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.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Pop Tart Gun is Still Making Waves

By Bobby Eberle - 4/

Last year, a story that gained national media attention was one of an elementary school student who was suspended for biting a pop tart into the shape of a gun and playing with it. It was a classic case of overreaction and lack of common sense. But the story goes on. Now, the parents of the boy are trying to get his record cleared, and the school is fighting back.

Ten Thoughts on the Second Amendment and Gun Control

By  - 4/29/2014 
I recently spoke on a panel at the Florida Liberty Summit in Orlando, Florida, about the Second Amendment and gun control. Because I have written many articles on these topics for Campaign for Liberty, the Tenth Amendment Center,, and the Future of Freedom Foundation, I thought it might be a good idea to reread them in order to be mentally prepared for any questions I would be asked by the moderator or the audience at the conference. In going through the articles, I came up with ten themes on the Second Amendment and gun control that summarize my thoughts on these matters.

1. Criminals aren’t deterred by gun-control laws.
If you are going to commit armed robbery or murder, the last thing on your mind is concern about violating some gun-control law. Gun-control laws infringe upon the freedom of law-abiding Americans.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Proposed law would arm school employees in Florida

Florida's Republican lawmakers are unholstering a series of bills in the state Capitol this spring heralded by gun owners but opposed by sheriffs, teachers, parents and some Democrats.

The measures would allow firing of warning shots, arm school teachers and allow residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit during emergencies. Advocates say the goal is to protect personal safety.

According to the Department of Agriculture, which issues concealed weapon licenses, the number of licenses issued more than doubled from 511,868 in 2008 to 1,249,516 as of March 31.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Real Second Amendment: The Story of the Welsh Long Bow

The Real Second Amendment

By Bart Wilburn

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
As simple as these word are, we have been arguing about what they mean for a long time. Part of the problem is that many people engaged in the argument do not interpret the 2nd Amendment with respect for its historical context, but rather in light of what they want it to mean in support of their purposes. If we want to be honest about it, we must look to the origins of the amendment to understand it in the context of the framing of the U.S. Constitution, and only then can we consider it in our present context. The issue is further complicated by the fact that an increasingly large proportion of the U.S. population has no experience in the use of arms; they see arms as irrelevant to their lives at best or a threat at worst. This is important because the 2nd Amendment is always susceptible and becomes vulnerable when too many think it is an archaic artifact.


By Ron Paul

Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Marco Rubio Offers Strong Defense of Gun Rights & 2nd Amendment

By - 4/25/
Sen. Marco Rubio on Friday praised the National Rifle Association for defending the Second Amendment rights of individuals and families across the nation that the Florida Republican said are under attack from the Obama administration.

Speaking to the thousands that turned out for the annual NRA gathering here in Indianapolis, Mr. Rubio said that gun restrictions have proven ineffective and that the NRA’s work is key to preserving “American dream in the 21st century.”
“I believe that the Second Amendment is about so much more than the right to bear arms,” Mr. Rubio said. “At its core, it is about preserving our God-given right to life, to liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Mr. Rubio, seen by some in the GOP as a potential 2016 presidential hopeful, said that advocates advocates for stricter gun laws fail to recognize “the futility and ineffectiveness of gun restrictions.”
“Many of our cities with the most gun crimes are ones with the strictest gun laws, and the reason for this is clear,” he said. “Law-abiding gun owners like those here today, like myself, we will inevitably — even if grudgingly — follow the law. But the criminals do not. Criminals ignore and break that law, because by definition that is what criminals do.”

Friday, April 25, 2014

Common Sense Solutions: Street Crime

By   - 4/25/2014      
          It is no secret that Chicago is a cancer on the landscape of the United States of America. Criminal activity in Chicago is completely out of control. Daily, sometimes hourly, shootings rock the city. As always, the police are powerless to STOP the shooting. It seems people in Chicago still think police exist to PREVENT crime. If police anywhere prevent crime it is pure luck. Police exist to INVESTIGATE crimes AFTER they happen and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Some people just don’t understand that concept. But you would think that a police superintendent would know how things work. That is why it comes as such a shock (but maybe it shouldn’t) when Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy had the nerve to tell the media that “lax state and federal gun laws” are to blame for the violence in his city.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

SCOTUS: Still no decision on Drake v. Jerejian

Drake v. Jerejian is a near-perfect candidate for a U.S. Supreme Court case, as it pits rulings in different appellate courts against one another. It begs for a remedy from the highest court in the land. What has SCOTUS done so far?
The United States Supreme Court is still evaluating a case that would define rights related to concealed gun permits in New Jersey and potentially across the country.
The case of Drake v. Jerejian was expected to be heard in private conference by the nine Justices last Friday. Orders were issued today and the Drake case wasn’t among those cases denied or accepted by the Court.

Hundreds rally to support Second Amendment: ‘Welcome fellow domestic terrorists’

Posted by . - 4/21/2014
 On Saturday, about 300 people gathered at the Gladys Buroker Building at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to participate in a rally supporting the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. A number of those in attendance openly carried pistols, shotguns and rifles, causing one speaker to call it the safest place in town.

“Welcome fellow domestic terrorists,” said former Bonner County Commissioner Cornel Rasor. The greeting, a clear slap at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who called Bundy ranch supporters “domestic terrorists,” was well received by everyone present. Rasor went on to define Reid’s “domestic terrorists” as polite, kind people who love their country.

A number of people spoke at the event, including Serenity McKie, a 15-year-old home-schooled teenager who gave a passionate defense of the Second Amendment. McKie, proudly displaying her rifle, later told Examiner she has been hunting since age 13, when she first received her hunting permit. Her mother, Enola Gay, expressed pride in her daughter, telling Examiner she did a “great job.” McKie told the crowd the speech was her public speaking final.

Brent Regan, a local engineer and former Coeur d’Alene school trustee, told the crowd the Second Amendment is about freedom, not firearms. He also addressed land issues, which he called perhaps the “least understood” issues westerners face.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Gun classes drawing more women

By Stephanie Taylor - 4/18/201
Associated Press

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Bob White tells the women in his beginning firearms classes that choosing a gun is like choosing a good pair of shoes.

It might look pretty, but that doesn't mean that it's going to work for you, he says. You need to test it out, hold it and make sure it's what' comfortable for you, not what your husband, boyfriend or guy at the gun shop thinks you need.

White is a Tuscaloosa Police officer who started his business, HAVOC Shooting Solutions, earlier this year. From its inception, he knew he wanted offer classes for women only to accommodate the growing number who are buying guns and learning to use them.

Definitive data related to gun ownership by women is scarce and differs by source, but it's evident the gun industry views them as a fast-growing market.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Second Amendment and the Inalienable Right to Self-Defense

By The Heritage Foundation -4/18/2014


Contemporary debates about the meaning of the Second Amendment-is it a collective right or an individual right?-would have been incomprehensible to the Founders. Everyone at the time agreed that the federal government had no power to infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Contemporary debates for the most part also fail to address the essential question of why the right to bear arms was enshrined in the Constitution in the first place. The right to self-defense and to the means of defending oneself is a basic natural right that grows out of the right to life. The Second Amendment therefore does not grant the people a new right; it merely recognizes the inalienable natural right to self-defense. Lawmakers may outlaw certain types of weapons, but they may not disarm the citizenry.
"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".

 -Amendment II
Modern debates about the meaning of the Second Amendment have focused on whether it protects a private right of individuals to keep and bear arms or a right that can be exercised only through militia organizations like the National Guard. This question, however, was apparently never even raised until long after the Bill of Rights was adopted. Early discussions took the basic meaning of the amendment for granted and focused instead on whether it added anything significant to the original Constitution. The debate later shifted because of changes in the Constitution and in constitutional law and because legislatures began to regulate firearms in ways undreamed of in our early history. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Mayhem in Motor City: Police Endorse Self Defense

By Augusta Chronicle (GA) - 4/

Detroit Police Chief James Craig shocked liberal sensibilities earlier this year when he recommended law-abiding citizens in his crime-ridden city arm themselves for protection.

Had David Utash of Clinton Township, Mich., taken the advice, he might not have spent several days in a medically induced coma recovering from a savage beating on a Detroit street corner.

The 54-year-old tree trimmer was attacked by a mob earlier this month after stopping to check on a 10-year-old he accidentally hit with his truck while on his way home from work.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Armed Homeowner Protects Family From Group of Detroit Thugs – Is There a Chance the Homeowner Could Face Charges?

By Jason Howerton - 

The homeowner and family members were reportedly in the basement playing video games when they heard noise and footsteps coming from inside the home.

With a getaway driver waiting in the car, two men broke into the home. They were quickly confronted by the family, with at least the homeowner in question armed with a gun.

New Campaign: Take Guns from Women in Abusive Households

For all Michael Bloomberg's talk about simply wanting to secure expanded background checks, his newest gun control group "Everytown for Gun Safety" is on a broader mission to take away the guns women in abusive homes could use for self defense.

In an April 16th tweet posted at 6:42 a.m, Everytown came out against guns in homes where someone is abusive. They did so without recognizing that the gun may be the only thing that gives the victim of abuse a fighting chance of survival.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Too Many Guns: How Shootout With Bombing Suspects Spiraled into Chaos

 April 15th 2014
WATERTOWN, Mass. -- “Don’t approach the subjects. Wait for backup.”
That was the terse reply to Watertown police Officer Joe Reynolds from a dispatcher when he radioed that he was tailing a black SUV.
But Reynolds would soon learn that waiting for backup was not an option. When he followed the SUV onto Laurel Street just before 1 a.m. on April 19, 2013, the driver stepped out and began shooting and flinging bombs, setting off a lethal, chaotic chain reaction that would end the days long manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
When backup did arrive, the resulting firefight exposed a sobering truth about law enforcement. Sometimes too many guns and officers are worse than too few.
The early morning shootout cascaded out of a pair of crimes the preceding evening in neighboring Cambridge, only a few hours after authorities had released the photos of two men they believed were responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings three days earlier, which had killed three people and wounded more than 260.       

Watertown shootout witness details scene

At 10:20 p.m., police radios crackled with the news that a campus police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology had been killed. Sean Collier was shot five times as he sat in his patrol car, and whoever shot him had tried unsuccessfully to steal the gun from his holster.

Shortly after midnight, police radios came alive again. Officers were asked to keep their eyes out for a black 2013 Mercedes SUV. Two men of “Middle Eastern” appearance had carjacked the owner and taken him hostage. When they stopped for gas at a station in Cambridge just after midnight, the captive had escaped and called 911. He said the men were talking about heading to New York.
Police tracked the Mercedes SUV via GPS as it headed west into the suburb of Watertown, down dark, leafy streets lined with single-family homes. Reynolds picked up the trail of his SUV and followed with his lights off.
“My officers truly believed they were going to stop that car,” said Watertown Police Chief Ed Deveau, “two teenage kids were going to jump out of it, and they were going to chase them through the backyards.”
But Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the 26-year-old Russian Muslim immigrant whose picture had just been shown on television as the unnamed “Suspect 1” in the marathon bombings, was driving the SUV. And just in front of that vehicle, “Suspect 2” -- Tamerlan’s 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar -- was driving a green Honda.
The Tsarnaevs pulled their cars on to a short block of Laurel Street, driving east, and Reynolds, alone in his patrol car, followed. Then, suddenly, just before the corner, Tamerlan hit the brakes on the SUV, stepped out of the driver’s side brandishing a Ruger, and began walking towards Reynolds, firing his weapon.
Reynolds slammed his patrol car into reverse and backed up 30 yards, just as Watertown Police Sgt. John MacLellan arrived on the scene in his own radio car.
When Tsarnaev turned his gun on MacLellan, the sergeant put his cruiser in drive, hopped out with only his service pistol and sent it rolling toward the Tsarnaev brothers to draw fire. He began yelling into the radio, “Shots fired! Shots fired!”
'They're throwing bombs at us.'
The suspects now revealed they had other weapons in their arsenal. Some kind of homemade device came flying at the officers and exploded when it hit the pavement. It was an exact replica of the nail-stuffed pressure cooker bombs that had torn the flesh from spectators at the marathon that Monday.
“Chief, they’re shooting. They’re throwing bombs at us,” Reynolds told Deveau. “And I think these are the guys that killed the MIT officer.”
Other Watertown officers were pulling up at the scene as more bombs came flying from the east end of Laurel Street. One, Jeffrey Pugliese began moving toward the Tsarnaev brothers on the northern side of Laurel, in a classic flanking maneuver.
With police dispatchers throughout the region now involved in marshalling a response, soon cops, state troopers and federal agents -- representatives of more than a dozen separate agencies in all -- began descending on Laurel Street.
Some of the officers were already part of the investigation, or had been dispatched. Others “self deployed,” meaning they were volunteers, unknown men with guns who arrived unannounced in the middle of a shootout. By the end of the shootout, there was even a National Guardsman in tan fatigues and helmet on nearby Mt. Auburn Street.
“The cavalry came,” said Deveau. But no one was leading the charge.
In effect, the suspects ended up at the center of a ring of cops on Laurel Street between Dexter and School streets during the 20-minute firefight, and the bullets that were fired at them often hit near the officers on the other side.
“Certainly not a good idea,” said Davis. “They see somebody shooting, so they fire at them. That’s their training.”
Police training dictates that officers consider several key factors when making the decision to fire their weapons. They must assess the danger posed to bystanders, residents and fellow officers, they should know the position of fellow officers and they should stop to reassess the situation if they can, rather than simply continuing to pull the trigger.
But on Laurel Street, rounds flew into parked cars and police vehicles and chewed up fences and trees. A round entered the home of Andrew Kitzenberg on the north side of the street and lodged in a chair. Another ripped through the exterior wall of Adam Andrew and Megan Marrer’s house and landed on their living room floor.
More than a dozen officers suffered minor injuries during the mayhem, but none was believed to have been wounded by the suspects. The only serious wound was suffered by Richard Donohue, a transit cop with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, who was hit in the groin by a police bullet and began to bleed profusely.
The suspects, meanwhile, had not surrendered. Twenty minutes into the firefight, however, Tamerlan Tsarnaev left the shelter of the SUV and began walking toward Watertown police Sgt. Jeff Pugliese.
“It absolutely felt like it was something from a movie,” said local resident Andrew Kitzenberg, who watched – and filmed – some of the action from inside his Laurel Street home. “He was charging them and engaging them in gunfire.”

Tamerlan, though wounded, kept walking toward Pugliese until his gun jammed or he ran out of ammo. Then he threw the weapon at Pugliese, hitting him in the arm, and turned to run back to his vehicle.
“Jeff, you know, without any regard for his own safety, started to bring this shootout to an end,” said Deveau.
Seizing his chance, Pugliese tackled Tamerlan in the street. A group of officers held the suspect down to cuff him.
Then Tamerlan’s younger brother Dzhokhar jumped into the SUV, swung it around in a U turn, and began accelerating toward the clot of officers hovering over his brother. The officers jumped out of the way. Tamerlan didn’t. The SUV ran over Tamerlan and dragged him 25 to 30 feet, and then swung out onto Dexter and vanished into the night.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was able to flee in part because the officers who knew the streets best, the Watertown cops, were tending to Donohue, but also because the mob of “self-deployed” officers had created an obstacle course of vehicles. He weaved through them before any of them could react.
There was a 45-second lag, according to witnesses, before cars gave pursuit without success. After a mistaken police radio report that Tsarnaev had stolen a state police SUV, however, multiple rounds were fired at a state police vehicle that was leaving the scene. No one was injured. Officers, guns drawn, also briefly surrounded an innocent pedestrian and the innocent driver of a vehicle near the scene.
The same gridlock of cars delayed the emergency vehicles en route to pick up Richard Donohue and transport him to a hospital. He survived despite massive blood loss.
When the shooting was over, police had fired at least 100 rounds. The exact number has never been released. There was a small pile of shells near the bloody spot on the pavement where Tamerlan’s body had come to rest after being dragged by the SUV. Witnesses said they’d seen officers shooting at him on the ground. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
The suspects might not have done much shooting at all. They had thrown as many as a half-dozen homemade bombs at the officers, including several duds, but were found to have had only one gun between them. They may have fired fewer than 10 shots total.
Eighteen hours later, the police caught up with Dzhokar Tsarnaev. Once again, cops and guns crowded the stage, even jostling for position, and once again that led to an excess of bullet casings on the ground.
The Boston metro area was locked down by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick all day on Friday, April 19, as cops searched Watertown for the missing suspect. They’d found both the Honda and the SUV abandoned near the site of the Laurel Street shootout, and believed that Dzhokhar might be nearby, wounded and hiding.
At 6:07 p.m., Patrick ended the lockdown. A resident of Watertown’s Franklin Street, just a few blocks west of Laurel and Dexter, went outside to get fresh air and fix the covering on his boat. It had somehow come loose and had been flapping in the wind, and it bugged him.
When he looked under the tarp and inside the boat, he saw blood, and the figure of a man huddled by the engine block. He ran back inside and called 911.
“Almost immediately,” says a Harvard report on the Marathon manhunt, “a senior police officer was on the scene, establishing incident command and requesting ‘a tactical team’ for support. He got much more than he asked for.”
The senior commander at the scene, William Evans, is now commissioner of the Boston Police Department. The man he succeeded, Ed Davis, also was at the scene, coordinating with the FBI’s hostage rescue team for a period of time.
Officers from the Boston PD, Watertown PD, the state police and various tactical units surrounded the boat. 

Gunfight witness: It was ‘pop, pop, pop, pop!’

The commander on scene was able to deploy the tactical team and establish a perimeter, says the report, but his control was only partial because there were so many extra, “self-deployed” bodies arriving.
A member of one SWAT team tried to take up a position on a rooftop, only to find that a member of a different SWAT team was on the same roof. After an argument, neither man would budge.
At around 7 p.m., a voice on the police radio issued a warning, “There’s a perp in the boat trying to poke a hole in the liner, a perp in the boat. Live party who may be trying to object out, live party in the boat confirmed.”
Tsarnaev was pushing a long, thin object up through the boat covering. The object later turned out to be a fishing gaff, which Tsarnaev may have been trying to use to push up the tarp so he could see out.
But one of the snipers on the roof saw the object and began shooting. It sparked a round of what is known as “contagious fire,” where other officers with their fingers on the trigger began peppering the boat with bullets.
The commander began shouting for the officers to cease fire, but the fusillade went on for 10 seconds. Hundreds of rounds were expended.
When the shooting stopped, order was restored. The FBI’s hostage rescue team used a robotic arm to pull the wrapping off the boat. Flash grenades thrown at the craft were meant to stun Tsarnaev, and he was urged via bullhorn to surrender.
But no one fired, and Tsarnaev surrendered. Officers laid him on the lawn. At 8:42 p.m, officers reported via radio that the suspect in custody.
Ed Davis, the former Boston police commissioner, declined to fault the cops who took part in the shootout and subsequent hunt for Dzhokar Tsarnaev, but he acknowledged that the need to better prepare officers for such chaotic scenes.
“The officers that responded there did exactly the right thing. No one is—criticizing them. And don’t take any of my statements to think that I think that anybody did anything wrong,” he said. “But it’s important to learn from anything that happens, and I think that … has to be factored into ongoing training.”

No weapon was found on Tsarnaev’s body or in the boat. He was taken to a hospital and has since recovered from his wounds. He faces prosecution on terrorism charges that carry a potential death penalty.
Geoff Alpert, a criminology professor at the University of South Carolina, said that even accounting for the circumstances of the Boston Marathon bombing and the climatic end in Watertown, the showdown with the Tsarnaev brothers highlights troubling shortcomings for Boston-area law enforcement in overall preparedness for large-scale tactical incidents.
"Someone has to be in charge."
“There should have been protocols in place that night and the analogy is a fire,” Alpert said. “Firefighters and firetrucks are not going to just show up and start spraying each other. Each group is going to have is going to have a responsibility and someone is going to coordinate among those groups. Police work is no different, except the consequences can be even more disastrous for not having general, pre-established procedures before the chaos hits.
“There might be breakdowns and people might make decisions on less information than they would like in less than ideal conditions, but someone has to be in charge. Otherwise, you have all these individuals making decisions on very limited information and on very limited resources instead of pooling them.”
Scott Reitz, a former LAPD SWAT unit member and a national firearms tactics and deadly force expert, said that most officers act “with the best of intentions,” and that the “confusion, misdirection and overall chaos” of an incident like Watertown can’t be understated, especially weighed against the limitations of training vs. real-world experience.
“In essence, it would be analogous to practicing on a stick-shifted Volkswagen Bug and then being thrown into the Le Mans in a Formula One racecar, at night, in the rain,” Reitz said. “One cannot train to one level of proficiency when an entirely different level is required in the real world. The results are somewhat predictable.”

In his experience, Reitz said that sometimes less is more when it comes to engaging suspects.
“Having trained many tens of thousands of officers from around the world over many decades, I continually stress that it is equally important if not more so, to know when not to shoot - as it is when to shoot.” he said.    

Who Has the Right to 'Bear Arms'?

More than 200 years after the adoption of the Bill of Rights, the Supreme Court may finally clarify how far second amendment rights go

By Patricia Smith -

Otis McDonald is fed up. His Chicago home has been broken into three times, and he wants to be able to keep a handgun in his house for self-defense.

He can't, however, because Chicago bans the possession of handguns. McDonald, who is 76, is challenging the ban, saying it violates his Second Amendment rights, and the Supreme Court is now considering his case, McDonald v. Chicago. The outcome of this closely watched case could have a powerful impact on the rights of individuals in all 50 states to own guns and the extent to which state and local governments can pass laws restricting gun ownership.
McDonald v. Chicago is actually the sequel to a landmark 2008 case in which the Supreme Court ruled for the first time that the Second Amendment's "right to bear arms" applies to individuals, not just to state militias, as many had interpreted it for more than 200 years. In striking down a handgun ban in Washington, D.C., in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Court established an individual right to keep a handgun at home for self-defense. That 5-4 ruling, however, applies only to places under federal jurisdiction, like Washington. The current case will determine if that individual right to bear arms applies everywhere else. When McDonald was argued before the Supreme Court in March, comments from the Justices suggested that a majority are prepared to strike down Chicago's ban and rule that the Second Amendment does apply to the states. One of the most disputed passages in the Constitution, the Second Amendment states, in its entirety: "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." The Bill of Rights The first 10 amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, were adopted in 1791 in response to fears that the Constitution gave the new federal government in Washington too much power. The Bill of Rights was originally a restriction on only the power of the federal government, not the states. It was only after the Civil War, with the passage of the 14th Amendment, that the Supreme Court began to apply most, but not all, of the protections in the Bill of Rights to the states. (The Court has ruled, for example, that the right to a trial by jury does not extend to state courts.)
For three decades, starting in the 1960s, the story of gun control was one of notorious crimes and laws passed in response, beginning with the 1968 federal gun-control law that followed the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who was running for President. In 1994, spurred in part by an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan years earlier, Congress created a national system of background checks for gun buyers and passed an assault-weapons ban (which was allowed to expire in 2004). Today, there are 280 million firearms in private hands in the U.S., and about a third of American households have reported having a gun at home. State and local gun-control measures range from requiring safety locks to outright bans on certain types of ammunition or on gun ownership for felons or the mentally ill.
  Advocates of gun-control laws say that much has changed since 1791, when people kept muskets to be ready for militia service and to hunt for their food. And modern weapons are far deadlier than those of the 18th century: They fire more powerful ammunition and can deliver dozens of shots at a time. In 2006, almost 31,000 Americans died from gun violence, more than in any other country. Gun-rights groups—the most powerful of which is the National Rifle Association—argue that any restrictions on gun ownership infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens. "The only universe of people affected by gun-control laws are law-abiding Americans, since most criminals obtain their firearms on the black market," says Andrew Arulanandam of the N.R.A. Loosening State Gun Restrictions  Amid fears in the gun-rights community that the Obama administration is about to tighten gun restrictions, a number of states have recently loosened their gun laws. (In fact, the President has been largely silent on gun control, and has signed bills allowing guns on Amtrak trains and in national parks. "We have had some successes, but we know that the first chance Obama gets, he will pounce on us," says Wayne LaPierre, head of the N.R.A.)  Montana and Tennessee passed laws exempting themselves from federal regulation of firearms and ammunition made, sold, and used within their borders. (Federal regulators say federal law supersedes such state measures; the Montana law is already being challenged in court.)  Virginia lawmakers have approved a bill that allows people to carry concealed weapons in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. This change comes less than three years after the shooting at Virginia Tech that claimed 33 lives and prompted a renewed push for tighter gun control. Meanwhile, lawmakers in Arizona and Wyoming are considering whether to allow residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit.  There's also been a push recently among gun-rights activists to exercise their right to carry guns openly in states that allow it. Starbucks, in particular, has been a target for gun owners in Virginia and California, who have walked in and ordered their lattes with handguns strapped to their waists. Businesses can, in fact, ban guns from their premises, even in "open carry" states; California Pizza Kitchen, for example, has banned guns in its restaurants, while Starbucks has not.  Why Gun Control Will Likely Survive Even if the Supreme Court does use the McDonald case to extend Second Amendment rights to the states by overturning Chicago's handgun ban, it will not necessarily mean that all gun-control laws are unconstitutional. "Even when we've applied provisions of the Bill of Rights to the states, we have allowed the states substantial latitude to impose reasonable regulations," noted Justice Anthony M. Kennedy during oral arguments. "Why can't we do the same thing with firearms?" Justice Antonin Scalia made a similar point in the Heller ruling two years ago, suggesting that all sorts of restrictions might pass Second Amendment muster, including, "the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms." Comments like these have been cause for optimism among gun-control advocates. As Jonathan Lowy of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence puts it, "The Court went to great lengths to state that the Heller decision is not an impediment to common-sense gun laws."  The specifics of what kind of restrictions are constitutional and which are not will likely take years—and many more court cases—to hammer out. "There will be a lot of litigation," predicts Adam Winkler, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. "But the vast majority of gun-control laws are going to survive."
(The New York Times Upfront, Vol. 142, April 19, 2010)

Constitution Check: Does the Second Amendment need to be amended?

    Lyle Denniston looks at recent statements from retired Justice John Paul Stevens about limiting gun rights, and a political reality that runs counter to that idea.


“As a result of [Supreme Court] rulings, the Second Amendment, which was adopted to protect the states from federal interference with their power to ensure that their militias were ‘well regulated,’ has given federal judges the ultimate power to determine the validity of state regulations of both civilian and militia-related uses of arms.  That anomalous result can be avoided by adding five words to the text of the Second Amendment to make ti unambiguously conform to the original intent of the draftsmen.  As so amended, it would read: ‘A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms when serving in the militia shall not be infringed.’ ”
 – Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, in an opinion column posted online April 11 by The Washington Post.  It is excerpted from his new book, “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution.” The article was republished in The Post on April 13.


Monday, April 14, 2014

European Social Democracies and Gun Control

By Miguel A. Faria Jr., M.D. - 4/ 

Over the years, in both commentaries and letters to the editor in my local newspaper, I have noted the naïve expression of many letter writers and liberal pundits, who glossing over the Constitutional protections guaranteed by the 4th and 5th Amendments, opine, “If you don’t have anything to hide, then you don’t have anything to fear!”

 When the Soviet KGB needed culprits, their motto was “Show me the man and I will show you his crime.” In other words, charges can be brought against anyone, once the State has decided to trample on the rights of any targeted citizen.

In the U.S, ask David Koresh and Vicky Weaver, and all those little known Americans, such as Carl Drega ( and more recently John Gerald Quinn, whose home was subjected to a “no-knock” raid (once referred to as “dynamic entries”) based solely on the suspicion there was a gun in his house, or Bruce Abramski and all those lawful American gun owners who over the years have been victimized by the ATF.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Government Cattle Heist: Armed Cowboys Surround Federal Agents. . .Old West Returns

 By Ryan Gorman and Dan Miller and Meghan Keneally and Jessica Jerreat - 4/12/14                                  
Ranchers in southern Nevada have won a battle over the federal government’s round up of his cattle on public land after a week-long standoff with agents.
The Bureau of Land Management announced today that it would stop trying to seize the cattle of Cliven Bundy after armed militia gathered in Nevada.

Shortly after the deal was agreed, about 100 armed protesters, some on horse back, headed to a corral to demand the BLM also hands back cattle it had already taken.
Armed members of the BLM and the Bundy family were also reported to be involved in tense talks about the cattle.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The 2nd amendment examined by a historical language scholar - The Unabridged Second Amendment.

By J Neil Schulman 4/11/2014
The Unabridged Second Amendment

If you wanted to know all about the Big Bang, you’d ring up Carl Sagan, right? And if you wanted to know about desert warfare, the man to call would be Norman Schwarzkopf, no question about it. But who would you call if you wanted the top expert on American usage, to tell you the meaning of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution?

That was the question I asked A.C. Brocki, editorial coordinator of the Los Angeles Unified School District and formerly senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Publishers — who himself had been recommended to me as the foremost expert on English usage in the Los Angeles school system. Mr. Brocki told me to get in touch with Roy Copperud, a retired professor of journalism at the University of Southern California and the author of American Usage and Style: The Consensus.
A little research lent support to Brocki’s opinion of Professor Copperud’s expertise.
Roy Copperud was a newspaper writer on major dailies for over three decades before embarking on a a distinguished 17-year career teaching journalism at USC. Since 1952, Copperud has been writing a column dealing with the professional aspects of journalism for Editor and Publisher, a weekly magazine focusing on the journalism field.

Friday, April 11, 2014

NYC Cop arrested at India airport. . .carrying ammunition

Posted - 4/11/14
Some of New York's most strident gun control advocates have rushed to the defense of an unwitting traveler who was arrested at an airport for a technical violation of a draconian gun law.  Has a new era of sanity arrived in the Big Apple?  Not really.  This defendant happens to be an NYPD officer who is alleged to have violated India's strict firearm regulations.

On March 10th, NYPD Officer Manny Encarnacion was arrested when officials at the airport in New Delhi discovered three rounds of ammunition in his baggage.  New York City's NBC affiliate reports that Encarnacion had been to the shooting range before his trip and put three rounds into a jacket pocket. Encarnacion later packed that jacket, forgetting that it contained the ammunition.  Since his arrest, he has not been allowed to leave India and faces charges that could land him seven years in prison.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Gun group applauds Army officer's call for allowing arms on base

By Chad Groening - 4/  

A Second Amendment advocate says the concerns of a Fort Hood soldier who was defenseless during the recent massacre at the Texas Army post illustrates the need for service members to be armed on military installations.

The Washington Times reported on Tuesday that a Fort Hood soldier has urged lawmakers in Austin to allow personal firearms to be carried on base. In his letter, 1st Lt. Patrick Cook described the "utter helplessness" he felt when he reached for his belt "for something that wasn't there" as he and 14 other soldiers found themselves barricaded in a room as "a madman with a .45 pistol" fired away and kicked at the door.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pentagon: Despite Navy Yard, Fort Hood shootings, not safe to allow armed military personnel

Claudette Roulo  - 4

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2014 – The Defense Department does not support allowing its personnel to carry weapons on military installations, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said.
“The department took a close look at this after the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood and again after [last year’s] Washington Navy Yard shooting,” Warren said.

Such a move would create a number of complications, he said, not the least of which is safety.

“Another reason is the … prohibitive cost of the training, the qualification requirements [and] recertification,” the colonel said.
There are legal obstacles as well, he said. Local, state and federal policy requirements pose numerous challenges.

Warren pointed at the Lautenberg Amendment to the Gun Control Act of 1968, which makes it illegal for persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes to possess firearms or ammunition, as one example. Service members convicted of such crimes may continue to serve under certain circumstances, but still are prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.

Investigators are looking for potential gaps in the mental health care system or in security procedures, Warren said. One aspect of the investigation will cover whether red flags were raised about the alleged shooter by mental health professionals, he noted.

“It’s entirely too early to make a judgment. … We have to let the investigation unfold, and then we have to examine what we can do better,” he said.

Fort Hood, Gun-Free Zones and Progressive Insanity

By Matt Barber - 4/

They say that lightning never strikes twice in the same place. Not true. It does if you stand high atop a cliff’s edge waving a lightning rod above your head during a thunderstorm. In fact, in the unlikely event you survive the first strike, it’ll keep right on striking until you climb down.

So-called “gun-free zones” are lightning rods for mass murder. It’s time we climbed down from the cliff’s edge.

America mourns yet another needless and preventable mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas. When will gun-grabbing liberals learn?

Self Protection - 83-year-old homeowner shoots home invader

By NRA - 4/5/2014
An 83-year-old man was at home in Huntsville, Ala. when there was a knock at his backdoor from a man claiming to need help. When the elderly homeowner did not immediately open the door, the man forced his way inside the home by kicking in the door. The homeowner responded to the threat by retrieving a handgun and shooting the home invader in the chest. Upon being struck, the criminal fled.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Another Tragedy at Fort Hood

By Tim Schmidt - USCCA FOUNDER - 4/6/2014
It is with a heavy heart that I once again, on behalf of everyone here at the USCCA, extend our sincerest condolences to the victims and families affected by Wednesday's Fort Hood tragedy.

I have to admit that this latest shooting stirs up many emotions in me. Sadness. Anger. Betrayal. And, of course, the ever-pervasive question: "When will it end?"

The tragedy in Texas serves as a chilling reminder of two important, unresolved issues affecting our great nation today: the delicate topic of guns and mental illness, and the danger of disarming our soldiers.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Self-Protection the Foundation of the 2nd Amendment - A Historical Review

Don B. Kates Jr.


From the enactment of the Bill of Rights through most of the 20th Century, the Second Amendment seems to have been understood to guarantee to every law-abiding responsible adult the right to possess arms. Until the mid-20th Century courts and commentaries (the two earliest having been before Congress when it voted on the Second Amendment) deemed that the Amendment "confirmed [the people] in their right to keep and bear their private arms", "their own arms", albeit 19th Century Supreme Court decisions held it subject to the non-incorporation doctrine under which none of the Bill of Rights were deemed inapplicable against the states. [1] In a 1939 case which is its only full treatment, the Supreme Court accepted that private persons may invoke the Second Amendment, but held that it guarantees them only freedom of choice of militia-type weapons, i.e. high quality handguns and rifles, but not "gangster weapons" like sawed-off shotguns, switchblade knives and (arguably) "Saturday Night Specials. [2