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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What Part of "Shall Not Be Infringed" Needs Clarification?

The Supreme Court has chosen not to address the Second Amendment case concerning the rights of gun owners in Washington, DC. They have chosen, instead, to wait until after Thanksgiving to address the issue, if they choose to address it then.

No Decision Yet From Supreme Court on Washington, D.C., Second Amendment Case

Tuesday , November 13, 2007
By Lee Ross

The U.S. Supreme Court held off Tuesday on deciding whether to take up a high-profile case on killing a Washington, D.C., ban on handguns, leaving observers guessing what the court would do next.

The court has not heard a case involving the Second Amendment — which covers the "right to bear arms" — since 1939.

Four justices must vote to grant an appeal that would allow the high court to hear the case. The justice don't always reach a decision the first time they consider taking a case. The next time the court could announce its decision about hearing the case is Nov. 26.

The case, District of Columbia, et al. v. Heller, pits Washington, D.C., city officials against a resident, fronting a group of individuals, who sued the city over its 31-year-old ban on weapons in- and outside the home.

The group, all of whom are D.C. dwellers, won a major victory in March, when a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of overturning the ban. A full panel of the court later decided against reconsidering the panel's decision, setting up the high court battle.

Court observers expected an announcement Tuesday on whether the justices would agree to hear the case. The court does not have to stick to its norms for announcing cases, and this was one of those times.

The Second Amendment simply reads: "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." The meaning of this 27-word sentence has been the subject of countless discussions over the decades but as of late, not inside the high court.

The District of Columbia's entrance into the debate began soon after gaining the right to establish its own laws, free from direct congressional review. In 1976, the District of Columbia passed one of the nation's toughest regulations on guns: no handguns for anyone who isn't a retired police officer.

Furthermore, the district's law does not allow the possession of any "long gun" — for instance a shotgun or rifle — that isn't unloaded, disassembled or immobilized with a safety lock.

The law's advocates say it's necessary to protect the citizens from gun-related violence. But opponents point out the strict prohibition didn't prevent Washington, D.C., from once being dubbed the nation's "murder capital" because of the significant number of gun-related homicides, which in the early 1990s soared past 400 in one year.

Opponents also contend the law is contrary to the Second Amendment's language providing for a right to bear arms...

So what, exactly, does the Second Amendment to the Constitution say, exactly?

Amendment II

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.

Does that say "the rights of the militia to keep and bear arms?" No, it says, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." That's pretty cut and dry in my opinion. Who are the people? YOU are the people, and so am I.

"...the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Those on the left can offer whatever arguments that they wish to offer, but the words are there in black and white in the National Archives for all to read.

"...the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

From the Rocky Mountain News (and I don't agree with everything the writer of this op ed piece says, for instance, I would NEVER live in a "zoned" community).

The most cursory glance at crime statistics shows that the ban - which was imposed to reduce violence - has been an abject failure. As recently as 2002, D.C. had the nation's highest murder rate; last year it was ranked seventh among major metropolitan areas.

But the court's role is not to determine whether a law has been effective. The justices must decide whether D.C.'s gun ban violates the constitutional rights of law-abiding residents.

In March, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit ruled 2-1 that the ban violates the Second Amendment, which "protects an individual right to keep and bear arms." The court noted that if the Founders intended the Second Amendment to protect the rights of states rather than individuals, they could have said so directly, as in "Congress shall make no law disarming the state militias" or "States have a right to a well-regulated militia."

They didn't, so it's logical to conclude that the Constitution confers an individual right to own firearms.

If the justices uphold the D.C. Circuit's decision, it will not pre-empt all local firearms regulations. For example, even most Second Amendment advocates have little problem with laws that prevent convicted felons or the mentally disabled from owning firearms. Possession and sale of automatic weapons have been strictly regulated since 1934 - before the Miller decision.

Let's say this again, one more time, the words of the Second Amendment to the Constitution: "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Exactly what part of that is unclear?

Here's are a few more questions for you. Why would anyone WANT to take firearms away from the general public? What is the ultimate agenda of an organization that wants to disarm the American people? If they first go after your rights to own firearms, what rights will they attack next?

Think me paranoid if you will, but if you look, the evidence is there. There is a clear assault on our Constitutional rights being waged under the guise of Political Correctness.

Make no mistake about it, Political Correctness is Marxism in a more modern guise.

"Political Correctness is inverted McCarthyism." Dennis Miller

"I'm NRA, and I vote."

I'm also a very strong Constitutionalist. Our Nation exists because of the blood shed by Americans willing to fight for our rights to be free and to live freely. The Second Amendment is one of those rights men and women have died to preserve.

"...the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man