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Destroying our Second Amendment Rights One Punitive Senseless Legislation at a Time

July 24, 2013

Do you think that these ridiculous laws passed in certain states about whether or not you can have high capacity magazines, whether or not you can have flash surpressors on your rifles, whether or not you have a permit to purchase a handgun or whether you must wait six months to purchase another handgun just started yesterday?

No my friend, this nonsense started back with the National Firearms Act of 1934 where a couple of shotgun owners from Arkansas were charged with committing the crime of carrying a shotgun that was slightly too short on the barrel. The federal district judge presiding over the criminal case against Miller and Layton in United States vs. Miller dismissed all charges noting that charging a $200 tax on a $6.95 firearm was so expensive that it was in effect a direct infringement on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Miller and Layton were freed and continued with their lives, content in the knowledge that their fundamental rights were protected by the courts.

Unfortunately, the federal government ws not willing to accept this condemnation of its convoluted legislation and appealed to the United States Supreme Court. When the case reached the Supreme Court, Miller and Layton were not available, while their counsel, having represented them for free, could not spare the expense of further legislation. The result was that neither briefs nor oral arguments were presented on their behalf. This was in itself a shocking result as it is unheard-of for the Supreme Court to hear and consider only one side of a case. But hear it and consider it the Court did.

Undisputed, uncontested, and undeterred, the government was able to argue that firearms with a barrel shorter than sixteen inches were not used in the military, that the Second Amendment only granted protection to arms that were used by the militia, and that the militia could only be armed with weapons used by the military. Yes you read this bullshit correctly, whereas today the federal government wants to take away your AR-15s, it said back in the 1930s that you could only be armed with weapons used by the military. The government remembered its earlier lesson well, and knew that as long as it lied and lied well, the Court could be seduced. And that is exactly what occurred. The Supreme Court of the United States did not investigate the truth of the statements and accepted each false claim by the government with no scrutiny. Interestingly, armies in the past had often used the short-barreled rifle as part of their military equipment. Therefore, whether intentionally or inadvertently, the federal government lied to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court in essence chose to ignore basic rules of evidence and accept the assertion to be fact with no evidentiary presentation and only the contention of the government. Dont be surprised, this happens all the time in court. I got to experience it first hand in my inexperienced court days when fighting for my daughters custody, which of course I lost because I did not know how to object and hold the Court to keeping to the basic rules of evidence. Just as in this firearms case, there was no one to object or complain.

Neither providing a historical analysis of the right to bear arms nor acknowledging that a militia historically consisted of a citizenry armed with their own guns rather than those of the military, the Court upheld the constitutionality of the National Firearms Act of 1934. Sadly, the Court’s flawed and convoluted reasoning was the precedent that would govern Second Amendment jurisprudence and legislation for almost seventy years. The Supreme Court avoided the Second Amendment issue until 2008 and the Heller case. There were some cases that addressed the Second Amendment in dicta, but none set precedent regarding the Amendment’s meaning.

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