Monday, June 28, 2010

Your 2nd Amendment Rights Reaffirmed

Today is a RED LETTER DAY! The U.S. Supreme Court just issued its opinion on McDonald v. City of Chicago. And common sense prevailed. Finally.

The 2nd Amendment reads:

"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."

Seldom has 27 little words caused so much angst and anxiety, confusion, heated debate and outright torturing of meaning by those unable or unwilling to understand the written word. Those unaware of the controversy need to step back a bit and review history. To wit:

The 1st Amendment to our Constitution gives us all the right of free speech (plus other related rights). The 2nd gives us the right to keep and bear arms, no doubt to help us defend the Amendment just before it. It is no accident they were written in this order. But ever since the ink was drying on this hallowed document, those on the left have been trying to eliminate it, minimize it or simply change its straightforward pronouncement into something never intended by the framers. And they had a lot of sympathizers, including Stalin, Marx, Hitler, Pol Pot, Chavez and Castro, to name but a few. And because of this, those who love liberty and want to protect it have been working tirelessly to reaffirm it. That reaffirmation happened today.

For purposes of background, The Roberts Court passed down its landmark ruling on Heller v. Washington, D.C. in July, 2008. Heller, as you may remember, was a retired soldier, a D.C. cop, a private eye and a bodyguard. In these capacities he had the right to carry a weapon concealed. But due to D.C.'s arcane gun laws, he couldn't keep his handgun at home. He had to stop by Union Station and lock up his pistol in a train station locker each evening and then pick it up on his way to work the next morning. As stupid as this may sound, that was their law, and its been their law for the last 40 years. During that 40 years, I might add, their murder rate has increased more than 340%. So Heller sued, and with the help of the NRA, he prevailed. D.C.'s gun ban was overthrown.

By the way, you might be interested to note that two rather well-known people signed amicus (friend-of-the-court) briefs on behalf of D.C.; that would be then Illinois State Senator. B. H. Obama and then Chicago lawyer Eric Holder. That tells you all you need to know about their motivations and all you need to know about the regard they hold for our Bill of Rights.

So was the fight over? Not by a long shot (pun intended). A then little-known judge turned down an appeal on gun rights brought because of this ruling, stating emphatically that Heller v. D.C. applied only to "Federal enclaves." D.C., of course, is just such an enclave. All other cities, counties and states were not affected by this ruling, the judge stated. That judge was one Sonja Sotomayor, now a Supreme put there by B. H. Obama. You should know also that during her confirmation hearings, Sotomayor was asked if she'd gotten religion since the Heller decision. She stated emphatically that the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental American right. We'll see...

Oh, don't let me forget to mention that as this is written, Elena Kagen is undergoing confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill. This lady is no doubt very smart. But having never been a judge, she's woefully short of real-world judicial experience against which we can evaluate her prospective performance as a Justice. But one thing we do know. In the 1990's she worked with the Clinton Administration in its effort to eviscerate the 2nd Amendment. These efforts included banning so-called "assault weapons" (semi-auto deer rifles, as an example) and limiting the importation of certain guns they thought looked scary. In one of her more famous pronouncements, she stated that the National Rifle Association and the KKK were pretty much equal in terms of being a threat to the nation. "Bad guy orginizations," she called them.

Enter a retired black Chicago janitor named Otis McDonald. He lives in a downtrodden, inner-city project and feared for his life. He wanted to buy a gun to protect himself and his family. Due to Chicago's onerous gun laws (Chicago and its forty suburban cities outlawed handguns more than 30 years ago), McDonald was refused in his efforts to take advantage of his Constitutionally-protected rights. Youshould know that since this ban went into effect, Chicago's murder rate has increased 340%. 52 were shot just this past weekend, eight fatally. So much for outlawing handguns. With the assistance of the NRA, once again, McDonald sued. Now President Obama and Attorney General Holder, ever predictably, once again signed on backing Chicago. McDonald lost. They appealed. They won. Chicago appealed. It went all the way to the Supreme Court. The case was heard this past February. The decision was handed down today; McDonald prevailed on a 5-4 decision. Sotomayor, by the way, voted with the minority despite her earlier proclamations concerning the 2nd Amendment and the fundamental rights to our citizens it conveys. Can you say disingenuous?

And don't let anyone try to tell you that the words preceding "...the right of the people..." define or refine or limit or reduce the breadth of the 2nd Amendment. The words preceding the second comma is termed a "preamble." Remember that when the Bill of Rights was crafted there was no TV, or radio, or telegraph, or Pony Express, or telephone, or internet to inform the people. There were only a very few newspapers and only the people in the bigger cities and towns got the chance to read them. So our framers chose to give us "reasons" before the "rights" we were granted so we'd know out in the hinterlands what they were doing and why they were doing it. There are preambles before many of the Rights in the Bill, including the 4th, the 10th and the 14th. So, simply disregard everything before the stated right, including the whole militia thing, and you'll know what was intended. And that's not my take on the subject. That's the opinion of the majority of the Justices of the Supreme Court.

So folks, 219 years after the Bill of Rights was consecrated, you finally have the right to buy a gun anywhere in the 50 states, and keep it handy to protect yourself and your family. And not just from bad guys. The 2nd Amendment wasn't written solely to enable you to protect yourself from robbers and thieves and rapists and murderers. Rather, it was written for you to be able to protect yourself from those in the government who might engage in tyranny. And remember, this right of yours which was reaffirmed today was voted through by the thinnest of majorities, 5 to 4. What we were told today is that four sitting, left-wing ideologue Supreme Court Justices voted to strip you of your rights under the 2nd Amendment. They either cannot read, or cannot understand what was written, or, far more likely, they chose not to interpret what was written in a way that benefits us Americans as was intended. They want to pick and choose what parts and pieces of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights they believe have merit and worth, according to their political philosophies, and which should just be eliminated altogether. Elections have consequences, people. When you go to the polls in 2012, you're not just voting for a president. Because Presidents select Justices, you're voting to retain or lose the rights given you under our Constitution. Pick the wrong candidate and we could be France or even Venezuela by the time the dust settles. Think about it...

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