Saturday, January 21, 2006

Taking Aim at the Second Amendment

Yesterday I attended the Heisler Moot Court Competition put on by the Monterey College of Law. The competition was titled “Taking Aim at Guns and privacy”. A “moot” court is where the competitors argue on whether a fictional, proposed law is Constitutional. The people arguing the case are students of the law school and the three people judging the case are sitting or retired judges.

The claim being made by the law-geeks was that the U.S. Supreme Court has never made a ruling on whether the right to bear arms is a collective right or a personal one.

According to my information, the Supreme Court recognized in 1876 (U.S. vs. Crenshank) 1886 (Presser vs. Illinois) 1894 (Miller vs. Texas) 1939 (U.S. vs. Miller) and 1990 (U.S. vs. Verdugo-Urquidez) that the Second Amendment applied to the individual. I admit that I’ve never read the actual wording of these rulings so maybe there’s room the anti-gun geeks have some room for arguement.

One interesting point about the U.S. vs. Miller case is that the court claimed that the weapon, a sawed-off shotgun that Miller possessed was not suitable as a militia weapon. Frankly, any hand-held weapon is suitable as a militia weapon. A sawed-off shotgun is a great weapon for room clearing. (If you can stand the noise)

The law being argued called for the owners of “assault” weapons to have a tracking chip put in their hand and another tracking chip placed into the weapon.

The person taking the pro-2nd Amendment side, Lynn Maddock (representing the “National Gun Association”) argued that the law was unconstitutional because it infringed on the right to keep and bear guns.

To most people, other than lawyers and cowards, the Second Amendment is clear, The right of THE PEOPLE to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. The first part of the amendment, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,” doesn’t take away the right of the individual to keep and bear arms. Under the U.S. Code, any able-bodied male between certain ages IS the militia.

Lynn mentioned the Miller case and the U.S. vs. Emerson case as rulings that confirmed the individual right to own assault weapons. One of the judges told Lynn that the Emerson ruling didn’t involve “assault” weapons.

I should mention that many times during the “case” the judges and the team representing the anti-gun side claimed that “assault” weapons are the most dangerous of dangerous weapons. That load of crap was repeated almost to the point of my yelling out “B.S.!” One of the judges, Wendy Duffy claimed the only weapon more dangerous was a hand-held atomic weapon. I suppose she thinks grenades, mortars and hand-held surface to air missiles are less dangerous. Judge Richard Silver (ret) (thankfully) claimed “assault” weapons are the most dangerous weapon a terrorist can possess. It’s distressing that we’ve become such a nation of cowards.

Another false claim used by the law-geeks was that there is no legitimate purpose to use for an “assault” weapon. One of the judges spoke of them being a collector’s item. (I sometimes actually shoot mine)

Lynn’s partner Eric Fonferek argued that microchips would be an invasion of privacy. One of the judges mentioned that the right to privacy isn’t in the U.S. Constitution. He added, however that the right to privacy is in the California Constitution. He’s right. Which, of course means that the Roe vs. wade decision is illegal, being as it violates a right that IS in the Constitution, that right being the right to LIFE. But I won’t get into that now.

The antigun side, represented by Judith Derenzo and John Maddock argued that a microchip was not an invasion of privacy. One of the judges, I think it was Silver who mentioned that only the law-abiding ‘assault” weapon owners would allow their weapons or themselves to be microchipped. He added that maybe the law should only make terrorists have chips placed in them and their weapons. One of the judges also mentioned that the microchips could be used to track political opponents, i.e. a democrat president tracking people who went to Republican rallies.

Judge Judith, who appeared to be the dizziest of the three judges, claimed “assault” weapons could threaten police and military vehicles. Police also have assault weapons and in most cases, they’re actual assault weapon (full-auto) and not the semi-auto weapons owned by civilians.

It appears to me that our God-given rights, to privacy and weapons are too important to be left to lawyers and judges.



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