Friday, December 21, 2012
Armed, dangerous, and unaware
The NRA defends it's stance by quoting the Second Amendment. I would advise them to read Alexander Hamilton's analysis in Federalist #29. The intent, following the Revolutionary War, was how to protect the State (meaning a state such as NY, not the US as a whole) from foreign incursion. It is important to remember that when the Amendment was written the US had no standing army due to fears of a potential monarchy subsidized by a strong military alliance. Thus the need for local militia for protection. Militias were local, and the need was there for them to be trained to be ready at any time for service. Thus they needed to be armed as well as ready. The Amendment is written as one function, the need for armed militia. If there were two separate functions it would have been written thus: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, [AND] the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." The Amendment read in conjunction with Federalist #29 is clear. Hamilton's analysis was used to limit gun rights right through until 1939, when the Supreme Court heard a gun case, but not until 2008 were the limits removed. Claiming the right to own weapons as a Constitutional right is in error. The right came directly from a conservative Supreme Court which used their authority to usurp the Constitution and become legislators rather than judges.