s a bad one.

Thank goodness at least one Justice exhibited a higher degree of constitutional fortitude in defense of the Second Amendment.

102 comments Add your comment

jconservative

July 5th, 2010
8:12 am

Nice column Mr. Barr.

I would think that the reason Justice Thomas took the route of “privileges or immunities” instead off the “due process clause” goes back to the Roe v Wade decision. Roe was decided on the “due process clause” of the 14th Amendment (and on the 9th Amendment to a lesser extent).
(”…nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;…”) Using the due process clause to set another “fundamental” right would only strengthen the use of the due process clause in Rose v Wade.

So Thomas elected to use the privileges and immunities clause. (”No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;”) This allows him the same result as Alito in the majority opinion but keeps the Roe thinking out of declaring another fundamental right case.

The McDonald case was not about the 2nd Amendment but about incorporating it against the states. My reading of the case is that Thomas is reaching in his use of privileges and immunities when due process is a lot more direct and cleaner.

Had I been sitting on the case I would have concurred with Alito.

Scout

July 5th, 2010
9:15 am

Here’s the bottom line ……… we ain’t giving up our guns !

JDW

July 5th, 2010
9:17 am

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.

Please note the words “well regulated” and the absence of any reverence to individual persons. Just because five Republican toadies, that have sold their soul to the NRA, can’t read doesn’t make it right.

cdawg

July 5th, 2010
9:24 am

JDW,

Please note the words “the right of the people.” I believe that gives the reverence to individuals.

We are the Militia

July 5th, 2010
9:29 am

JDW, you need to go back and actually read American history of the Revolutionary War period. The militia is every able bodies male of a certain age. It is not the National Guard… it is you, me, my neighbor, and every citizen. Also, the 2nd amendment confers a right to the “people” which in EVERY other reference in our Constitution refers to us – the citizens, not some collective idea to represent a government bodie. Please go find a history book and read it.

Lee

July 5th, 2010
9:39 am

One of my all-time favorite columnists was Charlie Reese. His take:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/reese/reese463.html

I especially like his reference to the fact that the Founding Fathers were very literate men. If they had wanted the right to keep and bear arms to only apply to the militia, they would have said so.

Scout

July 5th, 2010
9:41 am

cdawg:

1) Yes ……… it means individuals just like “people” does wherever it is stated in the other Amendments ……….. or does JDW think the right against unreasonable searches is just a collective one?

2) A “well-regualted militia” is only stating the main reason why the “people” have that right. Other reasons like self-protection, hunting, collecting, etc. were assumed and therefore not stated.

OIFVet@USC

July 5th, 2010
9:51 am

Excellent article. Yes, the right to keep and bear arms goes far beyond even due process. It is a fundamental liberty and inalienable right. That is what the legal revisionists will never understand. Liberties are not created or written into law; they are upheld by men who recognize them for what they are. That is what the Founding Fathers implied a full 11 years before the Constitution was drafted and ratified; when they reminded the King of England that there were such things as “inalienable” rights. That concept was not new or unheard of during that Age of Enlightenment. Even English legal scholars had adopted that philosophy two centuries earlier before the philosophy of inalienable rights had become corrupted in the mid-18th century. Now, we too are facing a similar corruption by a Euro-socialist form of philosophy that says that guns are a public health problem and that it is the job of police to save us from crime. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is, in addition to the “liberty factor,” the presence of guns in the hands of law abiding citizens with a minimum of training, results in fewer crimes and fewer gun accidents; that according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s own National Institute of Justice/Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the annual FBI Crime Report. Essentially, guns save lives. Finally, our liberties must not end at the door steps at our homes. We must have a right to keep and bear arms in our vehicles, places of employment, and when we travel. Since 1991, America has seen the reimplementation of concealed carry, and to a somewhat lesser extent, open carry, in all but two out of fifty states and a handful of cities and towns. All the while, violent crime and gun accidents have plunged. Draconian gun control is dead and this administration and their legislative minions will never wise up to that fact. Regime change at the ballot box in 2010 and 2012 will cure that problem.

LRF

July 5th, 2010
9:54 am

I don’t mean to be merely an echo, but this is a very good and insightful column! I believe that Justice Thomas has distinguished himself with regards to his opinions in cases heard by the Supreme Court. His understanding of the Constitution is reflected in those opinions and appreciated by those of us who wish America’s government to remain based in law, not mob rule.

Sam ( The Cool 1 )

July 5th, 2010
10:04 am

The Cisco Kid and Pancho wouldn’t give of their guns. Why should we?

J.B. STONER

July 5th, 2010
10:08 am

CISCO KID WAS A FRIEND OF MINE…………………

I WILL FOREVER KEEP MY GUNS AND CONFEDERATE FLAGS…

TRY TO TAKE THEM AWAY………….

ASK HOSEA……

Sam ( The Cool 1 )

July 5th, 2010
10:16 am

No doubt The Cisco Kid set a good example. Ask Pancho. The Robin Hoods’ of the Old West. The Heros’ of yesteryear.

HoldYourNoseBob

July 5th, 2010
10:16 am

Come on Bob, do you really care a whit for Clarence Thomas? Bet you held your nose when you wrote this patronizing tripe (chitlins anyone?).

Andy

July 5th, 2010
10:17 am

If you knew Latin (which the Founding Fathers did) you’d know that the phrase about a well-regulated militia is an ablative absolute which renders the famous phrase to mean: “Because a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” In other words, the Second Amendment requires not only that there is a militia, but that it is well regulated. If the Founding Fathers had not cared about that then they would, I imagine, just have said “Every citizen [which excluded Blacks and Indians at the time] has the right to own a gun.” But they didn’t. So, why not?

For all of you literalists out there, there’s more here on why understanding 18th century grammar is important in interpreting the Constitution.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/16/opinion/16freedman.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=second%20amendment%20latin%20grammar&st=cse

Sam ( The Cool 1 )

July 5th, 2010
10:23 am

The Cisco Kid didn’t speak Latin. He and Pancho did just fine

Charlie

July 5th, 2010
10:31 am

JDW – Hey, numbnuts, you can’t have a “well regulated militia” without having guns. Individuals make up a militia, ergo, they have to have guns! If it were illegal to own guns guess what? NO MILITIA! Go back to the first grade and start over.

J.B. STONER

July 5th, 2010
10:33 am

CHARLIE………YOUR’E AN IDIOT……..

LRF

July 5th, 2010
10:39 am

From my reading, the framers of the Constitution intended individuals to be armed, not only to serve their state and country, but to also protect themselves from “a tyranical government”.

JDW

July 5th, 2010
10:44 am

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines the phrase To bear arms as “to serve as a soldier, do military service, fight.” The OED dates this use to the late 1700’s.

The second amendment establishes the right of states to create and regulate militias for defense and guarantees the right of everyone to serve in those militias. It does not preclude the state from regulating the individual ownership of arms, in fact it seems to encourage it with the phrase “well regulated”.

“We are the Militia” at 9:17 I have no problem with the history of the period, in fact I know it quite well. My issue is with your interpretation.

Dan in Colorado

July 5th, 2010
10:46 am

JDW, in the original context “well regulated” refered to running like a well oiled machine, or a very accurate clock such as the famous “Regulator” clocks. The militia needed to be well trained and capable of performing their required duties and as such needed instant access to their military weapons. “The People” in every other amendment means just that, why would it refer to some
other entity such as the state when it *clearly* states ‘the people’?
Huzzah for Justice Thomas!!

JDW

July 5th, 2010
10:54 am

Murders with firearms by country….nice company we keep!

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_wit_fir-crime-murders-with-firearms

# 1 South Africa: 31,918
# 2 Colombia: 21,898
# 3 Thailand: 20,032
# 4 United States: 9,369
# 5 Philippines: 7,708
# 6 Mexico: 2,606
# 7 Slovakia: 2,356
# 8 El Salvador: 1,441
# 9 Zimbabwe: 598
# 10 Peru: 442
# 11 Germany: 269
# 12 Czech Republic: 181
# 13 Ukraine: 173
# 14 Canada: 144
# 15 Albania: 135
# 16 Costa Rica: 131
# 17 Azerbaijan: 120
# 18 Poland: 111
# 19 Uruguay: 109
# 20 Spain: 97
# 21 Portugal: 90
# 22 Croatia: 76
# 23 Switzerland: 68
# 24 Bulgaria: 63
# 25 Australia: 59
# 26 Sweden: 58
# 27 Bolivia: 52
# 28 Japan: 47
# 29 Slovenia: 39
= 30 Hungary: 38
= 30 Belarus: 38
# 32 Latvia: 28
# 33 Burma: 27
# 34 Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of: 26
# 35 Austria: 25
# 36 Estonia: 21
# 37 Moldova: 20
# 38 Lithuania: 16
= 39 United Kingdom: 14
= 39 Denmark: 14
# 41 Ireland: 12
# 42 New Zealand: 10
# 43 Chile: 9
# 44 Cyprus: 4
# 45 Morocco: 1
= 46 Iceland: 0
= 46 Luxembourg: 0
= 46 Oman: 0

Scout

July 5th, 2010
11:09 am

Sam ( The Cool 1 ) :

“Hey Ceeesco, wait for meeee !”

td

July 5th, 2010
11:13 am

JDW,

Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.

– James Madison, The Federalist Papers

“The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.”

– Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-188

“As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives [only] moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun, therefore, be the constant companion to your walks.”

– Thomas Jefferson, writing to his teenaged nephew

td

July 5th, 2010
11:17 am

Militias, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves and include all men capable of bearing arms. [...] To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.

– Senator Richard Henry Lee, 1788, on “militia” in the 2nd Amendment

Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defence? Where is the difference between having our arms in our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defence be the *real* object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?

– Patrick Henry, speech of June 9 1788

To disarm the people… was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”

– George Mason, speech of June 14, 1788

The great object is, that every man be armed. [...] Every one who is able may have a gun.”

– Patrick Henry, speech of June 14 1788

td

July 5th, 2010
11:18 am

That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United states who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms…

– Samuel Adams, in “Phila. Independent Gazetteer”, August 20, 1789

Andy

July 5th, 2010
11:19 am

At the time the Constitution was written, most ordinary people did not own personal guns, as they were very expensive. The militias in various states owned them and kept them in various arsenals in case they were needed. In the South, in particular, the fear of slave rebellions was why the militias were mostly formed and drilled — so that they would be ready for the next Nat Turner when he came along.

The Difference

July 5th, 2010
11:21 am

People who refer to an opinion piece as an article need to learn the difference. An article is a story about an event covered by a reporter. An opinion piece is a column authored by a columnist or guest columnist offering his or her opinion on a topic or issue for the sake of provocation.

td

July 5th, 2010
11:21 am

It is very clear what our founders believed when it came to the right to keep and bear arms. No one with any common sense will argue this point. Now there are people that want to take that right away from the people. Let us see what happens when that right is taken away?

SCALPER1955

July 5th, 2010
11:22 am

The gun control laws in Colombia are very restrictive. And the average citizen can not afford to buy a weapon which may cost close to US 2,000 – I know this as a fact.
Most of the victims there can not defend themselves and most crime is committed with impunity due to poor judicial system.
Do not compare us here with a different situation.Your argument or comment is worthless in the sense you are trying to portrait.

td

July 5th, 2010
11:26 am

The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to permit the conquered Eastern peoples to have arms. History teaches that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so.

– Adolph Hitler, April 11 1942.

Every Communist must grasp the truth, ‘Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.’

– Mao Tse-tung, 1938

Charlie

July 5th, 2010
11:46 am

JDW – # 4 United States: 9,369. NOW, dig a little further and tell us how many of these murders were comitted by people who legally owned the guns (carry permits) versus the criminals who DID NOT legally own the guns. You will find that the vast, vast majority of the murders WERE NOT comitted by honest, law abiding citizens. Maybe none of them. Find out WHY people want to murder others and spend less time debating what weapon was used.

Houckster

July 5th, 2010
11:52 am

Included in the 2nd Amendment is the phrase: “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 would like to know how the proposition that individuals have the right to bear arms relates to a militia. The 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with this proposition. It’s sole purpose was to allow the states to maintain forces sufficient to deter the federal government form interfering with the states in the functions allowed them under the Constitution.

“People” in the intentions of the Founders meant the states. It had nothing to do with individuals. That the Court has seen fit to disregard the historical facts concerning this amendment does the people of this country a grave injustice.

How does an individual carrying a gun fulfill any function of a militia? Can this person be summoned to duty by the state? Does this person hold any rank, have any training, is he/she aware of any plan necessary to the function of the militia, do they answer a role, is there a command structure they must answer to?

The reality is that the an individual’s “right” to bear arms is entirely irrelevant to the 2nd Amendment. It is, for all intent and purposes, a dead amendment.

If constitutional protection for the right of an individual to bear arms is desired under a properly interpreted Constitution, it would have to be justified by some other provision or a new amendment would have to be ratified.

mrs. w

July 5th, 2010
12:03 pm

When seconds count cops are only minutes away. I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy. Of course I could go on and on.

JDW: my chances of NOT being murdered apparenty are better than yours because I am able to protect myself. The criminal element always bets that their victim will not be armed and sometimes they lose that bet.

Scout

July 5th, 2010
12:12 pm

Houckster :

Too bad. You have been overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Get over it.

Scout

July 5th, 2010
12:14 pm

Houckster :

P.S. By your inane logic, if “People” meant the states then only the states have protection against unreasonable searches and seizures under the 4th Amendment.

You need to enhance your reading comprehension skills.

roughrider

July 5th, 2010
12:16 pm

What part of the ” the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. ” do some people not understand?

Houckster

July 5th, 2010
12:31 pm

Scout: My interpretation was directly from Chief Justice Warren Burger’s comments of some years back.

The effect of the current interpretation is to make this country less safe for everyone.

td

July 5th, 2010
12:49 pm

Houckster, Warren Burger was a socialist and re interpreted a whole lot of different meanings from the constitution than the founders intended. Please see some of my quotes from the founders. See below some additional quotes from supreme court justices:

The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”

– Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story of the John Marshall Court

Militias, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves and include all men capable of bearing arms. [...] To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.

– Senator Richard Henry Lee, 1788, on “militia” in the 2nd Amendment

In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a ’shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length’ at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. [...] The Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense.

– Majority Supreme Court opinion in “U.S. vs. Miller” (1939)

Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.

– Noah Webster

Scout

July 5th, 2010
12:51 pm

Houckster :

Yes ……… and if so, he was wrong too. Couldn’t disagree with you more on the danger.

You didn’t answer my question : Does the 4th Amendment mean only the states ?

JDW

July 5th, 2010
12:55 pm

Charlie at 11:46

It makes no difference how many of the guns were legally owned, the fact is they are readily available. We have created a never ending supply in this country and every day it gets easier and easier to get one. Just walk down to your local gun show and put your money on the table. You could have just walked out of prison or a mental hospital but you have a gun…is the gun legally owned…no, but it was legally purchased.

Seems to me a world where every lunatic that wants a gun can have one is a bit insane.

RDB

July 5th, 2010
1:04 pm

JDW – re-read the court’s ruling; re-read the part about the courts previous ruling concerning the right sof freed slaves. Re-read it again! Do some unbiased research into what our Founders said about individual rights,to include the God given right to self defense(it’s all documented). Like all liberal anti-gunners you refuse to acknowledge the facts, instead you accept the distorted untruths published by the anti-gun organizations – the untruths that skew the statistics. Oh yes, I didn’t know the Chief Justices are Republicans. How enlightening! And look at Great Britain, Australia, South Africa, etc. which have no gun rights; look at the out-of-sight crime rate.

Biased, prejudiced, and unaccepted truths like yours demonstrate just how precarious our Constitutional rights have become. Yet we will survive in spite of your and others desire to ban firearms. Destroy the Second Amendment and a precedent is set for others to fall( like the 1st that gives you the right to speak unfounded words). The NRA is the bulwark between all unpatriotic anti-gunners and the 90 million or so law abiding gun owners ( as well as non-gun owners). “From our cold dead hands” JDW!

shotgunjohn

July 5th, 2010
1:15 pm

For JDW and others confused as to what exactly the militia is, I present 10 USC Sec. 311; JDW, unless you are very young or getting up in years, you too are a member of a well-regualted militia.

(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

No More Progressives!

July 5th, 2010
1:17 pm

It never ceases to amaze me how lefties can divine unique intent from plainly written English.

For those who advocate the removal of weapons (firearms) from our society, kindly provide me with the section, paragraph & clause which assure’s a womans “right” to an abortion.

Ready, aim, fire……………….

RDB

July 5th, 2010
1:17 pm

JDW listed all those countries with murder rates, trying to prove the justification to confiscate arms. You, obviously unknowingly, disproved your belief! The trouble is you don’t realize this and, accordingly refuse to believe the truth. The countries with the highest murder rates are those that have banned all firearms! It’s the criminals who now have the firearms; who initiate home invasions, etc. I would suggest you move to South Africa for six months! Perhaps it’s time to take Mr. Lincoln’s advise of long ago: “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” Just a suggestion; maybe you’ll keep helping us patriots out with such documentation!

jconservative

July 5th, 2010
1:18 pm

JDW and others. Some of your points are interesting. But they are beside the point that in two cases, Heller in 2008 and McDonald in 2010, the Court has said that the Constitution recognizes a “fundamental” right for an individual to keep a gun in his house for defense.

To you others the Court has said nothing about carrying a gun in your car, at the park, or in a restaurant. They may at some point in the future, but so far they have said “the home” only.

For the discussion on the value of militias in this country at one time; in Georgia in the early to mid 1700’s it was state law that all men attending church take their weapons with them to church.

shotgunjohn

July 5th, 2010
1:19 pm

@JDW: it seems to me a world where every lunatic can have a gun, but honest individuals cannot would be insane.

You have thoroughly fallen onto the wrong side of this issue. No one will ever force you to own a firearm, but by God, none of us on the right side of this issue will EVER willingly allow you or your ilk disarm us.

Keep your laws off my (still free) body.

mjolnir

July 5th, 2010
1:20 pm

There is one point that seems to have been missed, and that is who is the giver of “inalienable” rights. If God gives them, He can take them away. If they are in jeaopardy, perhaps we whould turn our attention to Him, and find out why!
P.S. Houckster… It was expected of every man of service age, and able of body that they not only arm themselves, but that they spend whatever time was necessary to prepare themselves to answer the call to defend themselves and their community. If they would not because of religious conviction, that was accepted and respected, for the most part, otherwise, they were considered a coward or a slacker. Most boys first desire in those days was for a firearm, and the necessary instruction to use it properly. In those days, when it took upwards of twenty seconds or longer to load a firearm, they were kept always loaded. If a man carried a firearm, you didn’t have to ask if it was loaded, you would be laughed at, Most communities held drills for the ablebodied men of the communities on a regular basis, and they elected men of their communities as captains, and etc. This practice was in place well into the twentieth century. In fact, is still being practiced by some, though not in the context of community as in town or municipality. By the way, what do you think the police are? They are a “Well-regulated Militia” That is, a body of our fellow citizens, “armed for the defense of themselves and others”, who act in concert with a recognized and duly authorized command structure. This is an example of Militia. Militia is the lowest legal form of organized armed body of Citizens. The police are several steps above that. Militia are to recognize any orders of a governing body above them, unless they are taking a stand against political abuses of authority, as at Lexington bridge. Ask the Pastor of the Church, who lead that squad of men (The able-bodied men of his congregation if I remember the story correctly.) what a Militia is, and he will answer you with “the shot heard round the world” Militia? yes, the Colonial Minute Men of before the declaration of Independance or the Articles of Confederation, or The Constitution of the United States are the pattern for what a Well-Regulated Militia is! You might also be interested in knowing what the first “assault rifle ban” was. During the Revolutionary War, the British would “outlaw” the Pennsylvania or Kentucky long rifle from the contest, as “Unsporting” and “Unfair”. This rifle is the quintesential hunting rifle. It is unsuited to Military engagements, as it will not mount a bayonet, and the wrist of the weapon is too week to withstand the rigours of hand to hand fighting, and is of too small a bore as to be deemed sufficient or effective in combat. I am nearly quoting someone, I think in our Revolutionary army, in leadership, but I am not certain of whom. I know from possessing a replica of such a weapon, that this is a reasonable evaluation of the weapon from the military viewpoint at the time.

David

July 5th, 2010
1:23 pm

The problem is not the guns. It is the people and their lack of morals and respect for life. What they need is less government and more God in their life.

Rewrite the 2nd Amendment

July 5th, 2010
1:43 pm

If only the Founding Fathers had a website so they could print more elaborate explanations of the bill of rights on T-shirts for sale. Or maybe each amendment could be accompanied with an emoticon to more accurately communicate what they had in mind. Like the first amendment would show a guy giving the GOP the rasberries, or the second amendment would have a guy catching bullets with his teeth (you get the idea).

Certainly the evolution of the Revolution in 1776 led to the phrasing of the second amendment. We should throw it out. If words have meaning, then the second amendment is fulfilled by our armed forces and doesn’t provide for private gun ownership. Nowhere in our constitution does it allow for a horse’s ass to own a colt. The only people who are pro-gun ownership are employees of gun manufacturers and their paid stooges (or the occasional escaped felon planning a murder).

Corporations making laws? No thanks.

No, we need to add our own modern amendment that will allow gun ownership, and phrase it so that no one can challenge it. So, I happen to be a legal savant, versed in legislative prose and obviously am the only one qualified to offer this:

The new second amendment: “Congress shall enact no laws that restrict the sale and ownership of any and all firearms for any and all citizens, no matter how destructive the ordnance or how simple the citizen.

CLAUSE: If technological advances make firearms obsolete and light phasers are invented, then congress shall make no law restricting the sale and ownership of light phasers, no matter how powerful they become or even if all the citizens go full Darth Vader.

CLAUSE: If phasers become obsolete and a death star is available, then congress shall make no law restricting the sale and ownership of death stars no matter how many planets are obliterated nor how War of the Worlds the citizenry gets.

CLAUSE:
If death stars aren’t enough and divine power becomes a viable option, then congress shall enact no laws restricting the sale and use of divine power to either bring about Judgement Day or knock over city-walls, or drown whole armies, or inflict plagues, or whatever, too bad if it kills everyone, people gets to has their divinity powers and every citizen can and should be a god.

No back-outs, no vice versas, no changies.”

Lets see the bleeding heart socialist commie-pinko libs find a loophole in THAT!

Scout

July 5th, 2010
1:52 pm