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.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Forget something, Dennis?

A few weeks ago, I made a passing reference to a video clip of Brady Bunch legal director Dennis Henigan whining about the Parker v. DC decision, and something he did not say while reciting the Second Amendment. I have decided that it's worth a post of its own.

It happens about one minute into the following clip:

[Update 11-29-2007: In a bit of revisionist history, the Brady Bunch has pulled the page on which Henigan recites his version of the Second Amendment. The YouTube video is also no longer available. No problem--I suspected such tactics from them]:

Notice something missing? Yeah--me too.

Or, if you're in a hurry, you can click here for the short version.

Can't say I really blame him, though--if I were arguing for the interpretation of the Second Amendment as protecting some mythical "collective right," I'd try to gloss over that pesky "of the people" part, too.

Still, it seems a rather less than honorable way to debate.

Does anyone else smell burning pants?


Anonymous said...

As I've argued before -- and as many others have argued before me, such as Eugene Volokh -- a "collective right" to arms has no historical basis in this country. It's an artifact of the authoritarian movement of the early 20th Century. It's never mentioned in the context of individual liberty in the Federalist Papers, and is conspicuously absent in this context from Blackstone's (Sir William) Commentaries. The fact that the Constitution was written in the late 18th Century, while the "collective rights" interpretation appeared in the mid-20th century should be evidence enough that it's a contrivance.

It's interesting that Volokh mentions passing references in the mid-19th Century, a period when we are all aware that a certain band of pseudo-economists were promoting the idea of a state where everyone has a collective right to all property. I have my suspicions that the disarmament movement borrowed words from this philosophy, attempting to apply it to something other than property, ignoring the legal concept of common rights, or misunderstanding the presumption of liberties in our republic.

Therefore there are problems with practicing individual liberties in accordance with "collective rights", the greater being that if some other person has the power to limit the exercise of your individual liberties, then they are in fact not individual liberties, but privileges. This alone should invalidate the "collective rights" (non-)argument. (There is hope for the disarmament movement, though, because your individual liberties may be violated for a time if you are convicted of a crime, or if you illegally attempt to deprive someone else of his liberty by threat of force.) The lesser problem with the disarmer's "collective right" being the impossibility of receiving instantaneous approval and means from authority when the situation warrants. (See: Mass Murders, Virginia Tech)

Still, the disarmers demonstrate that they misunderstand the basic underpinnings of freedom in this country by their ham-handed treatment of the constitutional term "common defence". This appears in a minority of states' constitutions, applies only to the sovereign state where it is written, and does not actually bar private ownership of arms by the people, the principle that the people retain the rights (or powers) prohibited from the federal government and not claimed by the states. How could the people engage in the common defense of the state without arms or the skill to use them? It's sloppy thinking that a "common defence" clause implies a prohibition on personal weapons or their use in defending freedom.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

Excellent analysis, TJH--thanks.

Michael Hawkins said...

Supported by the broad majority?
... right

Let's just hope this stands, and send a thank-you letter to the partoes involved here will ya?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, for not mentioning this earlier, but nice job spotting the edited version of the Bill of Rights.

Dennis "The People" Henigan seems to think the lack of challenges to the Second Amendment is somehow a supporting argument for the misdeeds of the authoritarian movement of the 20th Century. He also demonstrates that he doesn't know what constitutes a "militia", or the meaning of the term "well-regulated". A militia isn't a professional army financed full-time by any government. We tried forming militias and electing militia officers, Dennis "The People" Henigan, but as you will recall, the federal government expended enormous amounts of resources interfering with them, sometimes to tragic ends -- from Weaver to Fincher.

I forgive him for now, though, because the bench has often been populated with those who searched far and wide for ways to justify populist, ineffective and unconstitutional law.

Dennis "The People" Henigan: Paid member of the Crime Lobby.

Anonymous said...

Not surprisingly, Henigan mis-states Miller when he says that it says the Second Amendment "applies to state militias."

Nowhere in Miller does the phrase "state militia" (or the plural) appear. How can the right belong to an entity that is never mentioned in the decision?

The decision does speak of "the Militia", but that is always understood differently than the way Henigan directs us to think.

To be more honest than Henigan, I want to mention that the closest Miller comes to his dream is this: "The Militia which the States were expected to maintain and train....".

Refugee said...

I love Henigan's comment at -2:06 that "it is not legitimate for courts to edit the Constitution. The courts must interpret the Constitution as it is written by the Founders."

Would that they did, sir. Would that they did.


Damn betcha, Skippy, it is indeed the plan to use this decision to go after other laws.

Fits said...

I do so enjoy watching the anti's foam at the moth in full frontal flabbergast as they try to weasel out of this one.