On Friday, CNN reported that South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard signed a controversial bill that allows school boards in the mostly-rural state to let school employees, hired security personnel, or volunteers carry guns in schools. Under the new law, which comes into effect on 1 July, school boards will be able to establish school sentinel programmes “to secure or enhance the deterrence of physical threat and defence of the school, its students, its staff, and members of the public on the school premises against violent attack”. All “sentinels” will have to pass a weapons training course similar to the one designed for South Dakota law enforcement officers.
The move came in the wake of a brutal shooting at a school in Connecticut in December last year that left 20 young children and 6 adult staff dead. It also reflects a deep divide between tough gun control advocates, including US President Barack Obama, and gun rights supporters backed by the powerful the National Rifle Association. Recently, Obama called for a ban on military-style assault weapons, a limit on the number of rounds in individual magazine clips, and a comprehensive background check and database for all gun buyers in the nation.
The Second Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees American citizens the “right to bear arms”. However, the historical and societal interpretation of those words is at the heart of the impassioned debate about guns in the USA today. Gun control advocates argue the Founding Fathers who drafted the Constitution and other documents didn’t necessarily mean that all citizens have the right to bear any kind of arms and have access to any amount of ammunition at any time and in any context. Gun rights supporters say the president’s proposals are unconstitutional and a violation of citizens’ rights.
8 March 2013
Let’s take a look at the text of the Second Amendment:
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.
Hmm… the “right” to bear arms is linked indissolubly with “a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state”. That means that arms-bearing and militia membership go hand-in-hand. One could argue, using “strict constructivist” guidelines, that the only people who have an untrammelled right to bear arms are those who are members of a recognised federal or state military reserve unit (such IS the modern incarnation of a “militia”, after all). There is no “right” to have guns because one “wants to own them”… nor is there a right to own guns to “oppose a tyrannical government”. The only right granted by the US Constitution is that since guns are necessary to an efficient militia for the common defence, citizens shall have the right to own them. The wording of the Amendment does NOT confer an unrestricted or unrestrained right to own weapons… that is crucial to the intent of the Founders… do note that the clause concerning a militia comes first, implying that it trumps the later (subordinate) clause. This could mean that the government could ban handgun ownership, as handguns are militarily useless.
Strict construction requires a judge to apply the text only as it is. Look at the Second Amendment… it makes explicit mention of a “militia”, and that such a militia is “necessary” for the defence of the state. Therefore, strict construction, which is beloved of the Troglodyte Right, requires judges to strike down permissive gun ownership laws. In short, all pro-gun nutter judges are actually “activist jurists”, reading meaning into the Amendment that isn’t there. In fact, since there are well-regulated and legally-established military reserve units, with appropriate stored weapons and munitions, strict construction would lead one to the inescapable conclusion that the government could (and, indeed, MUST) ban most private-ownership of weapons (with the possible exception of registered hunters), as the already-provided-for military reserve is the modern “well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state”. There’s no way around it. The wording of the Amendment is clear; it isn’t at all vague or incoherent. The maintenance of an organised militia force and arms-bearing by citizens go hand-in-hand. The NRA and Governor Daugaard are chock fulla shit. They’ve invented a “right” that the Founders never intended to confer.
Isn’t it funny when the Righties bite their own arse? They can’t get around it without using the methods and arguments of “activists”. Reflect on this… they’re so stupid and dense that they can’t see the obvious truth in the Second Amendment. Do you really want such sorts in charge of the country? I don’t… and I’m not alone…