Attacks individual right to keep and bear arms
Dec 18, 2012
Barack Obama’s former head of the Office of Information and
Regulatory Affairs, Cass Sunstein, a long time advocate of eviscerating
the Second Amendment, has penned a piece that essentially labels
anyone who defends long standing gun rights in the US as “crazy”.
In the editorial titled Gun Debate Must Avoid Crazy Second Amendment Claims,
Sunstein argues that the individual right to bear arms, supported and
reaffirmed consistently by courts across the nation, constitutes “wild
and unsupportable claims about the meaning of the Constitution.”
“Sure, it could fairly be read to support an individual right to
have guns.” writes Sunstein of the Second, “But in light of the
preamble, with its reference to a well-regulated militia, it could also
be read not to confer an individual right, but to protect federalism,
by ensuring that the new national government wouldn’t interfere with
citizen militias at the state level.”
He then goes on to claim that for decades it was never recognized
that the Second Amendment protected the individual’s right to keep and
bear arms, and that it was only with the Supreme Court decision in 2008 that individual rights were established.
“We should respect the fact that the individual right to have guns
has been established, but a lot of gun-control legislation, imaginable
or proposed, would be perfectly consistent with the court’s rulings.”
“It is past time to stop using the Second Amendment itself as a
loaded weapon, threatening elected representatives who ought to be
doing their jobs.” Sunstein concludes.
This constitutes an old argument that is used by big government gun
grabbers and those politically motivated to erode individual rights.
The Supreme Court decision in 2008 UPHELD the individual right to keep
and bear arms, as many other court decisions and Justice Department
memoranda has before. It did not ESTABLISH that right, as Sunstein
In 2004, the Justice Department noted, “A ‘right of the people’ is
ordinarily and most naturally a right of individuals, not of a State
and not merely of those serving the State as militiamen. The phrase
‘keep arms’ at the time of the Founding usually indicated the private
ownership and retention of arms by individuals as individuals, not the
stockpiling of arms by a government or its soldiers, and the phrase
certainly had that meaning when used in connection with a ‘right of the
“Moreover, the Second Amendment appears in the Bill of Rights amid
amendments securing numerous individual rights, a placement that makes
it likely that the right of the people to keep and bear arms likewise
belongs to individuals,” the DOJ’s report continued.
Sunstein’s argument against individual gun rights hinges on the
notion that the Founders used the word “people” to mean “states”, a
clearly ridiculous suggestion especially given that the Constitution
and Bill of Rights were penned by the most meticulous wordsmiths in
Thomas Jefferson himself wrote in several drafts of the Virginia constitution, provisions that “no freeman shall be debarred the use of arms.”
In addition, state-level precursors to the Second Amendment made it clear that keeping arms was each person’s individual right “for the defence of themselves and the state.”
More at prisonplanet.com
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