The Second Amendment And Illegal Aliens

BY Herschel Smith
8 years, 6 months ago

Bob Unruh at WND:

Americans are being warned that the danger from the porous United States borders has increased because of a federal appeals court’s determination that illegal aliens have a right to keep and bear arms under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment.

“Just think: Illegal aliens who are about to be deported have standing to sue for gun rights, but the sheriff of the fourth largest county located near the border, Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, has no standing to sue Obama for violating the law and flooding his jurisdiction with illegal immigrants,” wrote Daniel Horowitz at Conservative Review.

The outrage came on the heels of a ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that said people “living in the United States illegally” share in the Second Amendment right.

In the ruling, which conflicts with the decisions of several other appeals courts, the Chicago-based court ruled one particular illegal alien was barred from possessing weapons because of a federal statute.

But the three-judge panel said Mariano Meza-Rodriguez is among “the people” cited in the Constitution and thus would be granted the right “to keep and bear arms” if not for the federal law.

He was found to have a bullet in his pocket when he was apprehended, but he argued that the charges that ensued should be dismissed because he possesses Second Amendment rights.

The author of the opinion, Judge Diane Wood, wrote, “We see no principled way to carve out the Second Amendment and say that the unauthorized (or maybe all noncitizens) are excluded.”

[ … ]

Bob Owens at Bearing Arms said, “I don’t think for a second that the Founding Fathers would support the concept of granting criminal invaders the same legal status as legal immigrants, legal resident aliens, and citizens.”

I don’t go where Bob Owens does on this.  This isn’t about the second amendment to me.  I took a strong stand against illegal aliens and bearing arms before (I cannot recall where, perhaps in a comment at reddit/guns, or at Say Uncle), and was savaged, as if I was anti-gun.

There is a libertarian case against the ownership of weapons by illegal aliens.  It’s simple.  You cannot do things to take actions that adversely affect others, and the mere presence of illegal aliens on my home soil adversely affects me.

Libertarians notwithstanding, you do not have a right to do anything you want any time you want.  Your rights are circumscribed by God.  God gives me the right to own weapons.  God does not give illegal aliens the right to be in my country.  The discussion about weapons for illegal aliens shouldn’t even come up.  Let central and South America figure it out.

I don’t have to turn to the founding fathers to figure this out.  But what’s so rich about this – and Bob Unruh points this out – is that judges who would otherwise vomit at the notion of God-given rights and bearing arms, suddenly find it necessary to expand this right to people who have no right to be on this soil.  It must suck to be a progressive and face logical problems like this.  Being impaled on the horns of a dilemma is the sort of thing that sticks to your innards.


  1. On August 31, 2015 at 7:07 am, UNCLEELMO said:

    The last two sentences of this article kind of surprise me. I would have thought you knew progressives better than that, Herschel.

    First, they don’t deal in logic, they deal in emotion. It wouldn’t be fair that a white redneck could own a gun when someone with brown skin that is only looking to ‘improve his life’ (and have sex with your 14 year old daughter) can’t. It wouldn’t be ‘fair’.

    Second, you needn’t worry about anything being stuck in a progressive’s innards. They’ve never made a mistake in their entire lives. The only thing they fret about is getting caught. And then they don’t atone for their sins, they get even.

    Whenever I read a court decision that make less than zero sense, I Wikipedia the judge’s profile. The three things in this judge’s background that explain her decision are Chicago, Austin, Texas and Bill Clinton.

    And then there is this- ‘Commentators have called Wood a leading candidate for nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Barack Obama.’
    What more do you need to know?

  2. On August 31, 2015 at 12:49 pm, MadMagyar said:

    It was brought to my attention decades ago that the Constitution protected the natural rights of ALL people who were on this soil, whether they are ‘citizens’ or not. Thus Yick Wo had every natural right protected against the usurpations of Sheriff Hopkins back in the 1850’s (q.v.) whether or not he was a ‘citizen’ of the U.S. If this were not so, cops could get away with violating the rights of everybody who was perceived (by them) at the time of their encounter as not a citizen. The question is not whether this illegal alien had any Constitutionally protected rights, but whether he was here illegally – and it should have stopped there. I agree they should ALL be kicked out, but don’t violate their natural rights. He had every much a right to self protection as we do. If he’s a criminal, then treat him like every other criminal who IS a ‘citizen’. Of course federal citizenship is an entirely different matter, but even criminals who ARE citizens of this nation have their natural right to keep and bear arms up to the point where they are convicted of a felony.

    The gist of this is that we often confuse ‘civil’ rights with natural rights. One can be granted (and taken away) where the other cannot.

  3. On August 31, 2015 at 1:13 pm, Archer said:

    “The question is not whether this illegal alien had any Constitutionally
    protected rights, but whether he was here illegally – and it should have
    stopped there.”

    He’d still have Constitutionally-protected rights. He’d get a trial, wherein he’d have an attorney present and the government would present evidence that he is, in fact, in the country illegally. It’d likely be an open-and-shut case, but the Constitution demands we go through the motions.

    But that’s where it should end. He has the natural right to keep and bear arms (I believe this is a God-given right, whether or not his country of origin recognizes it), but he does not have the right to do so on American soil by nature of the fact that he doesn’t have the right to be on American soil; he also can’t get an American drivers’ license or own American land or property.

    After that determination, the question of whether he can keep and bear arms in America becomes moot. If he lacks the right to be here, it follows that he cannot bear arms here — not that he cannot bear arms generally, just that he cannot do so here, where he has no right to be.

  4. On August 31, 2015 at 4:13 pm, Old Curmudgen said:

    Actually, illegals can get Texas driver licenses by certifying that they tried to get a Social Security number but could not. That’s a recent decision by the Texas Department of Public Safety. A few years ago one couldn’t obtain a TX-DL or ID without providing a SSN…a rather narrow-minded decision on the State’s part.

  5. On August 31, 2015 at 1:21 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    I suppose I have to disagree and say that I do not believe in the concept of “natural rights.” God gives rights and He stipulates their liberty and usage. Thus, since you would say that someone DOESN’T have the right to come into your home with a weapon and effect self defense, I would similarly say that someone doesn’t have a right to invade my country and carry a weapon or effect self defense.

  6. On August 31, 2015 at 5:07 pm, milesfortis said:

    That last one is quite interesting sir. And also quite informative.
    “I would similarly say that someone [an illegal alien] doesn’t have a right to …..effect self defense.”
    Do you understand the term ‘smorgasbording’? For those who may not have heard the term, it means picking and choosing what we like and what we don’t like.
    We use it pejoratively to accuse the left of using it against rights they say we don’t really have. Yet, you are saying that some people have certain rights and some others don’t, in this case; self defense?
    So, they can’t even defend themselves? I think you may need to think that one over again.

  7. On August 31, 2015 at 5:18 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    Not even nearly convincing. Not nearly. You’re light years away. If you’re in my home illegally, you forfeited your rights at the door. God says so by giving me Biblical permission to kill you, as just a single example. If you’re in my country illegally, you forfeited your rights.

    Go back to what I said earlier, and I think if you ponder hard on this you’ll see what I mean. I don’t believe in “natural rights.” God gives rights and circumscribes their application. Think — the difference between John Locke and John Calvin.

  8. On August 31, 2015 at 7:42 pm, milesfortis said:

    Well, we’ll have to agree that we disagree about how God deigns to give rights.
    And while your house most certainly is your castle and lethal actions taken therein have quite a lot of biblical and current legal protections that we happen to be in agreement on, I seriously advise that you not use that particular defense (illegal aliens has no rights, simply because of their status) if you happen to kill one somewhere else.

  9. On September 1, 2015 at 10:18 am, Herschel Smith said:

    I wouldn’t because the courts don’t recognize the legitimacy of my argument.

    I think what you’re doing in your (justifiable and understandable) mistrust of the federal government is de factor denying what is really the only constitutional and legitimate function of the federal government, which is the common defense, of which secure borders is part.

    I don’t really think you can logically connect my opposition to illegals being armed to the government having the right to develop lists of people (legal citizens) who cannot be armed. It may be an emotional case, and it certainly tugs at your heart strings because you know how untrustworthy the .gov is, but making the case that illegals shouldn’t be armed isn’t the same thing as saying the .gov has a right to disarm you or me.

    Where do you stop? Precisely where we say so. With illegals and no farther. I see no logical problem whatsoever.

    We have a right to borders. And in order to get the force of the argument, replace the (highly untrustworthy) .gov we know with medieval families, clans, tribes or nations. Consider the example that a tribe has a justifiable claim to land (centuries old), and yet some other clan ensconces themselves in the middle of that claim and wields weapons because they have some sort of “natural” right to be armed.

    Unpersuasive. What they really have at that point is a natural right to be killed.

  10. On August 31, 2015 at 9:15 pm, Carl Stevenson said:

    Bingo. Illegals (and their progeny) should have NO rights. Rights should be reserved for citizens and lawfully admitted immigrants.

  11. On August 31, 2015 at 1:54 pm, George Talbot said:

    An illegal alien who crossed the border illegally is in the process of a misdemeanor. If he carries a gun, he is carrying a gun in the process of a misdemeanor, which carries various legal penalties. (It’s different for overstaying a visa, alas, and a lawyer would probably quibble about how long ago the actual border crossing portion was.)

  12. On August 31, 2015 at 4:16 pm, Brian Coss said:

    “The District of Columbia spent almost two years persecuting a good man [a US citizen] because
    they wrongly thought he had guns in the city. It wasn’t enough to prosecute Mark Witaschek for having one [defective] shotgun shell and a box of muzzleloader bullets. After a three-month trial that ended in a conviction, the city [Washington DC] started an investigation into the businessman’s taxes.”

    A well managed Federal Government should spend our tax dollars fighting the collectivist local governments, in places like DC, before spending tax dollars defending the rights of non-citizens. Failing at this sends the message that the Feds do not care about the rights of their citizens,.

  13. On August 31, 2015 at 9:16 pm, Carl Stevenson said:

    They don’t, or they wouldn’t constantly be attempting to infringe and destroy them.

  14. On September 1, 2015 at 9:31 am, hutch1200 said:

    Hence, how did this person have “Standing”? Yet Arpaio, an ELECTED OFFICIAL, has less rights (Standing). So yes I do agree w/you Brian.
    Would a decent analogy be that few legal Citizens who get caught speeding/reckless driving, while DUI are actually prosecuted for the speeding charge as well, when it comes to trial? A Misdemeanor vs possible Felony.
    Leaving a murder weapon at the scene isn’t considered littering. OK, that last 1 may be…uhm, off a bit?

  15. On August 31, 2015 at 8:07 pm, Paul X said:

    This is pretty much the same argument, as that ex-felons should not be armed. Anyone who goes down this path has the fond thanks of the ruling class. Establish the principle that government may concoct a list of people who may “legitimately” be disarmed. Then see where that ends up. Best case, it ends up in war. Worst case, in slavery.

    Everybody should be armed. Even “illegal” people.

  16. On August 31, 2015 at 9:19 pm, Carl Stevenson said:

    I’d rather see citizen felons have their rights restored after serving their full sentences and showing some evidence of true rehabilitation that to grant the rights of citizens to illegals who continue to violate our laws without shame or repentance.

  17. On September 1, 2015 at 9:33 am, hutch1200 said:

    For non-violent felonies, agreed.

  18. On September 1, 2015 at 9:49 pm, Paul X said:

    “Our laws”? Sorry, they are not my laws. See if you can prosecute Hillary for violating “our laws”. Good luck on that one.

    Laws are just diktats from a corrupt and evil ruling class. I’m glad at least some people have the gumption to ignore them. What are you going to do when the law tells you to turn your guns in?

  19. On August 31, 2015 at 9:12 pm, Carl Stevenson said:

    The judges are treasonous badtards who should be removed from office and hanged.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Mexico,Second Amendment and was published August 30th, 2015 by Herschel Smith.

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