Let’s Stop Worrying About The 2nd Amendment And Start Worrying About Ending Gun Violence.

I’m not sure whether it’s Donald Trump or Wayne LaPierre who is more convinced that Hillary is an enemy of the 2nd Amendment, but I get emails from both of them on a daily basis asking for money to keep her from moving into the Oval Office at High Noon on January 20, 2017. And what both of them keep telling me is that if Hillary becomes the 45th President, the first thing she’ll do is appoint a liberal to the Supreme Court, and the first thing the Supreme Court will do is reverse the 2008 Heller decision which will then be the first step in taking away all my guns.

2A           How do we know that Hillary wants to get rid of the 2nd Amendment?  Because the Breitbart website said so on June 5th, and if Breitbart says so, it must be true.  Actually, what she really said is that she favors laws that would extend background checks to private sales and reverse the 2005 statute (PLCAA) that gave the gun industry immunity from liability torts.

Hillary’s gun positions are right on her website, and there’s nothing in her proposals that is any different from what she and other liberals have been saying for years.  In fact, her call for stricter regulation of assault rifles has absolutely nothing to do with the Constitutional guarantee for private gun ownership, since the 2008 decision extended 2nd-Amendment protection to handguns, not rifles, and a later attempt by Heller to have the 2nd Amendment cover private ownership of rifles was turned down flat.

What I find interesting about Gun-nut Nation is they are the first ones to denounce the ‘liberal elite’ for using the judiciary to ‘make’ laws that run contrary to the people’s will.  And the reason they don’t want Hillary to appoint any judges is because she’ll appoint judges who don’t respect the Constitution and are always trying to promote liberal ideology with their decisions rather than going by exactly what the document says. These are the same people, incidentally, who tell you that the 2nd Amendment gives them the ‘right’ to own and carry a gun without any interference from the government at all.  Which means either a) they have never actually read the 2008 Heller decision; or b) they have read it and are too dumb to understand it; or c) they have read it, understand it, and are just lying to make a point. Breitbart fits somewhere between b) and c).

Let me tell you something about the 2nd Amendment and what I am going to say not only applies to Gun-nut Nation noisemakers like Breitbart, but applies to certain liberal, Constitutional scholars as well.  I bought my first, real gun in 1956 when I was twelve years old.  It was a beautiful, 6-inch, Smith & Wesson revolver that I found lying on a table in a tag sale on the edge of the Everglades on Hwy 441 near Boca Raton. Ten minutes after I bought it my Uncle Nathan snatched it out of my hands and sold it to a pawn shop the next day.  But that’s beside the point.

From 1956 until 2008 I probably bought and sold 500 guns (which is only 10 a year) and not a single one of those transactions was protected in any way by any kind of Constitutional guarantee. Nor was a single one of those transactions in any way jeopardized by the lack of a Constitutional guarantee.  Because until 2008, the 2nd Amendment only protected ownership of guns that would be used in what we call the ‘common defense.’ This was the ruling in the 1939 Miller case, and this ruling did not stop me from buying or selling a single gun.

I don’t think that ending gun violence has anything to do, pro or con, with so-called 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ So let’s stop worrying about whether anyone gets offended because we don’t evince a proper reverence towards the sacred, 2nd-Amendment text. Let’s end gun violence, okay?



7 thoughts on “Let’s Stop Worrying About The 2nd Amendment And Start Worrying About Ending Gun Violence.

  1. “Clinton believes Heller was wrongly decided in that cities and states should have the power to craft common sense laws to keep their residents safe, like safe storage laws to prevent toddlers from accessing guns,” Maya Harris, a policy adviser to Clinton, said in an e-mailed statement. “In overturning Washington D.C.’s safe storage law, Clinton worries that Heller may open the door to overturning thoughtful, common sense safety measures in the future.”

    It would seem to me that Clinton does not understand Heller. Or, chooses to misrepresent it.

    • Note that Maya Harris calling the Washington DC law a “safe storage law” is patently dishonest. That law basically meant one could not have a serviceable gun in the home for home defense. The Ninth Circuit more recently upheld a “safe storage law” in California (San Francisco??) although I found that law hilarious. Under the San Francisco law, one would be encouraged to sleep with a gun in a shoulder holster.

  2. You appear to maintain a distinct cognitive dissonance with regards to what you refer to as “assault weapons” – and firearms for use in “common defense”. But hey, let’s ignore the Constitution nonetheless…….right?

    • Heller explicitly said that a Washington DC law that banned handguns and required trigger locks was unconstitutional. Several more recent attempts to have state laws banning ARs overturned on the basis of the hair-splitting nature of “in common use at the time” vs. “dangerous and unusual” vs. the interpretation of Miller that “… the right applies to those (weapons) used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes…” have been unsuccessful.

      Everyone has their interpretation of the Constitution. Its those nine folks in black robes who get the last word most of the time.

      • The “last words” of Scalia’s Majority opinion in Heller — his conclusion — makes it pretty clear states can regulate guns all they like. Read it for yourself. “Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

        Those “laws” and “longstanding prohibition,” he’s referring to is a way of indicating state and federal laws regulating gun use. Statutes, in other words, that SCOTUS recognizes as valid and the legitimacy of which doubt should not be cast.

      • I have read it for myself, Mr. Colvin. Along with both dissents. Which is why I am not surprised that the SCOTUS has let stand lower court decisions on ARs. Their decision was rather narrow and was ambiguous with regard to other regulation/prohibition.

        Heller overturned a gun ban. As you said, and I never disagreed, it did not overturn regulation. The question before the lower courts was whether AR bans fell under the “dangerous and unusual” or “in common use”. The “longstanding prohibition” applied to prohibited people.

        Does anyone know if the 4th Circuit and district court has issued final word on Kolbe v Hogan? Strict scrutiny was demanded there:

        “…Thus, the panel vacates the district court’s denial of Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment claims and remands for the district court to apply strict scrutiny. The panel affirms the district court’s denial of Plaintiffs’ Equal Protection challenge to the statutory exception allowing retired law enforcement officers to possess prohibited semi-automatic rifles. And, the panel affirms the district court’s conclusion that the term “copies” as used by the FSA is not unconstitutionally vague.”

  3. Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment,

    That’s odd, Mike seems to think that Heller is the last word on all things 2nd Amendment, unless amended or overturned by a future SCOTUS ruling – and that the narrow opinion in Heller [due to the narrow case before it] renders any other activity inherent in the 2nd Amendment, not explicitly allowed by Heller, to be un-Constitutional.

    Yet here we have the majority opinion speaking of the verdict not encompassing the full scope of the amendment…….

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