28 June 2010

A Historic Decision & A Good One






Today's Supreme Court ruling reaffirming an American citizen's inalienable right to "keep and bear arms" makes for some fascinating reading - both for legal scholars and historians. Here are just a few excerpts from the 214 page ruling:



"Heller makes it clear that this right is “deeply rooted inthis Nation’s history and tradition.” Heller exploredthe right’s origins, noting that the 1689 English Bill of Rights explicitly protected a right to keep arms for self-defense and that by 1765, Blackstone was able to assert that the right to keep and bear arms was “one of the fundamental rights of Englishmen”

And . . .

"Blackstone’s assessment was shared by the Americancolonists. As we noted in Heller, King George III’s attemptto disarm the colonists in the 1760’s and 1770’s “provoked polemical reactions by Americans invoking their rights as Englishmen to keep arms.” (Page 26.)

And . . .
“During the 1788 ratification debates, the fear that the federal government would disarm the people inorder to impose rule through a standing army or selectmilitia was pervasive in Antifederalist rhetoric.” (Page 21.)

And . . . the 2nd amendment is not just for Englishmen:

"The laws of some States formally prohibited African Americans from possessing firearms. For example, a Mississippi law provided that “no freed-man, free negro or mulatto, not in the military service ofthe United States government, and not licensed so to do by the board of police of his or her county, shall keep or carry fire-arms of any kind, or any ammunition, dirk or bowieknife." (Page 23.)

I've only perused the ruling, but it is loaded with a wealth of legal reasoning and historical references. You can find the full reading here. Justice Thomas's writings and views regarding this decision are particularly interesting and much closer to "original intent" philosophy.

An early, but good analysis here.

I suppose this is a victory for bitter-clingers everywhere.


16 comments:

Chaps said...

The Amendment's words. "... the right of the people to keep and bear arms...." means that the people have a right to keep and bear arms. So simple even a lawyer can see it.

Randy Wade said...

What about the second part...why do gun nuts always leave out the second part?

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Randy:

"Gun nuts?" You mean, "Constitution enthusiasts?"

"second part?" Explain please. The phrase that follows what Chaps quoted reads, "shall not be infringed." Is that what you're referring to?

msimons said...

It is a great day to see the 2nd get the respect the founders wanted when they wrote it.

Randy Wade said...

No, but the well regulated Militia part. I suppose you would just tell someone whose family was killed by a gun that it is just the constitution being followed to the letter?

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hey Randy. Thanks for the comment. Guns are inanimate objects. Just as a pencil does not misspell words, guns do not kill people. Just common sense and logic.

By the way, the well regulated militia part is actually the first part, not the second.

Rebel Raider said...

Of course, historical documents should be understood within the context in which they were written. Something most leftist would just as soon not do. No doubt, because it is unlikely to produce the outcome they favor. The purpose of the Bill of Rights was to restrain the federal government;not to enumerate all the rights possessed by the people. A careful perusal of the writings of the founders indicate that they supported the inherent right of individuals (quite apart from militias)to keep and bear Arms.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

RR:

Good points. "The purpose of the Bill of Rights was to restrain the federal government"

How true. The most fundamental difference between today's leftists and those who could be classified as conservatives or libertarians is that leftists want more power for the government whereas their opponents want more power for the individual and "the people."

13thBama said...

Richard,

for the left to get the kind of government they want they know they have to take our guns first. It is as simple as that. And to highlight that someone was killed by a gun only makes me quote Archie Bunker "Would you prefer they was pushed outta window?"

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

13B - it's a stupid, but predictable response.

Randy Wade said...

Gee...does that apply to neo-confederate lost causers as well? Seems that no matter how many times the Secession Commissioners are brought up to prove slavery as the cause of secession, those letters and speeches are denounced.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

RW:

Since your illogical and cliched position on the 2nd amendment was refuted, you immediately jump to a topic that has absolutely nothing to do with the post and start the ad hominem attacks, proving you have nothing of substance to add. So typical and, again, quite predictable.

Stay on topic and read our rules for posting here if you wish to continue to have your comments posted.

13thBama said...

I think that is on the play card as Response #2 - Say "Oh yeah? Well, your a big doodie head!"

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

13B:

"Well, you're a bigger one!"

;o)

msimons said...

I think I will go buy another gun so the left can hollar more.

Well I just went and got me a Black Widow Holster for my J- frame. The Bay rocks I got it used for $20.00.

13thBama said...

Be careful msimons. You know that J-frame will turn into an M-16A2 and end up in Mexico! :D At least that is what they want us to believe.