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The Second Amendment Under Fire


from the JBS

The Second Amendment Under Fire

Written by David Eisenberg

Monday, 26 January 2009 11:11

The Second Amendment to the Constitution simply reads, “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.”

Minuteman statueNonetheless, there are those in the House of Representatives and the Senate, who continue to offer legislation infringing on the rights of the people. The latest being controls on ammunition being considered. The most common example of this type of legislation is now proliferating across the states. As the The New American magazine has reported in recent days, these are all very similar to the 2005/6 California legislature ammunition serialization bill, AB 352.
The New American, a JBS affiliate publication, reported: “AB 352 was passed by both houses of the California legislature, but died in conference on November 30, 2006. Similar bills are now spreading across the nation for review under the new more liberal 2009 array of state legislators.”
Ammunition legislation is a very subtle means of attacking the Second Amendment. Some foes of this important part of the Bill of Rights prefer more frontal attacks. Some, for instance, claim the Militia no longer exists therefore the 2nd Amendment is no longer pertinent. However the courts have stated that the right to bear arms belongs to the people, and is an individual right. This was the finding, for instance, in the D.C. v. Heller case that was before the Supreme Court in 2008.
There are two additional Amendments which apply. The Ninth states: “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” One of the fears, at the time of the writing of the Constitution, was that by providing some enumerated rights in the form of a bill of rights, that some in the government would assume that the sphere of government power was thus enhanced in all the areas not enumerated. The Ninth Amendment was thus crafted specifically to prevent the growth of government power and regulation in those many areas not enumerated and to protect the rights of the people from an ambitious government. As James Madison explained:

It has been objected also against a bill of rights, that, by enumerating particular exceptions to the grant of power, it would disparage those rights which were not placed in that enumeration; and it might follow by implication, that those rights which were not singled out, were intended to be assigned into the hands of the General Government, and were consequently insecure. This is one of the most plausible arguments I have ever heard against the admission of a bill of rights into this system; but, I conceive, that it may be guarded against. I have attempted it, as gentlemen may see by turning to the last clause of the fourth resolution.

Thus the Ninth amendment, which prohibits the government from infringing upon rights retained by the people though not enumerated, and this applies in many areas, not least with regard to issues related to the right to keep and bear arms.
Similarly, the 10th Amendment states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
The Congress of the United States, all too often, chooses to ignore these Amendments because it desires to knowingly violate its delegated authority.
It is a time past due for American citizens to call a halt to these violations and require that their elected officials are made to understand that when accepting their office they swore an oath to defend the Constitution from “all enemies, foreign and domestic.” This can only happen when all citizens work together to stay up-to-date on the actions of Congress and then put pressure on their elected representatives to vote in keeping with their oaths of office.

David EisenbergDavid Eisenberg served in the U.S. Army during World War II. After the war he earned a degree in aeronautical engineering which led to a 40-year career as a project engineer for the Hughes Aircraft Company. Mr. Eisenberg was appointed to the JBS Council in 1995.

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Written by tfheringer

January 27, 2009 at 3:54 am

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