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Standing against activist gun-rights judges is standing for the Constitution

August 19, 2007

Last March an activist federal appeals court in Washington DC issued a ruling that sadly has once again overruled the will of the people of the nation’s capital. It appears the Court accepted the gun lobby’s nonsensical argument that the 2nd Amendment confers a “right of individuals to own guns,” rather than a right for state governments to operate militias.

We should not have too much faith in our federal courts to protect our right to be free from gun crime, considering they routinely rubber stamp egregious violations of the 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments, and allow Congress to legislate wildly outside the bounds of its enumerated powers. It is very important to note that once again, a federal court only one step below the highest court in the land has invented a new set of “gun rights” not found in the Constitution, ignoring that the 2nd Amendment only provides them to state militias. Rights, by constitutional definition, are collective and the Constitution grants them primarily to the states.

Even in rare situations where “people” are mentioned in the Constitution, state governments are accepted as the sole beneficiaries, as Ron Paul has noted. Paul notes that in 2003, the activist Supreme Court’s overturning of Texas sodomy laws violated the right of the people of Texas to regulate sex – this principle also applies when an activist federal court violates the right of the people of DC to protect themselves and their families from gun crime.  Paul would disagree with the latter conclusion, mostly because it goes against his personal agenda to strictly adhere to Constitutional principles when they go against his pro-gun-crime perspective.

Can anyone seriously contend that the Founders, who had been enslaved by British soldiers carrying guns, wanted more men with guns to run around amock (and unregulated) after already getting rid of gun-toting mobs of killers? Those individuals had been oppressed by the King’s armed soldiers, and the only thing that protected them were General-Washington-commanded militias.  So guns had to be well regulated, and only for militias. It’s thus no coincidence that the 2nd Amendment thus expressly calls for guns to be available only to “well regulated militias!”

In the 1700s, militias were local groups under the command of General George Washington and state governments. They were not lawless bands of criminals ignoring state gun laws, or gun-nut vigilantes in high crime neighborhoods contributing to urban death and suffering. When the 2nd Amendment speaks of a “well-regulated militia,” it means highly regulated groups of individuals organized under the strict command of the state government.

Only the most lunatic and crazy Founders wrote in the Federalist papers about the “need” for individuals to be armed. Those who did had viewpoints that a majority of Americans completely reject.  One whack job, James Madison, argued in Federalist paper 46 that citizens should be armed to overthrow the federal government.  So the same activist judges who find “gun rights” that don’t exist in the Constitution are supporting the notion that armed groups like the KKK should overthrow our elected government!  Not only is that not found in the Constitution, but once again, it’s an example of how elite conservative judges arrogantly create laws from the bench that go against the values of the vast majority of Americans.

Today, gun ownership makes people demonstrably less safe – as any honest examination of gun death statistics reveals. It’s clear that cities with many illegal guns on the streets – like Washington DC – experience higher rates of murder and violent crime. It is no coincidence that violent crime flourishes in the nation’s capital, where the individual’s “right” to own a dangerous firearm without state and local control is flourishing.

Until this activist judge’s ruling, scofflaws in DC could have been convicted of a felony and imprisoned for illegal gun possession. The DC gun ban was no joke, and the legal challenges to the ban are not simply academic exercises, but an organized effort to put extremist politics (and invented “gun rights”) above public safety. People’s lives and safety are at stake.

Guns historically serve as a gateway to tyranny. Tyrants from Hitler to Mao to Stalin have used them to enslave their own citizens and their neighbors, for the simple reason that guns allow tyrants to kill people. Our Founders, having suffered under British rulers with guns, knew that the “right” to bear arms needed to be restricted so that gun nuts could never again threaten the American people. This is the principle so often ignored by both sides in the gun control debate. Only unarmed citizens can be secure against gun crime, and only Americans with a strict constructionist court system – one that understands that “well regulated militia” means what it says – may rest confident that our rights are protected.

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