Repeal Second Amendment, Analyst Advises


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rev214
June 12, 2007, 01:13 PM
Repeal Second Amendment, Analyst Advises
By Nathan Burchfiel
CNSNews.com Staff Writer
June 12, 2007

(CNSNews.com) - The Second Amendment guarantees the right of an individual to own guns and for that reason should be repealed, according to a legal affairs analyst who opposes gun ownership.

"The Second Amendment is one of the clearest statements of right in the Constitution," Benjamin Wittes, a guest scholar at the center-left Brookings Institution, acknowledged in a discussion Monday. "We've had decades of sort of intellectual gymnastics to try to make those words not mean what they say."

Wittes, who said he has "no particular enthusiasm for the idea of a gun culture," said that rather than try to limit gun ownership through regulation that potentially violates the Second Amendment, opponents of gun ownership should set their sights on repealing the amendment altogether.

"Rather than debating the meaning of the Second Amendment, I think the appropriate debate is whether we want a Second Amendment," Wittes said. He conceded, however, that the political likelihood of getting the amendment repealed is "pretty limited."

Wittes said the Second Amendment guarantee of the right to bear arms meant more when it was crafted more than 200 years ago than it does today. Modern society is "much more ambivalent than they [the founders] were about whether gun ownership really is fundamental to liberty," he said.

"One of the things that they believed was that the right of states to organize militias, and therefore individuals to be armed, was necessary to protect the liberty of those states against the federal government," Wittes said. "This is something we don't really believe as a society anymore."

But challenging the Second Amendment on the basis that society's circumstances have changed since the drafting would similarly open up to question all other constitutional rights, according to Georgetown University law professor Randy Barnett, who also participated in Monday's discussion.

"The techniques that are used to show that the Second Amendment really doesn't have any contemporary relevance are absolutely available to anybody who wants to show that aspects of the First Amendment and the Fourth Amendment and the Fifth Amendment have no contemporary relevance," he said.

Citing the Fourth Amendment, which protects "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures," Barnett argued, "Sure it was fine that persons should be secure in their papers and effects back in the old days when there wasn't a danger of terrorism and mass murder."

But advocates of warrantless searches could make an "appeal to changing circumstances," on the basis that the Fourth Amendment is "archaic [and] we don't need it anymore," he added.

Barnett recommended that gun control advocates "not favor methods of interpretation [to criticize the legitimacy of the Second Amendment] that you wouldn't want to put in the hands of political opponents."

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Glockman17366
June 12, 2007, 01:22 PM
I'm sure any such attempts would be met with resounding failure...

However, I don't think any of the first 10 Amendments can be repealed. The Bill of Rights recognizes these as pre-existing rights...am I correct in that?


This was sent to both Wittes and the Brookings Institute:

I sent this e-mail to Wittes.

I’m sending this to you to for informational purposes.

If the Brookings Institute supports such foolishness, perhaps they do not deserve the accreditations or any tax payer support they currently enjoy.



Mr. Wittes does not deserve the term “Scholar” as he apparently doesn’t understand the Bill of Rights.





-----Original Message-----
From: EDITED OUT
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 12:31 PM
To: 'bwittes@brookings.edu'
Subject: Your discussion of repealing the Second Amendment



I believe you’ll find the first 10 amendments cannot be repealed as they are recognized as pre-existing.



Please correct your error and report same to the Brookings Institute, Washington Post and any other organizations this has been reported to. It is better you correct your mistake, then have thousands of pro-Rights supporters (such as me) correct your error for you. I expect to read this in an editorial in the Washington Post within a week. A simple apology and withdrawal of the “suggestion” would suffice.



I’m sure you just tossed this in as a ludicrous attempt at humor since any attempt to do what you suggested would fail miserably. However, it is such statements from the so-called “intelligentsia” that makes us not only despise you more…but to cherish our rights (all of them) even more.



Basically, sir, you are doing more to erode your credibility then pro-rights people could.

pdowg881
June 12, 2007, 01:26 PM
Yeah and the 1st Ammendment should only aplly to spoken and written words. After all, there wasn't electronic media back in the 1700's so it really isn't something we beleive as a society anymore.


Who is this guy to speak for all American's beliefs?

RavenVT100
June 12, 2007, 01:29 PM
Obviously I disagree with him, but give him credit for being honest.

Langenator
June 12, 2007, 01:30 PM
Of course, if they can find the right to an abortion in the Ninth Amendment, I can find the RKBA in there, as well, even if the repeal the Second.

Tim James
June 12, 2007, 01:32 PM
Why is this news?

Matt King
June 12, 2007, 01:33 PM
However, I don't think any of the first 10 Amendments can be repealed. The Bill of Rights recognizes these as pre-existing rights...am I correct in that?

I was wondering that myself. Can the Bill of Rights be modified or repealed?

buzz_knox
June 12, 2007, 01:33 PM
However, I don't think any of the first 10 Amendments can be repealed. The Bill of Rights recognizes these as pre-existing rights...am I correct in that?

The Constitution allows them to be amended or eliminated, regardless of their status as rights recognized, not conferred, by the document.

Fly320s
June 12, 2007, 01:34 PM
Wittes said the Second Amendment guarantee of the right to bear arms
He's already shot down his plan. He acknowledged that the 2nd guarantees a pre-existing, or permanent right, that can not be removed. None of the inalienable rights can be revoked, that's what makes them inalienable. Duh.:rolleyes:

DonP
June 12, 2007, 01:39 PM
It's nice to see an anti admit out loud that the 2nd actually guarantees an individual right to bear arms.

Why not repeal it? They basically repealed the first amendment with McCain Feingold, didn't they?

The odds of repealing the 2nd are somewhere below slim to none, but I don't put anything past this bunch of congressional Bozos and thei willing buddies on SCOTUS.

Neo-Luddite
June 12, 2007, 01:45 PM
Who is this guy to speak for all American's beliefs?

Why, he's a guest scholar at the Brooking's Institute.

He's an academic doing what academics do best--
letting the world know what he thinks. His use of the phrase
'gun culture' in the context he uses it clues you in: he's read the playbook from Sorros and the U.N.

You're right little friend--you'll need to change the Constitution and actually alter the Bill of Rights proper. Let us know how that works out for you.

(in case you want to put a face with a name):


http://www.brook.edu/scholars/bwittes.htm

SWMAN
June 12, 2007, 01:49 PM
"The Second Amendment is one of the clearest statements of right in the Constitution," Benjamin Wittes, a guest scholar at the center-left Brookings Institution, acknowledged in a discussion Monday. "We've had decades of sort of intellectual gymnastics to try to make those words not mean what they say."

How 'bout that? A lefty who can read.

Daemon688
June 12, 2007, 01:52 PM
This seems to be a rather recent development. It's only been in the past few months that I've started to see more of these articles emerging. It's good to hear them finally admit the truth. They don't want to just limit, they want to eliminate. It'll just show the public how looney these people are. What's next on the chopping block?

HUMONGO
June 12, 2007, 01:52 PM
I blame Lincoln.

I believe slavery was wrong, but until the Civil War, States had the right to govern as they saw fit. It was anti-federalist as was intended. Preventing the dissolusion of the Union was the turning point of State and individual rights.

Now with a centralized government, how can we reasonably expect to use the 2nd amendment for it's intended purpose of preventing tyranny?

alucard0822
June 12, 2007, 01:54 PM
The Second Amendment guarantees the right of an individual to own guns and for that reason should be repealed, according to a legal affairs analyst who opposes gun ownership.


Should we expect anything less from someone who has been educated well beyond the need for common sense.

Titan6
June 12, 2007, 02:01 PM
Wow. Why don't they just move to China now and get it over with?

Few people know that mass murder and terrorism were invented 9/11/01. Up until that point the world was a very safe place.The first attempt to repeal the bill of rights took place soon after.

This is truly the struggle of our time.

cbsbyte
June 12, 2007, 02:19 PM
At least he is being honest. I am not too sure it would be that hard to repeal the second Ad in the future when their will be few gun owners. It might take fifty years but it could happen.

fspitzdorf
June 12, 2007, 02:33 PM
How can any earthly being take away an inalienable right? Just because it doesn't exist on paper doesn't mean it doesn't exist... Reckon a lot of people neglect and or refuse to comprehend that little tidbit... Guess that is why a few folks chose to put it down on paper... To remind folks that they existed... :banghead:

araiford
June 12, 2007, 02:37 PM
I a not really sure I understand the concept of repealing rights.
We are endowed with these rights by our creator. How can man repeal such rights?

kcmarine
June 12, 2007, 02:51 PM
They can't repeal such rights, but they can keep you from exercising them.

Art Eatman
June 12, 2007, 02:53 PM
Back some ten or so years ago, George Will claimed to have done a lot of research on the Second Amendment. He concluded that it means what the NRA says it means. He further went on to say that the best way to deal with the "gun problem" was to repeal the Second Amendment.

IOW, Wittes' opinion is nothing new...

Stipulate for the moment that we don't need the Second Amendment to preserve Liberty. Okay?

Now then: Firearms are generally seen as the best method of self defense against Bozos. We have the "equal protection" clause of the 14th Amendment, and if you couple that with all the court decisions which have found the police have no duty to provide individual protection, where does that leave you? "Equal protection under the law" means having the means of protecting yourself.

Hey, guns and Mennen sweet-smellum: "Why be half-safe?"

Art

JohnL2
June 12, 2007, 02:53 PM
Barnett argued, "Sure it was fine that persons should be secure in their papers and effects back in the old days when there wasn't a danger of terrorism and mass murder."

I can't believe he said that.

pbonebright
June 12, 2007, 02:55 PM
I have been saying this for years. Whenever I am confronted by an anti touting some 'reasonable' or 'necessary' gun control measure or another I try to reframe the argument to get them to admit that what they are really saying is that 2A should be repealed. This puts us in a much stronger position to debate, and halts the tortured twisting and redefinition attempts of the very plain language of the 2A. Anyone who passed 8th grade English should know that the first half of the sentence is a 'subordinate clause', and does not negate the meaning or efficacy of the second half of the sentence. But at the end of the day, we, as a people, all of us, will have the government we deserve. We have 'tolerated' ourselves into this mess - tolerated the miscreants, ne'er do wells and people who won't stand up for themselves or just don't give a ****, and who don't understand human nature and history. A nation composed of these kinds of people will not deserve appreciate or even understand true freedom, and will not have it for long. If 3/4 of the states ever vote to take away any of the bill of rights I'd say we have gotten what we deserved. </rant>
PB

'A Republic, if you can keep it' - Benjamin Franklin

Vern Humphrey
June 12, 2007, 02:59 PM
"The techniques that are used to show that the Second Amendment really doesn't have any contemporary relevance are absolutely available to anybody who wants to show that aspects of the First Amendment and the Fourth Amendment and the Fifth Amendment have no contemporary relevance," he said.

Or as I explain to people who complain that this or that law is unconstitutional, "They're just driving through the hole you left in the Bill of Rights when you ripped out the 2nd Amendment."

Conju
June 12, 2007, 04:22 PM
So once they repeal it, how do they plan to desecrate the bill of rights, marking the second repealed?

That doesn't make me feel very high road at all.

mordechaianiliewicz
June 12, 2007, 04:34 PM
The entire Bill of Rights exists outside of the words. The words are simply a way of expressing those rights all human beings have simply by breathing. These rights are granted by our creator (my belief, although it's largely irrelevant where the powers come from because we have them the moment we are alive), and we can repeal all of them (seemingly a goal of the current administration), and they'll still exist.

The problem with folks of this guy's nature (on either the right or left), is that they don't understand the nature of the Bill of Rights. Those laws aren't subject to a majority of people, a minority, or one person acknowledging them. This guy might believe that a majority of people can take away a right, but they cannot.

As for myself, the only way my rights can be relinquished is for me to pass away. And, that same statement applies to every other human being on the planet.

Vern Humphrey
June 12, 2007, 04:34 PM
There is a big difference between repealing an amendment and simply violating it. The latter is very difficult to do. The former, unfortunately, has proven all too easy.

MudPuppy
June 12, 2007, 04:58 PM
I actually agree to the point of what he's saying, in that the constitution is at risk if we ignore the 2nd and continue to pass antigun laws.

If we are to restrict gun rights it MUST be done by amending the BOR.

I don't think they should, and I don't think it would be pleasant for them if they succeeded. But, I'd prefer they stand their ground and go for a repeal rather than the incrementalism of the past decades.

TallPine
June 12, 2007, 05:04 PM
I think this is great! :) At least he is admitting:

1) the 2A protects an inalienable individual right
2) their ultimate desire is to ban all private possession of firearms

No more of this "reasonable restriction" BS :(

ghschirtz
June 12, 2007, 05:07 PM
The problem is, if I read Parker v. DC, the Federalist papers and other writings correctly, the Second Amendment is not about owning guns. It is about the inalienable right of the individual, at times in concert with others in his community, to defend himself, his family, property and rights to pursue happiness...by force if necessary.

The word "arms" was used specifically by the Founders as they incorporated language and concepts which predated the broad use of firearms and were founded in self-defense by the individual. They certainly could have used the word "firearms" if they meant guns.

If you take a close read the majority discussion in Parker, it becomes plain that the DC gun ban robbed citizens of the right of self-defense. The cure is to allow them to be armed effectively so that they can defend themselves. At this time as then, a firearm is the best means to do this. In the future, phasers might become the common "arms" of the day, and 2A will be just as relevant to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the other rights enumerated in the Bill as it is today.

The second someone can force you to do whatever they want whenever they want without significant consequences, you have only the rights they will allow you to have. Without a means of effective self-defense, that is the position you are in. This is what the Founders are addressing with 2A.

Note that a standing federal army was not created, but a federal navy was. The Founders distrusted standing federal armies and dealt with the requirement for massed force on the ground via militias. However, it was impossible to mass on the square in response to threats to international trading activities of the states, so they established a navy. Such navy was engaged within a decade in the dealing with Muslim predators from Tunisia, our first encounter with those blokes.

Wittes does not get the meaning of 2A, and IMO, neither does NRA. I think NRA is less effective than it could be because it is blind to the underlying reasons for 2A that the Founders very clearly articulate. It is this clear articulation that pushed honest scholars like Larry Tribe into admitting 2A is about individual rights. Tribe is very liberal and prefers expansive gun controls, but he values his scholarship more.

Wittes does not value his scholarship, understand what he has read (if he got tot the right stuff) or cannot overcome his statist view that we should depend on the political class for our defense in all matters.

JJpdxpinkpistols
June 12, 2007, 06:53 PM
I agree with RavenVT100: At least give the chump credit for speaking the truth.

If they wanna repeal the 2A, they are welcome to try. It will fail, dismally, but they are welcome to try. They have to get a 2/3 majority to do so, and it won't happen.

Grey54956
June 12, 2007, 06:54 PM
Interesting that he says that the American population is more ambivalent to the right to bear arms than the founding fathers were...

This is probably true on the average. However, it is probably due to a large number of people who have been told their whole lives that guns are bad, and that there is no fundamental right to arms. It seems that there is also a large segment of the population that is every bit as determined to keep arms as the founding fathers if not more so. Basically, views towards RKBA have been diluted by a great many bleating sheep.

For those of us who still believe in the 2nd, we're anything but ambivalent. And the folks who are ambivalent had better look out if they decide to attack our rights.

LawBot5000
June 12, 2007, 07:23 PM
Ooh Randy Barnett is awesome. He is one of the best speakers and best constitutional scholars I have ever met.

alan
June 12, 2007, 07:31 PM
I suspect that such as this has, for many years, stood high on the antigun lobbies wet dream wish list. I doubt that it will happen during my lifetime though.

Caimlas
June 12, 2007, 07:39 PM
I'm all for politicians to attempt removal of the 2nd Amendment. Which is likely why the gun banners have not been too hasty to attempt such a tactic:

They'll just out themselves and get un-elected (in one fashion or another) sooner than later.

Elza
June 12, 2007, 07:44 PM
But challenging the Second Amendment on the basis that society's circumstances have changed since the drafting would similarly open up to question all other constitutional rights, according to Georgetown University law professor Randy Barnett, who also participated in Monday's discussion.'Ya think???!!! I really don't understand how people fail to see that this would only be the beginning. Our other rights would fall anytime they became 'inconvenient' to the powers-that-be.

Monkeyleg
June 12, 2007, 07:44 PM
Wittes is simply saying aloud what many, if not most, anti-gunners are afraid to say.

Caimlas
June 12, 2007, 07:47 PM
(in case you want to put a face with a name):


http://www.brook.edu/scholars/bwittes.htm

That's funny. I bet he speaks with a lit-t-thp to go with that pink shirt and foppish grin.

yhtomit
June 12, 2007, 08:14 PM
A depressing reality:

I've heard several fellow law students say (at least one verbatim) that "the 2nd Amendment is obsolete." I know that the Standard Model is the (obvious, sensible, why-are-we-debating-this?) view that the 2d guarantees individual rights, but plenty of people at Temple Law (and, I bet, even more so at more prestigious places) see it as a literal anachronism.

timothy

Skibane
June 13, 2007, 02:25 AM
Barnett argued, "Sure it was fine that persons should be secure in their papers and effects back in the old days when there wasn't a danger of terrorism and mass murder."
I can't believe he said that.

Sarcasm.

He said it to point out the absurdity of Wittes' argument.

precisionshootist
June 13, 2007, 03:43 AM
ghschirtz, this is a great point that has not sunk in to defenders of the 2nd.

The word "arms" was used specifically by the Founders as they incorporated language and concepts which predated the broad use of firearms and were founded in self-defense by the individual. They certainly could have used the word "firearms" if they meant guns.


This is absolutely correct. "Arms" meant any implement used in battle or self-defense. This included firearms, cannons, swords, bow and arrow, knives, spears, etc. etc. The point that is missed by 2nd amendment scholars and defenders is that it also means M-16 A3's and "phased plasma rifles in a 40 watt range". With the current unconstitutional laws on the books no future or current military weapons are able to be possessed by individuals. The 2nd amendment has already in effect, been repealed. It's only a matter if time. In the very near future, only the government will have arms if we don't reverse this trend.

HiroProX
June 13, 2007, 05:10 AM
That day ever comes, my response will not be high road at all.

FlaXD
June 13, 2007, 05:13 AM
This is the perfect paper for a "stealth gun-lover" to write. Liberal admits people have the RTKBA and the only way to stop it is to pull off the impossible.

The article implies Wittes doesn't care much for guns. However, he isn't much of a liberal either in that he has concerns about regulations that violate the Constitution.

"The Second Amendment is one of the clearest statements of right in the Constitution," Benjamin Wittes, a guest scholar at the center-left Brookings Institution, acknowledged in a discussion Monday. "We've had decades of sort of intellectual gymnastics to try to make those words not mean what they say."

Wittes, who said he has "no particular enthusiasm for the idea of a gun culture," said that rather than try to limit gun ownership through regulation that potentially violates the Second Amendment, opponents of gun ownership should set their sights on repealing the amendment altogether.

sacp81170a
June 13, 2007, 06:44 AM
At least with Prohibition they followed the process and passed a Constitutional amendment banning alcohol. Didn't help, as people were doing anything they could to get the drug of their choice regardless of the law. They saw how badly it was working and the kind of disrespect it created for the highest law of the land, so they had the common sense to repeal prohibition. What makes anyone think that if they repeal the 2nd and pass laws prohibiting the possession of firearms that they will do anything but create a huge new class of criminals? People will do what they feel is necessary no matter what the law says.

As others have said, at least the guy is being honest. :evil:

helpless
June 13, 2007, 07:07 AM
This is a great way to deal with people I know who are Anti or even people who might call themselves "ProGun" with exceptions like "I am all for hunting rifles and revolvers, I dont see a need for Joe Taxpayer to own an Assault Rifle"

Just tell them that what they are really saying is that they dont see a need for the 2nd Amendment and they think it should be repealed.... Wait for it... Watch lightbulb go off.... "Well maybe just rewrite it or something..."

This makes the rest of the conversation much easier for me.

Glockman17366
June 13, 2007, 08:45 AM
I did get a response from Wittes. The red is my response back to him:

If that’s the case…then the First Amendment (which provides for, among other rights, freedom of the press) could also be repealed? Is that your opinion?

His original response to me (Blue):
-----Original Message-----
From:EDITED OUT On Behalf Of Benjamin Wittes
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 9:53 PM
To: Roy Jackson
Subject: Re: Your discussion of repealing the Second Amendment



Dear Mr. Jackson:
Thanks for your note, but I'm afraid you are incorrect about the amendability of the Bill of Rights. The first 10 Amendments to the Constitution are just that--amendments to the Constitution that are, like (almost) all other parts of the Constitution, themselves subject to amendment or repeal under the process laid out in Article V of the Constitution.

Nor do I retract my analysis, including my call for a discussion of whether American society has outlived the Second Amendment. If you are interested in my arguments on the subject, you may find the following of interest:
http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=w070319&s=wittes031907
Best wishes,
/b

And, my original e-mail to him...
On 6/12/07, Roy Jackson <EDITED OUT> wrote:

I believe you'll find the first 10 amendments cannot be repealed as they are recognized as pre-existing.



Please correct your error and report same to the Brookings Institute, Washington Post and any other organizations this has been reported to. It is better you correct your mistake, then have thousands of pro-Rights supporters (such as me) correct your error for you. I expect to read this in an editorial in the Washington Post within a week. A simple apology and withdrawal of the "suggestion" would suffice.

I'm sure you just tossed this in as a ludicrous attempt at humor since any attempt to do what you suggested would fail miserably. However, it is such statements from the so-called "intelligentsia" that makes us not only despise you more…but to cherish our rights (all of them) even more.

Basically, sir, you are doing more to erode your credibility then pro-rights people could.

R.Jackson

I did edit out all e-mail addresses.

I'm curious how he'll respond to the question about the First Amendment which would strike his rights. Of course, I'm not serious about repealing the First, as all our rights must be protected.

RealGun
June 13, 2007, 09:32 AM
I did get a response from Wittes. The red is my response back to him:

If that’s the case…then the First Amendment (which provides for, among other rights, freedom of the press) could also be repealed? Is that your opinion?

Funny that I had already projected that before opening this thread. I think I'll move along.

buzz_knox
June 13, 2007, 09:57 AM
He's correct in that each Amendment to the Constitution can be repealed or modified if the process is followed. The Constitution controls what the gov't can do, and how it interacts with preexisting rights. That relationship can be changed.

JaxNovice
June 13, 2007, 09:58 AM
I have having a real hard time understanding why everyone is so hot and bothered by Wittes comments. I went back read them again and thought about them. Here is what I took from them:

1) He admitted that he has no affinity for firearms.

2) He was actually speaking hypothetically about a course of action that would have an impact on gun rights.

3) He concluded such an attempt would be fruitless and alludes to the inheirent danger in trying to remove an amendment.

I don't see him as an gun control advocate. I see him as someone who personally does not like guns, but professionally spends his time considering all aspects of the constitution. At least he had the courage to explain his personal beliefs before diving into his constitutional thought process.

I find it more of an interesting take on the constitution as a whole then an attack on gun rights. He clearly is very smart and thoughtful. Just because he might have a different opinion then the rest of us on this board, does not mean his opinion lacks merit or is unworthy of civilized discourse.

jselvy
June 13, 2007, 10:16 AM
I really wish that the anti's would take a run at repealing the Second. It would at least get everybody's position out in the open. The uninterested would at least be able to clearly see them for what they are.

Jefferson

eric.cartman
June 13, 2007, 11:31 AM
Here's the plan:

Make babies people!!! Wife and I are planing at least 2, possibly 3 kids. Raise them right. SHOW them what freedom means. Take them shooting.

hugh damright
June 13, 2007, 12:06 PM
It makes no sense to me ... repealing the Second Amendment would not change anything ... the US would still have no gun control powers ... and the States aren't bound by the Second Amendment anyway ... I think the plan would have to be (1) repeal the Second Amendment, (2) repeal the many State amendments which protect the RKBA, and (3) amend the US Constitution to delegate gun control powers to the federal government.

AndyC
June 13, 2007, 02:39 PM
There must be a reason why "analyst" is spelled the way it is - some people obviously can't resist pulling their opinions from their... *ahem*

Johannes_Paulsen
June 13, 2007, 03:04 PM
Well, it is a little refreshing to see honesty, even if he's wrong.

RealGun
June 13, 2007, 03:39 PM
It makes no sense to me ... repealing the Second Amendment would not change anything ... the US would still have no gun control powers ... and the States aren't bound by the Second Amendment anyway ... I think the plan would have to be (1) repeal the Second Amendment, (2) repeal the many State amendments which protect the RKBA, and (3) amend the US Constitution to delegate gun control powers to the federal government.

The 14th Amendment is ignored, but it does say and was enacted to mean that States cannot infringe upon the RKBA or any other right that the federal government guarantees.

geekWithA.45
June 13, 2007, 07:12 PM
Read My Sig.

wjustinen
June 13, 2007, 07:39 PM
"shall not be infringed" indicates to me that even an attempt to repeal 2A is not allowed.:scrutiny:

Zoogster
June 13, 2007, 11:38 PM
The problem here is that many of the same people for fighting tooth and nail over freedom of speech want to qoute and cite the constitution as the supreme law of the land. Then they proceed to promote restricting the right to bear arms, adding gun control, adding restrictions and federal checks on owners prior to purchases etc.

Well I got news for you, requiring permission or restricting for reasons whether you believe they are valid reasons or not IS infringing. So in essence the constitution has been ignored on the RKBA since 1968 as at that point it has permanently barred certain parts of society from ever excercising that right, which was vastly increased in 1986, and further in 1996 with Lautenburg. Of course you can cite the NFA act as well, but that did not specificly exclude certain people, merely banned certain types of firearms from civilian possession through a tax (notice they did not feel they really had the authority to ban things permitted by the constitution back then so they only taxed them with a high tax instead of outright banning them because it is all they believed the feds had the right to do as outlined in the constitution. Today they feel they have absolute authority and would not bother with the tax pretense and would ban them all together as they showed in the AWB that sunseted) which is also an infringement, but different in scope in that it at least attempts to work within federal authority.

So opponents realize it is hypocrisy to promote one yet conveniently ignore the other, but they want to be allowed to mouth off, but not have people with those awful things that can hurt people (because we all know if you ban weapons everyone will be safer) not understanding that it is those very awful things that protect thier ability to mouth off.

It is unrealistic because at some point we all know force needs to be available as a last resort to protect those very rights and ourselves from those that wish to infringe on our safety. These rights did not come to exist because people complained enough or thought hard enough. They came to pass because people fought and died shedding blood with those that stood against thier creation. Intelligent discussion and logic can create good ideas, but it is force that is required to implement them. Whether it is citizens creating a great nation, or officers and citizens defending the law with force when necessary.

However people far removed from the requirement of this force imagine things exist as they do because they just do and always have, and that new laws will manage to work out the remaining issues that exist. That the end result is zero problems and laws and restrictions should continualy be created to reach that goal. Completely ignoring the fact that people are flawed, and some will always attempt to infringe on others, and that the real decision you have is whether more freedom and liberty, or less freedom and liberty is how you want to spend your years on this earth.

The constitution does not say you have these rights unless this or unless that. It says they are a given and shall not be infringed upon. They have been infringed upon for years, so the constitution is in essence ignored. One of the biggest reasons it is ignored is because gun laws have set the precedent that ignoring it for good reasons is valid. If there is reasons that allow ignoring the second, then there is valid reasons to ignore the first, and every other one on there.

Imagine if you needed a license to excercise another right. To be checked out by the government for that right prior to excercising it. That the right could be permenantly be revoked if you stepped out of line. If being a prohibited person allows the denial of the basic right the founding fathers believed everyone had to have to deter tryanny, then all tyranny has to do to succeed is make those that may disagree prohibited individuals. Or those that show an inclination towards action prohibited individuals. This effectively outlaws disagreement and being willing to act on that disagreement in a way that forces people that do not wish to hear to listen. Government did not want to hear the blacks during the civil rights era, yet the forced them to listen.

In fact this was the basis for the very inactment of the gun control laws. Blacks were fighting for freedom, resisting against authorities during protests etc, commiting felonies by resisting law enforcement (which good or bad is always going to be the enforcers of legislation, so even under tyranny or a dictator, it will be officers tasked with upholding thier tyranny) and yet were still legaly allowed to possess arms. So the law was changed so that once they or anyone else steps out of line, that right no longer exists. This allows disarmament of any segment of society that attempts civil disobedience. Of course that basicly undoes the very reason the RKBA was added to the constitution, to give every citizen the ability to protect themselves, and thier families against all threats foriegn and domestic if needed. To resist tyranny if necessary.

So since the main reason the RKBA was included in the constitution has been effectively removed by legislation allowed to overide the "shall not be infringed" part of the second, we are not and have not been under the authority of the constitution since.

Between 1936 when the only thing people (even the legislators themselves) believed the federal government had the authority to do was tax something they wanted to remove (and they did want to remove the ability of citizens to have those items), and 1968 when they believed they had the authority to overide the constitution altogether and not even bother with the tax pretense, something went wrong. Sometime between those dates the constitution was disregarded as an old obsolete article to be ignored when it does not suite the easiest way to deal with a situation at hand.

ConstitutionCowboy
June 13, 2007, 11:50 PM
Why can't the anti-rights crowd understand that there is no honey in that particular nest they keep poking? I wonder if they'll stop poking it even if they get stung...

Woody

"One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown...." George Washington, from his farewell address. He knew, didn't he. He knew!

alan
June 14, 2007, 12:03 AM
I submit that Mr. Wittes raised some interesting points/questions, questions that the anti's would rather not respond to. As I said earlier, I believe that repeal of the Second Amedment is one of the anti's favorite wet dreams, as would be the repeal of other parts of the BOR, respecting other members of the Nanny State Society.

ctdonath
June 14, 2007, 12:53 AM
Worth repeating:
"shall not be infringed" indicates to me that even an attempt to repeal 2A is not allowed.

ReadyontheRight
June 14, 2007, 01:02 AM
...Citing the Fourth Amendment, which protects "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures," Barnett argued, "Sure it was fine that persons should be secure in their papers and effects back in the old days when there wasn't a danger of terrorism and mass murder."...


Wow. This guy sure is SMART! I guess the Founding Fathers did not ever consider the benefits of trading freedom for security.:rolleyes:

pdowg881
June 14, 2007, 01:04 AM
Not to mention there were no muders or massacres or anything of the sort back in the old days.:scrutiny:

ReadyontheRight
June 14, 2007, 01:14 AM
Good point pdowg881.

If there had been, say, Native Americans actually fighting the Colonists, they might have wised up and realized the importance of letting the British government and troops do whatever the heck they wanted.

In the name of security, of course.

Apparently in this idiot's worldview, there was no terrorism or mass murder before....when? 1776?

toivo
June 14, 2007, 02:32 AM
Actually, this is not as "anti" an article as some people seem to think. I think JaxNovice has it right: The writer is saying that (a) gun control is unconstitutional; (b) the only way to make gun control legal would be to amend the Constitution; and (c) amending the Constitution to remove an existing right would open a very dangerous can of worms. He is essentially telling the antis to forget about it.

precisionshootist
June 14, 2007, 02:57 AM
Actually, this is not as "anti" an article as some people seem to think. I think JaxNovice has it right: The writer is saying that (a) gun control is unconstitutional; (b) the only way to make gun control legal would be to amend the Constitution; and (c) amending the Constitution to remove an existing right would open a very dangerous can of worms. He is essentially telling the antis to forget about it.

I agree. This guy is no friend to the gun control movement. He may not like guns personally but legislatively he is on our side big time. To bad all the other anti's aren't trying to make this arguement. Let's see, we just throw out all gun control laws as unconstitutional and make a proposal to the states to repeal the second amendment. I'll take that bet any day!

Geno
June 14, 2007, 03:04 AM
:rolleyes: Why not just do away with the whole ordeal...Constitution, Bill of Rights, Supreme Court, etc. What a fool.

toivo
June 14, 2007, 03:29 AM
Why not just do away with the whole ordeal...Constitution, Bill of Rights, Supreme Court, etc. What a fool.
But that's not what he's saying. He's actually warning against it. He's saying that if you get rid of the Second Amendment, you're starting down a slippery slope that threatens the whole deal.

I wouldn't call him pro-gun either, but he is telling the antis that they're on the verge of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Brett Bellmore
June 14, 2007, 08:13 AM
Actually, I read him to be saying that negating the 2nd amendment by interpretive tricks puts us on a slippery slope, because they can be used against other rights the anti's happen to (for the moment, anyway) like. So he advises formally repealing it, to avoid that slope.

He's advising them on how to go about getting rid of the 2nd amendment safely.

gopguy
June 14, 2007, 09:08 AM
This is not something new for Wittes. He proposed this is March. We exchanged emails, however he is the sort of fellow who does not want the facts to confuse what he knows. I actually wrote an article pointing out why he is wrong back then. Tim

http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=3616

JJpdxpinkpistols
June 14, 2007, 08:56 PM
Eric Cartman wrote:
"Make babies people!!! Wife and I are planing at least 2, possibly 3 kids. Raise them right. SHOW them what freedom means. Take them shooting."

I did just that today, actually.

The wife, and my two daughters, 9 and 6--don't ask me the age of my wife. She is a child of the 70's and grew up thinking guns were evil. She is a dyed-in-the-wool libertarian democrat, but as a former journalist, really, really, really enjoys the other rights outlined in the Constitution.

My wife discovered she loves the 22 revolver, and really, really enjoys the sport of shooting, and my SKS wasn't as scary as she thought it was.

My youngest shot my SKS (well, she shot it downrange anyway.) I held the gun *up* and she aimed and pulled the trigger with it socketed into her shoulder.

Comments:

"Dad! My heart feels like it is going to burst out of my chest"

"Well, kids, we fulfilled two of our religious duties today: Personal protection and cleaning up the environment!" -- my wife after we had removed 2 full bags of trash from the area we were shooting.

ctdonath
June 14, 2007, 10:22 PM
toivo is right. The author is basically saying "if you want X, quit screwing around doing stupid stuff and do Y (the only viable option), which _will_ result in Z; I want X too, but I'm not stupid enough (and you shouldn't be either) to think unavoidable Z would be preferable."

Agreed: if you truly want to ban guns, yer gonna have to repeal the 2nd Amendment - and the result won't be pretty.

pdowg881
June 14, 2007, 10:29 PM
I hear a lot of self proclaimed liberals telling me all they have to do is go door to door and seize everyone's guns. It's so simple! (and would make a good action movie.)

ctdonath
June 14, 2007, 10:48 PM
I did just that today, actually.
Too much information? ;-)

Fletchette
June 14, 2007, 11:12 PM
Bring it on!

If libs actual repeal a part of the the Bill of Rights I have no problem with a shooting war.

wolfman01
June 15, 2007, 12:31 AM
My reply to Mr. Wittes:

Dear Mr Wittes,

I read the little article you wrote regarding repealing the 2nd amendment. It disillusions me, to read a scholar talking down one of the single most important amendments in our U.S. Constituion, as well as the Bill of Rights. Our Founding Fathers put tremendous thought and debate into the creation of the BOR, and the Constituion. Their genius is highlighted in how relevant the document continues to be, nearly 231 years after it's creation.

History is full of examples on the consequenses of governments turning on their unarmed subjects. Like it or not, the 2nd amendment is the keystone on the freedoms of this great country. Without it, the rest of the Constitution isn't worth the paper it was written on.

Now, you may hate guns. This is fine. In a free country, you have every right to not like them, and thusly, not own one. However, you do NOT have the right to eliminate one of my rights, simply because YOU do not like it.

Now, by choice, I live in a rural area. IF something were to happen, that would require police response, the criminal breaking into my house to do whatever harm they had in mind, would be LONG gone, by the time the first cop showed up. My protection is MY responsibility, not some cops. Their job is to take the report after the fact. Even in the city, if a BG was interested in doing bodily harm, they would be capable of doing their deed even before you finished pushing those three digits on your phone. Even then, four to five minutes response time is an eternity compared to the few seconds the BG would need to do their misdeeds.

Now, if living in a country with a "gun culture" is so unlivable, I would highly recommend seeking a country that best suits your needs. This is not some cliche'. If I were to be so unhappy with where I lived, I would also move. There are plenty of countries across the pond that have banned the private ownership of guns. As for here, I like living as a citizen of a country, not a subject of it.

Cordially,

Bryan Foust.

Glockman17366
June 15, 2007, 07:16 AM
Good letter, Wolfman01!
Did you get a response?

wolfman01
June 15, 2007, 11:49 AM
Not yet. It's still early though. I'll be sure to post whatever response I get.

G36-UK
June 15, 2007, 02:48 PM
Is this guy in a "free" state? I would swap with him.

Try being in a town where almost all of the neds carry blades or are drunk.

Sniper X
June 15, 2007, 04:29 PM
Just another rabid liberal trying to make us all be at the mercy of the government.

obxned
June 15, 2007, 11:45 PM
The 2nd does not grant any rights to the people, it just states that our God given right shall not be messed with by petty tyrants.

After any such repeal, the government would want to take our property - something which caused a great unpleasantness in the mid 1800s.

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