Nice try, Ms. Baker.

I would say “close, but no cigar” but you weren’t even shooting somewhere in in the arcade.

Let’s take this again, very slowly, and see if you can understand it the second time: I used Morrison Waite’s opinion as the source for a quotation. If you had carefully read Scalia’s opinion in Heller, you would know that Scalia himself used exactly the same reference. The difference being that I cited the author of the Cruikshank opinion; Scalia referred to the specific case, and in this reference, took ownership of it.

“As we said in United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553 (1876) , “[t]his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed … .”

Since misdirection didn’t work the first time, you hope to evade responsibility for your errors by trying it again — and again.

I never took issue with the fact that the individual right to keep and bear arms could be regulated. If you go back and read what I actually wrote, it was a clarification of who was licensed under the 1938 law and a comment that it was the first time a specific group of citizens were specifically precluded from firearm ownership and even temporary possession in a federal law.

The National Firearms Act of 1934 established the federal government’s right to tax certain firearms and establish the conditions required to receive the necessary tax stamp to purchase a machine gun, short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun, or sound suppressor intended for use with a firearm. It also established the federal government’s authority to regulate and control the interstate movement of such firearms.

The Federal Firearms Act of 1938 established the federal government’s authority over firearms shipped in interstate commerce and required those whose business required interstate commerce to conduct normal business to possess a federal license authorizing them to make and receive shipments of firearms from other states or from other countries.

The states’ ability to regulate firearms, which was broader within their borders than the federal government’s, had been recognized long before either of the national acts. Texas’ prohibition on carrying handguns had been in place since 1971; New York’s Sullivan Act went into effect in 1911, and California began requiring gun permits in 1915, just to cite a few examples. The regulation of how arms could be carried or stored dates back to the colonial era and to centuries of English common law before that.

Nope, my argument with your article stems in part from your statement that “‘Individual’ Rights Have Only Existed Since 1856” and that the decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford had something to do with the state of Second Amendment rights.

Dred Scott held that blacks were not citizens and therefore did not have the rights of a person who was a citizen.

I will try to take this slowly so perhaps you will understand it this time: The first fatal flaw in your thesis is your outlandish contention that an individual did not have a right to keep and bear arms prior to 1856.

You said that with your very own virtual mouth. In your article. Multiple times. You were and are wrong. Not close; not almost there; not half-right; not anything but flat-out incorrect.

In delivering the Dred Scott opinion Justice Roger Taney noted that citizens had the right to keep and bear arms. The ruling it self had nothing to do with whether citizens had an individual right: The decision was that Dred Scott was not a citizen and so did not have the rights enjoyed by citizens. Insofar as the case is concerned, the main point of contention was whether or not Scott had standing to file a lawsuit at all.

In fact, the right to keep and bear arms was only mentioned by Taney in a couple of places, both in the context of being among a group of rights.

  1. “…More especially, it cannot be believed that the large slaveholding States regarded them as included in the word citizens, or would have consented to a Constitution which might compel them to receive them in that character from another State. For if they were so received, and entitled to the privileges and immunities of citizens, it would exempt them from the operation of the special laws and from the police regulations which they considered to be necessary for their own safety. It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognised as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went. And all of this would be done in the face of the subject race of the same color, both free and slaves, and inevitably producing discontent and insubordination among them, and endangering the peace and safety of the State.”
  2. “A reference to a few of the provisions of the Constitution will illustrate this proposition.
    “For example, no one, we presume, will contend that Congress can make any law in a Territory respecting the establishment of religion, or the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people of the Territory peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for the redress of grievances.
    Nor can Congress deny to the people the right to keep and bear arms, nor the right to trial by jury, nor compel anyone to be a witness against himself in a criminal proceeding.
    “These powers, and others in relation to rights of person which it is not necessary here to enumerate, are, in express and positive terms, denied to the General Government, and the rights of private property have been guarded with equal care.”

Please note that in the first citation, Justice Taney inferred that the citizen did have the right to “keep and carry arms wherever they went.”

The decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford is many things, including racist, white supremacist, and all-around despicable. However, the only way in which it could be considered to be a comment on the Second Amendment is an affirmation that it did, indeed, protect an individual right to keep and bear arms.

So you not only got Scalia wrong; you messed up with Taney, as well.

I suppose you deserve some points for consistency.

I love it when somebody resorts to sexist terms like “mansplain” to divert attention from their failings — especially when gender isn’t even an issue. Rest assured that I would have had an equally low opinion of your article if you were male or transgender.

No, Ms. Baker, it’s not “mansplaining.” It’s more in terms of one student, who did do the in-depth research needed for the assignment and got an “A,” trying to explain to a another student, who did not do the necessary work, why they got an “F.”

Professional writer. Passionately interested in facts. Founder of

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