If anyone had any doubts about how the courts’ view of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, it should be quite clear by the recent decision of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, decision which concurred with the Fifth Circuit ruling in United States v. Portillo-Muniz, that Second Amendment protections do not apply to illegal aliens (who are specifically barred from possessing firearms by 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(5)). I see someone at the back of the class has their hand up…you have a question? You want to know why people who are here illegally should be granted the same rights as citizens? Excellent question…

Illegals should not be granted the same Constitutional rights as citizens for the same reason citizens should not be ‘granted’ these rights: Because our the rights listed in the Bill of Rights are not granted by the Constitution or the government, they belong to us by virtue of being human beings. Anyone remember this bit?

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

According to freedictionary.com, unalienable means “unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor.” After the Constitution’s ratification, some of those unalienable rights were incorporated into the Constitution as the Bill of Rights, but that document no more created them than dirty underwear and wheat create mice. As the U.S. Supreme Court stated in U.S. v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1875):

The right of the people peaceably to assemble for lawful purposes existed long before the adoption of the Constitution of the United States. In fact, it is, and always has been, one of the attributes of citizenship under a free government. … It was not, therefore, a right granted to the people by the Constitution. The government of the United States when established found it in existence, with the obligation on the part of the States to afford it protection.

The Court then goes on to apply this logic to the Second Amendment as well, stating,

The second and tenth counts are equally defective. The right there specified is that of ‘bearing arms for a lawful purpose.’ This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed; but this, as has been seen, means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress.

Notice that nowhere in the ruling does the Court state that these pre-existing rights applied only to citizens. Indeed the language makes it clear that the Court felt these were human rights, not mere citizens’ rights.

And there are numerous other cases affirming the rights of illegals: Yick Wo v. Hopkins and Kaoru Yamataya v. Fisher, 189 U.S. 86 (1903) which held that aliens were covered by the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment even if they were “alleged to be illegally here.” In Wong Wing v. US, the Court applied 5th and 6th Amendment protections to aliens, both legal and illegal.

In INS v. Lopez-Mendoza, the question arose whether the exclusionary rule should be applied to deportation proceedings of illegal aliens whose Fourth Amendment rights were violated by INS. At no point did the Court indicate that the Fourth Amendment did not protect illegals, instead they focused on weighing the social benefits versus possible social costs of applying the rule to deportation proceedings. In fact the Court states in Section V of their ruling,

We do not condone any violations of the Fourth Amendment that may have occurred in the arrests of respondents Lopez-Mendoza or Sandoval-Sanchez. …  Our conclusions concerning the exclusionary rule’s value might change, if there developed good reason to believe that Fourth Amendment violations by INS officers were widespread. …

Thus indicating, quite powerfully, that Fourth Amendment protections do apply to illegals.

Yet for some reason, when it comes to the Second Amendment all of a sudden the courts get all wishy-washy on Constitutional protections. The Fifth Circuit could have looked to United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 U.S. 259 (1990) where SCOTUS said:

‘[T]he people’ seems to have been a term of art employed in select parts of the Constitution. … While this textual exegesis is by no means conclusive, it suggests that ‘the people’ protected by the Fourth Amendment, and by the First and Second Amendments, and to whom rights and powers are reserved in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, refers to a class of persons who are part of a national community or who have otherwise developed sufficient connection with this country to be considered part of that community.

Instead they looked to District of Columbia v. Heller (not unreasonable, given that Heller directly addressed the Second Amendment), but it is telling what portion of the Heller ruling they cited,

… However, the Court’s language does provide some guidance as to the meaning of the term ‘the people’ as it is used in the Second Amendment. The Court held the Second Amendment ‘surely elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.’ Id. Furthermore, the Court noted that ‘in all six other provisions of the Constitution that mention ‘the people,’ the term unambiguously refers to all members of the political community, not an unspecified subset’ … The Court’s language in Heller invalidates Portillo’s attempt to extend the protections of the Second Amendment to illegal aliens. …

But even within that citation is the guidance which the Fifth Circuit claimed to be looking for, but chose to ignore when SCOTUS analogizes the use of ‘the people’ in the Second Amendment with its use in all the other amendments. Most of which, as we have seen, have been held directly to apply to illegals. Furthermore, if the Fifth Circuit was actually looking for guidance they could have found it in the first sentences of the very paragraph that they quote, where SCOTUS says,

We know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding ‘interest-balancing’ approach. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government—even the Third Branch of Government—the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon. … [emphasis in original]

With all these precedents it’s hard to see how any court, looking honestly at the Constitution and the law, could fail to conclude that “the freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right — subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility.”[1]

Unless, of course, the Second Amendment is a pariah, and no more welcome in the Bill of Rights than a bastard stepchild at a family reunion.

46 Responses to The Courts and Illegals’ Gun Rights: Double Standards R Us

  1. the rights listed in the Bill of Rights are not granted by the Constitution or the government, they belong to us by virtue of being human beings.

    Uh, not necessarily. The source that Bruce cites is the Declaration of Independence which is NOT part of American law. The Declaration is a political document and does not have the force of law. Period.

    I do not believe that the Founders viewed all the rights embodied in the Bill of Rights as “god-given.” The right against self-incrimination, for example, is purely a creation of jurisprudence. The same may be said about the 10th Amendment, which reserves certain powers to the states. I hate to bust the states’ rights bubble, but god did not create Oklahoma no matter what that song says.

    A line-by-line analysis of the Bill of Rights would require a book. Suffice it to say, some rights actually are conferred by the Constitution, while some preexisted the Constitution and are recognized and protected by the Constitution.

    I believe that one of the “preexisting rights” is the right to keep and bear arms. But that doesn’t make it so-called “human right.” That makes it an American right, reserved by the Founders to Americans, and to legal aliens who have entered into and bound themselves to a contract with the United States. Illegal aliens need not apply.

    • While I don’t particularly agree with your reasoning, I do have to agree with your conclusion.

      To say that the Bill of Rights is not law is misguided, at best. It is a political document, to be sure, but it is a contract – a contract between We The People and the Federal Government (and the States that have ratified it). It lays out specific powers for the various branches, and says that from here you will go no further. (I paraphrase, of course.)

      That’s not to say that anybody treats it with the reverence or respect it deserves. Quite the contrary, I personally believe that were the Founders to somehow step forward in time and look at the forever-encroaching government behemoths and the thousands of petty tyrants we have allowed to take power to protect us from ourselves, they would be the first to start the Second American Revolution.

      But none of that’s really here nor there, as it pertains to illegals and firearm rights, regardless of what any Second Amendment rulings – past or future – say about the issue. (This is part where I agree with you.)

      As evidence, I offer these questions:

      How can an illegal alien – by definition, a criminal – ever bear arms lawfully? I say they can’t. Their very existence is a criminal act and anything they do, such as get a job or drive a car or carry a pistol, can be interpreted as an act to further their criminal interests and activities.

      How can an illegal alien – by definition, a criminal – ever use a firearm to defend himself lawfully? I say they can’t. Much in the same vein as with auto insurance or driver’s licenses, no matter what happens in an auto accident, if you have no license or insurance, it’s your fault just for being on the road. How could an illegal alien claim the right to justifiably kill another person in self defense, when that illegal alien doesn’t even have the right to lawfully be in that location? What if that illegal alien kills a naturally-born or even a legalized citizen?

      I find it hard to believe that this is even an issue. People who go through the proper channels and come here legally to enjoy the benefits of life in the U.S. should enjoy the same rights as anyone else (and, over time, they do). But for someone whose very existence in our country indicates a willingness to engage in criminal activity to claim that they have “rights” – and for “our betters” to seriously entertain the notion while they strip We The People of all our rights with the other hand – is a slap in the face kick in the nuts to everybody that calls this country Home.

      • James, we disagree about the Declaration, and I find another possible objection to your post as well.

        When you write that illegal aliens have no Constitutional right to keep and bear arms, there is no disagreement between us on that point. But If you mean to say that an illegal alien has no right to self-defense, then we disagree on that point.

        Were an illegal alien to use a gun in true self defense, then I believe that the alien would not be guilty of an unlawful act by defending himself or herself, but would be guilty of illegally possessing a gun. I know it’s a fine point, but something similar happened recently.

        A woman shot her ex who was clearly bent on killing or maiming her. She had no permit for her gun. She was acquitted of homicide based on self defense, but convicted of a gun charge and will serve five years.

        Regardless of our disagreement, I enjoyed your post!

        • Ralph, while I generally appreciate your legal perspective, this is the sort of torturous legal logic that makes me a bit twitchy. The woman in your example has been found, in judicial proceedings, to have been justified in the use of deadly force in defense of her life. These proceedings found that she faced a clear and deadly threat and responded appropriately. But, wait, they didn’t give her permission to use that tool…should’ve used a knitting needle, or maybe harsh language. The court has determined she would be a more noble law-abiding citizen if she were a corpse. Solely because she is a disfavored person.

          As I understand the theory, this is a malum in se vs malum prohibitum situation. Her action is not inherently criminal it’s merely been made illegal by the actions of a legislature. And this situation should properly call those actions into question.

          On another point, I’m unclear how you maintain that the RKBA is a pre-existing right recognized and protected by the Constitution but then maintain that it was reserved by the founders to Americans and favored people, classes which did not pre-exist the Constitution?

          JSG

  2. “The People” means the citizens. To construe it differently is to make citizenship meaningless, something liberals are wont to do, but that is not my fault, nor does it change the facts. Remember, it is “We the People of the United States.” To believe that “the people” could include non-citizens is to abstract from the framer’s intentions.”

    All men are created equal” referred to British citizens under the King. Remember, the Declaration was a letter sent to the King anent citizen grievances. The idea that “all men” meant every human being is quite out of the framer’s context, and they certainly would not have understood it that way; this can be readily observed from the writings of men such as Jefferson regarding blacks and Indians.

    The Amendments were those legislative powers reserved to the States. That is, the people of the individual States. Originally there was no “national” idea about freedom of speech or the right to bear arms, etc. The Amendments were, instead, a direct prohibition of the central government from imposing its will upon the States.

    However, all of this has been long forgotten, and with the expansion of the Commerce Clause and the doctrine of incorporation the Constitution is pretty meaningless as a limit on Federal power.

      • Actually….at the time this was a true statement. They were not men, not citizens, but property. This actually reinforces the argument against the article above.

  3. My opinion is that an illegal alien is not covered/protected under the United States Constitution.

    Just as I wouldn’t expect to have my “unalienable right” to keep and bear arms in Mexico. Nor would I expect to have my unalienable right to free speech in North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, etc.

    In theory, God-given rights are great; however, in the real world, one’s rights are accorded by the country of residence. And if the person is not a legal resident of said country, the person (who is violating said sovereign country’s laws) rights are non-existent.

  4. I agree the rights are not dependent upon citizenship and the statement “self-evident” is pretty clear.
    To make the rights discussed dependent upon citizenship would be a huge and risky step since citizenship is certainly is not self-evident and can be conferred or take away by the authority of the govt – which would more or less be like the govt. having an off switch when rights were inconvenient (as in the case cited). It would be fundamentally un-American for the govt. to have this authority.
    The rights being self-evident means that, at the minimum, for any people over which the govt. has any authority, it holds these rights as self evident – obvious and outside its power to confer or deny. Incidentally, this includes when persons are captured in war or conflict or are detained.

  5. Sorry, but TLDR on the article; I’ve got other things to do today.

    That said, the way I see it, the use of a firearm in the commission of a crime is, and should be, illegal.

    THEREFORE, as those who are here criminally — criminal aliens — are in the commission of a crime, their possession or use of firearms is a crime.

    The crime comes not due to their lack of citizenship, but due to the crime committed by their illegal entry and continued presence.

    Likewise, they still may have a right to arms, but their exercise of that right, while still fugitives from justice, is a codified crime.

    THIS, from where I sit, is the very definition of a “reasonable restriction” per the Heller decision.

  6. I don’t see the problem.
    Do people have unalienable rights or not?

    Does illegal immigration rate the same as a violent felony where in many states the 2A is taken away?

  7. So if illegal aliens and other non-citizens of the USA can have a right to guns; does that mean that all the hoopola of citizens and gun dealers accidentally and deliberately selling guns to said non-citizens, is really not the basis of a crime?

  8. What many people don’t realize about the Bill of Rights is that it does not grant us any rights at all. Instead, it assumes that the people have those rights by default, and prohibits the government from interfering with them. The 1st prohibits the government from interfering with the press, religion, and free speech. The second prohibits the government from restricting the ownership of weapons. The third prohibits the government from quartering troops in private homes. The fourth prohibits the government from searching or seizing private property without a warrant. You see where I’m going with this.

    More specifically to this article, I was pretty much going to say what HSR47 above me said.

  9. Another great job Bruce and I wish it were true, but it seems that the constitution and the bill of rights are going the way of horse and buggy.

  10. Why do you quote the declaration of independence to support your ideas about the constitution?

    If we are not “granted” these rights. If we inherently HAVE them. then we cannot have “illegals.“ All men have a right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Nowhere does it say except ”illegals“

    • The Declaration of Independence is not part of the Constitution of the United States. It is what it said, a Declaration clarifying grievances. It is a philosophical part of US law, but not a binding constitution, statute, regulation, treaty, or court holding.

  11. The “inalienable rights” quote is from the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration is a political document that does not have the force of law and never has. Citing it is a total red herring. Bruce may as well have cited “Alice in Wonderland.”

    Moreover, not all the “rights” ennumerated in the Bill of Rights were ever thought of as “god given.” For example, the Founders did not find any theology to support the Tenth Amendment so beloved among the states’ rights crowd. Despite what David Frizzell crooned, god did not make Oklahoma. Man did. If man created states, then ipso facto states’ rights are manmade, not god-made. I could go on, but it would require a book.

    So let’s skip the tub-thumping about our “god given rights,” okay? The right of Americans to keep and bear arms predates the Constitution by hundreds of years and is recognized and supported by the Second Amendment. The right to keep and bear arms is the birthright of citizens, and I believe that it also applies to non-citizen legal resident aliens who respect the contract that they’ve entered into with the United States. They are in many respects like our forebears, who came here not as American citizens but as citizens of Great Britain, Holland, Germany, Ireland and most every other country in the world.

    To extend the same right to illegal aliens makes a mockery of the Constitution. When al Qaeda agents sneak into the country, are they Constitutionally entitled to keep and bear arms? How preposterous is that. What Bruce wants is not to end a double-standard, but to have no standards at all. He would be well-advised to remember Justice Jackson’s quote that “the Constitution is not a suicide pact.”

  12. Rights conferred on aliens and immigrants can get interesting. I have a document where my Great Grandfather Kratzer legally had to withdraw his oath of allegiance to support the Canton of Berne and the Constitution of Schweizerland, and had to swear allegiance to support the Constitution of the United States of America. As far as I know, once he did this he had full rights as a United States Citizen.

  13. Speaking of aliens with guns, here is an interesting one. Back in the Revolutionary War, a lot of Hannoverian and Hessian German Mercenaries were employed by the Crown to put down the American rebellion. One of the Hannoverian mercenaries so happened to be one of my ancestors on the Kistler side. He fought for the English and later defected to the American Continental Army led by George Washington. I have heard that tens of thousands of German Mercenaries joined the American side and never went back to Germany. So now we have all of these converted Germans running around the American country side with military weapons. I wonder what kind of naturalization process the Americans had for the German Mercenaries?

    • Under the Articles of Confederation, “the free inhabitants of each of these states, paupers, vagabonds and fugitives from Justice excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several states.”

      That was pretty much it. If you were free (not a slave), not a pauper, hobo or on the lam, and you lived in a state, you were a citizen if you wanted to be; if you still wanted to kiss the Kaiser’s a$$ you were free to do so.

  14. I posted this comment the last time this topic came up, but I came to the discussion late. I’ll repost it here, as it still fairly reflects my feeling.

    Like some others, I’m actually a little surprised at all the gun rights folks squawking at the idea of “criminal immigrants” (ridiculous term, IMO) exercising their rights. ANY of their rights. I actually hold these rights to be inherent, not granted by some government authority. And the stress on citizens vs. residents? Purported loyalty to the state has nothing to do with individual rights.

    See, I actually think citizens of Mexico have a right to bear arms in their own defense. Likewise citizens of Great Britain. Or China. The folks in Africa or the Middle East? Yep, they’ve got those rights to. Because they’re inherent. The fact that they are unable to exercise those rights in their home country has entirely to do with government tyranny.

    As to all this “illegal means they’re criminals means we can deny them whatever rights we feel like ’cause we wanna” BS: Some instances have been codified into law wherein the government is allowed to infringe on the rights of individuals for the protection of other individuals. Thus we have the curtailing of rights for felons. (I think this is a dangerous practice that should be restricted to only the most significant cases, and it currently is not, but that’s for another day) But there’s this little process the government is required to go through to pursue such infringement. In the absence of that process, we have this neat legal theory in the United States…innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. So before we go stripping rights from whole groups of people willy-nilly can we pay a little lip service to our own principles?

    I find the question of immigration seems to bring out the worst in people, fairly consistently. But I maintain that for those of you who believe individuals do not have certain rights because of their geographic origins or locations…you have not thought this through.

    This is targeted a little more directly at comments in the previous post, but I think it still holds well here.

    JSG

    • I see no issue with allowing legal residents to own/buy/sell/use guns for any and all lawful purposes.

      Where it gets sticky is with so-called criminal aliens; we currently have laws in place to control immigration into this country; those who enter this country in violation of these statutes, and through unauthorized ports of entry, are thereby committing a crime. While they continue to live here, they are thus fugitives from justice. Therefore, by federal law as codified in title 18, section 922 of the united states code, they are prohibited persons, and their possession of firearms is ITSELF a felony.

      • To clarify, I’m not saying I *agree* with the statutes that are on the books; As Bruce Kraft wrote here earlier today “…if someone can’t be trusted with a firearm, then they can’t be trusted without a custodian…”

        I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment, however I cannot reconcile treating two groups of criminals differently. Either the laws that exist to criminalize firearms possession by criminals are legitimate, in which case it is and should be illegal for criminal aliens to possess firearms, or such laws are constitutionally invalid in the first place, in which case they ought to be struck down by the courts or repealed by congress.

        To do anything other than these two options would go counter to the singular founding principal of our judicial system — that we are a nation of LAWS and not of MEN.

        • I see all kinds of problems with a philosophical viewpoint that says “allow” with regards to the free exercise of our rights. It is, for me, inherently in error.

          As I said before, I find the phrase “criminal aliens” and its permutations to be silly. It strikes me as nothing more than a phrase designed to increase the negative connotations associated with the group under discussion and it leads to tortured logic wherein we can justify any number of things under existing law because, well, they’re criminals just by existing!

          I cover my thoughts on this in more detail in a comment below so I’ll keep this one brief.

          JSG

  15. You begin with the discussion of some elaborations of the Exclusionary Rule, and then analogize to the 2nd Amendment. If you look back to the original formulation of the Exclusionary Rule you will find the Supreme Court did not hold that Rule was a constitutional requirement, but that it was to be imposed in order for the Supreme Court to fulfill its “supervisory responsibility” over the courts. That distinction remains. As to whether illegal aliens are part of “the people,” there are still conflicts but I believe the right answer is ‘no.’ We have followed that analysis throughout considerations of the Federal Government’s rights to decide what process shall be available to those people determined to be in the country illegally.

  16. We coddle illegal invaders to this country as it is. Not many countries put up with invasions of their lands like we do. They are entitled to s#it. Make it tougher and tougher for them to work and live here and they will deport themselves.
    Am I heartless and cruel? Maybe. But a large number of people living below the radar with no accountability yet access to all we have as a society is a problem for all of us. If you disagree then maybe you’re part of the problem. Imagine being in a traffic accident with someone who walks away and slips back into a foreign country leaving behind all his worries. Or worse, commits crimes without having to answer for it.
    Granting these invaders gun rights would be an insult to those who have to provide detailed information about ourselves to the government and beg for permission to own guns in our own right.
    I’m with Ralph on the subtle differences that exist between God given rights of fair treatment and granted rights of law. The 2A was a protection clause inserted to prevent the Leviathan from getting out of control.

    • Again, we have no God Given Rights. We, the writers of the Declaration of Independence, decided we have god given rights. Please read the whole thing.

      Second, If we do indeed have god given rights, then these rights have no borders or permits.

      So, take your choice, all humans have god-given rights, even supposed al-Quada types, or there is no god given rights. Unless, we Americans are so exceptional, that we are the only ones with these rights.

      • all humans have god-given rights, even supposed al-Quada types, or there is no god given rights.

        Sorry, but that statement is completely illogical. Saying that some rights are “god-given” does not mean that all rights emanate from the almighty. Draw a Venn diagram next time, okay?

      • I’ll take the American Exceptional-ism option instead. Everyone else can get in line at the embassy and apply for a visa to come here. Get permanent resident status, apply for and get citizen-ship, and enjoy a nice cup of freedom.
        Option 2 is to implement such policies in whatever country you currently live in. The Arab Spring could be quite a turning point over there but their God-given rules in the Sharia are not the same as ours.

  17. I agree with the American system legal analysis, however the Constitution is not the end all, be all and it certainly is not the basis for true freedom. The right to life and to property are inherent to every human and this obviously pre-dates even the idea of a centralized government. A firearm is a tool (property) that is used to defend one’s life. No human can deny another the possession or use of that property to utilized in the above capacity.

    Recognizing the right to life and to property is at the crux of this argument. No one would be justified to deny an “illegal” (or anyone) the ownership of a chainsaw (or any other piece of property) for use in it’s designated capacity. What is the difference for a firearm?

  18. What would that Venn diagram show? The alleged “god-given” rights, that only apply to American Citizens and the alleged “god-given” rights that apply to everyone else. But first, explain how god given rights to men are not universal.

  19. I think this topic is best broken out into two philosophical points: The first point revolves around inherent rights and who holds them; the second point involves those instances wherein the citizenry has decided it is appropriate for the government to infringe on the rights of an individual for the protection of other individuals.

    I maintain that people, by virtue of being sentient human beings, are possessed of certain rights not granted by any authority and therefore not subject to revocation by any authority. They are inherent. Among these is the right to life, and extended from this is the right to defense of self and others. The right to keep and bear arms is, in part, about ensuring the individual the right to protect themselves and others from those who would violate their right to life. As I said previously I believe this right exists regardless of geographic origin or present location.

    In establishing an organized state the citizens have established that in certain cases the state is authorized to infringe on the inherent rights of individuals for the protection of other citizens, such as the case of violent felons. In our current state of affairs I believe we have seen this authorization broadened to encompass individuals who represent no threat to other citizens, and in my mind these infringements are invalid and extreme.

    When we turn to the case of illegal immigrants, they are born sentient human beings and in possession of their inherent rights. Their inability to exercise these rights in their country of origin is reflective of the tyranny of those governments not of the nature of those individuals. Their illegal entry to this country does not constitute a threat of violence in itself, so infringement on these grounds is not justified. Therefore they possess the right to life and subsequently the right to defense of self and others, and the right to keep and bear arms is the highest expression of this right. To deny this right to individuals based on an accident of birth or more insidiously claim it based on our own lucky accident seems a profoundly malicious action, and from this thought greater maliciousness follows.

    Placing too much stress on the current definitions of law as regards citizenship or even humanity willfully ignores the past failures of the legislatures writing those laws. Some of the darkest periods in our history as a nation and culture stem from the decisions that certain human beings were not worthy of our ideals. I’m not speaking only of slavery, but the treatment of Native Americans, the subjugation of various immigrant groups like the Chinese, Irish, Italian or Jewish immigrants of any nation. Each of these populations and others has suffered because officers of the state were willing to declare they were unworthy of the privileges and rights of others in our nation.

    When we try to find solutions to the illegal immigration problem (and I do think it’s a problem) it’s too easy to dehumanize and infringe and we get excesses in our arguments. Such as GS650G saying ”They are entitled to s#it.” They’re entitled to their lives, as are all human beings. Or the same commenter’s American exeptionalism option which strikes me as too dependent on the accident of birth. The more subtle, and more insidious, argument can be found in James’ comment above:

    “How can an illegal alien – by definition, a criminal – ever use a firearm to defend himself lawfully? I say they can’t…How could an illegal alien claim the right to justifiably kill another person in self defense, when that illegal alien doesn’t even have the right to lawfully be in that location?”

    How can they not claim the right? The converse of this is that the citizen who chooses to violate the right to life of an illegal immigrant should not be opposed by that individual because they are not a citizen! Frankly, bullsh!t. This is an attempt to use the legislatures attempt to codify self-defense for judicial proceeding to strip a disfavored group of their simple right to life and the protection thereof.

    I believe it is important to remember that for many of us, our presence in the US is the result of nothing more than an accident of our birth. It represents no nobility of character or intelligence of choice, it’s just a happy accident. When it comes to the benefits of living in this country and society, I think it’s appropriate to control immigration and protect our established way of life. When it comes to the inherent rights of human beings, I think it’s essential that we recognize these for individuals regardless of their origins or immigration status.

    JSG

  20. I respect the efforts of all 2A supporters. But I am just puzzled by the support for IA’s to own guns. They CHOSE to violate American Law by entering the country the way they did. Why deny American Law breakers (criminals/ felons) the right to own, and yet go right around and say Alien Law Breakers are exempt? Last time I checked, immigration laws were still laws. Just wondering…

  21. Here’s some ideas.
    Allow your nation to be invaded by millions of foreigners who don’t speak the language, don’t know the laws and don’t understand the culture.
    Require the addition of their language to official documents and etc.
    Ensure the most vocal supporters always get media coverage, and although there’s a clear distinction between ‘race’ and ‘nationality‘, any opposition to their illegal presence or activities must always be cited as racist.
    Support illegal inhabitants financially through various social programs, accept their offspring as legal Citizens and provide them with special privileges.
    Ignore as possible the fact that thousands upon thousand of entrants without inspection are human and drug smugglers, in addition to being gang members involved in various types of criminal activity, if for no other reason than remaining politically correct.
    Ignore the millions of jobs occupied by illegal aliens and joblessness among your Citizens.
    Release non-Citizens who commit crimes the average Citizen would be charged and prosecuted for, in order to avoid spending valuable resources necessary to deal with federal immigration laws, regardless of the damage done to the lives and property of actual Citizens.
    Incarcerate only the most violent entrants without inspection who leave you with no other choice, and rather than deport them to their country of origin, force the Citizens to pay the costs of their incarceration. After their sentence is served, release them back into the general population.
    Allow visas to be issued by foreign countries and avoid tracking of visa overstayers.
    Fund organizations that register non-Citizens to vote and incorporate them into you political party.
    Institute protectionist government policies and pressure lenders to finance home mortages for millions of non-Citizens, regardless of their obvious inability to pay.
    File suit against any state offical who dares attempting to enforce immigration laws and encourage the media to portray them as the racists they obviously are.
    Allow or coerce FFL dealers to sell firearms to prohibited persons including illegal aliens, especially those known to be connected with drug cartels.
    Continue to try to enact laws to fast-track Citizenship and grant amnesty to illegal aliens which would necessarily afford them all the privileges of Citizens. This in turn would afford them to legally buy and own firearms, which should increase the number of Gun Crimes, which naturally would require enactment of more gun control laws such as registration of all firearms and their owners from the federal level.
    Never allow the distinction to be made between Gun Crimes committed by non-Citizens and legal residents in any official report.
    Meanwhile, implement laws laying the groundwork for formation of a union of the most powerful nations on the continent, including plans for a headquarters, appointed officials with taxing and law enforcement authority, establishing the Union of the Americas.
    Problems with standards solved by lowering or eliminating any or all existing standards.

    Any Questions?
    ( editor needed )

    • lets keep drudging up the past and justify not enforcing laws because of it .the sins of the father scenario is getting old

    • I don’t understand how a felony that is as old as 20 yrs that simply got you probation can take away your right to vote and keep you from owning a firearm for protection only in your home could be taken away what are you supposed to do when they break into your home to harm your family throw baseball’s at them or just beg for your life

  22. Uh, since they are here illegally, and have broken Federal laws, doesn’t that make them ineligible to own a firearm, or are you just one of the millions who want to destroy this country piece by piece and are using this baloney to do it? And IMHO nailed it.

  23. Excellent article. It always blows my mind to see folks demanding an end to one form of prohibition while flagrantly extolling another.

  24. I’m totally disabled and have no way to defend myself because 20 yrs ago I sold 10.00 dollars worth of weed so I can’t vote or own a gun something does not seem right because of that I’m not allowed to protect my family which I have now just me looking for answers there has to be a way out

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