You gotta give Josh Horwitz [above] props. The Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence‘s anti-gun polemic in the Huffington Post is the worst case of exactly backwards misinformation I’ve ever read. And I bet he knows it. Oh Ye of Little Faith: The Pro-Gun Movement’s Total Disregard for Our Constitution is so absurd I can only conclude that he wrote it just to tweak gun rights advocates’ nipples. Start with this: “Nugent’s remarks [about the whole world sucking and America sucking less] got me thinking about a seldom discussed but critical aspect of the modern pro-gun movement: Its total lack of faith in the system of government established by our Founders in the U.S. Constitution.” Total? Maybe, maybe not. Needless to say, it gets worse . . .

It is that profound lack of faith — more than anything — that is responsible for the insurrectionist ideology (“Second Amendment remedies”) that fuels the movement.

Pro-gun leaders like NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre would have us believe that “the guys with the guns make the rules” in our democracy. But nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, our Founders ratified the Constitution to obviate the need for political violence.

Violence against . . . whom?

Believe it or not, I’m thinking what Horwitz is thinking: the U.S. Constitution was created to remove the need for “political violence.” Provided the violence in question is violence against the people by the government. Like, say Stalin’s purges. Or the Cambodian killing fields. Etc.

If, however, the CSGV jefe thinks the Founding Fathers designed the United States Constitution to stop/prevent/remove the need for violence between political parties or, indeed Americans, I’ve got two words for him: Civil War. How’d that work out for ya?

C’mon. Does Horwitz not realize that “the guys with the guns” making the rules in the U.S. are armed citizens, whose right to keep and bear arms is protected by the Constitution? Maybe not. But I’ve got to believe that no one could seriously suggest the following:

The Founders were telling the world that this brilliant new system of government — this social compact — would secure individual rights on a scale previously unknown in the civilized world. They protected liberty not by creating a libertarian society where every citizen was in it solely for himself, but by establishing a strong, energetic government and stressing civic responsibility.

Which Founding Father believed in a strong energetic government? Name one member of our nation’s founders who didn’t fear the government. But don’t take my word for it Josh. Read the Constitution. The document is all about limiting the government, not energizing it to protect the people.

And while we’re at it, what part of “liberty” couldn’t Mr. Horwitz find in the word “libertarian”? As I said, the gun grabber has it exactly backwards.

Furthermore, what spurred the drafting of the Constitution was a fear that “licentiousness” — freedom taken to excess — was the greatest threat to individual liberty!

Huh? With that kind of baseless “logic” it’s only a matter of time before Horwitz evokes Godwin’s Law:

Perhaps most disturbing are the [NRA’s] endless attempts to conflate our constitutional republic with some of the most brutal and inhumane dictatorships in human history (try Googling “gun control Hitler” sometime). Recently, when my organization, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, asked National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) General Counsel Larry Keane if he felt that individual Americans had a right to shoot and kill government officials in response to what they personally perceived as “tyranny,” Keane tweeted back at us plaintively, “Just like the Jews in the ghettos of Warsaw? The South Sudanese? Kurds? The American colonists?”

Notice the words “personally perceive” insinuated into Horwitz’s question and the word tyranny in quotes. He’s implying that American gun owners are trigger happy gun nuts just looking for an excuse to engage in armed insurrection. And ignoring the obvious indeed unavoidable link between gun control and mass murder.

Keane makes an important, but unintended, point. Countries that kill their own citizens are not democracies. As political scientist R.J. Rummel noted in his 1997 book, Power Kills: Democracy as a Method of Nonviolence, nations with strong democratic institutions do not murder their own citizens.

Note: it’s not the existence of democratic institutions that protects citizens from murder. It’s their strength. If they fail, they weren’t strong. Ipso facto. In other words, it can’t happen here.

Unless it does. Like it did in Germany. Where millions of Jews (not to mention gypsies, gays, communists and just plain folks) were disarmed and then slaughtered. How reassuring is that? Almost as reassuring as Horwitz’s reply to the NRA’s assertion that he’s dangerous naive and more than a little deluded.

It wasn’t my fantasy that the “constructs of government… could keep the brutality of the world at bay.” It was the fantasy of our Founders who traveled to Philadelphia in May of 1787 to correct the deficiencies in the Articles of Confederation and establish a new system of government that could “insure domestic tranquility” and “secure the Blessings of Liberty.” And while the NRA and the pro-gun movement might have absolutely no faith in their wisdom and foresight, most Americans still do.

One thing: the Preamble to the United States Constitution, the bit that talks about the Founding Fathers’ desire to “insure domestic Tranquility,” doesn’t assign powers to the federal government. Thank God for that.

And thank God for the Second Amendment, whose meaning couldn’t be any clearer. For anyone with an ounce of intellectual vigor or, to steal a phrase from gun grabbers like Mr. Horwitz, an ounce of common sense.

 

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56 Responses to CSGV’s Josh Horwitz: The Second Amendment is Unconstitutional

  1. Um…actually, it was the Founding Fathers’ utter contempt and lack of trust in unchecked government that is the purpose of the 2A. Do I really need to dig up all the old, classic quotes from the Founding Fathers about the perils of government and the need of the people to be free, independent, watchful, and armed?

    Only an anti could be stupid enough to say that an original Constitutional amendment was unconstitutional, and immoral enough to lie and mislead regarding the safeguards of this country.

    Fortunately, articles like this scumbag’s accomplish nothing. Any halfway intelligent or decent person would laugh it off or see right through it, and anyone who agrees with it is the kind of weak-willed, dim-witted, or slave-minded fool who’d already be anti-gun and/or anti-Constitution.

    • your last paragraph, I pray that our nations’ school teachers do not buy into this and use it to further the indoctrination of our children.

  2. George Washington’s soldiers did not use free speech to beat the British, they shot the British. Is that the “political violence” which many founders wrote about becoming necessary and the reason for the 2nd amendment that he says the Constitution obviates?

    Reading is FUNdamental!

  3. The worst thing about these Goebbels-ites is that there are those who will nod their heads and agree. Check out:http://www.gundigest.com/gun-rights/atf-gun-confiscations-skirt-due-process?et_mid=580166&rid=2237154 and ask yourself why is the government is allowed to deny ANYONE council or due process. And if you have the time this will give you some background on civil forfeiture:
    http://youtu.be/1Qgzy29A05A
    The discussion on C/F starts at about 33:00. Please, I know Arron is a bit dramatic but listen to the law experts he has with him. Actually, I recommend watching to the whole presentation.

  4. Uhm.. Well…
    I give him props for being under the influence of something!
    Beyond that it isn’t hard to read a little history. I know I know, he probably bought his way through college so he never read any books. Our founding fathers were all about limiting government, and empowering the people. Yup this meant guns too. Why? Because the government should fear the people. If the people feel the government is out of control or gosh inflicting tyranny on it’s people, they have a right to take it back. Oh I know that sounds so horrible doesn’t it.

    It seems most folks like Josh think that we can just do away with the constitution and live in some sort of mamby pamby land, little fuzzy bunnies hopping around in a field all happy. In reality the founding fathers understood a government with power is inherently corrupt.

    Lets start with some basics, for Mr. Horwitz. Political officials are public servants, that means you serve the people, not the other way around. The people have a right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. When you take away something from the constitution you are in fact taking away our liberties. The constitution was created solely to protect the people from the government from becoming to powerful. The founding fathers have written that the purpose of guns in America is to keep the government at bay if the need should arise, possibly by overthrowing it by force if necessary. This was besides the whole self protection and hunting thing. I know you have to read the writings of the founding fathers to get that information. And no it isn’t written in plain English. You kind of have to read all their letters and ideas to put all this together. It is written in modern English although there aren’t any LOL’s or OMG’s in it anywhere. There is actually quite a bit in regard to dealing with social issues, to how people should conduct themselves in society as well. Even though it was written long ago, it is as relevant today as it ever was. It is so hard all that reading stuff. Maybe we should rewrite the letters in text speak so he will understand it!

  5. Hitler was democratically elected and slaughtered the Jews with the implicit consent of the Germans. Read some history.

  6. Moron: “…the Second Amendment is unconstitutional…”
    Reasonable Response: “Except for the fact it’s clearly in the Constitution”

    • Meaning no insult Brewski, but now you see why I flare up at any infringement on 2a rights including your thoughts on involving mental health evals in the process of buying a gun.

      This sad sack Horwitz is exactly the kind of people that would pervert your well meaning suggestion and turn it into a weapon against us.

    • Prohibition of alchohol was in the Constituiton too. It was also Unconstitutional. However, Prohibition infirnged rights and the Second Amendment recogizes a right. My point is that just because it’s in the Constitution doesn’t make it Constitutional.

      • There is a big difference between the Bill of Rights (1st 10 amendments) and the amendments that follow. First, the Bill of Rights was created by the Founding Fathers and ratified along with the original Constitution. Those guys knew what they were doing. Adding amendments to the Constitution is something that should never be taken lightly. Between 1913 and 1919 our great grandparents added 3 new amendments. I don’t know what they were thinking, but all 3 were bad news for “we the people”. The 16th gave the federal government to power to tax our incomes. Something that would have made the Founding Fathers spin in their graves. The 17th changed the way Senators are elected; effectively taking power away from the people and giving it to our “servants” in the Senate. The 18th prohibited the mfg and sale of alcohol and gave rise to organized crime. Thankfully the 18th was repealed in 1933, but the 16th and 17th should have also been repealed.

        Everything in the Bill of Rights is most definitely Constitutional as they were ratified along with the original Constitution!

  7. I see a trend here. It is to paint gun owners as seeking to “overthrow” the Republic. Having lost the constitutional battle they now seek to redefine the issue. Horowitz sounds like a right wing tax protester who claims that the income tax is unconstitutional even though the 16th amendment authorizes it. This dufus doesn’t seem to understand that if it is in the Constitution and is not invalidated by a subsequent amendment it is by definition constitutional.

    • Horowitz sounds like a right wing tax protester who claims that the income tax is unconstitutional even though the 16th amendment authorizes it.

      Well, yes and no. The 16th amendment was passed under the notion of making the rich pay and was only intended to be (if I remember right) 2% of their income. It was never intended to affect the entire country and it was never intended to significantly affect people’s income. If it had been, it would never have been passed….so yes, it’s uncontistutional for them to use it to justify a form of income taxation that was never intended by the people who passed it.

      • 1915 was an interesting year:
        -The US Federal Income Tax bill was passed.
        -The private banking cartel known as the Federal Reserve became America’s central bank.
        -The Red Russians (Soviets) came to power.

        • The Sixtenth Amendment, income tax, was ratified February 3, 1913. The Federal Reserve Acts was signed into law December 23, 1913. Tsar nicholas II abdicated in early 1917. The Soviets came to power in late 1917 or early 1918. The Soviet Union was founded in 1922.

  8. In reality, our Founders ratified the Constitution to obviate the need for political violence.

    Which is why the declaration of independence says it is not only a citizens right, but their civic duty to engage in armed rebellion? And that the DoI is codified in to law under the title of Organic Laws?

    Keane makes an important, but unintended, point. Countries that kill their own citizens are not democracies. As political scientist R.J. Rummel noted in his 1997 book, Power Kills: Democracy as a Method of Nonviolence, nations with strong democratic institutions do not murder their own citizens.

    Which is why Obama has been engaging in extra-judicial executions of American citizens and others entitled to due process? And Eric Holder says that due process does not mean judicial process?

  9. What makes these people think that if the government would rescind the 2nd amendment that the others wouldn’t be, sooner or later? Madness, I say!!!!!!

  10. So, what he’s saying is that the Second Amendment to the Constitution is un-Constitutional?

    I always knew the antis were thinkers.

  11. Tonight is the NBC survival thriller premier of “Revolution” — when the world goes black what is the first thing the govt does — yup, they grab the guns and make it a “hanging” crime to own one. The defenseless are then at the mercy of the quasi-govts that forms. Even the idiots in Hollywood seem to be able to figure that out.

    Poor Josh, he is grippled with the “Good King” syndrome — he sees only today and the current administration and assumes, “Oh, those guys will not do anything against your liberty”. Maybe true, but its the next “King” — there is an assumption that once you lay down your arms, all will be fine. The thing is, once they have your firearms, what is to stop anyone?

    The gun grabbers fear vigilanties more than a Joe Q Public defending himself. They believe someone else will protect them, that could not be further from the truth. The left seems to mock and belittle religions of any kind, however, they have a religion far more dangerpous than the old world religions, they have faith in govt. and those whom we give power to that they are not curruptable — again, it is the “Good King” syndrome, problem is by the time we find out the good king is a bad king, we are all SOL!

  12. Welllllll, he’s part right about part of that:

    Furthermore, what spurred the drafting of the Constitution was a fear that “licentiousness” — freedom taken to excess — was the greatest threat to individual liberty!

    The framers threw in lots of stuff to keep democracy in check. The purpose of the electoral college and senators elected by state legislators, plus a few other bits, was to keep democracy at bay, to an extent. I doubt Josh has the thinking processes necessary to understand that, but it must be possible, since he does presumably dress himself in the morning.

    • The fact that the USA is a Republic apparently escapes Josh. Democracy is mob rule and the Founding Fathers knew that democracies always fail when the mob learns they can vote themselves “freebies” at the expense of the minority who actually work and produce wealth. A republic takes knowledge and vigilance to protect. Unfortunately, the dumbing down of our schools is resulting in more ignorance and more parasites who see the government as a benevolent parent.

  13. Also, only moderately related to this topic, but I once (ok maybe twice or three times) posted FACTUAL rebuttals to things they had posted on their Facebook page (linked by an anti I know cursively), only to be deleted within the hour. They then blocked me so I could no longer post on their facebook page. I can only hope one anti saw the light and denounced their ways when presented with the truth. Also, this just shows how they deal with being challenged: rather than back up their side with facts (ha), they just try to cover up the truth instead.

    • I think many of us here have had comments deleted from the FB page of the Coalition to Stop Gun Ownership. They’re not interested in facts, they’re interested in getting their opinion made law.

    • Don’t hold your breath. They never learn. I an others have been deleted and blocked as well when presenting and arguing actual FACTS and logic on CSGV’s fb page. One guy I know of was deleted and blocked in 3mins flat…which has GOT to be some kind of record.

  14. What made me choke was when he credited the government for putting a man on the moon, winning two world wars, building the highway system, and keeping senior citizens out of poverty. No, Josh, I’ll tell you who did that. Taxpayers and some really smart, brave individuals. Last summer I saw the Saturn V at the Johnson Space Center. Forget computers. Those scientists and engineers didn’t even have calculators. It was their genius and hard work, coupled with copious tax dollars, that put Armstrong on the moon and got him back. Highways? Same thing. It’s pure tax dollars that fund Medicare, Medicade, Social Security. And don’t even talk about the government “winning” two world wars. It was men like my father who fought across Europe and defeated Germany, with tax dollars footing the bill for his trip over there and for the Garand.

    • Not to mention if we hadn’t gotten involved in a war that was none of our business (WWI) and aided the aggressors, Germany would have won and we wouldn’t have seen the miserable post-war circumstances that led to the rise of Hitler and thus WWII and the Holocaust.

    • Only makes sense that they’d throw tantrums today. Must be very hard for them, given the country is celebrating a document that keeps them from dictating their control over others.

  15. That’s funny. I remember my history professor telling me that the Founding Fathers and their buddies were putting lead balls in the ribs of the British, not adopting their tyrannical monarchy and singing songs with General Simon Fraser by the campfire. What is this guy on?

  16. I think the 2nd amendment could be clearer. It could say that the government cannot make any laws restricting the ownership of firearms ever.

  17. And while we’re at it, what part of “liberty” couldn’t Mr. Horwitz find in the word “libertarian”?

    Um… the ‘y’?

    Anyway, if we’re going to talk about the Founding Fathers, why don’t we focus on respecting and following the entire Bill of Rights, 1-10. That seems to be a problem for people all across the political spectrum these days.

  18. In fact, many of the things Mr. Horowitz says are correct. However, he has twisted the facts to come up with conclusions that simply are not supported by the facts. Contrary to his opinion, the 2nd Amendment was included in the US Constitution to give the people the power and the means to overthrow their govenment if it became tyrranical. He should read more of John Locke’s writings to get a better understanding of the true reason and purpose of a government for the people.

    Here are some historical facts that many of you are not aware of:

    During the Revolutionary War, the thirteen states created an Union between them (a national government) and wrote The Articles of Confederacy to establish the rules and basic stucture for that national government. One main purpose of the Articles of Confederacy was to limit the size and power of the Federal government and give almost all of the power to the State governments. Unfortunately thie Articles gave the federal government so little power that it was completely ineffectual, and the Union of the thirteen states was in danger of collapsing within a few years after the end of the Revolutionary War.

    So they had a Constitutional Convention to try to solve the problems in the Articles of Confederacy. To everyone’s surprise, the Constitutional Convention recommended that the Article be completely thrown away and be replaced with a completely new Constitution that established a vastly different form of federal (national) government. [Read The Federalist Papers written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay (three of the “founding fathers”) for a deeper understanding of the purpose of the Constitution and why it was so necessary versus the Articles of Confederacy this country was founded on.]

    One of the main purposes of the new constitution was to set up a government which had the power to make laws that affected the people of the USA. Some people called this a “more energetic government”. (The Articles of Confederacy had only given the federal government the power to make laws telling the state governments what they should do, but since they the Federal government had no power to force a state to comply (other than war), the federal government actually had no power at all.) This is one of the things Mr. Horowitz was referring to when he talks about the Constitution being established to reduce violence.

    The new Constitution attempted to address the concern that the federal government would become too powerful, by establishing checks and balances between the three branches of government, by creating two different houses of the legislature (Senate and House of Representatives), and mainly by being very careful about which powers were given to each branch of government. (For example, the Executive is the commander in chief of the national army and navy, but the legislative branch is in charge of the funding for the army and navy.)

    Before the Constitution was ratified, several states refused to sign it, unless it contained a Bill of Rights further protecting the rights of the people from the powers of the new government. Many argued that the Bill of Rights was not necessary, because the government would never violate those rights anyway. However the dissenting states would not ratify the new Constitution without those first 10 Amendments, so they were added.

    I will say again (to prevent getting flamed to death) that Mr. Horowitz is correct in many of his historical facts, but incorrect in other facts, and completely incorrect in the conclusions he is drawing from them. He is wrong.

  19. And if it should come about that government has been so devolved as to have reverted to its most natural state of tyranny and despotism;
    And the principled among the Citizenry are left with no other options but to righteously and rightfully resist crimes perpetrated against them by agents of their own government;
    is it reasonable for those who were the advocates, the prime instigators of such circumstances to assume the roles they played which brought about the crisis will be forgotten entirely by the Citizens?

  20. Josh Whorevitz (Correction Noted: Thanks) is engaged in the process of “re-writing” history by citing historical facts and events and twisting them to suit his agenda. This is a process learned from the Communists and Fascists. He hasn’t the nerve to openly advocate trying to pull the lynchpin of the Constitution from the Bill of Rights so as to open the way to repealing or altering the rest of it. So, he “re-writes” the history of the Founding of the Nation to accuse the NRA and anyone else who supports The Second Amendment of advocating armed rebellion. Actually, he is engaged in a more insidious and seditious practice with the goal of dismantling The Constitution.

    Fortunately, he is as ignorant of the process required to alter The Constitution as he appears to be of the history of the Founding of the Republic. Before 1900 AD, this guy would have been a prime candidate for a good old-fashioned “tar and feathering”….

  21. Really? Our government was strong when it was founded? This guy missed history class. The Federal government has only truly gained the massive power that it has today over the last 100 years. I got to that point and had to stop before I started ripping my hair out.

  22. I have all the faith in the world in the wisdom and foresight of our Founding Fathers as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. What I do not have faith in is human nature, which our Founders understood to be fallen and depraved, always looking for a way to express that spiritual corruption in its dealings with others (see 16th and 17th amendments). I also have no faith in political leaders and bureaucrats to remain bound by the chains of the Constitution, especially the current crop in Washington. That is why I believe in an unfettered Second Amendment and the pre-existing right it seeks to protect.

    • I have complete faith in human nature. Human nature will cause us to lie, cheat and steal to get ahead in life. I also have faith that most humans can control their nature to for a civilized world. I also have faith in political leaders. They will lie, cheat and steal to the extent that the people will still re-elect them. I don’t have faith in the people being able to contol their nature to always pick a winner. People will continue to vote for R’s and D’s just because the leaders of the R’s and D’s tell them it is the only way to win.

  23. What? The U.S. Constitution does not assign powers to the federal government?? The author must have been asleep during Social Studies, and he skipped the homework assignment to read Article I, Section 8, which grants broad, sweeping powers to the federal government via Congress. That’s one reason why many believed the Bill of Rights was necessary (others didn’t), and their view carried the day.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_One_of_the_United_States_Constitution#Section_8:_Powers_of_Congress (quoting text, and stating: “Many powers of Congress have been interpreted broadly. Most notably, the Taxing and Spending, Interstate Commerce, and Necessary and Proper Clauses have been deemed to grant expansive powers to Congress.” <– that statement is quite right)

    The Founders offset these powers using a system of Checks & Balances based upon the Executive branch (which has the military/police power and must implement any laws passed) and the judicial branch (which can and does hold both Congress and the Executive branch in check based upon the Constitution).

  24. All these comments would be a lot more believeable but for one small point – Horwitz didn’t say that the 2nd amendment was unconstitutional! Sorry, but I have heard him say the opposite many times, but what he believes is that the Founders did not write it as a self destruct button for the government. They wrote the constitution to try to prevent tyranny, so why would they say – but if an individual still does not like the government they can shoot them?

  25. Why does George Soros and the Joyce Foundation and some others continue to give money to these clowns? The Brady Bunch, Josh and his bunch (maybe two or three), and a couple of other so-called groups are there for two purposes: to attempt to get guns banned and confiscated; and to attempt to make a fraudulent living by writing these useless essays that they know in their heart will have no influence on the way we think. Talk about the First Amendment! These people can use it and abuse it with little or no consequences. These people are not true Americans. True Americans are getting rarer and rarer these days.

  26. Only an anti obsessively determined or profoundly ignorant would make such a claim. I haven’t decided if he’s deliberately trying to paint us as insurrectionist kooks or if he actually believes that drivel. The Founding Fathers were so insanely brilliant, if I were inclined to believe in such things, I would say they were divine providence. The beauty of the Second Amendment lies in it’s balance. The Fathers knew there would be discontent and rebellion from time to time, it was the entire point of replacing the Articles with the Constitution, to strengthen the fledgling government from the warring factions trying to set a different path. Thomas Jefferson himself spoke of such in letters concerning the Shays rebellion, it’s the source of our “Tree of Liberty” quote. They, either by accident or purpose, created a federal government strong enough to survive and resist small-scale, uncommitted, or disgruntled rebellions, while at the same time ensuring that the People, as a whole or of a sufficient percentage, could overcome the government gone bad and institute something that works better. Sun Tzu called it “Moral Law”; we call it “the will of the People”, it’s the same concept. And it’s worked, so far. 225 years later, the government is still here, and still somewhat fears the People. WE intend to maintain that fear. Deterrence works to prevent crime, both the garden variety as well as the government sanctioned. Absolute beauty.

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