Having attended a funeral of a close friend?s son, murdered by the madman at VT, I was in a somewhat less than amiable mood regarding the issue of gun control, and the lunacy on the VT campus. In fact, to a certain degree, I will probably ALWAYS be.
Second, regarding the 2Am, I have always subscribed to the individual rights model, rather than the two states? rights models. I am not prone to a reading of one article of the ten where ?people? are concerned in one light, and where ?people? are mentioned in other articles, a different interpretation. In plain language, where the BoR means ?state,? it says so. But the 2Am plainly says ?people.? Why, then, prefatory clause notwithstanding, is there such a problem with understanding that when the BoR says ?people,? it means just that?
Both the 5th Circuit, and the DC Circuit have agreed with emphatic language in decisions regarding this interpretation. The 5th, in Miller, and in Emerson, concluded the 2Am must be interpreted on behalf of the people. DC, in citing both, provided plain language concluding the 2nd to speak to an unequivocal right of the people.
Gun control advocates have tended to misinterpret Miller as being something of a prohibition of individual rights ? in fact, have made it almost a control panacea. But this interpretation is sadly lacking in credibility. The DC Circuit Parker decision made this quite plain when they cited Miller with plain language stating ?We hold, consistent with Miller . . .? In fact, on page 19 of 75, you will find the DC Court?s most cogent argument on this subject. The District Court sustained Miller, et al, and on appeal by the government, so did the 5th.
Obviously, the government argument re: the Miller Brief on unsuitability (of a sawed-off shotgun) was appealing. But the government overstepped its bounds in putting forth the collective rights model, totally unrelated to the suitability of a given weapon for militia purposes, and also obfuscatory. Miller simply stated the obvious; a sawed-off shotgun is not a militia-appropriate weapon. But it also bore out, in exceptionally plain language, the true purpose of the 2nd; the right (or lack thereof) to keep and bear ?such an instrument.?
Five of the ten Amendments in the BoR use the term ?the People.? These are the First, Second, Fourth, Ninth and Tenth Amendments. Particularly, the Tenth is of profound interest in the case extant; it limits the powers delegated to the Federal government in unique language that defines TWO entities in limiting federal power. These, of course are ?the states? and ?the people.? In its use of these two obviously separated and dichotic terms, the 10th sets the legal tenor of the BoR, as regards the application of its fundamental language. Specifically, the 10th reserves all rights not Constitutionally enumerated to either ?the states? or to ?the people.? And 9th (and other) Circuit?s decisions to the contrary, it is for this and three other amendments? sake that an intratextual reading of ?the people? in the 2nd cannot possibly be held to be speaking to states? rights.
The central question seems to be, can we truly and accurately define the 2nd Amendment as being a purely civic provision that offers no protection for the private use and ownership of arms? Well, DC suggested just this exactly, and got handed their heads in the Circuit decision. That the Court refused to hear the argument enbanc simply reinforces the finding. If the BoR wants to say ?states,? it does so unequivocally; if it wishes to talk about individuals, it speaks of ?the people.?
At this point, DC has a decision to make; will it appeal to the Supreme Court, or will it surrender its right to draconian gun control? There are powerful and pursuasive arguments coming from two distinct sources for the latter, and those two sources could not be more different! The first, of course, is whatever Handgun Control, Incorporated, is calling themselves this week. I suspect those folks understand that the collective rights and sophisticated collective rights models are hogwash, and are passionately trying to talk the District out of such an apeal. This would, at least, leave the issue surrounded by plausible obfuscation.
As to the second source, that would be the people themselves, and their District-enforced plight. DC has, arguably, the most restrictive and draconian gun laws in the nation. It also has the highest crime and violent crime rates in the nation. The sophomoric argument is that tossing self-defense weapons into this brew would cause a drastic increase in crime and murder. But this has not proven to be the case in the states that have passed right-to-carry laws; indeed, crime in those states is arguably lower across the board.
Bottom line; homeowner?s insurance and a woefully inadequate and unresponsive police force, who admit they cannot protect the people from criminals, are hardly a substitute for a loaded defensive weapon when the bad guys break open your front door at 3 A.M. The sight of a .44 Magnum with the hammer eared back is a powerful deterrent to criminal intent. And if that doesn?t stop the perpetrator, one round usually will.