Federal Judges Rewrite the 2nd Amendment

The most confusing dependent clause in the history of the nation, at least as far as personal liberty goes, is the one that begins the 2nd Amendment to the Bill of Rights. The full text of the amendment 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.

gun-control-cagle-cartoonTo understand what the Founders meant it helps to understand how much the former colonists disliked a standing army. As far as the Continental Congress was concerned the Revolution could be fought and won using an army composed entirely of citizen volunteers organized into local militia companies.

George Washington, the man actually in charge of the fighting, thought this was madness. He and the Congress had a running battle throughout the war over recruiting, equipping and paying a regular army. Washington believed only a professional, disciplined body of troops armed with military weapons could defeat the British.

Militia units simply wouldn’t stand up to line infantry. Civilians in the colonies usually owned rifles, not muskets. This meant a civilian could fire accurately at longer distances than a smooth–bore musket, but his rate of fire was not as rapid as the easier–loading musket.

Rate of fire, however, was secondary to the main problem with civilian arms: The inability to attach a bayonet to the rifle. Regular infantry charged with fixed bayonets and the men with spears always overwhelmed the men with clubs.

Militia members weren’t forbidden to buy muskets with bayonet lugs on the barrel. It was simply a matter of choice. Civilians would rather shoot a deer at 100 yds. and walk up to claim dinner, as opposed to chasing Bambi down and stabbing him with a bayonet.

As the war progressed militia units were used as skirmishers to pepper British troops with long range fire and then retire behind the regulars as the lines closed. So in the end both Washington and Congress were partially correct.

Once the war concluded under the Articles of Confederation the regular army languished, except for a remnant that manned frontier forts. State militias, again composed of volunteers bringing privately own weapons, provided defense against Indian raids and other disorder.

Before the outbreak of the Civil War there was private militia cavalry and even artillery companies operating without government control.

The role of civilian militia volunteers was codified in the Bill of Rights by the 2nd Amendment and the lasting rancor against a large regular army was found in the 3rd Amendment, which prohibited quartering troops in private homes.

The word “militia” in the 2nd Amendment means the “arms” citizens have a “right” to bear are by definition weapons of war. The Constitution doesn’t give us the right to own a BB gun or participate in paintball conflicts.

The Constitution gives us the right to own and bear light infantry weapons.

That fact escapes all leftist judges. They think government grants the right, when the Constitution obviously holds the right exists independently of government, which shall not infringe upon it.

The case that cannot be made by anyone reading the plain language of the amendment and knowing anything of history is that the 2nd Amendment does not cover weapons that are either military in nature or resemble military weapons.

Yet that is exactly what the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals did when it voted 10–to–4 to uphold an unconstitutional Maryland law that bans ownership of “assault weapons and large–capacity magazines.”

Ignoring “militia,” “arms” and “shall not infringe” the court sounded more like Chief Justice Oprah Winfrey when it concluded, “Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protection to the weapons of war.”

Only the justices don’t have to extend anything, the 2nd Amendment already protects “weapons of war.” Their job was to stop an obvious infringement upon that right.

Evidently the justices equate a militia to a sort of colonial bowling league. Just as you wouldn’t want bowlers rolling a cannonball down the lane, you wouldn’t want civilians owning a “military style” rifle. The problem with that reasoning is the militia was designed and expected to function in place of a regular military and to fulfill that role civilians must, by necessity, have weapons of a “military nature.”

Enlightened judges may not like the language of the Constitution. They may think the language is outmoded and superseded by modern life. But it is a violation of their oath of office to re–write the document to their liking or ignore provisions with which they disagree.

The Founders wisely provided a mechanism to amend the Constitution. It involves Congress, the states and voting. It does not include 10 politicians in black robes.

Jesus, Another Innocent Man Wrongly Convicted

bitter christian

Few pastimes are more entertaining than witnessing a smug, non–orthodox Jew giving instruction on New Testament theology to Christians. Last Saturday the most reverend Lisa Miller in her Washington Post ‘Belief Watch’ column asked readers, “Is gun ownership Christian?

This puts believers at an immediate disadvantage because Christ did not spend much of his ministry discussing consumer goods. He mentions the odd cloak, fragrant ointment, sword and widow’s mite, but one would not confuse Him with Ralph Nader or other marketplace stalwarts.

Besides, since Miller picks and chooses what she believes in regard to her own faith, she has no problem distorting the Gospel in an effort to draft Jesus into Code Pink.

She begins by completely misunderstanding the significance of Jesus on the cross. Miller writes, “The Christian Lord allowed himself to be crucified rather than fight the injustice of the death sentence imposed on him.” To co–opt Mark Twain; this is an inability to distinguish between lightning and the lightning bug.

On the contrary, it was not a miscarriage of justice. The sentence was the fulfillment of divine justice. Christ willingly substituted Himself on the cross in place of a sinful mankind. God did not alter the terms of the first Covenant with Abraham. There was a price to be paid for man’s rebellion and he decided to pay it Himself. (This refusal to “evolve” on the part of the creator, should give pause to modern “Christian” leader’s attempts to revise and soften the New Testament, but it doesn’t.)

Consequently, Christ was not the earliest recruit for the left’s anti–capitol punishment movement. Christ died for our sins. He willingly paid the price we could not pay and ushered in the New Covenant.

There would be no Christians without Christ’s death on the cross. Even if the Jerusalem chapter of the Innocence Project had tried to get Him off the hook, He would have refused the offer, because to do so would have rendered His work pointless.

After that inauspicious beginning, Miller moves on to the point of her column, “How do such Christians reconcile their stalwart commitment to the Second Amendment with their belief in a gospel that preaches nonviolence?” And then she quotes Matthew 5:39 – “If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

This leads me to believe Miller was also not a fan of the excellent movie “Machine Gun Preacher”

Then it left me wondering if I had missed a recent development on the violence front, so I did an online search on “strike AND cheek AND gunfight” to see if there had been a rash of concealed carry permit holders (CCW) lighting up people who slapped them.

That search string was a bust, so I tried “strike AND cheek AND shoot” with the same result. Evidently there is no problem with Christian gun owners initiating violence. Miller’s goal appears to involve persuading Christians to join the ranks of the defenseless. This decision, however, would not be made in a vacuum. Should a Christian head of household decide to disarm because he believes guns are inherently evil, like cigarettes or 16 oz. sodas, his decision would not affect him alone. His wife, his children and mom in the basement would all instantly become draftees in the War for Pacifism.

And the family would be misguided draftees at that. As Adam Clarke points out in his commentary on the passage, these “exhortations belong to those principally who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.” Say for example, an orthodox Christian that leftists like Miller slap up the side of the head for refusing to support homosexual marriage. Following Matthew, the Christian would turn the other cheek as he said he does not approve of the homosexual lifestyle either.

The verse is most certainly not directed toward ancient or modern Christians with a desire to defend their persons or their family.

Then Miller snidely intimates that “conservative Christian leaders are not falling over themselves to proclaim in public their pro–gun theologies.” But then Miller proceeds to list various Christians who are doing just that.

She takes issue with Richard Land, a former Southern Baptist Convention official, who said during a December interview on National People’s Radio (NPR) that he supports arming teachers. And Miller concludes with David French, senior counsel for the American Center of Law and Justice, who told her “Turn the other cheek does not mean turn your wife’s cheek or turn your children’s cheek.”

Miller — who works for an organization sporting guards who check commoners before they are allowed to enter — replies, “Provocative, but unconvincing. Jesus identified with the weak, not the strong; with the victims, not the shooters (or the people with the guns).”

Wrong again. Jesus praised a Roman centurion who controlled his own sword and 90 others — for his faith, saying, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” What’s more, Jesus reached out to the weak and the victims, but unlike leftist community organizers, He considered Himself a shepherd and the shepherd doesn’t hand the wolf a napkin as he approaches the herd.

There is another verse that’s very germane to this discussion, although Miller manages to overlook it. Luke 6:42 advises, “Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

Miller would do more to protect the innocent life of children if she would worry less about the imaginary threat of “assault weapons” in the hands of Christians and more about the real threat of “assault doctors*” who are responsible for the deaths of over 1 million innocents each year during abortions.

*Thanks to my wife, Janet, for this inspired term that aptly describes a depraved occupation.