Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Why this citizen disarmament advocating, tyranny enabling, bed-wetting hysteria is a good thing

Oldsmoblogger does an excellent job of dismantling Elizabeth Sullivan's (Cleveland Plain Dealer) column, "Want safer schools? Update gun laws; it's been 800 years." (also see War on Guns, for a quicker, but equally biting, treatment).

Sullivan's argument, as best I can decipher, is that the Second Amendment's guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms is based on 12th century English common law . . . and is therefore silly in our enlightened age. Apparently (who knew?), fundamental human rights go bad after a certain length of time. Evidently, modernity has rendered liberty obsolete. My, ain't progress wonderful?

Rather than trying to repeat the work that Oldsmoblogger and War on Guns have already done--better than I'll ever manage--in rebutting Sullivan's call to join our more enlightened, modern cousins in disarming the citizenry, I'll urge folks to check out WoG and Oldsmoblogger--it's definitely worth the time. In the meantime, I submit that Sullivan's attack on the Second Amendment is a good thing for us.

Why? Because she attacks the Second Amendment, instead of trying to twist it into what it clearly isn't--a meaningless affirmation of a mythical "collective right." The "collective right" interpretation has been a staple of the citizen disarmament movement for years now, and is starting to show some severe cracks. Those cracks have been there all along, of course, but until fairly recently, the citizen disarmament lobby has managed to ignore them.

In the "collective right" interpretation of the Second Amendment, the "well regulated militia" part of the amendment reigns supreme (conveniently ignoring that it's "the right of the people that "shall not be infringed," not "the right of the militia"--as a prime example, check out this Brady Bunch video clip, in which Brady Bunch legal director Dennis Henigan recites the Second Amendment--except that he forgets, I guess, the part about "of the people"). In this interpretation, the Second Amendment protects a right of the states (and only the states) to maintain arms, for defense against an overreaching federal government. Furthermore, the function of the state militia is now served by the National Guard (meaning, apparently, that the Second Amendment exists to protect the right to arm soldiers--something that would seem to not need such explicit Constitutional protection).

Over a year ago, I talked about what I see as one of the biggest problems with that argument. In the 1990 Supreme Court case Perpich v. Department of Defense, Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich sued the Department of Defense for mobilizing the Minnesota National Guard without his consent (or that of the state legislature) for operations outside the state. Perpich lost his case, because the Supreme Court ruled that the National Guard is not a "state militia," and is instead part of the U.S. Army Reserve system--in other words, part of the federally controlled military. If the Second Amendment is intended to provide the means for states to protect themselves from the federal government, to argue that it serves this function by arming troops under federal authority is clearly not going to work.

I do not claim that it was the above that convinced Sullivan (and others) to admit that the Second Amendment means what it says, rather than what the citizen disarmers wish it said (a fair amount of recent legal scholarship has been building that case, and Parker/Heller v. DC has brought a lot of attention to the Second Amendment's meaning). Whatever the reason for this change in strategy, if it signals that the rhetorical gymnastics of arguing the "collective right" myth have become too exhausing to sustain, our position has gotten considerably stronger.

Don't like that the Second Amendment provides Constitutional protection for the right to keep and bear arms--then remove it, if you can (by the way, the fundamental human right that it protects will still be there--and there's nothing that will remove it). We'll be waiting, armed and free--and safe ;-) .

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'd write, but every time I send something to that litterbox liner of a local paper it goes unprinted.

We'll never make the mainstream listen, we have to rely on one on one . You can't fight the herd mentality, the hoplophobes feed off each others ignorance and hatred and all thinking is disabled.

-HH

TJH said...

No, they're listening even if they can't follow the whole thing. At least, they've been listening where I live ever since there was home invasion, rape and arson-murder in Cheshire Connecticut.

Well, now that the "collective rights" to non-tangible non-property theory has lost popularity, we're back to: "it means the National Guard". And once that's debunked, it'll mean the militia which purportedly no longer exists, and no longer needs to. I don't think they're going to be able to get enough states to rewrite their constitutions fast enough to dispose of the rest of the evidence before people notice.

"...every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state..."

"The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the State shall not be impaired..."

"The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question..."

"Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state."

"A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and State, and for hunting and recreational use."

"The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State."

"The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security..."

"Every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state."

"That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property...shall not be questioned..."



There are more, and they cover a span of time from when the Bill of Rights was penned up until Hawaii joined the Union. (Hawii: 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.")

That the right to keep and bear arms also meant personal defense is an incontrovertible fact, and a contemporary legal idea in this country. I don't expect every single person to get this -- some states' legislatures used contradictory language in their right to keep and bear amendments -- but it remains that there is an overwhelming body of evidence that what we say it means is what it means.

Anonymous said...

Join the Oath Keepers.
http://www.thementalmilitia.com/forums/index.php