Liberty or Laws?
Government Enforces Their Laws – Who Shall Enforce the Constitution?
Outpost of Freedom
November 3, 2014
“Felony Possession of a Firearm” is the feds’ way of charging someone who is a convicted felon and possesses a firearm, which is found in 18 USC 922, at (g)(1). In two previous articles, we touched upon various aspects of that law. In “No bended knee for me” – the Charge against Robert Beecher, we addressed the interstate commerce aspect of that law. It explained that the law can only be properly applied if a person is directly involved in interstate or foreign commerce of a firearm, as any other interpretation would result in unequal justice under the law, whereby a citizen of one state might be able to have both firearms and ammunition, in another state, one might be able to only have ammunition or a firearm, and in the remainder of the states, one could possess neither firearm or ammunition.
In a subsequent article, Camp Lone Star – Massey & The Clash of Laws, we discussed the conflict between state and federal laws. The Constitution provides, in Article IV, § 4, that “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government”. Further, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, to wit:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
This provides that if a power is not delegated to the United States, the state may consider it reserved for their disposition, and, when that is not applied, then the people retain the power.
Now, supposing that is the case, could the federal government, absent such delegated power, pass a law, or promulgate a rule (See The Bundy Affair – The Revenge of the BLM), that was Constitutional, or is it without jurisdiction – unless supported by another power or authority granted to the federal government? The “Clash of Laws” article refers to a Supreme Court decision, United States v Lopez 514 US 549 (1995), which removes any doubt as to whether the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, “To regulate Commerce … among the several States” (Art. I, §8, clause 3) allows that regulation to extend to any use, once removed from interstate commerce. The Court ruled, “To uphold the Government’s contention… would require this Court to pile inference upon inference in a manner that would bid fair to convert congressional Commerce Clause authority to a general police power of the sort held only by the States”. The Court, in declining to decide in the government’s favor, ruled that the government was unable to extend its “Commerce Clause authority” to encroach upon the authority reserved to the States.
So, that is two strikes against the federal government, in their intent to broaden their authority where it was never granted by the Constitution. Is it possible that there might be a third strike that would, without question, prohibit the federal government from imposing any limitation of the right to possess a firearm, leaving that power solely to the state government to do as they wish?
The first eight Amendments are prohibitions – things that the federal government cannot violate. Let’s start with the Second 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.
Before we proceed, it might be worth understanding what the definition of the most significant word in that Amendment is. This definition is from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary — words as they were understood by the Founders.
1. To break, as contracts; to violate, either positively by contravention, or negatively by non-fulfillment or neglect of performance. A prince or a private person infringes an agreement or covenant by neglecting to perform its conditions, as well as by doing what is stipulated not to be done.
2. To break; to violate; to transgress; to neglect to fulfill or obey; as, to infringe a law.
infringed, pp. Broken; violated; transgressed.
Well, that is pretty clear that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” means that it is not within the granted powers and authorities granted to the federal government, for it to do “what is stipulated not to be done”.
That appears to be a good start, though we need to go a bit further to see if that infringement is contrary to a provision of U. S. Code that is very consistent with the Second Amendment, and in its provisions, does not exclude the right, under federal law, to possess a firearm — except, possibly, while directly involved in interstate or foreign commerce.
So, what about the militia? The government tells us how bad they are, but, what does United States Code (the Law of the Land, as per Art. VI, say about the militia? From 10 U.S.C. §311, et seq, pertinent parts:
§ 311 – Militia: composition and classes – tells us who is in the militia. “The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32 [note: this has to do with ages of officers], under 45 years of age…” It goes on to explain both organized and unorganized militia. The next section tells us who is exempt from the militia, to wit:
§ 312 : US Code – Section 312: Militia duty: exemptions
(a) The following persons are exempt from militia duty:
(1) The Vice President.
(2) The judicial and executive officers of the United States, the several States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.
(3) Members of the armed forces, except members who are not on active duty.
(4) Customhouse clerks.
(5) Persons employed by the United States in the transmission of mail.
(6) Workmen employed in armories, arsenals, and naval shipyards of the United States.
(7) Pilots on navigable waters.
(8) Mariners in the sea service of a citizen of, or a merchant in, the United States.
(b) A person who claims exemption because of religious belief is exempt from militia duty in a combatant capacity, if the conscientious holding of that belief is established under such regulations as the President may prescribe. However, such a person is not exempt from militia duty that the President determines to be noncombatant.
Nowhere in this law made in pursuance to the Constitution, specifically the Second Amendment, does it prohibit a convicted felon from being in the militia. In fact, it is mandatory, since he is not exempted, that he be within those defined as “unorganized”. So, ponder this; can someone be in the militia that is unable to possess a firearm? That would seem to be contrary to the Constitutional provision pertaining for the militia. only the most absurd reasoning could devise to argue against a person’s right to possess a firearm, with the exception of that portion that prohibits direct involvement in interstate or foreign commerce.
Article VI, clause 2 tells us “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof… shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” So, if a law is made in pursuance, as opposed to without such authority, it is Constitutional. Otherwise, it is not.
So, do we allow the judges, who are constantly subverting the Constitution by ruling contrary to its provisions, or adding their personal beliefs, as enforceable points of law, to continue to rule in such a manner? Or, do we, as Americans, have every right to read, interpret, so long as we don’t err in that interpretation, abide by, and enforce the law as was intended by the Founders? Moreover, does this right extend to the use of whatever force necessary to free those shackled by government efforts to quash the Constitution in such a manner as to grant them powers that are tyrannical?