These words of Henry Mayer, a Patrick Henry scholar, have been drowned out by propagandists such as Stephen Halbrook:
In this connection, however, I need to say something about a recent popular misconception concerning Patrick Henry's legacy and the genesis of the Second Amendment, which 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." Despite efforts of a number of misguided scholars to construe this language as justifying individual, unregulated gun ownership, I am firmly convinced that the Second Amendment is concerned with the state's power to control its own militia as a civilian alternative to a professional standing army. In raising the issue in the Virginia Convention Patrick Henry several times pointed to Art. I, Section 8, Clause 16, as an example of the potentially threatening effect of dual state and congressional jurisdiction over the militia and the possibly dangerous union of the purse and sword vested in Congress. Yet wielding the scholar's power of the ellipse several partisans of gun ownership have edited Henry's remarks about how best to regulate the militia into an inflammatory half-truth "The great object is that every man be armed....Every one who is able may have a gun." The NRA has blown this up into a poster-sized blurb embossed with Patrick Henry's image.
This is not, I repeat NOT, part of Patrick Henry's legacy. Clearly speaking of the problem of militia organization, what he actually said is, "The great object is that every man [of the militia] be armed.--But can the people to afford to pay for double sets of arms &c.? Every one who is able may have a gun. But have we not learned by experience, that necessary as it is to have arms, and though our assembly has, by a succession of laws for many years, endeavored to have the militia completely armed, it is still far from being the case. When this power is given up to Congress without limitation or bounds, how will your militia be armed? You trust to chance...."
Not to belabor the argument, but cinch it, I would also remind you that the liberty or death speech itself was in support of a resolution to put the colony in a mode of defense, and the plan proposed by Henry's committee as a result of its passage included a militia law that described in great detail not only the number of men, but the amount of ammunition to be raised by a collective levy, and a very clear procedure for maintaining county and provincial control over the militia system. If Henry's remarks were intended to cast doubt upon the adequacy of a hypothetical Congressional militia law, they only affirmed his commitment to the traditional method of state control over a militia that, far from being a privatized collection of gun-toting individuals, was a community temporarily called to arms and always subservient to public authority and law.
from A PATRICK HENRY ESSAY(No. 5-98) THE POLITICAL LEGACY OF PATRICK HENRY
Even if we are willing to make the quantum leap of saying that Henry and other founders advocated the US Constitution include the concept of gun rights, they made it quite clear that they DID NOT want those rights to be subject to federal interference.
Those who truly support the Constitution are woefully mute about the Cato Institute's use of the Supreme Court to destroy that document in the name of "liberty". It makes me sick that people are silent when such an organisation seeks to destroy the constitution and its meaning. Of course, the US governement is the best that money can buy and the Cato institute seeks to make sure that it is a govenment of corporations and for corporations--the people be damned.
Libertarianism is merely facism with a smily face. A philosophy of slogans, but without substance. Anarchy of the right. The founders were loath of democracy, which in their minds had the same meaning as anarchy does today. Likewise, they would rail against libertarianism if they were here today.
Scalia has no real need for the original meaning of the Constitution if it doesn't meet his political purpose, or else he would have joined in Justice Steven's dissent in DC v. Heller. In fact, if all the Justices who signed on to that piece of shit blotter called DC v. Heller cared for the Constitution and its meaning, that opinion would have been unanimous. Scalia, in my opinion, is a political whore who should resign rather than continue trashing the constitution with rubbish which sounds as if it were written by a madman rather than a high court justice (hence I refuse to call him a justice).
Yes, this is contempt of court, but the contempt is well justified and deserved. It should be accepted as that if he wishes to talk shit and clothe it as legal opinion.
Instead, he deserves the contempt he receives for deigning to put his name to DC v. Heller. I hope his reputation as a judge will be that of a joke. He has provided us with poor law. Moreover, he has made a joke of the the institution of the Supreme Court and US justice. No longer is it equal protection under the law, but those who have money see their way.
Likewise, Roberts has burdened the Second Amendment with baggage, which he said he didn't want to do in the DC v. Heller Oral arguments. Roberts has proven that he was indeed a poor choice to be chief justice. But, Dubious Bush was also a poor choice to be president. The idiots are running the village, but people get the government they deserve in a democracy
As I have said before, this blog began as a joke that my dog had been to court more than Harriet Miers had. Five supreme court justices may again show that my dog has a better understanding of the law than they do.