Skip to comments.There's No Such Thing As Sensible Gun Laws
Posted on 12/04/2006 2:04:25 PM PST by neverdem
News By Us, not news bias
This caught my eye this morning: Paul Helmkes anti-liberty rant Guns and Governing, on The Huffington Post, December 1, 2006. Helmke is head of The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence. Here is my response, December 1, 2006.
First of all, very first of all, when it comes to guns, there is no governing to be, with the exception of protection of the Bill of Rights. Since the right to bear arms is absolute, there is no governing over it. there can be only protection; you protect the rights of the people on that and thats your oath. Simple. Anything else is an attack.
Refusal to understand this not only reflects a poor understanding of the law and practical values in America, but reveals a hidden agenda to overthrow us all. All of us, not just those who support rights, but all of us. That would include Mr. Helmke, himself, unless he wishes to own a gun secretly.
In fact, if any anti-gun activist owns positively any sort of weapon in the home for self-defense I dont care if its a baseball bat! he/she supports self-defense and the use of up to lethal force. Or, dont they realize what theyre saying and doing? Most anti-gun nuts do in fact own weapons. Right, Rosie? Ncest pa, Dianne?
The second amendment isnt about guns, its about personal sovereignty and the use of force to back it up.
Anti-gun activists, therefore, are to be discredited utterly.
In three itemized issues, Helmke lays out mention of straw purchases, political clout of the gun rights lobbies versus election wins, and he mentions gun violence.
The first two arguments are themselves straw arguments, since straw purchases are way exaggerated as many, many writers have pointed out in the past in detail, and since the election wins and losses are not gun rights based, but far, far more based on republican disappointments, border control issues and size-of-government issues. Every voter knows it. It is silly to write that republicans lost because they listen to the NRA when voters (readers) know darned good and well their own minds and why they didnt vote republican this time around.
The third argument got my attention: Gun Violence.
Again, there is the call for sensible gun laws, but in fact there is no such thing as a sensible gun law. Could there be such a thing as sensible censorship? The only sensible gun law exists purely as a civil right, and it is absolute. If you want sensible gun laws, try no one under eighteen owns a gun, felons dont own a gun, and non-citizens dont own a gun, and then, repeal all gun laws. Now, thats sensible.
Here is my analysis as Mr. Helmkes piece summons of me.
The Second Amendment was made absolute and impervious to due process for a reason. The Founding Fathers knew very well what they did not want any more of no more over-reach, no more abuses of powers, no more warrants without local supervision (jury) and more and just as certainly as the fact that they ratified it all, they knew that it all had to be backed by force forever. That force is in the hands of the People, individuals like you and me, and it is this sovereign authority that cannot be infringed. It is being infringed various different ways. It is your authority which is being infringed. Remember that gun control is attacking not guns, and its not attacking violence; it is attacking individual sovereign authority which is backed by lawful force.
In many ways, Americans are being bluffed out of their sovereignty.
Attacks on guns are attacks on personal sovereignty to undermine the power of the People to remain in control over the country: gun control is an attack to wrest that control from the people in an immense transfer of authority, convincing people or coercing people out of it. Remove the lawful force of the people, and the rest can simply be taken unopposed.
Many laws toward that goal come in the form of anti-crime measures, so that little by little, the people surrender Americans cooperate in handing over what they think will help fight crime. Americans will do a lot and put up with a lot if they believe it will help.
Its a scam, a trap. Because of the sovereignty of the People and the Peoples own lawful force to back it up, the idea of one-sided force in this country is a trap.
Helmke summarizes, More guns are likely to make a home, a state, or a country more dangerous, not more safe.
This is, of course, wholly untrue, and Ill say just where.
Well, America, if you want to help fight crime and violence, listen up.
Ive said a thousand times that police have no mandate to protect individuals. Most officers will nod and agree with this if asked. Im surprised that some younger officers are not even aware of it. Hell, even some legislators arent aware of it, but its true. This is important for everyone willing to help to fully understand. As always, I am speaking not to gun owners, but to non-gun owners and the impartial, people looking for both sides of the issue. Heads of household who really want to understand. I know its hard to accept, but every head of household must come to understand that police dont have to protect you.
Police join law enforcement to help, but in actuality, in the most critical moments of a crime emergency, you are on your own.
As benign as it might sound at first, governing guns and people who own them means restricting before-the-fact your right to act at the moment action is needed most when you are facing grave danger alone, and lets be realistic: only you have the right to make that call. I support the idea of investigation for reasonableness under the circumstances, but before-the-fact restrictions (gun control) are entirely unreasonable and unlawful. It grows crime by permitting it to succeed unopposed in case after case after case, hundreds of thousands of times every year.
Equally realistic is the fact that some Americans believe preparedness in self-defense to be an unwanted burden. Their over-reaction of being expected to grow up and protect loved ones manifests itself as name-calling gun owners as Cowboys and Vigilantes. Its merely a denial or a refusal to take responsibility for something that unavoidably belongs only to them.
For an example of this, please visit the YouTube Video Confession Of A Rat: An anti-gun newspaperman admits to his wife (and to himself) that he cant be counted on to protect her life.
Governance over guns and people who rise to meet their responsibility is a ruse to disarm individuals to pave the way to grow crime to the advantage of officials. In a very obvious way, the anti-gun crowd uses the crowd who refuse this burden to increase numbers of anti-gun voters. Minions. Minions by the millions.
As I say often very often personal disarmament is a trap for the American household and a payday for officials.
Who is the real thief in this issue?
Why is the Second Amendment absolute and made impervious to due process? Why can there be no such thing as so-called sensible gun laws?
Because the individual victim of crime is the first line of defense, and no matter what law you write, we always will be. Gun control takes away the power but leaves the ultimate accountability, the typical bureaucratic trap. This is anti-violence? This is American? Is it good for your household to be denied the power, but left with the responsibility anyway?
The individual is now and always will be the first line of defense. And when crime is an excuse to transfer liberty and authority out of the hands of the people, this then makes the citizen the first line of defense for the entire nation. Taking away that anywhere/anytime, instance-by-instance defense is in no way sensible.
I thought the Second Amendment was a sensible gun law.
I don't have a problem with someone with a record of violence not being allowed to carry a handgun but the fact that I was arrested for drunk driving more than a decade ago shouldn't mean that I have no right to defend myself.
The single biggest thing we need to do is to settle whether or not RKBA is individual and not collective right as some interpret Miller v. US.
From my cold dead fingers.......
Were Thomas Jefferson or any of the Framers alive today they'd feel free to carry concealed in NYC or Washington, D.C. with no concern whatsoever to the illegal and unConstitutional gun bans in place there.
What am I saying?
If any of the Framers were alive today they'd be locked up in Gitmo as terrorists for their "radical" ideas.
I agree, but I have no confidence in Anthony Kennedy.
Alaska has a sensible gun law.
HB 102, signed by the Governor on June 11, 2003 changes Alaska Statute 11.61.220 to allow anyone 21 or older, who may legally carry a firearm to also carry it concealed without having to obtain a special permit.
by J. Neil Schulman
If you wanted to know all about the Big Bang, you'd ring up Carl Sagan, right ? And if you wanted to know about desert warfare, the man to call would be Norman Schwarzkopf, no question about it. But who would you call if you wanted the top expert on American usage, to tell you the meaning of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution ?
That was the question I asked A.C. Brocki, editorial coordinator of the Los Angeles Unified School District and formerly senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Publishers -- who himself had been recommended to me as the foremost expert on English usage in the Los Angeles school system. Mr. Brocki told me to get in touch with Roy Copperud, a retired professor of journalism at the University of Southern California and the author of "American Usage and Style: The Consensus."
A little research lent support to Brocki's opinion of Professor Copperud's expertise.
Roy Copperud was a newspaper writer on major dailies for over three decades before embarking on a a distinguished 17-year career teaching journalism at USC. Since 1952, Copperud has been writing a column dealing with the professional aspects of journalism for "Editor and Publisher", a weekly magazine focusing on the journalism field.
He's on the usage panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and Merriam Webster's Usage Dictionary frequently cites him as an expert. Copperud's fifth book on usage, "American Usage and Style: The Consensus," has been in continuous print from Van Nostrand Reinhold since 1981, and is the winner of the Association of American Publisher's Humanities Award.
That sounds like an expert to me.
After a brief telephone call to Professor Copperud in which I introduced myself but did not give him any indication of why I was interested, I sent the following letter:
"I am writing you to ask you for your professional opinion as an expert in English usage, to analyze the text of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, and extract the intent from the text.
"The text of the Second Amendment is, 'A well-regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'
"The debate over this amendment has been whether the first part of the sentence, 'A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State', is a restrictive clause or a subordinate clause, with respect to the independent clause containing the subject of the sentence, 'the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'
"I would request that your analysis of this sentence not take into consideration issues of political impact or public policy, but be restricted entirely to a linguistic analysis of its meaning and intent. Further, since your professional analysis will likely become part of litigation regarding the consequences of the Second Amendment, I ask that whatever analysis you make be a professional opinion that you would be willing to stand behind with your reputation, and even be willing to testify under oath to support, if necessary."
My letter framed several questions about the test of the Second Amendment, then concluded:
"I realize that I am asking you to take on a major responsibility and task with this letter. I am doing so because, as a citizen, I believe it is vitally important to extract the actual meaning of the Second Amendment. While I ask that your analysis not be affected by the political importance of its results, I ask that you do this because of that importance."
After several more letters and phone calls, in which we discussed terms for his doing such an analysis, but in which we never discussed either of our opinions regarding the Second Amendment, gun control, or any other political subject, Professor Copperud sent me the follow analysis (into which I have inserted my questions for the sake of clarity):
[Copperud:] "The words 'A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,' contrary to the interpretation cited in your letter of July 26, 1991, constitutes a present participle, rather than a clause. It is used as an adjective, modifying 'militia,' which is followed by the main clause of the sentence (subject 'the right', verb 'shall'). The to keep and bear arms is asserted as an essential for maintaining a militia.
"In reply to your numbered questions:
[Schulman:] "(1) Can the sentence be interpreted to grant the right to keep and bear arms solely to 'a well-regulated militia'?"
[Copperud:] "(1) The sentence does not restrict the right to keep and bear arms, nor does it state or imply possession of the right elsewhere or by others than the people; it simply makes a positive statement with respect to a right of the people."
[Schulman:] "(2) Is 'the right of the people to keep and bear arms' granted by the words of the Second Amendment, or does the Second Amendment assume a preexisting right of the people to keep and bear arms, and merely state that such right 'shall not be infringed'?"
[Copperud:] "(2) The right is not granted by the amendment; its existence is assumed. The thrust of the sentence is that the right shall be preserved inviolate for the sake of ensuring a militia."
[Schulman:] "(3) Is the right of the people to keep and bear arms conditioned upon whether or not a well regulated militia, is, in fact necessary to the security of a free State, and if that condition is not existing, is the statement 'the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed' null and void?"
[Copperud:] "(3) No such condition is expressed or implied. The right to keep and bear arms is not said by the amendment to depend on the existence of a militia. No condition is stated or implied as to the relation of the right to keep and bear arms and to the necessity of a well-regulated militia as a requisite to the security of a free state. The right to keep and bear arms is deemed unconditional by the entire sentence."
[Schulman:] "(4) Does the clause 'A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,' grant a right to the government to place conditions on the 'right of the people to keep and bear arms,' or is such right deemed unconditional by the meaning of the entire sentence?"
[Copperud:] "(4) The right is assumed to exist and to be unconditional, as previously stated. It is invoked here specifically for the sake of the militia."
[Schulman:] "(5) Which of the following does the phrase 'well-regulated militia' mean: 'well-equipped', 'well-organized,' 'well-drilled,' 'well-educated,' or 'subject to regulations of a superior authority'?" [Copperud:] "(5) The phrase means 'subject to regulations of a superior authority;' this accords with the desire of the writers for civilian control over the military."
[Schulman:] "(6) (If at all possible, I would ask you to take account the changed meanings of words, or usage, since that sentence was written 200 years ago, but not take into account historical interpretations of the intents of the authors, unless those issues can be clearly separated."
[Copperud:] "To the best of my knowledge, there has been no change in the meaning of words or in usage that would affect the meaning of the amendment. If it were written today, it might be put: "Since a well-regulated militia is necessary tot he security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged.'
[Schulman:] "As a 'scientific control' on this analysis, I would also appreciate it if you could compare your analysis of the text of the Second Amendment to the following sentence,
"A well-schooled electorate, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not be infringed.'
"My questions for the usage analysis of this sentence would be,
"(1) Is the grammatical structure and usage of this sentence and the way the words modify each other, identical to the Second Amendment's sentence?; and
"(2) Could this sentence be interpreted to restrict 'the right of the people to keep and read Books' _only_ to 'a well-educated electorate' -- for example, registered voters with a high-school diploma?"
[Copperud:] "(1) Your 'scientific control' sentence precisely parallels the amendment in grammatical structure.
"(2) There is nothing in your sentence that either indicates or implies the possibility of a restricted interpretation."
Professor Copperud had only one additional comment, which he placed in his cover letter: "With well-known human curiosity, I made some speculative efforts to decide how the material might be used, but was unable to reach any conclusion."
So now we have been told by one of the top experts on American usage what many knew all along: the Constitution of the United States unconditionally protects the people's right to keep and bear arms, forbidding all governments formed under the Constitution from abridging that right.
As I write this, the attempted coup against constitutional government in the Soviet Union has failed, apparently because the will of the people in that part of the world to be free from capricious tyranny is stronger than the old guard's desire to maintain a monopoly on dictatorial power.
And here in the United States, elected lawmakers, judges, and appointed officials who are pledged to defend the Constitution of the United States ignore, marginalize, or prevaricate about the Second Amendment routinely. American citizens are put in American prisons for carrying arms, owning arms of forbidden sorts, or failing to satisfy bureaucratic requirements regarding the owning and carrying of firearms -- all of which is an abridgement of the unconditional right of the people to keep and bear arms, guaranteed by the Constitution.
And even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), staunch defender of the rest of the Bill of Rights, stands by and does nothing.
it seems it is up to those who believe in the right to keep and bear arms to preserve that right. no one else will. No one else can. Will we beg our elected representatives not to take away our rights, and continue regarding them as representing us if they do? Will we continue obeying judges who decide that the Second Amendment doesn't mean what it says it means but means whatever they say it means in their Orwellian doublespeak ?
Or will be simply keep and bear the arms of our choice, as the Constitution of the United States promises us we can, and pledge that we will defend that promise with our lives, our fortuned, and our sacred honor ?
(C) 1991 by The New Gun Week and Second Amendment Foundation. Informational reproduction of the entire article is hereby authorized provided the author, The New Gun Week and Second Amendment Foundation are credited. All other rights reserved.
About the Author
J. Neil Schulman is the award-winning author of novels endorsed by Anthony Burgess and Nobel-economist Milton Friedman, and writer of the CBS "Twilight Zone" episode in which a time-traveling historian prevents the JFK assassination. He's also the founder and president of SoftServ Publishing, the first publishing company to distribute "paperless books" via personal computers and modems.
Most recently, Schulman has founded the Committee to Enforce the Second Amendment (CESA), through which he intends to see the individual's right to keep and bear arms recognized as a constitutional protection equal to those afforded in the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and Fourteenth amendments.
Have you been denied on that basis?
If you live in a "non-shall issue" state like NY I recommend that you retain an attorney before you start you application or do what I do. Buy your guns out of state and don't register them.
I think the Bill Of Rights are often simply civil rights, not divine rights. For example, the Seventh:
"In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law."
I haven't found anything in the Bible or other sacred text which establishes a threshold of $20 for the right to a jury.
That being said, the Second Amendment makes perfect sense for a republic that wants to ensure individual liberty.
I'm not real concerned about it because my wife can carry anyway. Also I like long guns. (This is in michigan by the way)
***The single biggest thing we need to do is to settle whether or not RKBA is individual and not collective right as some interpret Miller v. US.***
Go to the DREDD SCOTT case and read what Supreme Court Justice John tanney had to say about it.
He said that if Blacks were to be free men they would have the same rights as other men. That is, The right to enter and leave states un hindered, the right to hold political meetings and THE RIGHT TO GO ABOUT ARMED WHERE EVER THEY WENT.
Is it any wonder that before the Civil War the 2nd ammendment was considered a personal right but after the Civil war segregationists began to claim it was a "collective" right.
The problem is Miller v. US. It was never settled because the vic died, but many gun grabbers, Fienstien in particular, cite it as proving the RKBA is a collective right. Us gun lovers really want this to be heard before SCOTUS, but would like to see some of the libs off the court before this happens. This is why elections matter.
So, lets see what laws the anti-gunners have tried to force on us without the NRA stopping them.
1961. Thomas J. Dodd and Emanuel Cellar said...We don't want to take your guns away, we only want to register handguns. Long guns will not be affected.
1964. We don't want to take your guns away. We only want to register all of them!
1968. We don't want to take your sporting guns away. We ONLY want to register them and ban ONLY the import of foreign Saturday night specials and five shot WWII military bolt action rifles!
1968 "Today we make America safe by taking the guns out of the hands of criminals!"...LBJ when he signed the 1968 gun control act into law.
1971. We don't want to take your sporting guns away, we ONLY want to ban Saturday night specials.
1976. We don't want to take your long guns away. We ONLY want to ban all handguns!
(From the original Handgun Control Inc group)...."We only want to control handguns. Long guns will not be affected."
1981. The NRA is a rifle organization! They should give up their handguns! And they can keep their rifles! (Actress Lee Grant on GMA)
1989. We don't want to ban your hunting rifles and shotguns. We ONLY want to ban handguns AND Assault rifles and shotguns.
We ONLY want to ban assault rifles and shotguns AND all fifty cal. rifles and handguns!
I could go into more detail but that is plenty. Thankfully the NRA has been a lightning rod for such claims.
For those who are not NRA members do you really think you personally have the clout to sway congress and hold off an organized attempt by the Brady bunch and others? Can you come up with enough money to buy air time to counter the false claims of George Sorios and his billions?
If not YOU NEED TO BE A MEMBER OF THE NRA!
[Copperud:] "(5) The phrase means 'subject to regulations of a superior authority;' this accords with the desire of the writers for civilian control over the military."
Agree with most of it, but not this. Etymolgically speaking, "well-regulated" in the 18th century vernacular meant well-prepared by my understanding.
But,hey, the guy's a journalism teacher, not a historian. He was probably looking at it in terms of 20th century english.
...forbidding all governments formed under the Constitution from abridging that right.
To play "devil's advocate" (i.e. the role of an ACLU attorney), this is the weakest point of the argument. The prevailing leftist view is that the 2nd Amendment only limits the Federal government, and that "the people" meant the States collectively.
To make the argument complete, this notion needs to be discredited -- which probably means including the federalist papers et al.
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