Second Amendment under threat in Zimmerman case

The Constitution, which sets forth the principle of rule of law, defines what is unconstitutional, and guarantees freedom of speech and other liberties of a Constitutional republic, and also describes the impeachment power. (How many know of the Jewish roots of this document?) Hypocrisy threatens Constitutional government. Could Israel use a constitution like this? More to the point: would a Convention of States save it, or destroy it? (Example: civil asset forfeiture violates the Constitution.) Quick fixes like Regulation Freedom Amendments weaken it. Furthermore: the Constitution provides for removing, and punishing, a judge who commits treason in his rulings. Furthermore, opponents who engage in lawfare against an elected President risk breaking the Constitution.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Zimmerman case now threatens the Second Amendment, and laws dealing with its exercise. Activists and legislators both call for repeal of such laws. And recent executive actions suggest that this is not coincidental.

Exploitation of the Zimmerman case

Activists are already exploiting the case of George Zimmerman, the one-man Neighborhood Watch force in his gated community, for a racial angle. Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old who died on the night of February 26, is black. George Zimmerman has a “white” name. That he is actually of Hispanic origin seems not to have earned him any sympathy from the usual rogues’ gallery of racialist activists. One group has actually set a price on his head: ten thousand dollars, “dead or alive.”

But anti-white activists are not the only ones exploiting this story, nor even the most disturbing. That dubious honor goes to another set of activists, who look for a future in which no person, except a duly sworn and salaried law-enforcement officer, government intelligence officer, government or government-approved bodyguard, or military service member, shall carry, much less own, a firearm. They seek to repeal, or at least re-construe, the Second Amendment to the Constitution. It reads:

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.

The Second Amendment is the “reset button” on the Constitution. Indeed, the American War for Independence began when British troops tried to disarm the populace at Lexington and other cities. More recently, the present Supreme Court has ruled that the Second Amendment defines and protects the right of a person, not merely some amorphous group known as “the people,” to “keep and bear arms.”

But most Progressive activists have never accepted that. The most prominent anti-Second Amendment activists today are the Brady Campaign. That group takes its name from James Brady, whom John W. Hinckley III shot in the head while also trying to kill President Ronald W. Reagan. Brady’s wife Sarah insisted ever since that if only the laws did not allow anyone but a privileged and “cleared” few to carry a gun, the injury to her husband might never have occurred. And so the Brady Campaign has worked tirelessly to disarm everyone not having a government job having to do with projecting force.

Kurt Hoffman, as the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner, last week criticized the Brady Campaign for exploiting the Zimmerman/Martin affair. They are still exploiting that case. Their home page has a photo of Zimmerman (whether they have the right to use it is an open question), with this caption:

I AM THE NRA.

The M&P Victory revolver: symbol of the Second Amendment

Smith and Wesson M&P Victory model revolver. User: Oleg Volk; CC-BY 2.5 Generic License

The new evidence that exonerates Zimmerman doesn’t matter to the Brady Campaign. Nor does it seem to matter to Senator Charles M. Schumer (D-NY), who has never respected the Second Amendment. And it especially does not matter to The Reverend Jesse Jackson, head of Rainbow/PUSH. All three have the same target: a class of laws called Stand Your Ground Laws. Twenty States, including Florida, have them. Under them, no person has the duty to retreat from an assailant. Any person carrying any sort of lawful weapon may use that weapon, to deadly effect if he must, to defend against a homicidal attack.

The Brady Campaign, Senator Schumer, and The Rev. Mr. Jackson will not bother with whether Zimmerman somehow abused the Stand Your Ground Law in his State. (Witnesses now say that, however Zimmerman and Martin met face-to-face, Martin, not Zimmerman, turned the meeting into a deadly fight.) Instead, the anti-gun activists and politicians insist that Stand Your Ground Laws somehow grant a hunting license to civilians to execute summarily any person whom, for whatever reason, they do not like. Zimmerman, they say, used his “license to kill,” and he killed. Therefore, the law must reimpose a duty to retreat.

But of course that is not their sole object. Their final goal is to repeal, or at least re-construe (or mis-construe) the Second Amendment. They have always argued that “the people” that the Second Amendment mentions are not a collection of persons but a collective. That is, “the people” means all the people, and only few of them need “keep and bear arms” in the name of all. Those few are, to repeat:

  • Law-enforcement officers.
  • Members of the military.
  • Intelligence officers.
  • Official or “approved” bodyguards.

By this interpretation, the Second Amendment defines not a right but a privilege to keep and bear arms. In the minds of the Brady Campaign officers, and of Senator Schumer and The Rev. Mr. Jackson, George Zimmerman not only abused that “privilege” but ought never have had it to begin with. The Stand Your Ground Law, they say, granted him that “privilege” in a way that played fast and loose with public safety. That is because no person, except someone trained in a government academy or training camp, ought to have this privilege.

Executive action against the Second Amendment

Two recent executive actions almost shout that the government wants to make the Second Amendment useless. First, the Department of Homeland Security recently ordered 450 million rounds of .40 caliber ammunition, and 175 million rounds of .223 caliber rifle ammunition. Why does the Department of Homeland Security, and not the Department of Defense, need so much ammunition? Perhaps for two reasons:

  1. To corner the market for ammunition and make it unavailable for ordinary persons to buy.
  2. To arm and equip the “civilian security force” that the man now holding office as President, Barack H. Obama, said during the campaign that the government should train and equip, to make it just as strong as the regular Army, or stronger.

Obama also signed an Executive Order, the latest in a series that gives the President the power to seize everything in the country and call it a “national defense resource.” The latest change from earlier EOs: it redefines national defense to include almost any activity that the government wants to include.

The first leader in the last century to recruit and train an “internal security force” as strong as, or stronger than, his country’s army was Adolf Hitler. Nicolae Ceaucescu of R0mania did the same. As a result, in the revolutions that swept the Communists out of power throughout the Warsaw Pact, R0mania’s regular army fought a civil war with Ceaucescu’s private security service.

Obama seems to want to try Ceaucescu’s experiment in America. He probably is doing this because several regular and retired officers have formed a group called Oath Keepers, to oppose Obama should he issue any unconstitutional orders to the military. Leading their list of the Ten Orders We Will Not Obey: any order to confiscate people’s weapons, in violation of the Second Amendment. (The other unlawful orders they list seem to expect Obama’s latest Executive Order, three years before Obama signed it.)

Summary

Many Patriotic activists hold that the Zimmerman case distracts the people from other, deadlier assaults on human liberty. That might be correct, except that the government and its allies have reacted to the Zimmerman affair in a way to advance their agenda. That agenda poses a direct threat to the Second Amendment, in fact and perhaps in letter also.

Related:

Editor-in-chief at | + posts

Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

17 Responses to Second Amendment under threat in Zimmerman case

  1. Horace says:

    I have always found the American obsession with possessing guns completely perplexing. I live in a country that has decent gun laws. Guns are rarely seen and the rate of death from gunshot is waaaaay below that of the US. I find it very difficult to see how things here would be improved by handing out guns to all and sundry.

    And guess what? No politician has yet raised a private army and enslaved the populace.

    If your form of constitutional government in the US is so weak that you guys are in danger of takeover from within by a president with a private army I suggest that the answer lies in some serious constitutional reform, not gun ownership.

    Finally, the suggestion that your President (and yes, he clearly is your President Terry) is raising a private army to enslave you is the sort of speculation that really ought to be left to the tinfoil-hat brigade.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      “No politician has yet raised a private army and enslaved the populace”? I give you Julius Caesar, and at least two members of the Second Triumvirate: Marcus Antonius, and Gaius Octavius, afterwards known as Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Octavianus. Further to this, the great principal dynasties of the Roman Empire all fell at the hands of one who raised a more powerful army. In AD 69, this happened no less than four times, until Titus Flavius Vespasianus seized the Emperorship and kept it. We saw it again with Trajan, and even more famously with Constantine.

      And in more modern times, I give you Napoleon Bonaparte, and Adolf Hitler.

      Human nature precludes the repose of absolute trust in any branch of the government. It also precludes another attitude I read in your remarks: the conflation of the concepts “government” and “people.”

      And frankly, I dispute your statistics. I am not sure that they are accurate. I further maintain that if all the targets were armed as well as are the perpetrators of the murders you decry, not nearly as many of these murders would take place. The would-be serial murderer of women would die at the hands of his first target, to take just one example.

      • Horace says:

        Perhaps I failed to make myself clear Terry. In the country I come from (Australia) we have decent gun control laws and yet no politician has yet raised a private army to enslave us. Nothing to do with Rome (pretty sure they had no gun control laws) or Hitler’s Germany.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          Well, see here, mate: that is why you are a subject and I am a citizen. Maybe you want to take the chance on not finding yourself a subject of a brutal dictator. But I am not.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            Actually Australians are citizens too. It’s not actually a uniquely American concept, you know. In fact it’s a European one.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            I was speaking of what it means to be an American citizen. Citizenship is something that I doubt seriously that anyone in the British Commonwealth really understands. Because you do not have citizenship as an American understands the term. You do not have the kind of citizenship that a Roman had, or that Emmerich de Vattel defined.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Citizenship is something that I doubt seriously that anyone in the British Commonwealth really understands.”

            That, frankly, is your problem. However I’d just like to point out that nobody in the British Commonwealth has ever been stripped of their passport by a Commons Committee on Un-Commonwealth Activities or had their country subjected to a nine-decade (and counting) war against organised crime just because a collection of killjoys decided to ban beer.

  2. JT says:

    also, please explain how a skinny, unarmed kid turned it “into a deadly fight” – was he using magic or something?

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      You’re looking at a three-year-old picture. More recent pictures are available at the links I furnished. (I haven’t the right to use those pictures; else I would have illustrated my own piece with them.) He was a lot bigger and burlier today than he was then. He played varsity football when he wasn’t on suspension for carrying a bookbag that he had managed to contaminate with marijuana.

      • Fergus Mason says:

        From what I’ve seen he was at least 6 feet tall and weighed less than 11.5 stone. That gives a BMI of at most 21.5, which is low normal; below 20 is underweight. Zimmerman, on the other hand, has a BMI of nearly 37, which means he is – to put it bluntly – massive.

        You can argue that someone as fat as Zimmerman is so chronically out of shape that he wouldn’t stand a chance even against a skinny guy like Martin, but frankly that’s even more reason for him not go around confronting people. If he’s so lardy that he can’t take care of himself without escalating a fist fight into a shooting he had no place doing what he did.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          It’s too late for you to prosecute Zimmerman at a remove now. The exculpatory evidence is rolling in faster than I can keep up with it. You are, by my estimate, at least twenty-four hours behind the news cycle.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            Except that didn’t actually address my points, did it? Martin was bordering on being underweight while Zimmerman is obese. Martin wasn’t going to be manhandling him about. I very much doubt I could shift someone as fat as Zimmerman and I’m a lot more strongly built than Trayvon Martin was.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            The witness saw him “manhandling Zimmerman about.”

          • Fergus Mason says:

            Well no. As we’re both well aware, the witness saw him fighting with Zimmerman on the ground. The witness doesn’t claim to have seen who started the fight, although by now it’s clear that Zimmerman took it on himself to confront Martin after following him for a period of time. Personally I would find this aggressive and provocative behaviour, if it happened to me. How would you feel about it?

  3. Fergus Mason says:

    “1.To corner the market for ammunition and make it unavailable for ordinary persons to buy.”

    Really, Terry, words almost fail me this time. Buying up a few hundred million rounds of TWO CALIBRES is not even going to make a noticeable dent in the US civilian ammunition supply. It’s a ridiculous suggestion.

    “2.To arm and equip the “civilian security force” that the man now holding office as President, Barack H. Obama, said during the campaign that the government should train and equip, to make it just as strong as the regular Army, or stronger.”

    But not as ridiculous as this. Firstly the ammunition isn’t a lot of good without weapons. Secondly it is going to take a LOT more than a bunch of rifles and pistols to make any force more powerful than the US Army. Obama can raise a huge socialist militia, arm it mostly with .40 pistols and hand out those 450 million rounds, and compared to a professional army it will have a combat power of basically nil. What use are pistols against an army, Terry? None at all, right?

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      I have already received information to the effect that ammunition is suddenly orders-of-magnitude more difficult to obtain after the order than before.

      • Fergus Mason says:

        Except that simply isn’t true. It took me ten seconds to find a site that will sell you all the .223 ammunition you want:

        http://www.midwayusa.com/find?&newcategorydimensionid=9781

        They have a wide range of .40 as well, and let’s not go into the hundreds of other calibres – many of them, such as 9mm NATO and .45 ACP, significantly more popular than .40 – that wouldn’t be affected even if your claim was true.

        175 million rounds of .223 out of the USA’s annual production of the stuff is NOTHING, Terry. Literally NOTHING. In fact, of course, it’ll actually be 5.56mm NATO, because that’s what military-specification rifles eat, and it probably came out the same factories that deliver far larger quantities to the DoD on a regular basis.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.