Supreme Court Extends Second Amendment to the States

In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court has effectively struck down Chicago’s gun law and extended its earlier ruling on the Second Amendment to all states as a fundamental right. It is the decision that some of us anticipated as consistent with past rulings on fundamental rights. The impact will be considerable as all states will now have to respect the individual right of gun ownership under the Second Amendment.

Justice Sam Alito wrote the majority opinion. I discussed the case in a column in Roll Call that addressed a little discussed aspect of the controversy involving The Slaughter House Cases. Some of us wanted the conservatives to overturn or at least expand the narrow ruling of The Slaughter House cases. As noted in this column, I viewed it as the intellectually honest thing to do — rather than selectively incorporate gun rights. The Court should have adopted a broader notion of the Privileges or Immunities Clause. We were disappointed again:

We see no need to reconsider that interpretation here. For many decades, the question of the rights protected by the Fourteenth Amendment against state infringement has been analyzed under the Due Process Clause of that Amendment and not under the Privileges or Immunities Clause. We therefore decline to disturb the Slaughter House holding.

The opinion is somewhat fractured. Alito is joined by three Justices in finding the Second Amendment right of gun ownership is incorporated through the Due Process Clause. Justice Clarence Thomas agrees the Amendment is incorporated, but not under Due Process. This may be a slight disappointment. When Warren forged rulings like Brown and Miranda, he struggled to guarantee a solid if not unanimous voice of the Court. This is a landmark conservative ruling, but lacks that solidity in rationale.

The opinion itself directly deals with the prohibition on firearms in the home. That leaves room for future cases to explore other restrictions such as possession of guns on the street or particularly locales. There are no true absolute rights in the Bill of Rights. Even speech and religion can be limited under some circumstances. The same will be true for gun rights.

Alito points out (correctly) that the majority was not subtle in the earlier Heller decision in how the right to bear arms was viewed as fundamental, even if it did not directly rule on that question:

Our decision in Heller points unmistakably to the an-
swer. Self-defense is a basic right, recognized by many
legal systems from ancient times to the present day,15 and
in Heller, we held that individual self-defense is “the
central component” of the Second Amendment right. 554
U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 26); see also id., at ___ (slip op., at 56) (stating that the “inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right”). Explaining that “the need for defense of self, family, and property is most acute” in the home, ibid., we found that this right applies to handguns because they are “the most preferred firearm in the nation to ‘keep’ and use for protection of one’s home and family,” id., at ___ (slip op., at 57) (some internal quotation marks omitted); see also id., at ___ (slip op., at 56) (noting that handguns are “overwhelmingly chosen by American society for [the] lawful purpose” of self-defense); id., at ___ (slip op., at 57) (“[T]he American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon”). Thus, we concluded, citizens must be permitted “to use [handguns] for the core lawful purpose of self-defense.” Id., at ___ (slip op., at 58).

Notably, the Court does not expressly strike down the Chicago law and instead leaves that to the later decisions from the lower courts. Indeed, Alito gives little guidance to lower courts which are left to grapple with the decision.

Here is the opinion: 08-1521

One fascinating aspect of this case is the victory of so-called Brandeis briefs — briefs from amicus with data and statistics designed to push the Court to a particular result. The first two footnotes in the opinion rely on statistics from amicus briefs as opposed to the trial or appellate record. While these briefs have argument and not just statistics, the Court continues to rely on such briefs. I have been a longtime critic of Brandeis briefs.

It will be interesting (and likely) to see the decision raised today in the Kagan hearings. Kagan previously stated that she is not sympathetic with gun rights claims. She may be asked if she would view this matter closed under principles of stare decisis now that a decision has been rendered. Notably, since Justice Stevens wrote one of the dissents, Kagan would not have changed the result.

This is a developing blog entry.

87 thoughts on “Supreme Court Extends Second Amendment to the States

  1. Ugh. Would it have killed them to have articulated a standard of review for gun regs? They did no favors by (again) declining to do so.

  2. What Language Experts Say

    This analysis is seconded by two professional grammarians and usage experts. In 1991, author J. Neil Schulman submitted the text of the Second Amendment to A. C. Brocki, editorial coordinator of the Office of Instruction of the Los Angeles Unified School District and a former senior editor for Houghton Mifflin, and Roy Copperud, now deceased, the author of several well-regarded usage books and a member of the American Heritage Dictionary usage panel. Brocki and Copperud told Schulman that the right recognized in the amendment is unconditional and unrestricted as to who possesses it.

    Asked if the amendment could be interpreted to mean that only the militia had the right, Brocki replied, “No, I can’t see that.” According to Copperud, “The sentence does not restrict the right to keep and bear arms, nor does it state or imply possession of the right elsewhere or by others than the people.” As to the relation of the militia to the people, Schulman paraphrased Brocki as saying, “The sentence means that the people are the militia, and that the people have the right which is mentioned.” On this point, Copperud, who was sympathetic to gun control, nevertheless said, “The right to keep and bear arms is asserted as essential for maintaining the militia.”

    http://www.thefreemanonline.org/featured/reading-the-second-amendment/#

  3. Jason,

    Now you’re just ranting like a child or more accurately like PK.

    You got your head handed to you on a plate because your argument was crap.

    Deal with it, candy ass.

  4. I should have known that marksmant, or one of his or her kinfolk, would be along at any minute. I’ll keep your point in mind the next time I feel threatened by any roving bands of inner city negroes. I’m now looking forward to the arguments in support of “preemptive” strikes against inner city negroes. After all, the best defense is a good offense and it would have the added bonus of purging the voting rolls.

  5. When will the cowardly P.C. crowd finally admit that we need to control the inner city negros who kill with impunity and NOT the guns who defend us aginst them?
    These cold, hard, indisputable facts, cannot be denied.
    From the FBI:
    Black males age 14 – 35, commit 56.6% of all violent crime in America, while they comprise less than 3.5% of the population, and contribute less than 1/10 of 1% to the gross national product.

  6. When the cowardly P.C. crowd finally that we need to control the inner city negros who kill with impunity and NOT the guns who defend us aginst them?
    These cold, hard, indisputable facts, cannot be denied.
    From the FBI:
    Black males age 14 – 35, commit 56.6% of all violent crime in America, while they comprise less than 3.5% of the population, and contribute less than 1/10 of 1% to the gross national product.

  7. Politico is reporting today that Democrats are actually happy about the decision because it takes gun control away from the Republicans as an issue in the next election, much as Reagan’s “winning” the Cold War eroded Republican justification for spending trillions on defense.

  8. The Supreme Court’s decision in this case was no more surprising than night following day. Frankly, the Court had no choice given its prior determination that the right to keep and bear arms is (a.) personal and (b.) fundamental.

    That being said, I still believe that the Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment is simply wrong. I know what a participial phrase is. I know what a collective noun is. I know how to read the English language. And I understand the historical need for militias. My view is that the Court’s Second Amendment decisions rely upon political philosophy rather than legal reasoning. Unfortunately, my views are in the minority.

    Aside from what I believe to be faulty grammatical analysis, my concern is with the ramifications of these decisions. Since the NRA is on a mission to increase its membership, we can expect law suits challenging every village ordinance on the books. May any restrictions be lawfully imposed? May we lawfully restrict ownership to certain classes of weapons? The litigation will be endless.

    I have no particular problems with guns. I’ve hunted and fished. I’m a meat eater. But while I recognize a right to free speech in the schizophrenic standing on the corner and berating all those who pass by, I do have a problem with guns in the possession of schizophrenics or those (including, it would appear, a couple of posters on this site) who are prepared to blow away whoever disagrees with their views on life, politics, legal rights, the coming of Armageddon or the color composition of rainbows.

  9. PK is a good example of the principle that you cannot parody a whack job. The guy is so far out there he makes me think he’s a liberal trying to make gun nuts look…like nuts.

    Arguably, Madison agreed to include the Second Amendment to placate southerners who worried about the Federal Government ending slavery by disarming the Virginia and South Carolina militias so they could not put down slave revolts. In any event, Madison thought that the states would form the bulwark against an oppressive Federal Government, not individual gun owners.

  10. Buddha Is Laughing-
    “As to payment? Results vary based on disposable income but that doesn’t invalidate ability to acquire, only resources required to acquire.”

    So all you poor people who can’t get good health care or afford to send your kid to college, your “ability to acquire” is just as good as anyone else, it’s just your “resources required to acquire” that is off a bit.

    “Crime rates are falling, eh? Yet another assertion without proof and a simplification based on selective reading.”

    The sources are widely available and you know it. You know that homicides fell by nearly half during the 90s and have roughly held steady since then. Anyone who wants to check can look at the Uniform Crime Reports that you have mentioned

    And then you go on not to deny that crime has gone down, but to ask why it’s gone down in some places and up in others. This has nothing to do with anything I’ve said.

    “Speaking of data, “It is not unfounded or mere supposition. I will however concede the point for now, not because I can’t produce the data, but because the data is older than I’d like.” Really? 1-2 year old statistical data of a complex nature to compile and report upon is too old for you?”

    No jackass, because the data I was going to supply is older than that. I’m not going to argue my point about current facts with 20 year old information. I made a mistake; I thought the data I was referring to was more recent.

    “And if you can’t produce data? Your assertions are simply unfounded and supposition.”

    Which is why I CONCEDED THE GODDAMNED POINT. Good god.

    “What you “know” and what you can prove are not the same thing, hence my proffer of proof and your absence of proof.”

    No, you dance around facts when they don’t suit you. You know that by any rational accounting, crime, both violent and otherwise has gone down in the last twenty years. In the case of homicides, from 9.8 per 100,000 to 5.5 per 100,000 between 1991 and 2000, and the number has held steady since. But that doesn’t count for Buddha Is Laughing, because the rate hasn’t dropped uniformly in every conceivable location.

    “If you could prove your assertion with data, you would, but you can’t, so you mock concede based on a ridiculous excuse.”

    It wasn’t a mock and it wasn’t a ridiculous reason. I shouldn’t have made an assertion without being sure that I had recent data to back it up.

    “Again, you offer opinion, not evidence, based on your preference in weapon. This is a logical error called the selection bias (avoidance and confirmation biases specifically).”

    And again, you structure the argument to disagree with things I didn’t say. The comparison was not between a .38 and a .223. It was between lighter “Buddhaed” loads and normal loads.

    “Guns with high capacity magazines have been the norm for decades. Where’s the evidence that this is a problem?” The Hollywood gunmen were caught with barrel magazines so again you’ve provided counter-evidence against your assertion.

    I expect that when I say something is a problem in the context of a national issue, it would be interpreted as being in a measurable sense, not in the, “Can I possibly find a single instance somewhere in the U.S. of this.” Again, crime has gone down while the popularity of high capacity magazines has been just dandy. You are in fear of something that should have already happened.

    “Again with the selective reading and comprehension.”

    This is the definition of “rich”.

    “As to fear, you’re the one living in fear that you don’t have adequate protection without fully automatic weapons.”

    Never said it, never implied it, don’t believe it. You are projecting.

    “I’ll say it again slowly so there will be no misunderstanding: I disdain machine guns, not fear them. You’re exhibiting projection in the psychological sense.”

    Hilarious. Stand by, because here comes the part where BIL boards the crazy train.

    “I stand by that statement and it came from my analysis of your statements, not Jericho’s. You are driven by fear and the resulting paranoia as evidenced by your statement.”

    Which one?! I never said what Jericho claimed! The first mention of guns as bulwark against tyranny from me or anyone talking to me was by Jericho! I never said a word, and only a madman could dredge that up from what I had already posted. Holy crap.

    “Your opinion implying that I’m delusional because you think Jericho is delusional and I’m somehow relying upon his statements (when no evidence points to that assertion) is also again merely your opinion and not proof.”

    YOU QUOTED HIM. And he was the only one who said that about me. He painted the image of the fight against the government and then said, “You must be kidding.. right?” The “you” in that sentence is me. And since I didn’t make the government tyranny argument, he’s delusional. You then said, “It’s statements like this,” and then quoted Jericho, not me! And you now say there’s no evidence that you relied on Jericho. You’ve got a full blown fantasy world going.

    “It’s all about the proof. You have lots of opinions, but offer no proof. There is a word for people who argue like that in court (and elsewhere in adversarial or dialectic processes): loser. To be clear, I’m not calling you personally a loser (you seem to have your shit together far more than someone like PK), but you have certainly lost this argument and will continue to do so absent proof of your assertions. Fewer formal logical fallacies wouldn’t hurt your arguments either.”

    If I have “lost” this argument to anyone here, the quality of my arguments was never in play.

  11. More up-to-date information:

    “Chicago’s murder rate was nearly three times higher than New York City’s last year, according to The Chicago Reporter’s analysis of preliminary 2009 crime statistics, released late last month by the FBI. The rate of violent crime in Chicago was almost double the rates for both New York City and Los Angeles, according to the Reporter’s analysis.

    On May 24, 2010, the FBI released its preliminary annual uniform crime report for 2009. The report includes preliminary crime figures for more than 270 cities with a population of 100,000 or more. The Reporter analyzed the murder and violent crime statistics for those cities. Murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault and aggravated battery are considered violent crimes.”

    http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-muckrakers/2010/06/chicago-is-three-times-as-deadly-as-nyc-and-twice-as-violent-as-la.html

  12. Jason,

    There is a difference between rational and rationale.

    “And that you were able to do it is proof that anyone can? That all people have access to such shops and can afford to do so?” Proof of access certainly. As to payment? Results vary based on disposable income but that doesn’t invalidate ability to acquire, only resources required to acquire.

    Crime rates are falling, eh? Yet another assertion without proof and a simplification based on selective reading. “Take, for instance, the overall drop in homicides. Nationally, the decline was 2.7 percent, but most of that decrease came from major cities like New York (down 20 percent, to 496 homicides) and Los Angeles (down 19 percent, to 380 homicides). Among cities with populations over 1 million, murder rates dropped 9.8 percent. That is a stark contrast to medium-size cities. Those with populations of 100,000 to 249,999 saw a 1.9 percent rise in murder rates. For cities with 50,000 to 99,999 residents, the increase was even greater: 3.7 percent.

    What precisely explains why big cities are doing so much better isn’t entirely clear. Criminologists point to several factors. For instance, major cities have more sophisticated policing methods and more resources to respond to any fluctuations in crime rates. Regardless, the drop in big-city murder rates has a strong influence on the overall average. “A big piece of what is going on by region is very much driven by what’s going on in the big cities,” says Alfred Blumstein, a criminologist at Carnegie Mellon University.

    Size wasn’t the only factor. Northeastern cities represented the lion’s share of the violent crime decline, with an overall drop of 5.4 percent. In addition to New York, cities like Boston and Philadelphia saw downturns in their murder rates. Yet others did not budge. For instance, Newark, N.J., reported 105 homicides in 2006 and 2007.

    On average, violent crime in the South went up 0.7 percent, concentrated in large metropolitan areas like New Orleans (where homicides increased 29 percent, to 209) and Atlanta (where homicides went up 17 percent, to 129). In these instances, local factors played a key role. New Orleans is still trying to get a handle on the crime increase that followed Hurricane Katrina. In Atlanta, Deputy Police Chief Peter Andresen pointed to several factors leading to last year’s increase, particularly heavy gang activity and an overhaul of narcotics units. He noted that, despite the increase in homicides, other violent crime, like aggravated assault, declined 2 percent.

    This divergence is so widespread that, according to a recent survey by the Police Executive Research Forum, the number of cities reporting an increase in homicides was almost the same as the number reporting a decline.” http://politics.usnews.com/news/national/articles/2008/06/11/crime-rates-shown-to-be-falling.html. In context, the data shows little more than expected statistical deviation.

    Speaking of data, “It is not unfounded or mere supposition. I will however concede the point for now, not because I can’t produce the data, but because the data is older than I’d like.” Really? 1-2 year old statistical data of a complex nature to compile and report upon is too old for you? The FBI has 2008 data and preliminary 2009 data posted on-line. That makes your statement simply funny like ignorance is funny. It’s as if you expect psychic reporting of instant data which shows a complete lack of understanding of logistical projects and reporting. And if you can’t produce data? Your assertions are simply unfounded and supposition. What you “know” and what you can prove are not the same thing, hence my proffer of proof and your absence of proof. If you could prove your assertion with data, you would, but you can’t, so you mock concede based on a ridiculous excuse. Please. “I could but I won’t”. That’s amateur night for argument. It’s rationale for “I can’t” or “I could but I won’t because the data disagrees with my outcome determinism (also a logical error).”

    Proof is also different from opinion. “But hollowpoints and light grain load in a pistol are no more dangerous a load than your AR-15.” to which you reply, “But again, their effectiveness will suffer.” Shot with a .38 hollowpoint or shot with a 5.56mm from an AR-15? You’re not likely to get up from either injury and certainly less likely from a second injury. Again, you offer opinion, not evidence, based on your preference in weapon. This is a logical error called the selection bias (avoidance and confirmation biases specifically).

    “Guns with high capacity magazines have been the norm for decades. Where’s the evidence that this is a problem?” The Hollywood gunmen were caught with barrel magazines so again you’ve provided counter-evidence against your assertion. Learn the difference between “some” and “all” too. I stipulated “some”. Again with the selective reading and comprehension.

    As to fear, you’re the one living in fear that you don’t have adequate protection without fully automatic weapons. I’ll say it again slowly so there will be no misunderstanding: I disdain machine guns, not fear them. You’re exhibiting projection in the psychological sense.

    Speaking of which: “Well Jason, it’s statements like this “The notion that individual gun ownership is some kind of bulwark against totalitarianism is pretty insane. You can’t fight against the modern industrial state with any weapon an individual can own” that reveal exactly how paranoid you are and that you don’t use the best weapon against totalitarianism: a brain.” I stand by that statement and it came from my analysis of your statements, not Jericho’s. You are driven by fear and the resulting paranoia as evidenced by your statement. Your opinion implying that I’m delusional because you think Jericho is delusional and I’m somehow relying upon his statements (when no evidence points to that assertion) is also again merely your opinion and not proof.

    It’s all about the proof. You have lots of opinions, but offer no proof. There is a word for people who argue like that in court (and elsewhere in adversarial or dialectic processes): loser. To be clear, I’m not calling you personally a loser (you seem to have your shit together far more than someone like PK), but you have certainly lost this argument and will continue to do so absent proof of your assertions. Fewer formal logical fallacies wouldn’t hurt your arguments either.

  13. Buddha Is Laughing-

    “That’s a logical error called the fallacy of division. What is true for the part is not true for the whole. Those who cannot make custom loads can go to a good gun shop and get loads made to spec. I’ve done it myself.”

    And that you were able to do it is proof that anyone can? That all people have access to such shops and can afford to do so?

    “As to safety rounds, you apparently define self-defense as killing.”

    Nope, never said it, never implied it.

    “Coming from a martial arts background, my goal is always to end a confrontation with the minimal damage possible.”

    Mine is to prevent the confrontation, run from the confrontation, do anything possible to stop the confrontation. If that means poking him in the eyes Three Stooges style, great. If it means shooting, then I’ll do what I have to do. I am not looking to kill, but to stop the attack — but of course I am aware that that may mean killing. If there were such a weapon as a Star Trek phaser with a stun setting, I’d much prefer that over a gun. Tazers and stun guns aren’t close to that unfortunately.

    “But hollowpoints and light grain load in a pistol are no more dangerous a load than your AR-15.”

    But again, their effectiveness will suffer.

    “I also know perfectly well what suppressive fire is too, sport. I know you don’t have to have a fully automatic weapon to do it either.”

    Never said you did. I did say that the primary purpose of automatic fire in modern warfare is for suppressive fire.

    “That episode created the trend of using your apparent gun of choice, the AR-15,”

    Not yet. Too expensive.

    “So instead of limiting access, flood the market. Oh yeah, that makes sense. Like no criminal has ever stolen or modified a gun. What will happen now? Criminals will seek better armaments, ammo and armor. It’s the nature of escalation.”

    And for all of that, after twenty years or more of wide access to such gear, crime has gone down down down. Why are you in fear of something that clearly isn’t happening (in any measurable sense)?

    “As to your assertion that “So called assault weapons are used in a very very tiny percentage of gun crime for the same reason all long guns make up a small percentage – they are harder to conceal and acquire” is unfounded and mere supposition and opinion as even the FBI doesn’t breakdown their crime statistics by assault rifle, but merely by handguns, rifles, shotguns, and firearms type unknown (in addition to other knives/cutting weapons and manual attacks).”

    It is not unfounded or mere supposition. I will however concede the point for now, not because I can’t produce the data, but because the data is older than I’d like.

    “My issue is any weapon capable of being modified to full auto, from machine pistols to assault rifles. Guns make killing easy enough, but overkill is overkill.”

    ANY semi-automatic gun can be half-assed converted to fully automatic. There’s all sorts of ways to jury-rig a gun for ammo-wasting good times. Yet after decades of these weapons being available, machine gun crime doesn’t seem to be the scourge you fear.

    “I’m not saying you shouldn’t be able to target shoot with reasonable or even very powerful guns, only that certain types of weapons are not appropriate for anyone not on a battlefield because of their ROF potential.”

    Obviously we will have to agree to disagree on this. There’s just no evidence of this being a problem, and if it was, we would have heard about it by now. The AR has exploded in popularity nationally. And crime over the long term keeps going down.

    “I’m also against most (not all) extended magazines for the same reason – overkill. The danger they represent to the general public in the wrong hands (like PK) simply outweighs their utility as self-defense/entertainment when other alternatives exist.”

    Guns with high capacity magazines have been the norm for decades. Where’s the evidence that this is a problem?

    “But foremost and above all I believe in this principle: the best way not to get in trouble is not to be there when it starts.”

    I’m with you there.

    Jericho-
    “considering the amount of guns in the world, and considering the steady decline to totalitarianism in so many places (including US) where guns thrive too, it is my contention that the 2nd amendment isn’t helping jack sh!t as a bulwark against tyranny.

    You must be kidding.. right?

    Try a people capable of critical thinking…, which, ofcourse, we don’t have…”

    Your critical thinking allowed you to go at me for something I didn’t say. Great job. Which leads us back to:

    Buddha Is Laughing-
    “Well Jason, it’s statements like this “The notion that individual gun ownership is some kind of bulwark against totalitarianism is pretty insane. You can’t fight against the modern industrial state with any weapon an individual can own” that reveal exactly how paranoid you are and that you don’t use the best weapon against totalitarianism: a brain.”

    And you just used Jericho’s delusion about what I said instead of actually reading what I said so that you’d see that I didn’t say it. Brilliant.

  14. W=c,

    I think I’ve hunted with you before. 😉 I’m kinda with you though. Never enjoyed deer hunting (although I do enjoy venison) as I found it really pretty boring. If I wanted to go out into the woods and sit in a tree for hours, I can do that just as easily in the back yard. Bird hunting (quail especially) I don’t mind, but never duck hunting – that’s just too early for me to get up when I can go to the butcher and buy one. But if I kill it, I eat it. It’s the only ethical thing to do. No trophies in my house.

    All in all, I’d rather go fishing.

    Bob,

    You nailed it in one shot.

  15. Well Jason, it’s statements like this “The notion that individual gun ownership is some kind of bulwark against totalitarianism is pretty insane. You can’t fight against the modern industrial state with any weapon an individual can own” that reveal exactly how paranoid you are and that you don’t use the best weapon against totalitarianism: a brain.

    So it appears we are much further apart and you and PK are much closer together.

  16. Buddha: No matter how accurate, fully automatic weapons compensate for poor marksmanship by quantity of bullets fired.

    Michael: I’ll tell ya one thing, if I find out my life had to end up being in the mountains, it’d be all right, but it has to be in your mind.

    Nick: What? One shot?

    Michael: Two is pussy.

  17. man there’s a boatload of fear and penisizing on this blog!

    “Unless, of course, the deer you’re hunting are armed with .50 cal. Ooooo. Scary. ”

    I went pheasant hunting many moons ago…first time hunting, w/a shotgun given to me by my then fiance. I was so amazed when I heard/saw/felt that first flutterflush of wings and POW! …gottem. [I had been on the cusp of vegetarianism when I decided i had no right eating anything that I wasn’t able to kill myself you see. I love my veggies but not exclusively….] I had then to decide in an instant whether I should cry or feel victorious, later learning that it is impossible to separate those emotions…and that the choice between the 2 was the illusion. Everyone who ate the pheasant said it was delicious but I had used the wrong sized shot so there was much carefullness and picking of pellets from the teeth at the dinner table….

    The next time we went hunting was for deer….I made much noise 😉 and after that was pretty unwelcome on the manly hunt scene (except for the Turkey debacle which was a whoooooooole nother story….)but we had breakfast out in some pretty nifty woodland diners in the beautiful mountains and off the road places which was way wonderful and cool in the fall and we didn’t miss the deer meat.

  18. I find it funny that the law and order types (especially those who profit handsomely from it monetarily) will often quip “if you don’t do any thing wrong or illegal you won’t have anything to worry about (like getting arrested or being spied upon and so forth).

    Oh, and never mind that just by getting up in the morning you have probably violated several laws if not committed some felony.

    But when the shoe is on the other foot and it is government that begins to worry about the people, how is it the same theory does not apply to them? What do they have to worry about if they are not doing anything wrong?

    Suddenly that theory is tossed out the window and the citizens should be disarmed.

    Government ought to have respect for the public and it is clear they do not and THAT is what has led to their abuse of the citizens. That abuse is now what is now fuels the discontent among the public and is causing the fear by officials.

    They now worry that the public will turn on them. Well, had the government behaved, it wouldn’t be worrying, would it? Or so the principle goes.

    People have a right to defend themselves. From evil doers in and out of government.

    This is the tradition of western law, western civilization, the Magna Carta, Lex Rex, Thomas Jefferson, our founders, and our framers.

    The slaughter of 100 million plus unarmed civilians last century PROVED that this tradition was and is correct.

    If you are a government official, whether local, state, or federal, and you are worried about an armed citizenry, then I suggest you lead the way in insisting government officials be held to the difficult standards they force on civilians.

    And I suggest that you lead the charge to uphold the Constitution and support only candidates who do (and by that I mean ones you can prove uphold it). It was never clear that Obama upheld the Constitution and now we see he doesn’t. Shame on you if you were a government official who voted for him.(or John McCain).

    I suggest you join up with liberty promoting organizations instead of fascist ones like the democrat or republican parties. Anything Ron Paul belongs to will do.

    If you are for the people and for protecting their freedoms and liberties, you will have nothing to fear. The people will love you. If you are for stealing their wealth and liberty. You ought to worry. Justice demands it.

    By making the people your enemy, you make yourselves the enemy.

    Snap out of it.

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