The Second Amendment and what it means for gun control - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

The Second Amendment and what it means for gun control

For several years there has been a growing movement in the US dedicated to the introduction of gun control. The recent Parkland High School tragedy brought the issue to the forefront of the news again. The push towards controlling gun ownership and use has grown in strength, with the numerous student protests a sign that many people believe that something needs to be done, in order to reduce the amount of gun-related atrocities that occur in the country.

However, the NRA and its supporters quote the second amendment of the US Constitution as entitling individuals to own a gun. The truth is that the vast majority of people who own guns and gun gear do so for a valid reason and act in a responsible manner. However, there are individuals who use weapons to cause harm on a large scale. So, how does the second amendment fit in, and what could the future hold?

What is the second amendment and is it still relevant?

The second amendment is a statement of just a few words that have a lot of power.

“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.”

It’s important to remember that the second amendment was adopted into the United States Constitution on December 15, 1791. The world was very different then and the US was still in the early stages of being an independent country, following the War of Independence. It could be argued that the relevance the amendment had at that point is limited today. However, there are two sides to the discussion, and many people believe that it’s still important for US residents to be able to protect themselves using a gun.

What does the future have in store?

There is little doubt that many US citizens believe that gun control measures are a good idea. This includes around half of gun owners. Even President Donald Trump has spoken out about something needing to happen, from arming teachers to completing more background checks.

Right now there does not seem to be any clear indication of what, if any, action will be taken, with regard to gun control measures. If any measures are introduced they are likely to fall foul of legal challenges from the NRA, as they do not believe that restrictions should be imposed on second amendment rights.

The truth is that stricter gun control does not necessarily go against the second amendment. All restrictions such as background checks, and limiting the type of weapon that can be owned, do is serve to help protect the population as a whole. This does not prevent responsible gun owners from purchasing firearms, for protection or sport, and using them in a lawful manner. That being said, it seems unlikely that introducing any form of gun control will be easy and that it may be a long time before changes are introduced, if it ever happens.

 

 

 





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12 Comments

  1. ramrodd says:

    Publius Huldah Powerful Speech: All Federal Gun Control Is Unlawful

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sn6UJbDm2-c

    Reply
  2. warminphx says:

    They say universal background checks would not infringe on the right of legal gun owners to buy a gun. But wait, if the only legal way to sell a gun is with a background check and the system is down as it is often and for long periods of time then you are effectively shutting down all gun sales.
    The only saving grace, for now, is they only have three days to give an answer, then the sale automatically goes through. I could easily see this being changed as well.

    What they are missing in all of this is these gun laws really only affect law-abiding individuals as criminals ignore laws.
    If the past restrictions had worked they wouldn’t need more, they will always need more, it will never end until guns are banned. But as we have seen in other countries that doesn’t stop someone intent on killing many to find a way. It only makes the weak and old more susceptible to crime and violence.

    Reply
  3. Jonah Hirsh says:

    “It could be argued that the relevance the amendment had at that point is limited today.”

    And that argument would fail on its face. Times change, but principles don’t.

    “The truth is that stricter gun control does not necessarily go against the second amendment. All restrictions such as background checks, and limiting the type of weapon that can be owned, do is serve to help protect the population as a whole.”

    Except for the fact that the USSC in 1939 held that arms in common use that have militia utility and could contribute to the common defense are protected.

    “In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a ‘shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length’ at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense. Aymette v. State, 2 Humphreys (Tenn.) 154, 158. . . .

    “With obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of these [militia] forces, the declaration and guarantee of the Second Amendment were made. It must be interpreted and applied with that end in view.” – U.S. v. Miller (1939)

    Let me repeat that for emphasis:

    1) reasonable relationship to the . . . efficiency of a well regulated militia

    2) any part of the ordinary military equpiment

    3) could contribute to the common defense

    4) IT MUST BE INTERPRETED AND APPLIED WITH THAT END IN VIEW.

    And later, in D.C. v. Heller (2008)

    “Miller stands . . . for the proposition that the Second Amendment right . . . extends only to certain types of weapons.” – D.C. v. Heller (2008)

    Yet people such as yourselves still insist that “common sense” bans that facially violate the Second Amendment according to this holding are legitimate.

    They are not, and neither are you.

    Reply
  4. ramrodd says:

    site is moderating an accompanying youtube on the 2nd amendment

    Reply
  5. ramrodd says:

    The 2nd Amend is a RESTRICTIVE admendment. It states such in the Preamble to Bill of Rights. the 2A does not grant nor convey any right, but RESTRICTS and PROHIBITS the government from infringing upon this enumerated, pre-existing, God given right.

    Reply
  6. jsmith5893 says:

    Re: “All restrictions…serve to help protect the population as a whole”

    The problem you have is that in 2010 (for example) there were 725000 violent criminals in state prisons and 15000 in federal prisons. This works out to a total of 740000 or about 0.238% of the US population which means that about 1 out of every 420 people in the US that have been caught have no qualms about ignoring whatever laws you pass and killing or injuring someone and the gun is often their tool of choice. So the bottom line is (1) The human race produces a few bad individuals prone to violence who just refuse to play by whatever rules you promulgate and until you find some way to identify these individuals and the courage to permanently eliminate them from society, innocent people are going to be killed (2) Because of these bad individuals, bad things happen every day to people who through no fault of their own were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Criminals will always have guns if they want them. If worst comes to worst they will be smuggled into the US from Mexico inside a bale of marijuana and sold on the black market.

    Reply
  7. jsmith5893 says:

    Re: “All restrictions such as background checks” – PART 1

    Currently, there are only 2 ways to legally sell a gun in the US to a private citizen. One is a private sale between individuals (typically like between family and friends) or by a gun dealer licensed with a Federal Firearms License (FFL) from the federal BATF. Only individuals with an FFL can run a background check through the government NICS database of prohibited persons. Private citizens cannot. Note that a person can purchase a firearm online, but the physical transfer of the firearm still must go through an FFL at the seller or an FFL local to the buyer. So anyone wanting to improve the process should encourage the federal government to give anyone free, public, anonymous online access to the NICS database. The NICS database is really a go/no go process and no useful information has to be displayed to facilitate phishing expeditions for identity theft other than what was already known by the user making the query. It’s certainly no more revealing than the national $ex offender registry or the FAA’s pilot and mechanic license query system where the latter provides more detailed information on presumably law-abiding citizens. Once this system is implemented, you then tell private sellers if you sell or transfer a firearm to anyone and don’t retain evidence that says you did a favorable NICS check on the buyer or transferee, you could be held liable if they commit a gun-related crime. This would effectively close the so-called private sale loophole and still preserve the anonymity of the parties involved the same way the current background check system does now. If a private sale firearm shows up at a crime scene, the BATF follows their current procedure of using the serial number of the firearm to contact the manufacturer and ultimately the last FFL that sold the firearm to a private citizen to obtain that citizen’s contact information from the ATF form 4473 the FFL is required to keep on file. That citizen is then contacted and produces the evidence from the NICS background check that identifies the second private citizen who is then contacted, and so forth.

    Reply
  8. jsmith5893 says:

    Re: “All restrictions such as background checks” – PART 2

    The real benefit of this proposal is how it can help identify the illusive killer with questionable behavior patterns or mental health issues that is causing so many problems. As it stands now there is no easy, fast, non-bureaucratic method for someone to determine if a suspicious person (client, neighbor, employee, potential date, student, etc) is a potential threat to society. If someone thinks an individual could be a threat, a query to a public NICS database would at least tell him or her in a few seconds if the individual could obtain a firearm. Then, armed with that information the appropriate authorities could be notified and they could decide if it was erroneous information or whether to investigate further. As it stands now, if you tell authorities you know a suspicious person they will probably ignore you, but if you tell them you know such a person and – by the way – according to the NICS database he can buy a firearm, they may be more inclined to investigate rather than risk embarrassment later if the worst happens. The same would be true if you see a suspicious acquaintance with a firearm when the NICS query says he’s prohibited from having one. It would also help provide piece of mind and a method for victims of violent crimes to ensure their assailants either on parole or still at large have not been excluded from the database because of some bureaucratic foul-up.

    Reply
  9. jsmith5893 says:

    Re: “All restrictions such as background checks” – PART 3

    Other specific public safety issues where it would be useful are:

     >Allow potential victims to vet known stalkers or acquaintances under a restraining order
     >Allow gun clubs to vet potential members
     >Allow shooting ranges to vet suspicious customers
     >Allow proprietors of “build your own firearm” gun shops to vet customers
     >Help prevent straw purchases by allowing FFL’s to vet all individuals involved with the purchase of a firearm as a gift
     >Allow mental health workers to vet troubled individuals like the Aurora Colorado theater killer
     >Allow resource officers and school officials to vet suspicious students like the Arapahoe High School killer in Colorado
     >Allow the family of the mentally troubled Lafayette, LA killer to verify he couldn’t purchase a firearm
     >Allow police officers to vet anyone they contact – (note the routine background checks performed by police often do not include information about firearms eligibility because they don’t directly access the NICS database

    Reply
  10. jsmith5893 says:

    Re: “limiting the type of weapon that can be owned”

    You can’t blame today’s problems on the ” type of weapon that can be owned “. The first semi-automatic handgun was invented in the late 1800’s and the most popular version went into production in 1911. It is also noted the so-called evil “assault rifles” with standard capacity 30 round magazines are not new technology. A harbinger was invented in 1890 and the current versions evolved and were mass produced in the late 1940’s and have always been available to the public (note the “47” in AK-47 stands for 1947, the year the firearm went into production). As a matter of fact fully automatic versions (i.e. machine guns), which are true military grade rifles, were readily available to the general public until 1986 and background checks on firearm transfers weren’t required until 1994 – yet nobody talks about mass shootings with any version (semi-automatic or automatic) of these guns during the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s so it’s a relatively new phenomenon and logic would indicate it’s being caused by something else.

    Note also that the worst mass killing in a US school occurred on May 18, 1927 in the Bath schoolhouse in Michigan where the killer used dynamite. And rather than immediately rush in an emotional tizzy to pass new laws to restrict the sale of dynamite, cooler heads prevailed and it took 43 years until October 15, 1970 when the law was changed. Up until that date anyone over 21 could walk into a hardware store or farm coop and buy dynamite and blasting caps

    Reply
  11. jsmith5893 says:

    Re: “It could be argued that the relevance the amendment had at that point is limited today”

    The purpose of the Second Amendment is clearly stated in the preamble to the Bill of Rights – specifically “The convention of a number of states having at the time of their adopting of the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse, of its powers that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added”. Note that when the Second Amendment was written, every weapon was a weapon of war, there were no restrictions on the private ownership of weapons and the militia was equally matched with the Continental Army. After all, if they weren’t equally matched, it would be pretty hard to deter or prevent a “misconstruction or abuse, of the government’s powers” – so in reality, the citizen militia of today should have the same firearms as the current US military. Unfortunately we are no longer equally matched because we have let our gun rights be eroded by buying into this notion if we just compromise to accommodate the people who – for whatever reason – don’t like guns they will quit trying to take away our gun rights. History has shown that no matter how much we compromise, it’s never enough so we need to stop compromising. Just because we live in a modern age doesn’t mean the motivations & machinations of mankind have changed because unfortunately those who seek power tend to have the least compunction about using it

    Reply
  12. Diamondback says:

    Complete ignorance on display typical, however, for most American Sheeple.. Here’s the truth about BG Checks: They violate several provisions of the U.S. Constitution and are totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL, and therefore, UNLAWFUL, to wit:

    FIRST AMENDMENT: Right to a Presumption against the Imposition of PRIOR RESTRAINTS on the exercise of guaranteed rights/liberties/immunities which actually withstood the government’s claim of a NATIONAL SECURITY INTEREST! Plus there’s actually no exception in the Constitution for the suspension or denial of fundamental, inherent, unalienable, natural rights for either National Security nor Public Safety!

    SECOND AMENDMENT: Rights – “Arms” are “weapons of military utility” and the government is ENJOINED from “infringing” our right to arms in any way as in “shall not be infringed” (absolutely forbidden to violate). “Prenumbra” (shadow, associated) rights guarantee us access to attachments, ammo, appurtenances, accessories we desire.

    FOURTH AMENDMENT: Right to be secure in our “effects”. Natural Rights are “effects” and are “unalienable”.

    FIFTH AMENDMENT: Rights to Due Process BEFORE being deprived of unalienable rights, to remain silent (Do we have to fill out a questionnaire before we can vote, or write a letter to the newspaper? Should we have to?), to not self-incriminate (just answer any of those questions wrong!)! Can we be charged poll taxes to vote? Why not?

    NINTH AMENDMENT: Numerous “Prenumbra Rights” related to the Amendments mentioned and possibly other related fundamental, individual rights retained! And,

    FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT: prohibition on states passing and enforcing laws which abridge the rights (“immunities”) of citizens and the right to Due Process – again!

    To name a few!

    And that is all in addition to the fact that the governments in America have NOT been enumerated the power in the Constitution to regulate (which is infringement) the arms (weapons of military utility) kept (own, possess, maintain) or borne (“to bear arms”: to carry on or about the body or clothing, or in a pocket, available for immediate employ in event of confrontation) by Americans but HAVE BEEN specifically “enjoined” from so doing by the Bill of RIGHTS!

    Any “sworn officer” enforcing unconstitutional legislation, opinions, popular votes or executive orders against their fellow Americans in violation of their inherent RIGHTS are violating their personal Oaths of Office and committing a federal felony punishable by death. RE. 18 USC 241, 242.

    Reply

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