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Kanook December 22nd, 2012 It was a warm and breezy Monday, some 225-years, 7-months, and 8-days from

today, in Philadelphia in May when the delegates from just two states gathered to revise the Articles of Confederation as there were only two states represented they decided to close the meeting and adjourned and from day-to-day continue the process until a quorum of seven-states was finally achieved on May 25th, 1787 a Friday. It became apparent by mid-June that rather then amend the existing Articles, that the Convention would draft an entirely new frame of Government, thereby throughout the summer in closed sessions, they debated and re-drafted the Articles of the New Constitution. Unfortunately unlike today the Constitution represents more than just the Law of the Land, but an example of how these representatives came together, each with a different perspective and assembled a document Im sure that is rift with compromise and flush with statesmanship. It wasnt until December 15th, 1791, a Thursday that the 2nd Amendment officially became part of the United States Bill of Rights, an Amendment that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms, from that time until today some 221-years and 7-days ago it has bounced more than once on the edge of being eliminated in one form or the other, or twisted and turned in so many different definitions that it is a wonder it still exists. But, it does! It was just 4-years, 4-months, and 26-days ago that the US Supreme Court reaffirmed that the 2nd Amendment protects an individuals right to possess

a firearm unconnected with any service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. It supposedly clarified the Amendments prefatory clause that announces a purpose, yet it didnt limit or expand the scope of the 2nd part, the operative clause. The operative clause being and individuals right to keep and bear arms. Whereas the prefatory clause agrees with the Courts interpretation of the operative Clause, where the militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. In doing so they acknowledge the fear of the Anti-Federalists that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable the citizens militia, thereby enabling a politicized standing Army or a selected militia to rule. In this decision they denied Congress the power to change the right of individuals to keep and bear arms in this the idea of a citizens militia is preserved. The overall decision by the Court re-affirms the arms-bearing rights in State Constitutions that preceded and immediately followed the 2nd Amendment, albeit the 2nd Amendments drafting history has been yanked about through various interpretations, shows that three State 2nd Amendment proposals support unequivocally that the individual has the right to bear Arms. The Courts decision also follows the interpretation supplied by scholars, courts and legislators following its ratification through the late 19th Century. The Courts decision, although it did not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, it did limit the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, or those in common use for lawful purposes. Like most rights the 2nd Amendment right in NOT unlimited (such as screaming out Fire in a crowded assembly), it is NOT a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose and example being the right to a concealed weapon that has its prohibitions that have been upheld under the Amendment or various State proposals. The Court did NOT change the law with respect to the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or allowing the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or

existing laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of Arms. It did NOT change the law whereas stating that any sort of weapon protected are those in common use at the time, supported in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. The handgun ban and the trigger lock requirement they said violated the 2nd Amendment (as applied in self-defense), also that the Washington DC total ban on handguns amounted to a prohibition on an entire class of arms that Americans overwhelming choose for the lawful purpose of selfdefense, where the lawful defense of self, family, and property is entirely legal and if allowed to continue would fail our constitutional right. It also found that any law that required a lawful firearm to be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock would make it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purposes of self-defense, there by making such a law unconstitutional. As of one week and one day ago the 2nd Amendment has come under fire once more, this time being slammed about by the use of an assault weapon within the walls of Sandy Hook, and the taking of little children and their teachers, an event that will be a longtime in forgetting and one that is burdened with memories and sadness one cannot imagine Im sure that even Oliver Stone will not consider making a movie about the event not even. It was back on September 13th, 1994 that the Federal Assault Weapon Ban or the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act became the Federal Law of the United States of America, a law that included a prohibition on the manufacture for civilian use of certain semi-automatic firearms or assault weapons, as it whipped through both houses of Congress it was endorsed by President Bill Clinton in a twinkling of an eye remember the ban only applied to weapons manufactured after the date of the bans enactment. Since it expired on September 13th 2004 there have been numerous attempts to once again make it the Law of the Land. Reflect, while there are some who maintain that the 2nd Amendment was intended to protect the right of Americans to rise up against a tyrannical government, it was not where it simply states that an individual has the

right to bear arms, NO footnote that says just in case the government wants to control your freedoms noted in the Bill of Rights. As for the other interpretation of suppressing Insurrections that is left up to the State militias whereas the right to bear arms applies to an individual who enjoys a feeling of safety in the fact that he or she has a weapon close by to defend their personal safety or that of their family, and at times to drive to a shooting range and pop a few targets, bag some game or in fits of joy fire a couple of rounds in the air on New Years Eve or otherwise well the last part against the law in some locations where as we all know (or should know) that what goes up must come down, one law that we cannot change on this planet the Law of Gravity. But I drift common affliction at my age. Assault weapons (semi-automatic) refers (but not exclusively) to firearms that have the ability or cosmetic features of a true assault rifle, which are fully-automatic, but remember it such a piece has a fully-automatic feature it classification morphs from assault weapon to a Class 3 weapon, but in the previous ban the mere appearance of the cosmetic features was enough to classify the weapon as an assault weapon. Semi-automatic weapons when fired, automatically extract the spent cartridge casing and load the next cartridge, now the weapon is ready to fire again in other words they do NOT fire automatically like a machine gun where one round is fired with each trigger pull. The 1994 law had some provisions that put some gun activists really upon-step with the definitions, whereas a: Semi-automatic rifles with the ability or had the following appearance of a detachable magazine and plus two or more of either a folding or telescoping stock, a pistol grip, a bayonet mount, flash suppressor (or a threaded barrel designed to accept one), Grenade launcher (muzzle device enabling the launching or firing a rifle grenade), clearly understand having a muzzle loader from the civil war hanging on your wall with a bayonet attachment was NOT in violation of the 1994 Law. Semi-automatic pistols with a detachable magazine and plus two or more of a magazine that attaches outside of the pistol grip, a threaded barrel to attach a barrel extender, flash suppressor, and grip or silencer a

barrel shroud that can be used as a hand-hold, weighted more than 50 ounces, or was a semi-automatic version of a full automatic firearm. Semi-automatic shotguns with two or more of as noted a folding or telescoping stock, pistol grip, fixed capacity of more than five rounds, detachable magazine. The Federal Assault Weapons Ban was just but a small section of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, where the Act created a flow-chart used for classifying assault weapons, and lined out and subjected firearms that met the criteria of the flow chart to regulation. At the time nineteen (19) models of firearms were identified by name as assault weapons, regardless of the features they had. Various semi-automatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns were classified as assault weapons, due to having various combinations of features. The Act only addressed semi-automatic firearms, keep in mind the Act did NOT change the legal status of fully automatic firearms, these still being regulated under the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986. In addition the Act did ban large capacity ammunition feeding devices, no explanation necessary as today we find among those who are afraid that their lives are in supreme danger if they do NOT have access to 30 or 40 or more round clips to use when defending against an advancing mob on their property or a M1 Abrams rolling through their neighborhood. At the end-of-the-day the 2nd Amendment provided the right to virtually free access to arms to all US Citizens, albeit with certain limited exceptions and provisions this right is considered one of the many freedoms (religion, speech, privacy, etc.) that defines America. All these freedoms have been in days gone by defended against threats foreign and domestic, situations that remind us daily that freedom is not free, and now we realize that this freedom of our right to bear arms, sometimes comes with a very high price such as the recent carnage of Sandy Hook and the countless other incidents over the last decade.

Sandy Hook has once again raised the call, albeit the call is for the reenactment of the Assault Weapon Ban now it is coupled with this time is different or we have reached tipping point,, or meaningful change is coming. Behind this call the citizens must ask themselves if any measure of gun control or improved mental health care, regardless of the good intentions will prevent another senseless slaughter or significantly curb gun violence whereas today our freedom of arms has flooded the society of the United States with more guns than people, with a good majority of them content to let things be as they are. In this we also know that the majority of those that commit gun violence are NOT mentally ill, knowing this it is not fair to state that we have reached a tipping point because the point is based on a simple majority causing some to say that a meaningful change is not in the works for restricting access to certain guns. Approaching the issue as an engineer or presenter of numerous business proposals the cost-benefit-analysis comes into play, where how many more Americans must give up their lives due to gun violence before the majority who guard their right to bear arms unrestricted will give up their desire to own a semi-automatic weapon. To reach this point and truly reach a tipping point the cost of the 2nd Amendment freedom must outweigh the benefit but yet we all know that this cost must be weighed by each individual, where there is no politician or regulation that will swing the decision. In other words, the freedom to bear arms must be superseded by the value of another competing freedom, en mass is order for a meaningful change, the other freedom to live without the fear of being gunned down. In the end of the present set of sadness we will once again maybe find an ineffective piecemeal change in some regulations, shifting in one direction or the other, if it shifts the direction of banning this or that, leaders will proclaim victory and the other side will shout the violation of their Constitutional right and freedom, while in reality neither one will be correct and well continue on our way looking forward to the next collection by Death on his Pale Horse. Merry Christmas and have a Happy and Safe New Year. James L Bradley .