Archive for the 'Second Amendment' Category



Andrew Napolitano On The Second Amendment

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 4 days ago

Andrew Napolitano.

Last weekend’s mass murders in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, have produced a flood of words about everything from gun control to mental illness to white nationalism. Most of those words have addressed the right to keep and bear arms as if it were a gift from the government. It isn’t.

The U.S. Supreme Court has twice ruled in the past 11 years that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual pre-political liberty. That is the highest category of liberty recognized in the law. It is akin to the freedoms of thought, speech and personality. That means that the court has recognized that the framers did not bestow this right upon us. Rather, they recognized its pre-existence as an extension of our natural human right to self-defense and they forbade government — state and federal — from infringing upon it.

He’s right about the pre-theoretical nature of rights, but wrong about one thing.  We have no natural right to anything except to be judged by God.  We are His creatures, and the clay has no say over what the potter does (Romans 9).  We have a God-given right to bear arms, not a “natural right.”  I loath the term natural rights, and I am not a follower of Hobbes, Locke or any of their ilk.

It would be exquisitely unfair, profoundly unconstitutional and historically un-American for the rights of law-abiding folks — “surrender that rifle you own legally and use safely because some other folks have used that same type of weapon criminally” — to be impaired in the name of public safety.

It would also be irrational. A person willing to kill innocents and be killed by the police while doing so surely would have no qualms about violating a state or federal law that prohibited the general ownership of the weapon he was about to use.

[ … ]

Can the government constitutionally outlaw the types of rifles used by the El Paso and Dayton killers? In a word: No. We know that because in the first Supreme Court opinion upholding the individual right to keep and bear arms, the court addressed what kind of arms the Second Amendment protects. The court ruled that the Second Amendment protects individual ownership of weapons one can carry that are of the same degree of sophistication as the bad guys have — or the government has.

So he’s right about this.  But don’t expect the congress or president to know anything about this.  Washington, D.C., is the home of gargoyles, demons and pit vipers.

Hong Kong Protesters: “We Need The Second Amendment”

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 4 days ago

Yes.  Yes you do.

Unfortunately, I believe it’s too late for you and there is little you can do.  America doesn’t understand its blessings, and won’t until they’re gone, I’m afraid.  Then, just like in Hong Kong, the very reason for the second amendment will be the catalyst for regret.

Let Us Provide Our Own Security

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

News from Virginia.

Vincent Smith wasn’t in the office when a fellow Virginia Beach city employee opened fire there, ultimately killing 12 and wounding five in the carnage five weeks ago.

After getting notice of the shooting that afternoon in Building 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, Smith, 49, raced to the nearby emergency operations center, where he helped out until late in the night.

It was soon clear that although law enforcement arrived within two minutes of the report May 31 of an active shooter, the gunman had been able to move through offices and fire at fellow city employees without being confronted by another firearm.

Now, Smith, the city’s division manager for construction services, is taking action in hopes of preventing such a situation from occurring again.

“Their policy failed, and it failed their employees, and we’ve got to do something different,” Smith said of Virginia Beach officials in a phone interview Monday with The Daily Signal. “I’ll take it all the way to the Legislature if I have to.”

Bringing back a petition he started over three years ago to allow city employees to carry a concealed firearm at work, Smith so far has garnered support from almost 5,000 of Virginia Beach’s estimated 450,000 residents, many of them fellow city employees.

Among the petition’s original 260 signees was construction project manager Herbert Snelling, the only person to lose his life in the shooting who wasn’t a city worker. His family described Snelling, 57, as a gun rights activist and a man “who loved Jesus deeply.”

Smith’s petition seeks to overturn a policy that prevents the resort city’s 6,000 employees from carrying a concealed handgun in the workplace.

Good.  This is just the way God intended it to be.  This is good for city workers.  Now, what about everyone else?

Petition Asks White House To Recognize Second Amendment Does Not “Give” A Right

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

David Codrea:

… a Facebook colleague has alerted us to a source that just doesn’t get it: The White House.

Per its explanation of the Constitution:

“The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms.”

[ … ]

I just got done creating a White House petition.

“Recognize that the government does not ‘give citizens the right to bear arms,’’ it asks, further explaining and requesting:

“The White House website section on the Constitution instructs ‘The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms.’ This is exactly wrong and contradicts the very nature of unalienable rights, the clear intent of the Founders and the understanding of the right as articulated by the Supreme Court.

“Privileges are granted. Rights are inherent to the condition of being human. The Second Amendment didn’t create a right to keep and bear arms — it acknowledged a right that was already assumed and accepted at the time of ratification. Nobody in government gave us that right, so it’s not theirs to take away.

“Please correct your website description and make an announcement about the change.”

I signed.  You should too.  It’s simple and quick.  This is 3-second activism.

I would add that the notion of unalienable rights is based on the condition of being human only insofar as you accept the notion of man as made in the image of a Holy God.  It’s beyond the scope of this little post to engage in a debate over the concept of Lockean “natural” rights versus a Christian world and life view.

I disagree with Locke, I am a Calvinist.  Nature is impersonal, powerless, and confers nothing at all on any man or animal.  In fact, according to a naturalistic world view, man is an animal.  Animals kills each other all the time without regard for moral righteousness.

The subject here is moral righteousness.  What is right, just, absolute, an unalienable.  That can only come from God and His immutable law-word, not nature.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Open Or Concealed Carrying Of A Firearm Is Not Reasonable Suspicion Of A Crime

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Prince Law:

Today, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a 53 page majority opinion, a 2 page concurring decision by Justice Baer and a 16 page concurring opinion by Justice Dougherty which Justice Mundy joined, in the case of Commonwealth v. Hicks, which addressed whether the mere open or concealed carrying of a firearm constitutes reasonable suspicion of a crime.

[ … ]

“Before this Court, the Commonwealth again advanced its “radical position,” Hawkins, 692 A.2d at 1071, in the present iteration contending that police officers are not only entitled, but “duty bound” to seize and investigate the licensing status of every individual who carries a concealed firearm in Pennsylvania. Brief for Commonwealth at 11. We have little difficulty in again rejecting this proposition, because we conclude that the Robinson rule contravenes the Terry doctrine and, indeed, the fundamental guarantees of the Fourth Amendment.

Although the carrying of a concealed firearm is unlawful for a person statutorily prohibited from firearm ownership or for a person not licensed to do so, see 18 Pa.C.S. §§ 6105-06, there is no way to ascertain an individual’s licensing status, or status as a prohibited person, merely by his outward appearance. As a matter of law and common sense, a police officer observing an unknown individual can no more identify whether that individual has a license in his wallet than discern whether he is a criminal. Unless a police officer has prior knowledge that a specific individual is not permitted to carry a concealed firearm, and absent articulable facts supporting reasonable suspicion that a firearm is being used or intended to be used in a criminal manner, there simply is no justification for the conclusion that the mere possession of a firearm, where it lawfully may be carried, is alone suggestive of criminal activity.

If the consequence of our decision is that future courts afford meaningful Fourth Amendment protection to individuals engaged in other commonly licensed activities, that result is preferable to our allowance of governmental overreach that undermines the individual freedom that is essential to our way of life in this constitutional republic.

Crime and violence are ever-present threats in society, and it can be tempting to look to the government to provide protection from “dangerous” people with constant vigilance. However, the protections of the Fourth Amendment remain an essential bulwark against the overreaches and abuses of governmental authority over all individuals. Notwithstanding the dangers posed by the few, we must remain wary of the diminution of the core liberties that define our republic, even when the curtailment of individual liberty appears to serve an interest as paramount as public safety. “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.” Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1928) (Brandeis, J., dissenting).

Consistent with the General Assembly’s reservation of the exclusive prerogative to regulate firearms in this Commonwealth, codified at 18 Pa.C.S. § 6120, the additional requirement that an individual possess a license in order to carry a firearm openly within the City of Philadelphia is prescribed by statute, not by municipal ordinance. See 18 Pa.C.S. § 6108; see generally Ortiz v. Commonwealth, 681 A.2d 152 (Pa. 1996).”

So the court did three things: [1] decreed that the mere carrying of a firearm in a concealed manner isn’t a reasonable suspicion of a crime (I would have to know the specifics of the case to be able to ascertain why this is important since if the firearm is concealed well, it wouldn’t be seen by anyone), [2] decreed that the mere carrying of a firearm openly isn’t a reasonable suspicion of a crime (apparently Pennsylvania has a permitted open carry system, and cops don’t have the right to stop someone who is openly carrying to ask about a permit), and [3] decreed that little tyrants in locales like cities or townships don’t have to right to upend this judgment.

Every once in a while someone gets it right.  I would think that after the decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals viz. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, they would stop trying to argue that they have unlimited rights.

But also just as apparent is the fact that the police go from judge to judge, and court to court, until they find someone who agrees with them.

That’s the American way, yes?

Is Red Dawn Really Just Ridiculous?

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

David Codrea:

A disarmed citizenry would be national suicide. It would invite invasion. It would make the risks of a Red Dawn scenario more likely. Subversives who undermine what the Founders knew to be “necessary to the security of a free State” are quite literally giving aid and comfort to America’s enemies.

I always thought that Red Dawn was plausible without an armed citizenry.  Besides, now that the U.S. military has chosen to self destruct, what else is there beyond an armed citizenry?  Do you really think the military is any shape to conduct full scale, conventional warfare?

Really?  We couldn’t beat a bunch of goat herders in Afghanistan.  What makes you think we can beat a uniformed army?

Oklahoma Pistol Walk, Part II

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

Through Edmond Haifer Park.  Just a few of comments.  First, to the cop.  Stop pointing that rifle at people.  It’s stupid.

Second, do … not … ever … touch another man’s gun in a circumstance like this.  Ever.  It’s stupid.  A negligent discharge can occur, someone could get hurt, the weapon might have been modified and you wouldn’t know it, a round might be chambered and it might not be, you don’t know the configuration or status of that weapon, and so on.  Do not ever touch another man’s weapon.

Third, get educated.  Too many cops were looking on the idiot boxes (phones) to figure out if a barrel less than 16″ with a pistol brace is an SBR or a pistol.  Really.  Seek some education, read a little bit.

Prior: Oklahoma AR Pistol Walk

Oklahoma AR Pistol Walk

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

Apparently, some dude is taking his AR pistol for a walk in every Oklahoma city and recording the interactions with police.

Are You An “Extreme Second Amendment Supporter?”

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 4 weeks ago

News from Georgia:

Haley said he sees most of the local debate over constitutional carry happening on the internet, on Facebook or gun-trading forums. Online, he says it feels like people with his stance are in the minority.

“Because they’re all gung-ho, you know? ‘I’m a Second Amendment supporter and in order to be a true Second Amendment supporter, I’ve got to support this, this has got to be the way it is,’” said Haley.

“The buzzword of ‘constitutional carry’, that sounds sexy, you know?” said Georgia House Rep. Alan Powell. “It’s a popular issue among the extreme Second Amendment supporters.”

Is there any other kind?

Quick Response To Detractors Claiming That 2A Was Not Seen As An Individual Right Until 2008

BY Herschel Smith
5 months ago

From our friends at reddit/firearms.  He says feel free to copy and paste, and he’s clearly set it out there for the good of mankind.  Thus, I reproduce it entirely.

Whereas civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.

  • Tench Coxe, A friend of James Madison and himself a Delegate to the Continental Congress, writing in support of the Madison’s first draft of the Bill of Rights, 1789.

Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.

  • James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788

A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves…and include, according to the past and general usuage of the states, all men capable of bearing arms…  “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.

  • Richard Henry Lee, Federal Farmer No. 18, January 25, 1788

The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.

  • Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 1833

The founders were big believers in natural rights. The Bill of Rights did not grant us any rights, it recognized preexisting inalienable rights. The Supreme Court confirmed this way back in 1876:

The right there specified is that of “bearing arms for a lawful purpose.” This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. [READ THAT LAST SENTENCE TWICE] The second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed, but this, as has been seen, means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress

  • United States v. Cruikshank.

It is both an individual and collective right. Find me one founder quote saying the 2A ONLY protects state militias. I’ll wait.


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