Odds and Ends
15 8, 5:44am
Discipline applies here because 1) the Constitution expressly authorizes and requires Congress "discipline" the "militia" and 2) federal law essentially defines "the militia" as all law-abiding adult citizens. Remember, that was the POINT of the Minute Men, Second Amendment and all the rest: That citizens must not be wholly dependent on the aid or mercy of government-monopolized miltary force during foreign invasion or domestic tyranny. That is why the Constitution expressly empowers Congress to set militia discipline, but reserves its maintenance and officer appointments to states. Self-defense, hunting and all the rest are valid aspects of Second Amendment rights, and nice perks, but the GOAL is a citizen militia, which is right, proper AND CONSTITUTIONALLY SUBJECT TO CONGRESSIONAL DISCIPLINE. Again, the Second Amendment not only does not conflict with that, but reiterates it by citing "a well regulated militia" as the Second Amendments motive.
It is important to remember the same Founding Fathers whose insistence on citizen rights to arms began the American Revolution at Lexington and Concord also drafted the Constitution in response to Lexington veteran Daniel Shays abusing his gun rights by
threatening the US itself
. When another group of tax rebels tried the same thing after the Constitutions ratification, President Washington himself rode out at the head of a federal army to stop them. That ought to make clear that the Framers never intended the Second Amendment as carte blanche for every criminal, lunatic and child to have a gun regardless of how they might use or
use it. Congress' constitutional authority over militia discipline was so great, and the militia so inclusive, that the Second Militia Act REQUIRED all adult citizens have guns to remain always ready for immediate militia service, and Framers who accepted and publicly endorsed the constitutionality of that Congressional discipline of militia included Secy. of State Thomas Jefferson and Vice President John Adams (the fathers of US liberalism AND conservatism, who agreed on virtually nothing else after the Revolution) and President George Washington. All that happened AFTER the Second Amendment was ratified, so either Congress' Article I authority and duty to discipline the militia remained intact, or the Framers running the first US administration blithely ignored the Second Amendment they and the states had just ratified. The Second Amendment is not, and was never meant to be, each citizens excuse for an impromptu violent revolution over every parking ticket.
No federal law requires a 55 mph speed limit, but receiving federal tax money to maintain state roads did--for about a decade; then states began calling the federal bluff and restored their speed limits to whatever each chose. The feds folded because they had no way to force state compliance, and would otherwise have faced growing outrage from state citizens denied federal funds they in part provided. Presto: No more national 55 mph speed limit; national gun confiscations would make that look like a walk in the park.
Whatever the voting comparisons goal, it still fails because the Constitution expressly authorizes and requires Congress discipline militia but does NOT do the same for voting. The sole exception is the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee all citizens CAN vote, but even that congressional authority was ignored until ANOTHER amendment and three more federal laws were passed. Far more importantly, denying black citizens voting rights was not the act of some anti-democratic government tyrant, but a demand of the overwhelming majority of "We, the People" in those states: Government simply obeyed the command of its master (i.e. the public.) As to regulation being the thin end of the wedge: Talk to the Framers, because they disagreed when they wrote the Constitution with a congressional mandate to discipline militia, then added a Second Amendment that states enabling that militia as its sole purpose. That may be an argument for a NEW constitutional amendment, but affirms no existing one.
Most people who dispute the infamous "40% gun loophole" stat would be surprised to learn 46% of gun owners slipped through that loophole, hence the citation. That surprise does not change what actual gun owners said when asked. If it remains as trivial as you recall (and, truthfully or not, others who regularly buy and sell guns have told me it is now FAR more involved) there is no harm in making it UNIVERSAL; if it is as onerous as its opponents claim we can be sure the 46% of gun owners who said they NEVER got a background check would know if they had.
I realize the two-thirds of poll respondents who support registration need not include the whole two-thirds who think that would cause confiscation, but half of either is the LEAST the other can include, even if the 66% who said yes to the second includes all the 33% of people who said no to the first: Another 33% had to come from somewhere, and only one other source exists. Yes, many of those are anti-gun, but that simply means the majority supporting owner registration includes many who doubt it would cause confiscation AND many who think it would but do not care: Either way, there public support for registration is overwhelming enough to send an a constitutional registration amendment to the states (but not quite enough to ratify it, especially not on a state-by-state basis.)
The "Rick Perry" comment was a half joke and half an excuse to cite his recent comments about "trained gun owners" being safe: You said, "for three reasons," then listed 1, 2 and "Oops...." ;-p But the point was that Perry is right trained gun owners are no threat: So why not mandate training to ensure all are safe? Because people who support univeral training "in principle" but CATEGORICALLY oppose it in practice assume it would make gun ownership impractical? As has happened with background checks that are non-universal, and mooted unless the FBI responds within a few days?
Yes, I think the video with one kid proudly showing off his gun to another saying, "Wish
" was aimed at kids: The whole premise is the classic "whine at your parents about all your friends having one until they buy it" pitch. It tends to incredibly annoy parents, so they probably were not the target audience. Yet parents should be actively
couraged from picking up such a thing for the reason previously alluded to: Because a toddler or elementary school kids first introduction to using weapons should not be lethal force any more than their first introduction to using vehicles should not be a stock car. Generations of US kids have gotten BB guns and bikes for Christmas for a very good reason; as a ten-year-old, learning the "just because you did not mean to shoot it does not make it any less dead" lesson from a BB guns effect on a bird was shaming and somewhat traumatic, but better than learning it from a .22s effect on, say, my dad.
How do we get a legal requirement that does not nullify the Second Amendment? As the Framers constitutionally stated: Congress regulates gun ownership duties and the states ensuring gun owners comply. If Congress has militia regulatory authority to make the whole militia (i.e. all law-abiding adult citizens) buy guns, it certainly has authority to make them prove they both have the gun and the training to use it competently. People have every right to dispute that, but let us not pretend it is about "protecting the Constitution:" Defying the Constitution does NOT affirm it.
As to government disarming the public: The fact the law says background checks are mooted unless the FBI responds within a few days demonstrates how unlikely it would be to try, and how impossible success would be. The Second Amendment remains a real and valid thing, but the minority notion it guarantees every strangers right to buy any gun from any other stranger with no questions asked is not only false but undermines popular support for the Second Amendment. No gun rights advocate can afford convincing undecided voters the Second Amendment is a blank check, so all gun rights advocates should stop implying it is.
Bottom line remains unchanged: We both explicitly said untrained people should not have guns; since the Constitution authorizes and requires means to ensure they do not, there is every constitutional reason we should use it, and none that we should not.