Are your 2nd Amendment rights safe?


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Old 02-11-2008, 03:22 AM   #1
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Default Are your 2nd Amendment rights safe?



Sunday, February 10, 2008



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THE REPORT FROM WASHINGTON
Are your 2nd Amendment rights safe?
Exclusive: Ellis Washington joins effort to have Bush vacate his anti-gun brief

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Posted: February 10, 2008
5:55 pm Eastern



By Ellis Washington



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A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Second Amendment, U.S. Constitution (1789)

... Madison did not invent the right to keep and bear arms when he drafted the Second Amendment – the right was pre-existing at both common law and in the early state constitutions.

~ Thomas B. McAffee & Michael J. Quinlan, North Carolina Law Review (March 1997)

If you think your Second Amendment rights are secure, think again. The Bush administration recently appears to be openly at odds with the Second Amendment on two counts. First, on Jan. 8, President Bush inconspicuously signed the Veterans Disarmament Act (H.R.2640) sponsored by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y. This anti-gun bill, created in the atmosphere of the Virginia Tech massacre (April 16, 2007), is designed to make the screening process much tougher for gun ownership; a law that is particularly burdensome for our veterans.



Second, last month, Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Va., sent the following letter to the White House asking the administration to undo the enormous damage it will potentially cause the Second Amendment with the amicus brief president Bush's solicitor general filed in support of the D.C. gun ban case, D.C. v. Heller.

Jan. 22, 2008
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington DC 20500

Dear President Bush:

Your solicitor general has just filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the D.C. v. Heller case arguing that categorical gun bans of virtually all self-defense firearms are constitutional if a court determines they are "reasonable" – the lowest standard of constitutional review.

If this view prevails, a national ban on all firearms – including hunting rifles – could be constitutional, even if the court decides – on ample historical evidence – that the Founders intended the Second Amendment as an individual right.

I would ask that you direct the Justice Department to withdraw this unfortunate brief and to replace it with an opinion which reflects the right of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Virgil Goode

Rep. Goode is not stopping there, but is urging all members of Congress to join his cause and sign the above letter, which he will resend to President Bush as a show of solidarity and outrage at the administration's blatant harassment directed toward gun owners of every category – from individual U.S. veterans that carry guns for personal protection of home and family, to general gun owners, hunters, recreational gun users and beyond.

Gun Owners of America, or GOA, a grass-roots lobby organization representing over 300,000 Americans, has called on the Bush administration to withdraw its anti-gun brief recently filed with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Executive Director Larry Pratt and his Second Amendment rights organization is on the case. They are aggressively pursing the Heller case, and two weeks ago their legal and educational arm, Gun Owners Foundation, officially notified the Court of its intent to file its own amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief. GOA has promised to make that brief available to the American public as soon as it is filed.

In the meantime, on Jan. 18 GOA issued a press release strongly criticizing the solicitor general's action against American's fundamental Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. What is especially galling to me is that this deliberate treachery is not by a liberal Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton administration, but by a George W. Bush "conservative" administration.

The administration's brief argued that any gun ban – no matter how broad and extensive – could be constitutional if some court determines that ban is "reasonable."

In constitutional law, "a reasonable person is the jurist or legislator that pretends to see through another's eyes, and in light of the characteristics of a given situation tries to subtract every petty human trait and unrealistic expectation, as a balancing test." The problem with using the reasonable test in determining statutory legitimacy is that it leaves no room for a heroic or transcendent use of law. Therefore, a biased judge, under a cold economic calculus, can deny millions of Americans their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and be perfectly within the law if he alone deems the anti-gun statute as "reasonable." I call that tyranny!

The solicitor general's proposition that comprehensive gun bans are constitutional if some court interprets that gun ban as "reasonable" was welcomed with glee by anti-gun organizations across America – almost certainly because it signifies the lowest standard of constitutional review and thus the easiest way to pass constitutional muster with any court.

To counter the Bush administration's anti-gun brief, GAO's Pratt said in the press release, "If the Supreme Court were to accept the solicitor general's line of argument, D.C.'s categorical gun ban of nearly all self-defense firearms possibly will be determined to be constitutional, despite if the court, as expected, determines that the Second Amendment protects 'individual' rights."

Pratt further argued that, "In contrast to other provisions in the Bill of Rights, which can only be violated by 'compelling state interests,' the Second Amendment would be relegated to an inferior position at the lowest rung of the constitutional ladder, should the Justice Department prevail."

"Rather than argue that 'shall not be infringed' is a categorical prohibition on government gun-banning, the administration has chosen to align itself with those who do not believe in self-defense or civilian gun ownership," Pratt concluded.

As a consequence, GOA is making this widespread public call for the Justice Department to vacate its anti-gun brief, and requested that the National Rifle Association join it in combating the Veteran Disarmament Act.

If you wish to fight against this blatant assault on American's Second Amendment right "to keep and bear arms," please go to the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center to send a pre-written message urging your representative to be a part of this important initiative to protect our Second Amendment rights.

Why?

Because the Constitution's framers understood from their own bloody, personal and protracted war against the naked tyranny of King George III that it is much easier for a monarch or the State to infringe on the people's liberty where the citizenry are unarmed, than to attack an armed, informed and vigilant "We the People."


The GOA needs your HELP!

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=55907


__________________

Three groups spend other people's money: children, thieves, and politicians. All three need supervision. —DICK ARMEY

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