Friday, March 25, 2016

The Great Second Amendment

It's fairly safe to say that the Second Amendment is unique among governmental provisions world-wide.  Some argue that it is a collective right, and some argue that it is an individual right.  In the Heller decision from 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that the possession of firearms is an individual right that protects traditional purposes, such as self defense within the home.

This morning I was clicking around and went to Brietbart to find an article on seven great 2nd Amendment quotes.  I was struck by the argument of Alexander Hamilton, who said, in Federalist 28,
If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. In a single state, if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.
Here, Hamilton seems to argue that the right is individual, but can become collective, by individuals rushing to arms, "without concert, without system" in defense of their individual rights.  This is also a form of self defense, a collective form of self defense.

It is well that we remember such things.


Anonymous said...

Damn the Supremes. They were never to be the final arbiters, they oft have ruled in err. If the 2A were to hang on what the SCOTUS rules, it is no right, not only may the intent come and go with the wind but the words themselves are widely open to interpretation and reinterpretation. Which is to say, subjugation to opinion of a corrupt mind.

Anyway, back to your post; which right has been acknowledged as possessed by a group but not of the individual?

Charlie Mitchell said...

I bought a book for my daughter, Essential Stories For Junior Patriots, by KrisAnne Hall. In this book I learned of the many precursors to our Constitution and Bill Of Rights.

1100 Charter Of Liberties
Magna Carta of 1215
Petition Of Rights of 1628
Grand Remonstrance of 1641
Bill Of Rights of 1689

So, we've been trying to beat back government overreach and intimidation for about 1000 years now. Like they say, the 2nd Amendment protects all the others.

Old NFO said...

Yep, but they 'conveniently' forget about 'those' quotes...

Jerry The Geek said...

"... that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government ..."

The word "paramount" means that the 2nd Amendment is the most important, and should be the most protected, RIGHT among all those enumerated in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

If a form of government is not 'positive' (in regards to the rights of the citizenry), then the 2nd Amendment remains as a final means of redress.

It is 'irrevocable' because it cannot be abrogated by force of law.

They have to come into our homes and take our guns away, but only if we refuse to give our guns to them.

I don't know; seems pretty clear to me. Frightening, horrifying, scary ... choose your own adjective.

It sounds as if our fore-fathers expected us, citizens, to protect ourselves against a form of government which is inimicable to personal freedoms.