Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hidden History of the 2nd Amendment

Prof. Carl T. Bogus, UC Davis Law Review (; Wisdom Quarterly (ANTI-GUN ADVOCACY)
Gun restrictions and confiscation in a police state that's arming up (stateofcollapse)
"For the great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie deliberate, contrived, and dishonest but the myth persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."
-John F. Kennedy[Note 1]

The Second Amendment is unique. No other constitutional provision has lived so small a life in the law while looming so large in the realms of policy, politics, and popular culture.
Among the Bill of Rights, only the Third Amendment, which prohibits the quartering of troops in homes, has received less judicial attention.[2] Annotations of all the cases that have dealt with the Second Amendment take up a mere ten pages in the United States Code Annotated, compared, for example, to 1452 pages for First Amendment cases.[3] In the history of the republic, the United States Supreme Court has handed down only three opinions dealing directly with the Second Amendment,[4] the last in 1939,[5] and no federal statute or administrative regulation has ever been invalidated on Second Amendment grounds.
Based on this lack of activity, one might expect the Second Amendment to be something of a constitutional relic, obscure [Page 312] and forgotten. That is hardly the case.
The right to bear arms is invoked constantly on the political stump, the op-ed page, the radio talk show, and the floors of Congress.[6] Politicians of all persuasions consider it essential to pledge fealty to the right to bear arms, often in extravagant terms.[7] According to Senator Orrin Hatch, who currently chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, the right to bear arms is the "right most valued by free men."[8]
While most Americans may not consider the right to bear arms more precious than freedom of speech or religion, few constitutional provisions are more familiar to the public-at-large. One national poll showed that more Americans know that the Constitution contains a right to bear arms than know that it guarantees a right to remain silent if accused of crimes.[9]
There can be little doubt that the Second Amendment has a powerful impact on public policy. The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world in which tens of thousands of citizens are killed or wounded by guns each year.[10] [Page 313]
Consequently, the United States is far and away the leader in criminal homicide in the industrialized world.[11] Efforts to reduce handgun violence through legislation is by no means a hopeless cause. Research demonstrates that stringent handgun regulation can dramatically reduce murder, robbery, and suicide;[12] yet except for modest legislation, such as the Brady Act,[13] the United States neither has nor is seriously considering an effective system for regulating handguns in the United States.[14]
The Second Amendment is part of the reason that the United States tolerates a level of carnage and terror unparalleled [Page 314] in any other nation at peace.[15] The public more or less assumes that the Second Amendment prohibits the kind of gun control regulations that effectively protect public safety in other countries.[16]
But we still get to have guns, right? Of course!
Exactly what the parameters of the right to bear arms are and why the Founders considered it sufficiently important to include it in the Bill of Rights may seem a mystery shrouded by mists of time. The words of the Second Amendment are familiar to many Americans: "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."[17]
Americans have an image of the militia minutemen rushing with muskets onto the greens at Lexington and Concord to fire the "shot heard around the world."[18] The fact that colonists were armed helped make the Revolution possible. Indeed, it was a British plot to confiscate American militia weapons that propelled Paul Revere on his famous ride.[19] These images blend with other visions of colonial America.
Many believe guns and survival went hand-in-hand in early America that settlers depended upon firearms to defend themselves from Indians [Native Americans having their lands and livelihoods seized], thieves, and wild animals, as well as to hunt for food.[20] Some assume that the Founders incorporated the right to bear arms in the Bill of Rights because an armed citizenry had been important to security in colonial America and essential to throwing off the yoke of British oppression.[21]
Much of this is myth. It is not myth in the sense that the images are wholly divorced from historical truth. Rather, myths can be powerful and sinister because they blend fact and fiction. [Page 315] Myths do not so much misrepresent as mislead, not so much concoct as distort. That is the case with the Second Amendment. When the Bill of Rights was adopted, some believed that the right to bear arms was important to defend and feed citizens and their families or to resist foreign aggression and domestic tyranny.[22]

But, as this Article will show, that was not the principal reason that the Founders created the Second Amendment.
The story of the Second Amendment is both more complex and more interesting than previously understood. It is a tale of political struggle, strategy, and intrigue. The Second Amendment's history has been hidden because neither James Madison, who was the principal author of the Second Amendment, nor those he was attempting to outmaneuver politically, laid their motives on the table.
Before describing this hidden history, I wish to briefly explain why it is particularly important for scholars and courts to understand this hidden history and why this history will encounter great resistance. ... Insurrectionist theory is premised on [Page 319] the idea that the ultimate purpose of an armed citizenry is to be prepared to fight the government itself.
Halbrook believes that "the Second Amendment's framers anticipated a force of the whole armed populace, not a select group, to counter inroads on freedom by government,"[39] and that they intended "to guarantee the right of the people to have their private arms' to prevent tyranny and to overpower an abusive standing army or select militia."[40]
Such writings conjure up a romantic image of the colonial militia: rugged individualists who answer to no one but their own conscience and stand ready to protect their homes, families, and communities from all manner of threats, both foreign and domestic.
Ex-policeman and rampaging murderer Dorner
Because they serve no master other than their own sense of patriotism, they cannot be manipulated or commandeered as might a government-controlled force. Because they are armed, they have the means, as well as the will, to resist tyranny. More

Who should have guns? No one. Other than that? Any person, of sound mind, who has not abused one. Other Western countries have more guns than the USA and less gun crime. Why do we suffer disproportionately from the abuse of guns? According to Tom Hartmann it is NOT the availability of guns, not failures in the mental illness screening process of would-be gun buyers, nor even media representations. No, our problems may be summed up in a single word that encompasses them all: Reaganomics.

No comments: