I know I’ve been

terribly remiss in posting lately. I claim stress, being too busy and lack of motivation. Sorry.

But I was perusing the blogs today and ran across this jewel of a comment on a Brady Blog Post.

from gextyr: “Kelli, I was just wondering if you had read my post on one of the previous blog entries regarding firearm ownership as being either a right or a privilege? Care to comment?”

I care to comment, it is a right guaranteed by the bill of rights that allows the common man (or woman) to own a weapon similar to those in use by the common, active-duty, soldier. This would include long-arms of a military style. In this Country, the closest thing would be the AR-15 Rifle, although the Garand, M14, and M1 carbine would be adequate as well. That would be ONE rifle just like our soldiers are allowed to have. No pistols, no sawed off shotguns, not a safe full of AK-47s (or their semi-auto look-alike cousins), just one rifle! Military style shotguns would also be acceptable in lieu of a rifle, but just one long arm per person is guaranteed.

Courts have also determined (including the recent parker case) that gun ownership may be restricted so it is allowable for localities to restrict magazine capacity, require registration, require waiting periods, and determine how this rifle should be stored to prevent access by children and criminals.

All other firearms are NOT guaranteed under the bill of rights. This is where the Brady Campaign has failed. They tried to argue that individuals have no individual right to own a firearm under the second amendment when they should have focused on the legality of restricting gun ownership in accordance with what the founding fathers wanted. When the bill of rights was ratified, the common “minute man” was to own ONE rifle. Not 20 handguns. Not a cannon. ONE RIFLE ONLY! Handguns are not protected under the second as only officers and military police have those in our current military, not the common soldier. To be clear, under the second amendment, handguns can, AND SHOULD, be banned from private ownership.

Of course, if you could get the dang amendment repealed, than there would be no legal standing to allow ownership at all. This should be the next step for the Brady Campaign! Once the amendment is removed, than we can get some common sense laws passed regarding the ownership of long-arms. But I do not see this happening thanks to the pro-gun drivel spouted by the NRA daily.
Comment by Repeal2 at 9:38 am on July 26, 2007

The Brady blog comments section has basically turned into a free forum for gun rights discussion. There are a couple of lonely dissenting voices who agree with Paul Helmke but they are seemingly incapable of making a point other than ad hominem attacks and name calling. Mr. Repeal2 actually made a point, however misguided, and I wanted to address it.

I must admit that I didn’t read all 131 comments so someone may have addressed this point and I just missed it. If so, I apologize for stealing their thunder.

In his first sentence, Mr. Repeal starts out on the right track:

it is a right guaranteed by the bill of rights…

but the wheels immediately start to come off:

…that allows the common man (or woman) to own a weapon similar to those in use by the common, active-duty, soldier…

Whoa Nelly! The Second Amendment is not a statement of what citizens are allowed to do, it is a statement of what the government is not allowed to do:

“…the right of the people…shall not be infringed.”

That is a clear cut statement of a restriction placed upon the government, not a statement of a permission given by the government.

I agree with his premise that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of citizens to keep and bear arms suitable for military use…that is clearly the intent of the prefatory clause…it is a statement of purpose. It makes clear the “why” behind the Second Amendment and, therefore, defines the types of arms to which the operative clause refers: those suitable for military service.

I’m not going to address the types of arms that have legitimate military purposes because that was covered quite thoroughly in the comments thread; but to say that the Second Amendment somehow restricts the number of such weapons that a citizen can “keep and bear” is simply ridiculous. Again, the Second Amendment is a restriction placed upon the government, not upon the people. As such, Mr. Repeal’s contention is completely and utterly unsupportable.

To further his misconception, in the last paragraph he opines that, were the Second Amendment repealed, the right to keep and bear arms would magically disappear. Au Contraire mon ami. As the vast majority of Constitutional Scholars can tell you, the Bill of Rights does not “grant” rights to citizens. All the Bill of Rights does is enshrine the restrictions placed upon the government in order to protect pre-existing, natural rights.

This is exactly why those of our founders who opposed delineating rights in the Constitution did so. Listing rights in in the Constitution gives the impression that those rights are “granted” by government rather than simply protected by a just and honorable one.

For example:

Repealing the First Amendment would not remove the natural rights of free speech, the press, assembly and religion. It would ostensibly remove the legal restrictions on governmental meddling in such affairs, but the rights remain. Were the First Amendment repealed and the government began interfering (more than they already do) with those rights, the government’s actions would not be legitimate; they may be technically legal…but they would also be tyrannical. I refer gentle readers to the Declaration of Independence for the proper response to tyrannical government.

In summary, although on their face, Mr. Repeal’s arguments may appear reasoned and logical, both his premises, and the conclusions he draws from them, are deeply flawed.

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