Wednesday, January 29, 2003

What do you think the people that started this country would think if they came back & saw what we’ve done with the country they started?
After reading this I bet there first question would be, “So when did the British re-conquer the States?”
Admittedly I’m no scholar but I do read. From what I have read about Jefferson, Adams, Paine, Franklin, etc. I’m sure they’d be more than a little surprised to find a persons property being confiscated by the state while being charged with possession of arms & patrolling the border. I bet they’d be more surprised that we let this happen.
The Constitution is simply a document that constructs a federal government. In doing so it establishes what power the federal government will have & most importantly it limits federal government to having only the specific powers granted in the Constitution. Just to be on the safe side the Bill of Rights spells out certain things that the federal government is never supposed to do.
One of these things that the Constitution does not grant power over & specifically prohibits is the interference with the right to own & possess weapons. The reason for this is stated in the first part of the Second Article to the Bill Of Rights, better known as the Second Amendment. That reason being to encourage a militia. But yet we find that today, a mere 214 years later, that the laws of the united States, the U.S. Code has a whole section devoted to firearms regulations. Title 18 Chapter 44 contains all the federal firearms laws.
Somehow there is a discrepancy between Article 2 of the Bill of Rights & Title 18 Chapter 44 of the U.S. Code. In any event the gentlemen in question have been charged with carrying arms in contradiction to federal law. I’m sure this is just some kind of oversight that can be resolved by looking at the language of the constitution. Our friends at JPFO have even provided this in case language is a problem. You gotta admit that anyone who would translate the Bill Of Rights into Hebrew, Japanese, Arabic & Russian is dedicated. But the simplified Chinese shows they are very serious about getting the message out!
It seems though that just a simple re-read of the Constitution would settle the question, but there has been much debate about exactly what those 27 words actually mean. The courts have been little help & the one time friend of freedom, the Press, has abandoned us as well, either remaining neutral or supporting the ‘collective rights’ interpretation which states the Constitution only prohibits the federal government from disarming the National Guard.
In very simple terms the Second Article to the Bill of Rights means the federal government can pass no laws prohibiting the possession or ownership of arms by an individual because armed individuals are necessary to keep a State free.
Enter G.W. Bush. Contrary to many past administrations he has shifted the idea from the Second Article in the Bill of Rights being a collective right to an individual right. Republicans cheered. The NRA cheered. Gun owners relaxed.
But what they failed to hear was that Bush didn’t just say that owning & possessing arms was an individual Right, but it was a right subject to “reasonable” restrictions.
Republicans didn’t hear. The NRA asked for more money & cheered. Gun owners were too relaxed to notice.
In fact the Bush administration, through Attorney General Ashcroft, has asked the Supreme Court not to hear two very significant firearms cases: one being an appeal of the Emerson case, another being an appeal of the Haney case. & in the case of poor Mr. Bean Ashcrofts Justice Department argued in favor of upholding a federal gun law as well as defending congressional neglect in a process of appeal. & our highest friends, those on the Supreme Court, ruled that because Congress stopped funding for an appeal process, that didn't amount to a denial of an appeal, & went on to say that the BATF, not the courts were in a better position to determine who should own & possess arms. Republicans didn't care about a 'felon'. The NRA asked for more money & cheered. Gun owners were taking a nap.
Unfortunately most people are so used to the idea of federal gun laws that few noticed the lack of media attention given to the aforementioned cases. Fewer still noticed Bush’s qualifications of a constitutional prohibition. I hope the gentlemen in Arizona fight this in court, but I would not be surprised if a plea bargain is arranged.

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