This is possibly the biggest load of unmitigated bull that I have read on this issue. Not a single point holds up under even the most cursory of examinations.
There has never been any real question about the Second Amendment’s meaning. Especially when it is considered in the context of other Constitutional amendments.
“A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
The militia clause is a prefatory clause that explains or justifies, but doe not limit, the operative clause, which is the right of the people.
In every other use in the Constitution, “people” refers to the people of the United States as individuals. A collective interpretation of the Second Amendment requires a similar interpretation of the First and Fourth Amendments and nobody has yet been stupid enough to suggest that freedom of speech is only a collective right.
Furthermore, reading of the operative clause shows that the Second Amendment never created a right; it prohibited the government from infringing on a right the framers of the Constitution believed existed before the United States and was independent of the Constitution.
Court decisions prior to the Heller case have repeatedly affirmed the individual interpretation. Even in the oft-cited 1939 Miller decision, the Supreme Court did not render a decision on the collective vs. individual right. The court only found that a sawed-off shotgun was not in common use in the militia and therefore was not protected as a suitable weapon under the Second Amendment and that the restrictions in the National Firearms Act of 1934 were constitutional. Considering that the decision was rendered after hearing only the government’s side (Miller had been murdered prior to the Court’s decision and there was no counsel present to argue his case), it seems reasonable.
Understand that were a similar case to be brought today, the restrictions on machine guns and short-barreled rifles might be ruled unconstitutional as such firearms are not only in common use, they are standard issue.
Yes, the Second Amendment can be modified. No question about it. There are even two methods to get the ball rolling. However, the final step is the ratification of a new amendment by three-quarters of the states. California and Idaho get the same say. Thirty-eight states have to vote to ratify and it takes just 13 to kill a new amendment.
Incidentally, no one with any brains at all ever said the Second Amendment was a blanket permission to possess any type of weapon at any time and carry it in whatever fashion one preferred. However, the federal government is limited to regulating interstate commerce and properties under federal control. Under the Tenth Amendment, the states have the power to regulate firearms in such ways as they see fit.
Under the Fifth Amendment, the government does have the authority to limit a person’s civil rights or remove them altogether. It only requires due process of law to say that a felon, a fugitive from justice, a person under indictment for a felonious offense, a person that is dishonorably discharged from the military, a person judged to be either mentally incompetent or a danger to themselves or others, a person convicted of even misdemeanor domestic violence, users of illegal drugs, illegal aliens and others classes is not only prohibited from purchasing a firearm but prohibited from possessing a firearm, even temporarily. Felons have been prohibited since 1938 and other classes have been added over the years.
Arming teachers isn’t my preferred method of creating school security. I would much prefer sworn law enforcement officers to carry that responsibility. However, every state has the right to designate persons that are specifically authorized to be armed on school grounds. Every state allows law enforcement officers to carry weapons onto school grounds in performance of their duties. States can also designate private security officers to do the same. It is perfectly legal for a state to allow school districts to make a determination of whether a teacher or other staff member will be authorized to carry.
Texas has had armed teachers since 2007. There is a rigorous approval process, including a psychological evaluation, and those that meet the requirement must successfully complete an 80-hour specialized training course at an approved police academy. There has not yet been an incident of a teacher going off the rails, or of a student being able to gain possession of the teacher’s firearm or of an accidental discharge of any type.
I don’t blame mental health issues for all the problems. Gangs account for more violence. Anyone who doesn’t wish to admit this is deluding themselves. It might take a bit of effort, but it’s quite possible to look at homicides and assaults by gender, race, ethnicity and age. The differences, especially among minority males in the 13–34 age group, are significant. It’s even more significant when the comparison is made between metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas. It is nuts to attribute differences to race or ethnicity because the differences largely disappear in age ranges outside of the high-risk group and outside of the larger cities.
Domestic violence is a problem. This is one of the reasons for the adoption of the Lautenberg Amendment to the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997. A person convicted of domestic violence, even a misdemeanor, is prohibited from purchasing or possession a firearm. Several states have adopted “red flag” laws, but some of those are likely subject to a constitutional challenge because the person accused is not afforded due process.
Guns are a problem in domestic violence. However, according to a 2013 study conducted under the auspices of the National Institutes of Health, guns were involved in about 1.6% of domestic violence incidents reported to police. Other weapons were employed twice as often and bare hands and feet were used in about 18.6% of the incidents.
I don’t think anyone would object to officers removing firearms from the scene of a domestic argument. But permanent removal requires due process, which involves pressing charges. There is a very good reason that a police officer’s least favorite type of call is a domestic disturbance.
Every person that makes the decision to own a firearm has their own reasons and their own needs. Just because the author of this particular bit of tripe doesn’t understand them doesn’t make them any less valid.
So how well are those boycotts doing? Well, NRA membership has increased to more than six million. The business relationships are survivable because the NRA can get along just fine without the royalties and NRA members simply boycott the boycotters. The actions by Citibank and Bank of American aren’t particularly damaging because other banks are ready and willing to take their places. Dick’s Sporting Goods? Not only is there a nationwide boycott of Dick’s, two major gunmakers have severed all business ties with the chain and others may follow.
Remington’s bankruptcy was only partially driven by the downturn in gun sales following the 2014 midterm elections. The most significant cause was the amount of debt the company took on to expand during the gun-buying frenzy of 2008 to about 2013.
Ruger stock has risen 38% since falling to a low in late February. Stock in American Outdoor Brands (Smith & Wesson) is recovering, as well.
A boycott by people who most likely wouldn’t be customers in the first place isn’t going to have much of an impact at all.
It’s likely there are at least 80 million gun owners in the U.S. We know for a fact that more than 16 million Americans have concealed-carry permits, which is a record.
So all of these so-called counter-attacks seem to be backfiring. Gun sales are up. Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and the Rand Corporation don’t seem to be able to clearly state that gun laws have a significant impact on gun violence and the gun rights folks have plenty of verbal ammunition to fire back.
There is a saying among those of us who believe in and support gun rights: “Gun control isn’t about controlling guns; it’s about controlling people.”