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Re: “One nation under guns

I won't even discuss the increase in violent crime that has taken place since Britian disarmed its law-abiding citizens--excuse me--subjects--a nation that arrests people who have the audacity to defend themselves in their own homes----excuse me again...forgot it ISN'T their home--it's the crown's property. To explain the value of the Seconf Amendment, I am publishing the letter I sent to the Nine Supreme Court Justices shortly after they heard Heller V. DC: -------------------------------- Dear You have heard the case Heller v. DC now and having seen the transcript of the questions and arguments, I am compelled to write you over this matter. One area of concern was the unanimous agreement that even as a right, it was permissible for government to provide some level or reasonable regulation. Nothing could be further from the truth. No government deprives its citizens of rights without asserting that its actions are "reasonable" and "necessary" for high-sounding reasons such as "public safety." A right that can be regulated is no right at all, only a temporary privilege dependent upon the good will of the very government officials that such right is designed to constrain. Which brings me to my next pointthe so-called Bill of Rights (BOR). The BOR does not actually confer any rights at all, least of all to government which has powers, either reserved or delegated, but in no way do governments have rights. Rather, the BOR is designed to constrain government. It lists areas (in I-IX) where the government has no authority to limit the exercise of any and all rights except as specified under the due process clause in the 5th amendment. The Preamble to the BOR explicitly states the purpose of the first ten amendments: THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution A full understanding of the intended purpose of the Second Amendment is critical. The founders regarded all males over 16 to be militia, except those in the professional army or navy and certain public officials. But let us hear the words of some founders to determine who the militia are and what purpose they had in an armed populace. "Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property . . . Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them." Thomas Paine, Thoughts on Defensive War (1775). "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." Thomas Jefferson, Proposed Virginia Constitution (1776). "Americans need not fear the federal government because they enjoy the advantage of being armed, which you possess over the people of almost every other nation." James Madison. "A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves and include all men capable of bearing arms To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms . . . " Richard Henry Lee, Additional Letters From the Federal Farmer 53 (1788). "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them." George Mason, during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution (1788). "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. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." --James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 46 "Suppose that we let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal: still it would not be going to far to say that the State governments with the people at their side would be able to repel the danger...half a million citizens with arms in their hands" --James Madison, The Federalist Papers "Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people" --Tench Coxe, Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788. "To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike especially when young, how to use them." --Richard Henry Lee, 1788, Initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights, Walter Bennett, ed., Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican, at 21,22,124 (Univ. of Alabama Press,1975. "The great object is that every man be armed" and "everyone who is able may have a gun." --Patrick Henry, in the Virginia Convention on the ratification of the Constitution. Debates and other Proceedings of the Convention of Virginia,...taken in shorthand by David Robertson of Petersburg, at 271, 275 2d ed. Richmond, 1805. Also 3 Elliot, Debates at 386 "The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them." --Zachariah Johnson, 3 Elliot, Debates at 646 This is a mere sampling. Furthermore, Thomas Jefferson had thoughts about removing a right for safetys sake: "False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimeSuch laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."--Cesare Beccaria, quoted by Thomas Jefferson And the courts of the past have denied that public safety, is an acceptable reason to deny constitutionally protected natural rights: "To prohibit a citizen from wearing or carrying a war arm . . . is an unwarranted restriction upon the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of constitutional privilege." [Wilson v. State, 33 Ark. 557, at 560, 34 Am. Rep. 52, at 54 (1878)] Entrusting the nations sovereignty to the people, the amendment breaks the governments military monopoly, guaranteeing to the people such firearms as would be necessary to defend against the sort of government abuse of their inalienable rights the British had committed. Thus, the amendments "well regulated Militia" encompasses all citizens who constitute the polity of the nation with the right to form their own government. The amendments "keep and bear Arms" secures the right to possess firearms such as fully-automatic rifles, which are both the "lineal descendant(s) of founding-era weapon(s)" (applying a 2007 court of appeals test), and "ordinary military equipment" (applying a 1939 Supreme Court standard). Also, historically speaking, the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934 was originally in Title 15, the Tax Code, and not in the Criminal Code (Title 18). This was done because of Second Amendment concerns. It wasnt until much, much later that the NFA was quietly snuck over to the criminal code. The Miller case (1939) concerned a short-barreled shotgun, which was a $10 firearm that under the NFA was required to have a $200 tax applied. The case was originally thrown out on Second Amendment grounds as the judge in the case was familiar that short-barreled shot guns were in face used by the militaryas they still are. The US Government appealed to the Supreme Court and no one is sure what happened to Miller, but with out the defendant the defending attorney did not feel compelled to attend on behalf of the defendant and apparently according to his private notes did not feel that the lower court would be overturned. The US Attorney new of the militia use of such arms and did not feel compelled, quite naturally to inform the justiceswhy would he want to sink his own case? And it is interesting to note that On May 15, 1939 the Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion by Justice McReynolds, reversed and remanded the District Court decision. The Supreme Court declared that no conflict between the NFA and the Second Amendment had been established, writing: In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. The Court indicated that only military type arms are constitutionally protected. In reality, all firearms qualify: pistols, of all types; rifles and carbines; of all calibers and types, semi-auto, bolt, or full-automatic; though in modern times, the semi and full auto are the main type. Bolt-action are used for military sniping primarily. Shot guns with both normal and short barrels are used in both semi-auto and full-auto varieties. So, is there acceptable gun control regulation? Yes! Acceptable regulation, is only permissible if tailored to prohibit only those who have had their rights curtailed by due process of law, but applying to no others. Other than that, any regulation limiting type of weapons (including automatics and destructive devices), quantity, type of ammunition, quantities of arms, and even taxes (the BOR constrains even the commerce clausesince a tax would be an infringement), as well as any impediment as to where one may bear arms violates not only the Second, but the 9th as wellwhich I call the CYA amendment. The BOR extends to the states, contrary to popular and poor scholarship, because of what value is a restriction of the exercise of power, intended to prevent abuse, (the intent as described in the BOR Preamble) whereby the restriction is only upon the federal government, while leaving open the opportunity for abuse of natural rights by the states? The 14th Amendment (privileges and immunities clause) while additionally useful is in fact, superfluous. I am aware that four of you are seriously committed leftists/statists with little regard for the founding principles of individual liberty; this letter while it is hoped will move you to consider again the US Constitution as the Founders framed it, to provide for limited government and to protect the sovereignty of individuals; but is especially directed toward the other five justices who will it is hoped, redouble their efforts in the commitment to Federalism and to strike down not only the DC Law, but also to apply the decision to eliminate gun control generally, except as provided under due process under the Fifth Amendment. If the real purpose of gun control were public safety, why is always directed at those who did not commit a crime? The answer is: because gun control has never been about crime control; just control. There is one answer to violent crimebut it seems to be out of vogue and that is making society more violent than ever as a result of our reticence to apply the appropriate measures. In summary then, the BOR protects or guarantees pre-existing rights; rights which are absolute and which come from God, not from governmentthe specific purpose of the Second Amendment is to guarantee the people protection from criminals and government, especially when sometimes, the one is also the other. Access to any and all arms is necessary as a prophylactic measure against crime and tyranny. ------------------------------------ those last words are the crux....to defend against tyranny---always an ever-present threat. That British subjects have become such wusses is a shame---and when (not if) their government turns against them; in fact with all the socialism and other totalitarian actions that have taken place and in Orwellian fashion have been convinced thay are free, it has already done so; there will be no power to save them, for they have willingly made themselves slaves and willingly hand over their substance (wages) almost in entirety to their government for substandard services that could in a real free market be done far more cheaply and effectively. I would pity them....once proud and free, and now slaves and serfs to government and not even aware of what they have become--but thay did it to themselves most willingly, so instead these cowards have my utter contempt as they would John Adams's. He who was the first ambassador to the Court of St. James would be astonished and thus rightfully filled with contempt.</p> <div class="commentToolbar"> <span id="1246102_rating" class="commentCurrentRating"> <span id="1246102_rating_sub" style="display:none;"> <span id="1246102_rating_likes">0</span> likes, <span id="1246102_rating_dislikes">0</span> dislikes </span> </span> </div> </div> <div class="commentAuthor clearfix"> Posted by <span> <strong><a href="https://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/Profile?oid=1226325"><span class="reviewer">Federalist</span></a></strong> on <span class="dtreviewed">04/17/2008 at 12:19 PM<span class="value-title" title="2008-04-17"></span></span> </span> </div> </div><!-- end comment --> <script> jQuery("body#Profile").on("click", "li.moreLocationImages", function(e){ var myObj = jQuery(this); var startIndex = myObj.attr("data-index") || "1"; myObj.addClass("pulse"); var params = { member: "1226325", componentID: "RecentLocationImages", componentMaxCount: "15", startIndex: startIndex } jQuery.ajax({ url: "/gyrobase//Components/Profile/RecentLocationImages.html", cache: false, type: 'GET', data: (params), success: function (data) { jQuery("li.moreLocationImages").replaceWith(data); 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