Loose Constructionism and the United States Constitution

Posted on March 26, 2014. Filed under: Government, Politics, United States Constitution | Tags: , , |

A couple of weeks ago, Justice Antonin Scalia gave a speech about the Constitution (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/03/15/justice-scalia-constitution-is-not-living-organism/) in which he claimed that the Constitution is not a living document. There are those who argue that it is, referred to as loose constructionism. We live in a day and age where the Constitution is constantly under fire, and the interpretation is based on whim, depending on the agenda.

Take Obamacare, for instance.

The whole purpose behind universal healthcare, or Obamacare, is constitutional, supporters claim. It falls under the General Welfare Clause:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

The Founders did not mean the government should provide for healthcare, only they should provide for the general welfare. By general, they meant general health (making sure the food supply isn’t making people sick, etc), general happiness, and the ability to work, be educated, be as safe as we can and to live free. It is not, as some have suggested, the concern of the government for us to be moral. You want to be moral? Go to church. Leave it out of the government.

One of the key phrases in the Constitution is whether a bill is Necessary and Proper, something that is never debated today. The President has taken to issuing executive orders in place of law passed by Congress to try to move his agenda forward. The Constitution not does not give him this power, but doing this would be considered, as James Madison put it, unnecessary and improper. Does it become an impeachable offense? Probably not, and it needs to be challenged in front of the Supreme Court to put a stop to it.

For example, is Social Security necessary? Is it Proper for the Federal government to be behind this program?

Medicare? Medicaid?

If we already have these programs in place for the elderly and the poor, why do we need Obamacare? Aren’t most of the people signing up being sent to Medicaid anyway? So why do the rest of us have to purchase health insurance if we don’t want to?

The problem stems from this concept that the Constitution is a living document, a document that changes in meaning as society changes. I had a long discussion with a local radio personality about whether the Constitution was a living document or not. It was his contention that since the Constitution could be amended, that makes it a living document.

In reality, that is not what it means when someone refers to the Constitution as a living document.

Take the Second Amendment, for example.

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.

Today, schools are trying to teach that you have the right to keep and bear arms, only if you are in a militia, only if you register them, only if you have not been in prison, and it restricts you to only certain types of weapons.

Wow. Does anyone else see all that in those words?

As I pointed out in my section on the Second Amendment (under the Meet the Constitution tab), the States feared that the Federal government would stop funding the State militias, leaving them defenseless against invaders, and the government itself, not these crazy stories about fearing slave revolts or squads of men hunting fugitive slaves. After all, New York, a State that had abolished slavery, was one of the primary forces behind this amendment. Yes, it means that people in each State can keep and bear arms for defense, self defense; defense of the community, defense of the State, and if needed, defense of the nation. That the State militias were evolved into the National Guard does not render this amendment invalid. The key words are shall not be infringed.

I’ve argued before that the Second Amendment does not limit the types of arms you may own, arguing that it includes cannon, aircraft, tanks, and explosives. Of course the government disagrees with that, but they have their own agenda. I found this interesting website that explains the Constitution to kids, and found this under the Second Amendment:

Bear arms: When the Second Amendment was written, arms meant weapons. [Editor’s Note: It still does] The word arms did not necessarily only mean guns, but it definitely included guns. The Second Amendment did not specifically explain what categories or types of arms nor did it list what weapons were considered arms. When you bear arms, this means you physically carry weapon. You may have arms in your home as well as on your person.

Shall not be infringed: The Second Amendment does not grant any right to bear arms. Furthermore, the rest of the Bill of Rights does not describe any right to do so. These rights are thought of as natural rights or God-given rights. In the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment is just a reminder to the government that they should not try to stop people from having this right. 

What they said is true, to a point, but they stopped short. The Second Amendment does not categorize weapons, because there are no categories. A weapon is a weapon, this goes for a rifle as well as a cannon. Plus, they are incorrect about their definition. To bear does mean to carry, but it also mean to bring, to possess, to have and to use. And the Second Amendment is not a reminder to the government, it is a prohibition upon the government to keep them from taking the arms from private citizens.

This is the idea of a living document. The notion that we can change the meaning of the words by parsing commas and semicolons, or in the case cited above, by leaving out certain definitions. That we can sit here and say that the Founding Fathers only meant muskets, which is an absurd notion, considering, by that logic, the First Amendment does not apply to social media, the internet, television, radio, etc.

Is not the FCC, government controllers of the airwaves, an anti-First Amendment agency? Does it not say that there are certain things you cannot say on broadcast television, or on the radio, and fines you if such things are said?

I know people who say that the Second Amendment should be abolished, that if we take all of the weapons from law abiding citizens, then somehow, criminals and murderers will never get them. This too, is absurd and naive.

As with most things, people don’t ask “is this Necessary? Is it Proper?” They just jump on the party bandwagon and off they go.

People spend too much time parsing the words on the paper that they tend to forget that the Bill of Rights is not a be all, end all list of rights, and those rights are not subject to the whims of the government.

We tend to forget the Ninth Amendment:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Just because it is not listed in the Bill of Rights does not mean that other rights do not exist.

But it isn’t just those on the left who do things like this. I have friends on the right who do this sort of thing as well.

Let’s go back to the Second Amendment.

California is putting several gun control laws into place. My friends on the right are screaming “California is violating our rights!”

Here’s the problem. The Second Amendment applies only to the Federal government, unless otherwise specified! If you look at Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution, the States are specifically forbidden from doing certain activities:

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

The Bill of Rights are a set of guarantees that the Federal government shall not do certain things. In other words, the States are not required to guarantee your right to bear arms. Why not?

The Tenth Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The problem extends back to the Warren Court of the 1950s and 60s, when they began to apply the whole of the Constitution to the States. This is a gross misinterpretation and misrepresentation of the United States Constitution. They took the concept of the living document to a whole new level.

While I think that what California is doing is wrong, I think the government is well within its power, until such time as California’s constitution is amended. If the United States Constitution applies to all of the States, what is the point of each State having its own Constitution?

Connecticut, on the other hand, is violating its own Constitution by even threatening citizens who don’t register their arms with confiscation and imprisonment. Connecticut does guarantee the right to keep and bear arms.

The Constitution is not a living document, to be interpreted as we see fit. There is no need to divine the Founders intentions, it is all right there in plain English.

But it is also not a document of convenience, that it somehow does not apply when it doesn’t fit our world view.

 

 

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

MSNBC: Gun Rights Activists Secretly Pro-Slavery

Posted on August 20, 2013. Filed under: Government, Gun Control | Tags: , , |

MSNBC

MSNBC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

MSNBC talking head Joy Reid went onto some program on MSNBC that passes for a news show, and the topic was gun control (what else would they be discussing on MSNBC?).

Reid, who is black, immediately had to pull out the slave card.

“There’s this sort of neo-Confederate thread that runs through this pro-gun movement and NRA movement,”

Really. According to most liberals, the Confederacy was all about keeping the blacks in slavery. A moral evil, without a doubt, but to the aristocrats in charge, the question was about states’ rights. To the average person, they felt they were defending their homes against invasion.

According to Reid, these “neo-Confederates” are not allowing the states to decide their own gun laws for themselves.

The Confederate cause was about states’ rights, at least from their point of view, but to throw out neo-Confederate shows a complete ignorance of anything to do with the Confederate cause.

But in one fell swoop, she links gun rights activists in with slavery and the neo-conservative movement, which is linked to neo-nazism .

Do these people really have any idea what the word neo even means?

Her complete thought:

“There’s this sort of neo-Confederate thread that runs through this pro-gun movement and NRA movement, and they believe in tenthorism (sic) and try to pull back from Federalism in everything but this. Because when a state decides that it wants to pass gun laws, they say ‘oh no no no no no’. We won’t even let a state decide its own gun laws. We’re going to go in and upend and pull back anything that restricts gun ownership and they will go state by state and do that, they try to challenge it in states, even blue states like Illinois, so there’s this sense that states don’t have the right to restrict gun use within their borders, the NRA will come in, helicopter in and do that.”

Okay, one thing at a time.

Tentherism, of which I am a member, is the belief that most actions by the Federal government are unconstitutional. I spelled it differently in her quote, because that’s how she pronounced it.

Here’s where the liberals try to have it both ways. They accuse gun rights activists of trying to undermine states’ rights, while squashing the notion that states should be able to decide issues for themselves, like abortion and healthcare, or even environmental policy. It was the Warren Court of the 50’s and 60’s that began to apply the Federal constitution to the states. There are restrictions placed upon the states within the Constitution, but the First amendment does not apply to the states, it applies to Congress. The Second Amendment does not apply to the states, it applies to Congress. The third, the fourth, and so on.

While discussing the issue of gun control, she was discussing Colorado, which has enacted a few gun control laws (which the host of the show called “very practical measures”.

However, liberals believe that the Bill of Rights applies to the states, when it is convenient for them to do so. The y believe this so much that they tend to ignore that the states even have their own constitutions, a fact that has been lost since the rise of progressivism to prominence.

If Ms. Reid had bothered to look, she would have found this little tidbit in the Colorado constitution.

Section 13. That the right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person or property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall he be called into question; but nothing herein contained shall be  construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons.

Yet that’s what the passage of the Colorado laws have done exactly. Requiring background checks is an infringement of your rights.

Per the Colorado constitution, the right of NO person to keep and bear arms…., this means felons as well, so whatever your background checks turns up is invalid.

But then the liberals would start screaming that Federal law prohibits Felons from owning firearms.

So, then the states can’t decide for themselves.

In other words, the NRA is not trying to prevent Colorado from deciding for itself, it is trying to help recall those who voted to take Coloradans from them, and force the state to follow its own constitution.

In other words, trying to make a state follow its own constitution is the equivalent of Federalism, taking the rights of the states away from them.

These news stations have these idiot contributors who come on and contribute nothing but babble, throwing out big words like “Tentherism” and “neo-confederate”.

So just remember the next time you want to go out and defend your right to arms, you really want to put black people back into slavery.

Isn’t that a bit ironic? Gun rights activists are the ones who secretly want to put non-whites back into slavery, while it is the gun control activists who were the ones who enacted some of the first gun control laws, primarily to prevent blacks from obtaining firearms?

 

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Nanny Bloomberg’s Program of “Stop & Frisk” Unconstitutional

Posted on August 13, 2013. Filed under: Government, Police State | Tags: , , |

Bloomberg as The Nanny

Bloomberg as The Nanny (Photo credit: swanksalot)

A Federal judge ruled yesterday that New York City’s policy of “stop and frisk” was unconstitutional. In other words, it’s against the law.

Nanny Bloomberg, who knows what’s best for us all has suffered his second defeat this year.

Stopping someone on the street an d frisking them just because goes against the Fourth Amendment, no matter what the Nanny proclaims. Searching someone without probable cause or a warrant is not allowed. It doesn’t matter if the person is black, Latino, Hispanic, Asian, or white.

Bloomberg maintains that the police have confiscated thousands of guns, and they have saved countless lives.

In other words, this is an extension of Bloomberg’s war on the Second Amendment.

To stop a black man and frisk him as he walks down the street, then confiscating a gun just because he may have one? What made you think he might be carrying a gun? Was he brandishing it?

Oh, he was “fidgety”, looking over his shoulder? Walking a certain way?

Seriously? That’s your probable cause?

But what this amounts to is a victory for a community that feels that they get no justice in the court system. Blacks are suspicious of police, and with good cause. Look at New York and how the cops treat them. Look at Los Angeles, which has had a corrupt police force for decades.

We’ve come a long ways from the days of Adam-12.

A black man goes on a murder spree in Los Angeles. Instead of bringing him in, the police (sheriff) burns him alive. It conveniently leaves little evidence.

I’ve read quite a bit about the stop and frisk program, and I agree that it is wrong, but it won’t stop Bloomberg and his anti-gun crusade.

In his mind, the ends justify the means, no matter how many people he has to trample over to get what he wants.

Bloomberg is the epitome of what’s wrong with our government. He’s a Democrat in disguise.

He is like most other Democrats whose policies hurt the black community, yet they continue to vote for the Dems, election after election, to their own detriment.

 

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

It’s Finally Finished!

Posted on June 11, 2013. Filed under: Founding Fathers, Government, Gun Control, Politics, United States Constitution | Tags: |

Bill of Rights, 09/25/1789

The Bill of Rights, 09/25/1789 (Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives)

It has taken me awhile, but I finally finished my essay on the Second Amendment.

It is in five parts, looking into the thoughts of the State governments, the Founding Fathers, the First Congress, ordinary citizens and observers from the period.

The final part are the conclusions that I have drawn from my research.

I think a few people will be surprised at the outcome.

Check it out!

http://observationpostblog.com/meet-the-constitution/the-bill-of-rights-the-second-amendment/

I need a break, now.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Bill Maher: “The Second Amendment is Bullshit!”

Posted on May 21, 2013. Filed under: Gun Control, Politics | Tags: , , , |

Bill Maher and Ingrid Newkirk

Bill Maher and Ingrid Newkirk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve said many times before that I don’t watch Real Time with Bill Maher, but I watch quite a bit of HBO (Game of Thrones and movies), and sometimes it just happens to be on and I catch part of it.

Earlier this week, Michael “Fatboy” Moore and Bill “I look like a pedophile” Maher were at it again.

First, Maher states that after taxes went up, the deficit fell more than expected. Don’t get me wrong, that’s always a good thing. He concluded that these tax increases really weren’t hurting anyone.

I sat there in disbelief. I shouldn’t have been shocked, because I think Maher is a smug, arrogant ass who hasn’t a clue what he is talking about.

Yes, the deficit is decreasing, but the debt is still increasing! The two are not the same thing, but what he is saying is that the debt isn’t increasing as fast as it had been.

One of his other panelists, a columnist from the New York Times did not that the economy was slowing down from the tax increases, but Maher doesn’t care. The deficit is coming down! Who cares if we all start losing our jobs again? He’s got a secure position as a useful idiot on pay television.

The conversation then swung to the Second Amendment. Moore started in about statistics that said 81% of young people didn’t want to have a gun, so they were winning that battle. Of course he never cites the source of his numbers, so as usual, he’s probably pulling them out of his fat ass.

Moore expressed disgust at the notion of background checks being blocked in Congress.

MSNBC host SE Cupp pointed out that background checks assume that the person has some nefarious purpose for purchasing a weapon, and they have to prove they are not a criminal in order to get one. That’s the same as saying you are guilt until proven innocent.

Of course, Moore said that “if you want to purchase a weapon that can kill 20 school children, I want to know where it is”. So, for Moore, it isn’t just about the weapon itself, it is about invading your privacy.

“We the People, that means the majority, and the majority want gun control.”

I can’t find the exact page where I saw it, but it is my understanding that the desire for gun control spiked after Sandy Hook, and has been declining ever since, dropping below a majority last month during the push for gun control legislation, possibly due to people seeing what some of the states were doing, like New York, California, and the proposals in Oregon and Washington.

There is a term that Moore obviously never learned, and that is the “Tyranny of the Majority”.

If a majority wants to try to take rights away from people, that is a form of tyranny. It is commonly misunderstood that only governments can be tyrants.

He also went on to say that he wants the Second Amendment “amended” to say that “we agree with what the Founders wanted, but it only covers muskets….”

That is where these liberal idiots go wrong.

The Second Amendment isn’t about  muskets.

The Founding Fathers were smart enough to design a system of government almost from scratch. In order to do so, they drew from what the States were doing, English Parliament, and ancient Rome. If they were smart enough to know the history of ancient Rome, then they were smart enough to know that weapons evolved over time, from the rock and club, to the dagger, to the sword, the spear, bow and arrow to the musket. I’m sure they realized that weapons would continue to evolve. To say that they only meant muskets is blatantly ignorant, but should come as no surprise to anyone that Moore believes this while he hides behind his armed bodyguards.

But I think the ignorant quote of the night came from greaseball Maher.

“The Second amendment is bullshit. It says a well-regulated militia, and we have neither militia nor is it well-regulated.”

So I guess the California National Guard isn’t militia, nor has it been “well-regulated”.

It’s true, the National Guard is not a militia in the sense that it meant before the 1900’s. Today’s militia is much better trained and organized. The State militias would train within their own states, they did not go off to Basic Training.

Make no mistake, the First Congress agreed that the Second Amendment is about militias. Their debates make that crystal clear. However, because some of the states feared that Congress would defund the militias and not arm them, the Amendment came to be. Why?

The militia were made up of the citizenry, and they were expected to serve in it. It wasn’t like it is today, where people volunteer to join. While I won’t say participation was mandatory back then, because I’m not sure if it was, but young men of certain ages were expected to serve. In case of emergency, they were expected to grab their weapons and come at a moments notice. The Massachusetts Minutemen were great examples of this expectation.

In order for the militia to grab their arms and rush off at a moment’s notice, they need to have their weapons handy and ready to go.

Thus “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.

Things have changed over the last 200+ years, but does it really matter?

Somewhere around the turn of the 20th Century, things changed. The militias were changed into the “National” Guard, and became more an extension of the Federal government, a reserve force for the Army. They are Federalized every time we go to war, or if there is a disaster. They are usually first on the scene. their role has been greatly expanded. But does that mean that the people no longer need to right to arms?

James Madison wrote in the Federalist #46 “Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.

What advantage does being armed give us, I wonder? Why would European kingdoms not trust their citizens with weapons? To defending against tyranny and keeping the government in check?

While very few came out and directly said “it is to defend against tyranny of the government”, there were those who said it, and some were very influential.

This government is reaching a point where it is afraid to trust the citizenry with weapons, and using children and tragedy to attempt to strip away the rights of the people.

In a perfect world, people would not kill other people. People would not steal from others, and governments would not grow too large and oppress people, but alas, we don’t live in a perfect world.

Today, we are seeing what a large government is capable of doing. How much longer do we tolerate it?

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

The Second Amendment, Part One Has Been Added!

Posted on April 24, 2013. Filed under: Founding Fathers, History, United States Constitution | Tags: , , , |

I finally finished the part one of my series of articles about the Second Amendment. In it I attempt to address how the amendment came into being and the links between the Second Amendment and slavery.

I hope you find it interesting and helpful. I will be posting part two as soon as I am able, covering the Congressional debates, and how Congress viewed the meaning of the Amendment.

The article is here:

The Bill Of Rights: The Second Amendment

Just follow the link on the page.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

The Most Dangerous Man in America

Posted on April 23, 2013. Filed under: Police State, Politics, Terrorism, United States Constitution | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Michael Bloomberg - Cartoon

Michael Bloomberg (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

It never fails that whenever an attack happens on our soil, those out there waiting in the wings to take more power for themselves, and rob us of our liberties start coming out of the woodwork.

Michael Bloomberg is one such person, and he is nothing less than a tyrant and a despot.

The man known for arbitrarily and capriciously banning sugary drinks in New York said yesterday that the people who are worried about privacy have a legitimate worry, but we live in a complex word where you’re going to have to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will. And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution, I think, have to change.

You have a legitimate worry about privacy, but tough shit. We’re going to eliminate it anyway.

We need more cameras to watch over us and protect our public safety.

Cameras didn’t stop the bombing. Cameras didn’t stop hijackers from flying airplanes into buildings.

Look, we live in a very dangerous world. We know there are people who want to take away our freedoms. New Yorkers probably know that as much if not more than anybody else after the terrible tragedy of 9/11.

You mean like the choice to buy a Big Gulp or a Super Big Gulp?

Clearly the  Supreme Court has recognized that you have to have different interpretations of the Second Amendment and what it applies to and reasonable gun laws … Here we’re going to to have to live with reasonable levels of security.

But you don’t want to take away our freedoms.

Note how he smoothly slipped gun control in there. I wasn’t aware that the bombers killed and maimed people with guns. Oh yeah, they didn’t have permits for the guns they used to shoot at police. If only we had a law that would require them to obtain permits. Wait, Massachusetts does have such laws! And they weren’t followed? What a surprise!

It really says something bad about us that we have to do it. But our obligation first and foremost is to keep our kids safe in the schools; first and foremost, to keep you safe if you go to a sporting event; first and foremost is to keep you safe if you walk down the streets or go into our parks. We cannot let the terrorists put us in a situation where we can’t do those things. And the ways to do that is to provide what we think is an appropriate level of protection.

It’s really for your own good that we curtail your freedoms and rights, because there are those out there who want to take your freedoms and your rights from you.

What we can’t do is let the protection get in the way of us enjoying our freedoms. You still want to let people practice their religion, no matter what that religion is. And I think one of the great dangers here is going and categorizing anybody from one religion as a terrorist. That’s not true … That would let the terrorists win. That’s what they want us to do.

Says the man who has stepped up surveillance of the Muslim Community.

We cannot categorize anybody from one religion as a terrorist, yet over and over, these acts are perpetrated by people of ONE SINGLE RELIGION! I don’t see the Jews blowing themselves up. I don’t see Christians blowing themselves up. I don’t see Buddhists blowing themselves up (they are more into self immolation). I don’t see Hindus or Sikhs blowing themselves up.

ONLY FRICKIN’ MUSLIMS!

Bloomberg is a benevolent tyrant. He doesn’t want to do these things because he wants to, he has to do these things, because if we retain out Second Amendment, Fourth Amendment or Fifth Amendment rights, then the terrorists win!

He wants to take care of us because we can’t do it on our own.

There is very little in the Constitution that can be interpreted differently. The only thing open for interpretation is our rights.

As much as I loathe to use Alex Jones as a source, this video is chilling. This was during the house to house search for the terrorist suspect who had fled Friday. Because the police are looking for a suspect, they toss out everyone’s Fourth Amendment rights.

It is NEVER okay, under ANY circumstances to violate the rights of the citizens. These people didn’t do anything wrong, yet they are being treated like criminals.

Is that what it looked like when the Japanese Americans were rounded up and taken to internment camps?

Is that what it looked like when the Nazis rounded up the Jews?

When they come to confiscate your weapons, I expect it will look like this.

December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor. End result: Japanese Americans rounded up (while German Americans were left alone), and we were left with a much larger standing army.

September 11, 2001: World Trade Center/Pentagon. End result: Homeland Security and Patriot Act. More government watchdogs.

April 15, 2013. Boston Marathon bombing. End Result: ???

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

The Bill of Rights: The Second Amendment Research Paper

Posted on April 19, 2013. Filed under: Founding Fathers, History, United States Constitution | Tags: , , , , |

I can’t believe this.

Portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peal...

Portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale, 1805. Is he wearing a fur coat?

I’ve said many, many, many times that I do a lot of reading in the course of my research.

Right now I’m researching the history and roots of the Second Amendment, based on the debates and records of the Founding Fathers, resources from universities and the Library of Congress. No garbage from a book written in 2003 that has material from Thomas Jefferson that no one else has ever heard of. Only verifiable sources for me.

In addition, I am trying to provide links to the resources I have used so readers and researchers can find them as well.

I’ve been in note taking mode for a few weeks, which is why there have been some other amendments that have appeared on the list before this one.

So far, I am close to 5000 words in notes alone, and I feel I have barely started. I still have to turn those notes into a coherent article.

It is getting so large because I am trying to definitively answer these questions:

  • What exactly did the Founders mean?
  • Did the Founders mean that all individuals could keep and bear arms, or only militias?
  • Was the Second Amendment a compromise meant to allow the states to quell slave rebellions?
  • Was it meant to hold blacks in slavery?
  • Was it meant to allow people to hunt, or shoot for sport?
  • Was it meant to give the people a means of defense against a tyrannical government?

I am surprised at some of the answers that I’ve been coming up with.

I’m hoping that the answers won’t be too subjective. I don’t want people accusing me of “cherry picking” my Founding Fathers, and I don’t want to use spurious quotes (there’s a lot of them from Thomas Jefferson floating around, hence the picture of him).

I am working on it, but I have a feeling it is going to at least double, if not triple in size, so I may have to break it down into chapters and put it out in bite sized chunks.

It wouldn’t be so bad if I were a team of researchers, but I’m not. I’m just one person.

I’m sure I am going to be exhausted and need a break when I’m finally finished.

You can read the completed project by following this link.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

Manchin-Toomey Compromise Defeated in Senate

Posted on April 18, 2013. Filed under: Gun Control, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Reid’s gun control proposal is dead. For the moment, anyway.

Even though Reid himself voted against his bill (allegedly for procedural reasons so he could re-introduce it later), Reid had this to say after the amendment was defeated:

In the 1920s, organized crime was committing murders with machine guns. So Congress dramatically limited the sale and transfer of machine guns. As a result, machine guns all but disappeared from the streets. We can and should take the same common-sense approach to safeguard Americans from modern weapons of war.

Let’s take a look back into history. The government and the states had just instituted the Prohibition constitutional amendment, creating a huge black market for alcohol. Of course the mafia stepped in. This was a problem created by the government, not something that just sprang out of thin air.

But what Reid is saying is that the National Firearms Act of 1934 made all the bad guns disappear.

Did it? Or was it because Prohibition ended in 1933, thus ending the black market for alcohol?

Did criminals finally decide, with the NFA that they should just turn in their weapons? Hardly.

But Reid went on to say:

And I will vote for [Dianne Feinstein’s assault weapons] ban because saving the lives of young police officers and innocent civilians is more important than preventing imagined tyranny.

Imagined tyranny? Imagined?

Any time the government moves to restrict the rights of the citizens, that’s tyranny.

Gabby Giffords - Why does she need such a large magazine?

Gabby Giffords – Why does she need such a large magazine?

President Obama, flanked by his lapdog, Joe Biden on one side and Gabby Giffords (who was pro gun rights before being shot), claims the NRA lied, and if anyone would know about lying, it’s Obama.

“The gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill,” he insisted, by suggesting that the bill would lead to a national gun registry, “even though it did the opposite.”

I have to take a moment and complain about that article I linked above. Here’s part of the problem that we have with journalism today. Philip Bump, the man who wrote the story said that the Senate was unable to overcome a Republican filibuster. A filibuster is a device used to prevent a piece of legislation from coming to a vote. This was voted on, so there was no filibuster to overcome, as contended by the author. This is why we are ill informed as a country, because we have people writing stories who have no idea what they are talking about. [Every other story I have read said this was a vote on the amendment, not a vote to end a filibuster, and the amendment was defeated]

Stop looking at me like that!

Doh!

Doh!

The president claims that the background check amendment would not create a registry, it would do the opposite.

Is the president saying there is already a registry in place, and that the legislation would have dismantled that registry?

It would do the opposite? Really? Who’s lying now?

The President hammered on those four Democrats who voted against, including vulnerable Montana Senator Max Baucus, but continued to blame the defeat on the Republicans.

During the first two years of his first term, Obama had a filibuster proof majority (until Scott Brown won the special election), but gun control was not on his radar (nor was gay marriage). What we have is a president who governs by expediency. Children were murdered in a heinous crime, so we must punish those who legally own weapons.

Obama claims that 90% of Americans are behind him. Again, who’s lying now?

Of course, Nanny Bloomberg was not pleased, and made the same 90% claim.

“Today’s vote is a damning indictment of the stranglehold that special interests have on Washington,” Bloomberg said. “More than 40 U.S. senators would rather turn their backs on the 90 percent of Americans who support comprehensive background checks than buck the increasingly extremist wing of the gun lobby.”

That’s the modern day Democrat. If you call the government to redress your grievances, you are a special interest. If you want to defend your rights, you are an extremist.

Nanny is the true extremist, wanting to control what people consume and how they live their lives is the extreme view. Want to strip away rights through a bill/amendment that everyone knows and admits would not have done a damn thing to prevent Newtown, is the extremist.

A friend of mine, a lefty, said that he remembered when the NRA was reasonable. There we go with the attacks again. If you you don’t agree with the Democrats, you are unreasonable.

Dianne Feinstein, of course, isn’t happy either. Her assault weapons ban was defeated 60-40. No word on blaming the Democrats that voted against it. Her belief is that the Senate is gutless to go against the American people and take away their rights.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo waded in:

The Senate’s failure to pass a bipartisan measure that is supported by the vast majority of American people is a sad statement on the power of extremists to stand in the way of reason and common sense.

It is time that the Republicans stop playing defense and get aggressive and go on the offensive. Start pointing out how the Democrats are the extremists, not the other way around. Start calling out the Democrats on their lies and bullshit. Start creating doubt, because right now, the Democrats have the country believing that they would never lie, and everything the Republicans say is a lie. They desperately need to change that image.

Of course, that isn’t the end of the debate or of the legislation. Obama has already said it is only Round One. Obama will not stop until he has successfully restricted our ability to get arms, under the guise of stopping criminals from getting them. He knows damn well none of his legislation prevents criminals from getting guns, only law abiding citizens.

Oh, and Piers Morgan! It failed, so it’s time to self deport your Limey ass back to London! Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

The Right of the States to Regulate Firearms

Posted on April 15, 2013. Filed under: Politics, United States Constitution | Tags: , , |

Cover of "The Second Amendment"

Cover of The Second Amendment

Whenever you do a lot of research and a lot of writing, every once in awhile, you run across information that completely contradicts your beliefs.

I believe that the Constitution applies only to the Federal government, and not to the states as the Supreme Court has held that it does for the past 100 or so years.

The Constitution specifically prohibits the states from performing certain actions, but says in the Tenth Amendment that anything not any power not given the Federal government, or prohibited to the states, is reserved to the states.

Thus, the First Amendment, expressly stating that Congress shall make no law, is not applicable to the states. The implied notion is that the States could create a state religion if they so chose to.

As I’ve been researching the Second Amendment, I’ve learned that it was not written as a compromise with the south to ensure that they would ratify the Constitution (it was already ratified). New York and New Hampshire (along with Virginia) requested the amendment.

I’ve learned that it was not meant to cover just muskets, or weapons that they were familiar with. Breech loaders had been introduced at the time and were starting to change warfare. Also, Article I, section 8 implies that warships may be owned. And for you out there making the airplane argument, that’s just silly. The average person doesn’t have the resources to maintain an airplane.

I’ve also learned it does not apply simply to the militias. The militias were a concern at the time, because they were the primary defense of the state. State legislatures were concerned that Article I, section 8 would allow the Federal government to disarm the states by neglecting to arm the militias. In order to allay that concern, the Founders wrote what essentially said, “okay, since you are so concerned with us not funding or arming you militias, we will let you keep and bear your arms for training and defense”.

People were allowed by the Federal government to keep their arms for defense and for training purposes. I have found no evidence that they were meant for overthrowing the government. There are hints and suggestions, but no one came out directly and said it. That does not mean that it isn’t there, but I have yet to find one single debate from one of the Founders or Congress that debated this that mentions overthrowing the government.

Where does this clash with my beliefs?

It clashes because we complain that Connecticut, New York, California and Oregon are trying to pass laws restricting gun rights.

It clashes, because the Second Amendment is a prohibition on the Federal government, not the states.

Even though the Supreme Court has held for the past 100 or so years that the Constitution applies to the states, I believe that this is incorrect, and a usurpation of states’ rights by the Supreme Court.

The Constitution enumerates a list of powers prohibited to the states, but the Tenth Amendment states that any power not delegated to the Federal government, nor prohibited is reserved to the states (or the people).

Gun rights advocates cannot have it both ways. Either the Second Amendment does not apply to the states, or the states have no power.

I lean to the former. The Federal government cannot prohibit arms, but the states can, if they so choose. Then it would be an issue for the state supreme courts, not the Federal courts.

The Oregon Constitution states that the people have the right to bear arms for their defense and the defense of the state, but that the state militia is subordinate to the state. It is important to note that the state Constitution does not guarantee the right to keep arms.

The Connecticut constitution also guarantees the right to bear arms, but not the right to keep them:

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

In California, there is a petition going around that people are signing calling for the banning and confiscation of firearms.

California would be well within its legal rights to ban and confiscate any weapon. The California constitution holds no provision for guaranteeing the right to arms, at all.

The closest it comes is saying that individuals have the right to defend their property, and that the US Constitution is the Supreme Law of the land.

As much as we complain about the individual states, I believe that they do have the right to ban arms if they so choose.

That does not mean that I think it is a good idea, or that people should not fight to protect their rights. The Bill of Rights must be applied evenly and consistently. If it applies to the states, then the states’ constitutions are null and void.

We need to reverse that nationalistic tendency that we’ve fallen into the last hundred or so years. Let the states decide what’s best for them, not the Federal government. Let things be handled on the state level and make the Federal government do what it was originally intended. Let them deal with North Korea and China, while we worry about our schools and our rights.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

« Previous Entries
  • Recent Posts

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Meta

  • Blog Stats

    • 14,734 hits

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: