Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Beltway Blogger Wayne Madsen Covers Bob Schulz

March 31-April 1, 2007 -- "Vs" stage protest at White House. About 60 protesters dressed up as the Guy Fawkes look-a-like "V," from the movie "V for Vendetta," staged a protest at the White House yesterday. In an encouraging sign, a group of elementary school children visiting the White House on a school trip were much more interested in "V" than in the White House or its occupant. The children busied themselves taking photos of the "Vs" and shaking their hands: a clear sign that the Rove/Fox propaganda machine has little effect on those who will be left holding the tab for the recklessness of the "Baby Boomer" generation.

Read more here. Scroll down to March 31-April 1, 2007.


Blogger FredMarshall1937 said...

Second Amendment Scores Shocking Historic Victory

Second Amendment Scores Shocking Historic Victory
D.C. Court of Appeals Affirms Individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms

In what NBC News described as "the most important ruling on gun control in 70 years," the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has held Washington D.C.'s draconian gun control law unconstitutional.

In doing so, the Court dramatically confirmed that the Second Amendment confers an individual right "to keep and bear arms," as opposed to some sort of "collective" or "state militia" right concocted by gun-control activists.

The importance of this decision should not be underestimated. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is the most important court of appeals in America, partly because it so often decides Constitutional questions.

And in the realm of unsettled Constitutional questions, the Second Amendment stands as a cardinal example. The lower courts stand divided, and the U.S. Supreme Court has never decided whether the Second Amendment protects an individual or collective right to keep and bear arms.

The Second Amendment's full text reads:

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.

In the heated Second Amendment debate, two conflicting schools of thought exist.

Gun-control activists seize upon the first clause ("well regulated Militia"), arguing that the Second Amendment speaks solely to bureaucratized military affairs and establishes a collective, rather than individual, right.

The D.C. Circuit Court panel methodically and resoundingly rejected that argument.

It first recognized that the Second Amendment guarantees the same individual rights as the First Amendment's free speech protections or the Fourth Amendment's right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. According to the Court, the term "the people" is found "in the First, Second, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments. It has never been doubted that these provisions were designed to protect the interests of individuals against government intrusion, interference, or usurpation."

On this point, the Court distinguished other portions of the Constitution in which the Framers specifically identified rights conferred to state governments, as opposed to individuals:

"We also note that the Tenth Amendment – 'The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people' – indicates that the authors of the Bill of Rights were perfectly capable of distinguishing between 'the people,' on the one hand, and 'the states,' on the other."

The Court then ruled that if the Founding Fathers merely aimed to protect state militias, these able writers and lawyers would have drafted a more direct provision, such as "Congress shall make no law disarming the state militias" or "States have a right to a well-regulated militia." As stated by the Court, "the Bill of Rights was almost entirely a declaration of individual rights, and the Second Amendment's inclusion therein strongly indicates that it, too, was intended to protect personal liberty."

Further, "the wording of the operative clause also indicates that the right to keep and bear arms was not created by government, but rather preserved by it. Hence, the Amendment acknowledges 'the right ... to keep and bear Arms,' a right that pre-existed the Constitution and 'the freedom of speech.'"

Additionally, the Court ruled that because D.C. admits that the organized militias of the founding era no longer exist, their construction relies upon a defunct institution. Today, according to the Court, "the militia's modern analogue, the National Guard, is fully equipped by the federal government, creating no need for individual ownership of firearms." Because the types of "militias" in existence in the 18th Century no longer exist, held the Court, it would be impossible to imagine any sort of law that would violate the Second Amendment under gun-control advocates' interpretation.

Regarding the ambiguous term "Militia," the Court then noted it referred to all able-bodied citizens, not some organized military organization. "The Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. Quite unlike today's National Guard, participation was widespread and mandatory. The members of the Militia were to be 'civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion.'" Accordingly, held the Court, "the Amendment does not protect 'the right of militiamen to keep and bear arms,' but rather, 'the right of the people.'"

On this basis, the Court therefore ruled the Washington, D.C. statute unconstitutional:

"To summarize, we conclude that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. That right existed prior to the formation of the new government under the Constitution and was premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being understood as resistance to either private lawlessness or the depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat from abroad)... Once it is determined – as we have done – that handguns are "Arms" referred to in the Second Amendment, it is not open to the District to ban them."

The battle to preserve the Second Amendment, however, remains far from over.

An appeal to the full D.C. Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court is possible. One simply cannot assume that five justices will adhere to the Second Amendment's text and history as strictly and directly as the D.C. Circuit did.

Gun-control advocates, however, must be similarly concerned that an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court might finally and permanently affirm the Second Amendment's individual right to keep and bear arms throughout America.

Since the specific, practical effect of the D.C. Circuit's ruling is limited to the confines of Washington, D.C., the decision does not yet overturn all prohibitions or restrictions upon possession of concealed weapons or the right to travel freely with them, or specifically overturn gun laws in other states.

But this decision once again highlights the critical importance of appointing good judges who faithfully apply the law, rather than legislate from the bench. It also once again highlights the importance of electing politicians who will appoint and confirm such strict constructionist judges.

Nevertheless, a critical victory has been won for individual freedom in America.

8:19 PM  

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