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Another Second Amendment Article

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Beretta687EELL, Apr 12, 2007.

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  1. Beretta687EELL

    Beretta687EELL Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    I got the following article via e-mail today. If someone has already posted it, sorry for the repeat. Bill Malcolm


    Do American Citizens Have a Right to Own a Gun?
    By John W. Whitehead - 4/11/2007
    http://www.rutherford.org/articles_db/commentary.asp?record_id=468



    Do American Citizens Have a Right to Own a Gun?
    By John W. Whitehead
    4/11/2007


    “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.”—Second Amendment


    For the past 30 years, residents of the District of Columbia have been
    threatened with conviction and imprisonment simply for having a gun in their homes.


    In keeping with a District-wide law, all handguns were prohibited, unless they
    were registered before 1976. Even pistols registered prior to the ban could not
    be carried from room to room within a home without a license. Furthermore,
    licensed guns had to be kept locked up or disassembled.


    Critics have long decried the District’s gun ban as the most restrictive in the
    nation. But Shelly Parker and five other D.C. residents went a step beyond
    complaining to challenge the law in federal court, claiming that it barred the
    very protection the Second Amendment guarantees—the right to self defense.


    Parker v. District of Columbia calls attention to the ongoing debate over the
    Second Amendment—namely, whose rights does it protect and how far does it go in
    protecting those rights?


    In ruling against Parker, a federal district court insisted that the Second
    Amendment confers only a “collective right.” This position is affirmed by gun
    control advocates like the ACLU, which insist that the Second Amendment is
    “intended mainly to protect the right of the states to maintain militias to
    assure their own freedom and security against the central government. Except for
    lawful police and military purposes, the possession of weapons by individuals is
    not constitutionally protected.”


    However, the historical view espoused by those such as Thomas Jefferson, James
    Madison and George Mason and most recently by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals
    says that, in fact, the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to
    bear arms. In writing for the court’s 2-1 majority, Judge Laurence Silberman
    pointed out, “In determining whether the Second Amendment’s guarantee is an
    individual one, or some sort of collective right, the most important word is the
    one the drafters chose to describe the holders of the right—‘the people.’”
    Silberman went on to recognize that the Second Amendment does not confer a right
    but rather recognizes a natural right inherent in our humanity.


    This affirmation of the people’s right to keep and bear arms has also been
    supported by numerous constitutional experts like Harvard law school professor
    Laurence Tribe. According to Tribe, the Framers clearly believed that “people
    possessed a natural right to keep and bear arms.”


    History is on Tribe’s side. With the despotism of a tyrannical king fresh in
    their minds, the Framers knew they had to provide a means for the people to
    defend themselves against a tyrannical government. They believed the right to
    keep and bear arms enabled a citizen to stand up to the government. If the
    government got out of hand, you could defend yourself—you could rebel. After
    all, that’s what happened in 1776.


    The Framers wanted to ensure that if the government had control of the military,
    as it does today—including the National Guard—citizens would have a means of
    protecting themselves. Thus, they specifically added the Second Amendment to the
    Constitution to ensure that individuals—ordinary Americans—had a means of
    protecting themselves not only against their own government but against
    intruders. Furthermore, early Americans relied on ordinary weapons for many
    things, often keeping them in their homes.


    There is nothing more solidly embedded in the Constitution than the right to
    bear arms. As Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex.) has said, “Can anyone seriously
    contend that the Founders, who had just expelled their British rulers mostly by
    use of light arms, did not want the individual farmer, blacksmith, or merchant
    to be armed? Those individuals would have been killed or imprisoned by the
    King’s soldiers if they had relied on a federal armed force to protect them.”


    “Our Founders, having just expelled the British army, knew that the right to
    bear arms serves as the guardian of every other right,” continued Paul. “This is
    the principle so often ignored by both sides in the gun control debate. Only
    armed citizens can resist tyrannical government.”


    Nevertheless, more than 200 years later, the Second Amendment has been laid
    siege to and gutted by gun control advocates and the forces of political
    correctness. While it must be conceded that the individual citizen could not
    hope to defend him or herself against local and federal law enforcement dressed
    in military gear, armed to the teeth with armored vehicles and weapons of mass
    destruction, shouldn’t Americans at least be able to protect themselves, their
    families and their homes against criminals?


    As George Mason declared, “To disarm the people is the best and most effectual
    way to enslave them.” While Congress can, of course, reasonably regulate certain
    types of weapons such as assault rifles, banning law-abiding citizens from
    having handguns in their own homes for self-defense or owning hunting rifles
    goes far beyond anything the Framers contemplated.


    To argue otherwise is ridiculous.


    Publication Guidelines & Reprint Permission


    John W. Whitehead’s weekly commentaries are available for publication to
    newspapers and web publications at no charge. Please contact
    marketing@rutherford.org to be added to the distribution list for the weekly
    commentary or for any questions relating to reprint permission.


    The Rutherford Institute
    P.O. Box 7482
    Charlottesville, VA 22906-7482
     
  2. bigdogtx

    bigdogtx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    10,650
    Worth reading again.
     
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