Friday, April 6, 2018

“Just For Hunting”

     It amazes me how anti-gunners have gotten away with so much legislative skullduggery. Consider the following piddling little quote from a hoary old document:

     This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding. [Article VI, second paragraph]

     On another occasion I wrote the following about that snippet:

     There are only two possibilities for interpreting this passage:
  1. It means what it says;
  2. It means nothing.

     The meaning of the passage is plain. The supreme law of the land is the standard against which every other enactment made by any legislature at any level of government must be judged. If such an enactment contradicts the explicit text of the Constitution of the United States, it’s null and void, the opinions of black-robed self-deified gods notwithstanding.

     Have another little slice of text:

     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.

     That phrase shall not be infringed is rather absolute. Note how it contrasts with the wording of the First Amendment:

     Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

     The First Amendment restrains Congress, no other legislative body. Moreover, that’s the way it was intended; the drafters wanted to permit the states to maintain established churches, and to impose local laws regulating what may and may not be said in public. The Second Amendment restrains everyone. No government would be allowed to reduce the rights of Americans to their weapons in any way however slight. To allow that was considered the fatal step on the road to tyranny.

     The drafters of those two Amendments knew exactly what they were proposing. People who argue over punctuation are unlikely to be less scrupulous about their phrasings. So it was intended, and so it was written.

     Anti-gunners are determined to efface the plain meaning of the Constitution’s text. That’s been obvious for a while now. What’s truly amazing is how they strain to impose meanings on its text that were never even remotely intended.

     The word militia had a specific meaning in the Constitutional era. A militia was the citizenry in arms, whether to oppose an invasion or a lawless domestic force. Every able-bodied man was considered a member of the militia. If the militia were to mass, he was expected to provide his own firepower. A well regulated militia was merely one that exhibited internal organization: the discipline of a command structure appropriate to its size and mission.

     The militia was in no way a creation of any level of government. Indeed, its most important function was to keep government within its proper sphere, mainly by existing. Clearly the citizen’s possession of weapons of war was indispensable to that function.

     That function is exactly what the anti-gunners want to obscure.

     Note how regularly the anti-gunners protest that “we don’t want to take your guns” the same breath as their calls to take our guns. Their codicil is that “you don’t need a military weapon for hunting.” Such attempts to reduce the function of privately owned firearms to shooting at the occasional deer, duck, or pheasant have an unmistakable end in mind.

     Consider Britain, which has no written constitution and therefore no firm protections for individuals’ rights. A Briton may “own” a firearm, if it conforms to the laws about privately owned firearms, but he has no “right to keep and bear” it. It cannot reside in his home; it must be stored at a government-approved “shooting club” and used only on the club’s premises, subject to approved supervision. In this fashion Her Majesty’s government has disarmed the British people de facto. They can claim to “own” firearms in the sense of having legally registered titles to them, but they are barred access to them except when, where, and as the Omnipotent State shall permit.

     Were the Second Amendment to be altered thus:

     The right of the people to keep and bear Arms for hunting purposes shall not be infringed.

     ...the federal government could effectuate a similar citizen disarmament:

  • It could promulgate laws for the licensure and regulation of “hunting clubs,” where all citizen-owned firearms must be stored;
  • It could promulgate laws for the determination of “hunting regions,” outside which no hunting would be permitted;
  • It could delegate to the state and county governments all further powers to legislate about hunting licenses, seasons, and other qualifications.

     And Americans, the best armed citizens in the world, would be unable to object except by an immediate, bloody revolution. Have no doubt, Gentle Reader, that that is the end in view – the consummation the anti-gunners so devoutly wish. Have no doubt that the anti-gunners have exactly that goal in mind whenever they oh-so-ingenuously say “You don’t need an assault rifle for hunting, do you?”

     Far too many Americans who seek to defend the rights the Second Amendment guarantees have fallen into that trap. Far too many are unwilling to say, candidly and truculently, “No, I need one to kill you and others like you, should your sort ever get it into your heads to try to infringe my God-given, Constitutionally protected rights.”

     Someone should have said it to Andrew Cuomo when he screamed that “You don’t need ten bullets to kill a deer.” Someone should say it to Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer. And someone should bellow it directly into the face of that greasy reptile David Hogg, with the mikes live and the cameras rolling.

     It’s time and long past time.


CGHill said...

Sheesh. Cuomo couldn't kill a deer if you spotted him two howitzers and an Illudium Q36 Explosive Space Modulator.

furball said...

Hi Fran. Tangential to your post today, I'm beginning to come over to the position that the Bill of Rights is not ten amendments. The Bill postulates *rights* that were insisted upon before the states would accept the Constitution.

Thus, I'm no longer certain that the "Second Amendment" should be considered as being capable of being amended or deleted. To amend or delete any part of the Bill of Rights would be to break the covenant between "government" and the people who CHOSE TO ESTABLISH that government.

Tim Turner