WITHOUT AN ARMED CITIZENRY THE PEOPLE REMAIN AT THE MERCY OF THE STATE
POST-BRUEN—WHAT IT ALL MEANS AND WHAT ITS IMPACT IS BOTH FOR THOSE WHO SUPPORT AND CHERISH THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS AND THOSE WHO DO NOT; THOSE WHO SEEK TO UNDERMINE AND EVENTUALLY TO DESTROY THE EXERCISE OF THE RIGHT AND THOSE WHO SEEK TO PRESERVE AND STRENGTHEN THE RIGHT BOTH FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR DESCENDANTS
WITHOUT AN ARMED CITIZENRY THE PEOPLE REMAIN AT THE MERCY OF THE STATE
HELLER, MCDONALD, AND BRUEN ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT DECISIONS OF THE 21ST CENTURY
New York Governor Kathy Hochul and the Anti-Second Amendment Legislators in Albany were in a bind.
The U.S. Supreme officially published its decision in NYSRPA vs. Bruen on June 23, 2022.
Governor Kathy Hochul and the Democrat Party-Controlled State Legislature in Albany had reason enough to expect, and every reason to fear, that Bruen would be a momentous decision—and for Hochul and the Democrat Party Legislators in Albany—a disastrous decision, directly and potentially fatally, impacting the State’s century-old Gun Law, the Sullivan Act, long since codified in the State’s Penal Code, NY CLS Penal § 400.00, et. seq.
It would take Hochul and the Legislators, and their respective lawyers considerable time to concoct a scheme that would salvage the Sullivan Act, creating the illusion—if ultimately unconvincingly—of complying with the High Court’s rulings. The Anti-Second Amendment Hochul Administration and the Legislators in Albany had nothing but contempt for the High Court. Hochul, herself, did not so much as try to hide this. On the Governor’s website, the public sees this announcement:
“ ‘While the Supreme Court’s appalling decision to strike down New York State’s concealed carry law has potentially vast and far-reaching implications, it does not activate any immediate changes to State gun license and permit laws, nor does it allow residential permit owners to carry their weapons outside their homes. . . . “As the case returns to lower court, we encourage responsible gun owners to continue to follow their current restrictions, and always put safety first. While we are disappointed with the Supreme Court’s reckless disregard for the safety of our communities, we are prepared to fight.
And the Lieutenant Governor, Antonio Delgado, added this to Governor Hochul’ statement.
“‘Yesterday, the Supreme Court sent us backwards in our efforts to protect families and prevent gun violence by striking down a NY law that limits who can carry concealed weapons. While the implications are not immediate, New York is committed to taking action and enacting a new set of laws that will work around this ruling. . . . If the Supreme Court and federal government won’t act to keep our children safe, then New York will.’” Id.
Hochul likely had received abundant advance notice of the content of the Bruen decision “on the QT,” judging by how quickly her Government came out with a comprehensive set of amendments to the State’s Gun Law.
The Arbalest Quarrel has taken an in-depth look at the Bruen decision along with the Hochul Government’s response to it. There is a lot of material to digest, and we will continue to do this as nothing—absolutely nothing—is more critical to the preservation of a free Constitutional Republic, than the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
All the rambunctious talk of “the need to get rid of guns” for the sake of public safety and public order for everyone serves as deflection.
The message translates as: “constraining law-abiding citizens’ access to firearms for self-defense. The argument presented for doing so is specious on its face and, worse, it is corrosive of the fundamental truth that tyranny looms in the absence of an armed citizenry. Tyranny of Government looms in New York. And, as New York is a microcosm of the Nation, what transpires there has a ripple effect across the Nation: crime is rampant and intractable; the criminal justice system casts a blind eyed to the safety of the public, and the public is denied the right to defend itself against the danger presented.
It is a recipe for societal collapse.
The U.S. Supreme Court could see this even if the New York Government does not. The Court could not compel the New York Government to protect its citizens, but it could require New York to adhere to the core principles of the Bill of Rights. That means New York cannot lawfully prevent the citizen from protecting itself.
The Bill of Rights boils down to these Divine absolutes: the sanctity and inviolability of Selfhood; and the fundamental, immutable, unalienable, and incontrovertible natural law right of survival against aggression, howsoever that aggression manifests itself: from predatory creature, or predatory man, or a predatory Government.
Yet, as violent crime goes unchecked, and the criminal justice system itself remains constrained, the Hochul Government provides excuses. Yet, as to the matter of armed self-defense, the Hochul Government has much to say.
It couldn’t dismiss U.S. Supreme Court rulings out-of-hand without admitting that it cares not for the Article 3 authority of the Court. So it came up with a workaround to salvage the Sullivan Act. It was as ingenious as it was diabolical.
The Government pretends to give free rein to the law-abiding citizen to carry a handgun concealed for self-protection. And a seditious Press and the Hochul Government denounce the U.S. Supreme Court for turning New York into a “wild west.”
The Press and the Hochul Government should reflect on that a bit. New York City and other jurisdictions, including those several on the west coast, and jurisdictions inland, including Minneapolis, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and many others, are already in the throes of the “wild west.”
In the name of the new secular religious dogma of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” and with Soros’s money raining down on jurisdictions that support his Dystopian Nightmare of the “Open Society,” Cities across the Country are collapsing. Incompetence can’t alone explain this. It has to be deliberate.
The degradation of society invariably follows in the wake of and must therefore be construed as a function of systematic denigration of the Second Amendment by governments in all of those jurisdictions. Congress and the Biden Administration have done little if anything to prevent wholescale annihilation of the exercise of armed self-defense, and much to promote it.
And so it is left to the province of the U.S. Supreme Court to reinvigorate the Bill of Rights that the Federal Government and those of many States and cities have disdainfully ignored or actively dismantled.
DOWN MEMORY LANE: THE VIOLATION OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT OF THE NATION’S BILL OF RIGHTS
The U.S. Supreme Court had done with playing games with New York and with all other State Governments that had heretofore played fast and loose with the natural law right of armed self-defense. New York and other similar Anti-Second Amendment jurisdictions had withstood the impact of Heller and McDonald through feats of judicial legerdemain. And New York itself had weathered the storm of the predecessor to the Bruen case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association vs. the City of New York, 140 S. Ct. 1525 (2020); often referred to informally as the “New York City Gun Transport” case.
In both NYSRPA vs. Bruen and NYSPRA vs the City of New York, the U.S. Supreme Court began to zero in on a long-standing nemesis to the Second Amendment, New York, just as it had zeroed in on the District of Columbia and on Illinois, several years earlier. All three of these jurisdictions were notorious for systematically treating the right of the people to keep and bear arms, as the bane of Collectivist orthodoxy that seeks to Government absolute control over the thoughts and actions of the masses. And that requires suppression of basic freedoms and liberties—most notably that of speech, privacy, and the right to armed self-defense.
The U.S. Supreme Court was one remaining Branch of the Federal Government that had had enough of the immolation of basic natural law rights: most concerning to some Justices on the Court: armed self-defense.
If Congress and the U.S. President would not take concrete steps to preserve the natural law right of armed self-defense, several Justices on the High Court would do so. And, after years of noncompliance to High Court rulings in Heller and McDonald, two Associate Justices, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito, would not be denied any longer. NYSRPA vs. the City of New York provided an opportunity to prevent the New York Government from continuously weakening the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The Court’s rulings would course through the rest of the Country, impacting those States that had enacted similar unconscionable, unconstitutional constraints on the exercise of the right codified in the Second Amendment.
NYSPRA vs. THE CITY OF NEW YORK: DECISION ON THE MERITS AVOIDED
In the Gun Transport case, Petitioners challenged a New York City rule preventing holders of restricted handgun premise licenses from transporting their firearms outside the confines of the City. Petitioners claimed the rule violated the Second Amendment and sought both declaratory and injunctive relief against enforcement of the rule insofar as the rule prevented their transport of firearms to a second home or shooting range outside of the city. The District Court and the Court of Appeals rejected Petitioners’ claim and they took the case up to the U.S. Supreme Court. The liberal wing of the Court, and likely Chief Justice John Roberts as well, were not keen on reviewing the case. They had no desire to take up any Second Amendment case they felt would serve, from their ideological perspective, of expanding the people’s exercise of the natural law right of armed self-defense.
Of course, Associate Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, joined by Justice Neil Gorsuch—Trump’s first nominee to the High Court, after the untimely death and, some would add, dubious circumstances surrounding that death—do not view Second Amendment cases as irrational or unreasonable attempts by Americans to expand the natural law right of armed self-defense. Rather, these Justices perceive Second Amendment challenges to Government actions constraining the exercise of a natural law right as opportunities to preclude the Government from constraining the exercise of a supernal right.
It is the unconstitutional actions of the Government that demand adjudication by the High Court—a task that should be unnecessary and would be unnecessary if the States and the Federal Government would acknowledge the Bill of Rights instead of continually frustrating Americans’ exercise of their fundamental, unalienable rights.
Although the Gun Transport case wasn’t the ideal case to adjudicate, as many others had wended their way to the Court years before, yet could not garner enough votes for review, this case was the best that could be achieved at the time.
The Petitioners sought to have the case decided on the merits. They argued that, notwithstanding that they held a restrictive premise handgun license, they still had a fundamental right under the Second Amendment to carry a firearm to a target range outside the City limits. Had the case been decided on the merits, the Court could have taken the opportunity to rule restrictive handgun carry licenses as presumptively unlawful. The liberal wing and Chief Justice Roberts would have none of that, and, likely, Roberts cajoled the newest member of the High Court, at that time, Brett Kavanaugh, to vote with him to forsake the opportunity the case gave them.
The case didn’t just bother several members of the Court, it concerned Andrew Cuomo and other Anti-Second Amendment politicians who had made it their life’s work to make New York a veritable Gun-Free jurisdiction. And, Cuomo saw an escape route, and most of the Justices saw a pretext to avoid dealing with the case on the merits.
Since the issue in the Gun Transport case pertained only to holders of restricted handgun licenses who, under New York law, could not lawfully carry a handgun outside one’s home for self-defense, there was the concern that the Court could come embroiled with the issue of armed self-defense outside the home. If so, that would impinge on the Sullivan Act itself.
Neither the liberal wing of the High Court nor the Chief Justice, John Roberts wanted to deal with this. And Andrew Cuomo, the Governor at the time, and a virulent hater of the Second Amendment intended to do all in his power to prevent the U.S. Supreme Court from reviewing a case that could very expand the right of all law-abiding civilian citizens in New York to carry a concealed handgun in the public realm for self-defense, thus imperiling the century-old Sullivan Act at its core.
Better, then, Cuomo realized, simply to redraft the State Gun Law and the Rules of the City of New York, to allow a holder of a restricted premise license to carry a handgun outside the environs of the City, albeit, in a locked container, with ammunition separated from the firearm. This would still preclude the use of the handgun for self-defense in public if the need arose, and the Sullivan Act would remain intact. Cuomo and the other Anti-Second Amendment zealot power brokers don’t like to weaken their own gun laws, but they could do so here, as it wouldn’t have a disastrous impact on the core of the Gun Law—inhibiting the vast majority of law-abiding New Yorkers from lawfully relying on a firearm for self-defense.
New York City changed its Rules and the State reconfigured the law to avoid a direct threat to the Sullivan Act. The last thing anti-Second Amendment forces want is a high Court opinion that strengthens the Second Amendment. The City’s gambit paid off. In a 6 to 3 vote, the Supreme Court held that, since the City changed the old rule, the case is moot, because Petitioners can now lawfully transport their handgun to a second home or shooting range outside the City.
But can they really? What will New York City do in the future to restrict the fundamental right of the people to keep and bear arms? This will almost certainly embolden New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
And there is nothing to prevent the New York Government from countermanding the law once the High Court dismisses it. The Petitioners made these points and Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch concurred, but they were two votes shy of reviewing the case on the merits.
So, for a time, at least, the Sullivan Act was spared direct confrontation. The reprieve for Anti-Second Amendment zealots, both in New York, and elsewhere, was short-lived. Everything changed with Bruen.
NYSRPA vs. BRUEN: DECISION ON THE MERITS UNAVOIDABLE
Unlike the NYC Gun Transport case, the constitutionality of armed self-defense outside the confines of one’s home was now squarely before the High Court. Reconfiguring New York law to avoid a showdown was out of the question. There was no way the Hochul Government could finesse the Gun Law to avoid a High Court review of the case on the merits. And with three certain votes in favor of striking down the Sullivan Act, and with both Chief Justice Roberts and Associate Justice Kavanaugh compelled to add a fourth and fifth vote, the High Court had a majority, necessary to defeat the Liberal wing of the Court. Chief Justice Roberts would look more the fool for siding with the liberal wing now, even if he likely wanted to. For to do so would be demonstrably inconsistent with his pro-Second Amendment votes in Heller and McDonald, and, as Chief Justice, he would prefer not to be situated with the losing side on any occasion, but certainly not on a case of this magnitude.
And Kavanaugh would be compelled to side with the majority as he said as much in his concurring opinion in the NYC Gun Transport case. He made clear the Court would have ample opportunity to hear a Second Amendment case on the merits in the future, which he would support, and that day had come, even if he would prefer not to see it.
Hochul and Albany were therefore on their own to devise a strategy to salvage the Sullivan Act. And, it would have to come after the fact once the case was decided on the merits.
And since Bruen dealt squarely with State law, as it no longer had anything to do with New York City Rules, Mayor Adams would have done well to keep his mouth shut. He didn’t. Ever the lackey, under the thumb of Neo-Marxists and Neoliberal Globalists, and discerning that it would be best for him not to disappoint Kathy Hochul, he would do what was expected of him; and that meant concurring with whatever the Governor had in mind. His own Press Release reflected that.
On the official NYC website, Adams echoed the sentiments of both Hochul and of the State Senate Majority Leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins. In so doing, Adams made clear and indisputable, if ever there were any doubt, that he vehemently disapproves of the civilian citizen’s right to armed self-defense. He declared,
“Put simply, this Supreme Court ruling will put New Yorkers at further risk of gun violence. We have been preparing for this decision and will continue to do everything possible to work with our federal, state, and local partners to protect our city. Those efforts will include a comprehensive review of our approach to defining ‘sensitive locations’ where carrying a gun is banned, and reviewing our application process to ensure that only those who are fully qualified can obtain a carry license. We will work together to mitigate the risks this decision will create once it is implemented, as we cannot allow New York to become the Wild West.
One thing is certain: We will do whatever is in our power, using every resource available to ensure that the gains we’ve seen during this administration are not undone, to make certain New Yorkers are not put in further danger of gun violence. This decision may have opened an additional river feeding the sea of gun violence, but we will do everything we can to dam it.” See also the article posted on the website, Reason, on November 10, 2021, a week after the Oral Argument in Bruen.
“Before he was elected mayor of New York City . . . , Eric Adams raised some eyebrows by saying he would carry a handgun to protect himself and any houses of worship he might visit. While those remarks were controversial, the real scandal is that ordinary New Yorkers cannot legally carry guns for self-defense—a privilege that Adams takes for granted as a former police officer.
That double standard came into focus last week, when the Supreme Court considered a constitutional challenge to New York’s carry permit law. Unlike the vast majority of states, which allow residents to carry guns in public if they meet a short list of objective criteria, New York gives local officials broad discretion to decide whether an applicant has ‘proper cause’ to exercise a right guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
Former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, speaking on behalf of the law’s opponents, emphasized that applicants cannot pass the state’s amorphous test by expressing a general desire to protect themselves against criminal assault. ‘In order to exercise a constitutional right that New York is willing to concede extends outside the home,’ he noted, ‘you have to show that you have an atypical need to exercise the right that distinguishes you from the general community.’
That situation, Clement said, ‘describes a privilege’ rather than ‘a constitutional right.’ Most of the justices seemed inclined to agree.”
Six Justices did agree—two of them, Roberts and Kavanaugh, likely reluctantly—the flipside of what occurred a couple of years earlier, where it was 6 to 3 that voted against the NYSRPA and individual gun owners in the disastrous “Gun Transport” case.
A SCHEME IS HATCHED!
Hochul and the Democrats in Albany, with their band of attorneys, conceived and executed a plan to salvage the Sullivan Act, which meant, by logical implication, sabotaging the Bruen holdings, albeit without appearing overtly that they were doing just that.
Hochul and the other conspirators in her Government had ample time to plot a way around Bruen, notwithstanding the clarity and conciseness of the case, delivered in the first sentence of the Opinion. Obviously, someone alerted Hochul as to what to expect. Could it have been the same law clerk who had presumptuously and illegally released an early copy of the Dobbs decision to the Press? In aPress Release, dated May 3, 2022, printed in full by the Washington Examiner, the Chief Justice said he has “directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak.”
Did the Chief Justice find the leaker? If so, he hasn’t reported it, which belies the sense of importance that he says he had placed upon it. See the article in the Federalist concerning it:
“More than 100 days have passed since the infamous leak of the U.S. Supreme Court’s majority draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and Americans are still no closer to finding out the identity of the leaker than the day the draft decision was published.”
Deception and contrivance and false reporting and hiding findings seem to be the modus operandi of this Federal Government.
But, concerning the Second Amendment—the importance the founders of the Republic, the framers of the Constitution, had placed on it is a matter always front in center. It is a matter as important to a tyrant who is as wary of the armed citizenry as the armed citizenry is wary of the tyrant.
The matter of firearms is not a topic easily dismissed or swept under the rug.
Tangible weapons in the hands of criminals and in the hands of a tyrant’s standing army—that may be used or have been used, or continue to be used, or will be used against the people—require arms in the hands of the people to counter the threat.
Governor Kathy Hochul and the Democrat Party controlling majority in Albany see the law-abiding citizenry as a greater threat to themselves than the criminal element that is tearing down the community they are sworn to protect but do not. It is their design then, through their policies, to destroy society, just as on a National level it is the aim of the Democrat Party-controlled Congress and the Biden Administration to do the same to the Country. The decision of the U.S. Supreme Court places a damper on both. It impacts New York immediately and directly, but it has a ripple effect across the Nation.
Hochul and Albany meant to throw a wrench into the Bruen rulings.
The scheme wasn’t perfect, and it really fooled no one—certainly not anyone who spends sufficient time to pour over the elaborate contrivance. But, it was the best they could muster, given the clear exposition of Bruen.
Associate Justice Thomas, writing for the Court majority, opined:
“In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U. S. 570, 128 S. Ct. 2783, 171 L. Ed. 2d 637 (2008), and McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U. S. 742, 130 S. Ct. 3020, 177 L. Ed. 2d 894 (2010), we recognized that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect the right of an ordinary, law-abiding citizen to possess a handgun in the home for self-defense. In this case, petitioners and respondents agree that ordinary, law-abiding citizens have a similar right to carry handguns publicly for their self-defense. We too agree, and now hold, consistent with Heller and McDonald, that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.”
The holding was concise, unambiguous, and categorical.
But would it suffice to prevent a New York Government, that had a long tradition of constraining the natural law right of armed self-defense, from devising an end run around the holding, while ostensibly complying with the dictates of it?
Apparently, in anticipation of just that possibility—and with Justices Alito, Gorsuch, and Barrett in agreement, and with two others, Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the Chief Justice, John Roberts, in tow, if only reluctantly—Justice Thomas set forth an additional holding in the second paragraph of the opinion. He wrote, in pertinent part:
“The parties nevertheless dispute whether New York’s licensing regime respects the constitutional right to carry handguns publicly for self-defense. . . . Because the State of New York issues public-carry licenses only when an applicant demonstrates a special need for self-defense, we conclude that the State’s licensing regime violates the Constitution.”
It would seem clear enough at least to a casual observer that the U.S. Supreme Court had covered two critical bases—seemingly sufficient to forestall Kathy Hochul and her compatriots in Albany from circumventing Bruen.
Boiled down to its essence the Court’s first two holdings set forth in the first two paragraphs of the Opinion, established the following:
- The right of a law-abiding citizen to possess a handgun for self-defense exists beyond the confines of one’s home as well as in it; and
- New York’s Gun Law, requiring a person to justify a special need to carry a handgun for armed self-defense outside the home, is unconstitutional.
The implication of the first holding is that the right of armed self-defense, unconstrained by place, time, or circumstance, follows from the plain meaning of the Second Amendment for there is nothing in the language of the Second Amendment to suggest an American’s right of armed self-defense is limited.
The implication of the second holding is that a showing of special need to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home is inconsistent with the natural law right of armed self-defense. A claim of simple self-defense is sufficient and that simple claim need not be stated, for it is logically implied in the language of the Second Amendment. To require one to assert self-defense to justify the issuance of a concealed handgun carry license would be redundant.
Did Justice Thomas, et. al., adequately cover their bases? Apparently, they didn’t realize just how cunning Hochul and Albany could be, and how advanced notice of the decision gave her Government ample time to defuse the import of the holdings.
Even with the Court’s acute legal minds and an unshakeable desire and resolve to preserve the citizen’s natural law right of armed self-defense—a right both fundamental and immutable, unalienable and eternal—Justices Thomas and Alito, in particular, might not have foreseen the lengths to which Kathy Hochul’s Government was prepared to go to protect a 100 plus old Gun Law, the Sullivan Act of 1911, and the diabolical cleverness of the Government’s scheme to override Bruen even as her Government created the illusion of complying with it, by striking the phrase, “proper cause” from the Sullivan Act. She could work around that and has done so.
The “Good Moral Character,” of little importance given the “proper cause” requirement, has been re-engineered to function much like the “proper cause” requirement.
Thus, it may well be that Justices Thomas and Alito did know or did suspect that New York would disobey the rulings of the Third Branch of Government. For, did they not have firsthand knowledge of how lower State and Federal Courts, including those of New York had hitherto disobeyed the clear rulings of Heller and McDonald?
That Bruen was needed at all to rectify the matter of prolific disobedience to Heller and McDonald serves as proof of the tenacity of Anti-Second Amendment State Governments as well as the tenacity of the Biden Administration and the Democrat-Party Controlled Congress, at the Federal level, to arrogantly dismiss the U.S. Constitution out-of-hand, even as it pretends to cohere to it, with its ludicrous claims of adhering to the Rule of Law and of claiming it is a steadfast defender of Democracy.
It is interesting to behold that Democrats like to throw out terminology without ever bothering to define what they mean by it as if expressions like the ‘Rule of Law’ and ‘Democracy’ are self-explanatory. They aren’t. But, by referring to these phrases, ad nauseum, and positing undying faith and passion in them, Democrats presume the American public will take them at their word, reflexively, like a sneeze or cough, as if they care deeply about the well-being of the Nation and the American people. They don’t. And that is exemplified by policies systematically designed to wreck the economy, demoralize the citizenry, weaken the Nation militarily and geopolitically, dismantle our institutions, and shatter the cohesiveness and stability of society.
Nothing better exemplifies the danger wrought by the Destructors of our Nation and its Constitution, who pretend to be Defenders of both, than the inexorable disintegration of our Nation’s Bill of Rights, especially that of the Second Amendment.
The Heller case of 2008 reaffirmed what all rational minds know: the right of the people to keep and bear arms is an individual right unconnected with one’s service in a militia. That the prefatory “militia clause” might mean the right of the people to keep and bear arms is a collective right flies in the face of the very purpose of the Bill of Rights. Apart from the dictates of the Tenth Amendment, referencing the doctrine of federalism underlying the relationship of the Federal Government to the States, the first Nine Amendments of the Bill of Rights codify the natural law rights of the individual and the Second Amendment is no exception.
The militia clause—a dependent clause under the rules of English grammar—is not a thing that can, or does, stand-alone, for dependent clauses are not complete sentences: they don’t convey a complete thought.*
The late Justice Antonin Scalia, who penned the majority opinion in Heller, explained the prefatory, dependent clause, “a well regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free State,” does not assert a limitation on the independent clause, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Rather, the prefatory clause provides a rationale for the independent clause that follows.
Justice Scalia explained that the drafters of the Second Amendment knew that nothing less than a well-armed citizenry would serve as the best deterrent to tyranny emerging in the Federal Government.
This was of great concern, especially to the Antifederalists, among the framers. They were justifiably wary of establishing a strong central government with its own standing army. Thus, an independent citizen army, unbeholden to a federal government, would have both the means and the frame of mind to deter tyranny if such should come to pass.
Oddly, many academicians today ignore this or dismiss this. They argue that the Constitution’s framers could not have intended to create, in the Second Amendment, a mechanism through which the commonalty could overthrow their own Government. Therefore, any right to keep and bear arms had to be tied to a militia—but one that was constrained by the Federal Government itself. One academician says that the Federalists, among the framers of the Constitution—those who supported a strong centralized Government and a strong standing arming—intended for armed citizens, as part of a militia, to function under federal control. Can that be true? They write,
“In the eyes of the Federalists, the past had proven that the militia, to be effective, had to be federalized. The discipline of militia members, in particular, was of paramount concern. Federal authority over the militia would also create uniformity in arms and training. But of the two means of military power recognized by the document, a standing army and a militia, both were put under federal control.” Of course, today, militias as such, are under firm State and/or Federal control. These militias have transformed into ‘national guards.’” “The Inconvenient Militia Clause Of The Second Amendment: Why The Supreme Court Declines To Resolve The Debate Over The Right To Bear Arms,” 16 St. John’s J.L. Comm. 41(Winter, 2002), by Robert Hardaway, Professor of Law at the University of Denver College of Law; and Elizabeth Gormley and Bryan Taylor, graduates of University College of Law 2001
The writers go on to say, in support of the idea the Second Amendment must, on logical as well as legal grounds, only be construed as conferring a collective right to keep and bear arms:
“One of the most commonly made arguments by the broad individual rights advocates is that the Second Amendment embodies some sort of right of insurrection. This is a difficult argument to sustain given the numerous, and sometimes explicit, provisions against insurrection in the Constitution.
Perhaps the most obvious constitutional prohibition against insurrection is the treason clause which forbids making war against the United States. Armed insurrection obviously is making war on the United States. Therefore, far from embodying a right of insurrection, the Constitution explicitly criminalizes the act. Further, the militia clauses themselves deny any right of insurrection. One of the constitutional functions of the militia is to suppress insurrection. It strains credulity to believe that the same institution would be empowered with the right to engage in insurrection and the duty to suppress them. As one writer expresses, the Constitution cannot view the militia both as a means by which government can suppress insurrection and as an instrument for insurrection against the government. It must be one or the other. ‘The Militia Clauses make clear which one it is.’ Lastly, the militia was intended to implement the guarantee clause. This provision reflects Madison’s desire to expressly guarantee the ‘tranquility of the states against internal as well as external dangers.’ The primary concern underlying the provision was to secure the ability to put down insurrections such as Shay’s Rebellion. Taken together, these clauses ‘make it overwhelmingly clear that the Constitution was framed to forbid, prevent, and punish insurrection against its own laws – as, indeed, any constitution that claims legitimate authority must do.’
To assert a constitutional right of insurrection is fundamentally illogical. The Constitution could not embrace the means of its own destruction. As Lincoln said in his first inaugural address, ‘it is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination . . . it being impossible to destroy it except by some action not provided for in the instrument itself.’ The right of insurrection inheres intrinsically in all people, regardless of the government under which they live; it does not derive its sanction from a disputed interpretation of an amendment with an altogether different purpose.’” Id.
It might be noted that the afore referenced law review article came out seven years before the Heller decision. AQ mentions this not to suggest that, perhaps, the writers would admit they were wrong in their thesis. Rather AQ mentions this because the writers would likely maintain they are correct and it’s the U.S. Supreme Court authors of the majority opinion who are wrong. The entire thesis begins with the assumption that the antecedent dependent militia clause controls the import of the following independent clause and serves as a defining limitation of the right of that clause, i.e., that the people to keep and bear arms operates only as long as one serves in a State militia; and, as the notion of a ‘state militia’ has essentially been superseded by ‘state national guard units.’ The writers say, in that regard: “Of course, today, militias as such, are under firm State and/or Federal control. These militias have transformed into ‘national guards.’” The import of these assertions is not to be taken lightly. For, the writers allude to the idea that, since militias don’t exist any longer, at least as they like to understand the meaning of the term, ‘militia,’ the Second Amendment is essentially nugatory, which means that it serves no function and, so, should be repealed. This is also the thesis of retired Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, and that of Justice Steven Breyer as well, although Breyer did well to refrain from mentioning that position in his dissenting opinion in Bruen.
But there is more at stake here. The argument made has disturbing implications impacting the relationship between the American people and the Federal Government. The writers of the afore referenced article claim that the framers of the U.S. Constitution could not and would not under any circumstance conceive of a situation where the citizenry would have the right and obligation to dismantle the Federal Government.
The argument made begs the salient question, of whether “insurrection” qua revolt or rebellion against tyranny is not what the framers of the Constitution had in mind when penning the Second Amendment. After all, didn’t these men once take up arms against a Tyrant, the British Empire? The writers of the above article would rather not deal with the implications of their own thesis and the attendant, and very serious consequences of that thesis. They merely dismiss out of hand that there could exist any moral, and legal, justification for the American people taking it upon themselves to dismantle an unjust Federal Government, i.e., a tyrannical Government, and bringing the servants of that tyranny to justice. These writers, so careful in positing an argument against what they refer to as insurrection, slither around how it is, or whether, the American people could rightly, legally, dismantle a Government that no longer serves the interests of the American people, and, in fact, operates contrary to the interests of the American people. But, let us here take a closer look at that thesis and consider the legal and logical consequences of it. We begin by asking——
Would the founders of our Republic be so naïve as to believe that the “Federal Government” they were devising could not itself—even with their best efforts to constrain a powerful, centralized Government—one day devolve into tyranny? And, if so, would not the American people have a right and obligation, then, to take up arms against that tyranny just as they had once taken up arms against tyranny? The Federalists, among the framers of the U.S. Constitution, who supported a strong centralized Government, would certainly be well aware of the threat to life, and liberty, and well-being of the American people, as were the Antifederalists who emphasized their concern and who emphatically demanded inclusion of a Bill of Rights in the Constitution to prevent such an event occurring. And the Federalists relented realizing the obvious truth. The Antifederalists would not leave it as a matter of faith that Government servants would adhere to the express limitations on the exercise of Governmental power set forth in the Articles of the Constitution.
It hardly takes much imagination to recognize that the founders of our Republic and framers of our Constitution would be appalled, indeed horrified, to observe the powers that Government now wields—powers that go well beyond the strictures permitted by the Constitution, and this Federal Government doesn’t deny it; in fact, perfunctorily acknowledges it and operates with abandon. And our Government is well on the road to tyranny if it hasn’t already swung over into it.
So, yes, the founders of the Republic did recognize and would agree that the American people would have a right to revolt against a tyrant. To argue otherwise is to infer that the people do not have a right to rebel against tyranny. The writers of the afore referenced law review article must have known the logical implications of their argument but felt it better not to acknowledge the flaw in their reasoning. It is one that Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito made clear in Heller:
Of course, Americans have the moral and the legal right—a sacred right and duty—to rebel against tyranny.
But then, if the American people have both a right and a duty to revolt against tyranny, is that not to say that a Government that turns against its own people, has committed unforgivable violence against its people—a cardinal transgression against the Divine Creator as well. For tyranny of Government manifests as oppression and subjugation of a people and that destroys the sanctity and inviolability of the Human Soul. And that, in turn, amounts to sin against the Creator.
Such violence, therefore, amounts to treason against the people. Is not the crime of high treason a two-way street, then?
If Americans who rebel against a just and fair Government are justifiably, rightly to be roundly condemned and deemed traitors, and if they are to suffer the consequences merited for their egregious crime, is it not also so that an unjust Government that betrays its people should not be similarly deemed traitor against the people, and rightly rebuked for it? And would not that just rebuke include the dismantling of that Government and trial and punishment of those servants of the people who have—through their treachery and licentious betrayal of Oath to Country, and to Constitution, and to People—brought the Nation to ruin, and brought Constitution and people to harm? And ought not those disloyal servants suffer severely for their crimes, lest to forgo punishment serve to condone it. And if a Government is not to be considered a traitor to its own people, is that not to say the people are less to be regarded than the Government? But, in our Nation, it is the people who are Sovereign over Nation and Government and it is not the case that Government is Sovereign over Nation and people. If so, and if one remark that high treason is to be regarded as a crime against the sovereign, then wherefore is the argument to be made that no action of the Federal Government toward its people shall work as treason against them? What then is to be made of the assertion that the American people are sole Sovereign over the Government of the United States and that Government owes its existence and continued presence only by the will and consent of the Governed—the people who had created that Government to serve them. How is it that the servant, owing its existence and its duty to the people—the one true Sovereign—should entertain for itself that the people serve Government and the Government can do with the people as it pleases, even to oppress and subjugate them. Of what use is an electoral process at that point? To whom is it that the people can turn to as their elected representatives when those representatives are all of the same cloth—united against the people? Of what greater urgency and need exists then for armed revolt?
Is not the tyranny of Government against its people, treachery of Government toward its people? If so, is not ‘tyranny’ then but equivalent to the term ‘treachery of Government’ and should not the term ‘traitor’ not apply with equal and bold force to that Government, any less so than to a person who would revolt against a just Government? Is not a “tyrant” but a “traitor’ to the people—certainly a people whom the founders pointedly ascribe the term “Sovereign” to, whom they could not and did not ascribe that term to when speaking of a tyrant who was Sovereign, namely, the King of England?
Tyrants of course are the last sorts that would acknowledge that they are tyrants and would continue to deny that even as they are led to the gallows. Is it any wonder that tyrants such as those in the Biden Administration and in some State Governments would be oblivious to their own acts of treason against the people?
Is it not curious that the Attorney General, Merrick Garland, would proclaim that Americans who belong to “militias”—bands of armed citizens who are not connected with the “national guard”—are the greatest threat to the Nation? But is it not they, some of these servants of the people, rather than we, the People, who are the greater and graver threat to the Nation—to the Security of a free State?
As can be seen through dissenting opinions in Heller, McDonald, and Bruen, these Justices do not recognize the right of the people, as individuals, to keep and bear arms. Given the opportunity, these three cases would be overturned, marking the quickest reversal of U.S. Supreme Court thought in American jurisprudential history.
At the State level, too, people like Kathy Hochul and those in control of the State Senate and Assembly in Albany, view the armed citizen as a graver threat to the State than common criminals and even well-armed and well-funded international criminal cartels. Strange that, but true nonetheless. Otherwise, her Government would have taken measures to bring these psychopaths and lunatics to justice. They don’t! Ant that is telling. Thus, it is no surprise to see Hochul and Albany caustically attacking the High Court, with affected pieties, and insincere demonstrations of acquiescence to the Supreme Court’s rulings. Who, indeed, has dangerous impulses here?
Is it so beyond the pale for Americans to demand their right to armed self-defense against predatory creature, predatory man, and predatory Government? The High Court rightly admonishes Government actors who do not abide by the Constitution. The Court rightly ruled against the New York Government.
Here, in New York, we see a Governor who claims by the power she exerts—as did her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo—justification to exert that power, as she pleases. It is all circular reasoning, albeit with real-world, not mere academic consequences. Hochul fails to recognize that she is expected to serve the interests of the people of New York, consistent with the State and Federal Constitutions. Affected pieties don’t serve as an adequate substitution for serving the interests of the people of the State.
Kathy Hochul’s Government, like several others, ignored Heller. And they were prepared to ignore McDonald too, until the High Court made clear that the Second Amendment right of the people to keep and bear arms applies to the States, no less so than to the Federal Government, through the application of the Fourteenth Amendment.
In New York, it is the Hochul Administration and the controlling Democrat Party Legislature in Albany that is acting the part of an unfettered out-of-control Tyrant.
With the attitude of a tyrant—the Hochul Government and Legislature—behave with customary indignation at any authority that would dare dictate to them. But, the U.S. Supreme Court has done just that, dictating to the New York Government, that its Gun Law is inconsistent with the import of the Second Amendment, having found Petitioner’s case to have merit.
Hochul and Albany aren’t concerned about armed civilian citizens per se. Rather, they are concerned about what that armed self-defense represents: a threat to the Government itself. The New York Government has long abided lawlessness in New York, such coming from the criminal element. That lawlessness the Government will tolerate, perhaps even encourage. That criminal element poses no tenable threat to the Government. It is something the Government understands for that Government, too, like the omnipresent and ferocious and voracious criminal element, has become a law unto itself, unbeholden to New York’s own Constitution and to its laws and to the Constitution and Laws of the United States Government. It has become lawless.
A Government that refuses to recognize that it is the people whom it exists to serve, and not the other way around is a danger to the people and must be taken to task. The U.S. Supreme Court has done so. And New York isn’t alone in its distrust of and its disdain for the common people.
Somewhere in the last 250 years of our Nation’s existence, Governments at all levels forgot the fact of and the meaning of the American Revolution.
Government tyranny has become the very thing the people must fight against. The Federal Government and many of the State Governments do not represent the will of the people, and care not at all for their needs; not anymore. These Governments, ironically, defer to the foreign dictators whom our Founders fought a successful war against. Back then, it was the mighty British Empire funded by the fabulously wealthy Rothschild financial clan. Today, it is much the same threat, albeit now restructured, reconstituted, as one even more powerful: the European Union and various supra-national constructs like the United Nations whom we are told do not wield any authority, but only advice. How is it then that the Biden Administration adheres to the pacts and tracts and treaties emanating from the United Nations that our Nation never signed, nor even discussed?
The money behind these monstrous global entities belongs now, as in the past, to the powerful Rothschild family. The Rothschild clan and other mega-billionaires are working together to complete a transnational neo-feudalistic empire spanning the world, to replace all present western nation-states. The world of the 21st Century is shaping
The Rothschild family and its minions have extended their reach—through the vehicle of the central banking system—throughout the world. A world comprising two powers: a western neo-feudal empire and CCP China. A strong, vigorous, independent sovereign United States doesn’t factor in that equation. It is in the process of disassembling.
New York is its own little fiefdom—a Baron that owes allegiance to a Lord that doesn’t even reside in our Country.
The purpose of New York’s Gun Law, the Sullivan Act, was designed then as now, to constrain, and—as can be seen through further attempts by the Government, through time, to constrict and restrict the right of the law-abiding civilian citizens of New York to keep and bear arms ever further—eventually to curtail the exercise of the right, altogether.
In her Press Release, upon official publication of the Bruen case decision, Governor Hochul made clear a passion to constrain the inherent right of armed self-defense, regardless of the rulings of the High Court. In both her tone and in the content of her messaging, Hochul conveyed a contemptuous attitude toward the High Court and made no attempt to disguise her contempt of the Court. Likely she is taking her talking points from others who pay for her campaign, and those who formulate her policies. She is essentially a messenger, and she is paid handsomely for doing the work of her benefactors, just as Biden takes his share of wealth from a shadowy network of benefactors. He has no compunction against selling out the Country. He has had plenty of decades of practice; nor does he mind mouthing platitudes, if he understands at all what it is he is asked to recite. So he informs the public that all is well and that he means well and everything will be just fine. He doesn’t believe that he is capable of coherent thought any longer anyway. And the propagandists that feed him and his Administrators their lines, don’t sound convincing, and it is not necessary that they do sound convincing to the public. The Federal Government is long past caring what the polity thinks anyway. It is only necessary that they obey. Meanwhile, the Country goes to Hell in a Handbasket.
Further litigation and armed revolt are to be avoided. New York has an opportunity, through the electoral process, to throw out the petty tyrants, and vote into office people who respect the Constitution and the fundamental natural law rights of man. A vote for Lee Zeldin for Governor of New York is the most obvious way and the easiest way to turn the State back to its historical roots.
So many people in New York and throughout the Country have been so conditioned to deny the truth before their eyes that they continue to reflexively vote into Office the same tyrants who do nothing to promote the well-being of the people and society. The Country was well on its way to recovering its security under Trump: economically, geopolitically, militarily, and societally.
But the airwaves are now filled with negativity and our own tax dollars are being used against us. Americans must wake up to the truth and confront the lies and liars head-on. It just takes a little common sense and a leap of faith.
It is far easier and much less time-consuming and expensive to prevent a petty tyrant from serving in Office in the first place than it is to attempt to remove a tyrant after the fact. California provides several textbook examples of what is to be avoided. New York should learn from this.
How much more damage can New Yorkers be expected to take? How is it that so many people have taken leave of their senses—always believing that a better, safer, New York is just around the corner even as the truth illustrates something else entirely? And the not picture isn’t an attractive one. And it won’t become any more attractive if people keep electing the wrong people to Office.
At some point, even the electoral process may well be denied to the citizenry. New Yorkers already have a good taste of Kathy Hochul and her brand of politics and politicking. It is no different than that of Andrew Cuomo. She shares the same set of beliefs; she conveys the same messaging, and she is backed by the same Globalist money. It isn’t the average New Yorker that informs her policies and decisions. On crime, the right to armed self-defense, on abortion, Hochul packages her policies as candy; telling the voting public what she thinks the public would like to hear, but not what the public needs to hear. Between Kathy Hochul and Lee Zeldin, there is a world of difference. Each New York resident should ask: which world would he or she prefer to live in?
*Every child learns this, or, at one time, had learned this. That was before the lunatics took control of public education and proclaimed the dogmas of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” “Critical Race Theory,” and “Transgender Doctrine,” more important to the structural formation of young minds than developing a child’s own critical thinking processes, by teaching the core traditional subjects, like “reading, writing, and arithmetic,” and those subjects that instill in our youth a love of and an appreciation for our history, heritage, and ethical system of justice through which our Nation can continue to survive and thrive: a free Constitutional Republic.
Copyright © 2022 Roger J. Katz (Towne Criour), Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) All Rights Reserved.
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