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The constitutional scholars at the Brady campaign are famous for claiming that the Second Amendment doesn’t really say what it says. That it doesn’t give Americans the right to keep and bear. That the access to arms belongs solely to the militia, which they read as the gummint. Now, though, they’re using the 2A itself to attack civilian gun ownership from another angle. reports that, “A group that supports gun control filed suit Thursday against a north Georgia town that recently passed a law requiring gun ownership that it said is mostly symbolic…The suit contends the Second Amendment doesn’t require anyone to have a gun, and government cannot require citizens to arm themselves.” Which, when you think about it, sounds about right, right? The government can’t force individuals to buy something they don’t want, can they? . . .

‘Cause that would seem to be some kind of individual mandate. Or a tax. But if you ask the Chief Justice, that appears to be just fine. An affront to personal freedom and individual choice? You betcha. But at least as far as the SCOTUS is concerned, Constitutionally permissible. Not that that argument has anything at all to do with the Bradys’ objections to the Georgia town’s new law.

“Forcing residents to buy guns they do not want or need won’t make the city of Nelson or its people any safer, and only serves to increase gun sales and gun industry profits,” Jonathan Lowy of the Brady Center said in a statement.

Ah. So it’s the profit motive that the Brady Campaign really objects to.

Supporters of the law said they wanted to make a statement about gun rights at a time when President Barack Obama and others were seeking restrictions after the shooting that killed 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Connecticut in December.

The proposed ordinance is similar to a law that passed in Kennesaw in 1982 and other towns in the U.S. have considered such measures.

While we’re not attorneys, it seems at least plausible that government’s commandment that citizens buy health insurance could be the basis on which the City of Nelson defends the law from the Brady’s campaign’s attempt to nix their gun mandate. So if, in fact, it plays out that way, the Brady Bunch will have their benefactors in the Congressional Civilian Disarmament Caucus and the POTUS himself to thank.

That little click you just heard is our irony meter…pegged at eleven.

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  1. Meh… Old militia acts in our own nation used to require every able bodied male to keep a firearm and ammunition for it. Maybe those so called “scholars”, at the Brady Campaign should pick up a book… And so should our elected officials, so we could cut down on our outrageous military spending.

    • But… That’s an inconvenient fact they don’t wish to acknowledge, let alone, exist as a fact.

    • You know, I believe we should have a strong military but I really have a problem with the billions upon billions that are being spent to fund, arm and train the US Gestapo….er….ahh….the good folks at Homeland Security. HS is just a duplication of units already working for the government like the FBI(tasked with protecting our internal affairs), the Border Patrol (tasked with protecting our borders) and other already existing agencies and under the control of an appointee of the president. Would that make it his own private army not under military control? HS was a bad idea to start with and continues to be a bad idea….the stockpiling of more than a billion rounds of hollow-point ammunition for use within our borders should make everyone a bit leery. Who are they planning to shoot? Just wondering.

      • The Border Patrol, TSA, Coast Guard, Secret Service etc are PART of DHS. DHS is not an LE agency, it is a department that oversees several agencies that formerly were under different departments. When the Secret Service is Part of the Treasury Department, the Border Patrol was part of the Justice Department (before that the Labor Department), various Immigration and Customs agencies existed under different Departments, these were consolidated into the US Immigration and Customs Agency, and placed under DHS, ad nauseam.

        So DHS is not a redundancy. It is, intially, a conslidation and simplification of Federal law enforcement and investigation units

    • There are two sides to that argument. The second militia act of 1792 required that those enrolled in the militia provide their own arms, powder, knapsack etc., but it also required them to be called out to exercise/practice. Since the act of exercising is no longer practiced why should the requirement to be armed? Personally I would be fine with reinstating both.

  2. Lots of old milita laws like the 1792 militia act were cited as precedemt for Obamacare. The GA law has ample precedent from older laws in MA and other colonial states.

    Sounds like more of a publicity stunt to me. Maybe the Brady campaign is tired if seeing proof that more guns correlate with less crime.

  3. Doesn’t the law/ordinance freely permit those who do not want to have a firearm in the house not to have a firearm in the house with no penalty, making it a symbolic gesture, anyway?

    • Yes, the town ordinance has a clause that states if a citizen objects to having a firearm in the home, they will not be forced to have one.
      ….which kinda blows this lawsuit right out of the water. Makes you wonder if they even bothered to read it before they called a lawyer….

    • Basically yes. If I remember correctly, you could basically opt out for “moral objections” or something like that. So pretty much any reason would suffice.

    • You are correct, you don’t have to if you don’t wanna..
      But the symbolic gesture is a nice one. 🙂 I have no objections with it..

  4. The Bill of Rights (1st ten amendments) are spell out “individual” rights….not institutional or group rights. That in and of itself should put this whole debate to rest.

  5. Dont the Swiss or one of thoes countries have something like that? I think they mandate military service and then after your time is up you keep your rifle for home and national defense as well you can be recalled.

    • Israel as well?

      Look what’s happened to loyalty to this Country and our flag since we circular-filed the draft and universal military training. Even the president trashes our beliefs and Constitution.

  6. Hmmm… So they are agaist forcing citizens to buy guns they don’t want/need? What about all the citizens in “slave states” forced to buy guns they don’t need or want because of restrictions preventing them from buying what they want? I want the Brady campaign to stand up for my unjusted forceful pressure from the gubmit trying to force me to buy a “common sense gun”.

    Assuming I’ll even be able to buy a gun. Zero tolerance Domestic violence and a scuffle with my brother may end my 2a right…

  7. ISTM the 2nd amendment is about preventing the government from disarming potential militia members.

    Whether congress can establish and provision a militia is covered in Article 1 Section 8:

    “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

    To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers,…”

    To provide for ‘arming and disciplining’ the militia seems to my amateur reading to vest in Congress the power to, say, require ‘every able bodied (potential) militia member maintain a functional rifle and XX rounds of ammunition’, or to issue the same, or any other similar law. Or maybe you could argue that Congress could issue arms, but a requirement to maintain one would fall under the ‘discipline’ authority reserved to the state. But one or the other of the two levels of government – federal or state (and subsidiary things like towns) – would seem to have that power.

  8. At the very least, this latest Brady Campaign is a prime example that we on the right side of this issue need to be constantly vigilant about our Constitutional Rights because the opposition will do and say anything, inch by inch, to defeat us.

  9. The (il)logic of of the Brady Bunch reminds me of conversations I had with girls in junior high school.

  10. The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted to no council and senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it. -Adam Smith

  11. Replace “health care” in the Brady campaigns hypocritical statement. “Forcing residents to buy HEALTH CARE they do not want or need won’t make the city of Nelson or its people any safer, and only serves to increase health care sales and health care industry profits.” It’s funny that for Obamacare they think the state should force everyone to be covered…but these same people use statements such as the one sighted above that negates the battles they are presently fighting.

  12. The government can’t force individuals to buy something they don’t want, can they?

    I’m just waiting for some mischievous member of Congress to introduce a bill named the “Citizen Protection and Affordable Firearm Act “.

  13. The Obamacare precedent is tricky. The question there was whether the FEDERAL government has the power to require people to buy something. Now the Federal government cannot act unless it can point to a particular grant of power to act within the Constitution. The court held that the Commerce Clause did not grant such a power but that the penalty was really a tax allowed under the power to impose taxes.

    The law here can’t be justified as a tax. However, state governments don’t have to show a grant of power in the Constitution before they act. They have a general “police power” that gives them the sovereign authority to pass any law they wish, so long as it does not conflict with federal law (such as the U.S. Constitution). So any limitation of federal authority to pass such a law is probably not relevant.

    The questions would seem to be these: 1. Does Georgia law give the town the power to regulate firearms? 2. Does this specific law violate any provision of Georgia law? 3. Does it violate anything in federal law? (Here is where the Obamacare case could conceivably be relevant, to show that the court doesn’t think the Constitution precludes requiring purchase of a product.) 4. Do the plaintiffs have a real case, given that you can opt out of the law without penalty and given the reality that no prosecution is realistically going to happen?

    If I were the judge I would probably toss the case on point 4. No harm, no foul.

    Sorry if this post seems pedantic. I used to practice law and I thought maybe someone would want some thoughts on the legal landscape.

  14. The Brady returds are suing the city on behalf of a member who is not a named plaintiff. How can the case not be kicked on the basis of standing?

  15. Contradictions don’t bother them. Doublethink. Recall that Roe vs. Wade was framed as a privacy issue. So, now that Obamacare has effectively removed privacy from healthcare in the USA, what does that do to Roe vs. Wade? I don’t expect to hear much discussion on this.

  16. “Doubtful at best, that in all their history the local Citizens have ever had a more sufficient reason to apply the practice of tarring, feathering and running certain people out of their town on a rail.”

  17. Yeah, the whole AHA stoush was about the permissibility ofa Federal mandate.

    States and lower levels of government have always had the power to mandate things that cost. Hookup to city sewers, f’rinstance, or vehicle registration.

    The Brady Bunch, as usual, is mistaken.

  18. Last I heard depraved indifference is illegal, as is turning your back on an injured person that needs help. So the bradys say that little 2 year old Sally is plenty old enough to defend herself when her dickhead dad gets shot up because he didn’t have a gun when obamas son kicked in the door. I like the towns law, Randy

  19. So progressives had to find someone from the town, get him to buy a handgun, in order to file a lawsuit on his behalf…

  20. “That it doesn’t give Americans the right to keep and bear.”

    It doesn’t GIVE us anything. It recognizes a right inherent to human beings, and puts limits on the government.

    Can we please all get this straight?!

  21. “Forced carry” law may be kind of silly, but it’s perfectly legal so long it’s the states or the municipalities, rather than the feds, enacting it. Remember, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    Of course, the Constitution of that particular state may have something to say about it, but I doubt that.

  22. While I too think the universal opt out would negate any chance of this proceeding beyond a request for dismissal, I think this also misses the point of the filing. The Brady Bunch want to harass and cost this town money for the sake of doing it, based on their warped concept of the issue. However, and perhaps more to the point this is a win-win for them. Either they prevail in court, and can say to their supporters that they did something, or they lose, and can say to their supporters they tried and the courts have failed them. Either way for a few dollars in legal fees and the cost of filing they have a new plate to pass for donations.
    Disgusting as it is we could learn something from it. There really should be no end to volume of active litigation contesting every conceivable infringement of 2A where ever it is occurring. Every suit costs the opposition money, forces a response, and stands a chance of actually winning. The problem is that those with standing need to reach out to those with means, who in turn must be willing to expend those means on such projects. Perhaps the larger obstacle to this strategy is that unlike so many on the left, our own pride and intellectual honesty often restrains us from going ‘sue happy’. While it pains me, it might be that this is less of a virtue than we think.

  23. If you thinks the bradys’ idea is crazy, better look up dram shop laws. There is precedent for a seller’s liability despite the buyer’s illegal acts. And there us nothing wrong with arguing for extensions of tort liability, particularly when you are looking at common law (as opposed to statutory) liability.

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