posted on Apr, 20 2007 @ 05:03 PM
I know, my timing is horrible on this one, but I have been meaning to make this post for a while now, before the bandwagon anti-constitutionalists
decided to re-victimize the families of those who died at Virginia Tech. by using the horror of their loved ones deaths to score points in what is to
them just a political game. For my horrible timing, I apologize.
I want to bring up the fact that, although no-one talks about it much, the Supreme Court has in fact ruled that individual citizens have the right to
carry modern military grade weapons.
In THE ONLY 2ND AMENDMENT CASE THE COURT HAS HEARD, US v. Miller, the S.C. decided that Miller, who had transported a “sawed off” shotgun across
state lines in violation of the 1934 National Firearms Act, would have to have to defend himself in a lower federal court because his weapon had no
military usefulness. Had his lawyer known that “sawed off” shotguns (wiki on trench
) were used in WWI, it is probable that Miller would not have been remanded back to the lower court.
The court also stated that the right to keep and bear arms was a personal right and responsibility of all men of military age.
On March 30, 1939 the Supreme Court heard the case. Attorneys for the United States argued four points:
The NFA is intended as a revenue-collecting measure and therefore within the authority of the Department of the Treasury.
The defendants transported the shotgun from Oklahoma to Arkansas, and therefore used it in interstate commerce.
The Second Amendment protects only the ownership of military-type weapons appropriate for use in an organized militia.
The "double barrel 12-gauge Stevens shotgun having a barrel less than 18 inches in length, bearing identification number 76230" was never used in
any militia organization.
Neither the defendants nor their legal counsel appeared at the U.S. Supreme Court.
On May 15, 1939 the Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion by Justice McReynolds, reversed and remanded the District Court decision. The Supreme Court
declared that no conflict between the NFA and the Second Amendment had been established, writing:
In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this
time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment
guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument.
The Court indicated that only military type arms are constitutionally protected.
Describing the constitutional authority under which Congress could call forth state militia, the Court stated:
With obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of such forces the declaration and guarantee of the Second
Amendment were made. It must be interpreted and applied with that end in view.
The Court also looked to historical sources to explain the meaning of "militia" as set down by the authors of the Constitution:
The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and
the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the
common defense. 'A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline.' And further, that ordinarily when called for service these men were expected
to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.
I would like to hear from anyone who has reason to think that, in light of the Miller case, we do not have a legal right to own any weapon of military
usefulness we desire in the US.