Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Second Amendment

You can't open a blog, newspaper or magazine without reading about the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado.  I had decided that there was more then enough coverage without any input from me.  I did not intend to write about it until I decided to read up on the Supreme Court decisions on the Second Amendment.  

I remembered that many years ago I read an article written by a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on the subject.  He was retired and, therefore, free to speak out.  His theory impressed me because my thinking was along the same lines.  (I have tried in vain to find out which Justice wrote the article.  I thought it was Justice Thurgood Marshall, but was unable to find conformation of that.)

The Justice had come to the conclusion that the Second Amendment was written at a time when the country did not have a standing army and a 'well regulated militia' was needed should we be invaded.  Thus, it made citizen soldiers of every able bodied man in times of crisis.  (It further kept the cost of providing for an army by making the  citizens buy their own muskets.   My theory)   The Justice came to the conclusion that the operative part of the amendment is the one ignored by the NRA, "A well regulated militia."  Because the National Guard is the equivalent of the militia now, they are the ones protected by the Second Amendment.   It does not mean that every Dick or Jane can own as many weapons as they can afford.


The founding fathers could not have foreseen the  terrible weapons of today and would probably be horrified to know the carnage carried out now and made possible by the amendment.


Be that as it may, the Supreme Court has, in several decisions, decided that the amendment guarantying the right to bear arms is settled law.   The Courts have taken the position that the first words must be taken literally.  


While I revere our Constitution I believe that the "right to bear arms" does not guarantee that they can't be controlled.  And most legal scholars agree with me on that point.  The first amendment guarantying freedom of speech does not give an individual the right to yell "fire" in a crowded theater.


The NRA have successfully perverted the right to bear arms to mean that anybody can be armed with the most dangerous weapons and with as many as they wish to buy, with as few checks as possible.


The NRA doesn't give crap about the individual's right.  It's all about making the weapon manufacturers happy and drumming up as much business as possible for them.   When will the public say "Enough killing" and demand that the ban on automatic guns be reinstated?


This is another glaring example of the way Democracy is being distorted and weakened.   It makes me angry and sad. 

16 comments:

Joy Des Jardins said...

It makes me angry and sad too Darlene....and heartbroken for the victims and families of this horrific tragedy. Another good post dear friend. ~Joy

Darlene said...

*Joy Des Jardins - Such a senseless killing, wasn't it? But then, they all are. It is heartbreaking.

Hattie said...

Yes. You make it so clear.

Darlene said...

*Hattie - I try.

Anne said...

Your analysis is always right on, Darlene. And you make it seem so obvious one wonders why there's any other point of view. But the NRA (meaning gun manufacturers) is in control of our politicians.

Darlene said...

*Anne - It's always all about money, isn't it?

Kay Dennison said...

What Annie said -- we have the best gov't money can buy.

Darlene said...

*Kay Dennison - It has been bought and paid for for too long. When will we have a rebellion?

Kay Dennison said...

Ohhhhhhh hell! Do you honestly that could happen with the "up yours -- I got mine mindset" that prevaiils today?

joared said...

Books and PBS specials documenting all the forces making money in the marketing of guns and ammunition -- big business they'll perpetuate at all cost. Incredibly difficult to alter or combat but important you keep reminding us of issues.

Darlene said...

*Kay Dennison - I wrote an answer to you but blogger didn't seem to think it was worth publishing. I'll try again.

No, it won't happen in my lifetime, but if the Republicans keep on with their laws subjugating the public, in time they people will rebel when they find the foot on their necks.

*Joared - I doubt that I do any good, but I will continue to rant.

Lydia said...

When I saw a report late last night on msnbc about Scalia's comments on FOXnews I felt a glimmer of hope. In case you missed, the link is here.

Forgot to tell you that your 87th portrait is so beautiful.

Jack Jodell said...

VERY well stated, Darlene. That former Justice makes a lot of sense, and your summation of how the NRA has successfully twisted the meaning of the Second Amendment is very accurate. It makes me sad and angry too.

Darlene said...

*Lydia - Thank you for the link. I did see it. I guess it just proves that even a broken clock is right twice a day. :-)

Thank you for the lovely compliment.

*Jack Jodell - I rather thought you would agree with me.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Agree -- barbara

Darlene said...

*Folkways Notebook - Thank you for stopping by. I do hope you will visit again.