The “gun control” narrative of the left is that they support the Second Amendment but there must be “reasonable common sense” limits on firearms ownership.
But what does the Second Amendment mean? The founding fathers did not intend that the Constitution be so complicated that it would require legal scholars to interpret it.
In the prefatory clause, the “well-regulated militia” is clearly armed citizens organized and practiced in military operations as a safeguard against tyranny.
Tyranny can come from any level of government, and that was the issue of that day.
The claim that any level of government required a constitutional amendment to establish a military is preposterous. Included in the definition of militia is a rebel force in opposition to a standing army.
Any standing army, including a state’s “national guard,” which can be and is often used as an arm of the federal government.
Justice Scalia, in the Heller decision, recast 2A’s meaning as an individual right that, at its peak, is a personal defense in the home.
This re-casting was due, in the opinion, to its’ original intent no longer being practical in the contemporary due to the government’s advanced military technology.
My contention is that the court does not have the power to do that. It is my belief that this was a political compromise to appease Justice Kennedy, who was, at that time, neither a “progressive,” nor a strict constructionist but had his own ideas.
Justice Scalia did this knowing it would be a 5-to-4 decision that would pivot around Kennedy.
This sort of creative re-casting of the law was something that Justice Scalia would normally have railed against, but the decision going the other way was unthinkable to him (and me), so (in my opinion) he did what he needed to do.
But going back to the talking points of the left, and their “support” of 2A with “reasonable common sense limits,” what are those limits?
They seem to propose that what is central to the Second Amendment is hunting. A ridiculous assertion on its face. Did the framers fear that hunting would someday be outlawed?
It conforms with neither Heller nor the original meaning.
A modern semi-automatic rifle, like an AR15, in the original meaning of 2A would not just be implicated, but would be central to its intent, and a lower, not an upper limit.
The Heller decision version of 2A clearly defined protected firearms as those “in common use”. The left continuously sites the content of Heller that allowed for “reasonable regulation” (which it does), and that Justice Scalia even gave an example of an M16 as a reasonable limit.
But an AR15 is very different than an M16 in that it cannot fire in fully automatic mode. Any ambiguity around Justice Scalia’s intent is immediately made clear by the case of Friedman vs The City of Highland Park (SCOTUS, 2015).
This was a challenge to an “assault weapon ban” where the appellate courts applied a lowered standard of review (the “balancing test” embraced by leftist judges to turn Constitutional law on its head and advance the progressive agenda with impunity.
See “The Balancing Test”, McFadden, Boston College Law Review, volume 29, issue 3, number 3, 1988). The high court refused certiorari to the case. Justice Roberts made a hard left turn after President Obama scolded the court over Citizens United.
I believe he was “pressured” by the deep state, but I can’t prove that. There is no depth to which the left will not stoop.
Justices Scalia (the author of Heller), and Thomas issued a furious decent in Friedman vs The City of Highland Park and made clear that the semi-automatic rifles that were at issue ARE protected by the second amendment.
From a public policy perspective, none of the mass shooters would have been stopped by a NICS check except maybe the last guy in Florida had the government done its job.
Thirty-two people were murdered by a maniac with two ordinary Glock pistols at Virginia Tech in 2007. In 1966 Charles Whitman killed 14 and wounded 31 in the infamous Texas tower shooting with an old bolt action rifle…. And on.
So you don’t need an AR15.
In Niece France, a maniac killed 86 and injured 458 with a truck! So you don’t need a gun. Obama’s own CDC commissioned study found that you are far less likely to be injured as a crime victim if you own a firearm, and the numbers are estimated in the millions.
That was a real study, and not a progressive fraud where only defensive incidents where the firearm is discharged were counted. The vast majority of the time it is the presence of the firearm that saves the defender without the necessity of a discharge (thank God).
On the question of the relevance of the Second Amendment as a deterrent to tyranny, it is the progressive left, the would-be tyrants of the authoritarian collective state themselves, that cast the possibility of a tyranny as ridiculous.
That narrative serves their ends. These are the people who weaponized the IRS and the FBI against political enemies.
Look at England, where you can be jailed for one bullet, or for ideological speech!
Is that not tyranny? How about the progressive left takeover of universities with their goon squads that act like the Hitler Youth and enforce idealogical conformity with physical violence.
Does that not speak volumes of the left?
I once went to a pro 2A rally in Albany, and a lone anti-gun woman with a big sign ventured right into a large crowd of pro-gun mostly men.
She was absolutely safe. No one even confronted her for debate. Try that on the campus of NYU, or USC, or Columbia.
We all feel terrible for the tragedies at these schools, but public policy must not be based on emotion and hysteria. Mr. Pollack, the father of one of the victims came out and said that gun control is B.S. It’s real easy to make the school safe. Just make it like the airport and the courts with one guarded and secured entrance.
Those things don’t happen in those places anymore. What is a mind-numbing outrage to me is how you can get a rifle into a school!
It has been said that if you agree to trade freedom for security, you will end up with neither.
Progressive authoritarian collectivism will not be a utopia. It will be a dystopia as it has always been everywhere it has ever been implemented.
The American Constitutional Republic is far from perfect, but it is the best social order yet to date.