Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Call me a literalist. If I see a sign saying “Keep Off the Grass,” I assume that instruction applies to you, and me, and everybody but the lawn’s gardener.

If my dog Bugsy is on leash, I’ll keep him off the lawn, too.

Same for the Bill of Rights. Even the notoriously controversial Second Amendment seems fairly clear: “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.”

What part of “shall not be infringed” is hard to understand?

I just received a fascinating short article from the Cascade Policy Institute in Portland, Oregon, by Karla Kay Edwards. Ms. Edwards writes about current court cases regarding gun regulation. She explains that “in June 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment applies directly to an individual’s right to bear arms. However, the decision did not clarify whether states and other government entities can limit those rights.”

She states it well. But, still, oddly. Don’t you find it a tad strange that rights listed in the Constitution as not to “be infringed” can, in the next breath, be spoken of as limitable?

Ms Edwards believes that such issues should be decided by the courts. I agree. But I’d prefer it if legislatures would simply not infringe on our rights in the first place.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Sharon Stark says:

    So, Paul, what good is a Constitutional right if the state, county, city can override it????

  2. Rick says:

    Bring it on. If the second amendment can be officially abridged by the states, then so can the 16th amendment, the right of the federal government to tax us. Let see how long they continue to mess with the people if the flow of money gets shut off.

  3. Joel Glasser says:

    While the liberals and the elitists who know what is best for all talk about gun violence, they overlook a minor inconvience.

    In 1948, when India and Pakistan were being formed (as two countries-originally part of the same- ruled by Britain)- and the mostly Muslim portion became Pakistan, mostly Hindu became India, there were major riots.

    I don’t recall the number ( too many years sicne school ) of people killed, but as I recall in THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS. IF NOT, HIGH TENS OF THOUSANDS.


    Knives; rocks; burning entire blocks of homes; sticks/tree limbs etc. were the weapons used.

    So, would these elitists-had they ahd their chance 60 years ago banned rocks, knives and matches?

    And how about vehicular deaths? And cocaine and heroin overdoses? Cocaine and heroine are illegal- yet the same liberals and elitists calling for gun control and harsh laws for those not following the gun laws, are silent or opposed to drug control and other drug laws.

    I lived in NYC-difficult to get a gun permit, but the politically connected-including the elitists of the NY Times ( we are talking editors and publisher here)- who argued for gun control (and rode in limos) (and had guards- and this was 30-50 years ago) had no trouble getting permits. John Public did.


  4. Don Perera says:

    I guess it depends on your definition of arms. In 1789 it meant a musket. Now it could mean anything from a musket to an RPG or more. The States, actually the Federal Government, should have the option to limit or control certain types of weapons that are deemed to hazardous to allow individual ownership, i.e machine guns. Proper sale( background check and waiting period) and registration are a reasonable condition of “arms”ownership.

  5. Morgan says:

    Isn’t it odd. How the courts have a way of deciding things on the court’s notion of what is good rather than what the law says.

    Case in point is the first amendment. The first amendment restraines only the Federal government. It says, “The CONGRESS shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion…”, We know this only applied to the Federal government and not the States because several states had established religions in 1780. Their existence was never challenged in court, but over time, the legislatures of the States disestablished their state religions because the idea of State religions was unpopular. Which is fair enough.

    The Supreme court, over time, changed its mood. It decided that the first amendment, though it specifically restricted only the Congress, actually restricted all the states and municipalities. So today the idea of freedom of religion extends to prohibition of even a period of silence in a public school or a Christmas nativity on a public square.

    Yet, when it comes to the Second amendment, four of nine judges did not think THIS amendment should apply to States and Cities. Go figure.

  6. Morgan says:

    Actually a “weapon” did not just mean “a musket”. It included pistols, hand grenades, and artillery. During the Civil War, the authorities, short on troops, invited a private Militia, so equipped, to quell a riot in Cincinnati. Other examples can be cited..

    What is different now is that many seem to trust each other less and their government more than people did in 1780. In 1780, the English Civil War was remembered as a time when the State made war on its own people. The Government could not be trusted to have a monopoly on the ultimate argument.

  7. Pat says:

    The first four words are being used to neutralize the last four.
    “A well-regulated militia”, to the founders, meant “well-armed”. Since standing militias weren’t the norm, this meant the people who would be called upon to join a militia needed to own their own weapons and have them readily available to fight invaders. Today people hear “regulated” and think it means the right of the state to control through law or regulation.
    Irving Wallace wrote a good novel “The R Document”, in which there is a plot by some in the federal government to take over the US in the event of some threat to our security.
    There was great concern about the threat such a move posed to the Bill of Rights but Wallace wrote that the Second Amendment gave each STATE the right to have its own militia. The line was given to one of the heroes of the book, so one has to assume that Wallace felt the same way. This view is commonly held among elites – that the right to keep and bear arms applies only to members of a state militia.

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