Why the NRA is NO LONGER Dangerous to the Second Amendment


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geekWithA.45
June 13, 2006, 09:31 PM
Sidebar:
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I spent 1/2 an hour composing this in response to this closed thread: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=205461, and I'm posting it, because it directly salient to a certain pervasive theory.
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I think the anti NRA portions of that rant might have had more credence 5 years ago, but as it stands, it's behind the times.

The the tipping point occured in March, of 2004.

It's a long story, I will try to make short for people who are new to the scene, or who weren't intimate with the details.

This is when the rough and tumble fight in the Senate took place over the AWB.

I took 4 days off work, watched every minute on C-Span, liveblogged the whole sordid thing, and tracked every detail of every communique from every group that had a dog in the race.

My contacts in the NRA deny my take on it till they're blue in the face, but what I _observed_ was that the NRA that went into that debate was very, very different from the NRA that came out the other side.

They began with silence. There was a lot of weaseliness going on in there. It was well known that they wanted lawsuit pre-emption, (which we eventually got anyway) to pass as their legislative priority, and their position was that any anti gun poison pill amendments would be stripped out in the committee that reconciled the house and senate versions.

This wasn't good enough for me, and it wasn't good enough for a lot of other people. There's plenty of evidence to suggest that the NRA had played with exactly this sort of fire in the past, and had gotten burned in the process, taking us with them.

People forget quickly, but whether the AWB lived or died was truly a watershed moment. If it lived, RKBA's path towards being legislated out of existence was assured, and if it died, it would represent the federal high water mark of gun control for our generation.

What was at stake, what was in question, was whether future generations had any right to even dehorned military pattern arms AT ALL.

EVERYONE with a dog in the race knew it, except, apparently, the NRA that for all appearances was proceeding pretty much biz as usual.

We, the People, largely aided by the Internet, in what may well be the first effective use of it in the defense of American liberty, hammered BOTH our Senators, AND the NRA.

At first the NRA ignored us, but we kept generating the faxes, calls, and emails.

Then they gave us the weakest of assurances that _of_course_ they were against the AWB, but notably, suspiciously, DID NOT COMMIT TO ITS DEMISE AT ALL COSTS.

We kept hammering them, making it clear that their credibility with their membership and the world was at stake.

Gradually, grudgingly, communications from them became more and more firm, until finally, they DID COMMIT THEIR FULL INTENTION TO THE DEMISE OF THE AWB, NO MATTER WHAT.

Not only did they finally say that, THEY MADE IT HAPPEN.

The vote on the AWB amendment PASSED. DiFi did a disgusting jig on the floor of the senate, and then she, Kerry, Kennedy and Schumer all went out to lunch to celebrate. That was the moment of the famous "four horsemen" picture:

http://216.119.87.25/misc/freedomsenemies.jpg

This was their moment of VICTORY.

They HAD WON.

Listen to her gloat:
http://www.senate.gov/~feinstein/sound-bytes/040302-AWB_post-vote_remarks.mp3

But during lunch, something happened.

Decisions were made in Fairfax, pagers went off, and when they returned from lunch to vote on the whole bill package, Senator Larry Craig of Idaho, member of the board off directors of the NRA, stood up like a titan of old and torpedoed his own bill with these words:

"I believe it is so dramatically wounded that it should not pass, I ask my colleauges to vote against it."

This bill, the last, best chance to make the AWB the PERMANENT, SET IN STONE law of the land, died then and there, 90-8.

The tide turned then, for America, and the NRA.

If you enjoyed reading about "Why the NRA is NO LONGER Dangerous to the Second Amendment" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
R-Tex12
June 13, 2006, 09:51 PM
Good post, geek. That's a terrific synopsis. Thanks for taking the time and putting forth the effort to write it.

BowStreetRunner
June 13, 2006, 09:51 PM
well said
BSR

beerslurpy
June 13, 2006, 10:02 PM
Are those blog entries from 2004 still around in an archive somewhere? (edit: think I found them)

That 4 horsemen picture helped kerry lose later on that year. I swear I saw that thing staring me in the face every single gun store I walked into.

I think you slightly overstate the importance of March 2004. If I recollect correctly, there is no way the AWB would have gotten through the House. Ted Kennedy could have replaced the entire senate with pods and it wouldnt have mattered.

antsi
June 13, 2006, 10:03 PM
This was the chain of events where the anti-NRA people were saying the NRA was going to sell us out. According to the conspiracy theory, the NRA was going sell out gun owners in favor or corporate interests. The NRA was going to agree to AWB renewal, so long as they got the legal liability protection for the dealers and manufacturers that were supposedly "pulling the strings" at NRA.

The NRA's actions totally belied that conspiracy theory. The NRA showed it was beholden to the members, not the dealers and manufacturers. The NRA also showed smart strategy, too, because the liability bill did get passed later without all the evil DiFi shennigans attached to it.

Of course, that didn't stop the conspiracy theorists from lamenting the NRA's "inaction" following Katrina. Several lawsuits (won) and several pro-gun-owner laws (passed) later, that conspiracy theory isn't looking so hot either.

Don't give up hope, though. The anti-NRA conspiracy theorists are a creative bunch. I'm sure they'll whip another doozy for us before long.

longeyes
June 13, 2006, 10:04 PM
Very interesting. Let's hope that was indeed an historic point of inflection.

MechAg94
June 13, 2006, 10:04 PM
From everything I had read earlier that year, the NRA was lobbying heavily against the AWB. They have made that one of only two issues they were pushing for. The liability reform was the other. The way the articles read, they were pretty much telling congressman if they went against them on this, the NRA would pull all support and make sure they weren't reelected.

I know a lot of people don't like Tom DeLay, but I saw a quote from him earlier in 2004 that he said the AWB would die. It was in an article about him and the NRA. Even if all that you said had happened in the Senate, it is unlikely the AWB would have passed the House. However, it was very nice to see the Senate lean to our side for a change.

geekWithA.45
June 13, 2006, 10:08 PM
Are those blog entries from 2004 still around in an archive somewhere?

Yup.

http://geekwitha45.blogspot.com/2004_02_01_geekwitha45_archive.html
http://geekwitha45.blogspot.com/2004_03_01_geekwitha45_archive.html

Remember, they're in blog format, so start @ the bottom.

geekWithA.45
June 13, 2006, 10:12 PM
MechAg94:

Delay and Frist were key players in the NEXT fight, which took place later that year, in July.

Having broken the AWB's momentum, and therefore its back the previous session, the forces of organized gun bigotry tried again before the sunset, basically attempting to tie the poison pill of the AWB to the lawsuit pre-emption bill.

They finally showed some spine, and for the first time, used parliamentary procedures such as "filling the tree", which had been used against us so many times, to prevent the AWB amendment from being attached.

That's how we got pre-emption. :)

http://geekwitha45.blogspot.com/2004_07_01_geekwitha45_archive.html

MechAg94
June 13, 2006, 10:46 PM
There was one other comment on that other thread I didn't like. One poster mentioned that is was a good thing we have fees and barriers to concealed carry since this keeps guns out of the hands of the poor who make up a large portion of the criminal population.

It may have been poor choice of words, but I think that is a very dangerous and arrogant thing to say. Poor law abiding citizens have just as much the right to keep and bear arms as people with more money. We should assume anyone is a criminal just because they are in a lower economic class.

Joey2
June 13, 2006, 11:21 PM
How about in 1968 the NRA said they "could go along with it"? I am sure all of you know what this was. This is when I quit the NRA and never looked back.

Third_Rail
June 14, 2006, 12:14 AM
Well, they also argued for the 1934 NFA, but both of these events are history - their current record, of the past two years now, impresses me, though I still dislike their pleas for money.

Zedicus
June 14, 2006, 01:15 AM
But during lunch, something happened.

Decisions were made in Fairfax, pagers went off, and when they returned from lunch to vote on the whole bill package, Senator Larry Craig of Idaho, member of the board off directors of the NRA, stood up like a titan of old and torpedoed his own bill with these words:


"I believe it is so dramatically wounded that it should not pass, I ask my colleauges to vote against it."


This bill, the last, best chance to make the AWB the PERMANENT, SET IN STONE law of the land, died then and there, 90-8.

The tide turned then, for America, and the NRA.

Us Idahoans are still Chewin Nails Mad at Craig for Voting in Favor of the Senate Illegal Allien Amnisty btw...:fire:

& Not a bad post btw.

Creeping Incrementalism
June 14, 2006, 01:19 AM
How about in 1968 the NRA said they "could go along with it"? I am sure all of you know what this was. This is when I quit the NRA and never looked back.

I thought the 1977 Cincinnati revolt was when the NRA changed course and became a different kind of organization--you didn't look back at that?

beerslurpy
June 14, 2006, 01:49 AM
It may have been poor choice of words, but I think that is a very dangerous and arrogant thing to say. Poor law abiding citizens have just as much the right to keep and bear arms as people with more money. We should assume anyone is a criminal just because they are in a lower economic class.

That was me and it is purely a statistics thing. Statistics are what the arguments for and against are made of and gaming the system to produce good statistics is part of the incrementalist system we are working in.

I think we are mainly disagreeing because of similar things that have been said by antis. It is a similar concept, but the difference in degree is very substantial. While Chuck Schumer or Ted Kennedy might want to restrict the bottom 99 percent of the population, I am talking about de facto (not de jure) restricting the bottom 5 percent, the ones that police spend about 90 percent of their time chasing around. And my reason for doing it is entirely different from the antis. They are trying to discourage the right, I am trying to minimize the effect on CCW statistics of violent crime.

Remember, we arent selecting who carries a gun so much as we are selecting who gets included in CCW behavior stats. Anyone can tuck a gun in their pocket and never get hassled by the police. No one has ever spotted my carry gun and no one has ever asked if I had a license, so I dont see how a non-licensee would be any different. The difference is that when I commit a crime, it shows up as "CCWer commits crime, license revoked because of crime" which thrills the Bradies. When John Q Scraggletooth conceals a firearm without the hassle of a permit and robs a liquor store, the antis are denied a headline or a statistic because he was a criminal anyway.

Does it seem less offensive now? I think eventually we will get permitless carry in this country, but it will probably take another 20 years for the next generation to grow up with CCW and take it for granted.

Gildas
June 14, 2006, 04:33 AM
Delay and Frist were key players in the NEXT fight, which took place later that year, in July.

Having broken the AWB's momentum, and therefore its back the previous session, the forces of organized gun bigotry tried again before the sunset, basically attempting to tie the poison pill of the AWB to the lawsuit pre-emption bill.

They finally showed some spine, and for the first time, used parliamentary procedures such as "filling the tree", which had been used against us so many times, to prevent the AWB amendment from being attached.

That's how we got pre-emption.

This brings back memories - it was reading your blog posts about the AWB votes that year that turned me from being passively pro-gun to actually getting it, and paying attention to the politics of the thing.

The vote in July was over a more general class action tort reform bill, wasn't it? It was only last year that the Gun Lawsuit pre-emption bill went through. When that happened Frist again used parliamentary procedures, but Feinstein had pretty much given up for this Congress given that she basically admitted she didn't have the votes. (In November 2004, Democrats who had voted for the ban were replaced by Republicans in SD, FL, NC and SC, which would have tipped the AWB vote the other way).

antsi
June 14, 2006, 08:44 AM
---------quote-----------
How about in 1968 the NRA said they "could go along with it"? I am sure all of you know what this was. This is when I quit the NRA and never looked back.
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Similarly, I will never vote Democrat because in 1863 they were in favor of reaching an agreement with the Rebels :rolleyes:

Seriously: it was a very different climate in 1968. The NRA did not start out as a political organization, and the threats to RKBA were not as clear or as organized. There was tremendous political momentum from the assassinations of the Kennedys et al, that would have been nearly impossible to stop in any case. It was subsequent threats that opened gun owners' eyes and politicized the NRA.

Unless you seriously think that the NRA's recent behavior (say over the last 20 years!) is just a ruse, and you think that secretly they are planning to return to their policies of 1968 or 1934, it might be more reasonable to focus on current and recent policy than what happened 38 years ago.

---------quote----------
I still dislike their pleas for money
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Name an effective political organization that does not raise money. It is a reality: political action is expensive. Everyone on this board is always calling for the NRA to sue the government for this, lobby the government for that, spread the word on the other thing. None of those activities are free.

If you don't want to contribute, don't contribute. If the extra mail is an intolerable burden in your life, you can call the NRA and ask to be put on the "no junk mail" list.

beerslurpy
June 14, 2006, 09:06 AM
Anyone that blames the NRA for 68 is clueless. The entire nation was up in arms over the assassinations and over the nationwide race riots that had been occurring for several years and intensified after MLK got killed. On top of this, the NRA wasnt even a political organization at that time, so they werent really involved in fighting it. Even if they were political, I'm not sure they could have effectively opposed 68 GCA.

JohnBT
June 14, 2006, 09:09 AM
"Not only did they finally say that, THEY MADE IT HAPPEN."

Maybe that was their plan all along. Suck the opposition in at first and then reverse field on them. Sort of like a draw play. I don't know what they had planned and I've never been to one of their strategy meetings. Have you?

John

cropcirclewalker
June 14, 2006, 10:35 AM
I dropped NRA back in 2001 for some sellout or spineless thing they did which I don't even remember, but I still get, "This is your last chance!" junk mail from them asking for me to re up.

The sellout they attempted with renewing the AWB remains clear in my memory and, yes, I was happy at the time to see the senate recognizing that the voters still had some influence.

Think about it.....

If the supremes declared the 2a null and void there would be no use for the NRA.
On the other hand if the supremes declared 2a to be operative and struck down all the gun control travesties then there would be no use for the NRA.

It's like the March of Dimes. If you don't have a cause, you can't send out them letters.

RNB65
June 14, 2006, 10:47 AM
If the supremes declared the 2a null and void there would be no use for the NRA.

Even the Supreme Court can't declare the U.S. Constitution unconstitutional. Only Congress can change the Constitution.

duckandcover
June 14, 2006, 11:02 AM
Not to nitpick but Congress can propose a Constitutional amendment by 2/3 vote but it is The People via 3/4 of the states that would ratify it.

JohnBT
June 14, 2006, 11:12 AM
"Only Congress can change the Constitution."

That is incorrect.

"The second method prescribed is for a Constitutional Convention to be called by two-thirds of the legislatures of the States, and for that Convention to propose one or more amendments. These amendments are then sent to the states to be approved by three-fourths of the legislatures or conventions. This route has never been taken, and there is discussion in political science circles about just how such a convention would be convened, and what kind of changes it would bring about.

Regardless of which of the two proposal routes is taken, the amendment must be approved by three-fourths of states."

From: www.usconstitution.net

The problem with a Constitutional Convention is that it could be called to address one issue, but go on to vote on any number of issues. Of course, then it would up to the states to rein them in by voting.

John

armoredman
June 14, 2006, 11:16 AM
I agree that is my suspicion on 99% of pro gun groups, that have paid staffers. They don't want a 2A challenge in SCOTUS, as that would end it all. I personally, would love to see SCOTUS declare 2A s an individual right outright, as opposed to the second hand referances over the last hundred+ years. If out of work, Wayne LaPierre would make an excellent pitchman for Gieco!

Zundfolge
June 14, 2006, 11:50 AM
The NRA did not start out as a political organization

This bears repeating. The NRA was originally started by Col. Church and Gen. Wingate to "provide firearms training and encouraging interest in the shooting sports".

Complaining that the NRA wasn't political enough in 1934 or 1968 woudl be like refusing to join the SCCA because they didn't fight seatbelt laws hard enough.


The NRA today (more to the point the NRAILA (http://www.nraila.org)) have really awakened since the 80s and I have to give a big chunk of the credit to Wayne LaPierre for pushing the organization toward political lobbying.


No they aren't perfect, but frankly if we left the fight for RKBA in the hands of only the GOA and JPFO then gun rights would be the cause of "fringe kook groups" (no, I'm not saying the GOA or JPFO are kooks). The NRA puts a mainstream face on the RKBA movement and their presence PLUS the more hard line RKBA groups is a trememdous 1-2 punch.



We are winning.

MuzzleBlast
June 14, 2006, 11:53 AM
Here is a very informative article that includes the Cincinnati Revolt:
http://www.vpc.org/nrainfo/chapter2.html
Quick excerpt:
At NRA headquarters, when Harlon Carter spoke, people listened. In a July 1972 address to the NRA's executive committee—held during debate over the Bayh Saturday Night Special bill—Carter voiced his fears that the NRA was losing sight of its true mission. In outlining his concerns, he spelled out the political philosophy that would eventually dominate the organization.

Carter's speech centered on NRA Executive Vice President Rich's endorsement of a Saturday Night Special ban. "My Lord," said Carter, "he has been Pilated and crucified repeatedly on an unfortunate choice of words, and I sympathize with his position.2 (These "unfortunate" words had also been part of an NRA press release that had supported the Bayh bill in principle.) Continued Carter:


Now someone says to me..., "Yes, but we took positions back five or six years ago, and we made statements some years ago," and he pointed out to me that I had made a statement one time relating to pot metal pistols. I did. But these people now have introduced confiscatory gun bills; they confirm a belated conviction that some of us have held for some time which are what this ultimate goal is, which is to prohibit the private ownership of firearms in this country. [As a result] . . . any position we took back at that time is no good, it is not valid, and it is simply not relevant to the problem that we face today. The latest news release from NRA embraces a disastrous concept... that evil is imputed to the sale and delivery, the possession of a certain kind of firearm, entirely apart from the good or evil intent of the man who uses it and/or (2) the legitimate use of a handgun is limited to sporting use.3

Bartholomew Roberts
June 14, 2006, 12:03 PM
If the supremes declared the 2a null and void there would be no use for the NRA.

SCOTUS cannot declare an amendment to the Bill of Rights null and void. Only another amendment can do that. SCOTUS could declare that despite the tremendous amount of history and legal precedent to the contrary, the Second Amendments protects only a collective right of the states to have a militia; but they would be unlikely to do that because it would result in an ugly outcome. Rather they will avoid the issue until one side is clearly dominating the issue culturally.

On the other hand if the supremes declared 2a to be operative and struck down all the gun control travesties then there would be no use for the NRA.

Sure, just like winning Roe v. Wade stopped the abortion debate once and for all? :rolleyes: No matter how many times I see this same tired, stupid idea put forth it always amazes me that any gun owner would really believe that the fight would be over just because SCOTUS declared the Second Amendment to represent an individual right. That isn't when the fight is over - that is when the real fighting starts.

Here is something very important to understand - even if SCOTUS recognizes the Second Amendment as an individual right, the Feds can STILL regulate gun ownership. The question will be what standard of scrutiny must be applied to such regulation. Traditionally, you had two standards - strict scrutiny and rational basis. Rights contained in the Bill of Rights were evaluated under strict scrutiny - this means that the government could only regulate if it had a compelling reason and the law had to be narrowly tailored to achieve that ends (it couldn't be a broad, sweeping and purposeless law - like say the 1994 AWB). Rights not enumerated in the Constitution could be regulated as long as the government had a rational basis for believing the law might be useful (1994 AWB OK under this standard).

However, starting with the abortion debate and going on to Lawrence v. Texas (homosexuality), the court started creating new standards that were neither strict scrutiny or rational basis; but somewhere in between. Likely this is because the rights the court upheld in those debates were not enumerated in the Constitution (unlike the Second Amendment); but it does leave open the possibility that the court might use a lesser standard than strict scrutiny to evaluate gun control laws in the wake of a pro-individual rights decision.

Add to that, the court must also decide whether the Second Amendment is incorporated under the 14th Amendment and you have enough issues to keep the NRA busier than ever for the forseeable future.

All in all, a pro-individual rights decision by the NRA would be both an enormous win that that they could show off to gun owners AND it would double or triple the amount of really important groundbreaking work they had to do on the RKBA front. There is absolutely ZERO danger of such a decision putting the NRA out of business and anyone who says otherwise simply has no realistic grasp of the situation.

RNB65
June 14, 2006, 12:03 PM
Not to nitpick but Congress can propose a Constitutional amendment by 2/3 vote but it is The People via 3/4 of the states that would ratify it.

My point was that the Supreme Court can't change the Constitution, it can only interpret it. As others have pointed out, Constitutional amendments usually originate with Congress then get passed to the states for ratification.

The Supreme Court can't declare the 2nd Amendment null and void. The worst it can do is to interpret the 2nd Amendment as applying to state organized militias and not applying to individual citizens. Then it would be up to each state to legislate the gun rights of their citizens.

Of course, the Supreme Court knows full well how controversial the 2nd Amendment is and has spent the last 200 years going out of it's way to avoid 2nd Amendment rulings. Anything startling is very unlikely in the forseeable future.

geekWithA.45
June 14, 2006, 12:18 PM
and has spent the last 200 years going out of it's way to avoid 2nd Amendment rulings

Not true.

SCOTUS has ruled many times on 2A.

http://www.davekopel.com/2A/LawRev/35FinalPartOne.htm

Their silence on the issue has been since Miller, and the result has been to fail to correct the drift of a weasilly, ambiguous ruling.

In modern times, the informed conjecture that I've heard is that the primary reason SCOTUS won't hear a 2A case is because those who are interested in preserving the People's right of arms know they don't have the votes to prevail, and go out of their way to prevent a disastrous precedent.

Whether we like it or not, this has had the effect of preserving what RKBA we had through the long, dark night of collectivist ascendancy, and the sun ain't up yet.

Bartholomew Roberts is quite right. The NRA will be fully occupied defending 2A, even if we should get a SCOTUS ruling confirming the individual nature of the rights protected by 2A.

Bartholomew Roberts
June 14, 2006, 12:54 PM
In modern times, the informed conjecture that I've heard is that the primary reason SCOTUS won't hear a 2A case is because those who are interested in preserving the People's right of arms know they don't have the votes to prevail, and go out of their way to prevent a disastrous precedent.

I'd say that is an understatement. The tide is turning in our favor slowly; but some of the past and current justices were actively hostile to the Second Amendment. Burger is on record claiming that the Second Amendment only preserves a right to hunt, though in his scholarly treatise for Parade magazine he didn't elaborate on how he managed to reach that awkward conclusion. Stevens is on record saying that as far as he is concerned, government has every right to prohibit guns entirely (see his dicta in Lopez). A 2A challenge before SCOTUS in the 70s would have probably been disastrous. Even now, it isn't all that clear that we would win even with good facts and a strong case.

Phetro
June 14, 2006, 01:30 PM
That was me and it is purely a statistics thing. Statistics are what the arguments for and against are made of

That's not true. Some of the arguments are still made of good old fashioned truth and facts, like: the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. No statistic there. And let me add that using statistics is a tactic invented by the left to make infringing rights seem reasonable. YOU CANNOT DROWN A FISH. That is to say, you cannot beat the leftist gun grabbers with statistics, no matter how accurate yours are and how fabricated theirs are. Because statistics aren't the point, and never were. They are a distraction. The point is the RIGHT.

and gaming the system to produce good statistics is part of the incrementalist system we are working in.

Unfortunately yes, and it's high time we fixed the system or replaced it with one that's fair.

And this is not a personal attack, in case you interpreted all the bold and caps that way--just a very, very strong belief in and emphasis of the core values from which we have been distracted in the debate about gun rights...the debate that never should have been allowed in the first place.

cropcirclewalker
June 14, 2006, 01:56 PM
No matter how many times I see this same tired, stupid idea put forth it always amazes me that any gun owner would really believe that the fight would be over just because SCOTUS declared the Second Amendment to represent an individual right. That isn't when the fight is over - that is when the real fighting starts.

Here is something very important to understand - even if SCOTUS recognizes the Second Amendment as an individual right, the Feds can STILL regulate gun ownership. I am saddened by the characterization thus quoted.

Yes, it may be tired, but it is not stupid.

Even though the wording of 2a is quite unambiguous, many of us have mistakenly bought into the concept of infallibility of .gov.

9 and 10 amendments even as they are ignored now have been essentially declared null and void by the supremes notwithstanding the last paragraph of my posted quote above may have a typo.

It should have said;

Here is something very important to understand - even if SCOTUS recognizes the Second Amendment as an individual right, the Feds WILL STILL regulate gun ownership.

Bartholomew Roberts
June 14, 2006, 02:07 PM
Yes, it may be tired, but it is not stupid.

Well, let's just say that if you believe that the NRA will suddenly cease to be necessary simply because SCOTUS declares the Second Amendment an individual right, you are completely unsupported by any fact, any past history of the organization, and have an incredibly poor grasp on law and legislation under our system of government.

9 and 10 amendments even as they are ignored now have been essentially declared null and void by the supremes

The amendments may be interpreted as broadly as they once were; but it is ridiculous to call them "null and void". The Bill of Rights still offers some very important protections to you whether you appreciate them or not.

RealGun
June 14, 2006, 02:14 PM
In modern times, the informed conjecture that I've heard is that the primary reason SCOTUS won't hear a 2A case is because those who are interested in preserving the People's right of arms know they don't have the votes to prevail, and go out of their way to prevent a disastrous precedent.

No, actually cert has been denied in important, well formulated cases, one recent one being Silveira v Lockyer. It is simply not true that no one has attempted to get a hearing. I am not sure anyone has been particularly fearful either, because it would be very useful to have the court on record, saying the constitution doesn't mean what it says, and that Miller should be upheld ad absurdem. Baiting the Court to give up credibility would be a bit of a coup, I think.

We have to remember that when cert is denied, no explanation is given, so the case is not enlightening, a total waste of money. Getting a hearing would be worth a lot, and even an unfortunate outcome would justify gun owners acting upon things they had only projected in the past.

cropcirclewalker
June 14, 2006, 02:24 PM
Two little children, lieing in the bed......
One rolls over and the other one said......
You've got my warm spot, you've got my warm spot.

So the constitution divides up the bed. Amendments 9 and 10 clearly markate where each entity is to sleep.

The fed.gov rolls over, takes our warm spot and says, "Hey, quit'cher bitchen, you still have a corner of the blanket."

My very important corner of the blanket.

Sorry if I am being arcane. Somehow your incredible lack of understanding of words leaves me incredulous.

The constitution clearly states, "Here is a place wherin the feds may not go."

Good.

Then the feds go there and we are supposed to be thankful that they let us stay.

Bartholomew Roberts
June 14, 2006, 02:39 PM
No, actually cert has been denied in important, well formulated cases, one recent one being Silveira v Lockyer. It is simply not true that no one has attempted to get a hearing.

I think the point geek was trying to make was that the pro-RKBA justices on the court voted to deny cert because they knew the outcome would be bad for RKBA. The anti justices voted to deny cert because as much as they might like to declare the Second Amendment is only a collective right, they know that won't come without a cost right now. They are hoping for the day that it will come cheap though.

It seems to me one danger is that they decide that the day where it will come cheap isn't coming and decide to try and get some nasty precedent on the books before they are a minority.

So the constitution divides up the bed. Amendments 9 and 10 clearly markate where each entity is to sleep.

The word is "demarcate" just for future reference.

Then the feds go there and we are supposed to be thankful that they let us stay.

Is that what I said? No. I said you had important protections still that you would regret losing even if you didn't know about or appreciate them. To give one example, part of the Brady law was overturned on 10th Amendment grounds (Printz v. U.S.) That is not "null and void".

Having a corner of the blanket may not be the optimum; but you still have a chance to drag some more blanket over to your side as long as you've got a corner and you aren't sleeping on the floor with no blanket. For a bunch of gun guys, I don't see much of a "fighting mindset" here.

Somehow your incredible lack of understanding of words leaves me incredulous.

Right back at ya...

HCfan
June 14, 2006, 02:45 PM
Wow, great post, great replies, tons of very useful information.

I used to be in the "the NRA is worthless" catagory but from years of lurking and reading those such as Bartholomew Roberts and others like him came to the same conclusion of which he has expressed.

Now this is the High Road that I've remember from the past.

cropcirclewalker
June 14, 2006, 03:02 PM
To give one example, part of the Brady law was overturned on 10th Amendment grounds (Printz v. U.S.) That is not "null and void".
Yes, This is the NRA mindset, if we can just keep a corner of the blanket.

to drag this string back on track.

NRA supported the Brady Law. Yes, they wanted an "instant" registration.

The whole law is unconstitutional and we are supposed to be thankful that some of it got turned over on 10a grounds.

NRA supported the Brady Bill.

antsi
June 14, 2006, 03:08 PM
--------quote----------
The sellout they attempted with renewing the AWB remains clear in my memory and, yes, I was happy at the time to see the senate recognizing that the voters still had some influence.
------------------------

What in the world are you talking about?

The NRA didn't "attempt a sellout with renewing the AWB." Fienstein, Kennedy, Schumer, and Kerry tried to get the AWB renewed by attaching it to an NRA-sponsored liability reform bill. The NRA killed its own bill in order to defeat the AWB renewal.

I'd hate to see what other recollections are as "clear in your memory," like the American concentration camps in WWII and the brave Nazi's who invaded Normandy to stop them; the Confederacy fighting to emancipate the slaves, and of course the British fighting to free America from the Founding Fathers who wanted us to remain a colony :rolleyes:

cropcirclewalker
June 14, 2006, 03:21 PM
Mr. Antsi, please go back and read the first post on this string.

Bartholomew Roberts
June 14, 2006, 03:26 PM
Yes, This is the NRA mindset, if we can just keep a corner of the blanket.

No, the NRA mindset would be "Don't let go of the corner of the blanket, just because you can't have the whole thing." If you haven't been paying attention lately, the NRA is successfully advancing RKBA. Two of the bills they are supporting actually repeal current federal firearms law (something that those who deride the NRA often express a desire for)

NRA supported the Brady Law. Yes, they wanted an "instant" registration.

The NRA supported "instant registration" as an alternative to what the antis wanted and even that position was reached only after they had tried multiple times to kill the bill entirely. Here is GOAs tale of that story (http://www.gunowners.org/bihow.htm) (which you seem to agree with). Here is what the Brady Campaign says about the same event (http://www.bradycampaign.org/press/release.php?release=253). The Brady's seem to find the NRAs support "disingenuous" and accuse it of watering down the bill with unwanted amendments.

Finally, let me just point out that NRA members are the ones who select NRA leadership. Saying that you won't join the NRA until they become more hardcore while at the same time encouraging people who are hardcore not to join the NRA doesn't seem particularly helpful in advancing your goal, does it?

cropcirclewalker
June 14, 2006, 03:44 PM
Thanks for posting the link to the GOA piece. I was getting ready to link it myself upon request.

Finally, let me just point out that NRA members are the ones who select NRA leadership. Saying that you won't join the NRA until they become more hardcore while at the same time encouraging people who are hardcore not to join the NRA doesn't seem particularly helpful in advancing your goal, does it? I didn't say I was waiting to join the NRA. I said I dropped them.

NRA is just a republican fund raising group. I am not a republican.

If I remember correctly, which has been questioned here, NRA supported Spector in PA.

Spector, the inventor of the Magic Bullet therory. The guy who invoked Scottish law to weasel out of voting to convict der schlickmeister. As big a RINO as they make and not a friend of mine.

if they didn't endorse him, somebody please straighten me out.

No, I will give my limited funds to GOA where maybe they are less powerful, but at least they don't endorse giving up.

HCfan
June 14, 2006, 03:54 PM
Mr. Roberts

Finally, let me just point out that NRA members are the ones who select NRA leadership. Saying that you won't join the NRA until they become more hardcore while at the same time encouraging people who are hardcore not to join the NRA doesn't seem particularly helpful in advancing your goal, does it?

That Sir is something that alot of the NRA nah-sayers tend to forget. I, as a life member, have that oppurtunaty and if I remember correctly, if you are a continuous member (paying) for either 3 or 5 years then you are allowed to vote in the elections.

If you are a life member you can also get your name on election slip (I didn't win though).

Before anyone chimes in with, "Why do I have to be a long time member or a life member to vote".

The answer is simple, just as the anti's won't allow us on their board or to be the president, we don't want the anti's to get a foothold in our organization either. Now there are people like michael moore who are life members who did so just for this very reason and most likely quite a few more but most life members or long term members are familiar with the names who appear on the ballot enough to ensure that it's not taken over.

Instead of whining about what the NRA did in the past, instead of taking the low road and trying to get people not to join, you should be working to get folks of like mind to join the NRA, then on the ballot, and then change the organization from the inside out. You will never change it on the outside in.

Bartholomew Roberts
June 14, 2006, 03:57 PM
NRA is just a republican fund raising group. I am not a republican.

NRA gave 85% of its donations to Republicans in 2006 and 86% in 2004. GOA gave 100% of its donations to Republicans in 2006 and 99% in 2004.
Source: Open Secrets (http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/contrib.asp?Ind=Q13&Cycle=2004)

No, I will give my limited funds to GOA where maybe they are less powerful, but at least they don't endorse giving up.

One wants incremental change, the other wants revolutionary change. I don't see any problem with supporting both since all I want is change. I do think the incremental strategy is more successful and that the past 40 years of gun control have proved that pretty well. It isn't as satisfying from a "me as the star of my own action movie" perspective since I don't get to stand with rifle in hand at Concord or giving the "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" speech on the Senate floor.

Instead I end up sitting in my boxers emailing people, walking door to door, scheduling things, doing phone trees... stuff that doesn't make me action hero in any way at all; but does advance liberty in tiny little incremental measures. The other great thing about incrementalism, is that the more people you have adding their tiny bit, the faster it moves. Pretty soon it even looks like a revolution...

Zundfolge
June 14, 2006, 04:13 PM
I see a lot of "All or nothing" type thinking in the RKBA movement (and the pro-liberty movement).

Too many people feel like getting what you want a piece at a time is somehow "selling out".


You can be all "100% principal 0% politics" if you want to but you'll likely end up with 0% advancement.

I like both the NRA and the GOA ... like I said before they make for a nice 1-2 punch.

Plus the NRA does a lot of non-political stuff that I like (like Eddy Eagle, support of sports shooting, support of hunting groups, education, insurance for ranges, etc).

cropcirclewalker
June 14, 2006, 05:04 PM
Instead of whining about what the NRA did in the past, instead of taking the low road and trying to get people not to join, I yam touched. I have been called a whiner, an action figure and stupid.

The NRA on the other hand has played a part in bringing us at least the NFA 34, GCA 68 , Brady Law, amongst probably more that I don't know about and was preparing to quietly stand and they renewed the AWB (probably permanently) and I am supposed to join up and try to get others to join?

Please.

NRA gave 85% of its donations to Republicans in 2006 and 86% in 2004. GOA gave 100% of its donations to Republicans in 2006 and 99% in 2004.
Source: Open Secrets
Thanks for the link. Lots of really good info there.

2006 So far NRA gives 404,527 bux to republicans GOA gives 10,195

So, now I can say that NRA gave almost 40 times more to republicans than GOA did. I restate my opinion......NRA is a republican fund raising group.

Art Eatman
June 14, 2006, 05:23 PM
Dunno how many of you guys were adults in 1968. Dunno how many remember the anti-gun mood of the times after the murders of JFK et al. Or remember who was President or which party controlled the House and the Senate.

Lemme just say this about that, regarding the GCA '68: Had it not been for the NRA, there wouldn't be any private ownership of handguns, and there'd be total gun registration of all other privately owned rifles and shotguns.

I don't remember all the "usual suspects", but old Sen. Dodd of Connecticutt was among the leaders of the stampede. (Young Sen. Dodd came later, with the same anti-gun views.)

You might be surprised about them, but I remember a couple of old-time BATF guys at McBride's in Austin shaking their heads, hoping the anti-handgun part of the Bill got stricken...

Art

JohnBT
June 14, 2006, 05:35 PM
I was 18. Meanwhile, this looks like a good fact to know...

"NRA gave 85% of its donations to Republicans in 2006 and 86% in 2004. GOA gave 100% of its donations to Republicans in 2006 and 99% in 2004."

Whereas, the second part of the following is nothing more than poor logic and double talk. Like it's the NRA's fault the GOA can only raise ten grand and change. Sheesh.

"2006 So far NRA gives 404,527 bux to republicans GOA gives 10,195

So, now I can say that NRA gave almost 40 times more to republicans than GOA did. I restate my opinion......NRA is a republican fund raising group."

John

Bartholomew Roberts
June 14, 2006, 05:45 PM
I yam touched. I have been called a whiner, an action figure and stupid.


Just to clarify, you were never called stupid. The idea that the NRA will no longer be needed if we win an individual rights interpretation of the Second Amendment IS stupid. I've had my share of stupid ideas; but it doesn't necessarily make me stupid.

Second, you were never called an "action figure". In fact, nobody in this thread even used those words until you brought them up. The comment I did actually make was "star of my own action movie." The words "me" and "my" were your clue that the language was self-referential.

Now that any potential hurt feelings have been smoothed out... back to our show...

Art Eatman
June 14, 2006, 05:46 PM
JohnBT, aren't most Republicans much less likely to be anti-gun? And don't you think the funding is for specific races, where the Democratic Party candidate is anti-gun? Generally through the years, the NRA has actively supported a Republican A/B candidate in a close race with a Democrat of a C/D/F rating. Hey, it's helped! It's part of why we're pretty much okay in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The NRA's ILA is specifically set up for donations to political causes/races. Its funding is separate from other NRA monies. GOA is more likely to spend the majority of the money they receive on court fights--which is also an NRA thing, as in the New Orleans suit.

Me, I support all of 'em.

Art

FireBreather01
June 14, 2006, 06:01 PM
Many times I've heard the arguments that the NRA is a 'sell-out' because they aren't strident enough and because they are, or were, too willing to compromise. While in the past they may have been willing to give up a little bit to save the whole I just don't see that as their operative positioning now. As others have indicated, the past was marked by earth-shaking events and the NRA's position at the time was really a matter of recognizing reality rather than backing themselves into a corner of eternal irrelevance.

There are several political realities of the past 25 years that have changed how the NRA operates today - the country is clearly more conservative, or at least the conservatives now have more of a voice, the NRA developed the ILA in 1976 and it really only gained strength after the passage of the 1986 Firearm's Owners Protection Act, that's when the NRA really started to recognize and develop their strength - not coincidently under the administration of Ronald Reagan, and I believe the NRA also doubled their membership in that time as well.

The realities of politics are that relentless incrementalism works - the 'all or nothing' promulgations of some usually result in just that - nothing! So while the NRA agrees to support 'right to carry' legislation with significant restrictions that some deride, others are willling to throw it all out saying "only Vemont style laws are good enough". Then after the first of these laws was passed, the NRA has worked on 'shall-issue' vs 'may-issue', castle doctrines, etc. This relentless approach had obviously worked. Concealed carry was an almost unheard of right just a couple decades ago and now look where we are. I believe that ultimately many states may end up with Vermont style laws eventually, but look where it started. If the NRA took the all or nothing aproach I'm sure we wouldn't enjoy the freedoms we have today.

Have they been perfect over the years? - No, but they've had a much greater positive overall effect with the water-drip methods they've chosen rather than beating our collective heads against the wall of revolutionary change.

CAnnoneer
June 14, 2006, 08:31 PM
Ultimately, it is a cultural struggle and such takes a lot of time. Any strong move in any direction produces a sudden spike in resistance among those who might normally be apathetic but suddenly feel very threatened. Small moves produce much less resistance but integrate over time to a far larger total move.

I am happy to hear that the antis' strategy is being used against them. As a Californian, I'd wish the SCOTUS had the guts to slap down unconstitutional state restrictions and AWBs. Maybe in 10 years they will.

GoRon
June 14, 2006, 09:03 PM
We have lost freedom(s) over the years by "relentless incrimentalism" as stated above.

The freedom(s) were lost because the "relentless incrimentalism" of our opposition works.

So, I repeat and quote the pithy statement from FireBreather01

The realities of politics are that relentless incrementalism works - the 'all or nothing' promulgations of some usually result in just that - nothing!

Work the system.

JohnBT
June 15, 2006, 07:36 AM
"JohnBT, aren't most Republicans much less likely to be anti-gun? And don't you think the funding is for specific races, where the Democratic Party candidate is anti-gun?"

Of course. I don't have a problem with supporting Republicans over the majority of Democratic Party candidates. I just have a problem with mindnumbingly poor logic.

John
NRA Endowment Member
www.vcdl.org

antsi
June 15, 2006, 02:14 PM
--------quote----------
The realities of politics are that relentless incrementalism works - the 'all or nothing' promulgations of some usually result in just that - nothing!
-----------------------

--------quote----------
Any strong move in any direction produces a sudden spike in resistance among those who might normally be apathetic but suddenly feel very threatened. Small moves produce much less resistance but integrate over time to a far larger total move.
-----------------------

The above two sentiments cannot be repeated often enough. Sound realistic political strategy produces results.

---------quote----------
I restate my opinion......NRA is a republican fund raising group.
I don't have a problem with supporting Republicans over the majority of Democratic Party candidates. I just have a problem with mindnumbingly poor logic.
------------------------

Not sure what you're getting at here, but your numbers do not prove that the NRA is a 'Republican fund raising group.' As for mindnumbingly poor logic, you are committing a logical fallacy by confusing correlation with causation.

If you really wanted to prove that the NRA has a bias toward Republicans, you would have to demonstrate instances where the NRA supported a Republican despite the challenger's superior pro-gun credentials. I don't think there are very many cases of this; certainly not enough to support the idea that uncritical support of Republicans is NRA policy.

The NRA supports pro-gun candidates. In many cases, Republicans are more pro-gun than the other parties, so, in many cases, the NRA's pro-gun policy results in donations to Republicans. That is a very different situation than what you are implying, which seems to be an accusation that the NRA supports Republicans irrespective of their positions on gun rights.

JohnBT
June 15, 2006, 02:55 PM
"Not sure what you're getting at here, but your numbers do not prove that the NRA is a 'Republican fund raising group.' As for mindnumbingly poor logic, you are committing a logical fallacy by confusing correlation with causation."

My numbers? What numbers? I quoted somebody else's numbers and said the conclusions drawn from them were based on mindnumbingly poor logic.

Is this the Twilight Zone or the Outer Limits?

Look at the quotation marks ===>>> " " <<<=== in the following. I'm quoting somebody. My statements don't have quotes around them. :banghead:
__________________

I was 18. Meanwhile, this looks like a good fact to know...

"NRA gave 85% of its donations to Republicans in 2006 and 86% in 2004. GOA gave 100% of its donations to Republicans in 2006 and 99% in 2004."

Whereas, the second part of the following is nothing more than poor logic and double talk. Like it's the NRA's fault the GOA can only raise ten grand and change. Sheesh.

"2006 So far NRA gives 404,527 bux to republicans GOA gives 10,195

So, now I can say that NRA gave almost 40 times more to republicans than GOA did. I restate my opinion......NRA is a republican fund raising group."

antsi
June 15, 2006, 03:21 PM
----quote--------
Look at the quotation marks ===>>> " " <<<=== in the following. I'm quoting somebody. My statements don't have quotes around them.
-----------------

OK, my bad, I couldn't tell what was your opionion and what was quotes of others.

JohnBT
June 15, 2006, 04:45 PM
Okay, I feel better now. :D

bromdenlong
June 17, 2006, 03:31 AM
Bartholomew Roberts wrote:
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Add to that, the court must also decide whether the Second Amendment is incorporated under the 14th Amendment and you have enough issues to keep the NRA busier than ever for the forseeable future.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I don't see what the 14th has to do with it, really. If the 2nd is recognized to protect an individual right, then the 14th simply reemphasizes that right. If the 2nd is "interpreted" :banghead: as a State's right, then the 14th doesn't apply.

So SCOTUS is left to laboriously ponder that delicate, intricate question, that most elusive of paradoxes: does the word "people" mean "people", "state" or "United States"?

(Insert :barf: s, :mad: s, :what: s, :scrutiny: s, :fire: s, :cuss: s, :banghead: s, and :( s as you feel necessary.)

Diamondback6
June 17, 2006, 03:43 AM
Guys, why are we arguing about various organizations? So the NRA's not perfect. They play "good cop" to GOA and JPFO's "bad cops". Just like you wouldn't go golfing with only one club in the bag (outside the "putting zoo" or driving range, anyway), or wouldn't expect one firearm to serve every purpose you could want/need one for, NRA, GOA, JPFO, CCRKBA, and SAF all have their own places in the "RKBA Toolkit". Now if only we all could get them "on memo" with the talking points and coordinating strategy...

One organization by itself can look fringe. A coalition of organizations, acting as separate players toward a common strategy, really get people's attention...

Together we stand, divided we fall. If we let the Grabbers play us off each other by playing "NRA vs GOA vs SAF" games, the only ones who win are the enemy. As a wise man once said about 230 years ago, "We must all hang together, or we shall most assuredly hang separately..."

Just my little bit of copper-clad zinc for your consideration.

Bartholomew Roberts
June 17, 2006, 10:13 AM
I don't see what the 14th has to do with it, really. If the 2nd is recognized to protect an individual right, then the 14th simply reemphasizes that right.

Because of the doctrine of selective incorporation (http://www.guncite.com/gc2ndfou.html), interpreting the Second Amendment as an individual right would only mean that the Federal government could not act. State governments would be free to register, confiscate and otherwise infringe unless the right is incorporated under the 14th.

If the 2nd is "interpreted" as a State's right, then the 14th doesn't apply.

Not necessarily true. The right to privacy is found nowhere in the Constitution or Bill of Rights and yet the Supreme Court has held that this right exists as part of the substantive due process provided by the 14th amendment. Even if the Second was interpreted as a collective right, it would still be possible for the Court to decide that RKBA is a fundamental right that is part "of the very essence of a scheme of ordered liberty."

Of course the odds that the same Court that found a collective right in the Second would protect RKBA under substantive due process are somewhere in the neighborhood of winning the Powerball lotto five times consecutively. Really the only purpose it would serve is that a later Court might be able to undermine a collective rights ruling using substantive due process without actually overruling it.

RealGun
June 17, 2006, 10:50 AM
The right to privacy is found nowhere in the Constitution or Bill of Rights and yet the Supreme Court has held that this right exists as part of the substantive due process provided by the 14th amendment.

it would still be possible for the Court to decide that RKBA is a fundamental right that is part "of the very essence of a scheme of ordered liberty."

As would be the right of privacy. Chief Justice Roberts testified that he considers privacy to be an extension of liberty, and we reinforce that here when commenting about government snooping. Many rights can be found in the 9th amendment. The Constitution makes no effort to fully enumerate rights and says so.

Bartholomew Roberts
June 17, 2006, 12:20 PM
Many rights can be found in the 9th amendment. The Constitution makes no effort to fully enumerate rights and says so.

Yes; but there is considerable legal debate about whether the Ninth Amendment can be applied to the states. The counter argument is that the Ninth Amendment was a restriction on the Federal government and the laws it can enact. The States would (and have) argued that the Federal government cannot use the Ninth to restrict the states because that perverts the nature of the Ninth amendment. Additional arguments are the original sponsor of the amendment explicitly stating that the bill was meant to expand the protections of amendments 1-8 to individuals fighting state law.

From a practical standpoint, it doesn't really come up as an issue because of substantive due process and the 14th Amendment. Instead of saying that the states are restricted from doing this because of the unenumerated rights in the Ninth Amendment, they say the states are restricted from doing this because it violates fundamental values of fairness stemming from the 14th amendment.

You might also be interested to know that several of the conservative justices (Scalia and Thomas) have indicated in their opinions that they basically do not buy into the concept of unenumerated rights because they believe it gives the judiciary too much power. They acknowledge the Ninth Amendment shows that not all rights were listed; but they don't believe unenumerated rights should receive the same level of protection as enumerated rights.

The position you advocate is actually more in line with the liberal justices (though they are still quite selective about where they find rights and where they don't).

RealGun
June 17, 2006, 12:46 PM
While pragmatic, I don't feel very constrained by legal reasoning for why the Constitution doesn't mean what it says, State or Federal. Bottom line, I look to the 9th Amendment for the right of self defense and expect it to be protected at all levels of due process. I also feel that all fundamental rights should be completely portable from one State to another.

The position you advocate is actually more in line with the liberal justices (though they are still quite selective about where they find rights and where they don't).

I am indeed pro-choice, if that's what you mean or indicative of it.

TIZReporter
June 17, 2006, 01:00 PM
At the international level, where NRA is a player, the NRA uses, in my opinion, the UN as a fundraiser rather than effectively work to combat the international efforts on controlling guns.

For this year's UN SALW meetings, the NRA response is to have their members mail yellow postcards to John Bolton, Kofi Annan and the SALW chairman.

Watch for an August or September issue of your NRA magazine to feature a rant on the UN, followed by lots of calls for donations.

http://theinfozone.net/salw-news.html offers some insights and links to some of what is happening internationally.

The reason we need to pay closer attention to the UN is that there are countless treaties America signs internationally which will and are making impact on the USA.

TIZ

Bartholomew Roberts
June 17, 2006, 04:02 PM
I also feel that all fundamental rights should be completely portable from one State to another.

As do I; but until the 14th Amendment was enacted, they were not. The rule was that the Bill of Rights applied only to the federal government and not the state governments. States were free to do anything allowed by their constitution and the only relief was to change the legislators.

In fact, one of the first cases to consider whether the 14th Amendment applied to the states also refused to find that it applied the Bill of Rights to states except in a very narrow sense.

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