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This weekend I ran a handgun class in Gallup,New Mexico. Many of the twenty participants were Native Americans: Navajo Zuni tribal members. They are good people. They are Americans. But according to the Indian Bill of Rights, under USC codes, they have no right to own firearms. Some tribes do not allow firearms ownership on the books. Some tribal police will hassle /arrest white visitors when they are found to have guns on tribal lands. Yet the same tribes gladly encourage vacationing hunters to bring their guns and money to hunt on tribal lands. The injustice goes both ways in the confusion of our legal system and American gun culture values. Here’s a heads-up: the Native Americans have guns anyway . . .

and you won’t see the US cavalry riding into Gallup to burn the town down.

My native American students and I obey a higher law: natural Law. As human beings we take the right and responsibility of self defense because it is a right bestowed upon all of us by God. Gun ownership is guaranteed by a higher power.

By now it should be clear that the government is willing to manipulate the Second Amendment to deny citizens—including native Americans—the means to protect themselves. Sadly, the NRA as a whole isn’t promoting the idea that Americans seeking to exercise their right to self-defense should not have to jump over complicated hurdles. And this coming from an NRA-certified gun instructor.

Some segments of the NRA pay lip service to restrictions place on the right to bear arms because they don’t want to cause any trouble. The neverending war on gun rights continues to be focused on the Second Ammendment as the all inclusive law that gives the right to keep and bear arms. But we know better. Again, the right to keep and bear arms is a natural right.

Until the government and the NRA stop distracting people with smoke-and-mirrors constitutional arguements and flag-waving and money-making off the problem, the establishment of an honest human value will never occur. This should be the NRA’s job. This will help modern civilization move forward to achieving a safer world for Americans and mankind.

As an instructor, did I run an illegal class? Do these Americans deserve equal protection under the law? Does the Second Ammendment and natural right apply or is the second Ammendment just another government and NRA illusion that applies in some jurisdictions, people and not others? Shake a Native Americans hand and look him in the eye and tell him he is a lesser man. I won’t do it.

Constitutional rights enacted by the Indian Civil Rights Act.

No Indian tribe in exercising powers of self-government shall –

1. make or enforce any law prohibiting the free exercise of religion, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition for a redress of grievances;


2. violate the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable search and seizures, nor issue warrants, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or thing to be seized;

3. subject any person for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy

4. compel any person in any criminal case to be a witness against himself;

5. take any private property for a public use without just compensation;

6. deny to any person in a criminal proceeding the right to a speedy and public trial, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witness against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and at his own expense to have the assistance of a counsel for his defense;

7. require excessive bail, impose excessive fines, inflict cruel and unusual punishments, and in no event impose for conviction of any one offense any penalty or punishment greater than imprisonment for a term of one year and a fine of $5,000, or both;

8. deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of its laws or deprive any person of liberty or property without due process of law

9. pass any bill of attainder or ex post facto law; or

10. deny to any person accused of an offense punishable by imprisonment the right, upon request, to a trial by jury of not less than six persons.

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  1. I haven't studied Indian law extensively but I've picked up a few things here and there – as near as I can glean, the concept if Indian law is based on tribal or group "rights" as opposed to individual rights. This is the crux of the problem because the two positions are mutually incompatible: If the "group" has the right to decide what rights individuals will have, then the individual, for all intents and purposes, has no rights (or at least no rights other than what the group says his rights are.)

  2. OK. Hold on here.

    This is NOT the US government restricting First Nation gun rights.

    It’s the tribes doing it.

    If this article is correct, and it probably is, there’s a minimum standard of due process and other rights that the tribes have to respect under Federal law, for both tribal members and visitors. 2nd Amendment rights aren’t among those. But the tribes CAN respect the 2A if they want – and many do. In Arizona I know there’s lists of which tribes respect CCW permits for example (although the new no-permit-needed-most-of-the-time rules has probably confused things).

    I can make a pretty good guess as to what happened. Some time back the tribal governments were required to meet basic due process standards. At a guess…call it 60 years or so ago, maybe more recent, maybe further back. In any case, the rights they’re forced to respect appear to be the “least controversial” rights – the ones most Americans of any skin color would agree are crucial.

    At least at that time the RKBA wasn’t included in the “most crucial” list.

    But again: this sets a minimum standard, not a maximum.

    So what’s the solution?

    Tribal members will need to get involved in their own nation’s politics…which trust me can get pretty heated. (I was hired by the San Carlos Apaches to monitor their tribal election in 2010 and WHOA do those guys take their democracy seriously – it was hilarious and pretty cool to watch!) From the outside, those tribes running casinos in particular are very vulnerable to national boycotts organized by the NRA/SAF/etc. if their tribe is particularly anti-RKBA.

    Long term, as America turns more and more towards respect for the RKBA (which is clearly happening!) this problem will self-correct. It can be hastened in most cases, esp. in states that are already very pro-RKBA.

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