Comments made by justices in
an ongoing landmark case have been heralded as a "victory" for
the individual right to bear arms by the media and embraced by self-proclaimed
conservatives, but in reality gun owners are the victim of a mammoth hoax
and the second amendment is being destroyed.
As Gun Owners of America point out today
in a USA Today op-ed, the second amendment is the very bedrock of America
and shouldn't even be the subject of a Supreme Court debate.
Right to Bear Arms Wins Favor in Court Argument, the
headline from the New York Law Journal, was typical of the media output
after most of the nine Supreme Court justices hinted that the right to
bear arms is a "general right."
However, the case is likely to conclude
with the introduction of several new regulations on hand gun ownership
at the very least, and, if the government gets its way, a total ban on
The outcome will set the precedent for gun
The NY Law Journal writes:
Justice Kennedy's comments appeared to
spell trouble for efforts by the District of Columbia to revive its
strict handgun ban, although lawyers for both the Bush administration
and gun-rights advocates acknowledged that some lesser regulation
of the right would be acceptable.
Counting Justice Kennedy, it appeared
that five or more justices were ready to recognize some form of an individual
right to keep and bear arms that is only loosely tethered, if at all,
to the functioning of militias. What kind of regulation of that
individual right will be allowed by those justices is uncertain.
When the arguments were over, gun-control
advocates seemed less pessimistic than before the session began,
though they did not predict victory.
Joshua Horwitz, director of the Education Fund to Stop
Gun Violence, who filed a brief in the case and watched the arguments,
conceded he cannot count five votes for a strictly militia-rights view
of the Second Amendment that would allow for almost unlimited regulation
of firearms. But he could conceive of five justices adopting an individual-rights
view that will mean "a lot of regulations will be OK.
The outcome is not necessarily poor for us."
(Article continues below)
In a USA
Today op-ed piece, Herbert W. Titus and William J. Olson,
attorneys for Gun Owners of America, outline how thee second amendment
was intended to apply to individuals and that it's pre-eminent reason
was for the purposes of defense against a tyrannical state or invading
Knowing that words and parchment barriers alone would
prove inadequate to restrain those elected as servants from becoming
tyrants, they added the Second Amendment to secure "the right of
the people to keep and bear Arms" — not to protect deer hunters
and skeet shooters, but to guarantee to themselves and their posterity
the blessings of "a free State."
Entrusting the nation's sovereignty to the people,
the amendment breaks the government's military monopoly, guaranteeing
to the people such firearms as would be necessary to defend against
the sort of government abuse of their inalienable rights the British
Thus, the amendment's "well regulated Militia"
encompasses all citizens who constitute the polity of the nation with
the right to form their own government. The amendment's "keep and
bear Arms" secures the right to possess firearms such as fully-automatic
rifles, which are both the "lineal descendant(s) of … founding-era
weapon(s)" (applying a 2007 court of appeals' test), and "ordinary
military equipment" (applying a 1939 Supreme Court standard).
here to listen to Alex Jones and Gun Owners' President
Larry Pratt discuss the case.
The case, DC v. Heller, stems from proceedings filed
by lawyers for security guard Mr Dick Anthony Heller, which state that
the District's categorical restrictions are so broad that they cannot
comply with the Second Amendment's protection of the right to bear arms.
An amicus curiae brief filed by U.S. Solicitor General
Paul D. Clement, on behalf of the Bush administration and the government,
says that federal gun control measures should not be limited and proposes
that a court may determine that a full scale ban on almost all self-defense
firearms may be upheld as constitutional if it constitutes a “reasonable”
restriction of constitutional rights.
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Lawyer Alan Gura, opposing the law and representing
Mr Heller said "We have here a ban on all guns for all people in
all homes at all times in the nation's capital."
the transcript of yesterday's argument.
briefs in D.C. v. Heller.
Advocates of the ban and the representatives of the District
of Columbia have attempted
to argue that the history and context of the second amendment
applies to the rights of militias and not to individuals.
However, there are thousands of quotes from the founding
fathers that pour water on this weak argument. The founders said over
and over that when a government seeks to take away individual
weapons it constitutes tyranny and that government must be removed.
Here are a few choice quotes:
A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the
species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives 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 your constant companion of your walks.
--- Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1785. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson,
(Memorial Edition) Lipscomb and Bergh, editors.
We established however some, although not all its
[self-government] important principles . The constitutions of most of
our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they
may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think themselves
competent, (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative,
and deciding by a jury of themselves, in all judiciary cases in which
any fact is involved,) or they may act by representatives, freely and
equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed;
---Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824. Memorial Edition 16:45,
Lipscomb and Bergh, editors.
No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
---Thomas Jefferson: Draft Virginia Constitution, 1776.
[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being
armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other
nation...(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with
---James Madison,The Federalist Papers, No. 46.
To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be
used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense, or by
partial orders of towns, countries or districts of a state, is to demolish
every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can
be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government. The fundamental
law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by
the laws, and ever for the support of the laws.
---John Adams, A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States 475
Furthermore, even if you argue that the second amendment
applies to militias, the very definition of the militia, according to
the founders and their contemporaries, is THE PEOPLE:
Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is
it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man gainst his own
bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and
every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of
an American...[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands
of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God
it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.
---Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.
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
whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior
to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in
the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can
execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional;
for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire
the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them
unjust and oppressive.
---Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal
Constitution (Philadelphia 1787).
Last month a majority of the Senate and more than half
of the members of the House issued
a brief in which they urged the Supreme Court to uphold it's
previous ruling that the District's handgun ban violates the second amendment.
The brief asked the Supreme Court to uphold the lower
courts decision and allow the precedent of applying a stricter standard
of review for gun control cases to stand.
In a separate
letter, other representatives, including Congressman Ron
Paul, called for the Clement/Bush administration brief to be withdrawn
as it sets a precedent for further erosion of individuals’ Second
Amendment rights to keep and bear arms.
Citing Constitutional concerns the letter stated:
“If the Supreme Court finds that the D.C. gun
ban is a “reasonable” limitation of Second Amendment rights,
the Court could create a dangerous precedent for the nation in the future.
Such a decision could open the door to further regulation on American
citizens’ Second Amendment rights on a large scale.”
Essentially the government is saying "You have the
right to bear arms, unless we say so."
Where there is individual ownership of weapons there
is liberty, where there is not there is tyranny because powerful organizations
and governments will have a monopoly on it. The latest developments in
this case are not a "victory" for the second amendment, on the
contrary, they constitute its very undoing.