Lawyers and the Second Amendment

Discussion in 'National Laws, Bills and Politics' started by Malum Prohibitum, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Note: ABA = American Bar Association

    Edward E. Kallgren, the Chairman of the ABA's Coordinating Committee on Gun Violence, further fleshed out the ABA's position on the Second Amendment in a 1993 statement given to the House Subcommittee on Crime.[18] In his statement, Mr. Kallgren outlined the position of the ABA regarding the "considerable confusion and misunderstanding about the meaning of the Second Amendment and ... the power of the federal government to enact laws regulating firearms in private hands."[19] Mr. Kallgren assured the House subcommittee there was "no confusion in the law itself" because "[f]ederal and state court decisions in this century have been uniform in the view that the Second Amendment permits the exercise of broad power to limit private access to firearms by all levels of government."[20]

    According to Mr. Kallgren, Miller held that "the scope of the people's right to bear arms is qualified by the introductory phrase of the Second Amendment regarding the necessity of a 'well regulated militia' for the 'security of a free State.'"[21] Mr. Kallgren also argued that Miller "held that the 'obvious purpose' of the Amendment was 'to assure the continuation and ... effectiveness of' the state militias" and cautioned that the Amendment "'must be interpreted and applied with that end in view.'"[22] "The absolutist view of the Second Amendment," a view Mr. Kallgren obviously does not share, "argued by some opponents of regulation of firearms has not been sustained by a single U.S. Supreme Court or lower court decision in our nation's history."[23] The real question for Congress, said Mr. Kallgren (and presumably the American Bar Association), is "where to draw the line to balance interests of gun owners and manufacturers with public safety and public order."[24]

    Mr. Kallgren concluded his testimony by citing statistics illustrating that "[g]un violence in the United States is a grave national problem."[25] To eliminate it, Mr. Kallgren and the ABA recommended Congress take appropriate regulatory steps "to reduce the tragic carnage of gun-related deaths and injuries plaguing this country."[26] Kallgren assured the subcommittee that because the "Constitution clearly permits such regulation, ... the Second Amendment cannot be used as a reason for not adopting [such legislation]."[27] Thus, rather than balancing interests, the ABA merely read the Second Amendment to contain not even token constraints on the power of Congress to regulate, or even prohibit, gun ownership.

    Footnotes are in the original article: http://www.guncite.com/journals/dencite.html

    And they wonder why the majority of lawyers are not members of the ABA? :roll: