Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED"

Resulting from the tragedies of 2012 there is considerable discussion, from all points of view, about what is being referred to under the somewhat vague general term of "gun control".  It has been interesting to listen to all these various points of view and throughout the discussion one as never heard the two points of the Amendment II mentioned let alone discussed.

Under the Constitution of the United States "gun control" is in and of itself illegal - end of subject. Why is that?  The  Amendment II 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."

It  would seem that nothing could be clearer from that simple and straightforward sentence but there are two points which in the 21st. Century need clarification Militia and Arms because the U.S. Constitution was written in the 18th. Century and both these terms have changed in the intervening time period.

First Militia - in the 18th. Century this referred to the individual State Militias which were formed by a free People responding to the alarm being sounded usually the ringing of church and school bells.  These free People then took their personal Arms and headed to the meeting points for information and instructions.  These Militias over time became the State Police or Highway Patrols of the various States under a Colonel in Command as they are to this day.

Second Arms - in the 18th. Century the Arms of the free People consisted of simple hand-loaded single shot long weapons and mostly single shot pistols.  Over time these Arms changed due to the developments of the armaments industry. 

Unfortunately however the various State Administrations and the Federal Congress did not address these developments or address what was meant by Arms as written in the Amendment II.  The result is that today these free People can bear, in their personal possession, Arms of extremely high velocity which the Founding Fathers could never have envisioned.

Therefore before one talks about "gun control" it is necessary to define Arms under Amendment II for the 21st. Century before one goes further to decide which a free People can bear.  As to the "control" this is absolutely illegal since in Amendment II it states "shall not be infringed." 

Yesterday under this same U.S. Constitution we the free People of the United States swore in Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden as President and Vice President, once again.  Mr. Obama had charged Mr. Biden with the duty of assessing and making recommendations to him regarding guns.  Mr. Biden did so and Mr.Obama made a series of such recommendations.  Several of these appear to infringe on the right of a free People to bear arms under Amendment II.  Both Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden would do well to read, understand and follow this Amendment II.  It is quite disturbing that two such experienced persons in Constitutional Law should behave in the high-handed manner they have in developing the recommendations and one might think that it does not bode well for the future of a Nation with deep problems in most of its areas of administration.

Good Watch.


3 comments:

ScottinWV said...

I'm glad to see the news that you will post occasionally!

I completely agree with your post and people would probably do well to remember the 1st Amendment when they start to say that we should do something about "evil video games".

One of the first bits of news in the New Mexico shooting revolved around a link to violent video games. Why can we not just hold the perpetrators accountable and not look for the devil that possessed them?

Captain Robert Reeder said...

Welcome back, Peter! We've missed you!

Whatever the intent of the Founding Fathers and drafters of the Bill of Rights, the citizenry of the United States have not actually had legal access to military grade weaponry for the better part of a century now. The NRA is absolutely correct that the AR-15 rifle, for example, is only cosmetically similar to the the M-16, and is in actually not much more (and arguably quite a bit less) effective than a .22 cal hunting rifle. But even the most sophisticated and powerful rifle in the world is basically useless against a Predator/Reaper drone armed with Hellfire missiles, which happens to be the US military's preferred weapon against riflemen. However noble or honorable the idea may be that the citizenry should be capable of armed resistance against tyrants, in 2013 our military is mostly armed with Hellfire missiles, and Tomahawk missiles, and Trident missiles. A well-regulated militia, assuming such a thing existed, would do as well against these by shouting harsh language as by armed insurrection. I'm certainly not advocating that every man, woman and child in America should have access to nuclear missiles. But we must acknowledge that Americans' right to keep and bear the type of arms which would enable them to successfully defend themselves against their own military has been "infringed" upon for decades, to the point that we are an essentially populace.

One individual's rights extend only to their neighbor's front door. If I own property which has a river running through it, I may choose to build a dam on my property to harness and generate electricity. However, if my dam floods the property of my neighbor upstream, or destroys the fishery of my neighbor downstream, I cannot build my dam, even on my own property. In Newtown CT last month, one person's right to keep and bear arms came into conflict with 26 other people's "unalienable" rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. My right to own "military" grade weapons (yes, I happen to) does not supercede my neighbor's right to educate their children with reasonable assurance that they will not be killed in the process. I'm not sure what the best answer here is, either. But I do believe that as a society we need to confront this issue with sobriety and courage, and not just rhetoric from the left or the right.

Captain Robert Reeder said...

Ooops, that was supposed to read "we are an essentially unarmed populace."