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.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Freedom is obsolete

At least that's what Lee Gaillard seems to assert. In his opinion piece, titled "The Second Amendment is Obsolete," Gaillard states that in the DC v. Heller case, both sides will use the Second Amendment to "buttress their briefs" (this, apparently, is not a reference to desperate measures to hold up underwear in which the elastic has given up the ghost).

According to Lee, though, the Second Amendment should (apparently) be simply ignored:

But regarding tangled and contentious issues of ownership and regulation of guns in the 21st century, our Second Amendment -- crafted to address 18th-century national security threats -- offers no solution.
Sure--makes sense to me. How could the right to keep and bear arms possibly have any bearing on the . . . right to keep and bear arms?
In 1791, the United States had recently battled England for its independence; France owned the vast Mississippi watershed; and another war with England loomed. Yet even in 1791, this right to bear arms was deemed conditional.
First, the Second Amendment has never been primarily about protecting us from England and France--its primary purpose is to ensure the citizenry's ability to protect itself from the U.S. government, should the dark day come that the government subverts the Constitution and attempts to impose tyranny. Furthermore, I'm having a bit of difficulty reconciling a couple concepts here:
. . . shall not be infringed
. . . shall not be infringed
Does not compute.
The nine justices should hone their grammar skills. The introductory absolute phrase ("A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State,") preceding the main clause sets the condition for why the people collectively had a right to keep and bear arms: to be able quickly to muster their local "well regulated Militia," individually lifting smooth-bores down from over their fireplaces so they could assemble and march off to defend "the security of [their] free State" against aggressors.
"Introductory absolute phrase"--now that's a new one--going beyond the argument that the right "is not absolute," we are now apparently to believe that what you claim limits the right is "absolute." Have you told Paul about that "absolute" thing? I bet he'll love it. Also,
. . . keep and bear smoothbores . . .
I'm almost positive that's not what the Second Amendment says. By the way, speaking of grammar and the Second Amendment . . . .

Moving right along:
In 2007, however, the U.S. has a large, active-duty military establishment.
Sounds like a very good reason to have a populace capable of fielding a large, capable force of armed citizens.
Replacing 1791's militias, today's local "well regulated" National Guard units maintain armories stocked with government-supplied weapons, each pistol and M-16 assault rifle carefully inventoried upon its return after weekend and summer training periods.
The National Guard does not "replace" the militia--ask Rudy Perpich.
Citizen-furnished smoothbores? Long gone.
Millions of civilians own smoothbores (although they generally refer to them as shotguns), many of which would serve quite nicely in a militia context (United States v. Miller notwithstanding), and if the unconstitutionality of the National Firearms Act of 1934 (or at least the Hughes Amendment to the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986) is ever established, private citizens may even keep and bear an extremely capable fighting "smoothbore."
Given the Founders' original intent clearly contained in that introductory absolute phrase, the consequently irrelevant Second Amendment should be long gone, too.
Again with the "introductory 'absolute' phrase," eh? As for the "irrelevant Second Amendment," and your desire that it be "long gone," are there any other parts of the Bill of Rights you would like to throw away? I mean, with all the highly professional "Authorized Journalists" to speak for us, is freedom of speech for the unwashed masses not rather out of date, as well?
On the other hand, there's a huge difference between sporting rifles and high-cyclic-rate-of-fire weapons designed to suppress enemy defenses during military assaults -- in the process disabling or killing as many human beings as possible. Despite Congress' failure to renew the assault weapons ban, there is no justification for civilians to possess machine pistols or automatic rifles.
True, there is a difference between what are commonly thought of as "sporting rifles," and most modern fighting rifles--"assault rifles," if you prefer--sporting rifles generally fire more powerful cartridges, but are generally less capable (in terms of rate of fire, magazine capacity, etc.) in a fight against an out of control government. U.S. v. Miller, by the way, would seem to argue that the Second Amendment provides much more protection for the right of private ownership of the fighting rifles than for the sporting ones. Oh, by the way, since fully automatic firearms have been heavily regulated for over seven decades (and have been even more heavily regulated since 1986), and since the now (thankfully) expired ban on so-called "assault weapons" dealt only with semi-automatic firearms, there is no relationship between the "assault weapons" ban and the "machine pistols and automatic rifles" that so offend you.

He basically goes onto say that America already has too many guns, and as a result, far too many shootings (he doesn't bother to establish a causal relationship--we are supposed to accept that without question).
Lives already are being lost as the deadly deluge of firearms inundates Detroit, Philadelphia, and other besieged cities -- overwhelming police departments and slaughtering citizens. In 2005, 846 American service members died in Iraq; 10,100 U.S. civilians died from gunshot wounds.
What does he want us to do, withdraw from the U.S. (come to think of it, I think that's precisely what he ought to do)? By the way, care to address the "deadly deluge" of felonious thugs inundating these "besieged cities"? Didn't think so.
If the Supreme Court decides that Washington, D.C., does not have the right to ban handguns, it countermands local firearms regulation nationwide. Yet for these deadly weapons and their ammunition to go unregulated is absurd. The court must decide, then, whether regulation should occur instead at state or federal levels.

Federal precedent exists: The Treasury Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has posted its list of 10 categories of people "who cannot legally receive or possess firearms and/or ammunition."
You're missing the point, Lee--if Heller ends up invalidating all local gun legislation (something I don't expect to happen, even at my most optimistic), it certainly invalidates federal gun laws, and some believe that it would strike a telling blow against the scourge of state firearms legislation, as well (again, I'm not quite so optimistic, but it's a compelling argument). By the way, you're about five years out of date--since the Homeland Security Act (signed in 2002), the BATFE has been part of the Department of Justice, rather than the Treasury Department.
The Second Amendment disappears atop the frothing surge of hundreds of millions of already "owned" guns flooding our streets. The Supreme Court needs to dismiss District of Columbia v. Heller as inapplicable, handing down instead a decision concerning the level at which these deadly weapons are to be regulated for public safety.
Translation: I don't like the Second Amendment--it's scary--make it go away.

This went a little long, and dealing with Gaillard's tyranny enabling screed for this long might force me to take another shower, but when I get started, I have trouble stopping.

Documents don't "live and breathe," Lee--if the Second Amendment doesn't fit well with your tyranny enabling agenda, work to repeal it. Good luck with that. If you do manage that, and strip Americans of the Constitutional guarantee of the preexisting fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms, then you can try to disarm us. Oh, and one more thing . . .

Molon Labe.

UPDATE: Nicki is all over this clown, too.


Don said...

I'm going to make a confession that might make me look stupid later.

I'm three credit hours from a Master's Degree in special education, and I've been teaching what we now call the "language arts" professionally for seven years now.

I don't know what an "introductory absolute phrase" is. If such a thing existed before he coined the term, I daresay it could be considered somewhat obscure.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

Damn--it seems I may never find out what an "introductory absolute phrase" is.

Don said...

Found it--it's about as obscure as I thought, but it's still just a modifier.

Anonymous said...

I read a column from Lee Gaillard's January 2008 piece on the outmoded Second Amendment posted by the Seattle Times.
Lee has shown that despite his ignorance and irresponsibility with the pen, he is nonetheless allowed the right to a public forum (via the First Amendment). Unfortunately, or perhaps not, we are not required as citizens of this country be governmentally trained and approved in the art of literary expression and First Amendment duties before engaging our inkish weaponry upon the public. Hypocritically, Gaillard has pointed out the undated and outmoded nature of an individual's natural right to defend one's own life, liberty, and property. If Lee had done his homework, he would have at least read the DOJ document on the Second Amendment Securing an Individual's Right, from August 2004: http://www.usdoj.gov/olc/secondamendment2.pdf . From there, he could (if he truly treasured the first amendment's potential to make society a better place for us all) have further researched international crime statistics, as well as compared per capita statistics of crimes committed by persons based on a number of factors. Such research reveals data that can be used to solve specific crime-related problems with analysis, logic, and objectivity; instead of emotion, cliches, and pop-culture trends. It's these latter three items that get people into trouble.
The Internet affords all savvy writers, columnists, even citizens, (not to mention government personnel), access to such data: good, bad and ugly. For those seeking the truth, the answers are there, and it is more accessible than ever. Lee's rather limp and sickly piece of writing spilled into the public forum via the press is evidence that the "Bill of Rights" is just that, and not a "Bill of Privileges Granted by Your Benevolent Government".
Ironically, Lee has indeed successfully demonstrated the need to protect the public, not from one's use of the Second Amendment, but instead from his use of the First Amendment.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

Very well said, Anon--thanks for reading, and commenting.