Rights, The Constitution, and Guns

There has been a lot of confusion about this and even some reasonable and thoughtful people have gotten a little carried away and need to be gently reminded.  I have also have erred in my thought until I heard this on the radio this morning courtesy of the Mike Church show.

1.  Your inalienable God-Given right is to self-preservation.

2.  Your access to guns enables your ability to defend yourself from wild animals, people who are bigger and stronger than you, people with martial arts training, and even groups of other armed men, even if they wear matching shirts with big white lettering on them.  Thus, your government, if it recognizes your god given right to self defense should support that right with a right to access to guns.  Guns of all shapes and sizes and as much ammo as you want. 

2.  The US Constitution limits the powers of the Federal government and describes its boundaries.  Thus, the Second Amendment DOES NOT grant to every American the inalienable right to keep and bear arms.  It only grants that the Federal government shall not restrict that right.  The States are free, constitutionally to do so if they wish.

3.  The Virginia Constitution grants to Virginia citizens (residents) the right to keep and bear arms.  Sucks to be you if you live in a state that doesn’t.

5.  Thus.  All good Constitutional purists should be making every effort to devolve the power to regulate firearms back to the States and out of federal hand.  Even if those states are NY, California, and Illinois. 

6.  Further, all good Constitutional purists should NEVER appeal to the 2nd amendment to complain about their state and local anti-gun laws and ordinances.  Those laws are your own fault, Mr and Ms local voter.  if you want them overturned, do so.  If it is that important to you, move*.  If it isn’t, then STFU. 

7.  Complaining about any attempt at the federal level to restrict firearms ownership is perfectly legitimate on 2nd Amendment basis because the 2nd amendment specifically prohibits the Congress from making such laws.  Thus, the NRA should be leading a charge to repeal all previous gun control acts and make all manner of NFA devices cheap and legal and unregulated again so that they general public can once again enjoy all their shooty goodness. 



*  But don’t move to Virginia.  We have enough liberal trash here from other states turning us Blue.  Try Tennessee.  They have nice health care and bike paths.

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About Professor Hale

Currently living in Virginia
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7 Responses to Rights, The Constitution, and Guns

  1. Giraffe says:

    Right to bear arms. The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be denied.

    Whew. I’m covered either way. However, my understanding is that the supremacy clause does not allow the states to infringe either. I admit my understanding may not be the correct one, because if it was the case, why did my state include the above 100 years later?

  2. dana says:

    you are ignoring the “incorporation doctrine” which holds that the bill of rights was applied to the states by the 14th amendment and therefore the states cant violate any individual right any more than the feds can http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/mcdonaldvchicago.html <<<gun rights case for example

  3. doomfinger says:

    Random question; my cousin wants to know:

    Where can I buy a heat shield that I can modify to fit a Ithaca shotgun (for looks).

  4. I am indeed ignoring the incorporation doctrine. That is because it is unconstitutional on its face. The constitution limits the powers of the Federal government. The 9th and tenth amendments specify that the states and the people retain all other rights, including those not otherwise denied to them. It was clearly understood at the time of ratification and at the time the 14th amendment was ratified that the Bill of Rights at the federal level restrained the federal government, NOT the states.

    Obviously, I am in the minority in my literal view of the Constitution as a real document, written in English, a language with which I have retained fluency.

    The supremacy clause grants federal supremacy only ion those areas where they have authority to act. Obviously, our current government acknowledges not limits on its authority and each administration is an exercise in seeing how far the American People can be pushed. Some laws of the Federal government seem deliberately imposed to provoke a response, having no other rational purpose. And, getting no response, the creators contrive something even more far-reaching.

  5. dana says:

    to be clear, i agree with your view of the incorporation doctrine, but as the SC laid out in the case above, its the way any attempt by the states to challenge the gun laws will be handled by them in the near future and WTF knows if Obama gets to appoint another justice and gets a 5-4 court in his favor. i hope someones replaced scalia with an android secretly by now

  6. heresolong says:

    I don’t agree with your view of incorporation because the bill of rights refers to “fundamental rights”. How can it be OK for one level of government to violate a fundamental right but not another? If it can be violated at will, then it isn’t a fundamental right. That is the drive behind incorporation. State and local governments are free to do what they choose within those bounds, but they can’t establish a dictatorship and require a license to exercise your freedom of speech or religion. MacDonald just added the Second Amendment (finally) to the list of incorporated rights. You can disagree that incorporation should exist, but once it is the law of the land, you have every right to argue against a state prohibition (Chicago and MacDonald, for example) under Second Amendment grounds.

  7. Yes. It is a fundimental right but that doesnt give the federal govt the power to regulate it everywhere. Nor does the constitution grant to the federal government the power to enforce that at the state level. Mcdonald was just another usurpation of power. Ny residents do not have the legal force to prevent their state government from regulating firearms. Sucks to be them. Thier bed.

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