Is Scalia nuts?
Five members of the Supreme Court, led by Scalia who wrote the majority opinion, decided to make law rather than interpret the intent of our founders who wrote and approved the Constitution and its initial amendments.
In this case it was the all-important Second Amendment. It is a single sentence, and is very clear in its meaning if you understand history! It says:
“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.”
This was written when the American colonies were fighting for their freedom from England and large numbers of English troops were stationed in Boston, and America of course, did not have an army. So how were they to defend themselves? They couldn’t initially and thus there was the “Boston Massacre” of 1770, when Americans protested being taxed without representation.
In those days virtually all Americans were farmers (including our first three presidents) and they all owned rifles to both shoot game for food and to defend themselves against Indian raids.
It was standard procedure, as confrontations with the English became more common, for each town or village to have a “militia” made up of all adult males and with a commander elected by the militia. Each man brought his own rifle and powder and they assembled with some regularity and practiced military maneuvers.
They were preparing to defend their town or village against English soldiers.
This is not at all similar to the Washington, DC case where residents of DC slept with guns under their pillows to protect themselves against a home invasion by their neighbor.
The first confrontation between the English Army and an American militia took place at the now famous Battle of Lexington in 1775. The Redcoats had been sent to confiscate arms and powder were met by the Lexington militia.
The English soldiers were driven back to Boston with a substantial loss of life. American town militias along the British route of retreat joined in the attack against the invading Redcoats.
And thus began the War of Independence.
Now our Congress needs to step up to the plate and pass an Amendment that clearly differentiates between the original militia (which can be compared to our current National Guard units) and individuals in urban centers who keep handguns in their homes and cars for personal protection (or for aggressive acts against their neighbors).
Judges are not put in office to make laws. Lawmaking is the job of our legislature. Let’s correct this egregious overreaching of their responsibility by the Supreme Court.
Dick Phillips lives in Alta Sierra.
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