User Tools

Site Tools


Action disabled: source
second_amendment

See also gun control.

The

to the United States Constitution states:<ref>This is the most-often quoted form of this Amendment, but note later in this entry the significant objection to including three commas rather than just one.</ref>: 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.

Individual or Collective Right?

For several decades, the lower federal courts had interpreted the Second Amendment as protecting merely a collective right of state militias.<ref>http://www.davekopel.com/2A/LawRev/35finalpartone.htm</ref> However, the U.S Supreme Court has always called it an individual right. The 2008 Supreme Court decision of District of Columbia v. Heller ruled 5-4 that the Second Amendment protects an individual right.

Where the Second Amendment comes from

In 1786, the United States existed as a loose national government under the Articles of Confederation. This confederation was perceived to have several weaknesses, among which was the inability to mount a Federal military response to an armed uprising in western Massachusetts known as Shays' Rebellion.

In 1787, to address these weaknesses, the Constitutional Convention was held with the idea of amending the Articles. When the convention ended with a proposed Constitution, those who debated the ratification of the Constitution divided into two camps; the Federalists (who supported ratification of the Constitution) and the Anti-Federalists (who opposed it).

Among their objections to the Constitution, anti-Federalists feared a standing army that could eventually endanger democracy and civil liberties. Although the anti-Federalists were unsuccessful at blocking ratification of the Constitution, through the Massachusetts Compromise they insured that a Bill of Rights would be made, which would provide constitutional guarantees against taking away certain rights.

One of those rights was the right to bear arms. This was intended to prevent the Federal Government from taking away the ability of the states to raise an army and defend itself and arguably to prevent them from taking away from individuals the ability to bear arms.

Comments

The meaning of this amendment is controversial with respect to gun control as proposed by liberals.

The National Rifle Association, which supports gun rights, has a stone plaque in front of its headquarters bearing the words “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The slogan means that individual citizens have the right to own and use guns.

American law has always said that the militia includes ordinary private citizens, and gun rights advocates say that the amendment means individuals have the right to own and use guns. Liberal gun control advocates began in the late 20th century to say it means only that there is only some sort of collective or state-controlled right.

Supreme Court opinions have all been consistent with the individual rights interpretation of the Second Amendment, but the lower court opinions are mixed.

As of 2007, people argue about the meaning of the Second Amendment, but there is no definitive answer. The latest ruling is Parker v District of Columbia, in which the DC Circuit court of appeals ruled on March 9, 2007 that the DC gun ban violated individual rights under the Second Amendment.

The One Comma vs. The Three Comma Debate

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.'

Quoted from: http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a39388c210c1b.htm

Down to the Last Second (Amendment)

Participants in the various debates on firearms, crime, and constitutional law may have noticed that the Second Amendment is often quoted differently by those involved. The two main variations differ in punctuation- specifically, in the number of commas used to separate those twenty-seven words. But which is the correct one? The answer to this question must be found in official records from the early days of the republic. Therefore, a look into the progression of this declaratory and restrictive clause from its inception to its final form is in order.

Before beginning, one must note that common nouns, like “state” and “people,” were often capitalized in official and unofficial documents of the era. Also, an obsolete formation of the letter s used to indicate the long s sound was in common usage. The long 's' is subject to confusion with the lower case 'f' ,therefore, Congress“ is sometimes spelled as “Congrefs,” as is the case in the parchment copy of the Bill of Rights displayed by the National Archives. The quotations listed here are accurate. With the exception of the omission of quotations marks, versions of what is now known as the Second Amendment in boldface appear with the exact spelling, capitalization, and punctuation as the cited originals.

Chronological History

During ratification debates on the Constitution in the state conventions, several states proposed amendments to that charter. Anti-Federalist opposition to ratification was particularly strong in the key states of New York and Virginia, and one of their main grievances was that the Constitution lacked a declaration of rights. During the ratification process, Federalist James Madison became a champion of such a declaration, and so it fell to him, as a member of the 1st Congress, to write one. On June 8, 1789, Madison introduced his declaration of rights on the floor of the House. One of its articles read:

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.1

On July 21, John Vining of Delaware was appointed to chair a select committee of eleven to review, and make a report on, the subject of amendments to the Constitution. Each committeeman represented one of the eleven states (Rhode Island and North Carolina had not ratified the Constitution at that time), with James Madison representing Virginia. Unfortunately, no record of the committee's proceedings is known to exist. Seven days later, Vining duly issued the report, one of the amendments reading:

A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms. 2

In debates on the House floor, some congressmen, notably Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts and Thomas Scott of Pennsylvania, objected to the conscientious objector clause in the fifth article. They expressed concerns that a future Congress might declare the people religiously scrupulous in a bid to disarm them, and that such persons could not be called up for military duty. However, motions to strike the clause were not carried. On August 21, the House enumerated the Amendments as modified, with the fifth article listed as follows:

5. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the People, being the best security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person. 3

Finally, on August 24, the House of Representatives passed its proposals for amendments to the Constitution and sent them to the Senate for their consideration. The next day, the Senate entered the document into their official journal. The Senate Journal shows Article the Fifth as:

Art. V. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed, but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person. 4

On September 4, the Senate debated the amendments proposed by the House, and the conscientious objector clause was quickly stricken. Sadly, these debates were held in secret, so records of them do not exist. The Senators agreed to accept Article the Fifth in this form:

…a well regulated militia, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall net be infringed. 5

In further debates on September 9, the Senate agreed to strike the words, “the best,” and replace them with, “necessary to the.” Since the third and fourth articles had been combined, the Senators also agreed to rename the amendment as Article the Fourth. The Senate Journal that day carried the article without the word, “best,” but also without the replacements, “necessary to.” Note that the extraneous commas have been omitted:

A well regulated militia being the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. 6

With two-thirds of the Senate concurring on the proposed amendments, they were sent back to the House for the Representatives' perusal. On September 21, the House notified the Senate that it agreed to some of their amendments, but not all of them. However, they agreed to Article the Fourth in its entirety:

Resolved, That this House doth agree to the second, fourth, eighth, twelfth, thirteenth, sixteenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, twenty-fifth, and twenty-sixth amendments… 7

By September 25, the Congress had resolved all differences pertaining to the proposed amendments to the Constitution. On that day, a Clerk of the House, William Lambert, put what is now known as the Bill of Rights to parchment. Three days later, it was signed by the Speaker of the House, Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, and the President of the Senate, Vice President John Adams. This parchment copy is held by the National Archives and Records Administration, and shows the following version of the fourth article:

Article the Fourth. 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. 8

The above version is used almost exclusively today, but aside from the parchment copy, the author was unable to find any other official documents from that era which carry the amendment with the extra commas. In fact, in the appendix of the Senate Journal, Article the Fourth is entered as reading:

Art. IV. 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.9

Also, the Annals of Congress, formally called The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, show the proposed amendment as follows:

Article the Fourth. 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.10

Further, once two-thirds of both chambers of the Congress agreed to the proposed amendments, the House passed a resolve to request that the President send copies of them to the governors of the eleven states in the Union, and to those of Rhode Island and North Carolina. The Senate concurred on September 26, as recorded in their journal:

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States be requested to transmit to the executives of the United States, which have ratified the constitution copies of the amendments proposed by Congress, to be added thereto; and like copies to the executives of the states of Rhode Island and North Carolina.11

Fortunately, an original copy of the amendments proposed by the Congress, and sent to the State of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations, does survive. Certified as a true copy by Assembly Secretary Henry Ward, it reads in part:

Article the Fourth, –A well regulated Militia being neceffary to the Security of a free State, the Right of the People to keep and bear Arms fhall not be infringed. 12

And so, the proposed amendments to the Constitution were sent to the states for ratification. When notifying the President that their legislatures or conventions had ratified some or all of the proposed amendments, some states attached certified copies of them. New York, Maryland, South Carolina, and Rhode Island notified the general government that they had ratified the fourth amendment in this form:

Article the Fourth. 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. 13

Articles the First and Second were not ratified by the required three-fourths of the states, but by December 15, 1791, the last ten articles were. These, of course, are now known as the Bill of Rights. Renumbering the amendments was required since the first two had not been ratified. The 1796 revision of The Federalist on the New Constitution reflects the change as such:

ARTICLE THE SECOND

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.14

This version is carried throughout the 19th Century, in such legal treatises as Joseph Story's Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (1833) and Thomas Cooley's Principles of Constitutional Law (1898). It is also transcribed in this manner in the 1845 Statutes at Large, although the term “state” is capitalized in that text. The latter are the official source for acts of Congress.15,16, 17

This version still appears today, as is the case with the annotated version of the Constitution they sponsored on the Government Printing Office web site (1992, supplemented in 1996 and 1998). The Second Amendment is shown as reading:

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. 18

(The Senate-sponsored GPO site does carry a “literal print” of the amendments to the Constitution showing the Second Amendment with the additional commas. The punctuation and capitalization of the amendments transcribed there are the same as those found on the parchment copy displayed in the Rotunda of the National Archives.)19

Thus, the correct rendition of the Second Amendment carries but a single comma, after the word “state.” It was in this form that those twenty-seven words were written, agreed upon, passed, and ratified.

Why the Commas are Important

It is important to use the proper Second Amendment because it is clearly and flawlessly written in its original form. Also, the function of the words, “a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state,” are readily discerned when the proper punctuation is used. On the other hand, the gratuitous addition of commas serve only to render the sentence grammatically incorrect and unnecessarily ambiguous. These points will be demonstrated later in the Second Amendment Series.

Footnotes to Comment section:

1. Amendments Offered in Congress by James Madison, June 8, 1789. The Constitution Society. http://www.constitution.org/bor/amd_jmad.htm, 16 January 2000.

2. Amendments Reported by the Select Committee. July 28, 1789. The Constitution Society. http://www.constitution.org/bor/amd_scom.htm, 16 January 2000.

3. U.S. House Journal. 1st Cong., 1st sess., 21 August 1789.

4. U.S. Senate Journal. 1st Cong., 1st sess., 25 August 1789.

5. U.S. Senate Journal, 1st Cong., 1st sess., 4 September 1789.

6. U.S. Senate Journal, 1st Cong., 1st sess., 9 September 1789.

7. U.S. House Journal. 1st Cong., 1st sess., 21 September 1789.

8. Bill of Rights. National Archives and Records Administration. http://www.nara.gov/exhall/charters/billrights/bill.jpg, 22 January 2000.

9. U.S. Senate Journal. 1st Cong., 1st sess., Appendix.

10. Annals of Congress, 1st Cong., 1st sess., Appendix

11. U.S. Senate Journal. 1st Cong. 1st sess., 26 September 1789.

12. A True Bill. The Constitution for the United States, Its Sources and Its Applications. http://www.nidlink.com/~bobhard/billofrt.jpg, 27 January 2000.

13. U.S. House Journal, 1st Cong., 3rd sess., Appendix Note: Maryland and South Carolina capitalized the “m” in “Militia.”

14. The Federalist on the New Constitution, 1796. The Constitution for the United States, Its Sources and Its Applications. http://www.nidlink.com/~bobhard/f16b1234.jpg, 17 February 2000.

15. Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution Society. http://www.constitution.org/js/js_344.htm, 18 February 2000.

16. Quotes from Constitutional Commentators. Gun Cite. http://www.guncite.com/gc2ndcom.html, 2 February 2000.

17. Statutes at Large 1845, 21.

18. Second Amendment–Bearing Arms. The Constitution of the United States of America. http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/senate/constitution/amdt2.html, 18 February 2000.

19. Text of the Amendments (Literal Print). The Constitution of the United States of America. http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/senate/constitution/conamt.html, 18 February 2000.

Liberal targeting

Liberals have made various efforts to subvert the Second Amendment by enacting unconstitutional gun laws which restrict the ability of individuals to protect themselves against the excesses of government. Examples include:

  • news reports appealing predominately to emotion in the aftermath of mass shootings while ignoring merits of self-defense
  • celebrity-showings demanding a plan to end mass shootings
  • gun “buy back” programs officiated by city police

See also list of celebrities against Second Amendment

See Also

References

<references/>

External Links

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

see also Gun rights - Right to Keep and Bear Arms

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution states:[1] “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.”

America is a Great Nation precisely because it is a Constitutional Republic with a Bill of Rights that enumerates some of our God-given, intrinsic, inherent, inalienable, moral rights, especially the right to bare arms for self defense (Second Amendment).

The Second Amendment helps to empower ordinary Citizen Patriots and the Milita to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. The Second Amendment helps to enforce the remaining nine amendments against usurpation by the tyranny of tyrants (especially the oligarchy of economic tyranny of the banksters such as the Federal Reserve, the IRS, the Rothschilds, the World Bank and IMF, the globalists, the United Nations and the Federalists, from religious tyranny of Islamist-Fundamentalist Muslims with their sharira law and jihad, and from the tyranny from the Peoples Republic of China, Russia and other statists (nanny state), socialists, fascists, and communists.

This Great Nation is a Constitutional Republic, not merely a democracy with potential for mob rule, thanks to our wise and compassionate Founding Fathers, especially Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Paine, and Patrick Henry.

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.“

One should immediately and seriously Invest in Tangibles, in order to help protect yourself, your family, your community, and this Great Nation in our American democracy where both the voters and politicians either don't respect or don't understand that America is not merely a democracy, but is actually a Constitutional Republic.

see Constitution, republic

“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” - Richard Henry Lee, Virginia delegate to the Continental Congres, initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights.

see also education

see Second Amendment and Second Amendment

NRA Second Amendment Center - www.nraila.org

“We beg no longer; we entreat no more; we petition no more. We defy them!” - William Jennings Bryan, 1896

James Madison

“Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.” - James Madison, Federalist Papers No. 46, 1788


Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson confirmed this understanding saying, “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government”.


Quotations

“For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.” - Thomas Jefferson


See also Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, Second Amendment

Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights
Founding Fathers, Bible and HH Dalai Lama on Guns

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms, disarm only those who are neither inclined, nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants. They serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

Thomas Jefferson, 1764

“Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants” - Thomas Jefferson

” …arms…discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. …Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived the use of them.“

- Thomas Paine.

“For it's 'guns this' and 'guns that', and 'chuck 'em out, the brutes',

But they're the 'Savior of our loved ones' when the thugs begin to loot.”

- Rudyard Kipling in Tommy Atkins

“The Constitution shall never be construed … to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” – Samuel Adams

“It is God that arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” Psalms 18:32

”…and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one. “ Luke 22:36

-Democracy is two wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

-Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the outcome of the vote.


Snippet from Wikipedia: Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution protects the individual right to keep and bear arms. It was ratified on December 15, 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights.

In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court affirmed for the first time that the right belongs to individuals, for self-defense in the home, while also including, as dicta, that the right is not unlimited and does not preclude the existence of certain long-standing prohibitions such as those forbidding "the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill" or restrictions on "the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons." State and local governments are limited to the same extent as the federal government from infringing upon this right.

The Second Amendment was based partially on the right to keep and bear arms in English common law and was influenced by the English Bill of Rights of 1689. Sir William Blackstone described this right as an auxiliary right, supporting the natural rights of self-defense and resistance to oppression, and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the state. Any labels of rights as auxiliary must be viewed in the context of the inherent purpose of a Bill of Rights, which is to empower a group with the ability to achieve a mutually desired outcome, and not to necessarily enumerate or rank the importance of rights. Thus all rights enumerated in a Constitution are thus auxiliary in the eyes of Sir William Blackstone because all rights are only as good as the extent they are exercised in fact.

While both James Monroe and John Adams supported the Constitution being ratified, its most influential framer was James Madison. In Federalist No. 46, Madison wrote how a federal army could be kept in check by state militias, "a standing army ... would be opposed [by] a militia." He argued that state militias "would be able to repel the danger" of a federal army, "It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops." He contrasted the federal government of the United States to the European kingdoms, which he described as "afraid to trust the people with arms," and assured that "the existence of subordinate governments ... forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition".

By January 1788, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia and Connecticut ratified the Constitution without insisting upon amendments. Several amendments were proposed, but were not adopted at the time the Constitution was ratified. For example, the Pennsylvania convention debated fifteen amendments, one of which concerned the right of the people to be armed, another with the militia. The Massachusetts convention also ratified the Constitution with an attached list of proposed amendments. In the end, the ratification convention was so evenly divided between those for and against the Constitution that the federalists agreed to the Bill of Rights to assure ratification.

In United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the Supreme Court ruled that, "The right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution; neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second Amendments [sic] means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress, and has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the National Government."

In United States v. Miller (1939), the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment did not protect weapon types not having a "reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia."

In the twenty-first century, the amendment has been subjected to renewed academic inquiry and judicial interest. In Heller, the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision that held the amendment protects an individual's right to keep a gun for self-defense. This was the first time the Court had ruled that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual's right to own a gun.

In McDonald v. Chicago (2010), the Court clarified that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporated the Second Amendment against state and local governments. In Caetano v. Massachusetts (2016), the Supreme Court reiterated its earlier rulings that "the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding" and that its protection is not limited to "only those weapons useful in warfare."

The debate between various organizations regarding gun control and gun rights continues.


Beans Bullets and Band-Aids

The three Bs: ”Beans, Bullets, and Band-aids“. This is a great way to summarize necessities of survival and for the fear of becoming the 20 “Bs” of survival or the 30 “Bs” of survival, it should probably remain the three Bs. However, one can see the use of the five Bs of survival being closer to my mentality: Beans, Bullets, Band-Aids, Books, and Bullion.

As part of Disaster Preparedness, bullets in ”Beans, Bullets, and Band-aids“ refers to both hunting and self defense (see Second Amendment which includes not only security but also guns (firearms) such as rifles (rimfire rifles, hunting rifles, combat rifles or carbines), handguns including semi-automatic pistols and revolvers, shotguns, ammunition (called cartridges or rounds), airguns, air rifles, air pistols, slingshots, bow and arrow, crossbow, knives, mace and pepper spray, and stun guns.


Survival Arms

Pistol - Handguns

”“The handgun … an entire class of arms that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense…it surely elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home. U.S. Supreme Court, District of Columbia V. Heller June 26 2008

http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/glock-model-21-40-caliber/

Firearms Storage
Gun Confiscation

Congress took action after Katrina. There are probably still loopholes, however.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h109-5013

Text of H.R. 5013 [109th]: Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act of 2006

[The relevant portion;]

SEC. 706. FIREARMS POLICIES.

(a) Prohibition on Confiscation of Firearms- No officer or employee of the United States (including any member of the uniformed services), or person operating pursuant to or under color of Federal law, or receiving Federal funds, or under control of any Federal official, or providing services to such an officer, employee, or other person, while acting in support of relief from a major disaster or emergency, may–

(1) temporarily or permanently seize, or authorize seizure of, any firearm the possession of which is not prohibited under Federal, State, or local law, other than for forfeiture in compliance with Federal law or as evidence in a criminal investigation;

(2) require registration of any firearm for which registration is not required by Federal, State, or local law;

(3) prohibit possession of any firearm, or promulgate any rule, regulation, or order prohibiting possession of any firearm, in any place or by any person where such possession is not otherwise prohibited by Federal, State, or local law; or

(4) prohibit the carrying of firearms by any person otherwise authorized to carry firearms under Federal, State, or local law, solely because such person is operating under the direction, control, or supervision of a Federal agency in support of relief from the major disaster or emergency.


Why I WILL NOT Obey California’s Gun Registration Edict

by Brian Puckett

(For those hesitant to read the entire statement,

PLEASE READ THE LAST TWO SECTIONS FIRST.)

A brief summary of the situation

The Democrat-controlled government of California has recently issued two edicts, one that bans ownership of SKS rifles with detachable magazines and requires their surrender to the state, and one that bans buying, selling, or lending of so-called ”assault weapons“ and that requires present owners of such arms to register them. The edicts take effect January 1, 2000. For all those who have in the past stated that, “When the state starts confiscating guns, then I'll know it's time to fight back,” that time in California will be January 1, 2000.

Many people oppose gun registration because it precedes gun confiscation. Indeed it does, as those who were foolish enough to register their SKS’s are now discovering. However, that is a practical reason to oppose registration, not a legal reason. And while avoiding confiscation is tangentially a moral reason to oppose registration, neither is it a legal reason. Refusing to obey a law because of what might happen or what has happened in other cases will not stand up in court. But there is a reason not to register or turn in any firearm that is practical, moral, and legal.

Two questions to answer

As regards the Second Amendment, determining the constitutionality of the California edicts mentioned above forces the examination of two basic questions. One, which arms are protected by the Second Amendment? And two, is registration an “infringement” of the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms? Fortunately, answering these questions is not a difficult or mysterious task. But they should be answered thoroughly.

What is the Bill of Rights?

In these United States, the Bill of Rights is not separate from the Constitution but is an integral part of it, as are all the other amendments. However, the Bill of Rights is special in that-like sections of the Declaration of Independence - it contains many of the core philosophical underpinnings of our American government (especially the First Amendment, Second Amendment, Ninth Amendment, and Tenth Amendment). Therefore, the Bill of Rights is easily the most important part of the U.S. Constitution. The rest of the Constitution, along with most of the remaining Constitutional Amendments, deals primarily with the mechanics of putting this philosophy into effect in the form of a republic.

In the original document that we call the Bill of Rights, the Bill’s ten enumerated items are listed as “articles”. Those familiar with the history of the Constitution are aware that these articles were not afterthoughts, but were crucial elements whose written inclusion in the Constitution was insisted upon before certain states would agree to Constitutional ratification of the preceding text. Because of this, a powerful case can be made that none of these first ten articles may be modified or revoked, because that would alter the fundamental philosophy underlying the Constitution and would violate the original agreement among the states.

The purpose and meaning of the Second Amendment

The laws of the pre-U.S. colonies and the writings of the Founding Fathers clearly reveal that they, like all civilized humans, embraced the personal, common-law right of self-defense and property defense. The Founders’ writings, such as the Federalist Papers, also clearly reveal their belief that self-defense includes defending oneself against a government gone bad. In fact the evidence shows that this latter item is a primary reason they included the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights, and the reason for the Second Amendment’s reference to the militia-the ”army of citizens“ (as opposed to the regular army).

The Second Amendment specifies the right of the people to keep and bear arms. If the people are to keep and bear them this must include, at the very minimum, personal arms - that is, arms that a single individual may carry and employ. For hundreds of years prior to the writing of the Constitution, the Western world’s most advanced and cherished personal arm had been the firearm. Furthermore, the firearm is the sole arm continually singled out in the Founders’ writings. Owning firearms was a right exercised in North America long before the existence of the United States.

To mean anything, rights must include associated necessities

For any given right, it is meaningless to affirm that right if the tools or necessities of effecting that right are prohibited. Consider our Bill of Rights:

It is meaningless to affirm the First Amendment’s right to free exercise of religion if people are prohibited to own religious texts such as Bibles, Torahs, Korans, and Sutras.

It is meaningless to affirm the First Amendment’s ”freedom of the press“ if people are prohibited to own printing presses (or today’s electronic methods of mass communication such as a website like a Wiki or Blog).

It is meaningless to affirm the Third Amendment’s right to refuse to lodge a soldier in one’s home, or the Fourth Amendment’s right to be secure in one’s home, if people are prohibited from owning your own home.

It is meaningless to affirm the Sixth Amendment’s right to defense counsel if people are prohibited to use their own or public money to pay for an attorney’s services.

And it is beyond meaningless – it is absolutely absurd – to affirm the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms if people are prohibited from owning arms.

Applying the above-mentioned general principle of rights to the Second Amendment, it would be correct to state that it is meaningless to affirm the right to self-defense if people are prohibited from owning the tools or necessities of self-defense.

For example, consider elderly people, women, the physically handicapped, small-statured men, or anyone who is not a master of unarmed combat being faced with a large, or muscular, or armed assailant, or multiple assailants. It happens every day in this country. It is absurd, illogical, illegal, and inhumane to uphold their right to self-defense while prohibiting them from owning the most portable, easy to use, proven, and inexpensive of instantly effective self-defense tools – guns.

Which arms are protected by the Second Amendment?

Along with “the people”, the Second Amendment specifically mentions the militia, consisting of armed citizens not enlisted in any regular military corps - the ”citizen army“. The militia’s purpose is, as its name implies, a military one. The militia was - and still may be - pitted against other military forces. That was true in pre-U.S. North America, it was true during the Revolutionary War, and it is true today.

If the militia may be pitted against regular soldiers, whether of a foreign invader or of a tyrannical domestic government, then it follows automatically that at a minimum the citizens comprising the militia must possess personal arms (as opposed to large or crew-served arms like cannon) equal to those of the opposing soldiers. Equal personal arms means, of course, those that include all design features, capabilities, and ergonomics that make a military firearm suitable for modern battle. If this is not the case then there is no point in having a militia, as it will not pose an effective fighting force. For example, the extreme inadequacy of bolt action rifles in combat against semiautomatic arms is well known. But the Founders’ firm insistence upon having an effective militia is absolutely clear from their numerous writings on the subject and from the existence of the Second Amendment itself.

That being so, military-pattern firearms are obviously protected by the Second Amendment. Therefore any restrictive legislation on military-pattern firearms, or on military design elements of other firearms, is completely contrary to the word and spirit of the Second Amendment and is therefore flatly unconstitutional. U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939) completely supports this.]

Registration is incompatible with rights

Consider the situation if a state declared that it was perfectly legal to own a Bible - or a copy of the Koran or the Talmud - but that you had to register it in order to keep and use it. Now, what if you did not register it - would you lose the right to own and read it? Of course not. The very idea is absurd. Under the laws of this nation you have the right to worship as you please. As we have seen, that right automatically includes articles necessary or associated with the right, such as books, crucifixes, stars of David, yarmulkes, and so forth.

In exactly the same way, if the state suddenly required registration of printing presses, would the owner of a press lose his right to own or use it by not filling out a registration form? Of course not. The right would still exist. No piece of paper affects it.

In exactly the same way, one does not have to register one's vocal cords, bullhorn, typewriter, pens, pencils, computers, movie cameras, etc, to exercise the right of free speech (or stated in modern terms, the right of uncensored communication). Under the Constitution, if a state issued an edict demanding registration of such things that rule would be invalid as law. Your right to use them would still exist, completely unaffected.

In exactly the same way, prior registration of one's body, home, address, papers, possessions, etc, is not necessary in order to enjoy the Constitutional right to protection from unreasonable searches and seizures of one's person, house, papers, and effects. These various physical things are automatically included, automatically protected by the right.

In exactly the same way, one does not have to register anything or fill out any forms in order to have the Constitutional right to a speedy public trial. It is automatic.

Now consider the situation if you do not register a gun. Is the Second Amendment somehow instantly suspended? Did it vanish? Do you somehow lose the right to keep and bear arms? Certainly not.

If you can lose a “right” by not filling out a piece of paper, then it is not a right. It is a privilege granted by the government, which is a different thing altogether. In the area of government, a privilege is a special permission or immunity granted by a government, it is generally related to the use of some public facility (such as driving on the streets, or using the public library) and it may be suspended or revoked even for minor infractions or misdemeanors.

In sum: Rights do not require government registration, certification, or approval, and are not subject to any form of taxation - otherwise they are not rights, they are privileges granted at the discretion of the government, controlled by the government, and revocable by the government.

Registration is more than an infringement

The Second Amendment reads. “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.” The question may be asked, “Is registration of a particular gun truly such a burden that it can be called an infringement of the right to keep and bear arms?”

To begin with, if we were speaking of registering religious items or communications devices, none but socialists would dare ask such a question. Yet the Second Amendment directly follows the amendment concerned with the free exercise of religion and freedom of the press. The Second Amendment holds a place of priority in the Bill of Rights, which is primarily a list of inalienable personal rights.

But to answer the above question -Yes. Registration is absolutely an infringement, on at least three grounds. In fact, we will see that the right versus privilege issue makes registration far more than a mere infringement.

Information

Registration of a firearm gives the government information that can be used (and has been used, and is being used right now) to confiscate that firearm or to pinpoint its owner for weapon seizure, fining, incarceration, or execution. Having the government in possession of this information is directly contrary to the Second Amendment’s intent to ensure that citizens always possess the means to overthrow the government should it become corrupt or tyrannical.

Government control

Allowing the government to seize a citizen’s firearm, or to suspend, revoke, or diminish a citizen’s ability to defend life, family, property, and country for paperwork omissions or errors, for regulatory violations, for minor infractions of the law, for misdemeanors, or arguably for anything less than conviction for a major crime of violence is also directly contrary to the intent of the Second Amendment. This is because virtually all citizens have committed, or will commit, one or more of the listed non-violent errors listed above, whereas the entire point of the Second Amendment is to place this same citizenry’s right to keep and bear arms (and therefore the right of self-defense) out of the government’s grasp.

Right versus privilege

Critically relevant to all our rights, is that any edict that attempts to convert a right into a state-granted privilege by imposing prior requirements-such as registration - before it may be exercised goes far beyond mere “infringement” of that right; it becomes an attempt at outright abrogation of the right.

Therefore the state’s demand to comply with the requirements of such an edict - no matter how physically easy compliance is - imposes not some mere inconvenience on the individual. It imposes the enormous moral, ethical, intellectual, and spiritual burden of denying the existence of the right.

It does not matter if the state demands that one simply tap one’s nose five times in succession in order to be able to keep and bear a particular gun. This would still be a state-mandated prior requirement. Compliance would indicate tacit denial of the validity of the Second Amendment, and denial of the right it protects. Compliance would encompass an implicit acceptance of the right as a mere privilege, which is directly contrary to both the letter and spirit of the Second Amendment.

Applying these concepts to California’s edict

The argument against gun registration of, and restrictions on, military-style firearms may be approached by two logical paths that reach the same conclusions:

1. If the supreme law of the nation protects a personal right to keep and bear arms (which it does) then the failure to comply with a state mandate to fill out some registration form can not revoke this, or any other, right. If the right to keep and bear arms can not be revoked (and it can not be), then the right to keep and bear militia arms, which are the very arms implicitly referred to in the Founders’ writings and in the Second Amendment itself, can not be revoked. If the right to keep and bear militia arms can not be revoked (and it can not be) then we may own and use any military-pattern individually portable firearm, all of which are practical militia arms. If that is the case (and it is), then any restrictive legislation based on militarily useful design elements of such firearms is flatly unconstitutional.

2. If the supreme law of the nation protects the personal right to keep and bear arms (which it does), then the right to keep and bear militia arms, which are the very arms implicitly referred to in the Founders’ writings and in the Second Amendment itself, certainly exists. If that is the case (and it is), then we may own and use any military-pattern individually portable firearm, because all are practical militia arms. If that is the case (and it is), any restrictive legislation based on the militarily useful design elements of such firearms is flatly unconstitutional. If that is the case (and it is), then the failure to comply with a state mandate to fill out some registration form cannot revoke this right.

Again, the same situation prevails with all the personal rights in the Bill of Rights. That is, no state mandate requiring registration - either of oneself or of things directly associated with a right - can be a prerequisite or condition of exercising a right, nor can it affect that right in any way. If it does, then the right has been unconstitutionally declared a state-controlled privilege.

Summary

As we see from the above, no American can be legally compelled to register any militarily useful individual arm. That includes pistols, revolvers, carbines, semi-autos, military-style guns, hunting guns, self-defense guns, pump guns, lever guns, bolt guns, black powder guns, scoped guns, . 50 caliber guns, . 338 caliber guns, .30 caliber guns, .223 caliber guns, etc. All have been used, or are being used, as individual military arms, and therefore are implicitly referred to by the Second Amendment’s militia clause.

Moreover, no American can be legally compelled to register any firearm of common design or function because the Second Amendment does not protect only guns that are useful in military affairs; it protects all guns. The militia reference is clearly meant as one important reason for protecting the right which follows: the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment says simply “arms”, which imposes no quantity or design limits. It says “bear”, which in its narrowest sense would still include all firearm capable of being carried and used by one person.

Therefore, under the supreme law of the land, the right to own one or several of any type of individually portable firearm exists permanently, inherently, automatically, without prior approval or conditions.

1. Indiscriminate weapons - those whose effects are difficult to direct upon, or confine to, a discrete target (such as flame-throwers, fragmentation bombs, chemical weapons and biological weapons, mortars) etc. - are arguably excludable from the full protection of the Second Amendment as posing an unreasonable danger to friend and foe alike.

2. Individually portable machine guns are clearly allowed under the wording of the Second Amendment. However, under certain specific circumstances their employment might arguably be said to encroach into the area of indiscriminate weapons. Therefore, it is arguable that some extra care might be taken in the use of these firearms, but that any restrictions imposing an effective ban on their general ownership or general use would be unconstitutional. As this is a highly specific, highly debatable subject, it will not be, and need not be, delved into here.

Aside from the debatable exceptions of 1. and 2. above, absolutely no individually portable firearm of common design or function may be determined to be an indiscriminate weapon under any circumstances, nor to pose an unreasonable danger. This is because a ban on such a firearm could “logically” be extended to all other firearms of similar design and function (exactly what is occurring with California’s edicts now), which would completely vitiate the Second Amendment. Thus, the 1994 Federal "assault weapon" ban and magazine capacity limit are both completely unconstitutional.

3. The issue of a firearms seller determining the legal status of a potential buyer is separable from the issue of registration, and need not be dealt with here. Suffice it to say that the primary legal principle involved is declaring it a crime to sell or give a firearm to anyone who is legally - that is, legal in accordance with Constitution - prohibited from owning a firearm. Registration need not be, and may not Constitutionally be, part of any firearm sale or transfer.

Registration -- your decision affects all rights

If a military pattern firearm, the firearm most suited to the militia mentioned in the Second Amendment, is not protected by the clear wording of the Second Amendment, then there is no meaning to the Second Amendment. If there is no meaning to the Second Amendment, there is no reason to infer meaning in the rest of the Bill of Rights.

If converting the Second Amendment into a privilege by means of a registration edict is not the maximum “infringement” of that right, then nothing is.

If converting the Second Amendment into a privilege by means of an edict is possible, then it is possible to do so for any other right.

Therefore, regarding the Second Amendment, refusing registration affirms the right to own a militia firearm. It affirms the right to keep and bear all personal arms. It affirms the validity of the rest of the Bill of Rights. It affirms that attempting to convert the Second Amendment into a privilege is the maximum infringement of that right. It rejects a state’s power to convert any right into a privilege. And lastly it affirms the validity of the Constitution, and the rule of law, not men.

Demanding or complying with registration is betrayal

Article VI of the Constitution designates the Constitution as the supreme law of the United States, and specifically states that it prevails over all state constitutions and statutes. Further, Article VI requires all legislative branch, executive branch, and judicial branch officers of the U.S. government and of the state governments to take an oath to obey the Constitution. Some of these officials may hate firearms and the power they give to the citizenry, but that is irrelevant - they must treat the Second Amendment as they would the rest of our Bill of Rights.

All state officials - judges, representatives, law enforcement officials - know these facts, but many are corrupt and ignore them. Their sworn word means nothing to them, nor does the Constitution, nor do the rights of the constituents for whom they work unless it suits their own political agenda. It is against this conscienceless species of human that decent Americans must continually fight, in California and in the rest of the United States.

If you believe you have the right to keep and bear proper militia arms in order to defend yourself, your family, your home, and your country, and if you believe this right is recognized in the Bill of Rights, then you cannot register or turn in any firearm whatsoever. You may rationalize it any way you wish, but if you register a firearm you are implicitly agreeing with the proposition that your right to own that firearm is nonexistent, and that such ownership is dependent upon permission from the government. Registration equals betrayal of yourself, your family, your ancestors, your birthright, your country, and your Constitution. Period.

A personal position

Every new illegal gun control edict issued, and every day that existing illegal gun control edicts continue to be enforced, brings inexorably closer the time when firearms owners will train their guns on the politicians, judges, and other officials who have misled the rest of the public into giving up their sacred and ancient rights. A desire to avoid this terrible tragedy motivates my own actions regarding the Second Amendment and the rights it protects.

For nearly twenty years I have legally owned a militia rifle possessing the characteristics of the socialists' so-called ”assault weapon“. Now my right to own this arm, a right that has existed far longer than the two centuries-plus that this nation has existed, is suddenly being challenged by corrupt politicians. But I vehemently reject any infringement of my rights. I will never register this or any other firearm. Nor will I ever turn it in, nor will I ever alter any characteristic or attachment to it. I will never again concern myself with legislation about pistol grips, bayonet lugs, high-capacity magazines, flash suppressors, threaded barrels, folding stocks, pre- or post-ban manufacture, or any other irrelevant detail of my firearms.

I will certainly not do as the NRA Members Councils suggest on their internet site, which is to saw off the pistol grip of one's AR-style rifle to make it “legal”. Understand this: in America it is already legal. I sometimes wonder whether the socialists will issue an edict requiring all firearms to have a pink ribbon tied to the barrel, just to get a belly laugh as the panicked descendants of once-proud American patriots scurry to comply.

California's current governor, attorney general, and legislators who voted for these edicts can undoubtedly find thugs as corrupt and anti-American as themselves to send to my home. I vow not to physically interfere with their illegal activities, because I wish to see this matter in court. I hope that other men and women will join me in this public declaration of civil disobedience, because it would be best to have ten thousand civil disobedience cases in court, not just mine. But I understand why, in this day and age of brutal, ethics-free "public servants", citizens are reluctant to make themselves a target of the state. Fortunately, the citizens of California and other states demanding registration can strike a powerful blow for humanity simply by refusing to comply.

Seize this opportunity

To those of you who whine, complain, and talk, talk, talk about your loss of freedom - I say now is the time to do something. There are few times in an average man's life when the occasion presents itself to take part in history. Here and now is such a time. This refusal to submit to tyranny is not simply about firearms. It is about human rights, it is about the rule of law, and it is about the continuance of this great nation. To what better use will you ever put your life than to stand up for these things? Will you look back on this moment and say, “I wish I had done something”, or will you step forward and seize this chance?

With the government having grown so powerful and corrupt, defying it is frightening. It is especially frightening because many Americans seem fairly content right now. But the feelings of the apathetic masses are irrelevant. They have never figured in history, and never will. The apathetic masses will go along with whatever system exists. It is the freedom-loving individual who, although part of a much smaller group, has guided every free nation toward the light.

Freedom is not maintained without taking risks and making sacrifices; without fighting for freedom. This has always been true, throughout history. If you are afraid to take a stand against this tyrannical government, if you excuse yourself by saying you must “take care of my family first”, I say thank God there were men in the past who understood the priority of freedom.

Look at your children. Is it more important that they have an uninterrupted flow of plastic toys and the soft luxuries of modern American life, or that they grow up as free men and women, with all inherent rights and responsibilities? I say any man who does nothing while even a single basic freedom he has enjoyed is stripped from his offspring - a freedom secured by the blood of others - deserves no offspring.

As I said, I will turn in no firearms, ever. I will register no firearms, ever. My right to own and use firearms predates the Constitution. It existed before the corrupt socialists in wp>Washington DC]] and Sacramento, California came to office, and it will exist forever afterward. The Second Amendment simply recognizes this right. I do not know where my civil disobedience will lead, but I am certain where the slavishness and cowardice of compliance will lead. I refuse to take part in this foul business of registration. I hope that you refuse also. If we stand together we will set fires of freedom burning across America.

  • * *

Brian Puckett is a free-lance writer whose past work includes articles on U.S. foreign, domestic, and military policy for the Houston Post. His firearms and Second Amendment articles have appeared in the magazines Handguns Magazine, Combat Handguns Magazine, Guns and Ammo Magazin, SWAT Magazine, Police Magazine, and numerous other publications. He is the author of the essay ”A Plan to Restore the Second Amendment“, appearing in an upcoming issue of Handguns Magazine. He is a co-founder of the gun rights organization GunTruths (http://www.guntruths.com) and the gun rights media action organization Citizens Of America (http://www.citizensofamerica.org). Mr. Puckett believes that much of the annual slaughter of Americans by criminals can be blamed directly on those who advocate gun control, and that any politician who advocates gun control neither trusts his constituents nor cares about their lives or property. The above statement / essay is an expression of his opinions alone. He may be contacted regarding this article at mailto:guns1776@earthlink.net. Put the word RESISTER in the subject line.

The above essay, which includes the biographical note, may be reproduced in any medium provided it is reproduced in full. A copy has been sent via fax and regular mail to the governor of California. Feel free to forward it to all gun rights activists and lists.

Fair Use Source: http://thefiringline.com/Misc/library/why_i_will_not_obey_california.html


Pro-Second Amendment Gun-Rights Organizations

See also:

see Pro-Second Amendment Gun-Rights Organizations


Beans, Bullets, and Band-aids


Return to Surviving Disasters

Fair Use Disclaimer Sources: God


Second Amendment of the United States


Second Amendment

James Wesley Rawles' site:survivalblog.com "Second Amendment"

Jack Spirko's http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com "Second Amendment"

Jack Spirko's http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum "Survival"

MD Creekmore's site: http://thesurvivalistblog.net "Second Amendment"

John Jacob Schmidt's http://www.radiofreeredoubt.com "Second Amendment"

http://charlescarrollsociety.com "Second Amendment"

Dave Duffy, Massad Ayoob, John Silveira, and Claire Wolfe's https://www.backwoodshome.com "Second Amendment"

Dr. Bones & Nurse Amy's http://www.doomandbloom.net "Second Amendment"

Lisa Bedford's http://thesurvivalmom.com "Second Amendment"

http://www.conservapedia.com "Second Amendment"

Joel Skousen's http://www.worldaffairsbrief.com "Second Amendment"

Alex Jones's http://www.infowars.com "Second Amendment"

Alex Jones's http://www.prisonplanet.com "Second Amendment"

Chuck Baldwin's http://chuckbaldwinlive.com "Second Amendment" John Birch Society's http://www.thenewamerican.com "Second Amendment"

Mike Adams' http://naturalnews.com "Second Amendment"

http://www.survivalmonkey.com "Second Amendment"

http://www.survivalistboards.com "Second Amendment"

https://www.shtfplan.com "Second Amendment"

William Frank Buckley 's http://www.nationalreview.com "Second Amendment"

http://www.americanthinker.com "Second Amendment"

Bob Livingston's http://personalliberty.com "Second Amendment"

http://etfdailynews.com "Second Amendment"

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com "Second Amendment"

http://www.paratusfamiliablog.com "Second Amendment"

An opinionated rural north Idaho housewife's http://www.rural-revolution.com "Second Amendment"

http://www.breitbart.com "Second Amendment"

https://cnsnews.com "Second Amendment"

http://www.prepper-resources.com "Second Amendment"

americanpreppersnetwork.com "Second Amendment"

http://youtube.com "Second Amendment"

http://youtube.com "nutnfancy Second Amendment"

http://amazon.com "Second Amendment"

http://books.google.com "Second Amendment"

http://facebook.com "Second Amendment"

http://twitter.com "Second Amendment" http://www.thehighroad.org "Second Amendment"

Jeff Quinn's http://www.gunblast.com "Second Amendment"

http://www.nranews.com "Second Amendment"

http://www.nraila.org "Second Amendment"

http://www.nrablog.com "Second Amendment"

https://gunowners.org "Second Amendment"

http://capwiz.com/gunowners "Second Amendment"

Snippet from Wikipedia: Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution protects the individual right to keep and bear arms. It was ratified on December 15, 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights.

In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court affirmed for the first time that the right belongs to individuals, for self-defense in the home, while also including, as dicta, that the right is not unlimited and does not preclude the existence of certain long-standing prohibitions such as those forbidding "the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill" or restrictions on "the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons." State and local governments are limited to the same extent as the federal government from infringing upon this right.

The Second Amendment was based partially on the right to keep and bear arms in English common law and was influenced by the English Bill of Rights of 1689. Sir William Blackstone described this right as an auxiliary right, supporting the natural rights of self-defense and resistance to oppression, and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the state. Any labels of rights as auxiliary must be viewed in the context of the inherent purpose of a Bill of Rights, which is to empower a group with the ability to achieve a mutually desired outcome, and not to necessarily enumerate or rank the importance of rights. Thus all rights enumerated in a Constitution are thus auxiliary in the eyes of Sir William Blackstone because all rights are only as good as the extent they are exercised in fact.

While both James Monroe and John Adams supported the Constitution being ratified, its most influential framer was James Madison. In Federalist No. 46, Madison wrote how a federal army could be kept in check by state militias, "a standing army ... would be opposed [by] a militia." He argued that state militias "would be able to repel the danger" of a federal army, "It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops." He contrasted the federal government of the United States to the European kingdoms, which he described as "afraid to trust the people with arms," and assured that "the existence of subordinate governments ... forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition".

By January 1788, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia and Connecticut ratified the Constitution without insisting upon amendments. Several amendments were proposed, but were not adopted at the time the Constitution was ratified. For example, the Pennsylvania convention debated fifteen amendments, one of which concerned the right of the people to be armed, another with the militia. The Massachusetts convention also ratified the Constitution with an attached list of proposed amendments. In the end, the ratification convention was so evenly divided between those for and against the Constitution that the federalists agreed to the Bill of Rights to assure ratification.

In United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the Supreme Court ruled that, "The right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution; neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second Amendments [sic] means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress, and has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the National Government."

In United States v. Miller (1939), the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment did not protect weapon types not having a "reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia."

In the twenty-first century, the amendment has been subjected to renewed academic inquiry and judicial interest. In Heller, the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision that held the amendment protects an individual's right to keep a gun for self-defense. This was the first time the Court had ruled that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual's right to own a gun.

In McDonald v. Chicago (2010), the Court clarified that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporated the Second Amendment against state and local governments. In Caetano v. Massachusetts (2016), the Supreme Court reiterated its earlier rulings that "the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding" and that its protection is not limited to "only those weapons useful in warfare."

The debate between various organizations regarding gun control and gun rights continues.

second_amendment.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/12 18:38 (external edit)