Sunday, July 4, 2010

2nd Amendment

There have been, of course, many comments in response to stories in the press. I have made several comments myself.

I decided to pull out the sections relating to "Militia" from the Constitution, surrounding text, etc. Below is what I found. My 'parts' are in bold italic.

Article. I.      - Congress, House and Senate
Section. 8.    - Reads, in part

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

[[ Sounds to me like the Militia is doing the work of the National Guard; because the Army and Navy are listed separately, these are clearly NOT the same thing. Therefore, we probably should treat the two entities (Militia and N.G.) as the same. However, in those days, the Militia was ‘average people’, bringing to the battle their personal arms. That has not been done for many decades, but instead we use the National Guard. However the intent of the comment is clear, and I think we do still have on the books the right of the state to draft individuals into a ‘posse’, or similar ‘organization’; if that is a ‘fact’, it would mean that all people MUST be allowed to own guns, in whatever form that would be useful to the state, including (maybe especially) AK47, AR15, or similar weapons. ]]

Article. II       - President
Section. 2.      - Reads, in part
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

[[ Again, the Militia is listed as a separate entity, and belonging to the “several States”; and so again it falls into the category of ‘National Guard’ or other ‘called up’ force. ]]

Amendment II
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.

[[ The people must have arms so they can be called up to serve as needed. ]]

Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

[[ Here again the Militia, and the Army and Navy, are listed as separate. Also note that the Militia has ‘special entity status’ when “in actual service in time of War or public danger”. Clearly denotes that the government expects to use the Militia and therefore that is should be ready to serve. You can’t serve (hold and shoot a gun effectively) if you don’t own a weapon first. ]]

While some may try to say I am using the Constitution’s Sections “out of context”, I have included the complete text, including surrounding text, for completeness and to allow full context to be gleaned. I summarize:

In addition to the National Guard, the Militia is ‘average people’ who own and can bring to battle their own weapons. As the people could be used in War, the weapons should be similar to those used in War; such weapons include everything from handguns to AR15 and AK47. Therefore, any law suppressing the ownership of any gun, or causing undo restrictions (such as NC demanding that the police act like a ‘character reference', and that without it you can’t get a gun), is unconstitutional. Even if the Government is willing to supply weapons at the time of 'call up', there is no provision in the Constitution for such action, and therefore no allowance for restricting weapon ownership.

This 'no restriction' would also include local governments, like Chicago (D.C. was recently changed to 'allow'), telling people inside City limits that they can't own handguns, and that "no guns within 'x feet' of schools", because the Constitution explicitly states that we can own weapons.

The only exceptions that could be allowed is ownership by criminals, and the mentally infirm, though even those exceptions may need an Amendment to affirm them.