Federal Appeals Court Just Issued A Major Ruling On The Second Amendment
The so-called judges are at it again. Yesterday, the US Appeals Court, 4th Judicial Circuit, ruled that Maryland’s Firearm Safety Act of 2013, does not violate the Second Amendment. Reuters reported this morning that the court ruled 10 – 4 that it has “…no power to extend Second Amendment protection to the weapons of war”.
There is no doubt we will hear much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the gun lobby and their blood-thirsty constituents. They will cry that the court is overstepping its authority. They will insist the Founders intended for the people to be well-armed and able to repel, and if necessary, defeat a tyrannical government. No. That’s not what the Founders meant.
The government the Founders feared was a government propped up by a standing army. The men who devised, debated, and finally delivered our Constitution, feared the idea of a large and powerful military. Control of the army provided the way for strong men to usurp power and make themselves king. Madison argued during the Constitutional Convention that standing armies were a threat to liberty.
A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.
A Look at the Second Amendment
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.
The first phrase in this sentence includes the word “regulated.” Case closed. The Constitution allows for regulation of arms. In fact, it demands regulation. The early American militia is today’s Reserve and National Guard units. They gather at appointed times and places to practice, drill, and otherwise be prepared for call up to service when needed. The Militia Act of 1903 dictates that the militia is the National Guard. It also sets out the specifics for funding by the Federal government and the details of training. Those are our citizen soldiers of today, not Bubba and the boys at the hunt club.
The Court is correct that the Second Amendment does not cover weapons of war. We don’t let folks play with hand grenades or rocket launchers. A citizen can’t go down to the gun shop and order up an Abrams Tank or an F-18.
Common Sense Gun Laws
Our laws have to make sense in our modern society. We cannot, nor should we be bound to laws and norms of two centuries ago. Our Founding Fathers knew that self-government was an experiment. That’s why they provided legal ways to amend our laws and our government in the Constitution. Also, they realized that as people progressed in knowledge and as society changed to adapt to that knowledge, our laws would have to change with them. Inscribed on the walls of the Jefferson Memorial are the following words.
“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”
Civilized Society or Barbarians?
There may be some legitimate question as to whether or not America is a “civilized society.” A civilized society doesn’t tolerate the mass murder of children such as we saw in Newtown, Conn. A civilized society does not allow the mentally deranged to purchase deadly weapons, but the Republican controlled Congress does. Every Town for Gun Safety has some sobering statistics. On an average day, 93 Americans die by gun violence. Seven of those Americans are children or teenagers. America’s gun homicide rate is more than 25 times that of other high-income nations. Our perverted love affair with violence and war is not indicative of a civilized society.
It is likely this case will end up in the Supreme Court. Let’s hope those brilliant legal minds are not clouded by the gun smoke that lingers over our beloved nation daily. Will they have the political courage to stand with an America that strives to be civilized, or will they keep us under the deadly regimen of our barbarous ancestors?
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