Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 747, December 1, 2013

Gun control has only one purpose:
to intimidate and control the Productive Class.

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Saying What You Mean
by A.X. Perez

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

A quick review of some common uses of language in the debate regarding the rights to keep and bear arms and self defense:

Reasonable restrictions: This is a null term. What a pro gun person considers reasonable and an anti gunner considers reasonable are unrelated. "You keep using that word but I don't think you know what it means." What one side considers reasonable is totally evil to the other.

Reasonable is an extremely subjective term. Limit its use as much as possible. I would say avoid, but I understand the term "reasonable man" is used in court as a standard of behavior to determine legality of action. So, try to limit its use to this bit of legal jargon and make sure it is as clearly and strictly defined as possible.

The right to self defense: This is the God given right to defend one's life, loved ones, liberty, and property, with deadly force if necessary. It is so innately a part of the essence of human existence that it is in fact not spelled out anywhere in the Constitution. Apparently the authors of that document took it for granted that this right was so central to human existence that they never realized it could be questioned. Foolish, foolish men.

Stand your ground law (AKA castle doctrine): A person going about his honest business is under no obligation to attempt to retreat to avoid a fight with someone who is attempting to violate his rights. You will pardon the following crudeness: it is not, as damn fools on both sides of the gun control debate opine, license to pick shit or going around waiting to get butt hurt so you will have an excuse to blow someone away. (damn fool: a person who is so consistently and militantly stupid that they are going to hell over it. To be grammatically correct that's damned fool, but the other form is the colloquial and reasonably common variant.)

Obligation to retreat: One is obliged to make all reasonable (there's that pesky word) efforts to avoid a fight before using deadly force to exercise one's right to self defense. What is reasonable to a fat middle aged man with mild arthritis in his knees is not necessarily what is reasonable to a DA in a rush to get a conviction and vice versa. OtR was intended to prevent unnecessary and unjust killing fights, over the years it has turned into an excuse to prosecute honest people. if the accused is of limited means, especially if he is represented by a public defender, he will be under more than usual pressure to cop a plea to a lesser charge rather than risk conviction of a capital offense. Also, it is judging at leisure in the calm of a sitting room decisions made in a highly adrenaline filled situation under exttreme pressure.

The right to keep and bear arms: the right of people to own whatever weapons they find necessary to exercise their right of self defense, to defend the state they give their allegiance, to bear arms against tyrants, and to use for whatever sporting purposes they choose, or simply "just cuz."

Second Amendment Right: This is strictly a guarantee that the Federal government will not infringe the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

Importantly, the Second Amendment does not require the states to respect people's RKBA. This right is included in most state Constitutions, frequently with various restrictions. According to Heller et alia v. District of Columbia and MacDonald v. Chicago, the Fourteenth Amendment binds the states and local governments to respect people's RKBA. In fact, the 14th was passed to guarantee this among other rights extended to freedmen after the War of the Secession. Basically, as things stand, you can not remove the states' obligation to respect their citizens' RKBA under Federal law without overturning every Federal law, Supreme Court Decision, bureaucratic regulation, and executive order protecting people's civil rights at the state level.* Liberals advocating this are basically throwing away everything they've accomplished re: civil rights since the Fourteenth Amendment was passed. Babies and bath water.

Finally, the 2nd Amendment does not guarantee, grant or otherwise oblige any government entity to respect the right to self defense. As mentioned earlier, this is a God given right, so intrinsic to human existence that the Founding Fathers saw no need to enumerate it. In so far as it needs to be protected by the Bill of Rights it is protected by the Ninth Amendment. In so far as it needs to be protected by Federal Constitution at the state level it is protected by the 14th Amendment.*

I know many of you hate the 14th Amendment but that's how the game is currently played.

Hopefully the above review will help you express yourself more clearly and effectively when debating RKBA and RtSD with people who support restricting these invaluable rights.

Comments and corrections by lawyers and professors of Constitutional law are requested. Please limit to how law is currently enforced and interpreted by the courts, not what we wish it was and what it should be.


*The Fourteenth Amendment is a redundancy as Article Six Section Two of the Constitution effectively binds the States to respect rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights, However, the "bad guys" in the RKBA and RtSD fight get the 14th Amendment. Theu should, their intellectual forbearers wrote it and have used it to pass laws, make regulations and decrees, and determine court cases. So we toss their own Amendment in their faces.

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