Joe Biden and Guns, by Andrew Napolitano

The Constitution doesn’t confer rights, it confirms them—rights citizens already have. If you want to win gun control arguments, start by asking if people have a natural right to defend themselves. The answer is yes, and that right is regardless of the Second Amendment, which only memorializes the preexisting right to defend one’s self with the most effective means of doing so: firearms. From Andrew Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
— Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

President Joseph R. Biden Jr. recently announced his determination to use his powers as the chief executive of the federal government to infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms. This is a profound violation of his oath to uphold the Constitution.

It also perpetuates an attitude about the Second Amendment that was prevalent in state and federal officeholders in both major political parties from the FDR to the George W. Bush eras. That attitude was based on a misreading of the Second Amendment, which characterized the right to own a gun as a collective and not an individual, personal right. In 2008, the Supreme Court corrected that misreading.

Here is the backstory.

In the mid-1930s, Jack Miller reduced the size of his shotgun by three inches and transported it in his automobile from Oklahoma to Arkansas. The FBI got wind of his travels and stopped his car and searched it. When they saw Miller’s sawed-off shotgun, they arrested him and charged him with violating a 1934 federal statute that prohibited the transportation of shotguns across state lines with a barrel below certain lengths. The shotgun was lawful in Oklahoma and Arkansas. The offense consisted only in its interstate transportation.

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2 responses to “Joe Biden and Guns, by Andrew Napolitano

  1. Robert S Wilkinson

    Gawd but does Napolitano really ball up what the SC said in Miller.

    “unanimously ruled in 1939 that the statute was constitutional because the Second Amendment protected only the collective rights of state militias to keep and bear arms — not the rights of individual persons to do so. Since Miller’s weapon was not state-issued and since Miller was not in any state militia, the feds — and the states for that matter — were free to regulate and infringe upon this right.

    The SC did, by default, that is it didn’t find the 1934 NFA to be unconstitutional, say that the 1934 NFA act was ok,

    however, the SC did not say –
    “Since Miller’s weapon was not state-issued and since Miller was not in any state militia, the feds — and the states for that matter — were free to regulate and infringe upon this right.”

    The Miller court made no such finding.

    In fact, though the language was a little convoluted, the SC made a pretty straight up statement – that the right to arms was only about weapons “suitable for use in the militia”. And, that it didn’t know if a sawed off shotgun was.

    Now, you can argue with that, and I would. But we need to stick with what the SC did.

    The SC DID NOT, repeat DID NOT, say that the states were free to regulate on this right.

    The SC DID NOT, repeat DID NOT, say that because Miller wasn’t in the militia (then) that he didn’t have a right to arms.

    Instead the SC sent the case back to the lower court with the instruction to take evidence upon whether a sawed off shotgun would be useful to militia service.

    And by inference that if it was then Miller would have a right to the weapon.

    That of course never happened.

    Gawd. I don’t know why Napolitano has such a standing in the conservative community.

    I’ve seen him make a lot of idiot statements, and this is the worst.

    Like

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