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Second Amendment revisionists are at it again

Tom W. Glaser
Oakland Park
Posted February 23 2007

Sadly, the Second Amendment revisionists are at it again, selectively misinterpreting the Constitution. As the 2001 James Madison Fellow for Florida, may I offer a more complete reading?

In Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16, Congress has the power to "provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia." I doubt that the Founding Fathers had forgotten this when the Second Amendment was ratified. The best scholarship on this issue shows that the original intent was that the people be able to defend themselves against the militia, as armed, organized government forces were severely distrusted after the Revolutionary War.

Certainly the writers knew how to spell "militia," but chose to use the word "people" in the amendment because that was exactly what they meant. It is important to remember that the Constitution means whatever the Supreme Court says it means. In that regard, in U.S. vs. Verdugo-Urquidez (1990), the court ruled that the word "people" means the same thing throughout the Constitution. So, unless Freedom of Speech belongs only to the media, and Freedom of Religion only to large churches, then the right to keep and bear arms is clearly a personal right, not a corporate right.

Further, the National Guard is not the militia. It is a reserve component of the U.S. Army and Air Force, as shown on their uniforms. Congress has defined the militia as every able-bodied male citizen between the ages of 18 and 45, and every able-bodied male who has declared an intention to become a citizen between the ages of 18 and 45.

Words and laws have specific meanings and, unlike Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass, they don't mean whatever you want them to mean. The discussion of this topic is vital, and it must be done by an intelligently informed public.
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I thought everyone would like this article.
 

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Interesting.

Just like the Bible or Quran, people tend to interpert the Constitution to match their own beliefs rather than matching their beliefs to what it actually says.

It's almost funny how people can twist some of the words around or just completely skip over the parts they don't agree with...




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For what it's worth, I put this together five or six years ago in response to an anti:

Both Alan M. Dershowitz and Laurence H. Tribe disagree with your analysis that the Second Amendment is a ‘collective’ right.

(Dershowitz and Tribe are Full Professors at Harvard Law School and, arguably, the finest Constitutional scholars of this century. Tribe's ‘American Constitutional Law’ is THE text on Constitutional law. Both are very liberal, hate guns, and in the case of Dershowitz would like to repeal the Second Amendment. Tribe is an attorney for the Democratic National Committee.)

“...Tribe thinks the Second Amendment assures that "the federal government may not disarm individual citizens without some unusually strong justification." Tribe posits that it includes an individual right, "admittedly of uncertain scope," to "possess and use firearms in the defense of themselves and their homes."...â€
(‘Scholar's shift in thinking angers liberals’ by Tony Mauro, USA TODAY on 08/27/99)

Alan Dershowitz says: “[Those] who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming it's not an individual right [are] courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don't like.â€

With respect to Dershowitz‘s statement: (1.) Five of the first ten Amendments use the phrase ‘the people’ . You would have us believe that four are individual rights and one is a ‘collective’ right with NO differentiating clause. (2.) The Constitution was designed to limit the powers of the Federal government with respect to the several States and, more importantly, the individual citizen (‘the people’).
 

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I think Tribe is the author of a law review article called The Terrifying Second Amendment, which I think you can find at guncite or elsewhere online.
 
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