Talk:Essay: The Gradual Destruction of the Second Amendment

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Jacob, I know you're not finished with this yet, but let me ask the question I like to ask whenever a discussion of the second amendment comes up. Now I definitely feel very strongly that gun control is a bad idea. And having read the second amendment I naturally assumed that all gun control is unconstitutional. However, when it comes to the interpretation of the constitution, I think one ought to interpret according to the original intent of the framers; and having looked into the issue, I don't think that anybody would argue that the framers intended the second amendment, or any other part of the bill of rights to restrict state governments. That said, my question is as follows: do you believe the second amendment should be applied to restrict state governments as well as the federal government? --Ben Talk 21:19, 22 November 2009 (EST)

Absolutely, yes, I think the second amendment should apply to state governments as well. Since 1925's Gitlow v. New York, and in a series of decisions since then, the Supreme Court has ruled that more and more of the restrictions on federal law enumerated by the bill of rights also restrict state government. Soon, we can expect incorporation of the second amendment as a result of McDonald v. Chicago, which has been accepted to the Supreme Court and will be decided sometime in 2010.
As to whether this was the framers intent, I think not. That is to say, I don't believe their intent was that the second amendment should apply to the states, but I do think their intent was that there would be no law preventing citizens from owning guns - they simply didn't think that a state might wish to outlaw it. Modern liberalness couldn't have been foreseen back then, and so the pretexts of the modern anti-gun lobby couldn't have been, either. The only objection to an armed citizenry they could foresee was that of an oppressive government not wishing for citizens capable of defending themselves.
The textual basis for incorporation stems from the 14th amendment. While the 14th amendment has been abused a thousand times in American legal history, and while ruling that the second amendment applies to states would be, I suppose, "activist," in a very literal definition of the word, it would be very much in the spirit of the constitution and it would move America closer to what she was meant to be. JacobB 21:38, 22 November 2009 (EST)
I would like to ask Ben if he has changed his mind about gun control and illegal immigration? I ask because I noticed that immediately upon your return, after an extended absence, you removed those two points from your user page, which is usually a sign of a user changing their opinion. --ṬK/Admin/Talk 01:52, 23 November 2009 (EST)

TK,

I still feel the same way towards illegal immigration as I always have. I also still think that gun-control is stupid and counter-productive. Having looked into it, I'm wavering in my belief that gun-control on a state level is unconstitutional. (obviously) I'm not sure I agree with incorporation doctrine.--Ben Talk 06:33, 23 November 2009 (EST)

I can respect your thoughts, Ben. Not being a Lawyer, I don't know myself how a state's gun control laws might jibe with recent SCOTUS ruling, which was pretty narrow I believe. Andy might have something to say about this issue, if and when he reads this. --ṬK/Admin/Talk 06:57, 23 November 2009 (EST)
I've been working on this very issue, and am filing a brief with the Supreme Court today in the McDonald case that will decide it. Ben is certainly right to question indoctrination doctrine as a whole, and the conservative Chief Judge of the Seventh Circuit (Frank Easterbrook) sided with Ben's view.
That said, I think this is a rare example where federalism is enhanced by nationalism, as predicted by James Madison's Federalist No. 10. Sometimes nationalism is needed to protect against local tyranny. Marriage is another such issue. This use of nationalism to protect against local tyranny was an intent of the Founders just as Madison spelled out in that Federalist Paper, and the Second Amendment should be first in line for that treatment.--Andy Schlafly 11:09, 23 November 2009 (EST)