Constitutional Contract Law

“GUNS ARE EVIL AND SHOULD BE ELIMINATED. DON’T CONFUSE ME WITH THE FACTS, MY MIND’S MADE UP.” That’s the position taken by the anti gun lobby, despite evidence that gun ownership actually reduces crime.

We need the second amendment, not to protect us from government, but to protect us from zealots that want the populace helpless. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people, and most of those killers are criminals. A ban on guns only affects law-abiding citizens. They will obey and give up their firearms. Criminals by definition don’t care about the law, if anything they love gun control laws. If you are going to break into someone’s home it’s nice to know you won’t get shot by an armed homeowner. That makes your job, burglary, a lot safer and easier.

During the past decade a number of jurisdictions have allowed honest citizens to obtain a concealed carry permit to carry a gun. To obtain the permit you must pass a strict background check and take a firearm safety course. Academic studies of these places comparing crime rates before and after the adoption of permits show in every case crime goes down. Criminals may be dumb, but they aren’t stupid. If their victims can fight back, they will go somewhere safer, places that don’t allow citizens to be armed.

The anti gun forces rely on the wording of the second amendment that says “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” In the 1939 case United States V. Miller the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the phrase, “A well-regulated militia” confined the amendment to members of an organized militia. This flies in the face of the historical meaning of the term “Militia.” When the Bill of Rights was adopted, every able-bodied adult male was required to be a member of the State Militia.

During debate concerning the right to bear arms the publication “‘Political Disquisitions” James Burgh wrote “The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave.”

In 1901 President Theodore Roosevelt called for a reform of the militia system telling Congress “our militia law is obsolete and worthless.” In response in 1903 Congress passed the “Militia Reform Act” which effectively did away with the traditional militia system that had been in place since the revolution.

Since the attack on 9/11 courts have been moving toward the individual’s right to own guns. The U.S. Court of appeals in U.S. vs. Emerson “The Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to privately keep and bear their own firearms that are suitable as individual, personal weapons regardless of whether the particular individual is then actually a member of a militia.”

The tide is turning toward the right of the individual to own firearms. In March the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled The District of Columbia’s 30-year-old ban on private ownership of firearms is unconstitutional.

One of those supporting the overturn of the District’s gun ban was Harvard Legal Professor Lawrence Tribe, once one of the biggest supporters of firearms restrictions.