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April 18, 2007

Mark Green: only states, not individuals, can own guns

The brother of the owner of Air America Radio offers "The Emperor Has No Guns":
The boilerplate response to the Virginia shootings from pro-gun Republicans is, sorry about the loss but we all still have to recognize the Second Amendment right to own guns.

What right?

The only authoritative voice on this is the United States Supreme Court which, in United States v Miller in 1939, ruled that Congress can't constitutionally limit a state's right--not a person's right--to bear arms.

Yes, the Second Amendment says that "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed," but that conclusion is explicitly limited to "a well regulated militia, necessary to the security of a free State."
You already know he's wrong, but now I'll explain exactly why he's wrong. I'm certainly no constitutional scholar, but I can read and there's an extremely strong possibility that he's misstating or misunderstanding Miller. See, for instance, the discussion here.

And, from Wikipedia (tinyurl.com/ynkb7e ; disclaimers apply):
"It was upon this force that the States could rely for defense and securing of the laws, on a force that "comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense", who, "when called for service . . . were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time." The military use of shotguns with a barrel length less than 18 inches, in WW I and in prior US conflicts never entered the judicial record for this case."
Note the supplied by themselves. While I'm sure some would like all property to belong to the state, that says that the members of the militia - "all males physically capable..." - should own their own guns.

Posted in Mark Green at April 18, 2007 03:32 PM

Monitoring Air America Radio [TM] so you don't have to.


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