Repeal the 2nd Amendment? The anti-gun left in panic over the Parker decision

By Tim Inwood

This March has been wonderful. On Wednesday the 14th
the provisions of HB347 became law. I no longer have
to wrinkle my clothes trying to comply with the silly
open carry provision in my car. That delighted me. But
days before that, the great news came that the DC
Circuit Court had finally issued a ruling in the Shelly Parker case, a ruling that turned out just as I
had hoped it would. The Court stated in a two to one
decision that the Second Amendment is indeed a
recognition of an individual right to keep and bear
arms.

Judge Silberman wrote, "[T]he phrase 'the right of the people,' when read
intratextually and in light of Supreme Court
precedent, leads us to conclude that the right in
question is individual."

The majority opinion sums up
its holding on this point as follows:

    To summarize, we conclude that the Second Amendment
    protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. That right existed prior to the formation of the new
    government under the Constitution and was premised on
    the private use of arms for activities such as hunting
    and self-defense, the latter being understood as
    resistance to either private lawlessness or the
    depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat
    from abroad). In addition, the right to keep and bear
    arms had the important and salutary civic purpose of
    helping to preserve the citizen militia. The civic
    purpose was also a political expedient for the
    Federalists in the First Congress as it served, in
    part, to placate their Antifederalist opponents. The
    individual right facilitated militia service by
    ensuring that citizens would not be barred from
    keeping the arms they would need when called forth for
    militia duty. Despite the importance of the Second
    Amendment's civic purpose, however, the activities it
    protects are not limited to militia service, nor is an
    individual's enjoyment of the right contingent upon
    his or her continued or intermittent enrollment in the
    militia.

As someone who lived in Washington D.C. metro area in
the 1980’s and dealt with the repercussions of that
murderous ban, I jumped for joy at the news it would
soon die. That is something 44 year old men do not do
very often.

The melt down from the leftist elites and the
anti-gun lobby has been predictable in the wake of
this ruling. Mayor Fenty of Washington D.C. vows to
enforce the ban anyways and fight the ruling no matter
what. It appears he will appeal the case. We will see.

The hysteria over at the Brady Center was palpable as
they sent out fund raising letters screaming to send
money fast to fight activist judges. "The 2-1 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the D.C. Circuit in Parker v. District of Columbia
striking down the District of Columbia's handgun law
is judicial activism at its worst." wrote Paul Helmke,
President of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. I can almost picture him foaming at the mouth as he
whacked that out on his keyboard.

Predictable comments of alarm came from the Washington
Post crying the court had “gutted” the ban and that
"will inevitably mean more people killed and wounded
as keeping guns out of the city becomes harder." As I
read that I thought, 'oh yes, the ban has been so
successful in keeping gun out of the wrong hands' and
rolled my eyes. Other liberal papers across the
nation reacted much the same. The New York Times said
that the D.C. Circuit had looked "blithely past a
longstanding Supreme Court precedent, the language of
the Constitution and the pressing needs of public
safety."

With each article I read I must confess I
was guilty of some schadenfreude, as I was enjoying
watching these liberal anti-gunners writhe in pain
like a vampire exposed to sun light. Like a glutton, I
wanted more. So as I perused the leftist commentary I
must admit I was surprised to see an article in The
New Republic
by Benjamin Wittes that took a completely
different stance than the other alarmists. You see
Mr. Wittes realized something that the others had not.
The Second Amendment might actually mean what it says.
But his solution to dealing with it meaning what it
said was, to put it mildly, disturbing to me.

Click on 'Read More' for the entire commentary.

Wittes wrote:

    “It's time for gun-control supporters to come to grips
    with the fact that the amendment actually means
    something in contemporary society. For which reason, I
    hereby advance a modest proposal: Let's repeal the
    damned thing.”

I will give Benjamin points for at least being honest
about the desire on the left to not only take our guns
but destroy the Second Amendment if at all possible,
though repealing it is hardly what I would consider a
"modest" proposal. Especially since I think it is just
the sort of thing that might well spark a civil war.
For many years Congressman Major Owens (D-NY)
introduced legislation to repeal the Second Amendment.
He did not make much progress with it. The liberals
preferred to ignore the Second Amendment and pretend
it was an outdated anachronism that meant nothing in
modern times rather than take it on directly. Now, with
the Parker decision, some folks on the left like Mr.
Wittes will at least contemplate that the Amendment
actually means what it clearly says and it still holds
as much force as when it was written.

I have exchanged emails with Mr. Wittes. They have
been pleasant. I pointed out to him that repealing the
Second Amendment won’t have any meaning legally as the
Second Amendment is the recognition of a right which
predates the constitution. In fact, Judge Lawrence
Silberman even wrote into the decision "That right
existed prior to the
formation of the new government under the
Constitution..."

In other words the Second Amendment does not give us
anything, it merely is a recognition by the state of
the obvious right that we have to keep and bear arms
for our defense and security. Any animal is gifted by
God with claws and teeth for their defense. The good
Lord gave us a brain to fabricate our weapons.

You see, rights do not come from Government. They come
from God or, if you are an agnostic, from nature. The
government only issues privileges. Since the Second
Amendment merely recognizes a right, repealing it does
not repeal the right.

In his article, Mr Wittes also makes the point, as
many do on his side, that the common gun of the
Founders’ day was the single shot musket. Apparently
he and they think the Founders could not have imagined
more advanced designs. Assuming that technology was
going to stand still is something only a fool would
embrace. I do not take the Founders for fools. The
argument itself is rather silly and demonstrates the
lack of knowledge about guns from the other side. We
know of double barrel flintlocks and there are
examples of snaphaunce and flintlock handguns as well
as rifles with revolving cylinders that have existed
well before our revolution.

In fact, a very advanced
gun had been developed in 1718. It was called the
Puckle gun and it held 9 shots. To the modern eye it
looks some what like a single barreled Gatling gun. In
reality it was a huge revolver that fired round or
square projectiles. These were made a full 58 years
prior to the American Revolution. I can not help but
think that Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin, who were
the technology wonks of their day, would have heard of
these guns if not actually seen one. Jefferson himself
had a collection of patents in his personal library
and probably would have seen drawings of it there.
Examples of the Puckle gun still exist today in the
Tower of London Collection and in Russia in the
Hermitage Museum.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puckle_Gun
  • http://ccrkba.org/pub/rkba/news/PuckleGun.htm

    I certainly do not think the Founders would be
    surprised or alarmed by the firearm advancements made
    in the 231 years that have passed since the
    Declaration of Independence. They trusted the wisdom
    and guidance of the people. If they did not they would
    not have created a Republic. I trust my fellow
    Americans too, otherwise I would not be writing on
    this website. I have no fear of my fellow law abiding
    citizen being armed.

    You can not enslave an armed person. The Founders
    knew that and embraced that concept. They spoke of it
    openly, and often. It is clear they did so to remind
    the leaders of future generations that to even think
    of trying to establish a tyranny would be folly.

    As Jefferson put it:

      "The spirit of resistance to government is so
      valuable on certain occasions,
      that I wish it to be always kept alive.
      It will often be exercised when wrong
      but better so than not to be exercised at all."
      Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Abigail Adams, February 22, 1787

    He also wrote,

      "God forbid we should ever be twenty years without
      such a rebellion.... And what country can preserve its
      liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to
      time, that this people preserve the spirit of
      resistance? Let them take arms.... The tree of liberty
      must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of
      patriots and tyrants."
      Thomas Jefferson, in letter to William S. Smith,
      1787

    I am glad that some people on the anti-gun left like
    Mr. Wittes are on the road to accepting that the
    Second Amendment is indeed an individual right. I only
    wish that they would come to understand and embrace
    that the right to bear arms is an important part of
    ensuring that this Republic is always free from
    tyranny. Whether that tyranny comes from a foreign
    invasion or a domestically produced tyrant privately
    held arms will help keep that threat in check. It is
    one of those precious gems of liberty that Patrick
    Henry warned us we must always guard. I intend to take
    his advice. I hope you will too.

    Tim Inwood is the current Legislative Liaison and Past President of the Clinton County Farmers and Sportsmen Association, a Life Member of the NRA and OGCA, and a volunteer for Buckeye Firearms Association.

    Related Story:
    The importance of the Parker (D.C. gun ban) case

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