Divided We Stand: States’ Rights and Gun Rights

Conservative to the left, liberal to the right

Bigstock

By MarkPA

Should gun advocates embrace States’ Rights?

In McDonald v Chicago, the Supreme Court incorporated the Second Amendment on the States.  “[T]he right of the People to keep and bear arms . . .” is now, indisputably, the uniform law of the land throughout the 50 states and D.C. Yet for the foreseeable future, that “uniform” right means nothing more than what the Supremes decide is  “. . .  the right . . . really worth insisting upon.”  Thus, as a purely practical matter, we cannot know the precise bounds of “the right” until the fullness of time when the whim of the Supremes may be revealed to us.

Strategically, rights and control belligerents must decide whether to field the battle in Washington, D.C. or in the 50 state legislatures.  If control advocates can breach the Congressional citadel then the right will be swiftly ground to dust.  Many rights advocates recognize this all-eggs-in-one-basket vulnerability and resist the temptation to advocate for Congressional legislation advancing rights.  (Some rights advocates even object to federal National Carry Reciprocity on any pretense.)

Control advocates have also recognized the difficulty of overcoming Congressional resistance to gun control.  They are turning to state-by-state fights for incremental measures such as “assault weapons” bans and universal background checks.  The states’ rights strategy is proving to be a long, slow, expensive grind. Rights advocates should see this as a successful diversion of the battlefield to our high ground position.  Control advocates do have a near unlimited war chest they can use to win by attrition. Even so, until the last state falls—perhaps Alaska—the ultimate flicker of light from the Second Amendment will not have been extinguished.  Keep your powder dry.

Purist rights advocates want to insist that legislative power to control guns is uniformly negligible.  This is a sound, principled position, but may be a flawed strategy.  Control advocates will be only too eager to agree that the power to control guns is uniform. If rights advocates concede this point, there remains only the question whether that power is zero, minute, or to what degree.  We might imagine that the opposition will agree to minimal power. But it is here where the control advocates will begin the bidding at major and then bargain for total power.

Strategically, rights advocates can be better off defending the 50 outposts of the legislatures in the several states.  Our position ought to be as follows:  There is one uniform standard for the right ordained by the Second Amendment, and it is limited. First, and most clearly, it specifically empowers “the People”, not the government.  The right is to “keep and bear”, although not to use arms in a manner jeopardizing public safety. What weapons might fall outside the definition of “arms” will never be known with complete certainty; for example, what about the garrote?

The power of legislatures to limit the extent of that right must necessarily be divided between the national and state governments.  Our federal system has divided the spheres of influence fairly consistently:  The federal government is concerned with international and interstate affairs whereas the state governments are left with the “police power” to regulate their domestic affairs.  While executed imperfectly, gun control has generally been divided according to this federal principle. Interstate commerce in firearms is governed by federal laws; keeping and bearing arms is regulated, or not, by the laws of the several states.

As one example, there is a right of the People to possess long guns, but at what age? Various states set the minimum age for possession of a long gun at 21, 18, 16, 14, or none. If we admit Congress’s power to specify a minimum age for militia duty must we then concede that it also has the power to specify a nationwide minimum age for possession of long arms?  How shall we persuade the people of two dozen states to deprive their children of the right to long guns?  As of this writing, only Illinois sets the minimum at 21 and only 15 states at 18.

As another example, how could be a uniform standard for prescribing “gun-free” zones?  Hawaii might tightly constrain carry in every municipality whereas Alaskans may need to carry everywhere in their state if they are to be armed against dangerous fauna.

Now that Brett Kavanaugh has ascended to the Supreme Court, two contentious issues are apt to be decided soon. These are the extent to which states can regulate carry in public places and the features of “assault weapons”.  It is unlikely that the Supremes will rule broadly in either domain.  They will not declare Constitutional carry by everyone everywhere. They will not authorize every “evil feature” of every firearm.  Rather, they are apt to move cautiously.

One can imagine SCOTUS declaring that no state may forbid carry other than by objective and explicit criteria–for example, that they may regulate carry, open or concealed, by age.  States may forbid carry by “prohibited persons” as defined by law and subject to judicial review.  They may require permitting with prerequisites such as background checks, training or testing. But they may not forbid carry based on a subjective test of “need”.

One can imagine the Supremes declaring that no state may forbid possession of a weapon based upon cosmetic definitions of “evil features”. Criteria such as barrel shrouds, vertical grips, and threaded barrels would probably be explicitly ruled out.  Any prohibited feature must be justified by some objective rationale.  How, exactly, does a pistol grip operate to create a public safety risk?  Presuming some regulation of over-all length of a long-arm, how does the presence of an adjustable stock (e.g., to accommodate length-of-pull for family members of diverse ages) create a public safety risk?

Magazine capacity is apt to be a difficult issue.  Consider the contrasting cases of Manhattan, New York versus Manhattan, Kansas.  Arguably, New York City might try to outlaw carrying or transporting magazines with more than 5 rounds outside the home.  The Kansas legislature is unlikely to expect its residents to face down a sounder of feral hogs with any limit on magazine size. Possession for home defense or in conformance with a Congressional mandate for arming of the militia would be entirely separate matters.

For the foreseeable future, there is simply no practical way to formulate any national standard for gun control that could gain acceptance simultaneously in blue, purple and red states. The Supremes may move slowly trying to accommodate the delicate sensibilities of the blue states.  They may never move so far as to impose a red state view upon urban states.  What we can reasonably expect is that the Supreme Court will gradually trim back the most egregious infringements of several states and at the same time keep Congress within its interstate jurisdiction.

As rights advocates, our task may become how to make the best of the never-ending push for gun control under a states’ rights interpretation of the “police power”. Divided we stand, and divided we can prevail.

 

‘MarkPA’  is trained in economics, a life-long gun owner, NRA Instructor and Massad Ayoob graduate. He is inspired by our inalienable rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and holds that having the means to defend oneself and one’s community is vital to securing them.

This article originally appeared at drgo.us and is reprinted here with permission. 

comments

  1. avatar AZgunner says:

    “As another example, how could be a uniform standard for prescribing “gun-free” zones?”

    Proof reading. For god’s sake, proof read your articles.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      MarkPA doesn’t have an edit button either it seems.

      1. avatar Skippy Sanchez says:

        Dang, cut the guy some slack, boys. It was a good article.

        1. avatar Joe Wright says:

          Cut the guy some slack, I don’t see your names
          on any articles.

      2. avatar strych9 says:

        When you write articles for TTAG sometimes the editing and transcription processes create errors that were not in the original. It’s the nature of the way things work.

      3. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        Be happy he wrote this for you to tear him apart over it.

  2. avatar GluteusMaximus says:

    It is where we are losing. The States

    1. avatar GunnyGene says:

      In some States, yes. In other States, no. 10 years ago there were hardly any “permitless carry” States. Now there are 13 and likely a couple more in the next few years. Peanut butter never spreads evenly.

    2. avatar California Richard says:

      I’m a big fan of freedom and protectung those freedoms. If the states write laws to restrict rights and the Feds over rule thos laws, then I’m a fan of the Feds. If the Feds write/enforce oppressive laws and regulations and the states fight those laws, then I’m a fan of the states. I’m a big fan of freedom loving people who come here to be free Americans. If people are flooding this country who vote/support the (D) party of oppression, then stop those people from coming in.

    3. avatar DDay says:

      In very blue states i.e. NJ, NY, CT, MA, CA, IL, MD, WA gun control is insane. In the other 42 states there has been a lot of pro 2A change.

      SCOTUS needs to take up these laws from NJ, NY, MD, MA, CA, etc. and put the states over their knee and beat them silly. The courts are suppose to be the protection against rights being taken away and they are not doing so right now.

    4. avatar frank speak says:

      currently losing in some states….but SCOTUS rulings may alter that….it’s a slow process…

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    In this culture war, the other side is constantly being reinforced by troops from abroad. Real Americans — those who respect the Constitution and aren’t here for a free ride — are aging out and our reproductive rates aren’t helping.

    51 percent of low-skilled working immigrants and 76 percent of immigrant-led households with children are on some sort of welfare. One might even conjecture that’s why they are here. Can we really expect that they will support 2A over a government check?

    The “states rights” argument is specious. The rights of the people are really what matters. And under the Democrat regime, they don’t matter at all. We don’t matter at all. Only the elites matter.

    It’s ironically amusing that the French, who many here denigrate as cowards, are donning yellow vests to retake their country while we do nothing as the Democrats carry out their coup d’état.

    1. avatar Doc Samson says:

      “It’s ironically amusing that the French, who many here denigrate as cowards, are donning yellow vests to retake their country while we do nothing as the Democrats carry out their coup d’état.”

      How true! I fear that the true Constitutional conservative is a very rare breed indeed. Most of us who say we are conservative are very content to just go along to get along because to do otherwise is… inconvenient.

    2. avatar Jbw says:

      So when and where does someone start shooting Dems?I don’t think demonstrations like in France will have any effect on the Dems, it’s just us right wing nuts causing trouble, send in the antifa to destroy us

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        You see ANTIFA, you shoot ANTIFA. Simple. They are a listed domestic terrorist organization. Reasonable fear of injury is kinda their thing.

        1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the bull, get the horns" PR says:

          “You see ANTIFA, you shoot ANTIFA. Simple.”

          The video of the French protests below is what I hope happens to every ANTIFA and ANTIFA supporter.

          NOTE – Not safe for work :

          https://twitter.com/Ian56789/status/1071539806247755776

          Warms you to the cockles of your cold, black heart, doesn’t it?

          *snicker* 😉

        2. avatar strych9 says:

          That guy picked up a grenade… (clearly not HE or a frag)… that takes superpower levels of stupidity.

        3. avatar Geoff "Mess with the bull, get the horns" PR says:

          A flash-bang, grenade, from the link I saw.

          Idiot probably thought he was gonna throw it back at whoever that launched it…

        4. avatar strych9 says:

          I figured it was a FB unless a smoke/gas grenade had a serious malfunction.

          Either way, the obvious intent was to throw it back as if it was a CS grenade. Again, picking up such a device requires monumental amounts of stupid. Flash Bangs will put a pretty good dent in the right type of floor while CS and smoke grenades can burn the shit out of you.

          Back in the day my buddy lit a single Black Cat firecracker, put it in an Altoids tin and tried to hold it shut as the firecracker went off. It didn’t injure him but it hurt like the dickens and belt the tin around his fingers.

          If something as small as a Black Cat can do that when in a confined space imagine what something the size of a flashbang would do to your hand even if your hand was open… well, you don’t need to imagine that video shows what happens.

        5. avatar Geoff "Mess with the bull, get the Horns" PR says:

          “Back in the day my buddy lit a single Black Cat firecracker, put it in an Altoids tin and tried to hold it shut as the firecracker went off.”

          As a dumb-ass kid, I tried the ‘ole “Lit ‘Black Cat’ on the flat palm of my hand” trick once.

          *Once*.

          Mother-‘F’, did that *HURT*.

        6. avatar Geoff "Mess with the bull, get the horns" PR says:

          That ‘Twitter’ video was a nice visual representation of that old saying “Do that, and draw back a bloody stump”… 😉

        7. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Looked like the hospital made the mistake of amputating his hand, when they needed to amputate his head. World is overpopulated, we don’t need anyone that stupid.

      2. avatar TheBruteSquad says:

        If the federal government fails to control the border and continues to allow fresh waves of Democrats to migrate in from abroad then the next step should be to attempt balkanization in the hope that the smaller territory will be more vigorous in preventing the invasion of peoples who do not share Constitutional values.

        1. avatar GS650G says:

          It won’t happen. The feds are dropping illegals all over the place diluting the voting blocs. Look at all those kids they resettled. It’s already turned Northern VA blue and probably means the state is democratic from now on.
          The democrats found the solution and are implementing it.

    3. avatar Josey Wales says:

      Well said on the French situation!

  4. avatar Sam I Am says:

    @MarkPA….

    Liked your article, and analysis. However, keep in mind…

    After 1868, the constitution applies to all the states, 9th and 10th amendments not withstanding. With the 14th Amendment, States were relegated to political subdivisions of a superior and supreme central government. “States Rights” were effectively nullified, except where it pleases the central government to allow them to act unilaterally.

    1. avatar New Continental Army says:

      Indeed. The greatest impact of the civil war outside of the end of slavery, is the dominance of the federal government afterwards. There is clear difference in what the constitution and federal power means prior and post civil war.

      1. avatar Realist says:

        Then maybe another civil war is needed???…

        1. avatar Frank in VA says:

          More like voluntary disassociation of the states via secession. I’m actually optimistic that it will be the leftist states like California that leave the union first. They want their socialist utopia. Let them have it. With them and a handful of left-minded states out of the mix, the balance of power in congress and the white house would be much more advantageous for the POTG and real Americans.

        2. avatar California Richard says:

          Civil war is a never ending thing. The ultimate goal of war is the direction of affairs, political influence, the management of resources, and the acquiesce of the governed. It only becomes “War” (with a capital “W”) when we are willing to kill eachother for those things. Even then, War is a very unpredictable thing and can back fire catastrophically on the violent idealists who initiate such things. Look at France and the Robespierre people in the 1800’s who, after chopping off a lot of heads, got their own heads chopped off. The Russian democratic socialists who overthrew the Czar in 1917 and were later slaughtered by the Bolsheviks. The Roman Republicans who slaughtered all their enemies in a series of civil wars, then lost to the liberal tyrant Ceaser, who finally disolved the republic. The Lublin poles and even the Warsaw poles, who variously violently opposed and violently supported the Soviets. The original socialist NAZI’s who were purged on the “night of the long knives” by Hitler and the SS. Etc etc etc…. War and political violence are very dangerous games to play. ANTIFA may be the first to go, but they won’t be the last. Everybody thinks they will be kings in their own fantasies, until they are burried in a ditch with all their supporters.

        3. avatar luigi says:

          Nah, wars tend to be bad for liberty. A convention of the states might peacefully do the trick

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “A convention of the states might peacefully do the trick”

          I’ve read alot on that. Could you explain your reasoning why a COS would result in a better legislative and judicial landscape than exists now? Looking for an extended discussion on this.

  5. avatar Jon says:

    I like how Texas and AZ are the heart of the red states. There may be some poetry in the placement of the states on the image.

    1. avatar California Richard says:

      Indeed. The blue Californification of those states seems to be going full speed ahead. Oh, the irony.

      1. avatar m. says:

        f anti-2a cali-phag-nia & all d-rat d-sucker states

  6. avatar Cliffg says:

    One thing that we in the pro gun community need to recognize is that the anti gun groups have a very strong vested interest in exaggerating the level of gun violence in America. If the CDC is correct that illegal drugs/gangs are responsible for 80% of the gun violence (in my area of greater Seattle I would guess that is a minimum number), then the actual risk to the average American is very low. With the FBI announcing we are at 50 year lows for violent crime, the idea that we are living in an out of control war zone is specious. In 1980 LA had a homicide rate of 34/100,000 population. That number is now 6. The state of Washington with 30+% higher population had fewer homicides in 2016 than in 1985. The functional homicide risk for your average American looks a lot closer to Norway’s than it does to Brazil’s. In other words, we must convince the average voter the hysteria is not rational. What we do not want is the 51% deciding the experiment of only criminals and the government having guns is something worth trying….

    1. avatar Red in CO says:

      Very true, but these “people” aren’t actually afraid of crime, they are afraid of guns themselves. If we had ten years without a single violent crime anywhere in the country they would STILL be making their insane demands

  7. avatar UpInArms says:

    I don’t see where this is a state issue at all (and I’m stating my own opinion here, not the SC’s; so please, don’t lecture me on the difference between what is and what ought to be. I’m aware of it.)

    The 10th Amendment specifically says “powers not delegated to the US by Constitution… are reserved to the States”. OK– firearms are specifically delegated to the federal gov’t by virtue of being specifically called out in the 2nd Amendment. Therefore, they should fall under the same protective umbrella as every other right called out in the Constitution. The individual states have no business imposing any regulations of any kind.

    We would not tolerate a patchwork of laws and regulations across the 50 states governing free speech. Nor freedom of the press. Nor religion. The federal government sets the standards for all of these, and rightfully so– they have been called out in the Constitution and are therefore indisputably within the federal domain.

    And so it should be with the right to keep and bear arms.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Many cities and states act as though there is no 2A and guns are entities they must address. It’s true the issue of individual arms was settled but many refuse to accept that.
      Dershowitz called the 2nd that pesky amendment because everything else is so easily accepts by the Left.
      If there were not recent examples of bad behavior by government we wpjkd be more willing to accept compromise. Too many countries screwed their own people the last 100 years to take that chance.

      The bunch we’ve got waiting to take power have shown they are willing to intern and clean us off. I hope my children don’t face a choice some day.

      1. avatar TheBruteSquad says:

        Dershowitz said, “If I could write the Bill of Rights over again, I would skip amendment number two. We’re the only country in the world that puts in our Constitution the right to bear arms. It’s an absurd thing to be in our Constitution, but it’s in our Constitution. We have to live with it.” because he comes from a particular group that fears the masses possessing arms because of a centuries old tradition of armed masses being very dangerous to the particular group of which Dershowitz is a member.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          That certainly is amazing. If I were a jew, and had his money, I cannot even imagine how many guns I would own.

  8. avatar Alex Waits says:

    When it comes to guns, it’s Constitutional Supremacy. End of line.

    Representatives no longer support and defend. They play games, double talk, undermine, placate and distract. They only seek to enrich themselves by power or currency. They walk the party line and gain wealth and power or commit “political suicide”. What incentive do they have to stand by Constitutional Principals?

    The American people continue to “elect” the same people, with the same ideas, over and over again.
    The American people acquiesce, and abdicate their responsibilities to the state at an ever increasing rate.
    The American people have lost their teeth, the state acts with impunity.

    We are a dying nation. The land will survive, the body of people will survive, but America as an idea is wasting away, no longer being refreshed with the blood of the next generation.

    We are on our way to being ruled once again, but this time, there is no where to run and build a new nation.

    1. avatar Realist says:

      Your words are filled with wisdom and, unfortunately, you speak the truth. The only way left to stop the tyranny is for the people to take up arms and fight for our rights and freedom. But with the strength, number and technology of today’s police forces it would be ugly. And I don’t want war with our police, I respect and appreciate them. It’s the tyrannical lawmakers I take issue with. Voting doesn’t work anymore with the number of immigrants, illegals who vote and those who depend on the government for everything (who don’t want to give up their freebies) and sheer voter fraud that definitely exists, for voting to now be fair or effective. We’re in a bad place.

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        we vastly outnumber the agents of authority…whats more they know it…it’s all a bit of a bluff….

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        If there were the slightest chance those tyrannical lawmakers would ever face us, we would not be hearing this shit. But no, they would be sending the police, paid with *our* tax dollars, to face us while they have a wee drinkee. And pat themselves on the back for being so wise and powerful.

    2. avatar possum says:

      Some Mars rover recorded a noise on Mars that NASA is assuming is the sound of wind. Once I get my perpetual nuclear fusion bomb built, I’m moving to Mars.New America, I’ve got room in the Prius for some rats, , a baboon, two gorillas, and three sheep. I figure the baboon can be President

  9. avatar Alan says:

    What might it take to “awaken” The U.S. Supreme Court to the fact that the law and regulations of several of the 50 states essentially make hash of The Second Amendment, possibly of the Fourteenth Amendment too, and put a stop to existing foolishness, foolishness being a discription perhaps exhibiting unwarranted gentility.

  10. avatar possum says:

    They can do what they do, and I’m going to do what I do. I bought the damned gun, it’s mine.

  11. avatar Stick and Ruddee says:

    Europe is a crystal ball for what’s happening here. They’re just about 20 years ahead.

    They essentially taxed people to death, got rid of the middle class and flooded the major cities with hordes of non assimilating “migrants.” At this point it’s not much different than living in a place like NYC or San Fran.

    The riots in France are what you get when people have nothing to lose… Eventually we’ll see the same stuff here and that’s exactly why all these political jerkoffs are pushing gun control….

    Luckily we’re still in a situation where most places you can pretty much buy anything you want in a private sale and companies will believer ammo right to your front door.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Right about now Macron is glad his employees have guns and the people don’t.
      His head would be on a pike were it otherwise

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Might be, soon, anyhow.

  12. avatar anarchyst says:

    If lawyers for pro-gun advocates were smart, they would argue that “carve-outs” for military, police, politicians, celebrities and security agencies that permit them to have weapons that are denied or restricted for the rest of us constitutes denial of “equal justice and protection” under the law and is unconstitutional on its face.
    The citizenry is entitled to possess the same weapons that the military, police, politicians, celebrities and security agencies possess.
    “Carve-outs” are never constitutional. Period!

    1. avatar possum says:

      Grandma told me, “If is the biggest word in the dictionary”.

  13. avatar tdiinva says:

    Why is Wisconsin blue? Wisconsin residents have better gun rights than Texas.

    1. avatar clst says:

      Why then can I carry while visiting in the state of Texas, but can’t if I travel to Wisconsin.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        Of course you can. Open carry is legal.

        When I go to Texas I can neither carried concealed not open.

        Win for Wisconsin.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Whoa! Why can’t you carry in TX, when I can carry in VA?

    2. avatar Shallnot BeInfringed says:

      Wisconsin is blue purely for one reason – the liberal enclaves and college cities of Milwaukee, Madison, La Crosse, Appleton, Eau Claire… need I continue?

  14. avatar Rev1 says:

    Fuckin Democrats

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the bull, get the English Roses" PR says:

      No, thank you.

      Not even with yours, and 10 rubbers on it…

  15. avatar Salty Bear says:

    States don’t have rights. Only people have rights, and they are absolute. Sic semper tyrannis.

    1. avatar luigi says:

      I don’t mean to be that guy, but the term isn’t literal. It just means state sovereignty

  16. avatar Mad Max says:

    If the SCOTUS simply and clearly stays with Scalia’s “in common use” standard, all existing firearms and accessories become protected, including standard capacity magazines. The only exception may be bump stocks (not in common use) which (if the proposed regulations are actually published in the Federal Register) will likely be rulled as a “taking” requiring compensation.

    If the SCOTUS continues to uphold the right to carry outside the home, then the states will likely need to provide Constitutional carry, open carry, or concealed carry with a “shall issue”permit.

    Unless the 2nd or 14th Amendments are repealed, this is a Federal issue. We are not rich enough to make this a state issue.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      If we are expecting SCOTUS to hear every case of judicial and legislative evasion of SC rulings, we need to back a rather large picnic basket.

      1. avatar Geoff "Kill a Commie for Mommy" PR says:

        I look at it this way, Sam – If worse comes to worse with the next ‘Progressive’ administration (and ther’s a solid chance of that happening in 2020, IMO), some states will declare themselves “2A Sanctuary States” where the states (but *not* the Federals in those states) will declare a non-prosecutorial position regarding what the Feds consider to be “evil” weapons…

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Not seeing wide-spread “nullification”, or “gun sanctuary” jurisdictions. The States also have no stomach for appealing every gun law to their own SCs, much less through the federal system. No, truth is the entire nation has no stomach for an armed population, and only tolerate what we have because the vast majority of gun owners (the “100 million) don’t cause any problems. That leaves only a relative few hard cases to deal with.

          The culture is declining into navel gazing. There is no turning back to a time where the populace understood the constitution, and the need to keep benevolent government in check. As the anti-gun mafia loves to point out – America is the last nation on earth where people believe government is a net danger.

    2. avatar UpInArms says:

      SCOTUS is the only branch of government that can rescue the 2nd Amendment at this point. Individual states have so completely savaged 2A that it will take several key decisions to put things back on track, and SCOTUS is the only branch that has the power to bitch-slap the states back into line.

      However– don’t hold your breath. Even if a 2A case makes to the SC, they have a long history of deciding cases without addressing constitutional issues. They go out of their way to do this. In addition, the SC also has a long history of making bad decisions. The interment of japanese citizens in WWII is a classic one. Obviously unconstitutional, yet the SC upheld it in 3 out of 4 cases it heard. Every justice since has admitted it was bad law, as well as just about every person in charge of carrying it out. And yet — it happened.

      1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the bull, get the horns" PR says:

        ” Even if a 2A case makes to the SC, they have a long history of deciding cases without addressing constitutional issues.”

        The ‘Heller’ decision proclaimed the right to personally own a gun separate to militia use was an individual right.

        And in the ‘McDonald v. Chicago’ SCOTUS proclaimed that right applied to all of the states and territories…

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          In neither case did the SC declare, “shall not be infringed”. You have a right to arms, and the government has a right to establish law that tells you when and where you can exercise that right. That is what Heller/McDonald rendered.

    3. avatar GS650G says:

      States have latched onto the local regulation part of the Heller decision and decided to create their own regulations and restrictions. That one little bit about reasonable restrictions locally is what drives it.

      Leftists only respect states rights when they get what they want.

  17. avatar daveinwyo says:

    Sad. Rome took a thousand years to fall. We only needed 250 years. Ain’t “enlightenment” grand?

    1. avatar Phil Wilson says:

      It all depends on how quickly people are able to vote themselves a share of what their neighbors earn. Taxation for the common defense and to maintain order is required, but as soon as people accept taxation for personal enrichment of some at the expense of others (theft by proxy) as a legitimate function of government, the decline begins.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Yo, Phil, time to wake up! We passed that point more than 50 years ago.

  18. avatar David in MA says:

    In my opinion anything a state does involving the 2nd Amendment, or any Constitutional described issues, is un-Constitutional, not only because it is in violation of the Federal Constitution, but their State Constitutions which are to be in line with the Federal Constitution…..
    “Gun Control” or the restrictions of anything to do with the 2nd Amendment, or other Constitutional matters by a state, is out of bounds of state authority. Crime/Criminal Control is where the focus should be.
    (Ever read The Dick Act? It is online.)

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “…but their State Constitutions which are to be in line with the Federal Constitution…..”

      Interesting theory, but I have never seen legislation or court rulings ordering the States to re-write their constitutions because of federal supremacy.

      1. avatar Mad Max says:

        Well, Pennsylvania wouldn’t have to as it is more stringent (clearer) than the 2nd Amendment.

        Still doesn’t stop our tyrannical politicians from trying.

  19. avatar LibertyToad says:

    RE: “As one example, there is a right of the People to possess long guns, but at what age?”.

    The 2nd Amendment does not list required ages limits to gun ownership, therefore, logically, any limits are left to the individual.

    1. avatar UpInArms says:

      The Constitution gives us a pretty clear definition of “the people” in Article 1, Section 2:

      “The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen…by the People of the several States…”

      “the People”, then, are all the members of that group which is eligible to vote in a federal election.

      Fast forward to Amendment 26: “The right of the citizens of the US, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the US or by any State on account of age.”

      Now “the People” are any citizen who reaches 18 and is eligible to vote.

      Rewind to Amendment 14: “All persons born or naturalized in the US, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the US and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the US; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

      So now we know who “the People” are, and we know the limits of what the States are allowed to do concerning rights covered in the Constitution.

      It doesn’t take a huge leap of logic to see that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” has been (or is being) shredded by the States on just about every level imaginable. The only way to right this ship is through the Supreme Court.

      Congress certainly has the authority to do it, but since power is the product of both authority AND political will, congress is powerless to correct the situation. Not unless they can miraculously grow a set of balls in the near future. But, hey, Christmas is nigh, and ’tis the season of miracles.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        I have to disagree. Sure, Congress could pass a law and have the president sign it, but a judge in HI would declare it void within an hour. It would STILL have to be changed by SCOTUS.

  20. avatar Gman says:

    What would be the response if a group of states began banning words, thoughts, religions, and ability to redress government? These are the tools of the 1st. Arms are the tools of the 2nd. No law which abridges the ability of the People to exercise a right is Constitutional. Not one. No state or federal law has ever outlawed the free exercise of speech, nor religion, nor redress of government. Why do we tolerate ANY law seeking to ban the free exercise of our right to keep and bear arms?

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “What would be the response if a group of states began banning words, thoughts, religions, and ability to redress government? ”

      Rejoicing by a large segment of the populace.

      “Hate speech” is the term you are looking for, and it is already illegal.

  21. avatar kap says:

    3% of gun owners will stand and fight (not with words) they are coming, a lot of people are going to get hurt and the Poly -tics cannot fathom free thought or non government speech especially the Democrats,
    Democrats are the party of destruction of the united states and should be classified as treasonous, and outlawed, Karl Marx would be proud of the Democrats

  22. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Sadly 2A rights are going to be a states rights issue from now on. After Trump is gone, when ever that happens, there will be federal pressure to take away gun rights. The state you live in will ultimately decide if you have gun civil rights or not. States with strong gun culture, I think will fair better than states with less gun culture.

    Change the language. Start using the term “gun civil rights” I have been using it for years now. It has powerful effect on people. Or try using, “I have a right to “armed self defense”: I use this as well.

    Force the anti civil rights speaker to explain why the rich can have armed guards and you can’t have a gun or guns???

    The gun grabber is just as anti-civil rights as some people were back in the 1950s.

    1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

      BTW
      The best long term solution is educating the children on their birthright. The Liberals have been successful at de-educating children about their birthright to Arms in the Bill Of Rights. You are wrong if you are relying on the government to teach your children about gun civil rights and responsibilities. Unless you can get a program going at your kids local school?

      “Firearm Education: Teaching the Second Amendment in Kentucky school system grades K through 12”
      http://digitalcommons.murraystate.edu/bis437/149

      The problem is the millions of parents who might push this issue are no longer in the system. They home school their children. Just like those who left a slave state for a free one.

  23. avatar Josh says:

    I have an idea. The Supreme Court should promulgate a standard by which laws banning the possession of items are prima facie unconstitutional. Harming people or violating people’s rights can and should be illegal, but simply owning something and minding one’s own business CANNOT be regulated or banned.

    I know, crazy, right??

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I consider that real “common sense”, but we’ve been moving away from it at a rapid clip for decades. The same should apply to drugs. You can make laws against selling drugs, producing drugs, using drugs, all manner of shit, but simply possessing them should not be capable of banning. I cannot think of any category or item which should not be so treated. Anybody? Something you cannot even possess? Here’s a tough one, how about child porn? Again, selling, producing, and so on, but simple possession? It’s a law begging for abuse, every cop with a few pages in his pocket to “find” in your pocket. In Saudi Arabia in 1991 (don’t know about now) possessing materials denying the supremacy of Allah could get your head removed in public, by a man with a sword. Just possession. That included Bibles, by the way. We had special dispensation from the king, since we were his guests, that each soldier could possess 1 (one) bible without being subject to the death penalty, which was normally carried out within a week of the offense, not 20 years later.

  24. avatar UpInArms says:

    “simply owning something and minding one’s own business CANNOT be regulated or banned”

    You mean like pot?

  25. avatar God says:

    Reading all the infighting here its no wonder gun owners can’t come together as one fist like the libtard nazi dems can.

    Cuz if we did we would 1 punch their ass back to commi EU after a proper tar and feathing maybe hang a few.

    You all do realize the 2nd Amendment,Bill of Rights is a Declaration that ALL GOVERNMENTS AND PEOPLE CANNOT TOUCH AND WAS WRITTEN TELLING THEM THIS IS A HANDS OFF WARNING TO ALL U ASSHOLES…..YOU CANNOT CHANGE.. NO MATTER WHAT MY HUMAN NATURAL CIVIL RIGHTS RIGHT???

    “No man survives when freedom fails
    The best men rot in filthy jails
    And those who cry ‘appease, appease’
    Are hanged by those they tried to please.”

    1. avatar UpInArms says:

      “Reading all the infighting”

      What infighting? All I see is a spirited, give-and-take conversation going on. Isn’t that the way its supposed to work?

  26. avatar Samuel Whittemore says:

    If you don’t support the second amendment , you don’t understand the constitution. If you don’t understand the constitution , you don’t understand what our founding forefathers fought for. If you don’t understand that, your not American.

  27. avatar Samuel Whittemore says:

    SO IF UR NOT AMERICAN GTFO OF MY COUNTRY OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!

  28. avatar GSP11 says:

    Over the last couple of months the transition has been subtle but noticeable. The Trump high most of you were riding on has now finally worn off. No one is bragging about him winning anymore. No one is claiming with a certainty that he will be president for even four let alone eight years. Confidence in the ability of the base that elected him in 2016 to do so again is waning in the face of the reality of the over whelming numbers in opposition. The elevated level of impotent chatter about violence and armed rebellion is ample evidence of despair setting in. Growing consensus is that by the end of 2020 Trumps policy’s along with growing global instability and receding markets will have triggered the second great recession in a generation and other than the supreme court all of Trumps promises will have gone unfulfilled or will quickly be rolled back. Enjoy 2019. For many of you it will be the last good year you’ll experience for quite a while, for some it will be the last ever.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “…all of Trumps promises will have gone unfulfilled or will quickly be rolled back.”

      The legislative and executive achievements of any president can be rolled back by the next congress.

    2. avatar UpInArms says:

      I’m 67 years old… I treat every year as the last good year I’ll ever have.

      If, as you suggest, civilization is about to collapse, well, that’s as good as a Trump second term. He may not get re-elected, but if the shit hits the fan the gubmint won’t be able to deal with any of it. In the end we’ll all be left alone, which is pretty much what I want now anyway. Sounds like a win-win.

      1. avatar GSP11 says:

        Sixty-seven isn’t that old these days unless you haven’t taken care of yourself or have some major congenital disease. Sixty-seven year olds that were smart enough to live a healthy lifestyle from an early age and plan financially for their future should expect to live comfortably in to their eighties with a decent standard of living through their 70’s.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email