Journalism in the Public Interest

Nullification: How States Are Making It a Felony to Enforce Federal Gun Laws

The NRA has remained quiet while legislation to nullify federal gun laws has been introduced in dozens of states.

The NRA has remained quiet while legislation to nullify federal gun laws has been introduced in dozens of states. (File, Adam Eschbach, Idaho Press-Tribune/AP Photo)

In mid-April, Kansas passed a law asserting that federal gun regulations do not apply to guns made and owned in Kansas. Under the law, Kansans could manufacture and sell semi-automatic weapons in-state without a federal license or any federal oversight.

Kansas’ “Second Amendment Protection Act” backs up its states’ rights claims with a penalty aimed at federal agents: when dealing with “Made in Kansas” guns, any attempt to enforce federal law is now a felony. Bills similar to Kansas’ law have been introduced in at least 37 other states. An even broader bill is on the desk of Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell. That bill would exempt any gun owned by an Alaskan from federal regulation. In Missouri, a bill declaring federal gun laws “null and void” passed by an overwhelming majority in the state house, and is headed for debate in the senate.

Mobilizing the pre-Civil-War doctrine of “nullification,” these bills assert that Congress has overstepped its ability to regulate guns — and that states, not the Supreme Court, have the ultimate authority to decide whether a law is constitutional or not.

The head of the Kansas’s State Rifle Association, an  affiliate of the National Rifle Association, says she put the bill together and found it a sponsor. While the NRA regularly lauds passages of states’ gun-rights laws, it stayed silent on Kansas’ law, and, so far, has kept a low profile on nullification. (The group did not respond to our requests for comment.)

Many observers see nullification bills as pure political theater, “the ultimate triumph of symbolism over substance,” as UCLA law Professor Adam Winkler put it.  He said he doubts the laws will ever be enforced, and, if they are, expects them to be struck down by the courts. 

Winkler and others say nullification laws violate the Constitution, which makes federal law “the supreme law of the land…anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.” Indeed, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder wrote a letter last week to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, asserting that Kansas’ law is “unconstitutional.” (Brownback, who signed the bill into law, did not immediately respond to our requests for comment.) 

But the growing number of such bills -- which have passed by large majorities in at least one chamber of seven state legislatures--highlight the challenge gun control advocates face in their attempt to fight for gun regulation at the state level.

It also shows how nullification is fast becoming a mainstream option for state politicians. In Pennsylvania, 76 state legislators signed on to sponsor a measure that would invalidate any new federal ban of certain weapons or ammunition. The bill would impose a minimum penalty of one year in prison for federal agents who attempt to enforce any new law.

Supporters of nullification are not simply frustrated at what they see as congressional and presidential overreach. During a hearing about one of the nullification bills she had introduced, Tennessee State Sen. Mae Beavers called the Supreme Court a “dictatorship.”

“You think that the Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter of any of these laws. I don’t believe that. I don’t believe it was ever granted the authority under the Constitution,” Beavers was quoted as saying in The Tennessean. (Reached by phone, she asked to comment later, then did not respond to further requests.)  

The Supreme Court rejected nullification in 1958, after Southern states tried to use the concept to avoid desegregating public schools. “No state legislator or executive or judicial officer can war against the Constitution without violating his solemn oath to support it,” the Court ruled.

Winkler, the UCLA law professor, said that even though the nullification trend was likely to be ineffectual, “It represents a strong, powerful opposition to our government.”

The concept of nullification has had a resurgence since the beginning of President Obama’s administration. More than a dozen states have introduced bills to nullify Obamacare.

The Tenth Amendment Center, a group that advocates nullification as the solution to a range of policy issues, from marijuana legalization to Obamacare, publishes model gun nullification language. The center has little direct contact with state legislators, Michael Boldin, the center’s founder, said.

The roots of guns law nullification trace back nearly a decade.

In 2004, Montana gun rights activist Gary Marbut drafted a bill stating that any guns manufactured and retained in Montana are not part of interstate commerce, and thus are exempt from federal regulation. The bill failed twice, but it became law in 2009 after Republicans took control of the statehouse. By Marbut’s count, at least eight states soon enacted “clones” of the Montana law. (Those laws don’t go quite as far as the more recent nullification legislation. For instance, most of them don’t make it a crime to enforce federal law.)

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms responded to the earlier laws with letters to local firearms dealers explaining that federal laws and regulations “continue to apply.”

The day the Montana law went into effect, Marbut filed a lawsuit in federal court asserting the right to manufacture weapons in the state without a federal license. The suit, now before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, has been backed by a large group of supporters, including Gun Owners of America, the Second Amendment Foundation, the Cato Institute, the Goldwater Institute, and a group of nine attorneys general, some of them from states that had passed their own versions of the Montana law.

Representatives of Goldwater and the Cato Institute said they see the case as not primarily about guns. Instead, they say, it’s meant to persuade the Supreme Court to rollback the Congress’ power to regulate commerce within a state.

“The likelihood of victory is low,” said Trevor Burrus, a research fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies.

The latest set of bills — including Kansas’ new law —represent a far broader and more aggressive challenge to federal law. Even conservative organizations have been skeptical of the trend.   

“A state law that criminalizes federal activity — I would oppose that as both imprudent and wrong,” Burrus said. The Cato Institute’s chairman wrote an op-ed this spring arguing this kind of nullification is invalid.

Goldwater Institute’s Nick Dranias, a constitutional expert, said the term “nullification” is sometimes applied to legitimate attempts to exert state sovereignty, “and sometimes it is essentially lawless civil disobedience.” 

States should only pass laws challenging federal power "when there is a reasonable legal argument for sustaining them," he said. And the penalty for enforcing federal law in "hard cases" should be "a misdemeanor at most." 

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative research group, released a “fact sheet” last year titled “Nullification: Unlawful and Unconstitutional.” (The fact sheet does not address guns in particular.)

The Montana activist whose helped inspired the nullification movement Kansas is also a bit skeptical. While he simply chose to challenge the federal government’s commerce power, Kansas is “bucking federal power more generally,” he said.  

“I think, maybe tactically, they may have gone a little further than they needed to,” Marbut said.

Though he supports the principles behind the Kansas law, “I don’t know how much of that they can uphold when it gets to the courts.”  

But Marbut hopes that the rapid spread of gun law nullification bills across the country will encourage the Supreme Court to hear his case.

 “I see the tide moving our way,” Marbut said. “I think the Supreme Court has figured out that the people of America are gathering their torches and pitchforks and it’s time to settle things down by reeling in the federal giant.”

A spokeswoman for Alaska Gov. Parnell, who has not either approved or vetoed the state’s nullification bill, said last month that “he is supportive of it.” But, she added, “The bill (as with all bills that pass) is currently undergoing a thorough review by the Department of Law.”

In Kansas, Patricia Stoneking, the president of Kansas State Rifle Association, said she was recommending that Kansans not start manufacturing guns under the new law until its legal status has been clarified. 

Even if Kansas’ law ends up being struck down in court, “We actually are not going to roll over and play dead and say, ‘Oh, no, shame on us,’” Stoneking said. “The fight will not be over.”

I think it would be a good idea to use KS as a test case on this.  Let the taxpayers see what these bogus, political theatre laws are going to cost them.  Take them to court on it.

Often these days we seem to be a country of dumb hicks.

Rudol von Slatin

May 2, 2013, 3:38 p.m.

For once there are lawmakers who got common censes.

Maybe it’s not that it gets under their skin that we popularly elected and re-elected a black person as our President. Maybe these latter days sons of the confederacy just want to re-assert their desire to secede from the Union. Sort of wish we could let them do so.

“The Supreme Court rejected nullification in 1958, after Southern states tried to use the concept to avoid desegregating public schools. “No state legislator or executive or judicial officer can war against the Constitution without violating his solemn oath to support it,” the Court ruled.”

And yet daily we have Mayors, Governors, Congress, Attorneys General et al that all swore that same oath making war on the 2nd with impunity.

It always amazes me that people are so quick to refer to someone as “dumb hicks” but refrain from calling Muslims evil Islamist.

This redneck mountain women is all for states standing up to our overreaching federal government. What the federal takes unto themselves if it isn’t broken already it will be.

I understand that the Federal government is supposed to derive it’s power form the states.  If that is so, it would seem to me that the federal ought to have to listen to what the states want rather than dictate from the constitution.  What both parties and the whitehouse does making end runs around the constitution and other laws should not be allowed.  The way I see it, most sensible states are tired of being beaten into submission over the mess that the federal guys are making.  I believe there are many requests for the redress that is mentioned in the constitution and the feds are ignoring them.

Then let liberals use nullification for abortion laws! If it’s fair it’s fair…

It’s interesting to note that in response to the ‘“Alien and Sedition Acts’ [A provision of The Sedition Act made it a criminal offense to criticize the government, and was used by the Adams Administration to prosecute, convict and jail 6 newspaper editors] Thomas Jefferson and James Madison authored the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions which asserted the right to nullification.

From Wikipedia: “In the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions (or Resolves) were political statements drafted in 1798 and 1799, in which the Kentucky and Virginia legislatures took the position that the federal Alien and Sedition Acts were unconstitutional. The resolutions argued that the states had the right and the duty to declare unconstitutional any acts of Congress that were not authorized by the Constitution. In doing so, they argued for states’ rights and strict constructionism of the Constitution. The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 were written secretly by Vice President Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, respectively.”

Read the second amendment and apply it tigthly: a law that conforms to the very narrow reading of the second amendment. That would require all owners of assault type weapons to be members of a well regulated militia -
    The militias would be under the control of the National Guard.

  Once passed, it will immediately be challenged by the NRA and we can let the Supreme Court decide what the second amendment really means for military type assault weapons.

This cannot be passed in Congress since most legislators are owned by or too scared to oppose the NRA, but some state legislatures might do it, setting the stage for court tests.

I point to the 1832 Nullification Crisis in South CArolina.  The State Legislature asserted that they had the power to nullify any federal law within their borders that they disagreed with. That famed Southerner and ornery old cuss, Andrew Jackson was Prez at the time and threatened them with occupation by Federal troops.  South Carolina backed down.

as i read the 2nd
we just kicked the brit army out, but realize we still need an army.
and just so they don’t take over, the people can be armed without

I think this is an excellent idea and other states should do it. It may be the only way to get the Federal government’s attention. Two points in support of the validity of this approach: Someone dismissed the validity of this approach with the comment that federal law trumps state law, which by the way is only true if both the federal government and state government has jurisdiction in the matter. First, is anyone going to argue that if a federal agent, on the job, commits murder, or some other violation of state law, that that agent cannot be prosecuted under state law? Second, no part of the Constitution explicitly grants the Supreme Court the power to decide the constitutionality of laws. They took it upon themselves to do so (see Madison versus Marbury), and we as a society have gone along with that, but other than the fact we have allowed them the precedent of doing so, there is no legal basis for the Supreme Court telling a state what is constitutional and what is not.

Remember When Big City Mayors And City
Councils Established Sanctuary Cities And
Thumbed Their Noses At U.S. Immigration Laws !!!!!!

What Has The Federal Government Done In
This Instance Other Than Completely Ignore
What These Cities Did !!!!!!

Gun owners keep waving the Second Amendment in our faces every time there’s talk about gun control.  It’s un-Constitutional they say.  Yet when they could use their First Amendment right to peaceably assemble suddenly the Constitution is no longer important.  Zero tolerance for compromise and gun control means they will try to pass laws that circumvent the Constitution. 
Hard to take gun owners seriously when they can’t be consistent in their arguments.  Is the Constitution the foundation of America that guarantees rights or is it just a piece of paper, a mere tool, that serves your purpose when you need it?
I guess it’s just too hard for gun owners to formulate counter arguments that would sway and shift gun control advocates. Just throw out federal law - secede or nullify anytime you don’t like something because it would be too much effort to see the government more as a body of people than as an evil machine.

The NRA is stoking the fires for Civil War if not by states seceding from The Union then at least inciting gun battles within several states.  Their ultimate goal is to arm every man, woman and child in the country.  They are now promoting rifles made for and marketed to 5 (five ) year old children in colors to appeal to both boys and girls.  They want to make firearms the toys of the future.
Yesterday a five year old picked up his rifle and accidentally killed his two year old sister with his NEW TOY.
They have distorted the second ammendment which was intended to assure the legal arming of “Militias” which were organized to put down “Slave Rebellions”, not to fight a “Tyrannical Government”.
Profits above all is their sole objective.

1. An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers.
2. A military force that is not part of a regular army and is subject to call for service in an emergency.
3. The whole body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service.
A Militia is NOT the National Guard
A Militia is NOT part of the government The people who wrote the Bill of Rights had just finished fighting a revolution.  Their idea of militia was NOT the National Guard.  It was free men, with guns, fighting a government that they felt had oversteped its bounds..

And the cursed racisim in ‘dumb hicks’ and ‘elected and re-elected a black person as our President’ is uncalled for.  Just maybe those dumb hicks do not like the president, not because he is black (he is not) but because he is a communist (he is).

Ironic that the conservative “defenders of the Constitution” are really Constitutional cherry pickers.

The “Militias” referred to in the second amendment were privately funded by plantation owners in the slave states to put down slave rebellions.
Suggest Dave read the article by Professor Carl T. Bogus (his real name) in the University of California,Davis Law Review re: dialogue between Alexander Hamilton and delegates from the slave owning states who wanted the second ammendment to assure that the “Militias” of that time could legally carry arms in their travels from plantation to plantation to put down slave rebellions.
You can download the 86 pages of the article and read it.
What is a communist?

If this is logical/rational (is it?), then the Tsarnaev brothers merely made their own guns within MA—so no federal laws were broken. Be fun to watch Kansas (etc) try to wiggle out of that problem….

Robert Cowan

May 3, 2013, 3:58 p.m.

OK. Let’s make it a federal felony for any state official to refuse to obey or enforce federal law.

There is no “Supremacy Clause” in the constitution. The Supremacy Clause (as some wrongly call it) of Article VI does not declare that federal laws are the supreme law of the land without qualification. What it says is that the Constitution “and laws of the United States made in pursuance thereof” are the supreme law of the land.

The key phrase here is “in pursuance thereof”. So, any laws that goes outside of the limited and well enumerated federal powers can be considered unconstitutional, and qualify for state nullification.

> Remember When Big City Mayors And City
> Councils Established Sanctuary Cities And
> Thumbed Their Noses At U.S. Immigration Laws !!!!!!
> What Has The Federal Government Done In
> This Instance Other Than Completely Ignore
> What These Cities Did !!!!!!

Apparently they cut the education budget for encouraging students to learn the purpose of capitalization.

Wow, that slippery slope, when states attempt to subvert the federal government. Maybe next we will exempt our citizens from the restrictions on free speech and allow them to publically say whatever they want including threatening the safety of public figures, businesses, organizations & private citizens. Maybe we can exempt our citziens from the restrictions on voting and allow anyone, no matter age, citizenship or criminal status to vote without registration. These and a host of other restrictions on our constitutional rights can be eliminted allowing us to do what we please even if it means that exercising our rights infringe on the rights of others. Our states will continue to fight the fed govt on this because we know that our constitutional rights are far more important than the constitutional rights of any other American.

This is all part of the NORQUIST revolution driving the GOP to DROWN govt in a bath tub. They changed it to SHRINK govt, but the idea is to reduce the power and reach of federalism and to return to states rights superiority. this way the wealthy and powerful in the states can form their own little fiefdoms: controlling the legislatures and the governor posts. It is a denial that the US constitution is the law of the republic and a direct assault on democracy. We really should begin to list the states along with their controlling Corps and money. Kochs, Adelson, Murdoch lust power and deminish democracy, who else?

Geeze, people.

I read recently that nearly half of Republicans polled believe there will be some sort of armed insurrection “necessary” in the next few years.

If that’s what it takes to get this stupidity out of our collective system, then maybe we DO need to have it out, once and for all.

The disgusted, annoyed, and, yes, let’s admit it, vengeful part of me that’s becoming sick of this seemingly eternal crap would sort of like to see Bubba of the Cornfields take on a Predator drone armed with Hellfire missiles. . . It would make for great leaked footage on WikiLeaks.

Bring it on, babe, bring it on.

Yes this redneck woman from West Virginia does not like the Obama because he is a socialist. He has pushed for more and more people to accept the nanny federal government. If it takes a millions of republicans to take this out of control government on, I say bring them on.

Liberals I don’t think you understand what you have supported.

“Yes this redneck woman from West Virginia does not like the Obama because he is a socialist. He has pushed for more and more people to accept the nanny federal government. If it takes a millions of republicans to take this out of control government on, I say bring them on. Liberals I don’t think you understand what you have supported.”

Why you can’t grasp, pgillenw is that to people with education and intelligence you obviously lack both qualities. If you had both, you too might see. You and the redneck clearly have no idea of what “socialism” is. And the use of “liberals” is a textbook use of a pejorative abstraction, a “loaded” term, that is like saying “walk” to a dog. It gets you excited though you really don’t comprehend much in the way of language. Know this, though, you’ll always be stupid and quite likely you’ll always be recognized as such and not be able to do a think about it.

Both my husband and I had quite allot experience in the military.  He did two tours late in the Viet Nam and one in the first Persian Gulf.  That is where we re-met after having not seen each other since High School.

My Husband is Jewish and his father and mother were the only survivors of from their respective families from the camps - I will always remember the numbers tattooed on their arms.

My Aunt, Uncle and their two children were hung with piano wire by the Nazis for hiding their Jewish neighbors.

I preface this only to say that even though our profession was the military for obvious reasons we have a strong distrust of any government.

And the way the Federal government is going now we have come to trust it even less and are glad our military days are long over.

Though we are avid hunters we have firearms primarily because we are not going to go through what the previous generations of our family did in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s. 

Protection from tyranny both foreign and domestic was the exact reason why the Founders included the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights.  And really the only reason.

As for the nullification of Federal laws by the states - there has been a mixed bag on that.  Some have worked, such as in the case of the Northern States refusal to obey the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, and there have been other cases

As the various states that choose to nullify any gun control, Obamacare, and any of the other overreaching of the current and past for that matter administrations we are going to be very fascinated as to how both Federal and States react.

Do we want to see a 2nd Civil War or any kind of firefight in our adopted country - the answer is an emphatic NO!

We have seen entirely too much death an destruction as most vets have.

However, because of our familial memory of governmental tyranny we will not surrender our arms easily. 

Plain and simple - leave us alone to live our lives as we wish and we will leave you alone. 

You do not have the right to force your beliefs on those that believe differently than you any more than they have to force theirs on you.

We own firearms - you don’t have too if you do not want too.  But the choice is entirely up to each citizen - not the government.

Terry, I do not desire a pissing match with you. You have zero idea of my college degrees nor do you have a clue as to my professional career. Believe it or not rednecks from WV can and do have professional careers and guess what many of us have college degrees.

The thing with liberals they think of themselves as intellectuals but it is arrogance and no common sense.

Pgillenw, you can’t help it. You’ve no idea of how poorly educated you are. Degrees do not signify in themselves either education or intelligence—such facets are not that simple. These days in particular, there are hundreds of community colleges, online “colleges,” and four year colleges that will happy exchange degrees for tuition. The point is that you have no idea what you reveal about yourself with a statement such as, “The thing with liberals they think of themselves as intellectuals but it is arrogance and no common sense.”  Imagine a child with dog manure all over his face of which he is unaware. That’s analogous to you. Grammar, articulation—your writing amounts to being dog manure.

Terry, Yes you are right proper grammar is not as you picked up my stronger attribute, just a geek engineer. You made my point with regards to arrogant and no common sense. Thanks.

Oh, an effort at retort by an engineer.  That’s a laugh. Arrogance, yes, It’s justified in speaking to a pretentious inferior. You demonstrate ignorance of logic in trying of suggest that “no common sense” somehow follows. You delude yourself if you think you qualify as a geek and that obvious ignorance of grammar masks sloppy thinking.  Try reading this piece by Timothy Egan: Maybe with some real, if belated, education you can rise above the rednecks.

Yesterday I commented 30 minutes after T Ganski saying:

“The liberal butt hurt is strong here. Common sense prevailed in shutting down the proposed gun bills, yet the cry babies just keep crying.”

And it got DELETED! That made me laugh though, proves my point. Good job supporting the 1st amendment propooplica.

And Terry….If you can’t provide a perfect example of literary excellence then you really shouldn’t bash anyone else. Think about it (that is the correct use of the word think btw).

Terry: “you’ll always be stupid and quite likely you’ll always be recognized as such and not be able to do a think about it. ”

“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.”

Let’s enforce the ENTIRE 2nd Amendment.

Want a gun?


Here’s your National Guard uniform.

See you at drill.

This is a non-issue, as the federal government neither has the authority nor the right to even address the issue of gun rights. This right is given by the people, to themselves, to never be taken away, that’s why it’s part of “The Bill of Rights”.  Even a Constitutional Convention cannot touch the first ten Amendments, it was designed just so. Remember we are not a mobocracy, but a Constitutional Republic. Only a civil war can change this fact. And if a civil war is what it will take to preserve our liberties, then so be it.

Steve, I think you had better study what the Founders intended the Militia to be.

Every single adult citizen of the United States is a member of the Militia as defined by the Founders.  Do some reading you may discover that fact.

So I would love it if this back fires on people like you and every single American is required to train with and maintain a firearm at the ready.

As for the way it is now.

My husband earned his right to have a firearm in the Jungles and again in the desert.  I earned mine in the desert - though admittedly to use his expression I was in the rear with the beer and the gear.  He was not.

So as I said in my previous post. 

We will not surrender our firearms willingly and you and others (or the government for that matter as cited by Cory) like you have no authority to tell us how to live our lives.

The 2nd Amendment merely restates a God given right to defend one’s self.

I find it absolutely amazing that Americans want to give up there rights!

As I said before I have relatives that have experienced the Nazis and then some also experienced the DDR (East Germany).

Those that are still alive think that this debate is stupid that there is no question - those rights reasserted and protected by the Bill of Rights are not up for debate - they are what they are as the Founders intended. 

Your (and my - and every Americans) 2nd Amendment is the final protection against a tyrannical government - from within or without.

Those that want to strip it and other rights from us are the beginning of the tyrants!

Well, if we’re going to go Originalist on this, then I guess no women can own guns, since they are not part of the “militia” (only males allowed, sorry).  And anyone not “able bodied” is out, according to District of Columbia v. Heller.  And you have to be between 18 and 45.

And, oh, yes, no Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, or anyone non-white need apply, since Congress said “each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective states, resident therein, who is or shall be of the age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia.”

No Steve you are the one going originalist.

However, in Heller so did the Supreme Court.

Either way it will be a cold day in Hades before my weapons will be taken from me by anyone.

So, as Corr said if you want others to waste the blood of our fellow Americans attempting to take away from them something they have every right to have.

Go for it.

Best thing to do - is let those of us that want firearms for various purposes have them - and if you do not want to have one unless you are playing soldier in the National Guard - don’t.

I doubt very much if you have “been there, done that” when it comes to the military.  Because to tell you the truth - in all of my or hubby’s service (I just asked him) neither one of us has met a Soldier, Sailor, Coast Guardsman, Airman, or Marine that has a problem with civilians having firearms.

Along as they are properly trained by the military or NRA frankly it is a good thing - for all to have them to insure we maintain the right to keep them - along with all of our other rights as spelled out by the Bill of Rights.

Forgive my spelling errors - we are on our way to the range - and I was in a hurry.

Good day - discussion closed - we are keeping what is our right to keep.

Steve, Not sure how you define militia. The militia groups I have respect for do have a lot of women. Not sure why you bring up race—again they care zero about the color of ones skin.

“Steve, I think you had better study what the Founders intended the Militia to be.”

Hello, pot, meet kettle.

@pgillenw: Patrizia went Originalist on me with the “better study what the Founders intended the Militia to be.” and so I did, per everyone’s favorite Originalist Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

In the Originalist interpretation of “militia” Congress, to reiterate, said “each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective states, resident therein, who is or shall be of the age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia.”

That’s a direct pull quote.

So, if we wish to follow the Consititution as it was originally written and interpreted by early Congresses, the “well ordered militia” consists of white guys between the age of 18 and 45.  No women or non-whites need apply.

Now it the interpretation of “militia” has changed, then why can’t interpretation of other clauses in the 2nd Amendment change?

Just askin’.

But let me stop this exchange right here by stating a simple, obvious fact: NOBODY IS GOING TO TAKE YOUR GUNS.


Not Obama.

Not Mike Bloomberg.

Not me.



Massacres such as those in Newtown and Aurora are simple the price we pay and are going to continue to pay for some people’s fetishization of guns and paranoia, as well as the big money arms merchants that promote that fetishization and paranoia.

But that will not stop me from saying that you’re all just freaking nuts.

If the members of the NRA had a real education they would not be easily coerced into such a demeanor. However since most do not understand anything above 3rd grade, it shows in the spelling and speech, they are easily led astray.  Stupid is as stupid does.  Idiots breed as idiots breed.  You folks would not like it here in my state you could never sell a gun here unless you go through a dealer and that is for all sales none are excluded; individual, gun-show and dealer sales all have a waiting period.  We like it like that. Keeps you nuts away.

Bill, It seems stupid that you would think that guns are not sold in your state without going through a dealer. How utterly naive.

The Supreme Court cannot be allowed to circumvent the Constitution. One more bad appointment could lead to a confrontation between the states and the national government. The people will not give up their constitutional rights.

Can someone point me to the presumably genius legal analysis suggesting that the Second Amendment exists to validate the existence of the military?  No country has ever needed to do so, certainly.

Or is it validating the revolution, which just passed, against an oppressive government?  You know, along with the right to speak anonymously, petition the government, not have soldiers living with you, not incriminate yourself, and so forth.  Which seems more logical in context?

Guns are crappy tools that few people should be messing with, but we should all think about the reason for the right to arm ourselves, rather than acting emotionally at the thoroughly asinine NRA arguments or rare cases of mass shootings (which could just as easily be explosions or poisonings, which nobody ever seems to take a stand against).

And let’s be honest, the last fifteen years or so, the government has not had a good track record on protecting our rights.  Free speech can be censored, and there’s always work to make it less anonymous; assembly is routinely restricted; petitioners are ignored and dismissed.  Your computer and property can be searched without a warrant in many cases.  Self-incrimination is abetted by Contempt of Court, a nonsensical fake law.  Trial by jury is abandoned depending on the crime you’re accused of committing, and nobody’s had a speedy jury in decades.  Cruel and unusual punishment is A-OK, as long as someone implied you’re a terrorist, including torturing the accuseds’ children.

I know, I should probably be more thankful nobody’s trying to house soldiers in my living room.  But I point all this out because it shows what the government has been thinking about our rights.  So when it says that nobody really needs the Second Amendment, or that it’s only creepy old power-brokers who want to hurt you that are interested in guns…well, maybe not.  Maybe it’s just a bad idea to have a clean sweep of removing “inalienable” rights.

The anti gun crowd, especially the epithet spewing elitists among you should read this regarding why you can’t have a “reasonable” conversation on guns.

And the following for “Nobody wants to take your guns”

Remember that in wingnuttia their side won the Civil War….

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