As the lawyers for Dick Heller and the city of Washington, D.C. present their side’s argument for this important Second Amendment case today, it becomes readily clear how twisted and laced with pure fantasy the anti-gun nut side of the argument is!
It is the same old lame arguments made by the anti-gun nuts that we have seen before.
The city of Washington, D.C. claims:
“The text and history of the Second Amendment conclusively refute the notion that it entitles individuals to have guns for their own private purposes.”
Specifically, the city points to the language of the Second Amendment and argues both clauses taken individually or in concert can only be read to suggest its application to militias and not individuals.
This, however, flies in the face of all historical evidence and commentary by the original Founding Fathers. For example, here are just a few of the available historical quotes by those who wrote the Constitution:
- Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive. —Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (Philadelphia 1787).
- That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided as far as the circumstances and protection of the community will admit; and that, in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power. —Included in the Virginia delegation’s recommended bill of rights.
- Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. 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 governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people! —Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.
- No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms —Thomas Jefferson: Draft Virginia Constitution, 1776.
- “A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves …” —Richard Henry Lee writing in Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic, Letter XVIII, May, 1788.
- The great object is that every man be armed.” and “Everyone who is able may have a gun.” — Patrick Henry, American Patriot
Then, magically, out of thin air … for its historical argument, the city concludes, “There is no suggestion that the need to protect private uses of weapons against federal intrusion ever animated the adoption of the Second Amendment.”
But … again, the facts say differently! Here are a few more quotes by the “Framers” of the Constitution:
- “The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution.”
— Thomas Jefferson, Third President of the United States
- “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.” —Thomas Jefferson to James Madison
- “There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters. “ — Noah Webster, American Lexicographer
- The Constitution preserves “the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. . . (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” — James Madison, The Federalist, No. 46
- If circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights and those of their fellow citizens.” — Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist, No. 29
Here are two modern quotes on the that follow in the same line:
- “The ruling class doesn’t care about public safety. Having made it very difficult for States and localities to police themselves, having left ordinary citizens with no choice but to protect themselves as best they can, they now try to take our guns away. In fact they blame us and our guns for crime. This is so wrong that it cannot be an honest mistake.” — Malcolm Wallop, former U.S. Sen. (R-WY)
- An armed man is a citizen. A disarmed man is a subject.” — Anon.
The city’s second argument is that the Second Amendment simply does not apply to District-specific legislation. Sounds plausible on the surface … I guess.
However … doesn’t this seems to be a rather curious argument, at least politically, for a district government that is so keen on seeking equal representation in Congress. Why is it that left-wing, anti-gun, socialist, secular-progressive liberals always seem to want to have things both ways?
The real truth behind the anti-gun nut’s argument can be summed up by these two quotes from strong leaders of the gun control movement:
- “Our main agenda is to have all guns banned. We must use whatever means possible. It doesn’t matter if you have to distort the facts or even lie. Our task of creating a socialist America can only succeed when those who would resist us have been totally disarmed.”
— Sara Brady, Chairman, Handgun Control Inc, to Senator Howard Metzenbaum, The National Educator, January 1994, Page 3.
- This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!” — Adolph Hitler, Chancellor, Germany, 1933
The Second Amendment side of the argument.
Dick Heller’s lawyers contend the D.C. gun ban is a “draconian infringement” of the Second Amendment. And they too present their grammatical and historical interpretation of the law writing there cannot be “doubts or ambiguities” about the meaning of the second clause or its relationship with the first.
“The words cannot be rendered meaningless by resort to their preamble. Any preamble-based interpretive rationale demanding an advanced degree in linguistics for its explication is especially suspect in this context,” the attorneys argue.
I think it should also be pointed out that any “advanced degree in linguistics” is most often going to be held by a person of the liberal, elitist, anti-gun persuasion … because they like to stay where they feel secure … in the Ivory Towers of our more liberal universities.
Heller’s lawyers also present cites Founders-era evidence by quoting from George Mason, Blackstone and Madison.
They also quote from lawyer John Adams, who stated during his successful defense of British soldiers in the aftermath of the Boston Massacre, “here [in America] every private person is authorized to arm himself, and on the strength of this authority, I do not deny the inhabitants had a right to arm themselves at that time for their defense, not for offense.”
Heller’s lawyers dismiss the spurious argument the city makes that the Second Amendment does not have the effect of law in the District of Columbia. They do acknowledge that Congress (and also the D.C. government under … Home Rule) has the ability to make gun laws but must do so in accordance with the Constitution.
Finally, his lawyers dismiss the city’s argument that the handgun ban is legal under a “proper reasonableness” standard. Instead they offer a “strict scrutiny” guideline for imposing restrictions on gun ownership.
“As our nation continues to face the scourges of crime and terrorism, no provision of the Bill of Rights would be immune from demands that perceived governmental necessity overwhelm the very standard by which enumerated rights are secured. Exorbitant claims of authority to deny basic constitutional rights are not unknown. Demoting the Second Amendment to some lower tier of enumerate rights is unwarranted. The Second Amendment has the distinction of securing the most fundamental rights of all — enabling the preservation of one’s life and guaranteeing our liberty. These are not second-class concerns.”
It is also common for the Supreme Court to request the official position of the United States government. In this case, Solicitor General Paul Clement has been given 15 minutes to argue before the court. Lawyers for the District of Columbia and Heller will each have 30 minutes.
Paul clement’s brief, however, surprised many when it argued against a definitive ruling on the merits of the case. Instead the brief counsels the justices that the “better course” would be to remand the case back to the lower courts for further review. In so doing, Clement urges the court to acknowledge the “plain text” of the Second Amendment and recognize that the law does guarantee an individual right to keep and bear arms. He says such an interpretation “reinforces the most natural reading of the amendment’s text.”
I will end this post with a History of Gun Control that I found on a website by Scotts Computing, that I am sure the anti-gun nuts would not want you to read!
The History of Gun Control
- Soviet Union established gun control in 1929. From 1929 to 1953, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
- Turkey established gun control in 1911. From 1915 to 1917 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
- China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1976 20 million Anti-Communists, Christians, political dissidents and pro-reform groups, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
- Germany established gun control in 1938. From 1939 to 1945 13 million Jews, Gypsies, mentally ill people and other “mongrelized peoples,” unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
- Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
- Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
- Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977 1 million “educated people,” unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and executed.
That amounts to more than 55 million innocent people who were slaughtered by their own governments – governments that had first rendered their citizens defenseless by restricting or confiscating their firearms.
A free man with a firearm has a fighting chance against any would-be gangster or criminal. An disarmed man does not.