Monday, December 31, 2012

NRA Lies Exposed

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

The NRA wants you to believe that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives them an unqualified, blank check right to 'keep and bear' arms as they choose. That's not so! The Second Amendment --from which the right to 'own and bear' arms is derived --is a single sentence':

 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.
U. S. v Miller is the only U.S. Supreme Court decision that directly "interprets" the Second Amendment. U.S. v Miller clearly states that the right to keep and bear arms occurs ONLY within the context of a "...well-regulated militia."
All other Federal decisions and state decisions having anything to do with the Second Amendment reference U.S. v Miller to the extent that they address that issue specifically. It is, at last, the only opinion regarding an interpretation of the Second Amendment that is, in fact, law.

The GPO report is an exhaustive source of original, official sources having to do with the Second Amendment. ONE of the original sources is U.S. v Miller (1939), the decision that is considered by scholars to be the most important. U. S. v Miller is the only U.S. Supreme Court decision that directly "interprets" the Second Amendment.

U.S. v Miller states clearly states that the right to keep and bear arms occurs only within the context of a "...well-regulated militia." All other Federal decisions and state decisions having anything to do with the Second Amendment reference U.S. v Miller to the extent that they address that issue specifically.

Before getting to the sources themselves, consider the following quote from R. William Ide III, former President of the American Bar Association, who stated bluntly in 1994:
"There is NO Second Amendment guarantee. There is NO confusion on this issue."

R. W. Ide [emphases mine, LH].
Further --the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association on firearms Violence stated that the Second Amendment "...relates to a well-regulated militia and that there are NO federal constitutional decisions which preclude the regulation of firearms in private hands." To sum it up, Erwin Griswold, the late Solicitor General put it this way:
Never in history has a federal court invalidated a law regulating the private ownership of firearms on Second Amendment grounds. That the Second Amendment poses no barrier to strong gun laws is perhaps the most well-settled proposition in American Constitutional law.

– Erwin Griswold, Solicitor General
In 1934, Congress reacted to gangster related violence by enacting the National Firearms Act which prohibited the interstate transportation of silencers, automatic weapons, and sawed-off shotguns. Jack Miller appealed his conviction under that law. He claimed that Congress had violated his Second Amendment rights. The court gave consideration to "...the dependent clause" of the Second Amendment --the first part which establishes the context of the Amendment as a whole: "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state..." The following is an excerpt from the court's opinion:
In the absence of any evidence tending to show that the possession or use of a "shot gun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length" at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such instrument Certainly it is not within Judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense.

–United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939) (USSC+)
The Supreme Court decisions continued, saying that the obvious purpose of the Second Amendment was "...to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of the state militia". The court concluded that the Second Amendment must be interpreted and applied with that end in view." The views are to be found in United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939) (USSC+)
Our most recent treatment of the Second Amendment occurred in United States v. Miller, in which we reversed the District Court's invalidation of the National Firearms Act, enacted in 1934. In Miller, we determined that the Second Amendment did not guarantee a citizen's right to possess a sawed-off shotgun because that weapon had not been shown to be "ordinary military equipment" that could "contribute to the common defense."

--Printz v. United States, 117 S.Ct. 2365, 2385-86 (1997) (Thomas, J., concurring)
The conclusions drawn by the court address the possession and use of guns within the context of a "militia". By the definition given in any dictionary, the U.S. Army is a militia. However the courts define "militia", the Second Amendment clearly addresses "well-regulated militias". Common-sense, law, English common law, and tradition would dictate that only a sovereign government of duly elected and ordained elected representatives of the people may regulate militias. If not, then who? Unregulated bands operating outside the law is unacceptable in any civilized society. The self-appointed "militia" groups clearly do NOT meet the requirement established in the Second Amendment and in U.S. v Miller which recounts the legitimate purposes that a "well-regulated militia" may pursue under law.

To sum up: U. S. v Miller is the only U.S. Supreme Court decision that directly "interprets" the Second Amendment. U.S. v Miller clearly states that the right to keep and bear arms occurs only within the context of a "...well-regulated militia."

All other Federal decisions and state decisions having anything to do with the Second Amendment reference U.S. v Miller to the extent that they address that issue specifically. It is, at last, the only opinion regarding an interpretation of the Second Amendment that is in fact, law --your experts and mine notwithstanding.

A thousand experts are either right or wrong on merit; the number of experts on either side is irrelevant. There are such things as "honest" disagreements. However, the official positions of the NRA re: the Second Amendment are NOT of this class. They are, rather, a pack of malicious lies, propaganda, distortions, and half truths.

Almost ten years ago, my article with the same title was published on 'The Opinion', a pioneering 'opinion' site presaging the onset of 'blogs'. To be expected, I was attacked by a legion of brainwashed NRA ditto-heads who called me names, called me 'stupid', and presumed to 'instruct me' with respect to the opinions of the 'founders'. Naturally, I refuted every NRA attacker not with my own logic or perspectives but with the writings of the 'founders' themselves, U.S. v Miller and every other decision that SCOTUS and Federal courts have handed down, as well as the writings of founders that gun nuts had said would have opposed me. They didn't! In fact, my argument is that of the founders themselves.

As a result of that experience, I concluded that the NRA is an organization of liars, dumbshits, ignoramouses, intolerant ideologues, obnoxious would-be thugs and a legion of Wayne LaPierre wannabes. In other words: fucking liars! Their lies and propaganda are not welcome on this site. The NRA has enough money to buy time on the corporate media! The NRA can fuck off!

Post a Comment