Skip to comments.Second Amendment decision has Copper Country connection
Posted on 03/17/2007 9:42:16 AM PDT by kiriath_jearim
ONTONAGON It takes a lot of history to explain how a retired Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park ranger had anything to do with last Fridays federal appeals court decision overturning Washington D.C.s handgun ban.
But history, especially of the constitution and its second amendment, is what David Young is all about.
I have a really broad higher education background, Young said. I basically have done my constitutional scholarship on my own time, as an avocation.
That avocation started in the mid-1970s, when Young wrote some unsolicited articles on the second amendment for publication in gun magazines. After writing four of them, he decided he needed a broader perspective on how the second amendment came to be.
I realized that I really didnt understand the whole context, Young said. I decided to quit writing those articles and focus on collecting every document that was available.
For 20 years, he did just that. The result was a heavy, 800-page book with an equally ponderous title: The Origin of the Second Amendment: A Documentary History of the Bill of Rights in Commentaries on Liberty, Free Government and an Armed Populace, 1787-1792.
It is a collection of writings and correspondence by both Federalists and Anti-Federalists written while the constitution was being debated.
The documents were written between 1787, when the constitution was written, and 1792, when the Bill of Rights was ratified.
Its 800 pages of the discussions and letters and speeches of, for example, ratifying conventions, Young said.
Most of the documents were widely published at the time they were written.
Almost everything in it except for some private letters ... everything thats in it appeared in newspapers at the time, Young said.
Many of the approximately 500 documents were previously collected in works such as Elliots Debates. But Young said his book is the only one to collect all the documents representing the second amendments intellectual genesis.
Young has a clearly-defined stance on gun rights he supports them but he said The Origin of the Second Amendment does not take any sides.
These documents are all transcribed and presented, I dont add a word about what anything means, Young said. It just has to do with putting the person in the right space of time and going through some arguments by the Federalists and the Anti-federalists and what they were saying.
Youngs efforts quickly won him widespread obscurity.
Nobody even knows that this research has been done, he said.
But in 1999, the seeds were sown for making Youngs work relevant, though only in a small role, to Fridays ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
In 1999, the case U.S. vs. Emerson entered the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The case involved a defendant a divorced Texas doctor who was indicted for possession of a firearm while under a restraining order. Though no laws were overturned as a result of the case, the arguments presented were significant to the gun control debate.
Youngs book was involved because an Amicas brief filed in the court by the gun-rights advocacy group The Second Amendment Foundation quoted several pages of a history Young wrote. That brief got some of the judges on the Fifth Circuit Court interested in The Origin of the Second Amendment.
They cited the book 118 times, by Youngs estimation, in their decision.
That decision was later cited by the judges in the D.C. gun law case. The D.C. decision includes, by way of its citations of Emerson, includes at least three references to materials in Youngs book.
They cited like a five-page span (of Emerson) where there is quote after quote after quote of documents that were all taken from The Origin of the Second Amendment.
Young acknowledges this was a small role in the recent case, but he thought it was an interesting connection.
Im not suggesting that this was decided this way because of anything Ive done, because there are people in the legal field who have been working on this for a long time, its just that there was only one complete collection of documents from this time period about this subject, Young said.
Meanwhile, second amendment issues continue to intrigue Young.
I am always interested in disagreements and why they come about, he said. I was interested myself in what they meant by these phrases that we dont use today, such as well-regulated militia.
He is currently authoring a book that explains his views on the history behind the second amendment.
This is further proof that the law is too important to be 100% entrusted with lawyers.
This is further proof that the law is too important to be 100% entrusted with lawyers."
What a great reminder of what an individual can accomplish.
The truth that is in the book is to the liberals as a cross is to vampires. They will avoid it at all costs.
Then they usually go off the edge, saying the authors would never have meant for us to have those 1000-shot automatic revolvers you get at gun shows.
Mine's a 2,000 shot automatic revolver. That sucker sure is heavy though.
TEC-2K, huh? That was a sweet one all right. I heard you should only load 1900.
Pointing out that the Constitution envisioned private ownership of cannon-armed warships (privateers) may shut a few up. OK, you get on one side of the field with your AK, and I'll get on the other side with a few muzzle-loaded cannon loaded with grapeshot, and we'll see who has more firepower
I don't think the left will admit that the Constitution intended for private people to have any sort of weapons. They will stick to the collective-rights argument forever. I can't believe they have managed to maintain their own self-delusion for so long. Sometimes I wonder if they really believe their arguments or are they simply scared to admit the obvious?
Even Libs have a problem ignoring such an avalanche of facts!!
Only in America!!
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