*The one that leftists keep seeing after the words “…shall not be infringed.” in the Second Amendment. The one that apparently prefaces a litany of provisos, limitations, restrictions, and “common sense regulations” that are nothing of the sort.
These apparently include a government right to ban firearms that look scarier than other firearms, including the dreaded “black” firearms, magazines (clips are what you put in your hair) that are hold 10 rounds or more at a time, and the need to ask permission of the entity that the right was intended to defend against.
It’s long past time for elected officials to produce their copies of these important document, or come to terms with the fact that the asterisk, and its accompanying litany DOES NOT EXIST.
And for those who want to conjure justifications in support of overreach by an entity that has enough trouble dealing with matters that are actually under its jurisdiction, here is some food for thought:
I do not have to express a NEED to exercise a RIGHT, and yes, the burden is on you to make the case otherwise. That would include a showing that NEED was actually a serious consideration in the debates that gave us the Second Amendment. Good Luck with that.
For those who want to suggest that limitations are appropriate and permissible because “the Founders didn’t envision machine guns”, I have two responses:
(1) If you accept this as valid, and I don’t, then they also didn’t envision all of the other technological advances that touch other Amendments in the Bill of Rights either, like radio, television or computers. Perhaps we need to license these uses as well, if only to avoid “abuses of the First Amendment”, which as everyone knows, can destroy a person’s lifetime of work establishing their integrity with a single broadcast, or completely taint their ability to obtain a fair trial by their peers…just ask the Duke LaCrosse Team, or George Zimmerman. While we’re at it, maybe thermal imaging technology needs to be off-limits to law enforcement because its use without a warrant violates the Fourth Amendment? And maybe other electronic surveillance should be restricted as well. Surely the Founders, who were suspicious of government power, would have objected to being monitored when in public, as it presumes guilt in the public at large, and touches on issues of freedom of association and self-incrimination?
(2) The facts don’t bear this out. The Founders and Framers lived in an age when scientific advances were a part of daily life. The history of that time had already shown advances in firearms. Where their grandfathers might have owned blunderbusses, muskets were ubiquitous at the time of the revolution, and refinements were being made to those during their lifetimes, as this correspondence from Thomas Jefferson demonstrates. What is more, these men wanted to encourage scientific and technological advances. That’s why Congress was specifically granted the authority “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;” in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. These were not stupid men. They were not legislators who would rush though a bill trampling on the rights of their constituents, and do so in such a hurry that they would forget to include exceptions necessary to allow law enforcement to do its work. They were careful. They were deliberate. The reams of paper recording their debates on these issues show this to be true, and it is insulting to their genius to glibly, and in a perfunctory manner, to presume that they simply failed to take into account the advancing nature of science when they authored the Bill of Rights. If they had intended a limitation, one would have been put there. And that is the correct legal interpretation of a statute as well.
To those who want to argue that it is an archaic document, written for a different time, logic is not your friend either. It was written in the aftermath of a conflict where we had thrown off the yoke of a government that did as it pleased, to the detriment of those living under it here, and without a concern for how its actions were perceived or received, and when government’s inclination was to levy numerous taxes to finance its exercise of power that reached even into our homes. Depending on where you lived, daily life held a number of dangers, which could be, and frequently were defended against by individuals with firearms, because law enforcement was limited in its ability to respond in a timely fashion, or because it was non-existent. And it was a time when many still harbored a deep mistrust for the new government which had displaced the old, if only because they were wise and educated enough, or experienced enough to understand that governments have a way of consolidating power, and cloaking subsequent tyrannies in the garments of benevolence. Many people would rightly maintain that the circumstances haven’t changed, only the players. But even if those of you who still believe the “archaic” law argument, even in the face of overwhelming evidence from other countries who have stripped their law-abiding citizens of their firearms rights, you are in luck. The Framers left you a mechanism by which to change it. It’s called “AMENDMENT”, and it is the ONLY legitimate means by which you may ACTUALLY insert the asterisk and all of the baggage that you currently pretend is there. This cannot lawfully be achieved through Federal Legislation, because the words “…shall not be infringed.” contain no exception for federal legislation. This cannot be lawfully achieved through state or local legislation, because incorporation through the 14th Amendment has made the Bill of Rights applicable to the states, as well. (And for those leftists who suddenly discover both the 9th and 10th Amendments in their copies of the Constitution, I would remind you that these are for the rights NOT addressed in the Constitution…including those already addressed in the Bill of Rights.)
Amendment is also the only legitimate process because the Constitution is the only legitimate “social contract” that governs our society. And whether you like it or not, there are a number of people who have grown up under it, and ordered their lives around its guarantees. If this social contract is to be changed, ALL who are affected by it have the right to input that the Amendment process guarantees. Such a change is not to be attempted by a legislative body alone, especially when that legislature’s control over such matters was specifically and deliberately curtailed.
For those of you who want to wave around the bloody bodies of some children to support the usurpation of power, you need to educate yourselves about what happened, including coming to grips with the facts that the “common sense reforms” you seek would have done NOTHING to prevent the tragedies you’re weeping over.
Finally, legislation by emotion is an error. When you are so dead set on restricting other people’s liberty that you have measures proposed by legislators who don’t even have a basic understanding of what it is they would outlaw, it is a problem. It further denigrates the legitimacy of those who would legislate such measures, and the whole of their actions. It is akin to having an appendectomy performed by an auto mechanic, or a journalist. If you propose to regulate something, you had better understand what you’re talking about, or you risk being ignored, and bypassed…kind of like what the President does to Congress now.