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Give Me Liberty
Unalienable right of the people to keep, bear arms: Part 2
Regarding the Supreme Court announcement that it will hear a case by the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, challenging a New York law that prohibits citizens from carrying a gun outside their home without a license, we shall continue our review of legal precedents.
The Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1876), that “the right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution; neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.” In other words, the Supreme Court ruled that the right to bear arms is an extension of the natural born right to self-defense. The Second Amendment simply restricts the powers of the national government.
Judge Thomas M. Cooley explained in 1880 how the Second Amendment protected the “right of the people:” It might be supposed from the phraseology of this provision that the right to keep and bear arms was only guaranteed to the militia, but this would be an interpretation not warranted by the intent. The militia, as has been elsewhere explained, consists of those persons who, under the law, are liable to the performance of military duty and are officered and enrolled for service when called upon. But the law may make provision for the enrollment of all who are fit to perform military duty, or of a small number only, or it may wholly omit to make any provision at all, and if the right were limited to those enrolled, the purpose of this guaranty might be defeated altogether by the action or neglect to act of the government it was meant to hold in check. The meaning of the provision undoubtedly is that the people, from whom the militia must be taken, shall have the right to keep and bear arms, and they need no permission or regulation of law for the purpose.
The Supreme Court ruled in Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105 (1943), that “No state may convert a secured liberty into a privilege, and issue a license and fee for it.”
In Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham, Alabama, 373 U.S. 262 (1963), the Supreme Court ruled that “If the state does convert a right into a privilege and issue a license and charge a fee for it, you can ignore the license and fee and engage in the right with impunity.” This sentiment echoes Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803), where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that “all laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.”
The Supreme Court of the United States held in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms, unconnected with service in a militia, for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, stated: Nowhere else in the Constitution does a “right” attributed to “the people” refer to anything other than an individual right. What is more, in all six other provisions of the Constitution that mention “the people,” the term unambiguously refers to all members of the political community, not an unspecified subset. This contrasts markedly with the phrase “the militia” in the prefatory clause. As we will describe below, the “militia” in colonial America consisted of a subset of “the people” – those who were male, able bodied and within a certain age range. Reading the Second Amendment as protecting only the right to “keep and bear arms” in an organized militia therefore fits poorly with the operative clause’s description of the holder of that right as “the people.”
The Supreme Court of the United States found in McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010), that the right of an individual to “keep and bear arms,” as protected under the Second Amendment, is incorporated by either the Due Process Clause or Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment against the states.
The Supreme Court reiterated its earlier rulings in Caetano v. Massachusetts, 577 U.S. ___ (2016), that “the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding” and that its protection is not limited to “only those weapons useful in warfare.”
ALL rights guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States may not be controlled, legislated, manipulated, limited, restricted, denied, or taxed, in any way whatsoever. In summary: ALL gun laws are unconstitutional.