Alarming poll on First Amendment justifies zealous defense of the Second

Retired Circuit Justice Kozinski once said:
“The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed—where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.
Fortunately, the Framers were wise enough to entrench the right of the people to keep and bear arms within our constitutional structure. The purpose and importance of that right was still fresh in their minds, and they spelled it out clearly so it would not be forgotten.”

It seems that “….silences those who protest.” is not so  ‘improbable’ these days, is it?

A poll conducted by Caravan Surveys for the Campaign for Free Speech revealed alarming support among Americans for rewriting the First Amendment and underscores the danger of putting constitutionally-protected fundamental rights up to a public vote.

According to the survey, “some 51 percent of people in the US believe that the (First) amendment…should be updated to reflect the cultural norms of today.” The poll of 1,004 respondents also revealed that 48 percent believe “hate speech,” while not defined, should be illegal and half of the people think punishment should include possible imprisonment or fines. A whopping 57 percent of poll respondents think the government should be able to penalize news agencies for publishing “content that is biased, inflammatory, or false.”

The poll results have frightening ramifications for our free speech and free press rights. The fact that a majority of people now seem to be rethinking our freedoms guaranteed under the Bill of Rights should be troubling to all Americans.

What is equally troubling is the failure of the establishment media to see the parallels between this sudden attack on the First Amendment and the ongoing crusade against the Second Amendment.

As authors of the recently-released book “Good Guys with Guns,” we recognize there are good journalists with keyboards and bad journalists with keyboards. Good ones should not be penalized for the misbehavior of the bad ones. The same principle must apply to how we treat the rights of more than 100 million American gun owners who have never harmed anyone or committed any crime, yet how many editorial pages have repeatedly demanded more restrictions on the Second Amendment because some people break the law?

When talking about constitutionally-enumerated rights, great care must be taken to separate rights from privileges. For too many years, far too many people in the media have treated the Second Amendment as a privilege to be heavily regulated. The Campaign for Free Speech poll puts such corrosive thinking in its proper perspective.

Simply, you cannot advocate restrictions or abolition of your neighbors’ rights, which you don’t support, without putting your own rights at risk. With the release of these new survey results, that vulture has come home to roost.

Allow our teachers to carry firearms

DEAR EDITOR:

We are fully aware of the growing concern for school safety against shootings. Schools are becoming one of the most targeted areas due to being gun-free zones. No one on the property is allowed to carry a firearm, regardless of their training except the police officer who sits at the front desk. One person is in charge to cover and protect the entire school against a shooter that can be anywhere in the building.

A change is needed, and it starts with who may or may not be allowed to carry a firearm.

Teachers throughout the school should be allowed the right to carry a firearm for protection of themselves and, more importantly, the students in their class. This right needs to involve detailed training, extensive background checks and also psychiatric testing to confirm these individuals are suitable for that responsibility.

Now, this should not be mandatory, but it certainly should be allowed for the protection and safety of our children. These mentally insane individuals are targeting schools because they have to get past one person at the front door, and then the devastation is up to them. With teachers carrying guns, the shooter will be able to be apprehended much sooner if a gun is pointed back at them and save a lot of innocent lives.

According to the National Rifle Association, there are over 95 percent less shootings in gun-friendly zones than gun-free zones. This information persuaded lawmakers in Florida to make it legal for a teacher to carry a firearm at school. Coupled with testing previously stated in this letter, teachers having the right to carry firearms is a very strong form of protection and definitely can be regulated and implemented in schools in this area.

RYAN KOWALIK

Austintown

Microchip guns to prevent mass shootings

My last OIC (Officer In Command) of my section often used a simple phrase to express his surprised disbelief that someone could be that stupid:
“You can’t make this stuff up.”

With the anniversary of the devastating Borderline shooting upon our community, I’d like to share the following letter I sent to Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin last November, to which I received no response.

“My name is Jim Dumond and I am a 58-year resident of the Conejo Valley. In response to the shootings at Borderline Bar and Grill, I came up with a compromise that I believe could go a long way toward eliminating our country’s mass shootings.

I believe that both gun and anti-gun advocates will see this as a positive step forward. This gives both groups the right to protect their homes, and gives the citizens peace of mind from individuals, who, like Ian David Long, intend to cause others harm.

1. Owning a weapon (gun), would still require the existing background checks, as required by law.

2. To use a purchased weapon, one would be required to register the weapon online, via a home Wi-Fi type system. The weapon would be embedded with a microchip and would be unusable until registration is complete and authorities grant activation.

This activation would require GPS of the owner’s home and simultaneous location of the weapon. Activation could not be completed at separate times, nor at different locations. Creating a permanent record/registration of owner and location needed for the lawful usage of the weapon.

3. The weapon would be given a usage radius of, say, 1,000 feet from the home Wi-Fi system. If the weapon is taken beyond this point, the weapon would no longer be usable and immediately disabled, until it is brought back into the given parameters.

4. The weapon would also have a safety fault system for tampering. If tampered with, the weapon would become useless and again disabled.

To protect our rights to bear arms, and to protect our families from those who seek to harm others are what we can do as U.S. citizens.

I understand you have a limited schedule for such matters, but I do believe this is a viable solution to our state and country’s worsening mass shooting issues. Thank you in advance for listening.” Jim Dumond Thousand Oaks

Keeping one’s eyes and ears open (intelligence gathering) for the crap-for-brains anti-gun/anti-civil rights BS in the media is a good habit.

The Indiana Daily Student (IDS) is an independent, student-run newspaper that has been published for the community of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, so we see the quality of education the college students are getting these days. i.e. Leftist claptrap.

This is nothing more than a re-iteration of a racist smear on the people of the U.S. who choose to exercise a enumerated right.
Just to make it easy for everyone to send this fallacious letter to the trashcan:

Everywhere else in the Bill of Rights where “the right of the people” is used it is expounding on an individual right as ruled by the Federal courts.

That that author attempts to deny that the Second Amendments doesn’t protect an individual right when it has that exact terminology used is more than risible, it’s blatant redefinition and mendacity.
If true it would mean those other ‘rights of the people’, already defined as individual rights aren’t either.

Piffle.

the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Amendment 1

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. Amendment 4.

One point to make clear..No amendment in the Bill of Rights gives the U.S. citizenry anything, The document was demanded by “…the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added” as a restriction on government. A “these are ‘hands off’ to you” .

The only ‘threat’ gun ownership poses is to those people- and their lackeys as seen here – who seek power and control over the free people of the U.S. That’s why you see these types of deceptive letters being posted.

It is necessary to understand the true meaning of the Second Amendment

The interpretation of the Second Amendment commonly accepted by many Americans is that the right to bear arms is necessary to maintain freedom against a tyrannical government. However, when looking back at the historical context of why the amendment was passed, it is painfully obvious this was far from the intent of the founders.

The Second Amendment’s original intent was the disbanding of standing armies because they were viewed as a threat to a stable government. Following a war, the army would be forced to disband, forming local militia groups in their states.

This actually served to protect the government against a hostile takeover by a standing army rather than to empower the people to fight against a tyrannical government, the exact opposite of how many interpret the amendment.

Militias were regulated by the states and southern militias were referred to as slave patrols. In Georgia, for example, all white plantation owners or their white male employees were required by law to join the Georgia militia, making regular inspections of slaves’ quarters to prevent uprisings.

The main concern at the time to many southern slaveholders like George Mason and Patrick Henry was that the proposed constitution’s general welfare clause (Article 1, Section 8) could be interpreted to eventually free the slaves.

The general welfare clause included giving the federal government the power the supervise and regulate the militias. This worried slaveholders due to the possibility that federal militias could absorb state militias, causing them to no longer be slavery-enforcing institutions.

There was precedent for thisconcept in the lead-up to the revolutionary war during which slaves were offered freedom in exchange for fighting for the British army.

To compromise with slave states, at the command of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison changed the original draft of the Second Amendment from reading “a well-armed and well-regulated militia being the best security of a free country” to “free state,” to be sure there was zero ambiguity as to the state’s right to regulate state militias.

So, to be clear, the Second Amendment was enacted to disband standing armies and to allow slave states to regulate slave patrols in order to enforce and maintain the institution of slavery. Nothing to do with fending off a tyrannical government.

Until the famous court case District of Columbia v. Heller, it was understood that the right to bear arms was primarily endowed to militias, including state defense forces and the National Guard.

This case redefined the right to bear arms to be expanded to individuals, interpreting “militia” to include all able-bodied men who were capable of being called to serve in one.

This controversial case was a turning point in how the Second Amendment was interpreted with regard to self-defense and non-military gun ownership rights, overturning decades of jurisprudence on Second Amendment cases.

Now that the legal interpretation of the Second Amendment has completely changed to individual gun rights, gun ownership has become a constitutional issue rather than a political issue like it had been previously.

Unfortunately, overturning District of Columbia v. Heller is extremely unlikely and would have little effect on gun legislation.

Now that individual gun ownership rights have been grounded in judicial precedent, there will likely continue to be the endless expansion of gun rights by gun anarchists in groups like the National Rifle Association.

The intention of the Second Amendment was never to bolster individual gun ownership rights, rather it was specifically passed to protect the federal government from a military coup and to prolong the institution of slavery.

By shifting the legal interpretation of the amendment to non-military gun ownership, this strays greatly from the main reasons the amendment was passed to begin with.

The U.S. today is plagued with substantial gun violence, and strengthening individual gun ownership rights and accessibility is proven to lead to more violence.

The U.S. cannot keep following this path of universal gun accessibility. It is a threat to public safety, and it was not the founders’ intention in the slightest.

Bob Janovick: Second Amendment guarantees the First

Dave Chappelle received the Mark Twain Award on October 27. He said, “The First Amendment is first for a reason. Second Amendment is just in case the First one doesn’t work out.”

I believe that he has an understanding of what is wrong with “universal background checks.” Such a system requires that all firearms be registered in order to work. That system carries with it the necessity to record the location of the arms.

Imagine the country if the First no longer worked. Is it beyond belief that the arms to enforce the First would already be confiscated per “mandatory buy back?” Which begs the questions: How does buy back occur when it was never OWNED by the government. How does $200 (or less) for an $1,800 firearm qualify as a buy back? Would not the phrase “mandatory confiscation” be more accurate?

I am not a fan of Mr. Chappelle. But I do agree with these sentiments by event attendee, rapper Common: “He’s always been a leader in thought and culture. He says provocative things, and … it creates some uncomfortable conversations we don’t want to have, but we need people like him because even if you don’t agree with them, it brings them up and then people have to discuss it. We need courageous minds like that.”

Take that, college demonstrators!

Not a fan of politically correct (censorship) nor bully tactics.

Bob Janovick,

Self-preservation is a citizen’s natural right

Some argue that the Second Amendment does not make gun ownership a right, when really, it’s not about that.

The true heart of the Second Amendment is protection of the natural rights of the citizenry. It ensures the right of self-preservation and acts as a means to secure that right.

This right of self-preservation was described by John Locke in his 1690 “Second Treatise on Government,” from which the Framers drew heavily. Locke argues that this right allows men to live freely without interference by anything or anyone, including government.

It’s important to understand this point. Many of the Framers were students of Locke’s philosophical thinking and others of the time. It is ingrained into the very fabric of the Bill of Rights.

It even influenced Alexander Hamilton when he wrote in Federalist No. 28 that, “If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that natural right of self-defense which is paramount to all forms of government.”

The Second Amendment is not a right bestowed by the government to the people. Quite the opposite. It secures the citizenry’s natural right of self-preservation from anything and anyone who wishes to take away their other natural rights or their liberty, including their own government.

To think that we, as free citizens, must ask the permission of our government for the right of self-preservation is simply ludicrous.

Mark Genarelli

Barboursville

‘Federalist Papers’ explain the Second Amendment

It seems a lot of people have a misconception of the meaning of the Second Amendment; The Bill of Rights gives no one anything. What it does do is stop the government from infringing on your right that is inherent to you just being a person. This goes way back 200 years in British common law.

There are estimated between 5 million and 10 million AR-15s in America. As of this writing, there have been 20 AR-15s used by school shooters. That is 0.0002 percent of AR-15s. You are worried about this? This is going to sound heartless but your child is more likely to be hit by lightning than be killed by a school shooter. It isn’t callous, it is just math.

If you really want to understand the Second Amendment, read “The Federalist Papers” written by the real writers of the Constitution — James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay — in particular numbers 29 and 36.

James Hoover

Wailuku

Need to be able to protect ourselves

To the editor:

Anyone in this country that thinks we, the citizens, don’t need AK47 and AR15 semi-automatic rifles and large capacity magazines just needs to look at what is happening in Hong Kong. If you don’t think that could happen in this country, you’ve got your head in the sand. In fact, we should have the same weapons as the military as it was set up when the Constitution was written. That’s what the second amendment is all about!

MATT KIILUNEN

This letter was submitted to the New York Times

Dear Letters Editor:

There’s a serious flaw in John Donohue and Theodora Boulouta’s claims about the 1994 assault weapons ban (“That Assault Weapon Ban? It Really Did Work,” September 4). There are few actual “assault weapons” of any type in their dataset, either pre- or post-ban.

According to data by Mother Jones magazine, there were 3 mass public shootings with assault weapons in the ten years before the assault weapons ban, 2 during the 10-year ban, and 4 in the ten years after. Shootings had to have six or more fatalities to be included. As the authors note, these changes constitute large percentage variations, but are not statistically significant.

If Donohue and Boulouta are right that the ban had an impact, it should have reduced the number of shootings with assault weapons relative to shootings with other guns. While the share of mass public shootings with assault weapons did indeed fall from 30% in the pre-ban period to 25% during the ban, it fell to just 14.8% in the post-ban period. If the ban was really the driving force behind the change, it makes little sense that the sharpest drop would occur after the ban expired.

Sincerely,

John R Lott, Jr., President of the Crime Prevention Research Center

Professor Carl Moody, Department of Economics, College of William & Mary