12 October 2009

Incorporation of the Second Amendment

We have seen the gradual erosion of the Second Amendment right by DC v. Heller's failure to take notice of the precedent in United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939), which I paraphrase as to make it comprehensible to less-educated, modern minds.
The entire text of the Second Amendment was made with the obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of the forces created under authority of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16. It must be interpreted and applied in consideration of that purpose. Without evidence that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' is reasonably related to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment of the body organised under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16 of the Constitution or that its use and possession would contribute to the common defense.

The majority in Heller was willing to trash the first half of 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. The second part also is now subject to regulation.

That means the text as interpreted by Heller should actually read, the right of the People to keep and bear arms may be reasonably infringed. See this, this, this, and this.

In case you missed it, while granting an individual right, Heller was able to own a handgun providing he passed the registration requirements. Heller was rejected for a permit to register one of his guns!

The question that needs to be asked isn't whether this is a civic, individual, collective, or right for dogs alone, but what is the scope of the right?

Which gets to the point of this post.

It is called "the true palladium of liberty" because the Second Amendment is a guardian of states' rights within the federal system. Federalism the concept that the states (meaning the sovereign people of each state) had delegated only particular powers to the Federal Government. The Bill of Rights was intended solely as a limitation on the Federal Government. That’s why the First Amendment begins “Congress shall make no law” without any mention of state legislatures.

There is also the precedent of In U.S. v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542 (1875) where the Court wrote:
The second and tenth counts are equally defective. The right there specified is that of "bearing arms for a lawful purpose." This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed, but this, as has been seen, means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress. This is one of the amendments that has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government, leaving the people to look for their protection against any violation by their fellow citizens of the rights it recognizes, to what is called, in The City of New York v. Miln, 11 Pet. 139, the "powers which relate to merely municipal legislation, or what was, perhaps, more properly called internal police," "not surrendered or restrained" by the Constitution of the United States.

Hopefully, the Supreme Court will hear an appeal from a gun control case and affirm the traditional principle of states’ rights which was written into the Constitution but mostly ignored during the 20th century. Unfortunately, the Court doesn't really feel bound by precedent or proper legal method, as Heller pointed out. So, stare decisis and the correct interpretation of the precedent is not something to be hoped for.

Got that?

Illinois has not abolished self-defense and has not expressed a preference for long guns over handguns. But the municipalities can, and do, stress another of the themes in the debate over incorporation of the Bill of Rights: That the Constitution establishes a federal republic where local differences are to be cherished as elements of liberty rather than extirpated in order to produce a single, nationally applicable rule. Federalism is an older and more deeply rooted tradition than is a right to carry any particular kind of weapon.

Did you miss my thing on Taxation without representation? In this post, it's not about taxes, but the ability for localities to make their own legislation free from British or Federal interference that was considered tyranny. Let's just turn the Second Amendment on its ass and use it for tyrannical purposes.

Do you agree that the Federal government should have the right to interfere with local legilsation? Are you willing to give up your rights to Washington? Do you realise that by invalidating Chicago's gun laws, that is precisely what will happen?

The poor citizens of DC are subject to Federal tyranny since they are a federal colony, but why should the Citizens of Chicago see their local legislation trashed by five ignorant justices?

I find it amazing that people can speak of individual liberty, yet are so ignorant that they can't see what is being done underneath they noses.

It's amusing the amount of ignorance I see from the gun cretins. They talk about resisting government tyranny and how the Second Amendment will bring them freedom, yet it is doing more to erode their liberties.

They talk of freedom and kinship to the Rebels of the War for American Independence, yet are freely willing to subject themselves to the tyranny the rebels feared. They are willing to give their freedom to unelected judges who are responsible to no one.

P.T. Barnum, a man who should know, said that "no one went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people." A corellary of which is that the Loyalists had the better arguments during the War for Independence, but they went over the heads of the masses.

I find it as ironic as Meleanie Hain's being shot to death with a gun they owned for protection that the Second Amendment, which was created to be a guardian of states' rights within the federal system, will be destroyed by placing it within Federal jurisdiction.

Ever wonder why I say the Second Amendment is a historical relic?