On July 20, I answered Otts Laupus’ July 15 letter responding to an earlier letter of mine. My response was that in the matter of D.C. v. Heller (2008), the United States Supreme Court ruled that it was the people’s right to keep and bear arms and not the states right or the militia’s right. All of that is true and undisputable, so why then would Mr. Laupus cite a case involving an illegally altered shotgun, being transported across state lines (U.S. v. Miller, 1939) to dispute my previous statement of fact.

While I do agree that the Second Amendment is constantly being challenged, citing this particular case in no way supports his argument. Miller decided to cross state lines without the necessary registration form (a $200 taxation stamp) and with an otherwise illegal sawed off shotgun. In doing so, he broke the National Firearms Act of 1934. Miller then used the Second Amendment to argue his case against the new 1934 law. In court, the judge held that Miller’s Second Amendment rights were violated. The Supreme Court later overturned the lower court’s ruling, stating that Miller had no Second Amendment rights to that subsequently illegal firearm.

In my opinion what the Supreme Court was stating was that the statutory law of 1934 was not unconstitutional or in contradiction to the people's right to keep and bear arms. And that the Second Amendment did not grant Miller exemption from the 1934 law. Apples and oranges, Mr. Laupus.

I do however agree with your contention that “the 2nd Amendment is what the justices say it is” at any given time. That is why whenever any of the people’s rights are under attack, we on the right will fight to defend not just the Second Amendment, but the entire Constitution. We are either a nation of laws or we are not. There is no middle ground when it comes to the Constitution of the United States.

CRAIG WILLIS

St. Michaels

(3) comments

Phat Jeebus

Black and white thinking is a hallmark of conservative philosophy.

JonahHirsh

Additionally, U.S. v. Miller created the criteria by which the status of constitutional protection of firearms is deterimined: in common use; reasonable relationship to the efficiency of a militia; could contribute to the common defense; any part of the ordinary military equipment.

Therefore, so-called "assault weapons" bans are unconstitutional, by that precedent.

jsmith5893

Re: "No middle ground on Constitution"

The purpose of the Second Amendment is clearly stated in the preamble to the Bill of Rights where it says “The convention of a number of states having at the time of their adopting of the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse, of its powers that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added”. Note that when the Second Amendment was written, every weapon was a weapon of war, there were no restrictions on the private ownership of weapons and the militia was equally matched with the Continental Army. After all, if they weren’t equally matched, it would be pretty hard to deter or prevent a “misconstruction or abuse, of the government’s powers” - so in reality, the citizen militia of today should have the same firearms as the current US military. Unfortunately we are no longer equally matched because we have let our gun rights be eroded by buying into this notion if we just compromise to accommodate the people who - for whatever reason - don’t like guns they will quit trying to take away our gun rights. History has shown that no matter how much we compromise, it’s never enough so we need to stop compromising

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