Would the Repeal of the Second Amendment Empower the Federal Government and Negate the Right to Own a Firearm? By Robert Greenslade - Price of Liberty
No human being has the right -- under any circumstances -- to initiate force against another human being, nor to threaten or delegate its initiation. The Zero Aggression Principle
Would the Repeal of the Second Amendment Empower the Federal Government and Negate the Right to Own a Firearm?
By Robert Greenslade © Nitwit Press

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August 27, 2007

Following the April shootings at Virginia Tech. University that left 32 people dead, the anti-gun zealots crawled out from under their rocks and once again showed their total ignorance concerning the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Second Amendment. Numerous articles, blogs and letters to the editor have called for the repeal of the Second Amendment. These individuals believe the federal government would either gain the power to impose severe restrictions on firearms and their owners or the right to own a firearm would vanish with the Amendment. The following is a brief examination of these claims.

The Constitution

The assertion that the federal government would gain additional power with the repeal of the Second Amendment is built on a total misconception concerning the system of government established by the Constitution. This misconception is based on the belief that the federal government is a government of unlimited general power. Proponents of this view claim the federal government can exercise any power it chooses unless there is a provision in the Constitution that restricts federal power. Thus, repeal of the Second Amendment would give the federal government additional power concerning firearms and firearms ownership.

In reality, the federal government is a government of limited enumerated powers. Under this system of government, the federal government is constitutionally powerless to act absent a specific grant of power. In other words, any power not granted is denied because the federal government does not exist outside of its granted powers. Thus, repeal of the Second Amendment, standing alone, would not give the federal government any additional power. The Constitution would have to be amended and a new grant of power added before the federal government could acquire more power.

The Bill of Rights

The anti-gun community is also misinformed concerning the purpose of the Bill of Rights. They believe the source of our rights is the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution for the United States commonly known as the Bill of Rights. Under this school of thought, if a right is not granted by the Constitution or the Bill of Rights then it does not exist. This is why they continually claim there is no individual right to keep and bear arms because the right enumerated in the Second Amendment pertains to the militias of the several States.

If the Bill of Rights had granted rights, then the word "granted" would have to appear each and every time a right was being established. A review of the Bill of Rights shows that the word "granted" does not appear any where in the document.

In reality, the Bill of Rights placed additional or secondary restraints on the powers of the federal government. That is why the words "no," "not" and "nor" appear throughout the Amendments instead of the word "granted."

The actual purpose of the Bill of Rights can be found in its preamble. The preamble states the sole purpose of the Amendments was to prevent the federal government from "misconstruing or abusing its powers." To accomplish this, "further declaratory and restrictive clauses" were being recommended. The Amendments, when adopted, placed additional prohibitions on the powers of the federal government.

Thus, the Amendments did not grant the States or the people any so-called rights. The Bill of Rights is simply a list of prohibitions on the powers of the federal government and an extension of the system of limited government in an enumerated form.

The Second Amendment

As stated above, the Bill of Rights did not grant any rights. Thus, there cannot be a constitutional or Second Amendment right concerning firearms. There can only be a constitutional or Second Amendment restraint on the powers of the federal government concerning firearm ownership.

Since the Second Amendment did not create or grant any right concerning firearms, the right enumerated in the Amendment has to be an existing right separate from the Amendment. Thus, repealing the Second Amendment would not negate any right because the right enumerated in the Amendment was not created by the Amendment. The right to own a firearm exists independent of the Constitution or the Second Amendment.

Conclusion

Despite of the claims to the contrary, repealing the Second Amendment would not grant the federal government any power or negate any right. The sole purpose of the Bill of Rights was to place a secondary level of prohibitions on the powers of the federal government---the first being the system of limited government itself. The Second Amendment is simply an additional restraint on the powers of the federal government concerning the right to possess a firearm.

Now Available! See Editor's review here.

"The Bill of Rights Does Not Grant You Any Constitutional Rights"
By Robert Greenslade and Claude Ellsworth

$10.00-includes shipping and any applicable sales tax.

P.S.C.S.
1547 Palos Verdes Mall PMB #160
Walnut Creek, CA 94597

Email any questions concerning the book/booklet to Bob at-govtnitwit [at] yahoo.com

Robert Greenslade focuses his writing on issues surrounding the federal government and the Constitution. He believes politicians at the federal level, through ignorance or design, are systematically dismantling the Constitution in an effort to expand their power and consolidate control over the American people. He has dedicated himself to resurrecting the true intent of the Constitution in the hope that the information will contribute, in some small way, to restoring the system of limited government established by the Constitution.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Constitution, take a look at this book. I use it in many of my articles and it is the best book I've found on this subject. Bob

The Federal Government: Its True Nature and Character: Being a Review of Judge Story's Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States.

Reprint of the 1868 edition. ''Perhaps the ablest analysis of the nature and character of the federal government that has ever been published. It has remained unanswered.'' This review of Judge Story's Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States is perhaps the ablest analysis of the nature and character of the Federal Government that has ever been published. It has remained unanswered. Indeed, we are not aware that any attempt has been made to challenge the soundness of its reasoning. The great vise of Judge Story and the Federalists consisted in desiring the clothe the federal government with almost monarchical power, whereas the States had carefully and resolutely reserved the great mass of political power for themselves. The powers which they delegated to the federal government were few, and were general in their character. Those which they reserved embraced their original and inalienable sovereignty, which no state imagined it was surrendering when it adopted the constitution. Mr. Madison dwelt with great force upon the fact that ''a delegated is not a surrendered power.'' The states surrendered no powers to the federal government -- they only delegated them. 160 pages.

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