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What you need to know for 04/30/2017

Supreme Court defined 2nd Amendment; only due process can change it

Supreme Court defined 2nd Amendment; only due process can change it

*Supreme Court defined 2nd Amendment; only due process can change it

Supreme Court defined 2nd Amendment; only due process can change it

The Constitution and the Supreme Court are being ignored. With all the media hype, pictures of scary-looking guns, [British journalist and television host] Piers Morgan’s rants and Gov. Cuomo’s Safe Act, what is being ignored here is the Constitution itself and the Supreme Court’s definition of the Second Amendment.

Rights enumerated in the Constitution are subject to change only through due process, that is the courts. Not through legislation, the Congress, the president or the governor. Like it or not, that’s how the system works, whether it’s the First, Second or 14th Amendment.

Until the Supreme Court heard D.C. v. Heller, there was no clear definition as to what the Second Amendment protected. The court ruled that individuals do in fact have the right own arms for lawful purposes including personal protection. It also held, citing U.S. v. Miller, that those arms protected are those in common use at the time. They didn’t say it couldn’t look scary or have a barrel shroud. It also said that these rights are not dependent on the individual being a member of a militia.

Pretty simple and easy to understand. It clarified for the first time that, yes, individuals do have the right to arm themselves and they can do it with anything they choose that is in common use at the time!

The big sticking point for the gun-control folks with this, is that modern sporting rifles, or assault weapons as they refer to them, with 20- or 30-round magazines, have been far and away the most popular-selling weapons for the last several years. There are literally millions of them out there. Accept the fact that it is in common use, as are 20- and 30-round magazines. And the argument that only the military or police should have them doesn’t jibe with the exclusion of an individual having to be in a militia.

If elected officials truly swear an oath to uphold the Constitution, then they need to stand up and do it. Until the Supreme Court hears and rules on a case and throws out D.C. v. Heller or U.S. v. Miller, then banning assault weapons through legislation won’t get off the ground, and it shouldn’t.

Congress should take a lesson from the anti-DWI folks here. They were smart enough to know you can’t ban cars or beer. What you can do is toughen up on existing laws and enforcement. Make people accountable and punish them when they are not. They made a real difference.

Neil Hasbrouck

Duanesburg

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