I’m often reminded of things that frost my ass when I watch TV or listen to radio. Idiot talk radio hosts who pander to the left or right espousing misinformation or outright lies in order to wind up their audiences, religious crackpots insisting we live our lives the way they want or else, members of MADD who justify neo-nazi checkpoints where police get to violate everyone’s 4th Amendment Rights, racists or just plain fools who would argue utterly absurd ideas that most any American would see as an anathema to our way of life – all have something in common. Their Right to say what they want and be the idiots they are is GUARANTEED but our Constitution and while I might disagree with them and feel permitting such nitwits to run free and unleashed in America to have a platform to cause hate & discontent is less than prudent, there’s not a damn thing that, as a believer in our Constitution, I can (or should) do about shutting them up because… you guessed it,their Right to bleat, howl and sputter their nonsense is enshrined in our Constitution.
How does this rant about idiots, crackpots, neo-nazis, fools and nitwits bring to mind our Rights under the 2nd Amendment?
All agree there’s a Constitutionally guaranteed Right under the 2nd Amendment to bear arms but contrary to what the ‘talking heads’ (idiots) will spout from time to time, the Amendment was not enshrined in our Constitution to hunt deer or ducks or target shoot, although those activities are enjoyed by some 80 million gun owners. Rather, it’s to insure that every individual Citizen will have the ability to protect and control their destiny. It states clearly that “the Right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
The Second Amendment breaks down into three guaranteed abilities or Rights that every Citizen is assured, by the legal foundation of our Constitution, that the government “shall not [lawfully] infringe”.
1.] Self Defense: Citizens have the Right to defend themselves and their families from harm. No one, no government, has the lawful or moral authority to render a Citizen or their family helpless when confronted with danger. (NOTE Cairo Egypt [Feb 2011] where civilians are defending their homes & neighborhoods with kitchen knives and sticks while police are no where to be found.)
2.] National Defense: The 2nd Amendment was intended as a mobilization contingency such that every able bodied Citizen would have the means, were the need to arise, to defend their State and country from aggressors.
3.] Abolition of tyranny: Pursuant to our Declaration of Independence which states quite clearly: “…when a long train of abuses and usurpations, … evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.” The 2nd Amendment was intended to insure that the People had the means to turn out any oppressive regime that might come to power and attempt to overturn, water down or usurp their Rights guaranteed by our Constitution and our Bill of Rights. Some states even put this in black and white, such as New Hampshire’s Constitution, Part 1., Article 10 (titled the Right of Revolution) which guarantees the same Right to kick a tyrannical government to the curb.
The Supreme Court, in Heller, confirmed (what most clear headed folks know) that keeping and bearing firearms is an individual Right. The Department of Justice concluded in their report (having 103 pages, with 437 footnotes) to the Attorney General titled the “Whether the Second Amendment Secures an Individual Right.” that, in fact, “the Second Amendment secures a personal right of individuals, not a collective right that may only be invoked by a State or a quasi-collective right restricted to those persons who serve in organized militia units.” The Supreme Court has also ruled, on numerous occasions that “Where rights (liberty) secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no legislation which would abrogate (abolish) them.”
When new laws are debated and passed that limit, regulate and outlaw firearm ownership by US Citizens, these laws (and their backers) are attempting to do an end run around the Constitution which (paradoxically, they’ve sworn to defend) that REQUIRES them to write an Amendment to our Constitution, pass it in Congress and submit it to the fifty states for their approval BEFORE they rip your Rights away from you. Anything short of an Amendment, lawfully passed, falls short of curtailing your Rights. When they do? The Supreme Court ruled in Norton v Shelby (never overturned) that: “An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no right; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed” What that means is that merely passing ‘laws’ doesn’t make them binding on the public or lawful. The ‘law’ needs to be Constitutional to be effective.
Ahh, but the statists will argue that society’s overriding right to ‘regulate’ certain activities (like firearms) is legitimate for the betterment of everyone, no doubt to stop crime and mayhem. I suppose you could call it “regulating” but the fact is they are claiming the authority to rewrite our Constitution without having to bother with the legal process of ‘amending’ the Constitution. This would be equivalent to buying a car from a dealer, paying cash, signing a lawful contract to transfer the title, only to have the dealership come back a year later, having amended the contract without your permission and telling you that you now owe an additional ten grand on the car. Can one side of a contract unilaterally amend a legal document without prior agreement of all the signatories? Prior agreement and concurrence of expanded authority is why the Amendment process was included within the Constitution. That’s ‘why’ the court said in Shelby “An unconstitutional act is not law; …; it imposes no duties;…; it is… as inoperative as though it had never been passed”
Might it be acceptable that the government decided there would be more harmony and society more orderly and ‘peaceful’ if EVERYONE was a Baptist or a Catholic and thus ‘thought’ the same way. If they legislated a law to forced your conversion to one of these faiths and charged everyone who wasn’t in compliance an annual $100. fee to remain faithful to their religion it could, as easily, be argued they had the authority to “regulate” that behavior which, they would claim is “in the public interest” and for the betterment of everyone. Might anyone think that such “regulating” of a Right articulated within the 1st Amendment is within the government’s authority? What about trials? What if they passed legislation that stated having been once convicted of something that thereafter the only hearing such a previously convicted person could expect would be a panel of three police officers? The public interest would be to cut the public expenses within the legal system. They could claim they were “regulating” access to the courts. Think this might fly without having to go through the mundane process of amending our Constitution formally?
So, we’re told society’s overriding authority to “regulate” the keeping and bearing of arms is to curb gun related crime but, crime will never be stopped through legislation and they (politicians) KNOW that. Government isn’t afraid of “crime” – crime, as we all know, empowers them. So what’s the motivation for infringing on these Rights? The Raison d’être for advocating, proposing and supporting anti-2nd Amendment measures in this country is that the government is AFRAID of you, your neighbors and, indeed, every thinking Citizen of the United States. They do not want you to have the ability guaranteed by our 2nd Amendment to ever throw them out once “a long train of abuses and usurpations” becomes clear to the general public. (Again, take note of Egypt today) So, when more measures are touted and more legislation submitted allegedly to “protect us” from future bogey men (or women:-), I suggest you think about this and then ask the ‘politician’ who swore, by God, to “bear true faith” to the Constitution, what part of “shall not be infringed” don’t they understand? If your politicians don’t understand the legal methods they can overturn the provisions of to the Bill of Rights, they should be thrown out and sent home; Perhaps WalMart is still hiring.
Gun Control for Dummies is wrapped up thusly: Since our Constitution says “the Right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” and the Supreme Court said clearly that, pertaining to Constitutional Rights “there can be no legislation which would abrogate (abolish) them” and Rights contained in our Bill of Rights can NOT be altered accept by Constitutional amendment, the states of the Union, their communities, cities, towns and, in fact, our Congress should just knock off this nonsense about making new laws, restrictions. licensing or taxing something that’s a Constitutional Right. This should be simple enough even for politicians – those actions/laws ARE NOT LEGAL.
Just an afterthought to this simple Irish lad’s rant on the nuances of gun control I give you the following statements made by our Supreme Court to ponder & I leave their interpretation to you, the Citizen. Consider them Holy Writ in your observance of government’s endless assault on your Rights under the Law as well as local gun laws:
In Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 US 105: “No State shall convert a liberty into a privilege, license it, and charge a fee therefor.”
In Sherer v. Cullen, 481 F 946 “There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of this exercise of constitutional rights.”
In Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham Alabama, 373 US 262: “If the State converts a right (liberty) into a privilege, the citizen can ignore the license and fee and engage in the right (liberty) with impunity.“
Screw Milk – Got Guns?