November 29, 2007

• Paul Helmke, 2nd Amendment

Posted in From My Gord, From The Blog-O-Sphere tagged at 4:10 pm by Rid

The following anti-gun views are making their way around the blog-o-sphere.  The below article  was written by Paul Helmke, who served as President of the Brady Campaign/Center to Prevent Gun Violence since mid-July 2006. His entire argument revolves around the relevancy of  the “well regulated malitia” portion of the 2nd amendment. His view is this portion of the Bill or Rights was ignored in the Parker v. D.C. ruling.

Strangely, by inference,  Mr. Helmke does exactly what he accuses the pro-gun lobby of – parsing the 2nd amendment.

“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 statement is made up of two independent clauses: The militia clause “and” the keep and bear Arms clause. This is two independent statements that do not require the other in order to be valid.  One is not the antecedent to the other. Apparently Mr. Helmke use Al Goreian logic to derive a premise and conclusion – avoiding the “inconvenient truth.”

We pro-gun advocates are not “uncomfortable” with the militia clause. But, I am not aware of a militia  that exists in Washington D.C. Are we to trash the entire amendment because we no longer have militia’s? His conclusion is preposterous.

Mr. Helmke completely (and maliciously) ignores the entire genesis  of the Bill or Rights and why they were included in the Constitution, by James Madison, in the first place.

I find it nothing short of amazing that these Huffingtonites are so quick to trample the second amendment, and yet jealously guard the “individuals” rights that were clearly intended for amendments one through ten.

Mark my word, if the second amendment is sliced up, that same knife will be used on the rest of our “individual” rights. Finally, I don’t need a constitution to give me the right of self preservation. This right is self evident.


by Paul Helmke

The Second Amendment: 13 + 14 = 27

Posted November 28, 2007 | 05:20 PM (EST)

Contrary to gun lobby dogma, there are actually 27 words in the Second Amendment.

The Amendment reads, in full:

“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.”

There is the “Militia purpose” clause, with 13 words. Then there is the “keep and bear Arms” clause, with 14 words. Two clauses and 27 words. This is an uncomfortable fact to those accustomed to reading only half of the Amendment, reciting the last 14 words over and over again as if the first 13 didn’t exist.

The Constitution says they do exist, and so we must read the whole Second Amendment. We must give effect to all of its words – not just the ones we like – to understand what the Amendment means.

In the case [pdf] now on appeal to the US Supreme Court, however, two judges on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals virtually “erased” the 13 words of the “Militia purpose” clause altogether, and made them practically meaningless. This is just one more reason why the Appeals Court decision was clearly erroneous and should be reversed.

You can read why in the second installment of the Brady Center Legal Action Project’s thorough critique of the lower-court opinion titled, Decision By Eraser: How the Parker Court Obliterated Half of the Second Amendment.

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