Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Progressives Continuing Mission to Eradicate the 2nd Amendment

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.  

Thus says the 2nd Amendment of The United States Constitution.  This crucial, self-evident right of the people was one that our Forefathers enshrined within the Bill of Rights.  James Madison thought that the Bill of Rights was largely unnecessary since the Constitution itself clearly defined the specific powers and duties of the federal government.  Any other powers not specifically enumerated within it were assumed to belong to the people or the States, as was then clarified by the 10th amendment.

Fast forward to the 21st century and I find myself very glad that our forefathers did indeed stipulate the first ten amendments (The Bill of Rights) for the American People.  Even so, there are many people today, particularly on the left of the political spectrum, that assume the 2nd amendment was never intended to be an individual right.  After all, it talks about a “well-regulated militia”, so in their minds this must be a governmental right.  Such people are either ignorant of history and context, or are deliberately dissembling.

First of all, would it make any sense for the Bill of Rights to enumerate all of the individual rights of Americans that the federal government was obliged to protect in the other nine amendments but insist on another governmental right in the second amendment?  If that was the intent of that amendment, why wouldn’t the framers have placed that within the main body of the Constitution? 

No.  All of the rights delineated in the Bill of Rights were absolutely intended to be rights reserved to individual American citizens and not to the federal government.  This was finally confirmed yet again in the 2008 Supreme Court decision of District of Columbia v. Heller and again in McDonald v. Chicago in 2010. 

Nevertheless, today’s leftist politicians have become a little more circumspect in how they violate their oath of office to defend the constitution when they seek to ban private gun ownership.  In other words, they have tried to incrementally infringe on this individual right.  The have lied to the American People. 

“Nobody wants to take your guns away,” they decry.  “We simply want to enact ‘common sense’ gun laws that any reasonable person should be able to agree with.  After all, nobody needs an ‘assault weapon’ or a ten round magazine – let alone a thirty round magazine,” so the paraphrase goes from politicians such as Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein, and Chuck Schumer, to President Obama himself.

Yes, what the left cannot eradicate carte blanche by doing an end run around congress or by illegal executive orders, they try to do piecemeal with innocuous sounding ‘reasonable bills’ presented in congress.  Here are just a few of the current federal and state attempts to erode our vital 2nd amendment right:

House Resolution (H.R.) 1454 – This bill would give President Obama’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) the authority to ban nearly all common rifle ammunition.  This was tried recently with a proposed ban on all “green tip” 5.56 mm ammunition which is used in perhaps the most ubiquitous of rifles in the United States: the AR-15.  Luckily the outcry from the public was so great, that the BATFE backed down on this ban for the time being.

Operation Chokepoint – This is the Obama Administration’s new set of shadowy banking regulations that is currently responsible for shutting down gun shops nationwide by making it impossible for them to secure ordinary loans and lines of credit.

United Nations Gun Ban Treaty – Despite the fact that the U.S. Senate has failed to ratify this pernicious treaty, the Obama administration is still on mission to implement many of the anti-gun tenets of it.

H.R. 1217 – This new proposal in Congress would implement Obama’s national gun registration scheme.  (It is a lot easier to confiscate all of the legally owned weapons if you know who owns them, after all!)

S. 407 – This new bill in Congress would ban the manufacture and sale of standard capacity magazines.

H.R. 224 – This new proposal would empower President Obama’s anti-gun Surgeon General to publish propaganda that frames our Second Amendment freedom as a public health problem.

H.R. 307 – This new Congressional bill would force us to pay for a national gun “buy-back” scheme through our tax dollars.

H.R. 225 – This proposal would give unelected anti-gun bureaucrats at the Consumer Product Safety Commission the authority to regulate and ban our firearms as they thought reasonable.

Multi-state legislation 1 – Several proposals are pending in multiple states that would require gun owners to keep their firearms locked away, unloaded, and disabled, thereby rendering them useless for self-defense.

Multi-state legislation 2 – Various proposals are also pending in many states that would increase taxes, sometimes severely, on all firearm and ammunition purchases.

Multi-state legislation 3 – Many states are trying to pass Obama’s national gun registration scheme that failed to pass congress two years ago on state levels.

Multi-state legislation 4 – Finally, multiple states have put forth legislative proposals to repeal “Stand Your Ground” and “Castle Doctrine” laws that effectively strip a gun owner of the right to use a firearm in most self-defense situations.

The purpose of the second amendment was not to secure Americans with the ability to go hunting or trap-shooting.  Our founding fathers knew that the only way to protect our young nation against enemies both foreign and domestic was to provide that “We The People” were able to ensure our own safety, and thus hold government accountable as it exercises its Constitutional duties – and only it’s Constitutional duties.  It is ironic and quite worrisome that many of our elected officials today are seeking to infringe upon or even eradicate the one amendment from the Bill of Rights that guarantees that we will still retain all of our other rights.  After all, an unarmed citizenry becomes completely reliant upon the beneficence of government in their granting of our other rights.

Those members of congress and elected officials who would seek to enact legislation or enforce regulations that are contrary to the 2nd amendment are indeed in default of their oath of office to support and defend the United States Constitution.  Every last one of them that so brazenly ignores the dictates of the Constitution, especially when it comes to violating any of the enumerated amendments in the Bill of Rights is a disgrace to the public and the nation and should no longer be allowed to serve in such a capacity accordingly. 


If only the American public was not ignorant of civics, history, and the long-term ramifications of not holding these officials accountable.  It is incumbent upon us to pay attention to our elected officials with what they say and do, regardless of their political party.  When they do violate their oath of office by violating our Constitution, we need to all work as a community to ensure they are removed, or at least not re-elected to office.  It requires diligence, but the guardianship of our American liberties certainly deserves no less!

18 comments:

Dave Dubya said...

The Second Amendment was passed by many who didn’t want a standing army, so militias were needed in their place. The purpose of militias was not to wage war on the Federal Government. That treasonous intent rightly failed in the Civil War.

I’d like a reference showing the intent of the Second Amendment was to remedy one party’s grievances against democratically elected officials. Remember Sharon Angle and her “Second amendment remedies”?

That narrow interpretation reeks of hate, and making fellow Americans the enemy.

Despite the proposals you cite, none of which pose a chance of passing, the open carry laws and stand your ground laws have expanded.

I’m always perplexed by the myopic vision of those who fear losing Second Amendment rights.

Remember this one?

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Where are the voices of the Right, now that the Fourth Amendment has been obliterated? What good does an AR-15 do now? The First amendment has been diluted to include corporations as people. That makes them super persons with enormous amounts of “free speech” cash that drown out WE the people.

Could Second Amendment defenders care less?

Whatever happened to the term “cruel and unusual punishment”? Most of the loudest 2nd Amendment supporters act like we never tortured, shackled to the floor, applied stress positions, waterboarded, and God knows what else.

Whatever happened to the destruction of our Constitutional provision of taxes, regulation of commerce and provision for the general welfare? The far Right is most un-American in destroying these Constitutional mandates.

Not a peep from the so-called Constitutionalist on the far Right. They seem to think we only have one right as they hand our government over to the powers of wealth and to those who torture and spy on us at will.

I will gladly share my support for the Second Amendment if they end their support for these other desecrations of our Constitution.



Jerry Critter said...

Dave, it is all about the two "G's" -- God and Gun.

T. Paine said...

“The Second Amendment was passed by many who didn’t want a standing army, so militias were needed in their place. The purpose of militias was not to wage war on the Federal Government. That treasonous intent rightly failed in the Civil War. I’d like a reference showing the intent of the Second Amendment was to remedy one party’s grievances against democratically elected officials.”

Dave, our founding fathers knew that it was absolutely necessary for American citizens to be armed. First, for the reason you mentioned in the form of militias to answer the call when the nation was under attack, but also to ensure that they would remain citizens and not once again become “subjects” under a new tyrant. As for proof of this, I give you just a few of the myriads of examples:

"The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed." - Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Cartwright, 5 June 1824

"What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms." - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787

"To disarm the people...[i]s the most effectual way to enslave them." - George Mason

Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country 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." -Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, October 10, 1787

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined.... The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun." - Patrick Henry

“Despite the proposals you cite, none of which pose a chance of passing, the open carry laws and stand your ground laws have expanded.”

Dave, I acknowledge that most of the bills and proposals I have cited are not likely to pass, but that is only because we have Republican majorities in both houses of congress currently. If the Democrats held sway, the outcome would not be so certain. That is why our President tries to do end runs around congress via executive fiat and extra-constitutional (un-constitutional) regulations within his administration.

“Where are the voices of the Right, now that the Fourth Amendment has been obliterated? What good does an AR-15 do now? The First amendment has been diluted to include corporations as people. That makes them super persons with enormous amounts of “free speech” cash that drown out WE the people.”

Dave, I absolutely agree that few people on the right or left seem disturbed by the violation of the fourth or first amendments. I absolutely concur with you here and have been very vocal in my disgust towards the violators. I was very encouraged that Rand Paul championed and filibustered to make sure the Patriot Act was not re-authorized with its warrantless spying accordingly.

T. Paine said...

“Whatever happened to the destruction of our Constitutional provision of taxes, regulation of commerce and provision for the general welfare? The far Right is most un-American in destroying these Constitutional mandates.”

Past congresses and presidents of both parties have long ignored the dictates of the Constitution. Many progressives of both parties have twisted and bastardized the “general welfare” clause to be the “good and plenty” clause so that every socialistic scheme of government is now permissible. The regulation of commerce is supposed to be the regulation of INTERSTATE commerce so that one state does not take advantage of another. The federal government has misused this clause as an excuse to further regulate businesses and award others as they deemed appropriate by their own selfish self-interest.

“Not a peep from the so-called Constitutionalist on the far Right. They seem to think we only have one right as they hand our government over to the powers of wealth and to those who torture and spy on us at will.”

While I agree that the right is often not anywhere near loud and prevalent enough on the violations of our Constitution, I do hear far more outcry from them than I do from elements on the left. What we really need is for all Americans of all political stripes to stand up and demand that all of the provisions and amendments in the Constitution are sacrosanct and any elected official that violates them or attempts to do so, will be summarily removed from office.

T. Paine said...

Jerry, as you well know, I have long championed the Constitution at every corner against violations towards it. I have spoken about the first amendment and the freedom of speech and religion specifically on Burr's blog.

God and guns, however, are indeed a great way to remain free in liberty.

Jerry Critter said...

God and guns are a dangerous combination, re ISIS.

Dave Dubya said...

…Patriot Act was not re-authorized with its warrantless spying

Sorry, it continues. The phone/internet data will allegedly be shuffled to telecoms for storage. “Trust us”. Who really thinks this ends warrantless surveillance? Fear mongering has led Americans to willfully surrender their rights. We are a nation of “Whatever it takes” and “I have nothing to hide”.

If the Democrats held sway, the outcome would not be so certain.

They did for two years. No guns were taken. You see, not all Democrats are the gun-grabbers the radical Right wants us to believe.

Are you telling me the quotes you provided on firearms are license to wage war on the Federal Government if your party is voted out of power? I don’t think that is your meaning. But this is what we have heard from the radical Right. Could the quotes have been referring more to the British Empire’s dominance we were under, or apply to abstract contingencies, none of which were realized?

The armed thugs at the racist Bundy Ranch were under no tyranny. Why were they armed for confrontation? I’ll tell you. Hate. Hate for the rule of law they didn’t like as well as for Obama and the Federal Government. Two of them went on to murder cops.

Many progressives of both parties have twisted and bastardized the “general welfare” clause to be the “good and plenty” clause so that every socialistic scheme of government is now permissible.

I’m sure you see it that way, but that’s not happening. The opposite is. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are all targets for extinction by the corporatist Right. Unlike every civil society health care is NOT a right here. Health happens to be the essential foundation to the rights of life liberty and pursuit of happiness.

The general welfare clause was apparently meant by the founders to include health care as well.

Congress Passes Socialized Medicine and Mandates Health Insurance -In 1798
http://www.republicansforobama.org/node/9073

In July of 1798, Congress passed – and President John Adams signed - “An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen.” The law authorized the creation of a government operated marine hospital service and mandated that privately employed sailors be required to purchase health care insurance.

Keep in mind that the 5th Congress did not really need to struggle over the intentions of the drafters of the Constitutions in creating this Act as many of its members were the drafters of the Constitution.
And when the Bill came to the desk of President John Adams for signature, I think it’s safe to assume that the man in that chair had a pretty good grasp on what the framers had in mind.


I would suggest your interpretation of the “commerce clause” is also bit narrow.

“To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”

The word “interstate” is not there. Nor is “between the states”. Among the states, as in “within the states” is a logical interpretation.

So let’s pretend Interstate was the term.

States do not engage in commerce with each other, so who does? Businesses do. Now the term “interstate” applies to all major corporations. Business, especially today, is interstate as well as global. And they have bought the Republican Party and most of the Democrats. Who do think is writing the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement? They won’t even let Congress see it before they’re done with drafting the laws of our land.

This may better illustrate my point:

In 1905, the Supreme Court used the Commerce Clause to halt price fixing in the Chicago meat industry, when it ruled that Congress had authority to regulate the local meat market under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. It found that business done even at a purely local level could become part of a continuous “current” of commerce that involved the interstate movement of goods and services.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/commerce_clause

T. Paine said...

"The phone/internet data will allegedly be shuffled to telecoms for storage. “Trust us”. Who really thinks this ends warrantless surveillance? Fear mongering has led Americans to willfully surrender their rights. We are a nation of 'Whatever it takes' and 'I have nothing to hide'."

Dave, I am in agreement with you, Buddy. I realize that we have a long way to go and a short time to get there. I realize further that our rights are indeed being trampled and Americans are letting it happen. They think that they have nothing to hide or that our security is at stake, so they don’t mind the intrusions and don’t see the long-term ramifications of allowing this. “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ~ Benjamin Franklin



"Are you telling me the quotes you provided on firearms are license to wage war on the Federal Government if your party is voted out of power? I don’t think that is your meaning. But this is what we have heard from the radical Right."

No, Dave, that is certainly not my meaning. But what happens if we continue to increasingly become a police state where the federal government violates our constitutional rights to free speech, assembly, freedom of religion, to be secure in our property and papers, to have a warrant obtained before searching us? What happens if we lose these rights because of a tyrannical government? What then? Do we willingly submit and become de facto slaves once again?



"The armed thugs at the racist Bundy Ranch were under no tyranny. Why were they armed for confrontation? I’ll tell you. Hate. Hate for the rule of law they didn’t like as well as for Obama and the Federal Government. Two of them went on to murder cops."

I admittedly did not follow this conflict closely. It sounds like Bundy was legally in the wrong. That said, the government could have and should have handled this much better. There was no need for them to come with a show of force. They could have handled this much better. It is only by the grace of God that this didn’t erupt into a shooting fight then and there.

T. Paine said...

"Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are all targets for extinction by the corporatist Right. Unlike every civil society health care is NOT a right here. Health happens to be the essential foundation to the rights of life liberty and pursuit of happiness."

Dave, the Right (sometimes) is trying to roll back government to operate within the dictates of power for which the Constitution authorized it. Social Security is NOT the government’s job. Further, it has been so horribly mismanaged that I and millions of other Americans will likely never receive anything, despite having contributed to it all of our lives. Medicare and Medicaid have also become government welfare programs that have run amok. At what point do we demand personal accountability? At what point do we look to ourselves and our families in order to take care of each other, instead of looking to government and the taxpayers to take care of us? If we keep insisting that the government take care of us, they definitely will. But the costs of doing so will be in our own personal treasure and ultimately our freedoms.
I don’t have a problem taking care of those that cannot take care of themselves, but you must admit that 90% of people on those programs do not fit that description.


Lastly, in regards to regulating commerce, the federal government has a duty to ensure that monopolies are not enacted, workers are protected with reasonable work conditions, and the environment is not destroyed as a result of said commerce. Based on what you wrote, I think we are largely in agreement on this point.

Jerry Critter said...

"Further, it [Social Security] has been so horribly mismanaged that I and millions of other Americans will likely never receive anything, despite having contributed to it all of our lives."

That is 100% wrong and amounts to nothing but fear mongering. It is 100% paid for by the participants, has paid full benefits since its inception, and even if the trust fund goes to zero, it will still pay about 75% of scheduled benefits from annual contributions and cost the government nothing.

Those are the fact, not wild ass opinions.

Dave Dubya said...

For good or for ill, Social Security and Medicare have passed the "general welfare clause" by the Supreme Court. Theirs is the opinion that matters.

And most Americans understand the good far outweighs the ill in both programs.

Funding can be fixed by updating the caps.

Millionaires, and even more so billionaires, won't be hurt if the caps are raised to levels reflecting modern earnings.

Most of them in fact agree. Politics from the Right obstructs such common sense adjustments.

The far Right is so dedicated to funneling all the wealth upwards, they refuse to budge on as much as a dime's tax increase from billionaires.

That's both foolish and narrow in vision.

T. Paine said...

Jerry, there is a $14 Trillion social security liability right now -- Today. With all of the baby boomers retiring and less people working to pay for their withdrawals, that number will only grow. We have an official national debt north of $18 Trillion dollars. That is double what it was when Obama was rightfully castigating George W. Bush for reckless spending and being “unpatriotic” accordingly. The true amount of our national unfunded liabilities is nearly $97 Trillion dollars. The entire assets of our whole nation is only estimated at $118 Trillion.

Our debt is unsustainable. Our Social Security is unsustainable. THOSE are the real facts, my friend. You can bury your head in the sand and buy into the governmental leftist propaganda, but the truth of the matter is that we have already gone past the tipping point to financially save this country, most likely. And the fact that progressives of both parties don’t take spending cuts within Constitutional guideline seriously only ensures that America will indeed fall sooner rather than later. I am not sure who is going to pay our social security checks then.

T. Paine said...

“For good or for ill, Social Security and Medicare have passed the ‘general welfare clause’ by the Supreme Court. Theirs is the opinion that matters.”

Indeed. I wonder if you think that the SCOTUS opinions will be the only ones that matter as they rubber stamp the further infringement of our liberties from the president and congress.


“And most Americans understand the good far outweighs the ill in both programs.”

Most Americans have become lazy and expect the government to provide for them what they should be doing themselves.



“Funding can be fixed by updating the caps. Millionaires, and even more so billionaires, won't be hurt if the caps are raised to levels reflecting modern earnings.”

Considering the fact that we simply cannot just abolish this extra-Constitutional fiasco, I would tend to agree with you that this is a reasonable way to solve this temporarily.
It amounts to little more than re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic though. See my previous response to Jerry for my reasons as to why this is.

Jerry Critter said...

SS does not impact the national debt. They are separate issues. In fact, government funds cannot be used to pay SS. If no changes are made in SS, then the trust fund will run out of money and SS benefits will fall. The government by law cannot make up the difference. SS will always have enough money coming in to pay at least 75% of scheduled benefits as per current projections. Any short fall cannot be made up with general tax dollars.

John Myste said...

We have the right to keep and bear arms in order to have a well-trained militia. If the goal was, as you say, to have the power to challenge a tyrannical government, then we already are under-armed. We can’t do it with our current arsenals. We don’t have military grade tanks in our backyard. If martial law were declared in Dallas, all the cowboys with their shotguns would run and hide, and rightfully so.

The notion that the Second Amendment right exists just to make sure that the citizenry can compete with the government in a military conflict does not seem supported by the document.

Additionally, if you are a proponent of Original Intent, then the intention has become obsolete. The arms we keep and bear do not prepare us for military service.

If you are a pure textualist, then the text makes no mention of tanks, fighter jets or atomic weapons, so it is pointless. The arms of which it speaks are muskets and slingshots. Keep them. I don’t care. The point is that we cannot “keep and bear arms and therefore have a well-trained militia.” That fact invalidates the contract.

So, the second amendment is lacking, regardless of the face we paint on it. It seems, therefore, that we should simply figure out what is right and not worry about an obsolete clause intended for a world in which we no longer live.

John Myste said...

One more point, one of practicality. Keeping law and order is not possible when the gang down the street is every bit as powerful as the force policing it.

The Second Amendment as you interpret it, would mean that government would break down entirely and throw us back to the Old West, where the lawman and the outlaw were simply two members of rival gangs, competing over territory.

T. Paine said...

John, you are correct that we typical American citizens do not have the armament today to compete with a tyrannical federal government should they declare martial law. That said, if true crimes against humanity were being committed by the government, I would still rather have a shotgun and AR-15 at hand then simply complying with unlawful governmental orders. Yes, with the technological advance of military weaponry, the spirit of being able to rebel against a tyrannical federal government seems anachronistic at best. Does that mean we should remove what tools we do have in order to offer resistance to evil?

That does not mean that I am advocating that citizens have access to tanks and stinger missiles either, in case you wish to jump to absurd Ryan-esque assumptions.

The means for average citizens to offer true resistance against enemies foreign or domestic, as was originally intended by the 2nd amendment, has indeed seemingly become obsolete in the nuclear age. But surely, do you think disarming law-abiding citizens will further ennoble our federal government? I certainly don’t think so. I think that only takes what power they have and makes it more absolute.

“When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

John Myste said...

“Does that mean we should remove what tools we do have in order to offer resistance to evil?”

It means the argument we are making for why we should have those tools, namely that dead men with ideals of 200 years ago say we should, is invalid. I did not speak to the question of if we should have guns or not. I only mentioned that the Second Amendment offers no valid testimony in the matter.

“That does not mean that I am advocating that citizens have access to tanks and stinger missiles either, in case you wish to jump to absurd Ryan-esque assumptions.”

I was merely proving that the reasoning documented in the Second Amendment is not supported by the Conservative justification for having their shotguns or whatever. I did not jump to an extreme case. Technology did. I am not talking about whether or not we should allow you to have a vaporizer. I am talking about actual weapons that a “well-trained” militia would require.

“The means for average citizens to offer true resistance against enemies foreign or domestic, as was originally intended by the 2nd amendment”

The documentation in the second amendment does not say this. You assigned intentions were not stated. I suppose you could do this if the second amendment had not documented its intentions, but it did.

“But surely, do you think disarming law-abiding citizens will further ennoble our federal government?”

I think it will have no effect at all on the nobility of our government. Citizens with pistols is irrelevant to the nobility or boldness of the federal government. It is a like a kid with a cap gun trying to challenge the U.S. marines.

“When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

Governments in the U.S. fear popular opinion only, not the guns the citizens have. The power to elect is all that matters to them. You know this; I know this, and so I think we both agree that the guns do not have any effect on the government. Additionally, using the Second Amendment as a justification for our gun policy has been adequately debunked also. I think it is OK for you to want more guns in the hands of citizens than I do, but at this point we are going to have to make the argument based on our core beliefs and abandon the non-sense.