The Second Amendment and its purpose - image from gosanangelo.com
Today, President Obama is going to release his Gun Control measures under “Executive Orders”, as well as additional spending that may or may not have much to do with Gun Control (See Debt Ceiling and why it is raising) From the Washington Post:
Obama will begin this effort Wednesday in the presence of children who wrote him letters after last month’s mass shooting at a grade school in Newtown, Conn., and who have been invited to Washington to attend the rollout.
In addition to background checks and restrictions on military-style guns and ammunition magazines, Obama is expected to propose mental health and school safety initiatives such as more federal funding for police officers in schools, according to lawmakers and interest group leaders whom White House officials briefed on the plans.
Obama also is expected to present up to 19 executive actions that his administration will take, the lawmakers and advocates said. These steps include enhanced federal scientific research on gun violence and a modernized federal database system to track guns, criminals and the mentally ill.
For those living in States (or a Commonwealth) that has strict gun control laws on the books, such as Massachusetts, where many of the President’s proposals are already in force (See Application for FID, or other Licensure in Massachusetts here at Mass.gov in PDF Compare to Texas where the laws here are less stringent as to typical long-guns, rather a license to carry a hand gun is a bit more standard (pdf here) asking similar information to that of Massachusetts.) In other words, the States already have the apparatus in place that would suggest those who are either criminals and or are not mentally fit to own a gun – do not. One might think, therefore, that state governments that have strict legal gun ownership, would have low crime rates – think again. The City of Springfield, MA repeatedly appears on the FBI’s most dangerous cities list – 2013 being no exception along with Brockton, Fall River, Worcester, and New Bedford One living in Massachusetts need only listen to the local news to hear report after report of shootings – drive-by- gang-related or similar. What this tells us is that those who legally own guns in Massachusetts, or those who want to legally own a gun in Massachusetts go through a variety of tests to insure they are capable mentally and criminally, while, the criminals actually still get their hands on guns.
The history of gun control therefore, shows that it does nothing to stop the use of illegal firearms.’=
The sane population understand this, which is why there is some pushback to the President’s announcement up to and including a certain member of Congress considering “impeachment” proceedings against the President for stepping on the Constitution(Huffington Post)
Other fallout from any gun control measures put in place by the President are most probably going to hit the senate – as in the form of 2014 elections and the loss of Democrat seats See House Dems Face Challenges in 2014 from The Hill
An Article this morning in RedState by Erick Erickson, explores the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the specifically the 2nd amendment and why it was felt necessary to include the same in the Constitution - suggested reading for historical accuracy. The 2nd Amendment was, indeed, added to protect the citizens of each state from the Federal Government (or Monarchy) in the event things went “south”.
To Learn More:
The British Bill of Rights, includes timelines, reference - from Avalon.law.yale.edu
The Federalist Papers, specifically #84, written by Alexander Hamilton, in the debate leading up to the framing of the Constitution from a Confederacy- Hamilton was concerned about the “Bill of Rights” coming from New York, (each state had their own, and continue to do so (read comments section under Red State Article, look for 1Richard, who lists all states that include langue regarding citizens rights to bear arms, including Massachusetts!!).
Of particular concern to Hamiltonwas the entire Bill of Rights, as he points to these are being more British than American and further, finds them somewhat “dangerous”, specifically as regards freedom of the press:
I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the Constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it was intended to be vested in the national government. This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights.
On the subject of the liberty of the press, as much as has been said, I cannot forbear adding a remark or two: in the first place, I observe, that there is not a syllable concerning it in the constitution of this State; in the next, I contend, that whatever has been said about it in that of any other State, amounts to nothing. What signifies a declaration, that “the liberty of the press shall be inviolably preserved”? What is the liberty of the press? Who can give it any definition which would not leave the utmost latitude for evasion? I hold it to be impracticable; and from this I infer, that its security, whatever fine declarations may be inserted in any constitution respecting it, must altogether depend on public opinion, and on the general spirit of the people and of the government.3 And here, after all, as is intimated upon another occasion, must we seek for the only solid basis of all our rights.
Therefore, what this tells us is that those that framed the Constitution and those Fledgling states, wanted to insure that all was kept separately, that the right to bear arms (2nd amendment) was for the express purpose of protection against the Government, or criminals, based on self-preservation and the English Glorious Revolution. We also understand the Founders, through reading the Federalist papers and other tomes written at that time, took a slow and thoughtful process, arguing via letter, on the fine points to craft a document that would protect people from the power of the Federal Government – a throwback to fear of the English Crown.
This remains relevant in terms of both the content and in terms of how fear today of restrictions place on the people of the states by a Federal Government, (that also has managed to incur great debt (See founders), and establish a strong, almost imperial presidency (see fear of Monarchy), which is backed by a national press (See Hamilton on fear of the press and subsequent discussions on the press aiding an overthrow of the government.)
The What If’s :
The President, surrounding himself with children in order to bring his message to public, and ask for additional funding, will further restrict legal gun owners, the criminals; however, will still be able to obtain anything they like. Several states, including Wyoming and Texas have already proposed that they will not allow the Federal Government to impose gun regulations on the states claiming the 10th amendment and states’ rights, as well as states sovereignty.
Crime will not go down, neither will multiple murders at schools, restaurants, and others, as the issue that must be address is that of mental illness and the unrestricted, and unmonitored use of prescription medications. (That would offend the hard working Pharmaceutical lobby.)
The NRA will enjoy a huge membership.
Fear of the government by those who are increasingly concerned, will grow.
From a personal perspective: This blogger, 30 years ago, enjoyed the 2nd amendment right to bear arms, and included a license to carry, in Massachusetts. The purpose was twofold, on the one hand, boy’s always had better “toys” and target shooting is fun and on my turning 30, bucket list. The second reason: single women tend to meet a lot of men – from police to military, all very nice men. Men one might have, at that time, taken home to meet the parents. As years passed and my daughter was about to be born, I did what I felt was necessary: I disarmed and let my permit to carry concealed expire, as I was concerned about having guns in the home with a small child. I did, admittedly miss my sport and miss the comradery of the local gun club. Now, at the age of 19, my child has asked me to help her get her “gun permit” before “they are not allowed to have guns ever!” She is concerned for the potential loss of a right to protect herself. We will be going together to take the safety course, and, although she may never own a gun (legally in MA she cannot have a hand-gun, but rather a long-gun for hunting), she will have the peace of mind that she has this slip of paper. The NRA will also see a new member. One would hazard to guess, as politics are not openly discussed in my home, that she may have come to this conclusion from watching the news, and/or through friends. These youngsters have grown increasingly less liberal in their viewpoints in the past few weeks, and one might suspect that those that would normally not consider owning a gun are lining up as fast as they can. Sometimes, gun control, does have unintended consequences, especially when the President is viewed as someone who can take away rights. This is the Presidents growing legacy, the legacy of fear. It is a sad, very sad, that he chose to politicize (he skipped the Aurora Colorado shooting), Sandy Hook, and use executive powers, to remove power from the people and the States, that alone is sending up red flags to an entirely new generation.