Gun Rights Are Absolute

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 1 month ago

Concord Monitor:

… an individual’s right to bear arms was not clearly stated in the Constitution. It was the Supreme Court in a 2008 decision that decided that the right goes beyond “a well regulated militia” and that it also belongs to an individual (District of Columbia v. Heller). But the Supreme Court also made it very clear in that same decision that this right was not so “absolute” that the federal, state or local government could not make and enforce restrictions. Those like Baldasaro who say their right cannot be “infringed” need to read the Supreme Court’s decision.

The majority decision was written by Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote: “Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on the longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons or the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions or qualifications on the commercial sale of firearms.”

The language is a little awkward for a non-lawyer like myself and Justice Scalia obviously cannot be asked for any clarification, but I believe Scalia is saying that a law to prevent firearms in schools is “constitutionally permitted.” In other words, there is no constitutional guarantee of your right to go into a school with a gun. You definitely could lose this “right” simply by walking into a school, if a restriction on this exists. And I would add, this would also apply to guns at polling places, which would be considered sensitive places in our communities.

One clever commenter cites John Cockrum v. State, but he has the quote slightly wrong and misses a few words, important words.

The right of a citizen to bear arms, in the lawful defence of himself or the state, is absolute.  He does not derive it from the state government, but directly from the sovereign convention of the people that framed the state government.  It is one of the “high powers” delegated directly to the citizen, and is “excepted out of the general powers of the government.”  A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the law-making power.

This is strong tea, but not strong enough for my tastes.  First of all, we do not derive our authority to bear arms from the sovereign convention of the people, but rather, from God Himself because man is made in God’s image and it is his duty to protect that image.

Moreover, while this statement does pertain to the state of Texas, it doesn’t go to the federal government because it got the very genesis of our rights and duties wrong.  Regular reader Frank Clarke does better when he turns the conversation to what the constitution does.  Our rights are not based in the constitution, but rather it enumerates them in order to prevent the federal government from trespassing those rights.  It delineates what the federal government cannot do, not what we can do.

Finally, I’m uncomfortable with the notion that the constitution or any judicial action or decision “secures” our rights.  It simply isn’t true.  Our rights are secured in heaven, and on earth two things obtain.  First of all, if the covenant(s) within which we live do not reflect God’s laws, they are an abomination and dishonor God.  They are null and void.  Second, to the extent that they do, when we fail to live within the framework of that covenant, man’s covenant itself broken and therefore null and void.

Our rights are secured by the fact that we are armed.  Only armed men can protect themselves from wicked governments intent on doing harm to those men by making them unable to defend themselves or their loved ones.  That’s why men can never wait on judicial action to arm themselves, and can never disarm.  Disarmament is wicked, whether personally or nationally.


  1. On January 27, 2017 at 7:29 am, theBuckWheat said:

    The right of a person to defend themselves, their neighbors and their country is one that is inalienable, that is it comes from God and thus predates and exists outside of the current Constitution. It was such a fundamental right that those who drafted and later those many people who ratified it did not see that the Constitution was defective by not enumerating that right. Later, and thankfully the Bill of Rights was passed. But it enumerates many rights and Amendment X implies other rights as well. But the Supreme Court has almost nullified Amendment X.

    The many rights we have that are inalienable are really carried by deep cultural roots into future generations. Those rights are rooted in Scripture, either directly or implied. Only a people who are well acquainted with Scripture will carry those rights forward. As our culture is secularized and as God is ejected from society, an increasing number of young adults are not only ignorant about Scripture, they have been taught in the government school system to despise Scripture and the values that it imparts.

    If our rights come only from government, then government can take them away. If you treasure your rights, you must acknowledge where they come from. God or man. We all must choose. Our grandchildren must know the truth and be willing to carry it forward to their grandchildren.

  2. On January 27, 2017 at 10:12 am, Fred said:

    A healthy breakfast being necessary to the start of a good day, the right of the people to keep and eat food shall not be infringed.

    Who has a right to keep and eat food?

    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.

    Who has a right to keep and bear arms? What exactly, is unclear?

  3. On January 27, 2017 at 1:31 pm, Archer said:

    A healthy breakfast being necessary to the start of a good day, the
    right of the people to keep and eat food shall not be infringed.

    Who has a right to keep and eat food?

    Indeed, who has the right to keep and eat food?

    Additionally, what part of that only permits the keeping and eating of food for breakfast, and breakfast alone?

    That’s basically the “collective right” argument: since the 2nd Amendment makes mention of a “well-regulated militia”, only such a militia can keep and bear arms. Since your version mentions a healthy breakfast, food can only be kept and consumed … for breakfast. Thus, you have no individual-meal right to lunch, dinner, afternoon snack, or midnight munchies. Enjoy what we give you, you crazy right-wing food nut. [/sarcasm]

  4. On January 27, 2017 at 4:51 pm, Fred said:

    That’s so funny. That made my day.

  5. On February 3, 2017 at 2:13 pm, TheRon said:

    Since the Bill of Rights were added and ratified in 1791, “militia” is in the 2nd Amendment sentence referencing Article I, Section 8.15-16. There the Federal government only has delegated power “for governing such part of them ( the militia) as may be called into service and EMPLOYED.” Otherwise “militia” is the armed citizenry, i.e., “the people”or else the sentence structure of the 2nd Amendment is contradictory. The Federal Government has NO delegated power over the people regarding the weapons they choose to keep and carry. Without delegated power it may do NOTHING (10th Amendment)

  6. On February 3, 2017 at 3:00 pm, Fred said:

    You are the only other person I have seen who ties the 2A to Art 1 sec 8. I agree. I’ve never even seen a legal scholar make the connection. It seems obvious to me.

    You are either in the Part that is called to service and under the discipline of the congress, or you’re in the other Part that isn’t. Neither Part is disarmed.

  7. On January 28, 2017 at 11:00 am, DAN III said:


    Always annoys me when the left makes reference to and extracts from the 2nd Amendment the first four words of the declaration. Those words being “A well regulated
    Militia,” as those same leftist scoundrels attempt to put the collective spin on 2A, i.e., the amendment applies to GOVERNMENT possession of weapons and not the individual citizen. Not surprisingly those same scoundrels ignore the separate phrase as indicated by punctuation “….the right of the
    people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. SHALL. NOT. BE. INFRINGED. Yet the law has been infringed tens of thousands of times.

    On one hand I pray this once great nation does not dissolve into open warfare as in Bosnia some years ago. On the OTHER hand I believe the only resolution to the attacks against the citizenry arrayed against us by fellow citizens, the media and the politicians is open warfare. While I still vote occasionally….basically for Mr. Trump in the recent election, I believe that voting gets us nowhere. To me there only solution is the hangmen’s noose for a multitude of treasonous bastards. The bulk of which assume the position of royalty as they sit in the District of Criminals telling those of us who wish to be left alone, how to live our lives.

  8. On January 28, 2017 at 1:44 pm, Bob Wilson said:

    “To me there only solution is the hangmen’s noose for a multitude of treasonous bastards.” I am In total agreement with this solution, I would add that these be public and the criminals be display for 3 days.

  9. On January 30, 2017 at 1:43 pm, Archer said:

    To me there only solution is the hangmen’s noose for a multitude of treasonous bastards.

    I agree with the sentiment, but may I suggest the firing squad instead?

    They all believe that someone shot to death is somehow “more dead” than someone killed any other way. Plus, they hate and fear guns more than any other inanimate object. Why not indulge both?

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You are currently reading "Gun Rights Are Absolute", entry #16497 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns,Second Amendment and was published January 27th, 2017 by Herschel Smith.

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