Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution - Bill of Rights

"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."

Preservation and Proposition

Our mission is to document the pivotal Second Amendment events that occurred in Frontier Mercersburg, and its environs, and to heighten awareness of the importance of these events in the founding of our Nation.

We are dedicated to the preservation of the place where the Second Amendment was "born" and to the proposition that the Second Amendment (the "right to bear arms") is the keystone of our Liberty and the Republic.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

U.S. House Votes to Protect D.C. Residents’ Right to Keep and Bear Arms


By NRA - 7/18/2014
 
On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) attached an amendment to a bill providing funding to the District of Columbia that would prohibit the District from expending any funds to enforce certain gun control laws.  The amendment passed 241-181.  The amendment blocks enforcement of the Firearms Registration Amendment Act of 2008, the Inoperable Pistol Amendment Act of 2008, the Firearms Amendment Act of 2012, and the Administrative Disposition of Weapons Act of 2012. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Honest Gun-Owning Mom Busted In NJ Could Face 3 Years In Prison


 
Twenty-seven year-old Shaneen Allen wanted to protect her family.

She took a gun safety course, applied for and was granted a concealed carry permit and she purchased a gun.

“One of my family members, he thought it was appropriate for me to get one because I’m a single mother and I have two children and I work two jobs and I work late and getting up at that time of night I got robbed twice last year and he felt the need for me to get my license to protect me and my kids,” Allen explained.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Smart history of guns and the US


Interpreting the Constitution, and the 2nd Amendment, as a living document — through the filter of the present day. . .
 
Reviewed by David L. Ulin - 7/10/2014   

                     
The Second Amendment: A Biography, by Michael Waldman, Simon & Schuster, 272 pages, $25
 
The 2nd Amendment is just 27 words long: “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.”
 
But in that single, awkwardly constructed sentence, Michael Waldman suggests in “The Second Amendment: A Biography”, the essence of the United States may be revealed.
 
“A living Constitution,” Waldman writes, “does not discard the spirit of the document, but seeks to apply its timeless principles to modern challenges that could not have been imagined by the Framers or their contemporaries. It reflects with frankness that our sense of human dignity has, in fact, evolved.”
 
These notions of dignity and evolution motivate “The Second Amendment”, which offers a smart if occasionally frustrating historical overview of America’s 200-plus year relationship with guns.

According to the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun activists, the right to own weapons is an essential aspect of our national identity, an expression of independence. The reality, Waldman argues, is more nuanced and, like so much in American culture, has developed over time.
Such a measured perspective is hardly unexpected; a former Bill Clinton speechwriter, Waldman is president of NYU Law School’s Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan think tank dedicated to “improving the systems of democracy and justice”.
At the same time, his calm tone and habit of taking the long view offers a refreshing tonic in this most loaded of debates.
Guns, after all, represent a microcosm of an America divided between left and right, urban and rural, collective and individual rights. It’s complicated further because it is encoded in the Bill of Rights — one of our foundational documents, to borrow a phrase from Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who famously sparred with Dianne Feinstein at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in 2013.
“Would she consider it constitutional,” Cruz asked of Feinstein, “for Congress to specify that the First Amendment shall apply only to the following books and shall not apply to the books that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights? Likewise, would she think that the Fourth Amendment’s protection against searches and seizures could properly apply only to the following specified individuals and not to the individuals that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights?”
Cruz’s showboating aside — Feinstein responded that she was “not a sixth-grader” and didn’t need a lecture on the Constitution — these are important questions, not so much for pro-gun advocates as for supporters of privacy and free speech rights. What happens if we unravel one amendment, regardless of the way we feel about it? What does it mean for those amendments we prefer?
This is the puzzle of the 2nd Amendment, which, Waldman admits, is a problematic text at best. “Let’s be clear,” he writes: “the eloquent men who wrote ‘we the people’ and the First Amendment did us no favours in the drafting of the Second Amendment.”
By way of explanation, he takes us on a looping ride from the colonial era, when gun ownership was not only common but also, in many cases, compelled because of the militias, to our own post-Sandy Hook America, in which “Second Amendment fundamentalism rests powerfully on the idea that an empowered individual — armed to protect himself (gender definitely intended) and his family — is the morally virtuous way to live.”
The movement he traces is a key one: from the people (as a group) to people, from defence of the homeland to defence of the home.
As recently as 2008, Waldman points out, a “constitutional right to gun ownership” was not explicitly protected, but this changed in June of that year when, in District of Columbia vs Heller, the Supreme Court struck down parts of Washington, DC’s Firearms Control Regulations Act.
The majority opinion, written by Antonin Scalia, is clear about the implications: “Whatever else (the 2nd Amendment) leaves to future evaluation, it surely elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defence of hearth and home.”
Waldman makes a compelling case for this as just the sort of judicial activism Scalia and others have long derided, although at the same time, he acknowledges it (along with the 2010 case of McDonald vs Chicago) as new baseline precedent.
“Chances are vanishingly small that Heller will be overturned,” he admits, before going on to note that it still “ought to be possible to craft an effective regime of public safety while carefully stepping around newly erected judicial obstacles”.
What he is addressing is the Constitution as a living document, which we interpret not according to the intent of the Framers — he’s no fan of originalism — but rather through the filter of the present day.
“We would be uncomfortable,” Waldman writes, “with the idea that states could fight wars against the US Army,” which was, of course, an early draw of the militias, that they might serve as a potential check on federal power. “We would recognise that the Founders expected people to have military weapons in their homes.”
And yet, this is the conundrum, isn’t it, since “an assault weapon is precisely the kind of armament a modern-day Minute Man might want to use”.
“The Second Amendment” is not without problems; in places, it moves too quickly, assuming knowledge, particularly of legal cases, many of us don’t have. More than once, I had to look things up (the passage of the 1968 Gun Control Act, for instance), when Waldman wasn’t clear.
In the end, however, the book makes an argument for the 2nd Amendment as a kind of mirror — reflecting shifting mores, shifting attitudes.
That is not always, or even generally, a good thing: Remember how pressure from the NRA and others helped shut down congressional debate over assault weapons in the wake of Sandy Hook. Still, as Waldman stresses, this is less a final outcome than part of an ongoing back-and-forth about who we are and what we value, a process that is messy and imperfect but also (when it is working) democratic — in other words, fundamentally American.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Murder rate drops as concealed carry permits rise, study claims

By Fox News -7/9/2014
A new study finds that an increase in concealed carry permits has accompanied a decrease in murder.
 
A dramatic spike in the number of Americans with permits to carry concealed weapons coincides with an equally stark drop in violent crime, according to a new study, which Second Amendment advocates say makes the case that more guns can mean safer streets.

The study by the Crime Prevention Research Center found that 11.1 million Americans now have permits to carry concealed weapons, up from 4.5 million in 2007. The 146 percent increase has come even as both murder and violent crime rates have dropped by 22 percent.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Chris Christie responds to gun control critics on magazine size


Posted by NRA - 7/8/2014
 
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie explained his logic in vetoing a bill last week that would have limited the size of gun magazines, saying that “every life is valuable.”

“Are we saying that the 10 children on the clip they advocate for, that their lives are less valuable?” he said at an event Monday, according to a video posted on his Youtube page. “If you take the logical conclusion of their argument, you go to zero because every life is valuable. And so why 10? Why not six, six? Why not two? Why not one? Why not zero?

Why not just ban guns completely?”

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Sobering Report for America’s Birthday

 
By Newt Gingrich - 7/2/2014

Americans are in a period of amazingly negative thinking about the state of our country.

A recent Gallup analysis drove home how deep and how threatening the current mood is.

Gallup asked Americans in early June how much confidence they had in our nation's institutions. The answer: not much. Only 30% had "a great deal" or "quite a lot of confidence" in the Supreme Court. Just 29% felt that way about the presidency. And an abysmal 7% had faith in the Congress.

Think about what this means. Our most trusted national institution, the unelected Supreme Court, has the confidence of almost (but not quite) one out of every three Americans. The presidency is slightly weaker and the Congress collapses to fewer than 1 in 10 Americans.

A Freedom Fighter (and supporter of the 2nd Amendment) Never to Forget: Otis McDonald (1933-2014)

By Chris W. Cox NRA-ILA - 7/1/2014

History books are written by the winners and, if we’re successful at protecting the right to keep and bear arms for future generations, the civil rights chapters of the history books that future generations will read will tell the story of Otis McDonald.

The longtime Chicago resident, who passed away in April, was the lead plaintiff in McDonald v. City of Chicago, one of the most important Second Amendment cases ever decided by the Supreme Court. McDonald, born to Louisiana sharecroppers in 1933, was an Army veteran, a father of eight and a grandfather. He didn’t finish high school, but he worked hard, earned a college degree and retired after a 32-year career at the University of Chicago.

As an African-American climbing the professional ladder in the University’s building engineering department, he learned the value of perseverance. That lesson paid dividends in McDonald’s legal battle against the Chicago political machine’s decades-long suppression of the right of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear handguns for protection. McDonald filed his challenge to Chicago’s handgun ban in 2008, after the Supreme Court issued its decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which struck down the District’s handgun ban and its ban on having a firearm assembled into functional condition within the home.

Major US retailers ban weapons from stores in violation of th 2nd Amendment

 

“Our approach has always been to follow local laws, and of course, we will continue to do so,” interim Target CEO John Mulligan said.

“But starting today we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target — even in communities where it is permitted by law,” he said.
Mulligan said Target has spent considerable time weighing this “complex issue,” but said the chain wants to “create an atmosphere that is safe and inviting for our guests and team members.
“This is a complicated issue, but it boils down to a simple belief: Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create.”

Target’s decision came after weeks of pressure from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a mothers group that has pushed other stores to enact similar policies. The same group pressured Chipotle, Starbucks and other stores to ask customers not to bring weapons onto store premises.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Operation Chokepoint Closes Lending for “Undesirable Businesses” like gunshops


By Bob Irish - 6/1/2014
  President Obama partners with Attorney General Eric Holder to crack down on gun sellers and other businesses deemed "high risk."

PALM BEACH, Fla.—If you sell guns, coins, or any other product the FED doesn’t like, the message is clear:
The government now has the right to restrict financial institutions from lending to you.

Sound unconstitutional?

Well... It’s technically not a law… but that doesn’t matter…

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Chicago sets 72 hour waiting period on gun purchases

By United Press International - 6/

The Chicago city council, under the gun from a court order, approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to allow gun dealers in the city in a 48-0 vote Wednesday.
The plan has strict limits on dealers that the mayor described as the stiffest he believes would pass muster with the courts. A judge recently overturned Chicago's ban on gun sales. Handgun sales would be subject to a 72-hour waiting period and limits of no more than one per month to a customer, while buyers of rifles and shotguns would have to wait 24 hours.

Emanuel called the bill a "smart, tough and enforceable ordinance."

Dealers would also be subjected to zoning restrictions and would have to be at least 500 feet from schools and parks. Emanuel's office estimates they would be able to open in areas that make up less than 1 percent of Chicago.

The city is known for gun violence. Critics say its restrictions on weapons sales do little since most guns that are seized in the city were purchased elsewhere, often in southern Illinois.

Pennsylvania: Suit to allow Sunday hunting shot down, not protected by 2nd Amendment

By Angel - 6/

A federal judge found that the Second Amendment protections do not include recreational hunting in dismissing a lawsuit brought about to grant hunting on Sundays in Pennsylvania.
 
The suit, brought about by the Lancaster County-based Hunters United for Sunday Hunting against the Pennsylvania Game Commission, was an attempt to ask the courts to compel the state to end its so-called “blue law” forbidding the taking of either small or large game on Sunday.
 
The Keystone State is one of only 11 that currently prohibit Sunday hunting.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

LOGIC: 1st Amendment and the 2nd Amendment

By JRoss

Critics of the 2nd Amendment conclude that since the Founders couldn't have anticipated multi-shot weapons (in the time of single shot firearms) the 2nd Amendment should be null and void. Accepting that logic one would conclude that the 1st Amendment (the right of free speech) should be null and void with the invention of the telephone, fax, and any other form of multiple/electronic speech.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Why Americans Needs Guns

By Soulstealer - 6/6/2014

After the [atrocity|evil] that occurred in Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, the 2nd amendment and gun control debates flamed up anew. People were [scared|terrified]. Gun control activists [pounced on|used] the tragedy as a platform to further their views against gun ownership. Gun owners responded by saying that had the teachers and staff been armed or had there been an armed guard, people would not have died. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about why guns are evil and why people shouldn’t be allowed to carry them. Here, I give you five reasons why I support the 2nd amendment and why we actually need more guns.

• To uphold the2nd amendment
What is our second amendment about? According to our nation’s Founders, it is being able “to keep and bear arms” without this right being “infringed”. According to them, this is “necessary to the security of a free state”. Our 2nd amendment gun rights simply mean that our Founders knew that we, the people, are our own first line of defense against any person, group, or force trying to take our property, liberty, or life. Owning a gun doesn’t mean that you intend to cause harm to another. A gun, like any other tool you own (cellphone, hammer, can opener, etc.), is simply something you keep for the event that you will need it. Guns aren’t inherently evil. The source of evil is the person who intends to use his or her gun to inflict harm.

• To protect the innocent and the defenseless
I support the 2nd amendment because I believe in protecting those who can’t protect themselves. I support the 2nd amendment because I know that by educating myself on gun use and gun safety, I can contribute to “the security of a free state”. There are many different and contrasting explanations for our 2nd amendment rights, but this much I know is true: I would sleep better knowing that I have a shotgun I can use in the event that an armed criminal breaks into my family’s house in the middle of the night.

• To defend ourselves from crime
[Whenever|Any time] gun control advocates start [spewing hate about|criticizing] the idea of using guns for self-defense, I start thinking about Switzerland. Switzerland has a very low rate of gun-related violence. There, the government hands out guns to households so they can better protect themselves. Meanwhile, countries with [stringent|strict] gun rules likethe UK have high crime rates.

• To [tone down|reduce] the paranoia
People are scared because so many criminals and psychopaths are able to [procure|get hold of] guns illegally. The solution to this is to allow honest, responsible people to own and use guns legally.
With all the [heated talk|debate] about the 2nd amendment and gun control, people seem to have forgotten one [crucialimportant] thing. In America, we have a choice. We can choose to protect ourselves or we can choose not to. If you choose not to arm yourself, that’s fine. But if your neighbor chooses to protect himself in the event that he finds himself in a violent situation, let him. You may not think that the world is a dangerous and unpredictable place, but many still do.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Militia Myth: Understanding the Language of the 2nd Amendment

 
By John Engle - 6/5/2014
 
The issues surrounding the right to bear arms are many and varied. Most often the debate centers around the lethality of modern firearms, especially “assault weapons” that can fire rapidly with large magazines. Yet one element of the debate frequently referenced obliquely in the mainstream media concerns the actual intent and function of the Second Amendment. Some progressive groups have been endeavoring to turn the originalist position against itself, so to speak. Their arguments are often baffling to those unprepared for them, but they are easily beaten with a little preparation.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

US Senator Flubs Basic American History

By NRA-ILA - 6/6/2014
 
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), sponsor of the Brady Bill and the “assault weapon” and “large” magazine ban when he was in the House of Representatives, probably shouldn’t be the go-to guy for historical arguments against the individual right to keep and bear arms.

The Washington Times reports that Schumer said on Tuesday Thomas Jefferson was the architect of the Bill of Rights. As the Times notes, Jefferson was overseas serving as minister to France during the Constitutional convention and the congressional debate over the Bill of Rights.

Schumer can perhaps console himself that both Jefferson and a pivotal author and champion of the Bill of Rights, James Madison, had a lot in common.

(Sen. Schumer, take notes.) Jefferson and Madison were both from Virginia. Both later became president of the United States. And both supported the right to arms.

But there are some important differences, too. For example, Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. Madison, on the other hand, argued for ratification of the Constitution in The Federalist, commonly referred to as The Federalist Papers.

In The Federalist, Number 46, for example, Madison said that under the Constitution, the people would retain the right to keep and bear arms for defense against tyranny.

For that matter, Alexander Hamilton, from Schumer’s home state, also endorsed an armed citizenry for the same reason in The Federalist, Number 29.

But, we digress.

Since his election to the Senate, Schumer has spent a considerable amount of time trying to enact gun control, in contravention of the work of men like Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton. In particular, Schumer proposed to expand the Undetectable Firearms Act, expand the federal “armor piercing ammunition” law, impose “assault weapon” and “large” magazine bans, and expand background checks.

Instead, he might want to spend a little more time with a history book.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Review: 'The Second Amendment' is a smart history of guns and the U.S.

 By David L. Liun - 5/24/2014
The 2nd Amendment is just 27 words long: "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." But in that single, awkwardly constructed sentence, Michael Waldman suggests in "The Second Amendment: A Biography," the essence of the United States may be revealed.

"A living Constitution," Waldman writes, "does not discard the spirit of the document, but seeks to apply its timeless principles to modern challenges that could not have been imagined by the Framers or their contemporaries. It reflects with frankness that our sense of human dignity has, in fact, evolved."

These notions of dignity and evolution motivate "The Second Amendment," which offers a smart if occasionally frustrating historical overview of America's 200-plus year relationship with guns.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sheriffs: Obama bowing to immigration pressure

By Boston Herald (MA) - 5/20/2014  


Tough-talking Bay State lawmen are slamming a possible move by the Obama administration they say would "water down" a controversial crackdown on illegal immigrants, and they're accusing the White House of trying to score political points during an election year.

"This program would absolutely be efficient if the Obama administration hadn't been trying to find ways to break it down," said Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, a Republican who's backed the use of the so-called Secure Communities program.

Secure Communities allows the Department of Homeland Security to match fingerprints of suspects charged with local or state crimes with their immigration database, detain them if they're in the country illegally and potentially deport them.