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April 19, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Guns protect us from government

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I was born, raised and educated in Connecticut and retired from a Connecticut work force. I now make my residence in Nevada but still spend summers in Connecticut. I am also a Vietnam veteran with an M.S. in education.

Here is my two cents concerning the Second Amendment issue and the speculation around the intent of our forefathers:

I believe our forefathers had the intent and insight to include the Second Amendment because of the struggle we had to win our independence from England.

They understood that if you disarm the citizens, you render them unable to defend their own freedom. All dictatorships have strict gun laws, not to protect the citizens from one another but to protect those in power from a revolution.

We can discuss or argue about gun control, but the Second Amendment must be upheld to protect our citizens from our own government. It is not, of course, a plot of government to take away our freedom, but if any entity had a notion to move in that direction, an armed citizenry would deter that intent.

This, in my opinion, was and is the intent of the Second amendment.

I am and will remain a concealed-weapons permit holder in two states.

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  1. Bingo Ronald, Might as well cut to the chase.That's why governmnent is so threatened by guns. It undermines tyranny. Besides the liberals live in a dream world and urn for a utopia that is unachievable. There is evil in the world which they would prefer to deny, or conclude America somehow has a monopoly on it.

  2. With 300 million guns in the hands of Americans, I find it highly unlikely that the government could take them away without inciting and fighting a civil war.

    This in part is why I don't really have a problem with requiring that all gun owners register their guns. I also don't have a problem with resticting the sale of some weapons such as machine guns. Whether we extend that restriction to some other weapons is arguable and each person will have to decide how they stand on that issue.

    To the people who wish all guns would be confiscated, I say, forget about it. It isn't going to happen in America where there are 300 million guns. If that is a top goal for you, you'd be wise to just move to a different country.

    I say the same to those who want no restrictions on weapons. There are restrictions and their will be more. If you don't like that, you might want to move because more restrictions and more laws are coming.

    Michael

  3. The Supreme Court stated, in a 1930s decision, that the purpose of the Second Amendment was to prevent the fledgling Federal Government from disarming State Militias. Why would an individual's right to keep and bear arms affect State Militias you ask. Because in the early days of our country individuals supplied their own firearms and the State supplied only powder and shot when the militia was active.

    When our country was in its infancy, it was largely dependent on state militias for national defence, repelling invasions, and supressing insurrections.

    So, what the Second Amendment means today and how it applies to our circumstances today will be argued. We've come a long way from 3 million people in 13 states. Or have we?

  4. Amen! That's also the reason that it is unconstitutional in our Republic for the government to confiscate the citzenry's weapons.

    CarmineD

  5. It's all folly. Since the right to bear arms is a Constitutional one, the question was settled more than 2 centuries ago. If not, then why not nibble away at freedom of the press, religion and speech? Oh, wait, that's already underway. The "useful idiots" want to tell us what we can say, or think or how to act and just who we have to associate with by pushing their politically correct crap. The "useful idiots" have taken Christ out of Christmas; Christmas out of the public realm; and regularly deride those of faith (any faith, except Godlessness). Oh, yeah, the "useful idiots" shy away from criticizing Islam for fear that, having lost their minds, they may lose their heads, as well. And, for the most part, "useful idiots" in the press have become a mouthpiece for pencil-pushing government bureaucratic drones - elected or otherwise. If we let the "useful idiots" have their way, we will have lost what the Founding Fathers gave us - freedom, fairness and opportunity - plus the right to live our lives as we see fit - not as some government drone orders us.

  6. @lvfacts101...What does it say about you as a Christian if you allow the "useful idiots" to take Christ out of your Christmas?

    Most Christians I know don't allow others to dictate what Christmas means to them.

  7. Each time we have a massacre such as Aurora Colo, Newtown Conn, and Webster N.Y.Gun sales go through the roof.The kinds of guns we are talking about are assault rifles with large capacity magazines (100 rounds).Which have seen a dramatic increase in recent new gun sales.

    I truly believe that we Americans have a right to own and bare arms under the 2nd amendment.

    I also believe we should ban all assault rifles along with large capacity magazines.These kinds of weapons seem to be killing more innocents in short periods of time. Not having to stop to re-load with large capacity magazines which can hold as much as 100 rounds at a time.

  8. A few reality checks:

    Smart gun safety laws aren't a threat to the second amendment. Restricting high-capacity magazines, closing the gun show loophole, beefing up the prosecution of felons who attempt to purchase guns from gun stores, ensuring the mental health database is working and up-to-date... law-abiding gun owners have nothing to fear from reasonable gun safety laws.

    Speaking of mental health: right-wing panic about revoking all firearms are delusions not based in reality, nor is that even up for discussion. It's a red herring meant to instill fear in an already paranoid populace.

    Finally, your little rifle is no match for a federal government armed with bunker bombs, satellites, chemical/atomic weapons, drones and the best tactical armor borrowed money can buy, Rambo.

  9. Ron... It's nice of you to let the world know you own guns. Expect a burglary in the very near future. Burglars target homes with guns because they can get a great deal of money for guns in the black market.

    The circumstances in the 1700s were completely different than the circumstances today. Between gun crimes, suicides and accidents gun proliferation is causing millions to be victimized in this country.

    More have died from gun violence in the last few decades that have been killed and all our wars including the Civil War. The situations ridiculous.

    Keep your doors and windows locked and your guns in the safe otherwise they are history. Best of luck!

  10. Most that buy guns have zero training. They don't know how to load or unload guns properly. Most can't hit the broad side of a barn with a handful of bullets. A single woman living alone in a ground-floor apartment in a violent neighborhood probably should own a pistol. Given she takes the time to get extensive training.

    When families bring guns into the home the risk of accidents and serious injuries within that household go up substantially. Research how many children get injured or killed playing with mommy and daddy's pistol.

    Another national disgrace is murders by intimates. Husbands and wives killing each other. Boyfriends and girlfriends killing each other. Not all but many involve guns. Crime statistics relating to these types of killings are going through the roof.

  11. Mr. Plamondon,

    One - no one is talking about taking your guns or your Bible. There is a need for proper registrations and to stop sales of assault weapons. Guns are being sold at gun shows without background checks.

    Two - you are truly delusional if you actually believe the government has intentions of marching through the streets arresting and persecuting American citizens.

    Three - to add to that delusion, do you really believe armed citizens can compete with our military in combat?

    The sky is not falling and the world is not coming to an end. The government is not comprised of facists, communists, socialists or nazi's. It's about time people should exercise common sense and think about the pure BS they hear and buy into. Since the election and relection of President Obama none of those INSANE fear mongering rumors have come to past.

  12. I need the government to protect me from the rich , who seemingly thrive on chaos and want us to mow each other down. just say no to semi-automatic weapons and high capacity ammo clips !

  13. The world would have been much better off without Kalashnakov.

  14. Waco was an incident initiated by a whacked out, overly zealot, child rapist. How can anyone make that sort of insane comparison? Granted the government didn't handle that very well, but religious nut jobs can be compared to Charles Manson and his doomsday crew. You might as well use Jonestown as an example.

  15. The Framers had a healthy mistrust of both government and the masses, in other words, a mistrust of anyone who could exert unwanted control over an individual.

    The Second Amendment, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights, is a clear indication of this.

  16. Motorsports says "..majority rule my friend. Even when YOU aren't in the majority."

    And THAT'S exactly why the framers included checks and balances between the branches of Government. Because even when the majority are in favor of a law, that law can be thrown out if it violates the Constitution.

    Go look up "tyranny of the majority"

    (or are you perhaps saying that as long as the majority supported them, Jim Crow laws and such should have been left in force?)

  17. ...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed...

  18. All you who agree with Ronald that "...the Second Amendment must be upheld to protect our citizens from our own government" - Why are you arguing about the peashooters? The pistols and small rifles? You SHOULD be advocating for personal possession of the really modern arms: artillery; tactical missile systems (especially those with nuclear warheads), shoulder-fired missiles (especially anti-aircraft types), anything you want and can buy. If I can afford it, why can't I buy an A-10? Or a B-1? So I live under the landing pattern of my local airport - why CAN'T I lay in a stock of Stinger missiles? If you want to continue this talk about 9mm pistols or even M4 carbines, you aren't talking defense against a modern, determined, technologically advanced, government-sponsored military establishment, you're talking toys little better than slingshots or bows and arrows (both of which just happen to be illegal "arms" in some jurisdictions!)

  19. renorobert,

    You might have meant your comment to be sarcasm, but there is no limit in the Constitution, and there is even historical precedent (to an extent) if you consider privateers.

  20. The idea that private gun ownership remains a viable check on government "tyranny" is laughable. It may have been possible for tens of thousands of colonists in the late 18th century to resist a few thousand soldiers armed with muskets who were 2000 miles and a 3 month boat ride away from their supply chain -- but that was two centuries ago.

  21. "We can discuss or argue about gun control, but the Second Amendment must be upheld to protect our citizens from our own government. It is not, of course, a plot of government to take away our freedom, but if any entity had a notion to move in that direction, an armed citizenry would deter that intent."

    Palmondon -- actually, the Second Amendment must be upheld because it's part of our Bill of Rights, and those passing and enforcing laws in derogation of it are perjuring their oaths. Perjury being a felony. I disagree with you about it not being a plot. If you think our government isn't afraid of armed citizens, try to get past the gauntlet at the "Just Us" Center downtown.

    "Smart gun safety laws aren't a threat to the second amendment."

    kdsand -- depending on what you mean by "smart." Then look up "chill" in the legal context.

    "Burglars target homes with guns because they can get a great deal of money for guns in the black market."

    zippert -- I call B$ on your factoid. Homes with guns for the most part signal a significant risk of being shot whilst burgling. What else did you make up?

    "One - no one is talking about taking your guns or your Bible. There is a need for proper registrations and to stop sales of assault weapons. Guns are being sold at gun shows without background checks...."

    VernosB -- so if I don't "properly register" my firearm what's the consequence? That itself is a direct violation of both the letter and spirit of the Second Amendment. Worse is you're falling into the same trap as most others here. The Second Amendment is largely irrelevant here, since Congressional jurisdiction is largely interstate commerce. Nevada's Article 1, Section 11 is what's relevant here.

    Your "Two" is profoundly dumb. That's pretty much what the military did during Hurricane Katrina. Your "Three" is worse. You should look up the historical significance of "Minutemen" for the revolution which gave us this country.

    Your Waco statement makes you and I at permanent odds. Like Ruby Ridge, federal agents put families under siege in their own homes then killed them. I knew our country was lost when the president responsible was re-elected.

    "The Framers had a healthy mistrust of both government and the masses, in other words, a mistrust of anyone who could exert unwanted control over an individual."

    boftx -- amen!

    "...the framers included checks and balances between the branches of Government. Because even when the majority are in favor of a law, that law can be thrown out if it violates the Constitution."

    wendor -- actually unConstitutional laws are no law at all since at least 1803. See below.

    "The idea that private gun ownership remains a viable check on government "tyranny" is laughable."

    Emthree -- then you share VernosB's profound ignorance

    "...a legislative act contrary to the Constitution is not law." -- Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 177 (1803)

  22. James Holmes, Colorado shootist, legally bought nearly 6,300 rounds of ammunition, two Glock .40 caliber pistols, a .223 caliber semi-automatic rifle, a 12-guage shotgun, multiple 30 and 100 round ammo clips, ballistic protection clothing, beam laser lights, bomb-making material and handcuffs.

    These purchases would be considered an attempt at starting a revolution, not protecting freedoms. The worn out phrase that 'guns protect us from government tyranny' side steps the known fact that guns create tyranny within the populace.

    No where in the Constitution is the stockpiling of umpteen thousands of ammunition rounds permitted. Personal armories are forbidden by default.

    When the Constitution was written, there were no bullets; only lead balls, sacks of gunpowder and wadding. It took almost 45 seconds to reload and when the shooter pulled the trigger, he had to close his eyes as a safeguard against sparks.

    One of the expressed purposes of the Constitution is to 'insure domestic tranquility'. The ability to buy assault rifles in any quantity does not satisfy that purpose. Furthermore, insuring the domestic tranquility is an interpretation of the Government and not any dork who acquires a gun.

    The Constitution prohibits all weapons and ammunition intended for use against the Government. Thus, the freedom to bear arms is only permitted as a member of the State militia. Personal or private militias are forbidden by default. Individuals are not permitted to start their own armed insurgencies to protect 'personal liberties'.

    Gun registration and background checks for all weapons purchases are absolutely necessary to prevent the secret stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction by clandestine groups, including those working for god, for the true purpose of mass homicides.

    When a person says that 'Guns protect us from the Government', they are also saying that children will be dying as martyrs to keep us free. Now is the time to change that potential and it will be changed.

  23. @KillerB -- Let's think back to how John Brown did in 1856 when he took over a federal armory in Harper's Ferry in an attempt to liberate by force the enslaved people in the area.

    You can have all the romantic notions you like about the Second Amendment as a protection against government, but the reality is that by the mid 19th century military power(not to mention improvements in transportation) had advanced to a point where prolonged armed resistance by citizens was impossible.

    If you want to argue that the Second Amendment expresses a fundamental right of personal self-defense, you'll have my complete support -- but let's drop the nonsense about "tyranny."

  24. "If you want to argue that the Second Amendment expresses a fundamental right of personal self-defense, you'll have my complete support -- but let's drop the nonsense about "tyranny."

    Emthree -- it's one thing to be ignorant, it's another to propound it as you just did. Nothing "romantic" about any of it.

    "...history showed that the way tyrants had eliminated a militia consisting of all the ablebodied men was not by banning the militia but simply by taking away the people's arms, enabling a select militia or standing army to suppress political opponents." Heller v. District of Columbia, 554 U. S. ____ (slip opinion at 25) (2008)

  25. 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."

    Why do you people ignore the words "well regulated"? Obviously the Founders had some thoughts about armaments and their control.

  26. VernosB,

    Why do you ignore this clause? "...necessary to the security of a free state..."

    There is no reason whatsoever to think that should apply *only* to threats from outside, especially when you remember that the "state" (in the words of Lincoln) is "of the people, by the people, and for people".

    It can be argued that Republicans don't want a well-educated electorate. I say the liberals don't want one either for many of the same reasons. The ignorance being demonstrated by some of those who post here is disgusting!

  27. Boftox's response to my earlier post reads "You might have meant your comment to be sarcasm, but there is no limit in the Constitution, and there is even historical precedent (to an extent) if you consider privateers."

    Actually, Boftox, for a change I wasn't being at all sarcastic. Simply put, I'm totally sick and tired of the extremist radical right and its emphasis on the second amendment applying to "rifles and pistols." Reread the amendment and tell me where you, or anyone, sees the word "firearms." The right addressed is a generic right to own ARMS - any variety and in any volume. Anyone wanting to argue for "second amendment rights" must address ALL those rights - every combination, every permutation, from the slingshot to the 100 megaton nuclear bomb hauled in a B-52.

    Yes, the amendment was drafted in an era when officers wore - and often USED - swords as a sidearm, while the normal soldier used a muzzle-loading flintlock musket, capable of firing perhaps 2 shots a minute, and artillery consisted of a dozen or three smooth-bore 3 pound or 6 pound cannon. Rebellions are no longer fought with anything even vaguely resembling those arms. A true strict constructionist, and anyone arguing for the unrestricted right to own and use select firearms MUST be a strict constructionist, will recognize that my earlier post, while heated, is quite in line with a strict construction of the second amendment.

    Personally, I tend toward the view of an evolving Constitution. A Constitution written for a new agrarian country of perhaps 4 million people occupying a narrow strip of land along the Atlantic seaboard can not possibly apply, literally, word for word, to a mature, highly industrialized country of more than 300 million people and spanning a continent. Jefferson was probably correct when he argued that the Constitution should be rewritten from scratch about every 20 years. At least that task would keep Congress occupied and out of other mischief, but it would probably prove to be impractical.

    You are, of course, correct Boftox - there is no limit to the Constitution: other than the limits it places upon itself. For example: I argue that the "right to bear arms" is subordinate to the overall purpose of the Constitution: to establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our Posterity. Does anyone wish to argue that Lanza's exercise of his "second amendment rights" somehow established justice? Insured domestic tranquility? Provided for the COMMON defence? Secured liberty for our posterity, or even for ourselves? The specific rights of second (or any) amendment must be read in the light of these over-riding general rights.

  28. renorobert,

    I place the blame for what Lanza did almost entirely upon his mother (the neighbors who didn't want to cause a problem have a share, too): WHAT THE @$@# was she thinking?!?

    Back to the more general topic. I consider the Bill of Rights to be a remarkable statement. Look at the collection as a whole. Tamper with any one of them and all of them are weakened. (Just imagine the impact on the other nine if we did not have the Third Amendment.)

  29. Jim Weber said:

    "The Supreme Court stated, in a 1930s decision, that the purpose of the Second Amendment was to prevent the fledgling Federal Government from disarming State Militias. Why would an individual's right to keep and bear arms affect State Militias you ask. Because in the early days of our country individuals supplied their own firearms and the State supplied only powder and shot when the militia was active."
    ---------------------------------------

    You are 100% correct, Jim.

    Our Founders were pretty good writers, who knew exactly how to express themselves.

    If our Founders meant for gun ownership to be an "absolute" right, unfettered by government control, then they would have said just that: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"........ and left it at that. Short and sweet. That would have been enough. Everyone would have known what they meant.

    Instead, they threw in that part about "a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state". There was no reason to add that clause.......unless they intended to establish some sort of connection between the militias and the right to keep and bear arms.

    However, our conservative U.S. Supreme Court recently reached a different conclusion, in the Heller (2008) and Mcdonald (2010) decisions. Bowing to political pressure from the NRA and other gun advocacy groups, they held that these two clauses (regarding militias and the right to keep and bear arms) ARE SEPARABLE. That one has nothing to do with the other. That we have an INDIVIDUAL RIGHT to keep and bear arms. But then they contradicted themselves in those very same cases when they said this Right is NOT UNLIMITED, and can be subject to government regulation. Very confusing and inconsistent decisions.

    In their interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, the Court erred because they violated the basic rules of statutory interpretation. Here is what the U.S. Supreme Court had to say about "statutory interpretation" in another case:

    """"In interpreting a statute a court should always turn to one cardinal canon before all others. . . .[C]ourts must presume that a legislature says in a statute what it means and means in a statute what it says there." Connecticut Nat'l Bank v. Germain, 112 S. Ct. 1146, 1149 (1992). Indeed, "when the words of a statute are unambiguous, then, this first canon is also the last: 'judicial inquiry is complete.'" 503 U.S. 249, 254."""
    --------------------------------

    Let me repeat what the Court said above. "When the words of a statute are unambiguous, then judicial inquiry is complete".

    So, my only remaining question is: Where is the ambiguity in the words of the 2nd Amendment ? Because, taking it as a whole, I can discern no ambiguity in the words. They are direct and clear. This dispute over the meaning of the 2nd Amendment is nothing more than a "contrived ambiguity".

  30. @ SunJon.."When the Constitution was written, there were no bullets; only lead balls, sacks of gunpowder and wadding. It took almost 45 seconds to reload and when the shooter pulled the trigger, he had to close his eyes as a safeguard against sparks."

    When the Constitution was written there was no internet, but yet you are still free to log on and spout this tired argument until your hearts content. This argument is insulting to our founding fathers. They were aware that for much of human history our only weapons were rocks and sticks and yet we invented better tools. They were smart enough to understand that the future would see advancements so they create a living document that can be changed. The entire 2nd Amendment can be repealed if the citizenry saw fit to do so.

    And, finally please quote the section of the Constitution that "prohibits all weapons and ammunition intended for use against the Government."

  31. "Does anyone wish to argue that Lanza's exercise of his "second amendment rights" somehow established justice?"

    renorobert -- good post overall, well-reasoned. On this bit I submit you misunderstand the Amendment's purpose as explained by the U.S. Supremes twice since 2008. Self-defense is the main freedom it protects and preserves. Lanza and those like him were clearly acting offensively and clearly the kind of predator our criminal laws protect us against. I close here with a reminder the Second Amendment is largely irrelevant to this Discussion. See why @ http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Const/NVConst...

    "But then they contradicted themselves in those very same cases when they said this Right is NOT UNLIMITED, and can be subject to government regulation. Very confusing and inconsistent decisions."

    Marty_S -- nice to see someone else actually looking at Heller and McDonald! I disagree with reservation about them being "confusing and inconsistent" -- the court deferred criminal regulation and concealed carry to where it belongs, to the states. The reservation is there's plenty of wiggle room in both decisions -- the court's opinions alone in Heller is 64 pages, McDonald is 45. Add in the syllabi, dissents, etc., that's hundreds of pages for fodder to any on-topic debate.

    bghs1986 -- good comeback on SunJon. He used to make sense here. Wonder what happened to change him into what he is now.

    "Every citizen has the right to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes." -- from the Nevada Constitution, Article 1, Section 1

  32. Ml, M16, 38 revolver...used on the job. Silver-haired little old lady, ya think? Home invaders, move it on down the road. Registered or unregistered, guns are here to stay. Of the 100 million plus guns in the country, how many are assault rifles plus those easily converted? Mexico doesn't want us exporting more assault rifles to them....but isn't most of that from AG Holder and friends, not private citizens? We need a MEANS to report with assurance of followup when a rational adult suspects or questions the short-term immediate stability of someone. We can't get into long-term stability or people who just think differently--must be showing unusual erratic behavior. Now we have the police who MIGHT follow up if behavior has already been criminally violent. Even Child Protective Services is understaffed to deal with harassment of foster kids. K-12 teachers pretty much ignore bullies. Not conducive to precluding violent frustration in people, mentally ill people and people with unusual stress--say from job loss, break ups, lack of acceptance.

  33. So...we need guns to prevent tyranny but every time some paranoid nut protects himself from government you end up with the nut dead and also police officers and federal agents. Voting and accepting a peaceful transfer of power works with much less tragedy. How many people have died in Egypt versus Syria?

  34. Excellent discussion. Based on some of the comments that came after mine, it's pretty clear that, no matter what happens, we are not going to take everyones' guns away. However, it's also clear that the 2nd Amendment is not a bar to government regulation of firearms. The only issue is "which types of firearms" and "how much regulation".

    Like I said in my previous comment (when I discussed "statutory interpretation"), all of this supposed "confusion" over what the 2nd Amendment means is nothing more than a "contrived ambiguity". It's only "ambiguous" to gun advocates, who refuse to accept the "plain meaning" of the words and clauses in the 2nd Amendment. They regularly cite the 2nd Amendment, but always leave out the part about the "well regulated militia". Why ? Because it defeats their argument about gun rights being "absolute".

    As the U.S. Supreme Court said in that 1992 case I cited above, "In interpreting a statute a court should always turn to one cardinal canon before all others. . . .[C]ourts must presume that a legislature says in a statute what it means and means in a statute what it says there."
    Indeed, "when the words of a statute are unambiguous, then, this first canon is also the last: 'judicial inquiry is complete.'"
    ----------------------------------------

    To that, I would add there is nothing "ambiguous" about the 2nd Amendment. It is only ambiguous for those who wish to distort it.

    Did our Founders "mean what they said, and say what they meant", when they wrote the 2nd Amendment ? I would say that they did. They were pretty good writers, after all.

  35. It is a wonderful discussion. BUT...in the final analysis, at least as far as President Obama and gun control are concerned, the Constitution is irrelevant. The President's intention as Biden disclosed this past week is to regulate guns by Executive Order and completely override the States authority and Congressional legislation.

    Biden has to provide the gun control proposals this Tuesday. Dems have avoided the matter for 30 years and President Clinton said his anti-gun stances probably cost him the House in 1993. This is an issue, gun owners' rights, that has bipartisan support in Congress. I opine that the Obama Admin shelved their gun control list in the first term. [Do you recall a single word let alone discussion about it during the presidential debates? No.]

    Now the President believes it is the right time to dust it off and put back on the table. With of all the persons to do so, VP Joe Biden. Good national exposure for the likely Dem presidential nominee in 2016.

    CarmineD

  36. The President is very limited in terms of what he can do to regulate guns by Executive Order.

    There are certain things he can do without action by Congress, such as issue orders to improve background checks on gun buyers, ban certain gun imports and bolster oversight of dealers, improve information sharing among law enforcement authorities about illegal gun purchases, and maintain data on gun sales for longer periods. None of these executive orders would be "unconstitutional".

    President Obama DOES NOT HAVE the constitutional authority to "prohibit" ownership or sale of military style assault weapons, or high capacity ammunition clips. That would require action by Congress.

  37. "It's only "ambiguous" to gun advocates, who refuse to accept the "plain meaning" of the words and clauses in the 2nd Amendment."

    Marty_S -- not just the "gun advocates." Your posted idea of "plain meaning" took a total of 371 pages with all the dissenting opinions, etc., between Heller and McDonald. As someone once said, if you think talk is cheap hire a lawyer.

    "Makes you feel ashamed to live in a land where justice is a game." -- Bob Dylan "Hurricane"

  38. "President Obama DOES NOT HAVE the constitutional authority to "prohibit" ownership or sale of military style assault weapons, or high capacity ammunition clips. That would require action by Congress." @ Marty Sparks

    Did President Obama have the right to eliminate the welfare to work requirement of the law by Executive Order?

    CarmineD

  39. "Carmine.......

    AGAIN, NOBODY BUT NOBODY NEEDS AN ASSAULT RIFLE." @ Teamster

    I agree. If I were the President, I'd use Executive Order to reinstate the ban on assault rifles that expired in 2004 and ask Congress to "tweak" the law to make it so. :-)

    CarmineD

  40. In deference to all those here who will argue, correctly, that the assault weapons ban did little if anything to stop murders [probably the reason in part it expired with no action], I agree with you. But it is the mood of the people to consider and the feel good sense of DC having done something.

    CarmineD

  41. Marty Stark(From Jan 12, 132 956am): You ask "Why would an individual's right to keep and bear arms affect State Militias you ask."

    Please go back and re-read Miller vs US. Particularly the part about how the court looked at the historical meaning of the word "militia" as being "...all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense...." Contrary to popular opinion, the "Militia" is NOT the same as the National Guard, nor did the Guard "replace" the constitutional militia.

  42. RenoRobert,

    "Why would an individual's right to keep and bear arms affect State Militias you ask."

    Actually, it was Jim Weber (PISCES41) who asked the above question above (not me). See PISCES41 at 01/11/2013 4:58 AM for his full comment, as well as his answer to that question. I just incorporated his statement into my comment, and expanded upon it.

    Jim Weber answered his own question with the following statement: "Because in the early days of our country individuals supplied their own firearms and the State supplied only powder and shot when the militia was active".

    Jim's answer is fully supported by the following excerpt taken verbatim from U.S. v. Miller (Pages 307 U.S 178 and 179) Here is what it says:

    """The Constitution, as originally adopted, granted to the Congress power --""""

    """To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.""""

    """"With obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of such forces, the declaration and guarantee of the Second Amendment were made. It must be interpreted and applied with that end in view.""""

    """"The Militia which the States were expected to maintain and train is set in contrast with Troops which they were forbidden to keep without the consent of Congress. The sentiment of the time strongly disfavored standing armies; the common view was that adequate defense of country and laws could be secured through the Militia -- civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion.""""

    """"The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. "A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline." And further, that ordinarily, when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time."""""
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    Clearly, based on the above, the purpose and function of the state militias has been replaced by our state national guard units. The primary purpose, for which the 2nd Amendment was created, no longer exists.

    This DOES NOT MEAN that the government can arbitrarily take everyone's weapons away. It DOES MEAN that the right to keep and bear arms CAN BE "INFRINGED", when necessary, to protect the "general welfare" of the American people (See Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution)