The Second Amendment never was a guarantee to own firearms

050313gunsIt is always an affront to intelligence to see those who think the Constitution gives them an unlimited right to own firearms misquote the Second Amendment in much the same way that religious fanatics misquote the Bible to justify any and all acts, including murder.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution, as in most amendments from that period of American history, dealt with what the framers of the document saw as a potential need to protect certain rights in times of threat to sovereignty of the nation.

That amendment, adopted in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights, was created in a time when the founders envisioned an America controlled solely by white male landowners.  Blacks were still slaves, women had no rights and the right to bear arms was considered necessary for allow citizens to raise arms in defense of a nation — nothing more.

The forefathers never envisioned an Americans where blacks were free, women had the right to vote or hold office and certainly never saw an America where mega industries got rich peddling dangerous weapons to racial hate groups, psychotics or those who would use such devices to kill loved ones.

America’s founders never saw a country where mercenary wannabes would fill gun safes with assault style weapons and employ loopholes to own and use automatic weapons to rob, main and kill.

Our forefathers never saw a nation where hate-mongering groups like the National Rifle Association would unleash a tidal wave of lying propaganda to misquote and misuse the Second Amendment to further the profit-grubbing motives of a gun industry that thrives on hate and violence in America.

Thankfully, much of America has changed since the original Constitution and Bill of Rights promoted slavery and other intolerance.   Many of those denied rights by those original documents now have those freedoms rightfully restored.

Yet the ancient rhetoric of the Second Amendment stays in place, even in the light of a number of Supreme Court decisions that limits the applications of that often-misquoted amendment.

Even those who penned the Second Amendment saw it as a provision for self-defense of a nation, not an unlimited license to arm the population.  Based on English Common Law, the drafters of the Second Amendment declared it to be “an auxiliary right, supporting the natural rights of self-defense, resistance to oppression, and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the state.”

In 1875, the Supreme Court ruled that “the right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution; neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.”

In 1939, the Supreme Court ruled the amendment protects arms that had a reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.” Nothing more.

As recently as 2008, the Supreme ruled that “the right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” The Court also found that many longstanding prohibitions and restrictions on firearms possession are consistent with the Second Amendment.

In other words, the Second Amendment has limits and those limits can, at any time, be broadened by law.

Which is the way it should be and it doesn’t matter what the gun-toting cowards who misquote the Second Amendment thing or say in their rabid and often misuse of the amendment to try and support a right that does not exist.

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© 2013 Capitol Hill Blue

19 Responses to "The Second Amendment never was a guarantee to own firearms"

  1. Carl Nemo **==  May 12, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    “Thankfully, much of America has changed [since the narrow-minded, intolerant ravings of those who penned the original Constitutions and so-called Bill of Rights.] Many of those denied rights by those original documents now have those rights rightfully restored.”…extract from article my brackets

    I’m somewhat stunned to say the least by this seeming ‘hatred’ of our founding documents and those who penned them;Re:… “narrow-minded, intolerant ravings” of these men…!?

    *****

    “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.” …George Washington

    “The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.” …Thomas Jefferson

    “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” …Benjamin Franklin, 1759

    *****

    Seemingly the author of this article is more than satisfied with anti/unconstitutional rulings that might issue from the high court which is supposed to interpret the law and not legislate from the bench as they now do in these seeming end times for the Republic.

    I’ll stick with the Constitution as it’s written along with the above referenced admonitions from the founding fathers concerning the dangers of tyrannical government vs. a free citizenry.

    Every day in every way our Congress is incrementally troweling in the bricks of their New World Order prison for “We the People”…believe it! : |

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Danny Adams  May 12, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      Carl–All three of your quotes are fakes.

      For Washington’s, the real quote is from Washington’s first State of the Union address, and goes like this:

      “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies.”

      The Jefferson quote doesn’t have any basis as far as the people running Monticello can find:

      http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/beauty-second-amendment-quotation

      The third one was originally attributed to Benjamin Franklin in the 1820s with no known source, and most times still is attributed to him rather than Jefferson.

    • Doug Thompson  May 12, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Interesting hypocrisy you have Mr. Nemo, considering that the Constitution, as originally written, authorized slavery, denied rights to women and condoned racism. It took amendments to correct those wrongs and, someday, Congress and the courts may decide the Second Amendment is a wrong that needs corrected. The Constitution is not written in stone. It was never intended as such. Our forefathers were not perfect.

      • Carl Nemo **==  May 13, 2013 at 9:43 pm

        No hyprocisy intended on my part Mr. Thompson. I just find it interesting that the founders of this great nation are being vilified for a way of life that evolved/devolved long before before the founding of this nation; I.E., the institution of indentured servants to that of abject slave status. Rest assured it didn’t happen overnight and by the time the Constitution was ratified these practicies had become part and parcel to the commerical success of the young nation.

        There’s been too much Hollywood and book based sensationalism about he treatment of slaves at that time in our nation’s history. Both slaves and indentured servants were an expensive commodity and it did not befit the owner of such property to abuse them in a haphazard manner. Granted abuse and atrocities did occur, but no different than such that are found today in many areas of the world. The last INTERPOL report concerning worldwide slavery both labor and sexual in the world today number an estimated 70 million souls suffering such status. Ouch…! Seemingly there’s not much ‘enlightenment’ concerning this issue even in our times.

        Many corporations producing products from electronic devices to clothing are engaging in what equates to labor slavery conditions in third world countries for the production of their products to be sold in so-called Western ‘civilized’ markets; I.E., the U.S., Europe etc.

        Here’s an edifying link concerning the evolution of slavery in the Western hemisphere to its abolution post the Civil War. It surely provided some enlightening backkground concerning how it became as such and its day to day administration of this class of citizens including indentured servants along with women being treated as second class citizens as you so reference.

        http://innercity.org/holt/slavechron.html

        Washington, Jefferson et al. founders had slaves, but they surely weren’t treating them as such found in the novel “Mandingo” or the “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” genre of literature or sensationalized in modern day movies catering to the same level of depravity.

        Carl Nemo **==

    • Danny Adams  May 12, 2013 at 5:12 pm

      Here’s an actual quote from Washington about government, from his Farewell Address:

      “This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.”

  2. Almandine  May 12, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    I must say I’ve become mostly amused, but somewhat concerned with the general divergence from proper grammar you’ve come to display lately, Doug. Meds got you confused?

    E.g.,

    “a potential need for protect certain rights”

    “necessary for allow citizens to raise arms”

    “never envisioned an Americans where”

    “never saw an America mercenary wannabes”

    ” lying propaganda to misquote the misuse the Second Amendment”

    The general gist of all those errant phrases is clear, but I’ve also wondered is that you? Not much like the old Doug…

  3. Bill Cravener  May 13, 2013 at 5:03 am

    Even a fundamental right can be regulated and gun ownership should be no different. It is so astonishingly clear that the Second Amendment is a relic of the founding era now two centuries old and its purpose is long past. The Second Amendment right was predicated on the 18th century assumption that there would be no other way to provide for the common defense. That certainly is not the case in the 21st century.

  4. griff6r  May 13, 2013 at 9:17 am

    This site is becoming more and mopre like HuffPo every day. Wow!

    Democrat president and Senate and it’s full-time Republican bashing on a daily basis.

  5. Clark Norwood  May 13, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Bill since all of the items in the Bill of Rights were written at the same time are they not all relics of a long gone time of the founding of this great country. Should freedom of speech be restricted because communication technology has changed far beyond what the writers could envision and only applies to the technology of their day? One could say that citizens of the day used the same advanced arms the organized military used and thus we should have our arms technology advance to a similar degree.

    • Wayne K Dolik  May 13, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      AP whom Doug uses here, got it in the shorts today by Eric Holder and company. How’s it feel AP? Oh AP you are so establishment leaning. Hows it feel guys?

      Seems like the First Amendment isn’t safe. How about that one Doug?

  6. woody188  May 14, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    “an auxiliary right, supporting the natural rights of self-defense, resistance to oppression, and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the state.”

    As I understand, one has no right of self defense in Canada. It is your duty as a subject to the crown to lay down and die should you be attacked in Canada. To attempt to defend oneself there is to infringe on the rights of the attacker. Only the government is empowered to defend you in Canada.

    In the United States, we understand that a free people have the ability to defend themselves from attack. This means defending your home, defending your person, defending your family. This defense may include the use of modern firearms of equal or greater strength of your attackers.

    There seems to be a disconnect in the article about what a natural right (some times referred to as “God given or granted”) to defend oneself actually entails.

    The government has deemed it necessary to prohibit certain weapons from civilian use, aka mortars, rockets, tanks, etc. However, the government does use these items in it’s own defense. All these politicians demanding gun control hide behind guards with semi and fully automatic firearms. How can these things be good to protect the privileged few of the “inner party” and ungood for the rest of us?

    Are armed capitol guards really so much smarter and more trustworthy than the rest of us?

    Why do these people hiding behind their armed guards believe they know how best we should defense ourselves?

    They don’t. Only we know how to best defend ourselves. Maybe we are black belts in the martial arts and need no firearms. But I believe most of us are fat and lazy, and without a firearm wouldn’t stand a chance against an armed attacker. And I believe more people realize this everyday while picking up the pieces of the lives after being brutalized, robbed, and left to die only to be told by the police that there is nothing they could do.

    • Carl Nemo **==  May 14, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      Hi Woody188…

      Truly a brilliant rebuttal to this skewed, everso foul article concerning our “RIGHT” not privilege to bear arms for self protection, but that of our very freedom itself.

      I, as others, are fatiqued by this seemingly leftist slanted sophistry on why Americans should be summarily disarmed via incrementalist registration schemes etc.

      *****

      “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” …Benjamin Franklin, 1759

      *****

      Need I say more?

      Carl Nemo **==

      • Bill Cravener  May 15, 2013 at 6:04 am

        Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

        Carl I don’t know where you come up with all these phony quotes but you should consider finding a more credible source.

        That quote widely attributed to Benjamin Franklin sometimes without the second sentence is not found in any of his known writings. The word “lunch” is not known to have appeared anywhere in english literature until the 1820s, decades after his death.

        • Carl Nemo **==  May 15, 2013 at 11:14 pm

          Hi Bill…

          Concerning these quotes I use. You’ve seen the movie “The Highlander” no doubt where in the end there can be only one.

          Well all I can say is ol’ Ben and I were having what moderns call ‘lunch’ in the Spring of ’59’, so I took the liberty of modernizing what he said that day after quaffing several pints of ale.

          We had gotten on the subject of area lambs being eaten by wolves along with various methods to curtail the problem; then he quite spontaneously came up with this quote that I use on occasion. He was one very bright chap and I always enjoyed sharing thoughts on his latest experiments etc. particularly experiments in freedom over time and those to come. : )

          Carl Nemo **==

        • Almandine  May 16, 2013 at 7:42 pm

          Doesn’t make a damn who said it or when. The truth of it is unassailable.

  7. Bill Cravener  May 15, 2013 at 5:07 am

    Fact is most Americans would welcome stricter gun controls. Though gun sales are soaring and making huge profits for manufacturers, the share of American households with guns has declined over the past four decades. This clearly shows that a minority of Americans are hoarding guns out of some delusional paranoid fear of losing their manhood.

    This minority of gun fanatics hoarding nearly 300 million guns have proven themselves to be criminally lousy stewards of our nation’s civilian arsenal. It is time that something be done to stop the insane hoarding of guns by this incompetent minority.

    • woody188  May 16, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      I assume from the above that you are first to volunteer to surrender your firearms?

      I’m sure Obama would enjoy the pageantry of such a gala event. The first US citizen to voluntarily surrender his firearms without any form of compensation because it’s just the right thing to do. :roll:

      Most Americans believe Iraq attacked us on 9/11, that an omnipotent and immortal “sky father” controls everything, and that a Twinkie has an infinite shelf life. (Twinkie shelf life is actually 25 days.) Doesn’t make them right, and their misguided and wrong-headed beliefs shouldn’t infringe on my rights. Rights that were laid out based on the factual actions of tyrannical governments through out history.

      Likewise, you use absolutes (most, minority) to try to marginalize the number of firearm owners. No one knows how many people actually own firearms, but estimates are between 39% and 50% of US households have at least one firearm. On the high end, that’s only 5.5 firearms per household on average. Most things I “collect” I have way more than 5-6 of them. That’s practical, not hoarding.

      Lastly, I don’t know where you get this “stewards of our nation’s civilian arsenal” drivel. These firearms are private property. If you don’t like them, don’t buy them, but leave those of us that do alone!

      • Almandine  May 16, 2013 at 8:33 pm

        Funny, Woody, how the post-revolutionary beneficiaries of the great American revolution can find fault with those who keep the flame alive. Much like Chamberlain they would genuflect and choose to appease in the name of social harmony and political correctness, a masquerade for abject fear. Terrorists know it, as do politicians who would turn it to their favor… despots awaiting opportunity… or metaphoric wolves, given the opening.

        Just look at the political morass the current administration finds itself in… all done in the name of progressivism… designed to give long-term advantage to those who would function as wolves… and who already have.

        Delusional? Only those who would be taken in by the Flim Flam Man. Is that you… or is it the one(s) who have already stolen your money, your medical records, your faith, or your future as a citizen in the (now mythical) land of the free?

        Yep, change that must be believed…

        • Almandine  May 16, 2013 at 8:45 pm

          …or as Lincoln said: “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

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