Benjamin Franklin and friends at  the National Constitution Center (courtesy travelingwithannieandblue.blogspot.com)

“The language of the 2nd Amendment is quite clear,” latimes.com‘s op ed pronounces, ominously enough. ” ‘A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.’ As the minority in the Heller decision argued, and more than a century of judicial precedent at the federal level established, the right to bear arms was not an inherent right of citizenship but rather a right that derived from service in the militia.” So we’re supposed to accept the Supreme Court’s minority opinion in Heller. And ignore a decision whose majority opinion (all nine judges agreeing on an individual right to keep and bear arms) reversed a century of deliberate misinterpretation of the Second Amendment’s original intent. Because . . . guns! It gets worse . . .

Justice Antonin Scalia‘s majority opinion [in the Heller decision] is a tour de force of legalistic legerdemain, a lengthy journey through English common law, colonial charters, state constitutions and obscure 19th century court cases. Given Scalia’s judicial philosophy as an “originalist” — meaning he believes his opinions should be guided by the original intent of the framers — his failure to assess Madison’s motives in drafting the 2nd Amendment is strange, much like a devout Christian explaining his faith without mentioning Jesus.

Huh? Click here for the text of the decision, which addresses the original politics of the prefatory clause (the militia bit) in the fourth paragraph.

The “militia” comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved.

Which gives us the answer to the question “How wrong can an anti-gun editorialist for the LA Times be?” Here’s another one: “How right can they be?” Pretty damn right. The assertion that Heller contained a caveat with which the doyennes of civilian disarmament could further their heinous agenda is, as the Brits say, spot on.

“Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited…. Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on long-standing 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.”

These caveats create a crack through which significant gun control legislation might flow. Indeed, expanded background checks and limits on automatic weapons, the key provisions in the post-Sandy Hook gun legislation debated (and defeated) by Congress earlier this year, fit comfortably within this space.

Though those laws did not fit comfortably with gun rights advocates’ idea of the meaning of the “shall not be infringed” bit of the “operative” clause. Perhaps the LA Times missed the Colorado recall campaign against two legislators who helped ram through “expanded background checks” and ammunition magazine capacity limits. Yeah, not happy.

It’s no wonder that the LA Times seeks to seem “reasonable” about gun laws—even as they display their utter ignorance on the subject at hand (e.g. using the word “automatic” to describe “semi-automatic” firearms). The Golden State Progs pimping for gun control believe they’re on the cusp of a great victory; nearly a dozen gun control bills are working their way through the Democrat-controlled legislature to land on the Democratic Governor’s desk.

The LA Times wants to be magnanimous in victory. In other words, they want to pulverize any remaining opposition to civilian disarmament.

The intent of the founders needs to be heard and understood. The men who hammered out the Constitution, argued for its ratification and underlined our liberties with the Bill of Rights, would urge us to think about the issue this way: How do we balance the right to bear arms against the collective security of the American people?

Quick quote from Benjamin Franklin, signatory to the original copy of the United States Constitution (with help, with tears streaming down his face): “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” So no, the Constitution’s framers would urge no such thing. In fact, they’d be revolted by the proposition.

While we’re at it, the popularity of Franklin’s quote amongst The People of the Gun indicates that it will be a cold day in Hell before they accept the Times’ tepid “offer” of surrender (masquerading as compromise). Can you say unctuous?

Framed in this fashion, we can all come together as fellow citizens to discuss in a sensible rather than strident tone where the line needs to be drawn between our rights and our responsibilities.

All that’s required is that we channel our inner James Madisons, and even our inner Scalias. There is no unlimited right to bear arms — on that these two men agree, and so should we.

Correct. There is no unlimited right to bear arms. I draw the line at weapons that aren’t aimed. You? Meanwhile, back to the front.

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142 Responses to LA Times: The Second Amendment Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means

  1. Ahhh, more spouting of the silly “People of the Echo Chamber”. Bless their hearts. So sophisticated, so worldly and wise. Just more myopic dreck from incurious, truthless metrosexuals.

  2. The trouble with their compromises is that they never do it. Therefore, neither should we. We should never play with their deck. They don’t play fair.

    • Compromise is a word for slowly helping backwards rednecks and paranoid survivalists to accept enlightenment and true civilization. Since Democrats already have these things, they don’t need to change. They’re already perfect, and are working towards creating a perfect society. You and I are the problem. They’ll just keep dragging us towards the “middle” while moving steadily left.

      Compromise is the name of the game.

      As you correctly intuit, the only solution is not to play.

    • You’re right. There have been no compromises. Each side has to give up something. What have the anti’s given up? Seem pretty one sided. Then again, there’s that pesky “shall not be infringed” genius stroke by the framers.

      Keep fighting, persuading, convincing until our rights are restored.

      • As an example, the War Between the States and its aftermath did not grant American blacks rights. It simply eliminated some of the institutions preventing their free exercise of natural, human rights.

        Our rights are not in need of restoration. We never lost them, any more than a murderer takes away our right to breathe. The murderer violates that right.

        It’s a subtle distinction, but an important one. Our rights are being systematically violated, by an institution akin to, allied with and as egregious as the “peculiar institution of American slavery.”

        We must treat our would-be owners as they deserve, not politely ask for the boon of a few “restored” rights.

        These rights are already ours, and we must forever strip all power from those whose aim is to eliminate their free exercise.

    • They were unanimous that the right to keep and bear arms was (and is) an individual right. The dissent concerned the limits to that right.

        • EDIT: Your wording.

          I’ve been told that my sense of humor is reminiscent of a beautiful bird in that both are “pretty foul.”

      • And this was their “limit”, and the conclusion to the dissent’s discussion on the meaning of “the people.” Sounds more like a collective right to me. Unless, of course, they were to have accepted the majority’s interpretation of “we’ll-regulated militia.”

        As used in the Second Amendment, the words “the people” do not enlarge the right to keep and bear arms to encompass use or owner- ship of weapons outside the context of service in a well- regulated militia.

        • The fact the entire Bill of Rights enumerates individual rights kinda clues us in to what was on the table at the time.

        • “As used in the Second Amendment, the words “the people” do not enlarge the right to keep and bear arms to encompass use or owner- ship of weapons outside the context of service in a well- regulated militia.”

          Jeff, the language of the Second Amendment is pretty concise and I fail to see where you find anything in it that limits weapons to those used in a well-regulated militia. Per the Heller decision the operative clause is the second portion, “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Not only does it not specify in any way arms specific to service in a militia, it does not specify firearms.

          The 2A applies to swords, epees, golf clubs, slingshots, air rifles, baseball bats, etc. And it certainly seems to me that either Congress or SCOTUS or both are overstepping their constitutional authority by a very large leap to think that “…shall not be infringed.” means they can make a list of people they can prohibit from owning or bearing arms, felonious, crazy, or whatever. Being a crazy or a criminal does NOT cancel your natural, civil and constitutionally protected right to defend your own life.

          What the 2A does accomplish, if it is allowed to function as written, is give everybody the right and the ability to protect themselves from criminals and crazies, even if those persons are armed. If the 2A is not allowed to function as written the criminals and crazies will STILL have arms and the rest of us will be helpless victims. I’m pretty sure THAT is the crux of the argument.

        • One quibble:

          While there are no provisions to strip rights — including that to keep and bear arms — from certain individuals, there are provisions permitting the curtailment of the free exercise of rights as needed.

          The right to free travel, for instance — save to walk within a cell. The right to pursue happiness — when one is happiest raping toddlers. In extreme cases, the right to breathe.

          Conviction as a felon entitles the state to infringe upon ones rights until one exits the system by either release or death — and parolees are still within the system.

          Eventually ones rights are supposed to be restored — and that part still needs some work.

          However, keeping firearms from (for instance) felons is indeed Constitutional.

        • Russ,

          I quibble with an extremely important aspect of your argument. I can understand the logic that government criminalizes parolees who possess firearms. I do not support the notion that government criminalizes ex-convicts who possess firearms.

          Let’s consider a simple example. A man steals a car when he is 19 years old and completes 6 years in prison and parole for grand theft auto. Once his parole is finished, the man marries, has a family, supports his family, and wants to have a firearm to protect his family. Why would the state criminalize this man who wants to have a firearm to protect his family? Remember, the man completed his prison sentence and parole without breaking any laws. He is trying to live a normal life without breaking any more laws.

          If government does not trust the hypothetical ex-convict in my example to own firearms after completing his prison sentence and parole without breaking any laws, then our criminal justice system should never have released the man from prison.

        • @uncommon_sense:

          We’ve no argument. As I said, the system is supposed to restore rights when one exits the system, but in practice this almost never happens and ex cons keep paying forever.

          That was the bit about “this part needs some work,” as it does.

          I agree whole-heartedly with your above statement, with the exception that I’ve deep reservations about violent offenders.

          Were Biden to have a change of heart in 20 years, would you vote him in? Thought not.

          A rapist, slasher et cetera should never again be other than a second-class citizen, a legal semi-human.

          My 2¢.

    • Russ, are you suggesting that the dissent acknowledged the 2d Amendment was an individual and not a collective right? If so, I have never understood that argument. At best, the dissent recognized an individual right directly tied to military service – which may as well be a collective right – and no restraints on the government regulating firearms for civilian use, including for self-defense. If that’s not what you’re suggesting, what do you mean?

      • It’s a blend. Their idea is that individuals can keep their own (individual) arms so they can show up fully armed for muster when called, and thus there is no protection for the individual uses to which a firearm can be put (like self defense).

      • The Bill of Rights consistes of the first ten Amendments to the Constitution, made by the means set forth in that Constution even before it was in force and required in order to render it acceptable to the thirteen United States.

        They set out individual liberties in the spirit of Locke and the hand of (among others) Jefferson, against the presumption of the Federalists who did not believe that rights needed to be specified.

        To their credit, the Federalists feared that enumerating rights might curtail those not enumerated, and the whole “these rights do not constitute all rights” was largely their doing.

        However, the entire proposition set forth in that wonderful framework is that we are equal, each a peer in and of the government and that our rights ended only where the nose or property of another began.

        Nowhere is there emplaced the notion that we were to all be as collectivist drones in what was to be essentially a hive.

        A well regulated militia is essential to the security of a free nation, and we must needs permit nothing, especially a centralized authority to compromise the preparedness of that milita. However, that militia must function as needed, where needed and when needed.

        In the event of hostile forces landing, we could not wait for a messenger to get to whomever had the authority to call out the militia, nor to wait for a quorum to assemble. The militia were the individuals in a position to act, the first responders.

        In the final anaIysis, when someone invades ones home or holds one up on the street, they are attacking an American, a part and peer of the Nation.

        The militia, the first responder, then is one in number.

        • Here, here … well spoken.

          I want to emphasize your last point. A common street thug who tries to mug a person on the street is indeed a serious threat to our nation. The citizen’s response to the thug’s attack is a service to the victim as well as the entire community. It is a noble act.

        • Couldn’t agree with you more, Russ. And I saw later that you intended your comment as a joke. Cliff H., I was talking about the DISSENT in Heller. Some pro-gun people like to argue the dissent in Heller also recognized an individual right under the Second Amendment, albeit one that could be subjected to extensive regulation. That is what I disagree with. I don’t read the dissent as recognizing an individual right, at all

        • Yet more reasons why I like this site. There’s some terrifically intelligent folks here.
          I get to read, refer, look up, re-read, memorize and be better armed for a reply to an anti.

    • Let’s just cut through all the nonsense. As long as the People have the means to resist – the right to keep and bear arms remains an individual right. It’s the ability of the People to use force to resist that makes it an individual right. Not a Kangaroo court, not a Lesser-of-Two-Evils Executive and Legislature.

      That’s why we can still own firearms in this country. The second the political class thinks we will stack arms and go home – they will come for your weapons. Simple as that.

      Molon Labe.

  3. Alright, I’m ready to compromise on common sense gun control. I will give up nukes, chemical weapons and heavy artillery for nation wide constitutional carry. I’m willing to give up 3 things to get 1 in return. I’m waiting for the pro gun control crowd to reply to my offer.

    • Aw I’d like to keep the artillery. How about we give up air dropped ordinance with a nominal weight greater than 500 lbs instead?

    • I’ll give up my drones. My mother-in-law’s chili is a biological weapon. I’ll give that up. For the children, of course.

    • Local communities retaining indirect fire weapons up thru 155mm and ANY direct fire weapons (as heavy weapons were maintained by New England communites circa 1774).

      • My idea of heavy artillery is anything above 155 mm. I will give up JDAMs and drones. But I reserve the right to retain sufficient weapons to shoot down drones.

    • Seems pretty clear to me that the 2A was meant to encompass infantry weapons at the individual, squad and platoon level (which were all muskets in 1776). Frankly, we need to be pushing for an Amendment for all military equipment to be sold as surplus intact (not demilitarized) rather than destroyed.

  4. Here’s what has always bugged me about this argument and Justice Stevens’s dissent. Stevens acknowledges throughout his dissent that, in debating the RKBA, the founders were largely motivated by a fear of standing armies. That is undeniably true, as discussed at length by Scalia. But if those same founders could see what our Army and Navy has become, as well as our police forces, I tend to think their heads would spin, and they would say to themselves, “Perhaps we should have left the prefatory clause out because these morons clearly don’t get it. And, gentlemen, we should revisit that language on establishing an Army and Navy.”

  5. They start out on the wrong foot. Scalia is not an “originalist.” Has said so himself in widely published speeches and interviews. He asks, instead, what are the words of the text and what did those words mean (how were they defined or commonly understood) at the time the language was adopted? Much of his Heller discussion is devoted to the words and the grammatical construction of the Amendment.

  6. If I can’t own it, then the government shouldn’t own or use it. I don’t think anyone, government agents especially, should own powerful bombs and missiles that kill, maim, and destroy property indiscriminately.

    • It would be extremely difficult to defend this country, one of the primary reasons for uniting the thirteen colonies under a central federal government in the first place, if the government could not own and use weapons equal to and/or superior to those of our potential enemies.

      That being said, I think, and hope, that because our “standing army” is in fact a citizen army made up of members from all over the United States this would make it problematic for ANY government official, even POTUS, to give the order to use said weapons against targets or U.S. citizens. Not saying it couldn’t happen, just saying it would be a very difficult proposition politically for a government official to contemplate it and if he did to get compliance from the military organization tasked to carry out the order. As I recall from my training in the Army a soldier is REQUIRED to question and disobey an order he believes is illegal.

      Without a very clear and specific danger such as alien invasion or zombie apocalypse I suspect we would more likely see mutiny than overt mass ordinance attacks against U.S. cities.

    • Yep. I’ll say this about Joe Ellis: he’s brilliant and as well-educated as one can be. He’s also disingenuous, and has absolutely no qualms or restraint against flat-out lying to advance whatever proposition he is advancing. He is also not an attorney, and not at all qualified to be opining on a damned complicated legal question.

      • “…a damned complicated legal question.”

        That’s just it, though. I shouldn’t be that complicated. The whole constitution can be read in a couple of hours or so (even if you read pretty slowly). I grant that there are parts of it that can give pause for thought, but Bill of Rights is crystal clear (at least to me). By and large, I think the men who wrote the document pretty much meant what they said. I am even more certain that the country would be a far better place if we treated the constitution as if it meant what it said.

        Now, if I had a time machine, I would urge the founders to spend more time fleshing out the commerce clause and the “general welfare” phrase. The Progs have been driving trucks through those little gaps for more than 100 years.

  7. i dont wish harm or ill will on anyone, but im sure if they hear this recording just once, they will change their tune: thank you for calling 911, all operators are busy at this time. your call will be answered in the order received. your current wait time is 10 minutes…..again we appreciate your patience with your emergency. our officers typically take 10 to 15 minutes to arrive to document your crime. thank you for choosing the 911 emergency response system.

  8. Here’s my counter-argument:

    The right to bear arms shall be limited to the directed weapons a person can bear.

    I’m adding the “directed” bit because man-portable non-directed weapons — bombs and such — were not a significant factor at the time the Constitution was written, and volley guns, field-pieces et cetera tended to stay in the arsenal.

    So… barring bombs, mines and other non-directed weapons, it’s within your rights if you can use it while carrying it.

    Not that I’m comfortable with fully automatic weapons in certain hands, but the Constitution makes no allowances for stupid people. So be it.

    Show of hands?

    • I concur, with the exception of less lethal explosives. Like flashbangs, exploding targets. Say anything with a kill radius of less than 10 ft.

        • Yup. Besides, you can fish with grenades. Innocents are killed when fishing with RPG’s.
          DuPont spinners are extremely fun and get a limit way before noon…

    • I disagree. I think the purpose of the second amendment is so that we citizens can form militias, including all the accoutrements and weapons of war that are used during any particular time.

      • While I generally agree with you, I suspect that any sane Framer likely meant infantry weapons — as differentiated from capital ships, rockets and so on.

        Basically, this means weapons which are sensible in the context of an individual having sufficient authority and responsibility to decide how, where and when to deploy them.

        Fragmentation grenades, flamethrowers and such constitute borderline examples and anything more fearsome comes with a concomitant level of responsibility exceeding that of the individual; tactical, operational and strategic decisions simpy do not fall within the purview of the individual soldier, militiaman et cetera.

        My 2¢.

    • I would say the only restrictions should come from intent. The possession of certain weapons is proof itself of intent to commit a felony. For instance if Timothy McVeigh had been caught with his rental truck full of fertilizer and diesel fuel he could have and should have been prosecuted for conspiracy to commit murder and spent the rest of his life in prison. On the other hand a farmer would have nothing to fear. Objects like bombs are indiscriminate in nature and are unlikely to serve a useful purpose for self defense. I would consider entertainment a viable use for some explosive devices but I can’t think of any legitimate purpose for any kind of shrapnel producing explosive.

      The same should go for WHERE a person has a weapon. There should never be a crime without the intent to harm others – i.e. SBRs, suppressors, gun free zones, no one should be convicted of a crime where there’s no intent to harm anyone and no criminal negligence.

      • Gov. William Le Petomane,

        Government has no legitimate authority to criminalize the ownership or possession of something simply because government doesn’t think a person has a “legitimate reason” for ownership or possession. That position denies the sovereignty of the individual and makes all people beholden to the government for everything.

        • So, just let me get this straight. You believe that if the authorities had intercepted Timothy McVeigh in his rental truck full of explosives that they would have had no right to stop him from massacring 168 people, including 19 children and injuring another 680? Because IMO if that’s the case what’s the point of having a government at all?

        • @uncommon_sense: I believe that rather than asserting that the government has the right to ban a thing based upon one not providing a legitimate reason to possess it, Gov. William J. Le Petomane is acknowledging the right and obligation to ban things whose only uses are illegitimate.

          It’s akin to the difference between wanting to not do a thing, and not wanting to do a thing. It’s a subtle but important distinction.

          E.g. I do not wish to live in the Mississippi Delta, as it’s too damned hot for me. In contrast, I wish not to ever bathe in chlorine bleach.

          Clear?

        • Governor Le Petomane,

          Before I respond to your post, I want to say that I emphatically condemn T. M.’s crime in Oklahoma City in 1995. I condemn his crime to the point that I refuse to even write his name. Now that we have that out of the way …

          I cannot overstate the danger in yielding power to the government to criminalize something when government does not recognize a “legitimate” use. That is exactly what civilian disarmament proponents claim. In their minds there is never any “legitimate” way for a citizen to use any firearm. Ipso facto we must ban civilians from owning any firearms. But more to the point, government could define all sorts of things to be “dangerous without any legitimate use” and ban them — whether out of ignorance or malice. Even worse, government can ban anything and everything much faster than we can try to repeal laws or overturn them in the courts. And nothing guarantees that we would ever be able to repeal a law or obtain a favorable ruling in the courts.

          Even more importantly, a government that decides what is or is not legitimate ownership, possession, and/or use of something insults our human dignity. That mindset subjugates citizens to government agents and/or bureaucrats and it is degrading. Everywhere that happens, the government agents and/or bureaucrats who “grant” permission end up abusing that “authority”. And even if those agents/bureaucrats do not routinely abuse that “authority”, it still belittles the citizen who worries if the agent/bureaucrat will deny them for who knows what reason.

          You ask about the role of government. Government’s almost solitary role is to secure the rights of citizens. And the two ways that government does that: organize and deploy military forces to repel foreign invasions, and capture and prosecute domestic criminals — bad people who deny citizens their rights. (I can see also see an argument for some activities for the general good of society like making bridges and damns, levees, roads, etc. but that is a topic for a different discussion.) Government cannot even capture and prosecute all of the domestic criminals who have actually harmed citizens. It makes no sense to exhaust government’s limited resources going after citizens whose “crime” was possessing something that some people don’t want them to possess and yet have not harmed anyone.

        • Unfortunately the primary role of governments throughout history has been to abuse the rights of their subjects not uphold the rights of their citizens. The original function of government was to protect people from marauders, first external (foreign armies) and then internal (criminals). I personally do not wish for government to wait until someone actually commits a heinous crime to intervene. McVeigh never hurt anyone until he did. On the other hand there are lots of overzealous types in government sticking their nose in where it doesn’t belong. But just because some governments abuse their power doesn’t mean that governments shouldn’t exist or perform their primary duties.

  9. Wow, another “shut up and take my rights” kind of person. I wish these types would go live in the maximum security prison they keep advocating over and over again.

    • they could just spend some time in beautiful gun free europe. when they come back short a kidney they may rethink their stance

  10. “…How do we balance the right to bear arms against the collective security of the American people?”
    I don’t see the right to bear arms to conflict with the collective safety of American People, but instead to actually be vital to it.

    I don’t know, and this may get me flamed, but I don’t actually care what the founders would think today. Perhaps they would or wouldn’t change their stance depending on current political climate and social events. What I do care about is that I agree with a large portion of the Constitution and the concept of making a government think twice before they screw over its citizens in any manner. Sadly though they still do since not enough feel the same way. But what little fear still resides within the government of its people would evaporate as fast as a drop of rubbing alcohol on a Texas side walk in the midday sun.

  11. I am always astounded when people claim that the Second Amendment is a collective right of “the people” to be armed in military service. So we need a right for people in government service to protect those people from the government they are serving? It makes absolutely no sense!

    More importantly, we can see a crystal clear parallel from the same decade in the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, Article 3. Here is the important text from that ordinance:
    Religion, Morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, Schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.
    Please note that I italicized the prefatory clause that corresponds to the militia clause of the Second Amendment. And I used bold for the operative clause that corresponds to the people clause of the Second Amendment. Look at what happens if we read Article 3 of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 the same way that gun grabbers want us to read the Second Amendment: schools and education shall ONLY be encouraged for teaching religion, morality, and knowledge necessary to good government and happiness. Have a school and want to teach agriculture? Nope … because teaching agriculture is not a part of religion, morality, nor knowledge necessary to good government nor happiness.

    I hope that example clearly illustrates the absurdity of the argument that our Second Amendment only codifies a right for militias to bear arms in government service.

    • I just always tell anitgun people that Obama was a Constitutional Law teacher, and he says we have an individual right to own guns, that usually shuts em up pretty quickly. Never disagree with glorious leader of United Soviet States of Americka Comrades!!!

  12. Anti-gunners love to harp on Scalia’s “Not unlimited” language and imagine that it gives them carte blanche to propose whatever limits they want on possession of firearms. However, they don’t seem to don’t understand the implications from the decision to cast the 2nd Amendment as recognizing a fundamental right.

    Strict Scrutiny analysis requires the government prove the following (copied from WIkipedia):

    1) It must be justified by a compelling governmental interest. While the Courts have never brightly defined how to determine if an interest is compelling, the concept generally refers to something necessary or crucial, as opposed to something merely preferred.

    2) The law or policy must be narrowly tailored to achieve that goal or interest. If the government action encompasses too much (overbroad) or fails to address essential aspects of the compelling interest, then the rule is not considered narrowly tailored.

    3)The law or policy must be the least restrictive means for achieving that interest, that is, there cannot be a less restrictive way to effectively achieve the compelling government interest.

    What this means is that any imposition by the Federal government on the right to keep and bear arms has to meet this test. It will probably be decades before the full extent of this is fleshed out by challenges in court, but suffice it to say that a lot of “common sense” measures proposed or championed by gun control advocates should fail to pass the strict scrutiny test.

  13. California is in the process of getting a hands on education on the right to bear arms. Many communities are cutting, and in some cases gutting, law enforcement because public employees benefits are sucking up more and more money. As law enforcement gets smaller criminals get bolder and citizens become more insecure. The entire state will soon look like Oakland.

  14. Robert Robert.

    Again you read into the fascist propaganda of the Americna Fascist movement. Of course the LAT Time wants us killed and silenced once and for all for there fascist wants for toltal power they and there blood sucking animal fascist friends like CA Dems and CA NY CT and IL senators wAZnt. Why bother spewing for them there Nazi agenda. Quit posting this crap. All the LA NY times and Washington post is good for is emergency toilet paper.

  15. I’m not a smoker but I do remember the “common sense” progression concerning smokers rights.

    Smokers were first moved to the other half of restaurant
    then moved to the bar area
    then moved to a back room
    then moved outside the building
    then moved down the street
    then moved off the beach
    then moved to the park down the road
    then moved to their own apartment
    then pushed out of their apartment building to their own private home
    next up…. banning in private residences

    People of the gun learned something there.

    Great Adam Corolla rant about the slippery slope of cigarettes and how it pertains to the NRA => http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeVNoHZjeZw

    • While there are some obvious similarities between the progressive bans on smoking and the progressive bans on firearms, there are also some major differences. The key difference is that second hand smoke is at best an irritant to non-smokers and at worst a health hazard, while the lawful carry of firearms is a benefit to society (although not always recognized).

      That and that whole “shall not be infringed” thing…

    • Actually it was more like first the hospitals. then the doctor’s office, then grocery stores, then retail, then even in the open parts of the mall.

      Restaurants were kind of the last redoubt, once they fell, bars were fait accompli.

        • .32 cent for a gallon of gas. .50 cent for a Saturday matinee movie, which had 2 movies and filler in between. .10 cent for a coke or a candy bar. Penny candy counters. A box of 50 .22 lr for .50 cent. .25 cent for a pack of smokes. .75 cent for a boys haircut and 1.25 for a mans.

          12 month or 12,000 mile warrenties on a new car with a 3 year note. Need I go on?

  16. “we can all come together as fellow citizens to discuss in a sensible rather than strident tone where the line needs to be drawn between our rights and our responsibilities.”

    I agree. So I say to them in a sensible rather than strident tone, it’s your responsibility to respect my rights, so keep your fvcking hands off my guns.

    • Ahem, brother. They simply don’t “get it”. We’re done with the half measure “compromises” where we give up half of what what we had before for “common sense” reforms. Screw ’em, hard and sideways.

  17. ( As expressed by the Founders of the most evolved system of government ever devised and implemented as that of the American Constitutional Republic:)

    Congress of the United States
    begun and held at the City of New-York, on
    Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
    [Excerpt as follows:]
    “THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
    RESOLVED…”
    _________________

    Note: ‘in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers’, one particular
    ‘further declaratory and restrictive clause’ added as follows:
    Amendment II
    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    source: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html

    • Tell the truth Leo – carrying a rifle in a locked case in Downtown Nashville and then refusing to be civil to the police will get you arrested. Actions speak louder than words and your actions that day are not helping the cause. Your actions at Radnor Lake did not help the cause either.

        • Leonard, you and Kokesh couldn’t be doing a better job of discrediting gun owners if you were on Bloombergs payroll.

        • Keep your guns in your home, because the second amendment does not include the right to bear openly outside the home in public. It is curious that your thoughts mimic the opinion piece…

        • you are right -‘papers!’ We read about you in the papers, we say you on the nightly news, we read about you in may forums were your antics where laughed as links were passed out going back to YouTube videos, online news sources like the Tennessean and the Nashville Scene. You are a laughing stock. You are not smarter than the police. You are not smarter than the judge. Give up the ‘Whoa is me’ rant.

  18. I was thinking about AR-15’s today, and what the founding fathers originally intended. I have heard the argument that they had no idea that these firearms would ever exist. Fair enough, they could not predict the future.
    However my take is that if they had seen an AR-15 they would have written second amendment to read ONLY THE PEOPLE of the United States will be allowed to own these and never shall they be in the possession of, or in control of, ANY government agency, State or Federal.

  19. LA Times can’t even accurately report what Originalism is – Scalia has said numerous times that it has nothing to do with the “intent” of the legislators, because that’s impossible to divine. Originalism concerns itself with what the MEANING of the statute was at the time of its enactment.

  20. “The men who hammered out the Constitution, argued for its ratification and underlined our liberties with the Bill of Rights…”

    Exactly – OUR liberties – i.e. the liberties of the citizen. Yet they try to argue that amendments #1 and #3-#9 are individual rights, #10 is a state right and somehow #2 is a right of the federal government to keep you from infringing on THEIR rights. The rights of the federal government are laid out in the Constitution not the Bill of Rights.

    • Just a slight correction, the LIMITATIONS on the federal government are enumerated in the body of the constitution. The founders intended that the federal government should be SEVERELY limited in scope and so set down what the government was ALLOWED to do. In the first 10 Amendments they enumerated certain special natural, civil and constitutionally protected rights with the intent that interfering with those rights was something the federal government was NEVER to be allowed to do. That understanding in itself would preclude any argument that the Second Amendment had anything to do with the federal or any other government agency creating and regulating a militia.

      • Well for the sake of my argument, I consider things that are “allowed” by the Constitution and “rights” that are recognized by the Constitution / Bill of Rights to be one and the same as far as the law is concerned. Therefor the “rights” of the federal government are laid out in the Constitution and the “rights” of the citizen are laid out in the Bill of Rights. Seems simple but the anti-second amendment crowd would have you believe that they stuck a “government right” in the number 2 spot of the Bill of (the citizen’s) Rights.

        • Perhaps so, Gov, but the “rights” of the federal government were given/allowed to them by the citizens they were to govern. The rights in the Bill of Rights are natural, civil and constitutionally protected rights belonging to every citizen and not subject to repeal, qualification or modification by any branch of the federal government.

  21. I am of the belief that rights flow from the individual to the government. Therefore if we as a nation have the right to defend ourselves, and this can only be done collectivly through individuals banding together then that is a demonstration that the right of selfdefence through arms is distributed upwards from the individual to the colective nation. The LA Times would have to explain to me how if there is a man kicking in ones door and you don’t the right to an armed response, when does one acquire it when a foreign army is landing on your nations shore

  22. Why bother critiquing the op-ed of a demonstrated liar?

    On the other hand, I think the libel restrictions on media, established in New York Times v Sullivan, where a newspaper must show reckless disregard for the truth before it is liable for libel, are clearly against the intent of the 1st amendment. A simple reading of British common law shows this: in not-so-merry Olde England, a newspaper can be sued for libel even if the information is true, as long as it is defamatory. In fact, this criterion did not exist before the above mentioned decision in 1964, and has absolutely no historical antecedents.

    Now there is an understanding of Freedom of the Press I can support.

  23. here’s what bugs me about this: longstanding federal statute (since 1790s) defines the militia as all able bodied men. That was, of course, before women were allowed in the army or could vote. It has not been updated since 1904 (when they made it “all men” and not “all white men”).

    Fill out your selective service card? Remember doing that when you turned 18? yes, sir, you are in the militia, although you may be in the “unorganized” militia. Better be ready to grab a rifle, you can be drafted** AT ANY TIME CONGRESS DECIDES.

    So by law in existence since the 1790s, the militia is we the people, all of us. Now, can I have my M1a please? I’ll take it in lieu of the welfare check Uncle Sam is handing out to the the dropouts in Baltimore city.

    ** and incidentally, illegal immigrants are supposed to sign up for selective service too.

    • “Fill out your selective service card? Remember doing that when you turned 18? yes, sir, you are in the militia, although you may be in the “unorganized” militia. Better be ready to grab a rifle, you can be drafted** AT ANY TIME CONGRESS DECIDES. ”

      In the first place it is my opinion that the military draft is a violation of the 13th Amendment:

      “AMENDMENT XIII , Section 1.
      Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

      And since there is nothing in the 2A that gives any particulars about establishing a militia or who is to “well-regulate” it, and since the intent of the Bill of Rights is to list those things the federal government is NOT ALLOWED to interfere with, signing up for the draft most certainly does not enlist you in the militia.

      Yes, by law, almost certainly unconstitutional, you can be drafted into military service (involuntary servitude) AND deprived of “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” at the whim of Congress. OR you can be part of a militia. The two are necessarily contradictory.

      • A militia comprised of we the people is pointless if people cannot be drafted. The constitution specifically gives congress the power to call forth the militia. In 1792, not only was the militia expected to be “called forth” aka drafted, but the Federal govt MANDATED that every able bodied man have a rifle, ammo, and equipment for the event of war (look up the militia act of 1792). So, not only did the framers of the constitution think a draft was constitutional (and expected to happen), but they made you bring your own rifle, musket, ammo, and equipment.

        http://www.constitution.org/mil/mil_act_1792.htm

        see section 5, penalties for disobeying the order to join the militia.

        see section I of the for federal standards, mandating equipment.

        • dwb, While I have a pretty good knowledge of history, I am not a lawyer and have not studied that particular piece of legislation. It is my opinion, however, that any law or regulation promoted by any government organization that pretends that it is somehow acceptable to FORCE a supposed free citizen to join an army or navy or militia is antipathetic to the entire concept of liberty enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America.

          Any government that cannot by dint of reason alone convince it’s citizens to stand up as a militia or to volunteer to serve in some capacity in its military defense is obviously NOT representative of the will of those citizens.

          I recall, and paraphrase here, a quote from Ronald Reagan when told that the American people were not in support of some program or other that he was pushing: “Well then, I guess we’ll just have to explain it to them a little better.” That’s how a constitutional republic and a nation of free citizens is supposed to work.

          How is it not tyranny if the government can at a whim take away all your freedoms and many of your rights and send you into harm’s way against your will whether or not you agree with the cause being prosecuted? Perhaps this explains the exodus of so many draft age men to Canada and Sweden during the Viet Nam era?

        • either musket or rifle: “That every citizen … shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise or into service…”

          No, Cliff H, the constitution envisions a draft. Nor should the government need to convince 100% of the people. Most laws including con amendments are effective with a super-majority. What you are espousing is not government, its anarchy.

      • Excellent point.

        And notice how a draft is not even necessary when there is a clear and present danger to the United States. I cannot count how many times I have heard about people who enlisted of their own free will after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941.

        Now fast forward to the 1960s. Why were young men NOT enlisting in droves to go to Vietnam? Because there was no clear and present danger to the United States in Vietnam!!!!!

        Congress would never need to draft anyone if they restricted their “military actions” to actual attacks on the United States. Still don’t believe me? No Act of Congress and no Army recruiters were necessary on United Airlines Flight 93 on September 11, 2000. When it became obvious to the passengers that the airplane they were on was a clear and present danger to the United States, the passengers promptly formed a militia and attacked the hijackers with everything they could muster. It was that passenger militia, and that passenger militia alone, that stopped the hijackers from flying that airplane into a large building in a large city.

        • If a foreign country invaded California or new york, I do not foresee a lot of people signing up to defend those places. Face it, you’d wait until the progressives were overrun, THEN you would volunteer to take back the territory. On the other hand, if we had a draft, would people have given more thought to Iraq?

        • I assure you that by 1943 when large numbers of troops were returning maimed or in body bags the zeal for enlistment had ended. You have an idealized view of the World War II generation. My father was a pre-war regular who drew the lucky straw when [at the time] Col James Gavin picked him among a small group from the 505 parachute infantry to stay behind at Fort Benning to train the airborne forces. [That’s why the call them orders and not suggestions]. He was pretty pissed off about not shipping out with the unit but by 1944 he would have proudly gone if ordered but he wasn’t stepping up for it. That is reality of the Second World War.

          Many young men volunteered because they could pick their service rather than go where military told them to go. Besides. after the draft was imposed in 1940 there were no true volunteers because you were going to serve one way or another.

      • The Militia as conceived by the Framers is the draft. If you look at how the draft was organized it was exactly like the early militia in its operation. Technically, the draft was a mandated call to the States just like the original calling of the Militia. The individual States called you up for Federal Service not the federal government itself. Your view of the constitutionality of the draft is as defective as the LAT’s interpretation of the Second Amendment.

        This is another example of how Libertarians talk like they support the Constitution but have little understanding of it. The Constitution provides for strong central government with limited powers not a weak or non-existent central government. We had that under the Articles of Confederation and it didn’t work. The purpose of the government under the Constitution is to provide defense against foreign enemies, keep the civil peace, represent the nation to other countries, provide for court system to enforce contracts, regulate the currency (yes the Federal System is constitutional), regulate foreign and interstate commerce, provide for public goods and collect taxes to pay for it. People who today call themselves Libertarians reject this. Furthermore, since all State governments have similar responsibilities Libertarians also reject the lesser authorities as well. You guys are nothing more than market oriented radical syndicalists, i.e., effectively anarchists not friends of republican government. As such you are no different than Progressives in your disdain for the constitutional system established in 1787.

        • Just know some of us lower case “l” libertarians recognize and agree with a lot of what you just said. In fact, I would contend the academic libertarian movement – e.g. those posting on the Volokh Conspiracy – are a far cry from your notion of “Libertarians.”

        • There are a lot notions of what constitutes Libertarianism. The academic libertarians you refer to are better described as Madisonians or Federalists.

  24. They always miss the part where the first “militia” clause is an example, rather than a limitation.

    It’s essentially one reason (and an important, albeit often misunderstood, one) that the existing right is not to be infringed, not the only one.

  25. The National Guard would have no trouble meeting enlistment numbers if part of the contract called for soldiers to take their equipment home with them. I would have volunteered to be an Abrams driver, and parked it on my lawn.

    • The Founders would have largely agreed with your criterion. They saw cannon as the province of the state, while swords, pikes, pistols, rifles, muskets, shotguns, etc were individual arms.

      • I’m not at home right now to fact check myself, but weren’t there cases in the Revolutionary War where private citizens owned cannon and brought them to battle when the militia was called up? Not saying it was standard practice by any means, though.

        • I wouldn’t doubt it for a second.

          Also, there are excellent historical documents that tell us about merchant ships that had cannons. Citizens owned and operated those merchant ships. They were NOT part of the U.S. Navy.

          Remember, absolutely nothing stops a criminal gang from making a cannon and hauling it out to use it against citizens. All you need is some steel, a few tools, and time because a cannon is nothing more than a large shotgun. There very well could come a day when a citizen would need a cannon to defend themselves and I want to be able to own one (for defensive purposes only) without the government being able to call me a criminal.

        • Cannons were owned by wealthy individuals. These weapons were quite costly and beyond the reach of most people of the day.

          Merchant ships were armed with cannon for a number of reasons. At 1 point governments did not maintain large peacetime navys and they required merchant ships to be equipped for quick call up during times of crisis.

          The Spanish galleons that helped to loot large portions of the world were prime examples of this. They were for the most part privately owned merchant ships that served as cargo haulers and people movers. But they also had a full battery of guns on board. When needed they could act as warships.

        • In fact, most cannon were in private hands. At the time of the Revolution we did not have a Navy. We did, however, have armed merchantmen. Those, and the cannons on them, were privately owned.

  26. What complete and utter nonsense!
    WHEN has a nation EVER needed to codify in its law that it has the right to have men under arms serving in an armed force?!? Nations have been doing that since the dawn of human history! That nations can field armies is SELF EVIDENT and does not need to be written into a constitution! The ONLY correct interpretation of the 2nd Amendment is that it applies to the people and it protects THEIR right to possess arms, in order to counterbalance the State’s need and ability to possess an army.

    • Heller noted this reality. The PA Constitution recognized the the individual right, as did other states, before the Federal Amendment was implemented. California doesn’t do history. It picks and chooses the federal laws it likes, and willfully breaks the ones it does not, those on immigration for example. Now they’re freaked out about Mexicans with guns. Poor men and women with guns. They see it coming. Too bad. There was a reason to make immigration orderly and measured, not at the whim of the estate owner or lettuce grower.

    • Is it really necessary to point out that the United States is in almost every way totally UNLIKE every other nation in history? One of the major ways this is true is that our government was created by and serves the people, not the other way around.

      “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.”

      How does a military draft or forced induction into a government regulated militia conform with any of those unalienable rights? (and just to divert the argument, I enlisted voluntarily in 1979 and served in the Army for 6 1/2 years with an honorable discharge.) I believe that a citizen has the duty to serve his country and protect it from its enemies.

      But any nation that believes it has the authority to FORCE its citizens to give up their natural, civil and constitutionally protected rights for any reason and serve in dangerous or deadly capacities in causes they do not support is not a free republic. It is by definition a tyranny.

  27. “A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”
    ( additional commas reportedly added by the scribe? )

    Out of curiosity, could the first part of the IIA possibly be an expression of common knowledge at the time, acquired through the painful and often disastrous consequences experienced during the American Revolutionary War for Independence — of pitting relatively poorly armed; untrained in military tactics and maneuvers; and not always well led ‘Citizen Soldiers’;- against well equipped, well trained and well led ( thus well regulated ) professional soldiers of the King’s Army?

    Could this part also be a statement from common knowledge that, not simply individually-Armed Citizens formed into a Militia would be necessary to the security of a free State — but a well regulated Militia would be necessary?

    A State ‘free’ from what? The potential for the newly-formed ‘general’ / ‘central’ / ‘federal’ government to amass an army and exert its will over one or more of the several States?
    Or perhaps a Military overthrow of the newly-formed Civilian government?
    What about the potential for another attack by the King’s Lobsterbacks?
    Or say, one State seeking to impose its will through force on another?

    Here we come to ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms’ — ‘Arms‘?
    Weren‘t ‘Arms’ at the time ‘every terrible instrument of War’, including cannons, edged weapons, any and everything else that could be used…and Fire-Arms?
    Is the controversy now over ‘Arms‘, or just ‘Fire-arms‘? And now only mere semi-automatic pistols, rifles and shotguns;- lengths of barrels; types of bullets legally allowed; types of semi-automatic pistols legally allowed and rifles according to features; and even magazine capacity in some places?
    And this, not to mention requirements for federal licensing of persons who sell Fire-Arms as a business, and in some States, a permit and permission required by any Citizen to even legally possess a Fire-Arm?
    ( Oh my, how far we’ve come indeed. )

    Last but certainly of critical importance — ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’
    It is possible this declaration of a ‘Right’ of the people had several purposes?
    Declaration of a ‘Right’ which predated and preexisted every form of government established?
    Declaration of a ‘Right’ which honorable Men fought an entire War to Secure for themselves and all Freemen for all future generations?
    A Law, written into a legally binding Contract / Compact between those in government and the people, that is, the governed — specifying a clearly written prohibition on those few and limited powers afforded to any and all as officials, authorities and representatives in government? That said ‘Right’ shall not be ( so much as ) ‘infringed’?
    A ’Right’ which, those in government are Morally, legally and ethically bound by Constitutional Contract to Secure for the Citizens?

    Just asking. ( editor needed, inquire within )

    Conscience, Morality and Rights my friends — Conscience, Morality and Rights.

    • Regulated = drilled/trained. That is why the standing army has always been referred to as “regulars” The standing army was the trained cadre that took care of the nation’s defense needs in times of general peace and trained the militia when it became time to expand the army in times of national emergency. How do you think we went from an army of 150k in 1939 to 8 million by 1945. The principle was that a company of regulars could train a division; a battalion a Corp and a regiment a numbered army.

  28. I swear these clowns look for an excuse to not defend themselves. Beta males, refusing to work hard or make tough decisions since… hell, since the first time a kid took their toy in the sand box.

  29. The LA Times is in CA so who gives a shit?

    CA was lost to the D moonbats a long time ago. I say farewell and good riddance.
    Screw you all in CA signed from free AZ.
    Smitty

  30. You know what California has that Nevada doesn’t Gangs,You know what Nevada has that California doesn’t; Conceal Carry.It’s so funny how those Liberal knuckleheads Don’t Get That!
    Oh Wait it must be Nevada’s weak gun laws as to why California has gun crime and ( count them ,2 million,yes that is million),gang members!
    Question; so is there some kind of ‘Stupid Fog’ comming off the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans? Cause it sure seems like STUPIDITY rules the day in LA and NYC.

    • I don’t think it’s about beta males or stupidity. It’s just the very rich and the cops/security companies against everyone else. The very rich seem to be afraid of political violence or revenge. Almost everyone else, though, is afraid of street violence and hot burglaries. They’ll work it out. I think Clint Eastwood is typical of the CA folks who have made it big: “If there’s a gun around, I want to be in charge of it.” That means he wants the gun in his hand, or he wants to be the influential donor whom cops protect first. It’s all the same, gun-guns or money-guns. Just no little-people guns.

  31. With regard to the once-Great State of California — now being lorded over by illiberals and digressives, and unfortunately for the actual Citizens, lacking a specific Constitutional provision declaring and enumerating the keeping and bearing of arms by the Citizens as a ’Right’ —
    point of inquiry as follows:
    Could the chronic and incessant effort to enact additional and increasingly restrictive ‘gun control laws’ in the Sanctuary State have anything to do with those in government knowing it to be the fixed agenda of the federal congress to grant citizenship to millions of persons having entered the U.S. illegally — and that many among them don’t speak the language, don’t know the laws, and don’t understand the American culture… but as Citizens they would then be able to legally purchase and possess firearms and ammunition?

    • California’s woes go further back than that, being mostly a series of reflex reactions — as differentiated from reasoned responses — to a number of rather horrific incidents.

      It’s a pity; they are in many ways a great and sensible state.

  32. “The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule.”

    And the Antifederalists’ fear came to pass. The great disarming occurred during the late stages of the mass immigration of 1880-1926. When strikers marched during the great depression, the clearly politicized standing police forces (in PA, for example) enforced the local big-wigs’ will, not the statutes, upon the strikers, and violently.

    Indeed, the law got to the point where very influential (i.e. rich) companies could have Pinkertons come with machine guns. And shoot. If that isn’t a politicized select militia, I don’t know what is. Blackwater would have wished to become Pinkertons redux. The LA Times op-ed board needs to read the history via the footnotes of Heller. Oh, but I’m sure they’ve got movies to watch, or a tanning-spray session. Never mind.

  33. From the LA Times article:

    The intent of the founders needs to be heard and understood. The men who hammered out the Constitution, argued for its ratification and underlined our liberties with the Bill of Rights, would urge us to think about the issue this way: How do we balance the right to bear arms against the collective security of the American people?

    Don’t fall for this trap. They’re trying to direct, frame, and define the argument. Utter B.S. Their argument, fundamentally, really is in favor of shifting the balance of armament rights in favor of a centralized government.

    No way.

    That’s not what the Framers of the Constitution had in mind. They wanted the populace to be armed in such a manner that they could defend themselves against an invading army, or a tyrannical government.

    That’s why they wrote the 2nd Amendment the way they did … they wanted us to be just as well armed as an invading army or tyrannical government.

    Then the author of this article has the audacity to think we’re dumb enough to fall for presuppositions.
    I’ll repeat what said journalist wrote: “The men who hammered out the Constitution […] would urge us to think about the issue this way: How do we balance the right to bear arms against the collective security of the American people?”

    Again, from the Neo-Statist playbook. The Goebbels’s “Big Lie” lie concept isn’t enough, so
    now they use presuppositions. False ones at that.

    The author is presupposing that there is a balance between gun rights and safety. As in
    the author is stating you absolutely have to pick one or the other; that they are mutually
    exclusive.

    Utter B.S.!

    Clearly he hasn’t read the studies out there showing that more guns results in less
    crime. Oh well.

    He’s not a statistician using advanced econometrics like The Harvard School of Public
    Health researchers who came up with the same conclusions as John Lott.

    He’s just a journalist, not an economist, nor statistician who’s done a lot
    of research on it, and with a 70% peer approval rating à la sir Lott of
    “More Guns, Less Crime” fame. And he’s a journalist, one at the L.A.
    Times for that matter. So … he doesn’t sound like a credible expert.
    Just a typical rank and file pro-statist journalist whose legion darkens
    the hallowed halls of once sacred, and reputable, tell it like it is,
    journalism

    But no. A pro-statist, journalist, at the L.A. times whose
    not an economist or statistician who has thoroughly
    researched the issue?

    No credibility and no authority with me.

    Let’s admit it … he probably secretly prostrates chants
    “Long Live Big Brother” into a security camera somewhere
    at night longing for a return of Soviet style Socialism looking
    for the new Lenin.

  34. What a bunch of screw ups for founders we have.

    They write “well regulated militia,” then accidentally write “the right of the people,” instead of “the right of the militia,” and were just too damn lazy to correct the mistake or to even talk about it.

    Anyways, the majority opinion in Heller included this:

    “the adjective ‘well-regulated’ implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training.”

  35. I may be late on this, however, there is no comma in the second amendment LA Times. Not the original one that is.

  36. Anyone on this forum who voted libtard (democrat) during the last election should by now realize the error of their ways and NEVER VOTE DEMOCRAT AGAIN. If ya do, ya get what ya get. Morons.

  37. I just have one MAJOR problem with all of this. The second amendment does NOT give ANYONE the right to bear arms. Rather, it REAFFIRMS that the right to bear arms is a “certain unalienable right endowed by our creator”, and states that it “shall not be infringed.”

  38. *sigh* As a newly minted Person of the Gun, I have one question: will this constant struggle against those that would deny us our rights ever end?

    • It will end in one of two ways:

      Either the Supreme Court, hand in hand with the Federal government, will step up to the plate and definitive guidance on the RKBA and then back that guidance up with the full weight and power of the Federal behemoth, or…

      It will end in a very nasty way… I always find it comical that people who support disarmament are going to use the very weapons they claim to despise to impose their will on others…

    • I don’t think it will ever end, though there will be relative times of peace. As a new gun owner, you are seeing the grabbers during a very active period.

      Regardless, as long as we have free speech and freedom of thought, there will always be “Progressives,” whatever they may call themselves at the time, and these collectivists will always seek to weaken the power of individuals and expand the power of the government. Even definitive supreme court rulings and clear laws will not stop them, for they have no respect for rule of law (or at least, do not recognize the law as something that should limit them).

      So, as long as we have the United States as currently constructed, there will be weevils in the grain sack. It’s human nature, which is why the founders wrote the constitution they way they did.

  39. You know you’re wading hip-deep in bull feces when the author repeatedly claims the agreement of James Madison with his views, but never once quotes Madison himself on the subject.

  40. Funny how you can take such a clear right and have “exceptions” to it. Imagine if after 9-11 we had exceptions to freedom of religion? The only exception to freedom of speech is using words that can put others in danger(yelling fire in a crowded theater) but that’s no different than saying the 2nd Amendment doesn’t allow me to shoot into the air in celebration because doing so could endanger others. My owning a fully automatic rifle or carrying on federal property or in a school in no way would endanger anyone. Firing said weapon without a just reason would be…but if not carrying makes us safer, why do cops get an exception to carrying in these places?

  41. I guess my brain is getting too old. I do not see how someone can say something is a right and then justify limiting it. Kind of runs contra to what a right is. I do not think you will hear a LEO say that you have the right to remain silent except for ……….

  42. The Gun Control acts of 1934, 1938, 1968, 1986, 1990, 1994 all have limited the rights of law abiding Americans to own affordable firearms of their choice, and to block the ownership and possession of entire classes of weapons, by outright bans, excessive taxes, import blocks, and other control schemes developed by the political class, all in violation with the Second Amendment. Even the Supreme Court decisions have violated the Second Amendment, in meaning and intent.

  43. In my view a majority of Americans don’t know what liberty and freedom means. The founding fathers knew all to well because they lived under tyranny. Modern Americans will never know their freedom and liberty are lost until their own throats are under the knife.

    If I remember correctly The founding fathers almost left out the 2nd amendment only because it was already common knowledge that people had an inherent right to arms and self defense without the governments consent.

    I personally believe that I have a natural or God given and instinctual right to defend my life, the lives of My family, and My home and property, I shouldn’t need the Government to grant me permission to do so. The constitution just reaffirms the human rights we have lest we forget our rights like many already have.

  44. WHY would an expressed right to bears arms be necessary for the military?!? It’s like giving a tennis player a right to use a racket. A militia was all able bodied men. You were part of the militia if you lived here and were able bodied, so that meant everyone.

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