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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.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

So the Supreme Court should listen to this guy?

Willard G. Jones is concerned that the Supreme Court is going to get it wrong when ruling on District of Columbia v. Heller. Wrong in what way, you ask? Could be any of a range of things--from ruling that the right protected by the Second Amendment is actually a right, or that "of the people" means--you know . . . the people, or that "shall not be infringed" somehow means that the right . . . shall not be infringed. He apparently doesn't want SCOTUS to come to any of those conclusions.

His grasp of history (and facts, and logic) seems a bit slippery:

The Supreme Court, for the first time, is about to render a decision regarding the Second Amendment, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state (our nation), the right to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed," Certainly during and after the Revolutionary War an armed militia was critical to achieve and maintain independence since no armed forces existed.
"No armed forces existed"? There was no Continental Army, to which the militia was considered an adjunct? Boy--a whole lot of historians got that wrong.
Many citizens believe that the first part of the amendment, forming a "militia," establishes the justification for the second part, "the right to keep and bear arms."
If the first part (or any part) of the Second Amendment exists for the purpose of "forming a militia," it's a bit surprising that nothing in the language of the amendment actually does that. Silly me--here I was thinking that it was Article 1, Section 8 that did that.

Yes--the security of a free state requires that the people have the ability to form militias; and for those militias to fulfill their function, the people must have access to effective combat arms.
The first half of the amendment is independent, and the second part depends on the first for its meaning.
Not a grammarian, are you, Willard? Here's a little experiment for you: Take the first part of the amendment (the "independent" part), and have it stand alone--you get "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state." Hmm--I sense a problem. That doesn't even form a meaningful sentence. By contrast, the part that Willard claims is "dependent" on the first--"the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," does just fine as a sentence--all by its lonesome. I just love having the Constitution explained to me by someone who gets the meaning of independence exactly wrong.
Some argue that the Constitution is a static document not to be influenced by evolving history.
Anyone who argues that "the Constitution is a static document" is apparently unaware that a mechanism exists for amending it (which would seem a rather difficult detail to miss). Or, by "static document," did you mean that some reject the notion that the text takes on new meanings, as if by magic, with the passage of time? Yeah--I fear I'm one of those people who believe it means what it says, until it says something different.
However, it is hard to imagine the need to form a militia to defend our nation when we have a well-armed military and National Guard.
And who is to defend our nation from our "well-armed military and National Guard"?
Had our forefathers envisioned the proliferation of automatic and assault weapons, one wonders what impact it might have had on the Second Amendment.
Perhaps "one wonders" about that--a great many of the rest of us, on the other hand, are confident that the Founding Fathers would realize that today's militias should be able to equip themselves with the most effective light infantry weapons available.

Jones titles his screed "Supreme Court must shun outside view on Second Amendment." If he fancies himself an "insider," I'd say it's the inside view that must be shunned.
Willard G. Jones is a longtime resident of Greeley and former administrator of the University of Northern Colorado.
Let us all thank goodness that he wasn't an instructor.