Skip to comments.(Vanity) The Militia Clause, or H.L. Mencken was Right
Posted on 08/07/2008 9:49:10 PM PDT by grey_whiskers
The Heller decision on the second amendment has affirmed the right to keep and bear arms as an individual right. This has come as a great relief to many conservatives, and has caused great gnashing of teeth among many liberals. Among the liberals dismayed by the decision are the D.C. City Council, who are defying the United States Supreme Court, at least in spirit, by promising to re-write the original law governing the possession of firearms so that it just falls within the legal definitions required by Heller, while still ensuring as a practical matter that people will not be able to defend themselves with their own guns in their own homes.
Senator Barack Obama (Messiah IL) has weighed in on the Second Amendment himself :
There's been a long standing argument among constitutional scholars about whether the 2nd Amendment referred simply to militias or whether it spoke to an individual right to possess arms, Obama said. I think the latter is the better argument. There is an individual right to bear arms, but it is subject to common-sense regulation just like most of our rights are subject to common-sense regulation. He declined, just as the Bush Administration did, to take a position on whether the DC gun ban violates the 2nd Amendment. He said instead that states and cities should have broad latitude to regulate gunseven if the Constitution guarantees an individual right to own them.
The city of Chicago has gun laws, so does Washington, DC, Obama said. The notion that somehow local jurisdictions can't initiate gun safety laws to deal with gang bangers and random shootings on the street isn't borne out by our Constitution.
Notice how carefully that is phrased, it is almost as good as Bill Clintons it depends on what the meaning of the word is is : we have a right to own guns, but (apparently) not so much of a right to bear them.
This thinking is apparently rampant in Connecticut, where a strange state law allows the police to confiscate guns from law-abiding gun owners. This law permits police to seek a warrant for seizing a citizen's guns based on suspicion of the gun owner's intentions, before any act of violence or lawbreaking is actually committed. Never mind the fact that this sounds like the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report -- what kind of message does this send about Connecticut, where neither your guns nor your property are safe from the government?
But it is the combination of these two factors which worries me the idea that some rights are more equal than others (for example, abortion, which is not even in the constitution, but is merely a penumbra, is zealously guarded against government interference, whereas gun ownership which is explicitly guaranteed, and furthermore protected with the words shall not be infringed, is subject to retroactive interpretation. That, and the idea that once The Annointed One is in the White House with a Democratic Majority in Congress, then the Supreme Court is ripe for the packing. Since Heller was a 5-4 decision, and the Constitution is a living, breathing document, what need is there for stare decisis? I foresee another attempt to take away gun rights.
My suggestion for how to deal with this is unorthodox, but effective. Recall that the Messiah has pointed out that many Constitutional Scholars have said that the 2nd amendment refers to militias. Then notice how several Supreme Court members (and for that matter, U.S. Senators) have suggested that the United States take pains to increase its stature in the world community by being more sensitive to the legal practices and theories of other nations. I think this present topic is an excellent opportunity to put this into practice. Let us look at both Switzerland and at Israel. Switzerland has one of the highest per-capita gun ownership rates in the world, and also one of the lowest murder rates. Israel, too, encourages gun ownership: and furthermore, in contrast to the gun free zones in many American educational establishments, Israel encourages its teachers to pack heat. And come to think of it, when was the last time you heard of a Virginia Tech massacre in Israel that involved a citizen using guns (as opposed to a jihadist with an explosive vest?)
But the analogy doesnt stop there. Not only do Switzerland and Israel have high gun-ownership rates, but both countries encourage gun ownership as an adjunct to national defense. In Switzerland, males at age 20 undergo basic military training, and are issued an automatic rifle (or for officers, a semi-automatic pistol); and when their military service is ended, the auto-fire mechanism on the gun is disabled, but the citizen retains ownership. In Israel, of course, even women are in the military; and it is understood that most citizens have access to firearms.
My suggestion then, is that we give the full force to the words, A well regulated militia while following the lead of other countries. If the second amendment is (as some liberals claim) intended to provide for armed citizens for the military, Im all for it. Handguns should be legal, as should rifles, machine guns, and sniper rifles. In fact, why stop there? Back before the 1968 gun control laws, you could even buy anti-tank guns (like the Lahti 20 mm) via mail order. So not only is there international law, there is precedent from our own history, for including other military hardware among the gear that regular citizens have access to. Since the liberals want the Second Amendment to be about the military, Id say lets give them what they want. As H.L. Mencken wrote, Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. The only drawback to this that I can see is not random violence, nor the return to the Wild West which so many liberals fear. It is that it will become simply impossible to cut the budget. Who wants to anger 20 million grandmas who are armed with bazookas by gutting their Social Security benefits?
Oh, and one other thing. When theyre handing out the goodies, I want a Harrier jump jet like Arnold Schwarzenegger flew in True Lies. Its gotta be an easier commute than fighting rush hour traffic.
Let's see if any libs manage to miss that.
Where does disarming a population lead? The ability to confiscate wealth. Note the debate about the 2nd Ammendment itself. Then note how our government just added a billion dollars to the IRS budget take out of defense spending. Note how our country is broke. Hmmm. Doesn’t seem to take a rocket scientist here.
Wait a sec, what exactly were you kidding about? Because everything in your article was well reasoned and cogent from my perspective. The only part where you could be kidding would be the part about the government giving you a Harrier jump jet. Me personally, I’ll pass on the Harrier and wait for the F-35 stoval to come out in about 4 years. The first vertical lift fixed wing in stealth technology. Yeah baby!!
If you can afford a jump jet for commuting, more power to ya!
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