Monday, October 15, 2007

Those Who Don't Know Their History...

We live in the information age. The internet has brought the world ever closer and has given the average person access to an unprecedented body of knowledge. However, the “law of unintended consequences” is still in full effect, so the information age has also brought us the MIS-information age as well.

This is especially true when it comes to the Second Amendment and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in the United States. There is still a substantial portion of our population who ardently believes that the individual right to keep and bear arms is not protected by our Constitution. There is an even larger segment of our population that believes that Rights were GRANTED by the Constitution, not protected and affirmed by it. I find both points of view to be as unsupportable and incomprehensible as they are terrifying.

Below are five quotes from five of the Founders of the nation. Many are also Framers of our Constitution:

"Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion... in private self-defense."
- John Adams

"The Constitution shall never be construed... to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."
- Samuel Adams

"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense?"
- Patrick Henry

"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
- James Madison

"Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them."
- Thomas Paine

Note all of them uphold the individual right to bear arms. This is why I find it incomprehensible that in this day and age the Brady Campaign can with a straight face lie to the public and state that an individual rights interpretation of the Second Amendment is “twisted”. What’s worse is many Americans believe them.

It’s also important to note that this point-of-view is not so radical. Let’s go back to the Greek Republic and see what their take was:

" Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms."
- Aristotle

Sounds very familiar, doesn’t it? One of the greatest truisms in this world is “those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it.” Disarmament of the populace is the pathway to tyranny – it always has been – it always will be. Yet a substantial portion of our populace seems to be more than ready to facilitate the transition from liberty to slavery.

Think about it...

Until next time!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Medford Teacher Clears Legal Hurdle

As an update to a story I brought you last month, Shirley Katz, the Medford Oregon teacher who is fighting for her right to carry a concealed handgun in class, has cleared a major legal hurdle. According to the Oregon Firearms Federation:

“The Medford school district filed a motion to dismiss our lawsuit protecting teachers' rights to carry a concealed handgunon school property. Yesterday,Jackson County Circuit Judge G. Philip Arnold dismissed the district's motion and allowed the case to move forward.”

This is a very important step as the case here pits state law against school district policy. A dismissal of the case would not have addressed that problem and would have, in effect, stated that a local policy can trump state law.

As expected, the case made by the school board plays all of the normal fear cards claiming that "school districts ... could be reduced to armed camps," but they singularly failed to address any tangible issues including basic Civil Rights (in this case the Second Amendment) and the fact that in the last year the ONLY guns that have been getting into schools have arrived in the hands of the wrong people – who then proceeded to carry out mindless atrocities with them. Atrocities which I firmly believe could have been mitigated or prevented by one law-abiding individual with a concealed handgun.

The Oregonian continues to cover the case, but bookends its story with the case presented by the school district. The tone of their most recent piece is a bit more balanced than previous works (especially on their editorial page).

This case will continue to bear close following – and I’ll post more updates as they are available.

Until next time!

Supreme Court Takes the Case!

In what is undoubtedly the biggest Second Amendment case in over 70 years, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the District of Columbia’s appeal of a lower court ruling that stated their gun ban violated the Second Amendment.

An MSNBC story has only a few paragraphs on the case, but characterizes the appellate court ruling as a “surprise”. Quite frankly, the only “surprising” thing about both the lower court and appellate court ruling is that the judges actually dusted off their history books and read what the Framers said about the right to keep and bear arms.

The MSNBC article correctly states:

“Though the Supreme Court discussed the Second Amendment in a 1939 gun case, the court has never definitively ruled on if the amendment protects an individual's right to own a gun or if it only protects a right of state militias to resist being disarmed by the national government.”

Of course, anyone reading the Bill of Rights honestly in the context of the other documents the Framers left us would say such a ruling by the Supreme Court wouldn’t be necessary as it’s plain as the nose on your face. Unfortunately the march of history and well funded propaganda machines have muddied the waters over time.

I’m hopeful that this case will be a major victory for real Civil Rights activists everywhere. I’ll post more as more news comes along!

Until next time!