Gunning for the Constitution
Scripps-Howard News Service 12.10.02
Not surprisingly, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit
in San Francisco upheld the ban on semi-automatic weapons in California.
Not surprisingly, Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote the opinion. So
why even bother to comment about it?
Because every time Judge Reinhardt puts pen to paper, he aims to
dismantle the very Constitution that gives him the power to put
pen to paper.
In my book, "America's Thirty Years War," I presented
a detailed analysis of Judge Reinhardt's incompatibility with the
American model. The basis for the analysis was a speech the judge
had delivered before law students at George Washington University
in our nation's capital.
With disarming sincerity, he described himself as a Liberal judge.
"How can you tell a judge is a Liberal?" Reinhardt asked.
"It's not that hard. Liberal judges believe in a generous or
expansive interpretation of the Bill of Rights. We believe that
the meaning of the Constitution was not frozen in 1789. That, as
society develops and evolves, its understanding of constitutional
principles also grows. We believe that the Founding Fathers used
broad general principles to describe our rights...because they were
determined not to erect, enact a narrow, rigid code that would bind
and limit all future generations."
Translation: The law is what my political agenda calls for.
Fact: The Founding Fathers didn't use broad general principles.
They wrote a Constitution of laws. In the first ten Amendments,
they specified rights. Judge Reinhardt's description of rights,
as reproduced in some details in said book, reveals either that
he has not the slightest idea of what rights are, or that he has
taken it upon himself to redefine the concept of rights as well
as the U.S. Constitution.
All this is of renewed importance because the Second Amendment
is becoming the subject of broad debate. The matter of rights is
paramount because the 9th Circuit, and many others, speak of a "collective
right" - meaning that the bearing of arms must connect to a
state militia - as opposed to being an individual right.
Please write the following over your bed, desk, and dining table:
"All rights under the U.S. Constitution are vested in individuals."
There are no collective or group rights, except in the afflicted
minds of the 60s people.
But now we come to the heart of the matter. All of us are appalled
by the increased wanton violence in our society. All of us wish
for some remedy, or at least relief from the terrible scenes we
are served up on television.
The reason we cannot look to a repeal of the Second Amendment,
or even to a re-write of some sort, is simple. This Republic was
born out of the conviction "that whenever any Form of Government
becomes destructive of these Ends (Life, Liberty , and the Pursuit
of Happiness), it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish
it, and to institute new Government."
The first act of this new Republic was to abolish the existing
Government with the extensive use of arms.
Nations in their moments of the most dire needs have looked across
the waters to the fortunate Americans, wishing they had the arms
to become masters of their fate.
Very little in the U.S. Constitution grows as directly out of the
core statements of the Declaration of Independence as does the Second
Amendment. Repeal it, subdue it, and you have undone what the people
to whom we owe everything died for.
We have been very fortunate most of the time. As yet, our system
works. Stephen Reinhardt can write all the opinions he wants. While
others are overturned, Mr. Reinhardt's opinions are generally dismissed
by the Supreme Court, not even dignified with an explanation.
But there could be a time when the Reinhardts of this world - and
since the 1960s their numbers have grown steadily - would acquire
physical power. Heaven forbid, but the citizenry may find itself
with a government that moves the people "to alter or to abolish
it, and to institute new Government." As in 1776, that may
be possible only with the use of firearms.
Yes, but why does anyone need semi-automatic, so-called assault
weapons? Perhaps no one needs them. Yet the history of smoking teaches
us a bitter lesson. Where the enemies of freedom mean business,
give them the tiniest opening, and they will rule the field in no
Make no mistake. Smoking was not about health. It was about freedom.
Gun control is not about protecting school children. It's about
transforming this Republic into a country like all others, where
only the government possesses weapons.
And once that happens, the judge's robe can turn into a military
uniform at the drop of a hat.
As indeed it happened countless times in countries we call civilized.