"Null and Void"?


January 1, 2003, 08:29 AM
Ok, this arose from a discussion over rights and laws at a party. I was "told" it may still be a right, but that doesn't give me the "right" to break the law. I vehemently disagreed. Needless to say, nothing was solved, other that to elevate blood pressure levels. But, its still been running through my mind and I have a few issues I'd like to throw at you. Maybe I'm just that far off, (actually, thats probably a given :) ) it wouldnt be the first time. Now, as I understand, and was always taught, if a law violates one of our "rights", the law is null and void. How can there be a law, that circumvents or takes away a right? Now, I've seen lots and lots of discussions over concealed carry and this weapons ban and that weapons ban and dont forget the NFA issues, but aren't these all really just "null and void" issues? They obviously violate our "rights". It really is just that simple, isnt it? Lawyers, politicians, etc., and all their mumbo jumbo aside, and this includes the Supreme Court and all their rulings, if it violates one of my rights, its null and void. So, why do we allow "the authorities", our "servants" to continually run rough shod over our rights? Why do we ask permission from a "servant" for something that is ours to start with? Why do we follow like livestock, the rules imposed on us when they obviously violate our rights? I guess, like livestock, the intelligence is being bred out of us(just look at what our schools teach these days). So, whats your thoughts on the, as I see it, "simple" answer.

(My simple answer is the same one Nancy Reagan came up with, "Just Say NO". Somehow though, I think its doomed to the same result. I'm truly beginning to think there are no Americans left that can think for or act for themselves. But then again, theres plenty of beer in the fridge and football on TV, so the masses are appeased and us "malcontents" will be bred out of the gene pool or cut out of the herd and dealt with individually. I do just love to say NO though, just to see the look on their faces and the veins in their necks :) )

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January 1, 2003, 08:55 AM
I think what you're thinking of is if a law goes against the Constitution, it is null and void. If I'm not mistaken it comes from Marbury v. Madison? I'm sure the lawyers among us will correct me if I have that wrong. Whatever the case it's obvious no one is paying attention to this precedent.

The biggest problem we face is what some people call the herd mentality. What else explains this behavior? Wearing clothes because they're "in", buying the same vehicles for the same reason, watching the same TV shows so they have something to talk about at the water cooler with the other members of the herd. It boggles my mind sometimes; there are shows on TV that I've never seen a minute of since the commercials for the shows annoyed me. These seem to be the most popular for some reason.

I've never been much of a herd animal, I do the things that appeal to me. I don't care what is in, and usually don't even know. I also don't think you'll find many of the herd creatures on a board like this. Too many concepts that would upset them.

January 1, 2003, 08:56 AM
But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.

Of course, this will make "the veins in their necks" stick out and that isn't good.:evil:

January 1, 2003, 09:19 AM
Let's start off in the right forum, shall we? Moving to Legal & Political. Now, then...

Problem is, most people don't understand that a right may be regulated, without this amounting to the denial of that right. There's a huge body of constitutional law in this country dealing with the subject, and the courts have upheld time and time again the position that reasonable regulation of a right is constitutionally valid and permissible. (Of course, you and I may disagree vehemently that some regulations are reasonable, but we're not the judges of that...)

What this amounts to is that gun laws like the Sullivan Act, Chicago's anti-gun ordinances, etc. have been ruled on by courts across the country, and found to be legal. You see, the 2A allows citizens the right to keep and bear arms; the laws, rules and regulations prescribe what arms may be kept and when and where they may be borne, but they don't forbid the keeping and bearing of arms entirely. This means that the 2A, while being restricted and governed by regulations, is not being violated.

Our only recourse is to obtain a definitive ruling on the meaning and application of the 2A from the SCOTUS (something the Nine have consistently avoided...) Without this, we're at the mercy of legal precedent. However, I'm not holding my breath in anticipation of a definition that will overturn many gun control laws and regulations. Even the SCOTUS is firm in its precedents about the right of the Government to regulate constitutional rights, and I don't think they'll change this for the 2A.

January 1, 2003, 09:25 AM
Let's start off in the right forum, shall we? Moving to Legal & Political.

No need to berate the lad, eh?:D

January 1, 2003, 10:00 AM
I put it in the other forum on purpose, figgured this would happen. I just wanted more to see it before it got banished here. :)

As far as regulation of a right, reguardless of what anyone says, to me its still an infringement of my right. I understand what Preacherman is saying, but this is also part of my point. By saying(or allowing) that the "courts" or a government agency have the "right" to regulate my rights, relieves me of them, does it not? I just think this is more and more an issue of general population control rather than crime prevention or enforcement. We all know how well the "rules" work for the criminal element, dont we. All in all, the government more and more regulates what we can and cannot do by edict, and we seem to have no recourse. As far as the Supreme Court goes, are they not also enforcing this by refusing to hear anything to do with the 2nd ammendment?(amoung other things) What I see as the biggest problem here is, we as a people have been so conditioned to "do as we are told" and not question those who are fluent in "mumbo jumbo", as we could not possibly know what was right for us. I still think, it really is as simple as "null and void", unless I have truly violated someone elses rights by my actions. Isnt this what that piece of paper we all wave around is really about?

January 1, 2003, 10:03 AM
AK103K, you're a naughty, naughty boy... :D :D :D

January 1, 2003, 10:17 AM

missed that while editing

January 1, 2003, 01:19 PM
You see, the 2A allows citizens the right to keep and bear arms; the laws, rules and regulations prescribe what arms may be kept and when and where they may be borne, but they don't forbid the keeping and bearing of arms entirely. This means that the 2A, while being restricted and governed by regulations, is not being violated.

I don't think you know what the definition of "infringed" is.

To "infringe" something means to nibble away at the edges of it.

Every law that regulates where, when, and which arms may be owned or carried in public, by definition nibbles away at the edges of the right -- and thus violates the 2A.

Translated to modern English, the 2nd amendment says that because armed citizens, ready to fight, are so important to homeland security, every person may own or carry in public any weapons that they wish -- and that no laws may be passed which nibble away at their right to do so.


Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything --- you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. – Robert Heinlein in If This Goes On –

January 1, 2003, 03:17 PM
Pax, I understand completely where you're coming from, and I agree with you. We are truly on the same side here. However, the cold, hard fact remains that countless court decisions, and an immense body of precedence in constitutional law, dictate that regulation is not infringement! Whether we like it or not, this is the reality we live with today. It's the law and judicial practice of the land.

As far as the courts are concerned, any and every right we have may be regulated to a reasonable degree, provided that that regulation does not infringe upon the intent of the act. This is why "hate speech" can be censored or punished without violating the right to free speech, and why so many cases under the 1A make it to court - the regulations are constantly challenged, redrawn, and challenged again.

In the case of the 2A, the same thing applies: as long as the regulations do not prevent citizens from keeping arms (even if only certain types and/or quantities of arms), and bearing arms (even if they can only bear them in the privacy of their own homes), the courts have consistently held that the 2A has not been violated. The only way to change this is to get the SCOTUS to re-examine the 2A and define its meaning and application more clearly. We also have to accept the risk that their judgement might not be entirely to our liking...

I'm not arguing against you, Pax and others, simply pointing out the reality of the situation. We can argue till we're blue in the face that things like the Sullivan Law are an infringement of the 2A: but until the courts agree with us, our objections count for nothing at all...

Bob Locke
January 1, 2003, 08:48 PM
Marbury v. Madison (1803) (http://www.lectlaw.com/files/case14.htm)

From the text:
That the people have an original right to establish, for their future government, such principles as, in their opinion, shall most conduce to their own happiness, is the basis on which the whole American fabric has been erected. The exercise of this original right is a very great exertion; nor can it nor ought it to be frequently repeated. The principles, therefore, so established are deemed fundamental. And as the authority, from which they proceed, is supreme, and can seldom act, they are designed to be permanent.

This original and supreme will organizes the government, and assigns to different departments their respective powers. It may either stop here; or establish certain limits not to be transcended by those departments.

The government of the United States is of the latter description. The powers of the legislature are defined and limited; and that those limits may not be mistaken or forgotten, the constitution is written. To what purpose are powers limited, and to what purpose is that limitation committed to writing; if these limits may, at any time, be passed by those intended to be restrained? The distinction between a government with limited and unlimited powers is abolished, if those limits do not confine the persons on whom they are imposed, and if acts prohibited and acts allowed are of equal obligation. It is a proposition too plain to be contested, that the constitution controls any legislative act repugnant to it; or, that the legislature may alter the constitution by an ordinary act.

Between these alternatives there is no middle ground. The constitution is either a superior, paramount law, unchangeable by ordinary means, or it is on a level with ordinary legislative acts, and like other acts, is alterable when the legislature shall please to alter it.

If the former part of the alternative be true, then a legislative act contrary to the constitution is not law: if the latter part be true, then written constitutions are absurd attempts, on the part of the people, to limit a power in its own nature illimitable.

January 1, 2003, 09:54 PM

Just looking at your post "allowed" me the opportunity to blow past everything else written.

Thank you, Sir, for all your "cards 'n letters" - you know full-well that they are greatly appreciated.

But, & I do hope that your post was to tweak us thinking folks by a devil's advocate-thing. I'd do much of the same, although they don't take so well at times .... ;)

Interpretations by courts can take a flying leap to hell, in my not so humble opinion.

Judges, in their own right, have been appointed by these self-same political hacks (& worse - decorum of The High Road refrain me of ellucidating upon my opinions) who would rule us. What better way to ensure an "appropriate decision" of those who wrote the (deleted) laws in the first place!?


The game's rigged from the start! Legal hacks are elected through their TV-fame, they write laws to further support their heirlings, they appoint judges to enforce them (the laws) by fiat & "{judicial rulings," thereby giving legal legitimacy.

If ever there was any circuital logic = there ya go.

In my (not so necessarily sane) mind, there is Specific Law = that of the constitution & that of the various states. Period.

So much of the BS that we get to deal with reagrds modern day legalese is through the definition of & what "is, is."


Would that I could grab every one of y'all into a quick face-to-face & verbally express my thoughts without the restrictions of this stupid keyboard. Would be a much better modicum of expression.

Alas, I'll sound like a reactionary.

We do have a liberty to never become subserviant to the mere whims of some who'd think they know better.

That you buy into it gives them the power to do so.

That, my friends is their only power - that you buy it.

January 1, 2003, 10:08 PM
Thanks Bob Locke, for digging up Marbury v. Madison. I wasn't sure when I posted if that was indeed the case, but it is. Seems pretty clear to me, but someone's not paying attention.

January 1, 2003, 10:20 PM
Again, dear THR colleagues, let me re-emphasize that I AGREE WITH YOU! We're not at all separated in our passionate commitment to uphold the Bill of Rights, the Constitution as a whole, etc., etc. Let's be clear on this!

What I'm trying to get across is that the REALITY of the situation does not conform to the "pure" Constitutional approach at all! You and I can yell and scream until we're blue in the face that this restriction, and that regulation, and the other legislation, infringe on our 2A rights - but WE WILL NOT BE LISTENED TO BY THE COURTS! They have made their views known at great length, over many years. The Marbury v. Madison case, wonderfully erudite though it is, dates from 1803. We are now in 2003! Two centuries of legal jurisprudence, precedent and decisions have passed. The real world just isn't like that any more!

If you think I'm being crazy, or a wimp, try this... Drive into Washington D.C., carrying a concealed weapon (never mind a permit - you can't get one there!). Drive into New York City with a concealed weapon and no permit. Drive into LA or San Francisco with a concealed weapon and no permit. In any one of these cities, go up to a police officer and announce to him that you're carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, and you insist that your Constitutional right to do so must be recognized and upheld. I'll come and visit you in jail over the years of your sentence... heck, I might even end up as your Chaplain there!

So much for your Constitutional rights, my friends! They most certainly exist in the Bill of Rights - we all agree on that - but in reality, they no longer exist at all in their "pure", unadulterated form! All the wishful thinking in the world isn't going to change that harsh reality...

January 1, 2003, 10:36 PM
All the wishful thinking in the world isn't going to change that harsh reality...
No, of course it won't.

But talking about it, hashing it over, discussing it with others, persuading others to the best of our ability ... and maybe, one day, if it becomes necessary, dying for it ...

Those things might.

You see?


One way or another, any government which remains in power is a representative government. If your city government is a crooked machine, then it is because you and your neighbors prefer it that way -- prefer it to the effort of running your own affairs. – Robert Heinlein

January 1, 2003, 10:50 PM
Preacherman, when I say someone's not paying attention, I meant the courts not anyone here. I don't want you to think I was talking about you. You're right, they don't exist in a pure form. I don't know what the answer is, I wish I did.

January 1, 2003, 11:04 PM
Hmmm, I just can't seem to post anything revolutionary that won't get me thrown off this board, or arrested.

THR. ;)


January 1, 2003, 11:39 PM
Over and over I see the same legally unsupported and dubious views of the United States constituion and firearms laws...

Regardless for all of you who think that you yourself, and only you, have the power to determine what is an unujust law or not, or know the true meaning of the USC, and/or are willing to have the ATF "pukes" pry your gun "from your cold dead fingers"...

Why not follow the example of Mohandas Ghandi...he once said I beleive an unjust law is no law at all..he was willing to sacrifice himself to make a point..

So rather than spouting the same misintepretaions of law and reality over and over again..

Show your courage...and the courage of your convictions..

Call your local press, tell them you will be walking down your main street tommorrow peaceably with a concelaed pistol and a belt fed machine gun, going about your lawabiding day with your weapons, as is your right to do.

After you are arrested, base your defense on null and void or the constitution or whtever...convince a jury of your peers that you are right...and if they wrongfully put you in the can...well be like Mumia Jamal..get your supportes to write letters, publish, continue to live as a living example of the wrongfulness of the government..

Stop talking...stand up for your rights...

Or maybe its easier to?????

January 2, 2003, 06:59 AM

I fully understand, and agree with your points, those in control will not relinquish it with out a fight. Since they control the enforcement branches, the courts, and pretty much everything else, perhaps we should include "jury nullification" into the mix. If we educate the "masses" as to what is theirs, what their true powers really are, and what has been taken from and/or constantly held from them, perhaps they will vote from the jury box. Thus nullifing the courts/judges power. If things dont change then, after the "people" make their wishes known to the courts, and those in power, then everyone will know for sure that its time to make major changes, not that we dont know its time now.

January 2, 2003, 07:52 AM
I think the difference between the 2nd and the rest of the constitutional amendments is its simplicity. it's only one sentence long.

regulation can be inferred in many of the other amendments, but the second is the only one which specifically claims that the right it describes "shall not be infriged."

it's worded differently, it's specifically simple and to the point, to prevent wiggle room.

yes, the unfortunate reality is that too many americans think it's okay to regulate away our rights, which can be re-worded at whittling away our rights.

I just wish I was worth more than just talk, when it comes to this topic. I will unfortunately admit that I don't have the gusto to take it far enough to really put myself at risk. Yet. Hopefully one day I will.

January 2, 2003, 08:24 AM
"So much for your Constitutional rights, my friends! They most certainly exist in the Bill of Rights - we all agree on that - but in reality, they no longer exist at all in their "pure", unadulterated form! All the wishful thinking in the world isn't going to change that harsh reality..."

Is it time to feed the pigs yet?

January 2, 2003, 08:56 AM
Souououeeeee! Oink, Oink. :)

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