Rights & Our Second Amendment
I noted Kathy Sullivan’s article (January 1st - Union Leader) titled “We need to take the guns away now” and her attempt at being articulate on a subject that she is clearly out of her depth in. While one might expect that her credentials, which include a Cornell University law degree as well as former government service, might give her certain insight that the general public lacks on the subject of laws and government authority, her piece demonstrates that expectation appears wishful, at best. In short, she favors government “restrictions”and “eliminating semi-automatic handguns and assault weapons” in response to the event in Newtown, Connecticut.
In this brief piece I’m going to skip past the colorful rhetoric and discussion points the statists like to engage in relating to our Second Amendment and simply point out to the uninformed that the Supreme Court of the United States answered the question of who has the Right to “keep and bear arms” in their 2008 Heller (554 U.S. 570) decision. Further, the Department of Justice also answered this question (for themselves) in their 2004 report, having 103 pages and 437 footnotes, to the Attorney General, titled ‘Whether the Second Amendment Secures an Individual Right’ where they unequivocally stated: “the Second Amendment secures a personal right of individuals, not a collective right” thus, for those not paying attention, the government knows full well that “the People” have the Right “to keep and bear arms” under the Constitution and that they are PRECLUDED from changing that fact by the phrase “shall not be infringed”.
While they may grudgingly admit that reality (in private), they still contend they and their laws have some ability to change, regulate, license, tax or overtly outlaw the inanimate objects that our Constitution guarantees you have the Right to keep and bear. Having once taken a US Civics course, in my early youth, I would point out to Ms Sullivan, and her ilk, that amending our Constitution is carried out through Article V of that document and NOT merely through the efforts of some cabal in Washington DC by way of legislation. I quote the Supreme Court of the United States who stated quite clearly: “Where rights (liberty) secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no legislation which would abrogate (abolish) them.“
Let’s ponder this issue in the simplest manner. What if the House & Senate pass a ‘law’ Titled “Term Limits” wherein they state “There shall, after January 1st 2013, be no term limits placed upon the Office of the Presidency.” This legislation is clear and to the point. The term of the Presidency will no longer be limited to two four year terms. Simple, right? Lawful, no. Why? Because the terms allocated to the Presidency are governed by our Constitution. In order to ‘change’, ‘amend’ or ‘augment’ the term of a President Washington MUST go through the formal Amendment Process described within Article V of the Constitution.
What if the House & Senate pass a ‘law’ Titled “Executive Office Ascension Bill” wherein they state that after January 1st 2013 the office of the Presidency will be transferred, every four years, to the highest bidder, in an open and public auction.” This is clear and to the point. The office of the Presidency will no longer be attained by some quasi-democratic election but transferred to the highest bidder. Simple, right? Lawful, no. Why? Because how a President attains office is governed by our Constitution. In order to ‘change’, ‘amend’ or ‘augment’ how a President attains office Washington MUST go through the formal Amendment Process described within Article V of the Constitution.
The Second Amendment, indeed ANYTHING related to our Constitution or Bill of Rights, is no different. If Washington wishes to ‘change’, ‘amend’ or ‘regulate’ any aspect of what’s written within our foundational ‘Law’, they MUST go through the formal Amendment Process described within Article V of the Constitution. Simply ‘legislating’ the words “(v)(1) It shall be unlawful for a person to manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon.” as they did in their bill titled H.R.3355 in 1994 or again in 2013 doesn’t make their legislative changes to our Constitution lawful any more than their legislating Mr.Obama the President For Life would.
So, New Hampshire, indeed, gun owners, Constitutionally minded Americans, Oath keepers, LEOs, members of our armed forces (not to mention Legislators in Washington and America’s state capitals) need to get this straight and again I quote the Supreme Court:“Where rights (liberty) secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no legislation which would abrogate (abolish) them.“ Rights can NOT be altered accept by Constitutional amendment. As such, any ”Laws” made to regulate or limit, license or ban or in any way alter our Constitution, short of a Constitutional Amendment pursuant to Article V, are ILLEGAL according to the highest court in the land.
Having taken a US History class, in my early youth, I recall that with the passage of the Nuremberg Laws in 1935, the German government stripped over 500,000 people (mostly Jews) of their Rights within their Constitution with the stroke of a pen. It’s ironic that Dianne Feinstein’s new anti-Second Amendment bill will strip the Rights from over 85 million Citizens over night. So, where the Nazi regime merely stripped 7.5% of Germany’s population of their Rights (and we see how that worked out for them), the Obama regime, using Feinstein as the ‘sharp edge of their sword’ intends to strip over 35% of Americans of their Rights. Does one think the comparisons with the Third Reich will end there after Washington is allowed to illegally amends our Constitution?
In 1857 Frederick Douglas said: “Find out just what the people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.“ If, the government contends they can violate our Constitution’s Article V and legislate illegal amendments in defiance of the Supreme Court’s declaration in that regard, does anyone really think that the People have any legal or moral responsibility to obey these laws illegally enacted? Rather than ‘compliance’ with with government’s legislation conflicting with the edict of the Supreme Court they may get “blowback” which is defined as an unforeseen and unwanted effect, result, or set of repercussions. Does anyone ‘really’ think that the Americans cleaning out the gun stores of their stock of rifles, side arm's and ammunition, since Sandy Hook, are doing so with the intent of quietly handing them over to the government when Washington/Feinstein pass their bans? I’m guessing not; in fact, an ‘objective observer’ might infer that the one third of the American’s Citizenry (and growing daily) who own firearms are probably thinking that they will not see their liberties stripped from them quietly.
Ms Sullivan, New Hampshire Citizens and, indeed, all Americans have a decision to make. Will they insist the government remain a Constitutional Republic respecting the rule of law or will they, like the Germans in 1935, allow government to breach their Constitution, their liberties and their trust by attempting to amend our Constitutional Rights through legislation when the Supreme Court has stated without reservation (above) that “there can be no legislation which would abrogate (abolish) them”? If the government feels strongly enough about the issue and they believe Americans do too, let them Comply with Article V and seek a lawful Amendment. For me, I prefer to “Live Free” in a Constitutional Republic, where government is constrained by ‘Law’; the alternative, as articulated in our state’s motto, is to go down trying to preserve freedom.
Christopher T. Sununu
Mike J. Cryans
Russell E Prescott
Theodore L. Gatsas
Debora B. Pignatelli
Click on the above photos to read about each of our council members.