What I’m talking about is the attempted ‘nullification’ of the Constitution and our Constitutional and Inalienable Right to “keep and bear arms.” What part of the words “the right of the people” escapes the grasp of those willing to neuter the Constitution and nullify our rights?
The 2nd Amendment is not about any particular style or type of firearm but the Right of the People to keep them and Protect themselves. It seems relatively simple to me, but then, I take the words of the Constitution and the Amendments to mean something. I believe that the Framers and Founders knew what they were saying, carefully weighed their words, and crafted the language with specific intent. Yes, I’m an Original Intent person!
The words of the 2nd Amendment specifically states: “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.” Nothing is mentioned about the type or style of Arms but that the people have the right to keep and bear them. It also says, specifically that this right SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED! Shall not! What part of that do you not understand?
The wording of this Amendment was suggested by Samuel Adams and John Hancock for the specific purpose of making it perfectly clear that the federal government could never infringe upon those rights. It was to avoid the confusion as to what the federal government could and could not do in this matter and was designed to guarantee that law-abiding citizens would never be restricted from owning, keeping, and bearing their own arms!
I have become convinced that Adams and others gave future generations too much credit regarding respecting the Constitution. The idea has emerged that citizens do not have the right to both keep and bear arms. The idea has been advanced by those wanting to strip us of this right, that gun ownership is a privilege, not a right. That is a slap in the face to our founders, the framers, and the document itself.
Our Founders understood and believed that Rights come from God, not the government. They believed so strongly that the right of ‘self-defense’ was an Inalienable Right that they carefully constructed the wording of the Amendment. Today, it seems, that many on the Right and on the Left, have the idea that it is within the purview and right of the federal government to ‘curtail’ gun ownership. It is also being advanced that the federal government has the right to determine what type, style, and caliber arms we can own.
That is both incoherent and contextually inaccurate regarding the 2nd Amendment. The words of the Amendment seem to matter little in today’s politically charged America. If we lose the Constitution to private or party interpretation, we lose the Republic. Chris Cuomo of CNN tweeted that “there is no individual right” in the 2nd Amendment. He is wrong and now deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia rightly referred to the “individual right” in the Heller v. District of Columbia decision.
Winston Churchill offered a thought that gives understanding as to why and how people like Cuomo would think as they do. He was not speaking specifically to this kind of Constitutional ignorance, but it could be rightly applied. Churchill said that, for human beings, “five years is a lot. Twenty Years is the horizon for most people. Fifty years is antiquity.” This is why I am staunchly on the side of Original Intent and believe that if we view the Constitution in any other light, we lose its meaning, purpose, and power.
We managed to span 146 years from the ratification of the Constitution and the Amendments before we were burdened with America’s first sweeping federal gun law. In 1934, the National Firearms Act (NFA), was rammed down America’s throat by well-meaning legislators. I say well-meaning because I hope they were not simply being nefarious and intent on stripping us of our Constitutional Right to “keep and bear arms.”
Today, we have the idea being bandied about by people on both sides that we must ‘do something’ therefore some type of ‘gun ban’ is necessary. That notion of the federal government has the right or ability to ‘ban guns’ is anathema to our American sensibilities, the Constitution, and the 2nd Amendment. It should be resoundingly rejected without out further debate, but it isn’t and won’t be. Prior to the NFA in 1934 everyone understood and respected the reality that the 2nd Amendment prohibited that kind of action and gave no right to government to impede, infringe upon, or ban gun ownership.
The Thompson Sub-machine Gun and all automatic weapons were banned because it was deemed that there was no justifiable need that was commensurate with the risk involved in the public owning them. I will be blasted for this thought, but I believe that was a wrong decision based on my view and understanding of the Constitution. If we take the position that there has to be a legitimate need that justifies a risk, then we will quickly morph into a view that ‘no firearm’ is justified. It is a very slippery slope.
Since we already have NFA and all automatic weapons are banned we do not need further gun bans, restrictions, or laws to prohibit ownership of firearms. Simply because a rifle or firearm is cosmetically amorphous and identified incorrectly identified as military-style assault rifles do not justify the ban. We have no need for new gun laws and no new gun law will prevent further mass shootings or murders.
NFA made it almost impossible for the average law-abiding citizens to own any automatic weapon. The cost is prohibitive and the tax exorbitant on them. I consider it quite egregious for the federal government to pass any laws or offer any edicts that ban firearms. Even after NFA for over 50 years it was understood that law-abiding Americans could own a machine gun providing it was properly registered and purchased. In 1986 that changed with the ‘banning’ of automatic weapons in the Hughes Amendment to the National Firearms Owner’s Protection Act (FOPA).
Ronald Reagan is reported to have considered vetoing that bill but was convinced by the NRA to no do so. They believed the Supreme Court would throw the law out as unconstitutional. He failure to veto was a bad decision ,constitutionally. We are fighting for our Constitutional Rights and Liberties and regardless of how you feel about firearms, we the people have the Constitutional Right to “keep and bear Arms.” A right that, per our founders was not to be infringed.
God bless you and God bless America!