By now you have probably read that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Republican, signed a law making it legal to carry concealed weapons. The gun fight at OK Corral is about to be re-enacted, only it will probably be in a school, restaurant, or a shopping mall.
To further compound this insanity, this law removes a law on the books requiring a permit to carry a gun. To get the permit you had to have a one day course in the law and on how to use the gun and a background check. By sometime in August that will no longer be necessary. God, give me strength.
Sen, Pierce, Republican, said the signing of this bill on the anniversary of the massacre at Virginia Tech, where 32 students were killed, was appropriate because if that law had been in effect the massacre could have been prevented. Does this nitwit have half a brain? I would say that if the gun laws had been more stringent that mentally deranged shooter would not have had a gun to begin with.
I am probably living dangerously in writing this because any yahoo who disagrees with my post can now come into my home to do repair work, pull out a gun from his tool box and shoot me. I am willing to be a martyr for the cause. (Do you think that heaven will provide me with 70 handsome studs?)
I remember that many years ago there was an article written by a retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court which, after much study, determined that the prevailing part of the Second Amendment was "a well run Militia". And if you were not a part of a Militia the Amendment did not give you the right to own a gun.
I decided to turn to Wikipedia to see how the right to bear arms evolved into this current free for all that the NRA has foisted on us. I discovered that the arguments 'for and against' that right pertaining to individuals began before the amendment was drafted and continue to this day.
In no particular order, early American settlers viewed the right to arms and/or the right to bear arms and state militias as important for one or more of these purposes:
- deterring undemocratic government;
- repelling invasion;
- suppressing insurrection;
- facilitating a natural right of self-defense;
- participating in law enforcement;
- slave control in slave states.
During the 1760s pre-revolutionary period, the established colonial militia was composed of colonists, which included a number who were loyal to British imperial rule. As defiance and opposition to the British rule developed, a distrust of these Loyalists in the militia became widespread among the colonists, known as Patriots, who favored independence from British rule. As a result, these Patriots established independent colonial legislatures to create their own militias which excluded the Loyalists and then sought out to stock up independent armories for their militias.
The armed forces that won the American Revolution consisted of the standing Continental Army created by the Continental Congress, together with various state and regional militia units. In opposition, the British forces consisted of a mixture of the standing British Army, Loyalist Militia and Hessian mercenaries. Following the Revolution, the United States was governed by the Articles of Confederation. An unworkable division of power between Congress and the states caused military weakness, and the standing army was reduced to as few as 80 men. There was no effective federal military response to an armed uprising in western Massachusetts known as Shays' Rebellion. Subsequently, the Philadelphia Convention proposed in 1787 to grant Congress exclusive power to raise and support a standing army and navy of unlimited size
Drafting the Amendment:
Modern scholars Thomas B. McAffee and Michael J. Quinlan have stated that James Madison "did not invent the right to keep and bear arms when he drafted the Second Amendment; the right was pre-existing at both common law and in the early state constitutions." In contrast, historian Jack Rakove
One aspect of the gun control debate is the conflict between gun control laws and the alleged right to rebel against unjust governments. Some believe that the framers of the Bill of Rights sought to balance not just political power, but also military power, between the people, the states and the nation, as Alexander Hamilton explained in 1788:
If circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens.
Some scholars have said that it is wrong to read a right of armed insurrection in the Second Amendment because clearly the founding fathers sought to place trust in the power of the ordered liberty of democratic government versus the anarchy of insurrectionists. Other scholars, such as Glenn Reynolds, contend that the framers did believe in an individual right to armed insurrection. The latter scholars cite examples, such as the Declaration of Independence (describing in 1776 “the Right of the People to … institute new Government”) and the New Hampshire Constitution (stating in 1784 that “nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind”).
There was an ongoing debate in the 1780s about "the people" fighting governmental tyranny (as described by Anti-Federalists); or the risk of mob rule of "the people" (as described by the Federalists) related to the ongoing revolution in France. A widespread fear, during the debates on the ratification of the Constitution, was the possibility of a military takeover of the states by the federal government, which could happen if the Congress passed laws prohibiting states from arming citizens, prohibiting citizens from arming themselves or the federal government prohibiting the southern tradition of using their state militia for slave control.
The orthodox view of the meaning of the Second Amendment was articulated by Joseph Story in his influential Commentaries on the Constitution. In his view the meaning of the Amendment was clear:
In this quote, Story describes a militia as the "natural defence of a free country," both against foreign foes, domestic revolts and usurpation by rulers. The book regards the militia as a "moral check" against both usurpation and the arbitrary use of power, while expressing distress at the growing indifference of the American people to maintaining such an organized militia, which could lead to the undermining of the protection of the Second Amendment.
The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them. And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights.
Abolitionist Lysander Spooner, commenting on bills of rights, stated that the object of all bills of rights is to assert the rights of individuals against the government and that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms was in support of the right to resist government oppression, as the only security against the tyranny of government lies in forcible resistance to injustice, for injustice will certainly be executed, unless forcibly resisted. Spooner's theory provided the intellectual foundation for John Brown and other radical abolitionists who believed that arming slaves was not only morally justified, but entirely consistent with the Second Amendment. An express connection between this right and the Second Amendment was drawn by Lysander Spooner who commented that a "right of resistance" is protected by both the right to trial by jury and the Second Amendment.
Because I am not a legal scholar I will get flack from those who believe that the amendment gives the right to every individual to bear arms. I take issue with this premise on three counts. 1.) Why was the phrase "well regulated militia" even necessary in the amendment if it applied to all individuals? 2.) The phrase means just that; a well regulated militia. and 3) The term 'bear arms' refers to war. If you are not part of a militia it does not grant you, as an individual, a right to carry a automatic weapon that can gun down 32 people in a matter of minutes.
I wish the framers of the Constitution had resolved this and made the meaning of the amendment clearer. (Of course, they could not forsee the horrible weapons now available at every gun show.) Here we are, over two hundred years later still arguing this right.
I grew up in a home that had a large upright locked display cabinet with hunting rifles behind the glass. My step-father was an avid hunter and always filled his license. I ate so much venison and elk growing up that I used to complain that I would bugle. I actively avoid all game meat now.
I have no objection to single shot hunting rifles to kill birds and animals for human consumption. I do object to guns that spray a series of bullets in a matter of seconds. Where is the sport in that? And I have no objection to hunters owning hunting rifles or pistols after first undergoing a required background check and training course for the use of weapons.
I vociferously object to the NRA using their vast resources to intimidate Congress into weakening gun laws. Or in overturning a city's right to ban guns.
Most of all, I object to the Arizona legislators and governor making this a more dangerous place to live. To their shame, they didn't even restrict businesses that serve liquor. Listen for the gun fire. It's coming.
Another ill conceived idea by the 'leggie' (word 'leggie' thanks to the late great Molly Ivins).
As if toting a gun in Granny's purse isn't bad enough, our stupid, idiotic, lame brain 'leggies' have now proposed a worse bill, if possible. See this morning's NYT article for full particulars on the Immigration bill. It isn't law yet, but given Jan Brewer's record it soon will be. Who elects these neanderthals? Well, Phoenix does. Tucson does have some good legislators who fight hard to prevent such terrible bills from passing, but they are outnumbered. Here's the link to this outrage.http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/18/opinion/18sun3.html?th&emc=th