The vast majority of the more than 100 million Americans who legally keep and bear arms understand that these rights are precious and involve continuous diligence and willingness to speak, call, write, vote, and relentlessly fight for that which cannot be taken for granted. In Silveira v. Lockyer (9th Cir. 2002), the historically liberal appellate court ruled that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution does not guarantee individuals the right to bear arms, concluding that the Second Amendment provides “collective” rights limited to the arming of state militia.
The Supreme Court nullified the 9th Circuit’s Decision in D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago. This is not surprising, given that the 9th Circuit has had over 80% percent of its decisions reversed. In the D.C. vs Heller summary, Justice Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court:
He wrote that it has “always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, is codified a pre-existing right. The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it “shall not be infringed.”
Citing a previous decision by the high court, recognizing that the right to arms is individually-held, the court noted, “As we said in United States v. Cruikshank (1876), ‘[t]his 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.”
Thus, is it not clear that there exists a natural right of self-defense, one that pre-exists any constitution, and that this has been acknowledged by the high court?
“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.”
This is simplistically brilliant. This is one of the amendments that has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government. The Second Amendment to the Constitution does not grant us the right to keep and bear arms; it merely acknowledges the existence of these rights and affirms that they shall not be infringed.
Can this be changed? The high court ruling seems to indicate that it cannot be—at least not through Constitutional amendment—because if the Constitution does not grant the rights, then the rights are not dependent on the document for their existence. Because of this, and the near impossibility of garnering 2/3 votes of both houses of Congress to propose the amendment, and then needing 3/4 of the states to ratify it, the ongoing battle for gun rights will not likely be decided on the basis of Constitutional amendment.
Where does this leave us? It’s an ongoing assault. To all legal firearm owners: liberal state legislators, the EPA, the DHS, and the United Nations et al have tried to accomplish what cannot be accomplished by Constitutional amendment. Of course, they will accuse YOU of being conspiratorial and extreme, and THEIR actions are just, pure, and reasonable—and for the benefit of public safety or for the environment; or for adequately securing the homeland and clamping down on international gun trafficking. Right.
This smoke screen leaves us dealing with an extra-constitutional morass of over-reaching and dangerous anti-gun and anti-hunting proposals at the state and national levels, along with shameless over-regulation without regard for job loss, destruction of private industry and production, or the means of defending yourself and your family.
Still, statists and liberal citizen-of-the-world types are making one hell of a push to disarm legal gun owners under the guise of righteousness and the need to reduce gun violence. These are the pompous and condescending class in D.C., liberal state legislators, much of academia, and even your neighbors—masquerading as if to possess an abundance of dignity and knowledge. Thankfully, they are transparent to those of us who understand the difference between life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and absolutism, tyranny, and the pursuit of hopelessness.
Even a Harvard University study, which appeared in Volume 30, Number 2 of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy (pp. 649-694), set out to answer the question in its title: “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? A Review of International and Some Domestic Evidence.” The findings of two criminologists—Prof. Don Kates and Prof. Gary Mauser—in their exhaustive study of American and European gun laws and violence rates, are telling:
From the American Civil Rights Union: “Nations with stringent anti-gun laws generally have substantially higher murder rates than those without. The study found that the nine European nations with the lowest rates of gun ownership (5,000 or fewer guns per 100,000 population) have a combined murder rate three times higher than that of the nine nations with the highest rates of gun ownership (at least 15,000 guns per 100,000 population).
The study (pdf) has since been stripped from the Harvard web site.
Only through intimidation, lies, and shameless over-regulation on the part of the government can precious rights be eroded. Facing these things unprepared is “a mistake a free people get to make only once,” as Judge Alex Kozinski wrote.
Central control in this country will never be realized because they must first disarm us by force and confiscate over 300 million firearms from 100 million Americans who will do whatever is necessary to remain uninfringed. Will they also put down the vast majority of U.S. military and veterans who live to serve the Constitution?
Creating a communist state was the dream of Saul Alinksy, and that dream lives on for many on the left. He wrote about gun control—that it must be obtained before you are able to create a social state. Alinksy’s life was wasted trying to realize a socio-economic world that has been proven through history to be a disastrous economic failure. This is his legacy. It has been written that communism can be defined as the longest route from capitalism to capitalism. So true.
A continued strong constitutional republic is within our control if we are engaged, informed, and united. However, we cannot afford to be complacent and live with apathy and blind faith. History has taught us that it is better to die on your feet than live on your knees. Being an advanced society nearly two and a half centuries removed from our founding as a country does not grant us the right to go forth in blissful ignorance. Nor does the fact that we are blessed to live in freedom preclude us from having to defend what we hold dear if the situation offers us no other alternative. As Americans, we cannot be so presumptuous and arrogant to think we are above this. The great men who gave us the privileges we enjoy and take for granted today recognized this, and provided us with the tools to fight for our rights. We must not dishonor their legacy by relinquishing them. If we do, we only have ourselves to blame.