Posts Tagged ‘Second Amendment to the United States Constitution’

Gun control – the wrong discussion

“Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories.”

~ Thomas Jefferson, 1781

A Connecticut man murdered 20 children and 6 adults, gun control proponents again advocating that disarming law-abiding citizens will solve the problem. And though I believe their logic is folly, we still need a reasoned debate on the issue.

But, lest we forget, gun ownership is still a constitutional right; it is not a constitutional privilege; it is not a governmental privilege; it is not a presidential privilege. The Constitution does not allow the federal government to “evolve” the Constitution to address perceived changing times and needs. It must have the permission of “We the People” in the form of an amendment for change to occur.

Judicial ‘good Behavior’

We hold Supreme Court Justices in high regard, but should we? The Constitution says they “shall hold their Office during good Behavior?” Well, let’s look at their behavior.

The process of confirming a justice leaves little doubt; they are political appointees who serve for life. Although they occasionally surprise their advocates, they usually vote as expected. From the time of the very first Supreme Court appointments, judicial restraint and respect for the Constitution has progressively given way to judicial legislation.

Three sitting judges, Ginsburg, Breyer and Sotomayor, have made public statements suggesting they believe the Constitution is theirs to evolve; to decide based on their personal values, no need to amend it.

The Bill of Prvileges

The Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution, was ratified by three-fourths of the states in 1791. The Constitution was ratified four years earlier in 1787.

Our Bill of Rights came into existence amid debate and deliberation. Many anti-federalists who supported it previously opposed ratification of the Constitution because that document did not provide many of the individual protections that would be guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

But the federalists, voiced by Alexander Hamilton, considered the Bill of Rights unnecessary, believing “the people surrender nothing” in the Constitution, and offering protections of specific rights would imply that any unmentioned rights were not protected.

Guns, the Constitution and Switzerland

A fact regularly ignored in much of the gun debate – the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.  In 2008, the Supreme Court revisited the constitutional meaning of the right of the individual to “keep and bear arms,” and unequivocally affirmed our constitutional right of individual gun ownership.

That should end the debate because a constitutional right is not the same as a governmental privilege; neither the legislature nor the Supreme Court can change a constitutional right.  Yet, gun control advocates continue discounting this reality with ongoing legislative assaults on our rights.

Who are the ‘real’ terrorists?

The editorial page cartoon in the April 27, 2009, USA Today showed Uncle Sam saying, “Will you ever stop torturing me,” while he is whipping a helpless terrorist strapped on a table. 

Just last week the oppressed, benevolent Taliban beheaded three more people in Pakistan.  On Sept. 11, 2001, they intentionally targeted and murdered over 3,000 American civilians.  And since then over 3,000 American military personnel have given their lives in service to their country.  Is it a bit repugnant to mock these American deaths? 

Concealed carry permits – right or privilege?

This summer the Supreme Court issued its ruling on the meaning of the Second Amendment.  I believe they correctly understood the Founding Fathers intentions; affirming that the “right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  But, they did not settle all issues surrounding gun ownership; including if the government can require more than just a background check to get a concealed carry permit.  Pistols and revolvers are common firearms.  Therefore, the right to own them is resolved.  But, is a concealed carry permit a right protected by the Second Amendment, is it a privilege, or is it both?

“The right of the people to keep and bear arms”

The Second Amendment reads, “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.”

As most of us now know, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled that the Second Amendment right of an individual to “keep and bear Arms” was separate from, and in addition to, the rights of state militias to “keep and bear Arms.”  Justice Stevens suggested the majority was “making new law.”  Those who disagree with the ruling should read the majority justices’ reasoning of what the founding fathers were trying to safeguard with the Second Amendment.   They should read about our founding fathers’ beliefs, the countries of their origin, and their fears of the very government they were creating.

“I intend to be among the outlaws”

By June, 2008 the United States Supreme Court may offer some clarification of the Second Amendment and the rights of individuals to own guns.  But, their interpretation may be so narrow that it has little impact outside the source of the case, Washington, D.C., leaving the rest of the nation still debating gun control. 

“A free people…ought to be armed”

Thomas Jefferson said, “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”  But did he foresee guns being used in mass murders, the most recent leaving three dead in Colorado?  There a gunman killed two people and wounded two others at a missionary training center in Arvada.  Later the same day he killed one person and wounded four others at a church in Colorado Springs before he was shot by an armed security guard.