The 2nd Amendment Explained

This post should be married to my other post regarding the 2nd Amendment,

The 2nd Amendment Was Only For Muskets.”

Here is the amendment as ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, the Secretary of State:

  • 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.

As Founder, Tench Coxe, of Pennsylvania — noted:

“As the military forces which must occasionally be raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article (of amendment) in their right to keep and bear their private arms.” — Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789

In other words, the comma in that Amendment  separates the clause… there are TWO part to this Amendment, and so it should read (The RPT version):

  • Since an organized force of volunteer citizens is necessary to defend our freedoms from tyranny within [a. federal vs. state | b. one’s own domicile] or (c.) foreign attack, the government shall in no way limit the People’s right to own and carry weapons for collective (a,c) or for sportsmanship or sustenance reasons as well as personal defense of private property guaranteed as a Natural Right (b).

In other words at the split in the sentence, what is reasonable to protect a state (tanks, bazookas, planes). And what is reasonable to protect a home and hunt with (pistols, semi-auto rifles/shotguns [like the AR], etc).

Here, Mark Levin explains these concepts to a caller to his radio show:

David French discusses some of the issues in his article in NATIONAL REVIEW discussing the original text of this Amendment:

…As Justice Scalia noted in his Heller decision, the amendment contains both a prefatory clause and an operative clause. The prefatory clause, a common feature at the time of drafting, does not limit the operative clause; rather, it explains its purpose.

The operative clause is, of course, clear: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” As Scalia correctly observed, every other time the original, un-amended Constitution or the Bill of Rights uses the phrase “right of the people,” the text “unambiguously refer[s] to individual rights.” Further, the language clearly indicates that the amendment wasn’t creating a new right but recognizing a pre-existing individual liberty — one that is referenced in the 1689 English Bill of Rights. The language “shall not be infringed” indicates recognition, not creation.

But what about the prefatory clause? What does the a “well regulated militia” have to do with an individual right? Scalia explained well in Heller:

The Second Amendment’s prefatory clause announces the purpose for which the right was codified: to prevent elimination of the militia. The prefatory clause does not suggest that preserving the militia was the only reason Americans valued the ancient right; most undoubtedly thought it even more important for self-defense and hunting. But the threat that the new Federal Government would destroy the citizens’ militia by taking away their arms was the reason that right — unlike some other English rights — was codified in a written Constitution.

To believe that the Second Amendment is a collective right, Scalia concluded, is to believe that the authors of the Bill of Rights employed individualist language in order to protect the people’s right to take part in militia organizations over which the national government enjoys plenary power…

[….]

It is critical to remember that the Founding Fathers were Englishmen before they were Americans. When they began to sow the seeds of revolt against the British crown, they sought not to destroy all that had gone before but to protect rights that they believed they already possessed. Thus, when George III responded to unrest by attempting to disarm rebellious colonists, he “provoked polemical reactions by Americans invoking their rights as Englishmen to keep arms,” Scalia wrote. (“Arms,” incidentally, did not mean only “muskets” but included any personal weapon that could be wielded by an individual, including but not limited to “musket and bayonet,” “side arms,” and “sabre, holster pistols, and carbine.”)

Justice Scalia understood this well:

By the time of the founding, the right to have arms had become fundamental for English subjects. Blackstone, whose works, we have said, “constituted the preeminent authority on English law for the founding generation,” cited the arms provision of the Bill of Rights as one of the fundamental rights of Englishmen. His description of it cannot possibly be thought to tie it to militia or military service. It was, he said, “the natural right of resistance and self-preservation,” and “the right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defence.” Other contemporary authorities concurred. Thus, the right secured in 1689 as a result of the Stuarts’ abuses was by the time of the founding understood to be an individual right protecting against both public and private violence.

Writing in 1803, after the ratification of the Bill of Rights, St. George Tucker updated Blackstone’s Commentaries. In America, Tucker wrote, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed . . . and this without any qualification as to their condition or degree, as is the case in the British government.” The United States, he boasted, “may reasonably hope that the people will never cease to regard the right of keeping and bearing arms as the surest pledge of their liberty.”

[….]

One cannot analyze the Second Amendment without understanding its moral and philosophical underpinnings. Colonial America was a land populated by people who were both highly literate biblically and steeped in Lockean philosophy.

The biblical record sanctioning self-defense is clear. In Exodus 22, the Law of Moses permits a homeowner to kill even a mere thief who entered his home at night, and the books of Esther and Nehemiah celebrate the self-defense of the Jews against their lawless attackers. Nehemiah exhorted the Israelites to defend themselves: “Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.” The oft-forgotten climax of the book of Esther is an act of bloody self-defense against a genocidal foe.

Nor did Jesus require his followers to surrender their lives — or the lives of spouses, children, or neighbors — in the face of armed attack. His disciples carried swords, and in one memorable passage in Luke 22, he declared there were circumstances in which the unarmed should arm themselves: “If you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” Christ’s famous admonition in his Sermon the Mount to “turn the other cheek” in the face of a physical blow is not a command to surrender to deadly violence, and it certainly isn’t a command to surrender family members or neighbors to deadly violence.

In his Second Treatise of Civil Government, Locke described the right of self-defense as a “fundamental law of nature”:

Sec. 16. The state of war is a state of enmity and destruction: and therefore declaring by word or action, not a passionate and hasty, but a sedate settled design upon another man’s life, puts him in a state of war with him against whom he has declared such an intention, and so has exposed his life to the other’s power to be taken away by him, or any one that joins with him in his defence, and espouses his quarrel; it being reasonable and just, I should have a right to destroy that which threatens me with destruction: for, by the fundamental law of nature, man being to be preserved as much as possible, when all cannot be preserved, the safety of the innocent is to be preferred: and one may destroy a man who makes war upon him, or has discovered an enmity to his being, for the same reason that he may kill a wolf or a lion; because such men are not under the ties of the commonlaw of reason, have no other rule, but that of force and violence, and so may be treated as beasts of prey, those dangerous and noxious creatures, that will be sure to destroy him whenever he falls into their power. (Emphasis added.)

Moreover, Locke argues, these laws of nature were inseparable from the will of God:

The rules that they make for other men’s actions, must, as well as their own and other men’s actions, be conformable to the law of nature, i.e. to the will of God, of which that is a declaration, and the fundamental law of nature being the preservation of mankind, no human sanction can be good, or valid against it.

This right is so fundamental that it’s difficult to find even leftist writers who would deny a citizen the right to protect her own life….

(READ IT ALL!)

Here are a couple quotes by the men who knew the details of what they wrote:

  • Thomas Jefferson said, “No free man shall be debarred the use of arms.”
  • Patrick Henry said, “The great object is, that every man be armed.”
  • Richard Henry Lee wrote that, “to preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms.”
  • Thomas Paine noted, “[A]rms . . . discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property.”
  • Samuel Adams warned that: “The said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.”

(NRA)

More quotes from the Founding Fathers DEFINING the 2nd Amendment can be found at THE FEDERALIST PAPERS

An Update (and timeline) To “The Little Sisters of the Poor”

Breitbart gives us this update to my “time-line” of activity against the religious people of the Catholic Church:

Approximately 100 million Americans do not have health insurance plans covered by Obamacare’s HHS contraception mandate because the Obama administration has exempted plans for big corporations, large cities, and the U.S. military.

The same administration, however, insists that a group of Catholic nuns who care for the elderly poor provide its employees free contraception, abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilization procedures–all of which are against its faith–or be forced to pay $70 million in punitive fines.

According to a press release by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty–which represents the Little Sisters of the Poor–the Obama administration has exempted corporations such as Chevron, Exxon, Visa, and Pepsi Bottling from the HHS mandate, as well as large cities like New York City. The Little Sisters have now asked the U.S. Supreme Court to protect them from the mandate.

The Obama administration claims that, through an “accommodation,” it has offered to reimburse the costs of the services it requires the Little Sisters to provide–so they should have no moral objection to complying with the mandate. The Little Sisters, however, say their legal challenge is not about money, but conscience and the freedom not to offer services in their healthcare plan that conflict with their beliefs.

[….]

More than 40 friend-of-the-court briefs have been filed at the Supreme Court on behalf of the Little Sisters. The high court will hear their case on March 23. [WITHOUT SCALIA!]

December 14, 2014

Three main points from the brief, via Westword:

  1. The brief lays out three main complaints about the procedure. The first? Since the form “designates, authorizes, incentivizes, and obligates third parties to provide or arrange contraceptive coverage in connection with the plan,” the brief contends that “once the Little Sisters execute and deliver the Form, the Mandate purports to make it irrevocably part of the plan by forbidding the Little Sisters to even talk to the outside companies that administer their health plan, ‘directly or indirectly,’ to ask them not to provide the coverage.”
  2. In addition, the brief allows that “regardless of whether the government sincerely believes EBSA Form 700 is morally meaningful, the relevant legal question is whether the Little Sisters do. And on that point, there is no dispute: the Little Sisters cannot execute and deliver the contraceptive coverage form without violating their religious conscience. The government may think the Little Sisters should reason differently about law and morality, but their actual religious beliefs — the beliefs that matter in this case — have led them to conclude that they cannot sign or send the government’s Form.”
  3. Finally, the government’s so-called “scheme” is said to violate the First Amendment, because it has “exempted a large class of religious organizations based on unfounded guesswork about the likely religious characteristics of different religious organizations. The government has no power to discriminate in this fashion, allowing some religious organizations to survive while crushing others with fines for the identical religious exercise. This violation of the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses is compounded by a clear violation of the Free Speech Clause: the Mandate both compels the Little Sisters to engage in government-required speech against their will, and prohibits them from engaging in speech they wish to make.”

Another short commentary on what took place just a couple days ago via The Daily Signal:

Some organizations are fighting back against the accommodation because it simply shifts responsibility for purchasing coverage away from the employers, and it is still the employer’s action that triggers the objectionable coverage. This bureaucratic tweak to the accommodation, issued this past August, still does not adequately protect the religious freedom of many charities, schools and other religious organizations.

Writing for the court, Judge Cornelia Pillard found that CUA and Priests for Life failed to show that the accommodation substantially burdens their religious exercise. Instead, Pillard concluded that the only harm was Priests for Life’s feelings of being genuinely “aggrieved by their inability to prevent what other people would do….” Pillard recognized that though the accommodation may violate the challengers’ conscience, it allows the challengers to “wash their hands of any involvement in providing insurance coverage for contraceptive services.”

Essentially the court determined that the accommodation is fine because it doesn’t directly force the groups to violate their conscience.

Yet a regulation can still be a substantial religious burden even if the effect is only indirect.

The U.S. Supreme Court said as much in Thomas v. Review Board over 30 years ago. In this case, a Jehovah’s Witness steelworker was denied unemployment benefits after quitting his job because he was transferred to a part of his company that made weapons. Because of his belief in non-violence, Thomas could not participate in the manufacture of weapons. In siding with Thomas, the Supreme Court noted that “[I]t is not within the judicial function and judicial competence to inquire whether [Thomas] correctly perceived the commands of [his] faith. Courts are not arbiters of scriptural interpretation.” Instead, the Court would defer to a religious believer’s interpretation unless the claim was so bizarre or had a non-religious motivation, elements even the government concedes do not apply to Priests for Life or the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Thus, what Judge Pillard calls “a bit of paperwork” is exactly what Priests for Life find morally wrong.

What may seem trivial to one person may give rise to a serious religious dilemma for another. For example, Orthodox Jews may not flip light switches or press buttons on the Sabbath.

In short, courts should not be in the business of line-drawing when it comes to theological questions. Though the Obama administration won the round in the battle over the abortion-inducing drug mandate before the D.C. Circuit, the fight continues with the Little Sisters of the Poor.

January 5, 2014

Divided We Stand

The Supreme Court case is Little Sister of the Poor v. Sebelius, 13A691. The other cases are Priests for Life v. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 13-05368, and Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington v. Sebelius, 13-05371, U.S. Court of Appeals for District of Columbia (Washington).

exempt-from-obamacare-2

I posted about the Little Sisters a while ago, and we will be entering into a new faze of this issue soon:

The Obama administration was temporarily blocked by a U.S. Supreme Court justice from forcing an order of Catholic nuns to comply with a federal requirement to provide free contraceptive coverage for employees.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s two-sentence order will last at least until Jan. 3, the deadline she gave the administration to respond to a bid by the Denver and Baltimore chapters of the Little Sisters of the Poor for an exemption to the mandate. The Supreme Court released the order last night, a half hour before the mandate took effect.

The request by the nuns was one of four lodged with the court yesterday by groups claiming the administration isn’t doing enough to accommodate religious objections to the contraceptive rule. The requirement stems from the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act….

[….]

Tatel was appointed by President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, while the other judges on the panel that granted yesterday’s order, Karen Henderson and Janice Rogers Brown, were nominated, respectively, by George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, both Republicans. Jackson was named to the bench by Obama, a Democrat….

…read more…

Meet the Sisters

Via Gateway Pundit:

The Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic religious group for women who have dedicated their lives to the service of the elderly, is concerned that after more than a century of service the Obama Administration will force them out of the United States. The order was previously banned in China and Myanmar. The Obama Admininistration may force them out of the United States.

The religious order claims the so-called contraception mandate in ObamaCare will make it impossible for them to continue their work in the United States.

Does Sotomoyer see the dangers in this? Gateway Pundit Updates:

  • Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor blocked the Obama administration from forcing the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide free contraceptive coverage to employees. The Little Sisters of the Poor serve the elderly poor in over 30 countries around the world.

December 20, 2012

Via Gateway Pundit:

The Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic religious group for women who have dedicated their lives to the service of the elderly, is concerned that after more than a century of service the Obama Administration will force them out of the United States. The order was previously banned in China and Myanmar. The Obama Admininistration may force them out of the United States.

The religious order claims the so-called contraception mandate in ObamaCare will make it impossible for them to continue their work in the United States.

FOX News reported:

You Will Be Missed Mr. Scalia (R.I.P.)

  • “I love to argue. I’ve always loved to argue. And I love to point out the weaknesses of the opposing arguments. It may well be that I’m something of a shin kicker. It may well be that I’m something of a contrarian.” ~ Justice Scalia 

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Antonin Scalia discusses his public and private life in a remarkably candid interview with Lesley Stahl.

Erasing 2,000 Years of Christian History (+ Mark Levin on the 5th Amendment)

(Mark Levin audio at the bottom of the post)

Above Audio Description

“…As for me and my family, we will worship Yahweh” (Joshua 24:15). Gregory Koukl has a challenging word of encouragement for the believer. We will have to fortify our will here in America to defend truth. Such a defense requires sticking to your guns (proverbial, not real), which, may have consequences for employment, acceptance, and the like. See more at http://www.str.org/

Breitbart has this interesting note of newspapers practicing a form of bigotry against Christians:

A newspaper in Harrisburg, PA has announced henceforth it intends to censor certain views about marriage deemed no better than racism, sexism, anti-Semitism.

John L. Micek, editorial page editor and formerly state capital reporter, made the announcement shortly after the Supreme Court handed down its imposition of gay marriage on the county. Micek wrote:

“As a result of Friday’s ruling, PennLive/The Patriot-News will no longer accept, nor will it print, op-Eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same sex marriage.” In a Tweet later in the day, Micek doubled down, “This is not hard: We would not print racist, sexist, or anti-Semitic letters. To that we add homophobic ones. Pretty simple.”

Feeling the heat, Micek later appeared to back down just a bit, but did he? “Clarification: We will not foreclose discussion of the high court’s decision, but arguments that gay marriage is wrong/unnatural are out.” ….

The above sort of reminds me of the many famous pictures (below) of leftist tyrants that merely removed people from pictures… as if they never existed. Likewise, the left will begin to reject that Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Siddhārtha Gautama, Moses, Confucius, Jesus ~ on-and-on ~ have never supported these relations as mainstream. But we will start to get an expunging of history and historical giants of religious and moral theory as not as “enlightened” as the “liberal elite.” This generation knows better than all the preceding history and our own in order to say, using VtheK’s adaptation:

  • “To paraphrase Jurassic Park: SCOTUS was so obsessed with if they could do it they never asked if they should do it.”

Liberal Elite: I say “elite” almost tongue and cheek. Elite in the past would mean a small group of people who were very wealthy or a condensed group of people who either were specialists in their field or thought they were. And these Elite would PLAN for others what they themselves either wanted or could never hold to themselves.

  • Planning…in political rhetoric is the government’s suppression of other people’s plans by superimposing on them a collective plan, created by third parties, armed with the power of government and exempted from paying the costs the these collective plans impose on others. ~ Thomas Sowell, Economic Facts and Fallacies (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2008), 31-32.

Today, however, with a generation growing up with getting participation trophies for anything they were involved in, passing out birthday cards to everyone in a classroom so people’s feelings are not hurt, or not playing sports that would have competition as its goal (winners or losers) or exclude a gender… elite is the entire swath of progressive liberals.

Some may not even know how to classify themselves as fitting into this camp. They may not have even the tools presented to them through high-school and college to self reflect on their worldview. It doesn’t matter, even if they do not know they have a worldview guiding their lives, they have allowed progressivism to do it for them, blinded by good intentions, not knowing every tyranny was for “good intentions.”

  • “All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.” ~ Mein Kampf (1935)

Who are the liberal elite? Half our nation. Elitist in the idea of their hubris and ego (controlling gender and weather through legislation, and changing God’s or Natures edict of the ideal environment to raise children). All have given themselves a pat on their back and a participation trophy. Elitist in that they have rejected 5-to-6 thousand years of man (written history) applying things to see if they work or do not work. Elite in their vacuous “atta boys.” Elite in the fact that they have swallowed empty accolades and propaganda dressed up as “equality.”

LEGENDS in their own minds.

The men who wrote our Founding Documents were students of history and philosophy, religious and political.

The Elites of today are students of their own good-pleasure or in a constant flux of emotive states… doing only what makes them tickled pink inside.


Hitler

Castro

Lenin

Stalin


Mao

The Bible is different however. It is here to stay… even in those socialist, virulently anti-Christian countries and movements… Christianity survived. While I think the American Church will start to feel the persecution and stresses of most of the Church in other places of the world… we Americans are a different breed. We live under the greatest document of restrictions on a government… and clear advice for stopping a government that is out of control — and it is out of control:

“Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court,” Scalia said.

“This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.”

The conservative justice railed against his fellow justices, calling the majority opinion “egotistical” and pointing out that the justices were a homogeneous group that didn’t represent the people. As proof, Scalia pointed out that many went to the same law schools, and none were evangelical or protestant Christians.

“To allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation,” Scalia said…

(Business Insider)

the Fifth Amendment is that emergency parachute. Here is Mark Levin proposing an option for us to consider:

Ad-Hominem Attacks In SCOTUS, Plus, Dr. Eastman Explains the Prop 8 Ruling ~ It’s still law!

(National Journal) …In a ripping dissent, Scalia says that Justice Anthony Kennedy and his colleagues in the majority have resorted to calling opponents of gay marriage “enemies of the human race.” Despite this being the first time in human history, gender and marriage (as being between man and woman) being challenged… we are[!?] enemies of the human race? Sick!

But to defend traditional marriage is not to condemn, demean, or humiliate those who would prefer other arrangements, any more than to defend the Constitution of the United States is to con- demn, demean, or humiliate other constitutions. To hurl such accusations so casually demeans this institution. In the majority’s judgment, any resistance to its holding is beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement. To question its high-handed invalidation of a presumptively valid statute is to act (the majority is sure) with the purpose to “dis- parage,” “injure,” “degrade,” “demean,” and “humiliate” our fellow human beings, our fellow citizens, who are homo- sexual. All that, simply for supporting an Act that did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence— indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history. It is one thing for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race.

(See “Deck O Race-Cards“)

The gist of the above:

“Section 2 of DOMA unconstitutional. ~ SCOTUS” What this really does is strengthen states rights (better said as states-power). So the states that define marriage as hetero, are embedded with more rights, less interference from government. There will be future issues with DOMA… but that bridge must be crossed then. Also, here are some insights:

——————————————

Prop 8 does not go by-by. There are nuances that will not be felt for a few days… but I will quickly explain what I understand.

In the California’s constitution, the government *HAS TO* uphold a proposition (again, by law) until the prop is said to be unconstitutional by an upper court. The Supe’s said they had no jurisdiction, and neither did the 9th circuit. The 9th vacated their position, and the ruling falls back down to the local judges ruling.

Which means — I believe — that the judges ruling is only effective for the two couples suing, or that particular district?

So what will happen?

Jerry Brown has ordered — unlawfully mind you, because prop 8 is still legal — all 58 districts to start performing SSM. All it will take is one conservative county/attorney general to say no… and the case will again rise up to the echelons of SCOTUS (which has been making some good choices as of late). Except this time it will be in the Courts Jurisdiction because you will have a defense and a prosecution on its rise, which the original case did not.

If `Love` Is the Criteria, Then Why Not These? Sotomayor Asked the Same Question!

The same arguments that same-sex marriage advocates use here in the States were used in Canada to argue for polygamy. Using this same criteria, “love,” why couldn’t sisters be married? Brothers? Brothers and sisters? Three people? Doesn’t a number (one-man-and-one-man) seem an arbitrary thing to argue if it isn’t one-man-and-one-woman? You see, if you leave the wise counsel of all of human history, you end up with illiberal egalitarianism. Notice what’s missing? That’s because to say a child is better off with a mother-and-father is now a form of bigotry (http://youtu.be/CRvfnNLT_k8).

Justice Scalia vs. Ted Olson vs. Joe Six-Pack

In oral arguments before the Supreme Court Tuesday, Justice Antonin Scalia repeatedly pressed Ted Olson, the attorney advocating same-sex marriage, over the issue of when exactly marriage, as it is defined in most states today, became unconstitutional:

“We don’t prescribe law for the future. We decide what the law is. I’m curious, when did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage? 1791? 1868? When the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted?

Olson countered that with a question of his own, bringing up two past high-profile cases involving discrimination: “When did it become unconstitutional to prohibit interracial marriages? When did it become unconstitutional to assign children to separate schools?” Olson asked.

“Well, how am I supposed to decide a case, then, if you can’t give me a date when the Constitution changes?” Scalia said.

(Breitbart)