Archive for the ‘Second Amendment’ Category

Gun Control Irony

Yeah, yeah. I try not to post this stuff on my blog, but this one is pretty important.  It was posted on Penigma, but I want my other post to get a few more views before this shows up again on that blog.

On the other hand, this need to get out there.  That said:

It would be really ironic if instead of all the mass shootings the US has suffered (my condolences to the victims and their families of those), that the incident that caused people to realise the US needs gun control is an out of control suburban mother fighting over a notebook in a suburban Wal-Mart.

No, pulling a gun in this situation is not self-defence by any stretch of the imagination.  No one was fearing death or serious bodily injury which would justify even the threat of deadly force.

The woman pulling the gun is committing Felony Assault under Michigan law, Section 750.82.

The offense of Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW), is also known as Felonious Assault in Michigan. ADW is felony which is punishable by up to 4 years in prison. ADW is a crime which involves an assault with a deadly weapon (such as a gun or knife) or any other instrumentality which is fashioned or used as a weapon (car, club, bottle) which is capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death. A criminal charge or conviction does not require actual physical contact or an injury. The offense is considered complete upon placing another in fear of an assault by a person who possesses a deadly weapon

Michigan law requires that the defendant “must have honestly and reasonably believed that he or she was in danger of being killed, seriously injured or sexually assaulted” in order to use deadly force.  Additionally, the defendant “may only use as much force as he or she thinks is necessary at the time to protect himself or herself.”

While a person may believe he or she had acted in self-defense, the police, prosecutor, judge and jury may disagree.

No shots need to be fired for her to be found guilty.

I’m not sure how the “pro-gun” crowd can defend this action.  I know responsible gun owners don’t, but it’s time they stepped up to the plate and admitted this shit happens too often with the relaxing of concealed carry law for it to be condoned.

It’s time to give Presser v Illinois, 116 U.S. 252, 6 S.Ct. 580, 29 L.Ed. 615 (1886) yet another plug.

One of the many failings of the Heller-McDonald bullshit is that those cases were not cases of first impression, but that post is coming in the future.

See also:

What Does Brandishing Mean? And Why You Should Never Do It…

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The Ultimate Slam Dunk Argument Against the Individual Right Interpretation of the Second Amendment.

One thing that Heller and McDonald demonstrated was that it didn’t really care about the Second Amendment within the Constitutional Context. That means that those two cases are an absurdity in “Second Amendment Jurisprudence”. The absurdity starts with its minimalisation of what Heller described as the “preferatory clause”. The reason for the nonsensical nature of the “individual right” interpretation is that it takes the Second Amendment out of legislative and historic context.

But one need not go beyond the four corners of the document to show this is an absurd interpretation of the Second Amendment since it is presumed that a legal document will be interpreted so as to be internally consistent. A particular section of the document shall not be divorced from the rest of the act. Thus, if the Constitution mentions certain goals or subjects in the preamble, it must be considered within the terms of those goals and subjects.

There are two versions of the Amendment and I will use this one for the purposes of the argument I will be making for the purpose of clarity:

“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.”

That means the phrase “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state” was pretty much ignored or discounted in Scalia’s analysis. This is despite the rule of constitutional interpretation that “It cannot be presumed that any clause in the Constitution is intended to be without effect.” The individual right interpretation means that not only is the “preferatory clause” mere surplusage, entirely without meaning, but so is the rest of the text

Of course, the “Individual right” theory also neglects the preamble, which most people seem to stop reading after the first three words:

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

I would assert that both the preamble of the Constitution and the “preferatory clause” are important to the analysis of the Second Amendment within the proper constitutional context. That is because the document needs to be read as a whole. Doing that it becomes clear that one of the purposes of the US Constitution is to address matters of “the common defence”.

From Plato’s Laws through common law and until modern legal systems, preambles to constitutions have played an important role in law and policy making. The preamble to the United States Constitution has become a legend. The phrase “We the people of the United States” and the remaining forty-five words of the preamble are the most well-known part of the Constitution, and the section that has had the greatest effect on the constitutions of other countries. And yet, the preamble remains a neglected subject in the study of American constitutional theory and receives scant attention in the literature. This is a shame since a preamble is the part of the constitution that best reflects the constitutional intentions of its drafters.

The interpretive role of preambles is rooted in the common law tradition. Edward Coke asserted that preambles to an act of parliament are a “good mean to find out the meaning of the statute” and “the key to open understanding thereof”, they are “the key to the statute and the key to the makers.” William Blackstone referred to preambles as intended “to help the construction of an act of parliament.” Blackstone noted that whenever the statute is dubious, “the proem, or preamble, is often called in to help the construction of an act of parliament.” However, in a case of conflict between the preamble and the body of the act, the body of the act prevails. This is still considered good law in common law states. Some have a specific clause indicating the significant role of preambles in statutory interpretation.

The preamble may not be legally binding, but it is key to understanding the rest of the document and should be given weight in any constitutional analysis. Any interpretation that runs contrary to these principles is questionable. Anything which assumes something which is not covered by the main text must be suspect, which the individual rights interpretation does in spades.

This takes us to two concepts of statutory interpretation: (1) only items which are specifically mentioned are addressed within a law. (2) items which are not specifically mentioned are not covered by the statute.

Which takes us to Article I, Section 8, Clause 16, which gives Congress the power:

“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;”

Note that Congress is given the power to ARM the militia. Only Congress has this power under the Constitution. This is where the individual rights theory provides the usual misquotations removed from their context, which in the case of the Patrick Henry “Let everyman be armed quote” is tragic since it is clear that Henry was concerned with the above section of the Constitution, not a personal right to arms, when one reads it in context.

I really don’t want to get too much into how this one sentence has been mangled and removed from constitutional context in the attempt to create a right which does not exist. The grammar is handled in this article: Dennis Baron, Guns and Grammar: The Linguistics of the Second Amendment. I will say that Prof. Baron would give the “preferatory” clause far more weight than it was given in the Heller decision:

Reading the Second Amendment as a statement in which every word counts follows from the opinion articulated by Chief Justice John Marshall: “It cannot be presumed that any clause in the constitution is intended to be without effect” (Marbury v. Madison, 1803). But even without that landmark ruling, it would have been clear to 18th-century readers that the first part of the Second Amendment was bound to the second part in a cause-and-effect relationship, that the right to bear arms was tied by the framers directly to the need for a well-regulated militia.

If you wish to go outside the Constitution, there are many more problems with the Individual right interpretation. In fact, both the Heller and McDonald decisions were exercises in sophistry which removed the interpretation from an “originalist” and “constitutionalist” context and placed them into pure fantasy. If anything, the Heller and McDonald decisions are unconstitutional exercises of power by judicial amendment of the constitution. McDonald even more so since it somehow neglected Article I, Section 8, Clause 16 and created a right which was present in state laws in contrast to its non-existence in the US Constitution.

I am truly disappointed by the praise of the emperor’s new clothes in McDonald v Chicago by the justices willingness to separate the Second Amendment from Constitutional context by even countenancing that it had nothing to do with Article I, Section 8, Clause 16. How does Congress’ power “incorporate” to the States without an amendment to the Constitution? McDonald can only be described as silly buggers and not really precedent.

State v. Buzzard, 4 Ark. (2 Pike) 18 (1842), puts the absurdity of the individual right assertion:

However captivating such arguments may appear upon a merely casual or superficial view of the subject, they are believed to be specious, and to rest upon premises at variance with all the fundamental principles upon which the government is based; and that, upon a more mature and careful investigation, as to the object for which the right was retained their fallacy becomes evident. The dangers to be apprehended from the existence and exercise of such right, not only to social order, domestic tranquillity and the upright and independent administration of the government, but also to the established institutions of the country, appears so obvious as to induce the belief that they are present to every intelligent mind, and to render their statement here unnecessary. [1]

The revisionist theory that the Second Amendment somehow applies to a context outside the common defence is beautifully destroyed since it does not withstand scrutiny within the four corners of the US Constitution.

It is even more devastated if we are going to go outside the document since we need to have the “scholars” explain how:

  1.  The concept of self-defence did not allow for the use of deadly force as a first option when the Constitution was written.  Deadly force at that time was a LAST option. There was a duty to retreat. Deadly force could only be used if there was no lesser alternative and all other options had been exhausted.  You had to have your back to the wall to be able to kill someone.
    –carrying a weapon would create a presumption that you intended to do harm.
  2.  Where are the other versions of “gun rights” in Common Law nations?
  3. The issue of civilian control of the military, which fear of standing armies is a common thread in English political thought.  It was mentioned in the debates in relation to this Amendment, whereas personal defence was next to nonexistent.
  4. regulation of private arms has always been a part of the common law.
  5. When primary source material is read in its complete form, it highlights the above issues and the lack of concern with a right to own a weapon outside the context of the common defence.
  6. Why the US Constitution would concern itself with matters of “personal defence”, especially in light of point (1) above?
  7. Why state constitutional provisions explicitly mention this right, but it is not mentioned in the US Constitution.

There are far too many flaws in the Individual Right interpretation of the Second Amendment when one looks at it critically. There are even more flaws in the “precedent” set by Heller-McDonald despite its “friendliness” to firearms regulation. These are dangerous decisions to be left in the common law cannon.

It is a shame that Heller and McDonald have been allowed to create mischief in the US legal system.

I will not even bother readdressing the absurdity of the associated insurrection theory of the Second Amendment since it is so far from the Constitutional contexts as to be laughable. The fact that so many people are willing to accept it in their ignorance is astounding.

[1] Compare Buzzard to the part of Presser v Illinois,  116 U.S. 252, 6 S.Ct. 580, 29 L.Ed. 615 (1886), which says:

Military organization and military drill and parade under arms are subjects especially under the control of the government of every country. They cannot be claimed as a right independent of law. Under our political system they are subject to the regulation and control of the state and federal governments, acting in due regard to their respective prerogatives and powers. The constitution and laws of the United States will be searched in vain for any support to the view that these rights are privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States independent of some specific legislation on the subject.

I’m feeling left out of the fun…

Sort of.

Mike the Gun Guy and Amanda Gailey are getting loads of attention from the NRA these days.  I no longer post at the MikeB blog as well, which means most of my activities are on social media: where I am very active.

And very effective.

So, fuck the Bollocks Circle Jerk–they don’t really test their bullshit and probably should change their name to that (Bollocks Circle Jerk) just for honesty’s sake.  Bollocks my dog probably has been in more courtrooms than he has.

I’ve been saying all along that the pro-gun side is based on science fiction (literally). “An armed society is a polite society” comes from Robert Heinlein’s “Beyond This Horizon”. If you are unaware, this is a novel where duels may easily occur when someone feels that they have been wronged or insulted that is attributed as a custom that keeps order and politeness.

We have seen where the other arguments are based on misquotations and fake history.  I’ve long wanted to rip apart the revisionist history of the Second Amendment, but I now know that someone else will do that for me using the material I have provided.

But, that was one of the purposes of this blog.

I won’t even bother with John Lott and the Bullshit serious overestimate of DGUs.  Where the fuck are the heroes with guns when the daily mass shootings happen?

People carrying weapons in public is not a right (Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252 (1886), Robertson v. Baldwin,165 U.S. 275 (1897) at 282 [1], and DC V Heller, 554 U.S. 570, (2008)[2]). Heller mentions Rawle, which says:

This right ought not, however, in any government, to be abused to the disturbance of the public peace.
An assemblage of persons with arms, for an unlawful purpose, is an indictable offence, and even the carrying of arms abroad by a single individual, attended with circumstances giving just reason to fear that he purposes to make an unlawful use of them, would be sufficient cause to require him to give surety of the peace. If he refused he would be liable to imprisonment.

The ultimate argument against open carry and guns everywhere are the Colorado Springs 911 calls relating to the mass shooting.Open carry comment at 2:49 of first call.

https://soundcloud.com/allison-sylte/sets/911-calls-for-colorado-springs-shooting-that-killed-3

Do you know how bizarre your gun free zone arguments sound when a 911 operator gives a mass shooter a pass because he had a right to walk around with a gun?

 The funny thing is you people don’t realise how stupid you sound with your silly arguments that are so obviously false: especially if one is willing to make the effort to fact check them.

Anyway,  It’s time that the debate began to be based on facts, not bullshit.  Congress needs to repeal the research ban on gun violence (come on, people, can’t you admit that your bullshit doesn’t survive scrutiny?). [3]

Additionally, it’s time the Supreme Court owned up that the Second Amendment has fallen victim to desuetude. It would be a truly conservative act to make that admission.  Here is Justice Robert Bork (The Tempting of America (1990)) on this issue:

“There is a problem with laws (which are not enforced). They are kept in the code books as precatory statements, affirmations of moral principle. It is quite arguable that this is an improper use of law, most particularly of criminal law, that statutes should not be on the books if no one intends to enforce them. It has been suggested that if anyone tried to enforce a law that had moldered in disuse for many years, the statute should be declared void by reason of desuetude or that the defendant should go free because the law had not provided fair warning.”

The Second Amendment was obsolete when it was written. Joseph Story pointed that out in 1833:

And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights.[4]

The problem is that the protection intended is no longer needed.

And trying to somehow “modernise” it has met with resounding failure.

This is a matter of public safety, not something that should be a subject for political machinations, which is the real perversion of the Second Amendment.

Anyway, I am being the resource I want to be and people I respect pay attention to what I say.  The ultimate thing is that the facts are getting out despite the attempts to silence us.

As for Mike the Gun Guy and Amanda Gailey, they couldn’t give a shit about your opinions either.  In fact, they have been laughing at you.

And I also don’t value your opinions.

I wish more people would ignore you.

footnotes:

[1]  “the right of the people to keep and bear arms (Art. II) is not infringed by laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons”–Robertson v. Baldwin,165 U.S. 275 (1897) at 282
[2]

Heller:

Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. See, e.g., Sheldon, in 5 Blume 346; Rawle 123; Pomeroy 152–153; Abbott 333. For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. See, e.g., State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann., at 489–490; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga., at 251; see generally 2 Kent *340, n. 2; The American Students’ Blackstone 84, n. 11 (G. Chase ed. 1884). Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

Which has as a footnote (26):

We identify these presumptively lawful regulatory measures only as examples; our list does not purport to be exhaustive.

[3]  yeah. yeah.  I know you want to barrage me with your bullshit, but that’s all asked and answered.  Besides, I’m not out to persuade you of anything–I already know you are someone who doesn’t think. If you really want to have a response from me, go read this.  It’s generic, but it makes the point.

[4] Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution 3:§1890 (1833). See also, Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, Book V, Chapter I, Of the Expences of the Sovereign or Commonwealth, PART I Of the Expence of Defence particularly v.1.26-7.

Not sure whether boasting rights are proper, but…

This showed up in my e-mail:
cornell
I have to admit to feeling really honoured that serious scholars take what I write seriously.  Part of why I don’t blog is that I am involved in my substantial activities in trying to counter Second Amendment revisionism,  but to be linked to Saul Cornell is seriously cool!

I’m glad that people who know what is going on appreciate the stuff I do even if I’m not totally serious about this.

Well, as not as serious as this subject deserves.

Next idol on the list to be linked to: George Monbiot!

More on the Unorganised Militia

Usually, you get someone pointing to 10 USC §311(b)(2) and saying they are part of the Unorganised Militia.  Unfortunately, this section of the Code doesn’t give a gloss on what exactly this means, but I have gone into it before in other posts: Asked and Answered–Unorganised, Sedentary, reserve, etcetera militias explained and Still more on the Unorganised Militia.  Basic info being:

The Sedentary, reserve, inactive, unorganised, general (or other term indicating INACTIVITY) Militia, has always been unorganized and untrained

Active Militias, that is THE organised, enrolled, embodied, active (or other term signifying active) Militia, can be supplemented if necessary by the ballot (selection by lot)–in other words drafted from the Unorganised militia draft pool.

The term “unorganized” did not begin to emerge until the 1830s and 1840s, when a massive wave of opposition destroyed the compulsory militia system. Nobody wanted to serve in the militia. State governors and legislators wanted to be able to accommodate this desire, but they were bound by the 1792 Uniform Militia Act, which stated that every white male aged 18-45 would be in the militia.

Militia service was so unpopular that Delaware abolished its militia system altogether in 1831. Massachusetts eliminated compulsory service in 1840, followed by Maine, Ohio, Vermont in 1844, Connecticut and New York in 1846, Missouri in 1847, and New Hampshire in 1851. Indiana classified its militia according to age in 1840, and exempted all but the young men from service. New Jersey withdrew the right to imprison a man for failure to pay a militia fine in 1844; Iowa did the same in 1846, Michigan in 1850, and California in 1856.” – Mahon, John K, The History of the Militia and the National Guard, p. 83

The term “unorganized militia” was kept in use in subsequent decades as a statutory “reminder” that the state could still obligate its citizens to perform military duty, should it ever want them to. Eventually, U.S. law in the early twentieth century picked up this same usage for the same reason: by creating the “unorganized militia,” the United States could guarantee usage of this manpower for military purposes, should the (remote) need ever arise.

Of course, legal method would tell you that there might be another part of the US Code that addresses this issue.  In fact, Title 10 is the Section of the US Code that covers the Armed Forces and there are sections that further elaborate on this topic.  10 USC Chapter 1003 – Reserve Components Generally–specifically addresses who the national guard happens to be:

10 USC 10101

The reserve components of the armed forces are: (1) The Army National Guard of the United States. (2) The Army Reserve. (3) The Naval Reserve. (4) The Marine Corps Reserve. (5) The Air National Guard of the United States. (6) The Air Force Reserve. (7) The Coast Guard Reserve.

10 USC 10105 – Sec. 10105. Army National Guard of the United States: composition

The Army National Guard of the United States is the reserve component of the Army that consists of – (1) federally recognized units and organizations of the Army National Guard; and (2) members of the Army National Guard who are also Reserves of the Army.

Also 10 USC § 312. Militia duty: exemptions, addresses who exempt from service in the militia. 32 USC § 313 deals with who can enlist to serve in the militia.

As I have said before, you need to actually be a member of the National Guard to actually claim that you are a member of the militia.  And that Constitutionally, the only body that can call itself a militia is one which is organised under Article I, Section 8, Clause 16–not the Second Amendment.

I should also add that the unorganised militia is usually addressed in state laws, where it is made clear that this is a reserve force with no duties or obligations.

See also

Questions for people like Judge Andrew Napolitano who say the Second Amendment means that people can assassinate tyrannical politicians

Questions for people like Judge Andrew Napolitano who say the Second Amendment means that people can assassinate tyrannical politicians:

“Then, was John Wilkes Booth within his right to have assassinated Lincoln given that he said “sic semper tyrannus”? In other words, Lincoln was a tyrant in Booth’s opinion–was that legal justification enough to have placed the Assassination within his Second Amendment right?

Furthermore, does that make assassination a part of the Second Amendment right? So that when anyone believes a politician to be a “tyrant”, they are justified in assassinating them?

How does that fit into a scheme of establishing justice as well as promoting domestic tranquility and the general Welfare?”

Second Amendment Bibliography

I’m keeping this list of sources I have found useful relating to PROPER Second Amendment Scholarship, that is the scholarship which keeps it within the context of providing for the common defence and civilian control over the military. I know there are sources that purport to show that somehow something which is called “being necessary to the security of a free State” is able to be neglected despite statutory construction saying that no part of a law is superfluous. I find those “authorities” to be false and not worth the time, but should you wish to begin to delve into what was the actual intent of the drafters of the Constitution and their mindset, then you can use this list as a beginning.