Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Don't You Dare Speak Outside Your Home!

By Dave Dargo

Insulting title, isn't it?

Courts of Appeal in this country are having a hard time with the second amendment. It's extremely frustrating to witness such convoluted logic and tortuous language being used to justify a continuing suppression of our fundamental rights.

We are fortunate that fewer states continue the suppression of our civil rights but for those who live in those states there is no relief from the mind numbingly elaborate arguments put forth to justify the suppression. Furthermore, these courts give succor to those organizations and politicians dedicated to stripping us of our fundamental rights.

Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit handed down its opinion in Drake v. Filko and the opinion is a difficult read.  One rather difficult passage reads:

"It remains unsettled whether the individual right to bear arms for the purpose of self-defense extends beyond the home."
Every time I read that sentence, and I've read it many times, I shudder, I cringe, I nearly cry. A Circuit Court of Appeals judge actually wrote that sentence and it's not the first time someone who should know better wrote such a sentence. Not only did a Circuit Court of Appeals judge write that sentence but he got another one to agree with him.

The tortured logic it takes to even conceive of such a statement is shocking.

The first blog entry I wrote, "What Amendment Gives You The Right To Keep And Bear Arms?", touched on this issue. The Constitution of the United States of America grants you zero rights.

Let's say it together, "The Constitution of the United States of America grants me zero rights." Say it. Believe it. Live it. Only vote for those politicians who understand it.

The Constitution of the United States of America grants from the people to the government certain powers. The Bill of Rights doesn't grant us any rights. If you read the full Bill of Rights you will realize that it is a document that places further restrictions on the government.

Yet, we have judges at the highest levels of our judiciary who write sentences such as the one above that presumes that the second amendment gives us a right to bear arms but that right may not extend outside the home.

"It remains unsettled whether the individual right to bear arms for the purpose of self-defense extends beyond the home."
Imagine if anyone at any time in our history attempted to author such a statement about the first amendment. The first amendment, like the others, gives us no rights - it prohibits the government from infringing on the right to free speech, among others. Could they have written:

"It remains unsettled whether the individual right to free speech extends beyond the home."
Now, I know it's tempting. There are a lot of politicians I wish wouldn't open their mouths outside their homes. But we all know the first amendment is there for a reason, just as the second amendment is there for a reason.

The concept that any of our fundamental rights is restricted to the home is an affront that insults the people. The people spoke well over 200 years ago when we penned the Constitution and we continue to speak today.

Let's be sure we exercise that first amendment right to speech outside the home and convince our fellow citizens to help elect only those politicians who will stand with us in support of the fundamental rights we all hold so dear. Until we have the proper people in the legislative and executive branches we will be subject to the unfortunate whims of the judiciary.

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