Current Events: U.S./Guns
I have asked you a few questions in the past and I respect your conservative opinions.
I enjoy following current events, especially in the U.S. (I am Canadian).
I dont understand the American love for guns. After the massacre of those innocent children, I assumed that some type of restrictions would be approved. Now it looks like it wont happen-in fact sales of automatic weapons are up?!
I am a hunter, and I have a permit for a handgun. I think most folks in Canada, Australia, other 'sister' countries to America are satisfied with that.
I cannnot understand why the possesion of weapons that have no use except for the military is so important to Americans.
I have traveled a bit down there as a trucker, and in most places the crime rate is as low or lower than here. The idea of a government takeover is as ludicous as the Russians invading.
Please give me some idea what drives so many people to need to own guns that have no purpose except to kill other people.
God Bless, thanks for your time, and I hope you and yours are well. The winter has not been kind to us here!
>I cannnot understand why the possesion of weapons that have no use except for the military is so important to Americans.
>Please give me some idea what drives so many people to need to own guns that have no purpose except to kill other people.
Actually the commonly used at target match arms. With fragmenting bullets they very good for home defense and used hunting small game. No military on Earth uses a semiautomatic rifle chambered for .223 Remington. A typical deer rifle like 30-06 Springfield .308 Win or .303 British are far more powerful. What talking about are NOT automatic but semiautomatic rifles.
The fire 1 shot at a time.
>I have traveled a bit down there as a trucker, and in most places the crime rate is as low or lower than here. The idea of a government takeover is as ludicous as the Russians invading.
In 1933 there was serious attempt to use veterans army (American Legion) to march on Washington and install a fascist government. Its know as business plot. It included for former presidential candidate, the former Gov of New York and former chairman of Democratic Party.
The point of 2nd amendment is protect us from the government.
Here is part of my written testimony to the Connecticut General Assembly
and video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7j7qfNakLaI
Now on to the US Constitution and the Federalist Papers. Few American have read the US Constitution in whole. The schools failed educate
the general public on this. I went through k-12 in public schools and 2 years college at a state university never had been assigned to read it.
Here it is http://tinyurl.com/yqm97q
Its only 3 pages. Now when the Constitution was purposed it initially unexceptable. The Bill of Rights were added to give protection to the people from the government. While the debate about passage of the Constitution was going on John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison wrote a series of essays about the Constitution known as Federalist Papers. These amount to an owners manual for the US Constitution. Here they are to used as a reference. http://tinyurl.com/ycr5ud8
The Federalist Papers that apply to the the 2nd amendment are Federalist 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29 all written by Hamilton. The one directly with the militia is Federalist 29. http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fed_29.html
Madison addressed it in Federalist 46. http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa46.htm
They founders were crystal clear on what the militia is and why its needed. There were actually discussions about requiring everyone to own arms. Here a sampling of thoughts on this from 1787 to 1959 by founders, academics and statesman.
"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials." — George Mason, in Debates in Virginia Convention on Ratification of the Constitution, Elliot, Vol. 3, June 16, 1788
"What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty .... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins."
-- Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment, I Annals of Congress at 750, August 17, 1789
From a Connecticut Native
"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive."
--Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (Philadelphia 1787)
"The militia is the natural defense of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpation of power by rulers. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally ... enable the people to resist and triumph over them."
-- Joseph Story, Supreme Court Justice, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, p. 3:746-7, 1833
"The right [to bear arms] is general. It may be supposed from the phraseology of this provision that the right to keep and bear arms was only guaranteed to the militia; but this would be an interpretation not warranted by the intent. The militia, as has been explained elsewhere, consists of those persons who, under the laws, are liable to the performance of military duty, and are officered and enrolled for service when called upon.... [I]f the right were limited to those enrolled, the purpose of the guarantee might be defeated altogether by the action or the neglect to act of the government it was meant to hold in check. The meaning of the provision undoubtedly is, that the people, from whom the militia must be taken, shall have the right to keep and bear arms, and they need no permission or regulation of law for the purpose. But this enables the government to have a well regulated militia; for to bear arms implies something more than mere keeping; it implies the learning to handle and use them in a way that makes those who keep them ready for their efficient use; in other words, it implies the right to meet for voluntary discipline in arms, observing in so doing the laws of public order."
-- Thomas M. Cooley, General Principles of Constitutional Law, Third Edition 
"Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms ... The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard, against the tyranny which now appears remote in America but which historically has proven to be always possible."
-- Hubert H. Humphrey, Senator, Vice President, 22 October 1959
Now a brief history lesson. In the aftermath of the US Civil War, it became really apparent that the Union Army, who drew much of its man power from industrialized Northern cities; were at a huge disadvantage in the early days of the war. When compared with rural recruits from the South, the Confederate recruits were far more experienced with rifles. The Union Army lost battles even with superior force size and better equipment. Union veterans gathered in 1871 to formed a group to teach shooting skills to civilians and sanction match competition to encourage practice. They wanted to avoid the slaughter when the next war came about. Ulysses S. Grant was first president of this group. He was followed by Major General Philip Sheridan. This group is National Rifle Association.
Now we move ahead to the Spanish American war in 1898. When war was declared we mobilized the federal troops and state militias where called federal service. Basically all our military capacity was sent to Cuba and Philippines. In an after action review we realized that the US was vulnerable to invasion, in the homeland while Army and state militia was overseas. When troops returned many were sick malaria. This lead to Militia Act of 1903. This divided the militia in to 2 parts. The first part was organized militia, which formed the National Guard. The National Guard could be called to action by the state governors; however it could also be called to federal service by the US President. The second part was the unorganized militia. The unorganized militia can be call by only the Governors. It consists men 17 to 45 and not already in service. It also includes those those with prior military training up to age 65. Sec 313 Title 32 of the US Code. The Office of the Director of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM) was created by the U.S. Congress as part of the 1903 War Department Appropriations Act. The original purpose was to provide civilians an opportunity to learn and practice marksmanship skills so they would be skilled marksmen if later called on to serve in the U.S. military. On top of that, most civilian who could shoot, used to lever action rifles. They needed to be taught to operate a bolt action military rifle.
Article 1 - The Legislative Branch Section 8 - Powers of Congress.........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;
See the government *IS* required to train and arm the militia. As it always has it provided military arms to general population via sales of surplus arms. Millions of Springfield and Harpers Ferry Muskets, Springfield Rifled Muskets, Trap Door Springfields, .30-40 Krag, 1903 Springfields, 1917 Enfields, M1 Garands, M1 Carbines and even some M-14 have been sold to the people. These are not military type weapons, they are actual military arms.
The DCM partnered with the National Rifle Association to establish service rifle competition to train people how to operate military rifles. There are also pistol other events in the competition. These matches were carried out on the local and state level through NRA/DCM affiliated gun clubs. Then each year there are National Matches where members of the military and civilians compete against each other. They have been help at Camp Perry Ohio since 1907. In 1990’s DCM became Civilian Marksmanship Program.
It still organizes matches, sells rifles, parts and ammunition. http://www.odcmp.com/
Currently Service rifle matches *REQUIRE* you use either an M1 Garand, an M-14/or civilian M1A or an M-16/or civilian AR-15. This done for reason. It trains people to use military rifle and limits thing to 3 caliber's of rifles. 30-06, .308/7.62 Nato and .223 Remington/5.56 Nato that are commonly available. If you had to call up the unorganized militia it would be a logistical nightmare to try to resupply them if everyone showed up with a different caliber rifle, pistol or shotgun. Right now 4 rimfire rounds, 6 shotgun gauges, over 40 handgun caliber's and over 100 rifle caliber's that is currently in production.
In moving forward, the US Government Armories like Springfield Armory were closed in 1968. No M1 Garand rifles have been made since 1956. No new ammo has ordered since late 1970’s. At some point in foreseeable future the M1 Garand will be declared obsolete. That will leave you with only M-14/or civilian M1A or an M-16/or civilian AR-15 with the .308/7.62 Nato and .223 Remington/5.56 Nato chambering. Since we do not sell select fire M-14 main battle rifles or the select fire M-16 assault rifle to public, it leaves only the semiautomatic M1a and AR-15 type rifles available. Trying to ban them would harm our 3 tiered national defense structure. That would would be foolish. Those calling for gun bans do not know any of this information.
Now we know what the militia is, how we train it and what it uses what as weapons. Now lets look at the legal major case regarding firearms. You have United States v. Miller in 1939. The entire case is here if you wish to read it in context. http://tinyurl.com/7w5hnrn
(I am using Cornell law website) The question at hand in Miller was is a sawed off shotgun protected under the 2nd amendment. The court found that because a sawed off shotgun has sort effective range it has no real military application. Thus it’s not protected under the 2nd amendment. This established that the type of arms that are protected are military arms. This was basically a tax case. Can you prosecute someone for not buying a federal tax stamp on arm without military use? They also held that tax stamps had to be available for the weapons covered by The National Firearms Act of 1934. You see machine guns were never banned. That would have violation of 2nd Amendment. They required you to buy a $200 tax stamp and file a bunch of paper work with BATF. Initially they refused to make any tax stamps. Not making making stamps was held as unconstitutional. If you wondering what a tax stamp is, at bottom of pack cigarettes. There are tax stamp on every pack. I tried to find if there are any cases of criminal use of legal machine gun in a violent crime. I found one since 1934 in the entire nation. It was owned by policemen. All the other arrest where related to tax issues or paper work problems.
Next we have DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA et al. v. HELLER in 2008.
The details of the case are here. http://tinyurl.com/nqm9en
The question at hand is, are handguns protected under 2nd amendment. DC had banned handguns inside the city. The court decided that handguns do have military use and thus are protected under the 2nd Amendment. They did find there can be some laws related to firearms ownership, but banning of class of weapon is unconstitutional. The also held that it is individual right. Some gun control advocate quoted a single line from Justice Scalia out context to support their claims. You can read it in context here. http://tinyurl.com/qm6s77
Its meaning in context is far different.
The third case was McDonald v Chicago in 2010. The key question here is does the 2nd amendment apply to state and local governments. The details of the case are here. http://tinyurl.com/apfd336
The Court re-affirmed the individual right in Heller case and held the 2nd amendment did in fact apply to state and local governments.
With all that said, should the state of Connecticut pass new draconian gun control laws including banning of certain types of weapons, and magazines? This is not 1993/94 when the first “assault weapons bans” were put in place. Those were never challenged in federal courts. At that time gun control advocates were arguing that the 2nd amendment was a collective right and not individual right. People were a bit leery of testing this. The Supreme Court rejected that in Heller. It also rejected the idea you can ban classes of weapons of would be of use to the militia. It’s logical to assume accouterments like magazines are also protected. You can pass a ban on the manufacture, sale of and possession of so called “assault weapons”? Yes you can. It will be challenged in federal court this time. The state will spend a huge sum of money it doesn’t have, to defend it. Based on Miller Heller and McDonald you will lose. On top that, you will hurt the gun manufacturers in the state. For example Stag Arms and Colt may pick up and leave. We will lose jobs and tax dollars from one of few industries that actually growing right now in this state. This is a lose/lose situation. Plus as I noted earlier based what happened you did not solving the problem. You still have a manic with a gun shooting up a school. There no indication that rifles have a crime problem in the past other than one single incident.
The proposal that all gun sales require a permit would also likely be challenged in federal court. Owning a gun is an individual right. It’s not a privilege like driving a car. There is no precedent for the requirement prior permission to excursive an enumerated individual constitutional right. Imagine if you had to get permit to get an abortion? What would stop a permit being required to use your right to free speech, run a news story or to attend a church? None of that would fly legally. You likely can require a permit to to carry a handgun loaded on your person in public places. But based on Heller requiring a permit simply to purchase to have in your home or to transport it unloaded in case, probably is already unconstitutional. It simply has not been challenged in federal court yet. Connecticut’s may issue permit system with vague “suitability” requirement that is subjective and up to a local police chief is probably unconstitutional. It too has not been challenged in federal court. If was you meet the age requirement, have no felony convictions, no certain misdemeanor convictions, (domestic violence, drug crimes, violent crimes) and no history of involuntary admission to mental hospitals, not adjudicated mentally defective by a court. Submit proof you took the required NRA safety class. Pass the FBI background check by finger prints. Then the permit should be automatically issued. The “suitability” requirement really is a violation of the equal protection clause of the US Constitution. Its how, back in the day, the Reverend Martin Luither King Jr. was denied a permit after this house had been attacked and life was threatened. The good Reverend was deemed unsuitable. There are 36 states that use this format. It has not been a problem.
In closing, I have seen things that said a majority of the people in this state support new gun control laws. It would be great if we were living in a democracy and had majority rule. However, the USA is not now nor have we ever been a democracy. The founders rejected democracy expressly it because it amounts to mob rule. They gave us a republic, where we live under the rule of law and rights of the individual not subject to whims of the majority. Think about it this way, if the majority wanted to remove the right to vote from black people, could you do it? The answer is hell no you can’t do that. You also can’t take away the rights of the individual to keep or bear arms in an emotion backlash after a single madman committed a foul and evil act.