Monday, December 24, 2012

Gun control and the Second Amendment

Following the horrific slaughter of innocent children in Newtown Connecticut, there has been a renewed call for serious gun control. Peirs Mogan, Bill Moyers, and a host of other popular voices have been asking when we will get serious about gun control. They are incredulous that we alone, among advanced industrialized countries, allow almost unlimited access to guns.

 Recently, Moyers opined that those who support the right to bear arms, "would have us believe that 'a well-regulated militia' of a sparsely populated frontier in the eighteen century really means tolerating a wild west in the twenty-first century? They say, 'Don't tread on us. Get off our well-armed backs. There is nothing you can do.' Of course there is: register all guns, license all gun owners, require stringent background checks, get tough on assault weapons of any kind, crack down on high-capacity ammunition..."

President Obama has appointed a commission to advise him on what should be the response to the Newtown tragedy and has set a January deadline for the commission to report back. "This is not some Washington commission," he said. "This is not something where folks are going to be studying the issue for six months and publishing a report that gets read and then pushed aside," Obama said. "This is a team that has a very specific task to pull together real reforms right now."

If appears that the advocate of real gun restrictions are serious. The anti-gun forces ask why does anyone need a military-styled gun. They will say sportsman don't need them and one does not need them for self protection. Of course "military-style" or "semi-automatic" is often not a serious distinction. Any weapon that can fire each time you pull the trigger without reloading or taking action to put a round in the chamber is semi-automatic and a lot of what makes a rifle "military-style" is simply cosmetics. But, we know what they mean: Why does one need an AK-47 or similar weapon?

The constitution gives us the right to bear arms. Why? Should that right extend to military style weapons? If we have the right to own an AK-47, why do we? Even gun enthusiast will often justify gun ownership because they will say they like to hunt or want a weapon for self protection.

The truth is, we do not have a second amendment for the purpose of hunting or self protection. We have a second amendment because we the people are a resistance army in waiting to stand up to a tyrannical government. The reason we have a second amendment is for a military purpose. The reason we have a second amendment is because the federal government has limited power over the people and the Second Amendment states that in order to maintain a free state, the people must retain the right to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment does not grant us the right to bear arms. The Second Amendment recognizes we have that right and prevents the government from infringing on it.

Some will claim that in the twenty-first century, a "well-regulated" militia should mean the National Guard. Not so. You and I are the militia. The meaning of "well-regulated militia" is clear.

Some will point to a Supreme Court decision in the 30's that upheld the right of the government to ban sawed off shotguns as permitting reasonable restrictions on the type of weapons one may have. That decision, however, was not a victory for gun control advocates; instead it was a victory for the Second Amendment. The Court's logic in allowing the prohibiting of shotguns with barrels of less than 18 inches was that, that weapon does not have a " 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."

By that some logic, an AK-47 is a weapon with a reasonable relationship to a well regulated militia. The Second Amendment does guarantee the right to keep and bear such an instrument. The Second Amendment has been interpreted more than once. We have a right to bear arms. To have any meaningful gun control, we would need to repeal the second amendment. I don't see Piers Morgan, Bill Moyers, the President, or the other advocates of gun control mounting a campaign to repeal the second Amendment. If they really believe the second amendment is a relic of a bygone era, why do they not mount a campaign to repeal it. The Constitution can be amended.

The gun control advocates to not want to come out and actually saw we need to amend the Constitution. What they want to do is just ignore the Constitution. They hope the Court will bend to the popular passion of the moment and simply ignore the meaning of the second amendment or they hope a shift in the makeup of the Court will put in place a majority that will just ignore the Second Amendment. They do not want the Court to be a judicial branch, but just another legislative branch that responds to public will.

If the constitution can be ignored and swept aside to allow the popular will to prevail, then all of our rights are in danger of being swept aside. If the Second Amendment can be ignored, so can the First and the Fourth. I have a greater fear of a court that considers the Constitution a document with no real meaning, than I do a fear of violence.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

1 comment: