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Martin Albright, a TTAG commenter, had some questions regarding some points in my Feeding The Trolls essay. And giving the answers the justice they deserve requires a little more than the comment section will allow. So let’s get on with it, shall we? When I asked how one reconciled permit laws with the SCOTUS ruling in Murdock v. Pennsylvania which forbade states from charging a fee “for the enjoyment of a right granted by the federal constitution” Martin asked:

Didn’t you just answer your own question? The 2nd amendment guarantees you the right to own (keep and bear) arms, but not necessarily the right to carry them concealed on your person.

An excellent question Martin. Not to go all legal eagle here, but it’s one which hearkens back to the days before the turn of the previous century when, in a dicta to Robertson v. Baldwin, Supreme Court Justice Brown stated…

Thus, the freedom of speech and of the press (Art. I) does not permit the publication of libels, blasphemous or indecent articles, or other publications injurious to public morals or private reputation; the right of the people to keep and bear arms (Art. II) is not infringed by laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons …

The problems are: 1) Robertson was decided before SCOTUS ruled on Murdock, and 2) it was widely held at that time that only footpads and thieves carried concealed, honest men carried openly. In 1839 in order “to suppress the evil practice of carrying weapons secretly” (and yes, they actually used that phrase in the statute) Alabama passed a law prohibiting concealed carry. This law was tested in State of Alabama v. Reid. Reid was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon but held that the statute violated his rights under the Alabama Constitution. The Alabama Attorney General argued successfully:

That the statute under which the defendant was convicted, did not impair that right, while it proposed to discountenance by punishment, a practice which had been greatly promotive of violence and bloodshed. Every man was still left free to carry arms openly, the only manner in which they could be used for defensive purposes.

So at that time you could lawfully carry without paying any sort of license fee or tax, you just had to carry openly. Mind you, I think the courts were dead wrong in saying states could ban concealed carry. It’s obvious to me that they were more interested in establishing and upholding some sort of control than in applying the Constitution as it was written. Otherwise it would have been impossible to construe a ban on concealed carry as not ‘infringing’ on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

I’m afraid that you’re mistaken when you state that the terms “keep and bear” refer merely to ownership. As Justice Scalia stated in  Heller v. DC:

In Muscarello v. United States 524 U. S. 125(1998),  in the course of analyzing the meaning of ‘carries a firearm’ in a federal criminal statute, Justice Ginsburg wrote that ‘[s]urely a most familiar meaning is, as the Constitution’s Second Amendment … indicate[s]: ‘wear, bear, or carry … upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose … of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.”

Plainly the phrase “keep and bear” covers both ownership and carriage.

In the next paragraph Martin says:

The very fact that you apply for a permit to do so is an acknowledgement of your recognition of this fact, isn’t it? After all, you don’t apply for a permit to speak freely or petition your government, do you? You don’t have to apply for a permit to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, or to not have your property taken for public use without just compensation or for your right to trial by jury, right?

Martin’s statement that we don’t have to apply for a free speech permit, etc. actually goes to my point that the Second Amendment is treated as the bastard stepchild of the Bill of Rights. As for applying for my permit to carry: A) it was not a recognition or acceptance that the government has the right to ration my civil liberties, it was recognition and acceptance of the fact that they had the power to do so. B) Being the sneaky little snark that I am, I added a little bit of verbiage to the back of the application. Paraphrasing, it simply stated that I was making the application because of threats of force and violence if I carried without a permit, but that my actions in response to those threats did not constitute “Voluntary Compliance”.

For those who do not know the significance of “Voluntary Compliance” let’s give a short example. You have a house and you want to build a shed in your backyard. Being a good citizen, you toddle off to City Hall to find out if there’s any sort of permit you need or form to fill out. Indeed, you discover that there is “just this one form, more of a formality really, they always get approved.” So you fill out the form and wait. You get a letter saying there are questions about your boundary (which, you point out is 50 feet from where you want to put the shed) but as soon as that’s cleared up you should be good to go. But you aren’t. In fact you go back and forth with inspectors and councilmen and all kinds of people before finally saying “The heck with this cockamamie B.S., it’s my danged property so I’m going to build a danged shed!” The city takes you to court, you go in and argue that it is your danged property and do you don’t have to file for a stinking zoning waiver or whatever, anyways!

Then the court ruling comes down: because you started out by applying, you have “voluntarily complied” with the zoning procedures, you no longer have standing to sue.

Another example, this one from real life: A number of years ago the NYPD Chief decided there were too many CCWs in the city, so he informed the office in charge that they should deny one third of all renewals. A jeweler who frequently carried upwards of a half-million in cash and gems had his permit renewal denied, so he sued the city to get it back. Basically the judge told him that once he had voluntarily complied with an arbitrary and capricious process he couldn’t sue on the grounds that it was arbitrary and capricious.

Martin then goes on to say:

I realize I’m in the minority on this site, but I simply don’t believe that the 2nd amendment recognizes a right to carry a concealed handgun. I believe the 2nd amendment recognizes the right to own firearms but the use and carry of those firearms is still subject to regulation by the states.

Well, believe it or don’t, as pointed out by Justice Ginsberg in Muscarello, the phrase bear arms does mean to carry, and according to the 1828 edition of Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language infringed means “broken; violated; transgresses.” It seems pretty clear to me that banning concealed carry is, indeed, an infringement of our right to bear arms. And please tell me how requiring a license to carry concealed (or, in most states, to carry at all) serves a compelling governmental interest, is narrowly tailored to suit that interest and is the least restrictive way to achieve that compelling government interest?

Martin continued:

If a restriction on carry or transport was so severe as to amount to a defacto ban on firearms (for example, a law that said you could only transport a firearm if it was triple locked in an armored car with a police escort) then it would be severe enough to violate the Constitution.

That’s certainly a mighty generous concession you are making there Martin. But tell me, if I don’t need a police escort is it still a de facto ban? How about if we ditch the armored car and just require weapons to be unloaded with a trigger lock, in a locked metal case inside another locked metal case (which I assume is what you mean by triple locked), would that still amount to a de facto ban or not? None of this sits well with the idea that the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental, enumerated right on par with the right to free speech, freedom of religion, etc.

But if you believe in Federalism, shouldn’t the state have some say in regulating who may carry a firearm in public and where they may carry it?

Nope. No more than they can have some say in regulating who may speak in public (as the state of Louisiana is trying to do), or how people may worship, or who can print a newspaper.

The right to speak freely, worship as you wish, be secure in your home, all of these are fundamental human rights, and we need to quit treating the right to keep and bear arms like the bastard stepchild of the Bill of Rights.

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  1. It seems to me if one is to accept the nonsense that the 2nd Amendment has some meaning in today’s society, then it would include open carry. The original intent was to keep and bear arms. To me that sounds like keeping a musket in the home and carrying one when you go off to the militia.

    But, like I said, these concepts have absolutley no meaning today.

    • Mikey, you said, “But, like I said, these concepts have absolutley no meaning today.”

      Another guy once said this; “The one who does not remember history is bound to live through it again.” George Santayana

      Are you familiar with that quote Mikey. It’s inscribed on a plaque at Auschwitz, for all of us to remember.

      What a silly, foolish little man you are.

      • Greg, I don’t agree with you about the 2A. So for that you call me silly and little. Why is it so hard for you to accept that someone might disagree with you?

        In fact, why do you find it so hard to step back from the argument and leave your personal investment aside for a moment and see that I make some sense. The suggestion that the 2nd Amendment is outdated is a rational one.

        I’m not sure what “history repeating itself” you’re referring to exactly, but I’d bet it’s a lot less rational than my ideas about the 2A.

        • How does the Second Amendment not have relevance in modern society? The liberal administration touts the success of the middle east and the storm of falling regimes, yet it was the armed citizenry that did the job. In our corner of the world, the United States, we understand that a law without teeth is pointless, so the entire constitution (the same document our esteemed president calls “imperfect”) runs on that principle. And for those who want to “update” the constitution, what are you thinking? The simplicity of that legal design is the basic framework for all of the civil liberties that we enjoy as citizens, not subjects. Destroy one aspect of the framework, and it is just a matter of time before the whole thing starts to crumble. Look at feudal Japan, a society that honored the warriors above all, and whose people were subjected to those who carried the sword. Farmers and merchants had no rights when confronted by the ruling class. Sounds fair, right? So, what is it that keeps us all equal under the law? Ponder that and go through a few You-tube records of out of control behavior by uniformed officials. Follow that up with some reading on the misconduct of elected officials. Then spend some quality time in places where those vaunted public servants seldom hear about and never tread. In time, you will learn some truth. It is not some ill-conceived cowboy fantasy to be skilled, or at least knowledgeable when it comes to firearms, but common sense. The Second Amendment was written to give citizens the ability to defend themselves, and it did not specify against whom. Fucking troll.

        • Mikey, you said, “So for that you call me silly and little. Why is it so hard for you to accept that someone might disagree with you?” Mikey, you forgot foolish, as in silly, foolish little man.

          I have no problem accepting that many people are going to disagree with me over many things. It happens often enough. In fact, I often learn much from those disagreements and am glad for the experience. I’ve even been known to change my mind about something when a different point of view and a preponderance of evidence persuades me to see something in a different and more rational light.”In fact, why do you find it so hard to step back from the argument and leave your personal investment aside for a moment and see that I make some sense. ” Mikey, I reassess my positions all of the time to check that what I’m thinking and what I believe are indeed correct and rational, it’s in my nature. I’ve been reading your stuff for some time now and much/most of it still doesn’t make sense to me. You have failed utterly to bring forth any meaningful data or provide any kind of rational, persuasive argument that would provide me with a reason to change my position. Sorry Dude, but those are the facts as I and many others here see them.

          When our species evolves to the point where there are no longer any monsters walking amongst us, when Peace on Earth and good will towards all of mankind is truly universal, than we can maybe talk about your wonderful ideas on changing that silly old Second Amendment of ours. Until then, we have many other pressing matters that we would be better off tending to first.

        • “You have failed utterly to bring forth any meaningful data or provide any kind of rational, persuasive argument that would provide me with a reason to change my position. “

          There’s plenty of data on both sides of the argument, Greg. What I have presented to you is something else. It’s an opportunity to use your head and think about what we’re discussing.

          Where do the criminals get their guns? Other criminals, right? And those, where to they get them. Eventually for every single weapon in criminal hands you’ll find a point in which it passed from a lawful owner to a criminal. That’s exactly to point at which we need to intervene, and guess how? We need strict gun control laws that will, yes indeed, affect the law abiding gun owners to hold onto their guns and stop the gun flow.

          Now, that’s a simple enough proposition that no data or statistics should be required to prove. But it requires open-mindedness and honesty and the ability to put aside one’s pre-conceived ideas and agenda. Can you do that Greg?

        • “Eventually for every single weapon in criminal hands you’ll find a point in which it passed from a lawful owner to a criminal.”

          Very true, except for a few rare examples of “shrinkage” from arms manufacturers. The exact same thing can be said for get away cars, knives, baseball bats. etc.

          I, too, am for very strict gun control laws. If someone is caught illegally trafficking in arms, throw the book at them and lock them up until their teeth rot. There are currently thousands of laws on the books. Law enforcement has more that sufficient tools to bring these traffickers to heel. Prosecutors seem to rarely use them to full effect. Why is that? In Massachusetts we have Bartley-Fox, a one year mandatory sentence for illegal possession. It’s been on the books since the 70’s and has been a complete joke. We play catch and release with our wayward citizens; there’s been little or no meaningful deterrent that would cause the bad guys to get out of the business. Again, why is that?

          Blaming inner city violence on whatever tool is chosen by the criminal is a little bit foolish don’t you think? Unless the root cause of the condition is addressed, the condition will persist. As Thoreau once said; “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.”.

        • Because, Mike, you don’t apply your view of the Second Amendment to any of the others. This inconsistancy indicates that you are not using honest debate.

        • Rational to whom, mikey? Someone such as yourself, whose apparent knowledge of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the Founder’s concept of Freedom is so bankrupt as to defy comprehension?
          Do yourself a huge favor: read the Federalist Papers and other works of the Founders so that you may begin to see the processes of their thoughts regarding government Of the People, By the People, and For the People.
          Your admission that you think the Second Amendment is outdated simply shows your lack of understanding of the entire issue. Stick to comic books. You’re much better suited to fiction.

    • Just like free speech, privacy, jury trials, and voting rights are completely outdated now?

      Did all of the criminals pack up and leave the country? Have we freed the world of all oppressive governments and the future possibility of them?

      No? Then it’s still applicable.

      • But Mikey has a solution for everthing. We ban guns and develop the enforcement mechanism necessary to keep bad people from getting guns from smugglers and dirty cops and of course establish social programs to “help” the poor learn useful things like filling out welfare paperwork.

        To be fair the Libertarian solution is just as simplistic. Legalize drugs and all the gang bangers become corporate executives and live happily ever after and the kingdom of God will be upon us.

        Mikey, libertarians and OWS share one common feature. Each has a simple answer to all the world’s problems. But here is what each of their worlds look like.

        Mikey’s world is East Germany.
        Bruce’s world is Somalia
        OWS world is North Korea.

        • @tdiinva, I’m wondering how a libertarian society winds up as one being invaded by two neighboring countries, plundered by a kleptocracy and repressed by a standing army. Explain?

        • Somalia is a metaphor for what happens to a country without a government that provides public goods and a universally accepted and administered legal code.

          Modern libertarianism is a throw back to the opponents of the Constitution back in 1788. it is anti-republican (the concept not the party) which had led many libertarian theorists to champion a return to the Articles of Confederation. Under the Articles the central government lack any independent power and as a result the nation was disintegrating into feuding states on the verge of war. The Constitution replaced a toothless central government with one of limited but very powerful authoriry. That Republican government is anti-libertarian was demonstrated in 1789 when President Washington led an army to put down the tax revolt known as the Whiskey Rebellion.

          Modern libertarianism is effectively anti-government. Defanging the central government in no way prevents the next level of central government from be as oppressive as the current national government, for example New York. The search for the libertarian utopia drives government to smaller and smaller political units each more uniform than the last. Anthropologists call those small units tribes.

          Like all utopians libertarians fail to recognize that we have met the enemy and it is us. Humans are a power seeking animal. The Constitution recognizes that and puts limits on both government and unlimited liberty.

          Libertarianism isn’t about liberty. It is about license. License is the enemy of liberty.

          I probably would have done a better job in the morning but I wouldn’t have slept if I didn’t write tonight.

      • Free speech isn’t free, until I can walkup to anyone, anywhere in the U.S. (including courts) and scream FUCK as loud as I can I will consider my speech limited.

        Privacy? Are you kidding me, we have no right to privacy in this country and it’s not protected unless you protect it yourself.

        Jury trails are at best a draw, but our system of voting in the US (espcialy for presidents) is by far and away the most outdated of the list. Generaly by the time it takes legislators to vote in a law that law is outdated. Current example is SOPA. I can’t wait to see what the U.S. will look like once we can begin censor the internet.
        As for the 2a, it needs to be rewritten. That is the beauty of the constitution, it is a living document we could rewrite 2a to make it easy to understand in todays language but it is easier to legislate around it than to fix the problem.

        • Rewritten, irock? Why not just demand a higher level of REAL education in the gulags known as public schools?
          Any serious student of American history should know that contexual discrimination is mandatory when studying the works of the Founders. Their work absolutely MUST be viewed through the eyes of the times when such debates were engaged in. Anything less does not capture the true essence of the arguments.

    • It absolutely has meaning today. The USA is NOT a democracy but a constitutional republic. This means that no matter what happens, the ultimate law of the land is with the founding charter as opposed to democracy which is just mob rule.

      The constitution can be changed with proper rules. Government officials deciding that they just don’t want to abide by it is, for all intents and purposes, illegal. Now, if enough people got together to amend the constitution the proper way to essentially remove that right then that is an entirely different measure.

      But what you’re saying is that you shouldn’t abide by a federal law simply because you disagree with it. Imagine if we applied that to other laws?

      • You might repeal the second amendment, but the right it specifically protects from the Federal Government would still exist.

    • I agree with Mike B, we should run the entire Constitution through the shredder and our Judicial System with it. Establish a Totalitarian Dictatorship of the Proletariat and have the cops just shoot anybody they feel like.
      You know, the scary thing, is that millions of people actually would like a government like that.

    • Present your argument to the armed criminal in front of you and see how it goes over. He’ll be openly carrying at the time so you should have no problem with that, the militia part might need some clarification to him.

    • Well Mikely the Constitution has a method for cleaning out the junk so to speak. What you guys need to do is introduce a Constitutional Amendment repealing the Second into Congress. If you get 2/3 or each Chamber to vote for it then it goes out to the States for ratification. When you get 3/4 of the States to ratify the Amendment then you have succeed.

      You might as well introduce other Amendments to repeal provisions of the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments because you are going have to do away those to create a gun free society. Oh hell, might as well do away with whole Constitution thing and appoint a dictator to rule by degree. It is well known that dictatorships have low unsanctioned crime rates.

    • The right to self-defense has no meaning in today’s society?

      Just the sort of fantasy-land insanity I’d expect from such a pathetic excuse for a sentient being like you.

    • You may be right Mike, because who needs a silly old constitution and all those dumb ass amendments. We should all do as we’re told and never question anything that our great leaders tell us to do.

      • No, Joe that’s not it.

        Justice Scalia said “reasonable restrictions” on the right to keep and bear arms are OK. Right there your concept of “shall not be infringed” goes in the shitter.

        What I’m saying is the whole thing is meaningless and anachronistic. But that doesn’t mean no one can have guns or that without the 2A the government will become tyrannical. Those are your exaggerated scenarios used to defend your position.

        • I have the 157 page opinion Scalia wrote and it definitely does not give license to restrict firearms in the way currently done. Maybe you should take the time to read it. He wrote a thoughtful and careful analysis of the history and application of gun ownership today which demonstrates the 2A is far from anachronistic.
          Again, more facts less opinion leads to strong arguments.

        • “Right there your concept of “shall not be infringed” goes in the shitter.”

          Er, no. There are restrictions on the First Amendment, for example. Restrictions do not negate the right. Don’t confuse rights with laws. Laws can become meaningless and anachronistic. Rights? Never, in my opinion.

    • The 2nd Amendment is more relevant today that it was 230+ years ago. It is an immutable fact that where citizens are lawfully allowed to carry firearms, crime rates drop. The Federal governments own study showed that firearms are used defensively 1.5 million times per year, either in defending ones self or another.

      A sturdy look at those countries that have outlawed firearm ownership will show violent crime rates 5 times higher than in the United States. Additionally, when you stop and think about the number of Gun Laws on the books, both at the Federal and State levels, every criminal act involving firearms has been enacted. Laws do not stop criminals, a simple fact you just cannot wrap your head around.

      You may argue any shape or form as to why guns should be outlawed. But, each would be wrong and unsupported by fact. Once the 2nd Amendment is abolished, which Civil Right will be next? Liberals after all have a strong desire to have ‘someone else’ have complete control over their lives!

      • “firearms are used defensively 1.5 million times per year, either in defending ones self or another.

        A sturdy look at those countries that have outlawed firearm ownership”

        Your number it completely exaggerated. What I do is take one of the more reasonable estimates and figure three-quarters of them are really unnecessary and aggressive. True DGUs are fairly rare.

        Then your next paragraph begins with the big lie. Pretending that we want to “outlaw firearms ownership” gives you a strong position to argue from. You can get all indignant and pretend you’re being aggrieved and persecuted.

        The truth is we don’t want to eliminate, ban, or outlaw anything. We want gun owners to be qualified, period.

    • I just wish mikey would get a hobby other than trying to suppress human rights. And if that hobby could keep him busy enough that he didn’t plague the web with his desire to violate the rights of an entire nation.

      • You’d think he would be more interested in making sure his seven year old son didn’t play ‘Call of Duty 20, The Invasion of Mars’ instead of concerning himself over what someone does half a world away

  2. The word “Bear”, verb: from the authoritative Webster.

    transitive verb
    a : to move while holding up and supporting (something)
    b : to be equipped or furnished with (something)
    c : behave, conduct
    d : to have as a feature or characteristic

    English. It’s a language, and it has rules. Words mean things. If you don’t like the Second Amendment, don’t try to say it “means” something it doesn’t. It’s pretty straight forward. If you disagree, then repeal the amendment. All you need is two thirds of the states, I believe.

    • So, constitutional amendments can be proposed in one of two ways. They can either be proposed by two thirds vote of Congress or they can be proposed at a Constitutional Convention. Either way, a proposed amendment must be ratified by three quarters of state legislatures to be adopted.

      And of course, a Second Amendment repeal has not a chance in hell of ever being proposed, let alone ratified.

    • I love when people quote Webster like it is the end all and be all of English. English does have rules, but they are very, very few. In fact the English language only has 17 rules linguistically speaking. But that pertains only to sentence construction, other than that the English language is pretty lawless. The word “Bear” may have this definition according to” Merriam- Webster,” but according to Dictionary .com it means

      verb (used with object)
      1. to hold up; support: to bear the weight of the roof.
      2. to hold or remain firm under (a load): The roof will not bear the strain of his weight.
      3. to bring forth (young); give birth to: to bear a child.
      4. to produce by natural growth: a tree that bears fruit.
      5. to hold up under; be capable of: His claim doesn’t bear close examination.
      6. to press or push against: The crowd was borne back by the police.
      7. to hold or carry (oneself, one’s body, one’s head, etc.): to bear oneself erectly.
      8. to conduct (oneself): to bear oneself bravely.
      9. to suffer; endure; undergo: to bear the blame.
      10. to sustain without yielding or suffering injury; tolerate (usually used in negative constructions, unless qualified): I can’t bear your nagging. I can hardly bear to see her suffering so.
      11. to be fit for or worthy of: It doesn’t bear repeating.
      12. to carry; bring: to bear gifts.
      13. to carry in the mind or heart: to bear love; to bear malice.
      14. to transmit or spread (gossip, tales, etc.).
      15. to render; afford; give: to bear witness; to bear testimony.
      16. to lead; guide; take: They bore him home.
      17. to have and be entitled to: to bear title.
      18. to exhibit; show: to bear a resemblance.
      19. to accept or have, as an obligation: to bear responsibility; to bear the cost.
      20. to stand in (a relation or ratio); have or show correlatively: the relation that price bears to profit.
      21. to possess, as a quality or characteristic; have in or on: to bear traces; to bear an inscription.
      22. to have and use; exercise: to bear authority; to bear sway.

      Which definition(s) is better than the other?

  3. In regards to rights; it doesn’t matter a bit whether one group of people or another decides what rights people should or shouldn’t have, even if they make it all nice and legal like by putting it down on the finest parchment paper in exquisite calligraphy, passing it around to nod and approve the magnificence of their master work, and then giving it their unanimous assent by some splendidly formalized process and vote. Our rights are fundamental, essential, inalienable and inextricable from our humanity ; they are not “given” by any one or any group; they exist because we exist; they are not negotiable, they are inherent. Humans are sovereign individuals; the only time that the individual’s sovereignty can be diminished is when that individual’s own humanity diminishes through their own actions, and it then becomes the responsibility of society to set that individual straight and right.

    • The concept of “inalienable” rights is a bit of nationalistic puffery IMO. Your rights can be taken from you and do not exist as a part of the human genome. There are countless examples of people who have had thier rights stripped from them through force and domination. There are even more examples of people who were born without these inailenable rights. Our rights exist because the constitution exists, but even though they exist they can still be taken away with the stroke of a pen and a vote.

      • Irock, it doesn’t seem that you don’t get what I’m driving at. That’s OK though, it’s a little complex, and I understand the difficulty that you may be having, because it’s been my experience that not everybody gets it. So you’re in some pretty good company, and a lot of bad company for that matter, but I’m not really keeping score. However, I think that the Founders would get EXACTLY what I’m driving at, and that’s good enough for me.

        Nationalistic puffery? Odd. Human rights are somehow “nationalistic”? Who knew?

        • I fully understand the concepts at which you are driving at and there is no need to try and talk to me. The founding fathers should have taken their own advice, though especially about all men being created equal. Of course that still only applies to men, obviously all men are created equal, but women don’t even need to be mentioned. Inalienable rights are those that cannot be taken or given, and yet when we imprison people we take away their rights. The concept of inalienable rights are simply words on paper. Humans do not have any more rights than what they are capable of creating themselves, and can be taken away just as easily. They the are smoke that hangs in the air until the wind blows them away.

        • Ahhh, you’ve had a zen moment grasshopper. “They the are smoke that hangs in the air until the wind blows them away.”

  4. @ some point it’s time to ignore the law and just do what you want, after all, the law is an ass. Do what is just, right and ethical.

  5. The 2A is often called the pesky amendment for a very good reason. It’s the one some wish wasn’t there and the only one routinely trampled on.

  6. Here’s a little thought experiment: “The First Amendment is outdated. The Framers of the Constitution could never have envisioned the modern printing presses of the 1800s, and far less bullhorns, amplifiers, desktop publishing, radio, television, and the internet. Sure, you can write your pamphlets and hand them out, or get a Guttenberg press, but you’ve got no First Amendment right to use modern technology to express your ideas. That’s too dangerous, and so the state must have a right to control that kind of speech.”

    It’s worth noting that several goverments over the course of the 20th Century took that view, and had no qualms against murdering over 100 million of their own people. Oh, and they disarmed them first.

  7. As so often happens, the underlying facts of our constitutional rights are not considered. Think about the size and nature (and weight) of the firearms in the 18th century. Compare a pocket 9mm or .380 pocket pistol with six rounds to the typical single shot flintlock pistol. The pistols of the 1780’s were large, unwieldy, heavy and flintlocks with loose powder on the frizzen to make it fire. Such issues would have precluded concealed carry except for (perhaps) wearing a cloak or some such covering. Concealed carry was even not realistically possible until after the invention of the percussion cap in 1830. As an aside Deringer invented the weapon that bears his name (misspelled Derringer” in 1852).

    The point is, it is disingenuous for 2nd amendment opponents to be so certain that the drafters of the 2nd Amendment in 1787 did not endorse CCW. The drafters would not have written about concealed carry because they had no idea it was even possible. For these opponents to claim the 2nd Amendment does not endorse concealed carry shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the history of firearms and and American history.

    Contrary to these opponents claims, the 2nd Amendment gave every citizen the right to keep and bear arms available at that time without limitation for the defense of themselves and their country.

  8. Mikeb,

    Tarrou has it right in a post above. If you believe that 2A has no meaning or is outdated your course of action is to repeal it. All this talk of what you think 2A says or means is meaningless. Don’t like it? Than repeal it as set out in our national documents.

    It really is just that simple.

    • That’s not right, Paul. If the balance on the Supreme court changes the 2nd amendment might be interpreted differently and relegated to the dustbin like the 3rd has been. No Repeal process is required for that.

      • Mikey, your leave the Armed Citizen out of the equation. Simply because a majority of 9 in black robes says you don’t have Rights does not make it so, and should they say any such thing they would be palcing themselves in great peril against millions who LOVE their Freedom. This nation wasn’t liberated by chance.

        • How did things work out for Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu? One must always be mindful of unintended consequences and history repeating itself. Just sayin’.

  9. I won’t address every part of this article because I don’t have time (although if you’d read my following comments to the one you excerpted, you’d see that I agree that “bear” has to have some meaning in terms of carrying or transporting firearms) but I will say this:

    The Court in Heller did not address the issue of “bearing” arms (whether concealed or unconcealed) in their decision, but in dicta they stated that restrictions on concealed carrying would not be considered an infringement. Yes, dicta is not binding but it shows the mind of the court. And it’s unlikely that the court is going to get any more “conservative” under Obama’s 2nd term or under a president Romney (though I think the latter is pretty unlikely to happen.)

    So the bottom line is that we are back to square one, which is to say that it is your opinion is that the 2nd amendment recognizes concealed carry as a right. It is my opinion that it does not but the only opinions that have any legal consequence are the ones that comes from the Federal Appellate Courts and/or the SCOTUS. And to think that these courts would issue a ruling that would, in effect, invalidate hundreds of state firearms laws with the stroke of a pen is indulging in an extreme case of wishful thinking.

  10. We wouldn’t need concealed carry if a majority of people open carried and, it was a societal norm that no one thought about twice. Since to many have been brainwashed into equating guns with violence (Mikey). And have fallen for the lie that government can protect them. Or that to few people care enough about thier own lifes and those of thier loved ones to go to the effort of having the ability to protect themselves. So for now we have to to settle for discreet carry

  11. Todd there were many handguns that were concealable and available at the time of the constitution and many in polite society who did so, just one of them would be the T.H. Bolton

  12. The compelling government interest being served by requiring a permit to ‘legally’ carry a weapon concealed is quite consistent with the general operation of all governments to use coercion, fear of incarceration, threats of and actual use of force to maintain or increase powers of those within government itself.
    The compelling government interest being served by requiring a permit to ‘legally’ carry a weapon concealed unarguably but quite effectively
    diminishes the otherwise natural status of the Citizen, in that:-
    the Citizen is compelled to satisfy a number of mandated requirements including but not limited to, proving themselves innocent of any crime; attending approved classes; filling out government supplied forms; providing personal information which those in government wouldn’t have otherwise; submit to being fingerprinted like a common criminal; and paying fees in order to be afforded this privilege. ( Worth casual mention here that although the fees collected are to be used to offset the costs incurred by government of the permitting system, unless some law mandates the funds be used only for this specific purpose, any surplus can be transferred to any other program those in government so choose. In such cases, the fees collected and transferred thereby effectively become a ‘tax’.
    The compelling government interest being served by requiring a permit to ‘legally’ carry a weapon concealed is also stated as providing ‘law-enforcement with another tool in its toolbox’ affording them a ‘law’ to be used against otherwise law-abiding Citizens who can be charged with a ‘crime’ although no person’s ‘Rights’ were violated.
    Interesting to note here that the basis of an actual crime involves the actual violation of a person’s ‘Rights’. This being the case, the totality of crimes committed by the whole of the Citizenry pales in comparison to the number of ‘Rights-violating’ crimes committed on a daily basis by those in government.

  13. “A well regulated Villitia being necessary to the security of a free Tribe, the right of the Villagers to keep and bear rocks, slings, sticks, spears, knives, axes, bows and arrows shall not be infringed.”

  14. Had a few discussions over the years about rights and arms.
    Experience and opinions vary, but I learned the hard way that while most adults know about the word ‘rights’, not just everyone fully understands the philosophical concept.
    Sometimes understanding can be elicited by putting say, an idea into context, and other times understanding can be brought about only by removing those pesky contextual references impairing a person’s ability to fully comprehend something.
    ( For instance, references people use which leads ( or misleads ) others into believing a Constitution grants or guarantees anything or that government grants people ‘rights’ and the United States is a democracy. )
    Anyway, the following question seems to work fairly well in helping people grasp the concept of ‘rights’:
    “If only one person existed on the whole of the planet, what ‘rights’ would that person have?“
    ( Maybe someone might put this up as a Question of the Day. Or not. )


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