The Phaserl


The Constitution, the President and Guns

by Judge Andrew Napolitano, The Burning Platform:

“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.” — Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

In 2008, the Supreme Court laid to rest the once-simmering dispute over the meaning of the Second Amendment. In an opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia, the court articulated the modern existence of the ancient personal right to keep and bear arms as a pre-political right.

A pre-political right is one that pre-exists the political order that was created to protect it. Thus, the court held, the origins of this right are the ancient and persistent traditions of free peoples and their natural inclinations to self-defense.


The court also characterized the right as fundamental. That puts it in the highest category of rights protected by the Bill of Rights. Though the origins of this right are from an era well before guns existed, the textual language in the amendment — “arms” — makes clear, the court ruled, the intention of the Framers that its continuing purpose should be to recognize the right of people to keep and use the same level of technologically available arms that might be used against them.

That, in a nutshell, is the history, theory and purpose of the amendment as the modern Supreme Court has found them to be. But as we have seen, the constitutional guarantees that were written to keep the government from interfering with our rights are only as viable as is the fidelity to the Constitution of those in whose hands we have reposed it for safekeeping.

In our system, principal among those are the hands of the president; and sadly, today we have a president seriously lacking in this fidelity. And that lack is salient when it comes to the Second Amendment.

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama announced that he will sign executive orders that expand the size and scope of federal monitoring of the acquisition and use of guns — traditionally a matter left to the states — and he will interpret the laws in novel ways, establish rules and impose obligations that Congress rejected, and prosecute those who defy his new system.

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3 comments to The Constitution, the President and Guns

  • Ed_B

    It is unfortunate that the change in meaning of words over time has so confused so many, particularly those on the left, about the term “well regulated”. In the 18th century, “well regulated” meant what “well organized” means today. It did not then, nor does it now, confer such “regulatory” power upon the US Gov. Clearly, this never meant government regulation because the 2nd Amendment exists specifically so that We the People can depose by force of arms a government that turns to tyranny. Without firearms, this cannot be done. When one side has ALL of the guns, the other side is simply SOL. The framers of the US Constitution were WELL AWARE of this and the 2nd Amendment is their answer to it.

    Obama seems on the verge of discovering that We the People will not be following his unconstitutional “leadership”. Tens of millions of Americans will not comply with any executive orders that infringe upon our God-given and constitution-affirmed right to keep and bear arms.

    Note that here again, some have a lack of word meaning comprehension. The word “infringe” does not mean “eliminate”. It means “tamper with”… and the vast bulk of the 20,000+ gun laws on the books today DO infringe on our right to keep and bear arms and are therefore unconstitutional, null, and void on their face.

  • tomche

    Obama, Reid, Pelosi, McConnell, McCain, Graham and the lot of em are all TRAITORS to our nation. PERIOD!!!! What will it take for the American public to wake up to this FACT?

    Sadly, I think it’s beyond their ability and care….and with it, goes all liberty…

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