Media Declares "Victory" For Gun Rights As Second
Amendment Is Systematically Destroyed
DC handgun ban case poses grave threat to constitutional
Comments made by justices in an ongoing landmark case, which seeks
to address the very meaning of the second amendment, have been
heralded as a "victory" for the individual right to
bear arms, but in reality the second amendment is being completely
Right to Bear Arms Wins Favor in Court Argument, the
headline from the New York Law Journal, was typical of the media
output yesterday 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 handguns.
The outcome will set the precedent for gun laws
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)
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
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
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
---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 (1787-1788)
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.
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