In a letter that Dianne Feinstein recently sent to one of her constituents,
she claims that there is no individual right to keep and bear arms, a view that
she has argued many times in the past, even on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Ms.
Feinstein also asserts that federal court case law, with the exception of the
recent U.S. v. Emerson, unanimously supports her viewpoint. Though revisionist
historians, gun control activists, and proponents of Big Government would love
for all of this to be true, these arguments are simply false. The history of the
United States, statements made by the Founding Fathers that reflected popular
sentiment at the time of ratification, and case law not mentioned by Dianne
Feinstein decisively prove that the right to keep and bear arms is very much an
Much may be learned from a piecewise examination of her letter to her
constituent. As one might imagine, her letter is replete with distortions of the
truth and inaccuracies, as well as some statements that must be called lies; but
it also contains some unsettling truths. Her letter differs only marginally from
an HCI publication, "The
Myth of The Second Amendment," which can be found on their web site.
Her letter begins as follows:
DIANNE FEINSTEIN United States Senate WASHINGTON, DC 20510-0504
July 7, 2000
Thank you for writing to me about the Second Amendment. I appreciate
hearing from you.
I am aware that the National Rifle Association would like people to
believe that the Second Amendment to the Constitution gives every individual
the right to own any kind of weapon, no matter how powerful or deadly from a
Derringer to a Bazooka, from a revolver that holds 5 bullets to weapons of war
with drums of 250 rounds.
Immediately, the exaggerations begin. No organization with any standing among
defenders of the Second Amendment believes that "every individual has the
right to own any kind of weapon." No rights are absolute, and practically
all socially responsible citizens realize this.
Note that Dianne Feinstein displays her true beliefs immediately.
Individuals, according to her, have no right to keep and bear arms of any sort.
For, if an individual has no right to own a weapon as weak and ineffective as a
Derringer, why should an individual have the right to own a weapon as
tremendously powerful as a single-shot shotgun, with much greater potential to
cause devastation than a Derringer?
The record is clear. The Supreme Court has never struck down a single
gun control law on Second Amendment grounds. I feel strongly about correcting
what I call "the Second Amendment Myth," so let me just go through
some facts with regarding this debate.
Courts, including the Supreme Court, have not been striking down gun control
laws on Second Amendment grounds for the better part of this century. However,
the Supreme Court has struck them down because they violated state sovereignty
(U.S. v. Lopez) and the Fifth Amendment (Haynes v. U.S.). Also, far reaching gun
control measures were never seriously contemplated until the crime wave spawned
by Prohibition stirred the usual "we-have-to-do-something" frenzy.
Ironically, the first true gun control measure, the National Firearms Act of
1934, was enacted a year after the repeal of Prohibition.
The nearly exact match between Dianne Feinstein's choice of words in
describing the supposed "Second Amendment Myth" and its near identity
to HCI's essay title, "The Myth of the Second Amendment," should be
noted. For those not aware of the fact, Dianne Feinstein and HCI agree
completely on Second Amendment issues. They will take away God-given rights from
a trusting public in an instant, if they're presented with the opportunity.
The Second Amendment 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.
As people often do, Dianne Feinstein omitted the third comma in the Second
Amendment, though materially, the inclusion of the comma, where it was inserted
above, makes little difference.
The National Rifle Association rarely mentions that the words
"well-regulated militia" are contained within the text of the
In fact, most of their literature shortens the clause with ellipses
instead, so the amendment simply reads "...the right of the people to
keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Clearly, the NRA is leaving
out half the story the story of a time when our Founding Fathers wanted to
ensure that individual States would be able to protect themselves from a
tyrannical Federal government by arming well-regulated State militias like
today's National Guards.
Here, she makes a vital point. The NRA does indeed shorten the Second
Amendment and leave half of it out, and it is very difficult to understand why
they choose to do so. Much of what the NRA does, including helping lawmakers to
pass "more palatable" gun control measures, is inexcusable and
detrimental to the Liberty movement. This misstatement of the Second Amendment
has been a major tactical error for Liberty advocates, because we have given
anti-freedom zealots the latitude to claim that we are telling only half the
truth, which the NRA is indeed doing.
The Second Amendment, as historical and linguistic arguments have shown,
intends that it is the right of the people to keep and bear arms and that it is
the right of states to keep a militia. Additionally, an armed, able bodied
citizen has the duty to answer the call of his country, when he is called into
service for one of the compelling reasons identified in Article I, Section 8. At
the ratification Debates, the originally proposed wording of the Second
Amendment read simply, "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall
not be infringed." The Virginia delegates, namely, Patrick Henry, adamantly
opposed this wording, fearing not that the common citizen would get his hands on
a gun, but fearing that the absence of a 'militia' clause would prevent the
state from organizing militias. Never did he contemplate that the militia clause
would be construed to deny citizens their God-given right to keep and bear arms.
Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution further elucidates the true nature
of a militia. A militia cannot, under any circumstances, be used in an
expeditionary role, because Congress has no power under the Constitution to
bring the militia into active service for this reason. A militia is distinct and
entirely separate from an army. Congress has the power to "make rules for
the . land and naval forces," but may only "[govern] such part of [the
militia] as may be employed in the service of the United States." Thus, the
Constitution itself identifies a part of the militia that is not employed in the
service of the United States. Upon ratification, the militia consisted of all
able bodied free men. Both the part of the militia employed in the service of
the United States, and that part not employed in the service of the United
States, are the militia referred to in the Second Amendment. The word 'militia'
simply cannot mean different things in different parts of the Constitution that
were ratified at the same time. According to the Second Amendment, both 'parts'
- today, the active and unorganized militias - must have the Constitutional
right to keep and bear arms. Further, because the Fourteenth Amendment provides
equal protection under the law, all citizens have the right to keep and bear
arms, whether constituting 'members of the militia' or not.
Dianne Feinstein also makes the excellent point that the Founding Fathers
wanted to ensure that the states and the people would remain free from tyranny.
She does not claim, nor is it true, that the need to guard against federal
tyranny is less today than it was in 1787. She neglects to mention the fact that
every member of every state National Guard is also a member of the National
Guard of the United States, subject to be called to active duty at any time and
for nearly any reason, in great contrast to the militias of old. Arms belonging
to national guard members are stored in armories, so that quick action by a
hostile military power, foreign or domestic, could deprive the guard - the state
"militia" - of their arms. What part of this arrangement is thought to
oppose federal tyranny, or provide the same security to the state of having
every able bodied citizen be well armed?
Contrary to the constant claims of the NRA, the meaning of the Second
Amendment has been well-settled for more than 60 years ever since the 1939
U.S. Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Miller. In that case, the
defendant was charged with transporting an unregistered sawed-off shotgun
across state lines.
In rejecting a motion to dismiss the case on Second Amendment grounds,
the Court held that the "obvious purpose" of the Second Amendment
was "to assure the continuation and render possible the
effectiveness" of the state militia. Because a sawed-off shotgun was not
a weapon that would be used by a state militia (like the National Guard), the
Second Amendment was in no way applicable to that case, said the Court.
Thus, Dianne Feinstein begins the substance of her letter by skipping over
two-thirds of our nation's history to the year 1939, when some court rulings
began to agree with her view that there is no individual right to keep and bear
arms. She ignores important, albeit less recent, Second Amendment cases such as
U.S. v. Cruikshank and Presser v. Illinois that recognize the fundamental right
of the individual to keep and bear arms in no uncertain terms.
Described by Professor Eugene Volokh as "deliciously and usefully
ambiguous," the outcome of the U.S. v. Miller case was simply weird. It did
anything but leave Second Amendment issues "well-settled." The Supreme
Court decided against Mr. Miller, as Justice McReynolds explained, because there
was no evidence before the court to show that a sawed-off shotgun was "any
part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the
common defense." Most telling in the Miller case, however, was the fact
that no argument was made and no evidence was presented on Mr. Miller's behalf.
The Miller case does imply that privately owned arms must relate to "the
preservation and efficacy of a well regulated militia," but, if one
properly applies the criteria set by the Miller case today, pistols clearly pass
the test. They are ordinary military equipment and have been methodically shown
by the research of Dr. John Lott to contribute to the common defense.
All told, the Supreme Court has only chosen to address this issue two
more times after the Miller case. And each time, the verdict was clear the
Second Amendment is no bar to gun control laws.
In 1969, in Burton v. Sills, the Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to
New Jersey's strict gun control law, "for want of a substantial federal
question." The New Jersey law provided for the licensing of
manufacturers, wholesalers and dealers, and for the issuance of permits and
identification cards to purchasers, as well as giving the Superintendent of
Police broad powers to establish additional regulations on firearms. Yet
still, the Supreme Court found no substantial federal question to address.
Burton v. Sills was dismissed "for want of substantial federal
question." This, however, is a narrow obstacle and does nothing to
establish precedent. The argument used to deny the existence of
"substantial federal question" is that the Bill of Rights, including
the Second Amendment, acts only as a barrier to Congress' power to enact laws.
At least, this was true until 1868, when the Fourteenth Amendment was enacted.
In part, the Fourteenth Amendment states that "No state shall make or
enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of
the United States." Why the Supreme Court chose to ignore the Fourteenth
Amendment in this case is difficult to understand, unless one realizes that the
courts have become just as much a place of politics as the legislature.
Then, more than forty years after the 1939 Miller case, in the 1980 case
of Lewis v. United States, the Supreme Court held that "These legislative
restrictions on the use of firearms are neither based upon constitutionally
suspect criteria, nor do they trench upon any constitutionally protected
liberties." And the Court continued that "the Second Amendment
guarantees no right to keep and bear a firearm that does not have some
reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated
militia." Again, the Court pointed to the militia as the key to the right
to keep and bear arms.
The deceitfulness of this paragraph is striking. It is central to Lewis v.
U.S. that this case involved the right of a convicted felon to possess a
firearm. Dianne Feinstein completely ignores this and portrays the verdict in
this case as supporting a much broader range of gun control measures than simply
prohibiting convicted felons from possessing firearms.
In Lewis v. U.S., it is also critical to note that the Supreme Court applied
the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment, i.e., that a person may not be
deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, as a test to
determine the constitutionality of the section of the 1968 Gun Control Act
barring convicted felons from possessing firearms. The fact that the Court felt
it necessary to apply the Fifth Amendment test to the 1968 GCA strongly suggests
that they interpreted the Second Amendment as protecting an individual right.
In the early 1980s, the Supreme Court had another opportunity to address
this issue, but simply refused to take up a Second Amendment challenge,
leaving established precedent in place. In that case, the town of Morton
Grove, Illinois, passed an ordinance banning handguns (making certain
reasonable exceptions for law enforcement, the military, and collectors). The
town was sued on Second Amendment grounds, but the Illinois Supreme Court and
the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that not only was the
ordinance valid, but went further to say -- explicitly -- that there was no
individual right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment. In October
1983, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of this ruling,
allowing the lower court rulings to stand.
Once again, the fact that the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal does
nothing to establish precedent. The Supreme Court has the unquestioned power to
decide what cases it hears and does not have to account for its reasons in
choosing to hear or not to hear a particular case. Its choices in this respect
often seem strange. Why, for example, would it hear a case in which a convicted
felon was found in possession of a firearm, but refuse to hear in case in which
law abiding citizens were denied their right to keep and bear arms?
Furthermore, at least twice -- in 1965 and 1990 -- the Supreme Court has
held that the term "well-regulated militia" refers to the National
Guard (although those cases did not specifically address the constitutionality
of gun control).
In Maryland v. U.S. (1965), the Court held that the National Guard is the
militia described in Article I, Section 8. The Court did not deal directly with
the Second Amendment in this case.
In Perpich v. Dept. of Defense, the Court held that no gubernatorial or other
state consent was required in order for the federal government to deploy the
National Guard temporarily overseas on training missions, as this fell within
the power of Congress to raise and support armies. However, Article I, Section 8
strictly reserves "the authority of training the militia according to the
discipline prescribed by Congress" to the states.
Thus, a significant conflict emerges. If command of the National Guard may be
assumed by the federal government at any time for training purposes, a reason
not enumerated in Art. I, Sec. 8, then it is clear that the National Guard is
not the militia identified in the Constitution, that the states have the
authority to train. Thus, while Maryland v. U.S. held that the Guard is the
militia referred to in the Constitution, Perpich. v. Dept. of Defense wiped that
Assertions that the Second Amendment protects a state "right" to
maintain a militia become ridiculous if that militia may be taken over by the
federal government for any reason. The "right" to maintain a militia
would become something akin to the "right" to pay taxes.
And the history is clear through countless cases in the lower federal
District Courts and Courts of Appeal as well. Let me just cite a few recent
Here again, the Supreme Court's view of the Second Amendment in the last 60
years has become anything but clear. The purpose of repeating that "the
record is clear" so often is to intimidate the Liberty advocate, to
convince people unsure of whether to be pro- or anti- Second Amendment to lean
towards gun control, and to empower would-be anti-freedom activists to flock to
Just last year, in the case of Gillespie v. City of Indianapolis, the
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that there is no individual right to
bear arms. In that case, a defendant challenged the 1996 Amendment to the Gun
Control act of 1968, which prohibits persons convicted of domestic violence
offenses from possessing firearms. The court held, in keeping with Supreme
Court precedent, that the Second Amendment only protects a right to bear arms
where it might affect the maintenance of a state militia; it is a collective
right, not an individual right.
As Seventh Circuit Judge Rovner stated in that case, "The Supreme
Court's jurisprudence on the scope of this amendment [the Second Amendment] is
quite limited itself, and not entirely illuminating ," which stands in
great contrast to Feinstein's statement that "the record is clear."
The Seventh Circuit Court did rule as Feinstein stated, indicating that
firearms ownership is a collective rather than an individual right. For at least
the last ten years, this has been the general view of lower courts. It is
shocking to learn that these rulings did happen, that great danger currently
faces American liberties, that rights which were seen as inalienable one hundred
years ago have been coopted by a power hungry federal government. Our Republic
could easily be just one bad Supreme Court ruling away from self-destruction.
Also last year, the Ninth Circuit even more specifically addressed the
"militia" question, clarifying that only a State militia, not a
private militia, is covered by the Second Amendment. In that case, U.S. v.
Kuenoel [sic], the defendants appealed their firearms convictions arising from
their activities as members of private militia groups. The court held that the
Second Amendment is a right held by the States, and does not protect the
possession of a weapon by a private citizen, and that neither an individual
nor a member of a private militia can challenge the constitutionality of the
statute on Second Amendment grounds.
Technical membership in a state militia or membership in a
non-governmental military organization is insufficient to show legal injury
under the Second Amendment, said the court.
In the 1998 case of Peoples Rights Organization v. Columbus, the Sixth
Circuit refused to overturn an ordinance banning assault weapons on Second
In U.S. V. Scanio, also in 1998, the Second Circuit held that the Second
Amendment provided only a collective right to bear arms for States in
organizing militias, and not an individual right.
In the 1997 Eleventh Circuit case United States v. Wright, the court
rejected arguments that simply proving that a firearm has military uses
satisfies the Second Amendment. The court instead held that a claimant must
also prove that possession of the weapon is reasonably related to a well
The Third Circuit held in the 1996 U.S. v. Rybar case that the
defendant's possession of machine guns was not connected with militia-related
activity and that the Second Amendment furnished no absolute right to
The list of cases goes on, and on dozens of instances in Federal Courts
of Appeal around the country, and countless others in the lower Federal
Thus, a situation has arisen in which a single, sixty year old Supreme Court
case in which no evidence on behalf of the defendant was even presented, has
completely altered the basic meaning of one of the Amendments in the Bill of
Rights in the eyes of the lower courts. Our nation has arrived at nothing less
than a full blown Constitutional crisis.
Perhaps this incontrovertible history is what led former Supreme Court
Chief Justice Warren Burger in 1991 to refer to the Second Amendment as
"the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word
fraud, on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen
in my lifetime...the NRA] ha(s) misled the American people and they, I regret
to say, they have had far too much influence on the Congress of the United
States than as a citizen I would like to see -- and I am a gun man." This
was Warren Burger a Nixon appointee to the Court.
First of all, no self-respecting "gun man" would be able to look
himself in the mirror or sleep at night after even thinking something like that,
much less proclaiming it publicly. A "gun man," or any real man for
that matter, knows that he and his family are safer and better off because he
has the power to protect them and does not need to rely solely on others for
In light of the following well known Supreme Court decisions, former Chief
Justice Burger's statement more closely resembles fraud than civil arms
proponents' representation of the Second Amendment. When delivering the opinion
of the High Court in U.S. v. Cruikshank (1875), Chief Justice Waite remarked of
the Second Amendment: "This is not a right granted by the Constitution.
Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.
The second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed." In doing so,
he recognized that a fundamental individual right to keep and bear arms exists
and that the Congress has no constitutional authority to infringe upon that
And as Mr. Justice Woods, in delivering the opinion in Presser v. Illinois
(1886), stated in such a way as to leave no doubt whatsoever of the Court's
opinion of the Second Amendment, "It is undoubtedly true that all citizens
capable of bearing arms constitute the reserved military force or reserve
militia of the United States as well as of the States, and in view of this
prerogative of the general government, as well as of its general powers, the
States cannot, even laying the constitutional provision in question [the Second
Amendment] out of view, prohibit the people from keeping and bearing arms, so as
to deprive the United States of their rightful resource for maintaining the
public security, and disable the people from performing their duty to the
Burger also wrote, "The very language of the Second Amendment
refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an
unfettered right to any kind of weapon...Surely the Second Amendment does not
remotely guarantee every person the constitutional right to have a 'Saturday
Night Special' or a machine gun without any regulation whatever. There is no
support in the Constitution for the argument that federal and state
governments are powerless to regulate the purchase of such firearms..."
Gun rights advocates do not maintain that the Second Amendment guarantees an
"unfettered right to any kind of weapon" or that it grants "every
person the constitutional right" to have any kind of weapon without any
regulation whatsoever. Quite the contrary, our country has a lengthy tradition
of denying lawful firearms ownership to people "reasonably" believed
to be dangerous. Slaves, Indians, and former Confederate soldiers and elected
officials were all, at least for a time, denied the right to keep and bear arms.
Just as a footnote, it is ironic to realize that most slaves, Indians, and
former confederates were rendered "dangerous" solely because of the
actions that Congress took at one time or another. Slaves would not have been
"dangerous" had they not been forced into bondage; Indians would not
have been as "dangerous", if "dangerous" at all, except that
the United States continually committed horrible acts against them; fewer former
Confederates would have been "dangerous" if Congress had been more
timely with repatriation.
Erwin Griswold, former dean of Harvard Law School and Solicitor General
in the Nixon Administration said in 1990 that "It is time for the NRA and
its followers in Congress to stop trying to twist the Second Amendment from a
reasoned (if antiquated) empowerment for a militia into a bulletproof personal
right for anyone to wield deadly weaponry beyond legislative control."
Once again, anti-freedom extremists employ tactics of sensationalism and
speak in absolutes. This kind of emotional rhetoric may well be the only
effective weapon they have. It's easy to convince someone who is receptive to
reason and factual information of the virtues of firearms ownership. Someone who
will not listen to reason will accuse Liberty advocates of believing in a
"bulletproof personal right for anyone to wield deadly weaponry." and
Last I heard, though, no one at the NRA was complaining that Mark David
Chapman's right to have machine guns was being infringed, or saying that Charles
Manson ought to have a few hand grenades. Quite the contrary, the NRA is
spending its time and money trying to put people caught violating federal crimes
in prison, of all places. Why hasn't the federal government been doing that?
In every case, up until March of 1999, the courts decided that the
Second Amendment refers to the right to keep and bear arms only in connection
with a state militia in other words, the National Guard, not an individual.
And the NRA is clearly aware of this history. Despite all of the NRA's
rhetoric and posturing on this issue, they know that the Second Amendment does
nothing whatsoever to limit reasonable gun control measures. In fact, in its
legal challenges to federal firearms laws like the Brady Law and my assault
weapons ban, the National Rifle Association has made no mention of the Second
When the Ninth Circuit expressly rejected a Second Amendment challenge
to California's 1989 assault weapons ban, the NRA elected to not even appeal
that ruling to the Supreme Court, because they knew they would lose.
Yes, the NRA knows its history better than many. The fact that it carefully
chooses its arguments shows that it also understands something of law and
politics. The NRA understands that the lower courts' Second Amendment rulings in
the last 60 years have been based on a High Court ruling that went against prior
precedent and was highly ambiguous. Because of this, and because the Supreme
Court has not taken up the question of whether the Second Amendment protects an
individual right, a state right, or both since U.S. v. Miller, the NRA is
reluctant to proceed using Second Amendment arguments when other arguments would
better serve its purposes of stopping onerous gun control legislation.
Thus, many gun rights organizations prefer to use Fifth Amendment or Tenth
Amendment arguments in court because they want to give themselves the best
chance of winning.
In fact, even when part of the Brady law was struck down as
unconstitutional, that decision was not based on the Second Amendment, but on
a narrow states' rights issue.
Another suit against the 1994 assault weapons ban was based on a
"bill of attainder" argument, that Congress illegally targeted gun
manufacturers -- again, the suit is not based on the Second Amendment.
Why does HCI not understand that, when faced with an issue as serious and
expensive as a Supreme Court case, it is only prudent to utilize the argument
that provides the greatest likelihood of rendering a favorable decision? Also,
it is true that gun control provisions often violate more than just the Second
Amendment. In a hurry to pass whatever law for which they believe they can
convince enough people to provide support, anti-rights extremists act hastily
without regard to the consequences of their actions, ever fearful that more of
the public will discover how ineffective and misguided their disarmament
doctrines truly are.
Elsewhere around the country, the NRA has argued that various gun
control laws violate the First Amendment, or the privacy rights of gun owners,
or even the equal protection clause because NRA members are treated
differently than others. The Second Amendment is never even brought up.
Nonetheless, many on the other side of the aisle may point to the one,
single, lone exception to the long history of Second Amendment jurisprudence.
This is a falsehood of gigantic proportions - it turns out that the
"one, single, lone exception" is just one of many. As has been shown,
at least two previous U.S. Supreme Court opinions have explicitly held that
individuals have the fundamental right to keep and bear arms.
On March 30, 1999, a United States District Judge in Texas struck down a
federal law making it a felony to possess a firearm while under a domestic
restraining order. In the Texas case, a man in the midst of a divorce
proceeding was accused of threatening to kill his wife's lover. Although put
under a restraining order and therefore barred from possessing a firearm under
federal law, the man was subsequently caught with a gun and indicted for
violating the ban. U.S. District Court Judge Sam Cummings dismissed the
indictment, in part because the federal law, he said, had the effect of
"criminalizing" a "law-abiding citizen's Second Amendment
rights." This was the first time such a decision was made by a federal
judge, but it is important to note that this decision has been appealed. There
is absolutely no reason to believe that the Supreme Court, if it ever got to
that level, would uphold this decision.
If the Supreme Court decides that the gravity of this issue warrants an
in-depth look at the intent of the Founding Fathers and examines the stunning
departure of U.S. v. Miller from previous Supreme Court cases, and the Justices
do their sworn duty to uphold the Constitution, the Supreme Court will uphold
Texas Judge Sam Cummings' 1999 decision.
Should the Supreme Court neglect to do this, it is difficult to imagine what
this country would become. The country that existed for more than two hundred
years would, however, cease to exist.
As Handgun Control has said, the Texas decision clearly flies in the
face of 60 years of Second Amendment precedent, and "can only be viewed
as a renegade decision." In fact, they point out, in his opinion Judge
Cummings was unable to follow usual judicial practice and cite legal precedent
supporting his decision, because no such precedent exists.
Once again, this is false; precedent for Judge Cummings' decision does exist,
though it is older precedent than is typically used.
Again, this ruling is being appealed and since that decision, two
federal courts, including a higher Circuit court, have ruled that the Second
Amendment does not guarantee an individual right to keep and bear arms.
Despite this recent aberration to the long history of Second Amendment
jurisprudence, it is quite clear that the meaning of this Amendment has been
well-established for years. Not one gun control law has ever been struck down
by the Supreme Court on Second Amendment grounds, and few people believe such
a thing will ever happen.
This is the part of the letter that is supposed to convince the defender of
Liberty that all is lost, that there is no hope, and that we might as well give
up; simultaneously, it emboldens gun control supporters. When it comes to the
Second Amendment, however, we can't give up. We simply don't have that luxury.
Though HCI may not realize it, if anti-freedom extremists achieve their goals,
everyone will ultimately suffer in the aftermath of disarmament. History
consistently teaches the lesson that disarmament eventually visits anguish upon
Once again, thank you for writing me with your concerns. I hope this
letter serves to clear up my position on this issue. [sic] have given a great
deal of thought to this issue and so, and least, [sic] welcome the opportunity
to share my views.
With warmest personal regards,
[signed] Dianne Feinstein
From Feinstein's letter, we see that much of what anti-freedom activists have
to say is pure propaganda. They consistently distort the truth and disregard
facts which don't suit their agenda. Of course, these are facts of which Liberty
supporters should have already been aware.
Though Dianne Feinstein's position has changed little in the last decade, her
letter contains several boasts of the recent success that the anti-rights
movement has enjoyed in the courts. Stated another way, she proudly provides
evidence of widespread judicial corruption, demonstrated by the fact that the
courts are ruling in a manner that stands in direct opposition to court rulings
in the first century of our nation's history. Though a large amount of support
for gun control measures exists within the court system, no High Court has said
that the right to keep and bear arms is merely a collective right; and none ever
will, if the Supreme Court continues its tradition of carefully examining the
intent of the Framers. This is the truth that terrifies anti-freedom extremists.
The history of the United States, and the intent of the Framers, is
unmistakable; the right to keep and bear arms is a God-given, individual right.
In parting, I would like to issue a challenge to HCI, Dianne Feinstein, and
any other supporters of gun control. Rather than continuing to use scare
tactics, publicity stunts, sensationalist emotional appeals, and reckless,
demonizing attacks against your opponents, agree to a forum of rational debate
about pertinent facts of gun ownership. There is very little open discussion
between gun control and gun rights advocates, and this kind of discourse is
precisely what is needed to insure that we reach our common goal of making this
country a safer and better place for all, while properly addressing the fears of
both the gun control and the pro-Second Amendment camps. Unless HCI is simply
looking for a fight, there is no reason not to do this. But if they choose a
fight, they will lose.