Guns and the Government

The country is ablaze with debate about guns, and the government is determined to do something.


If you have listened to President Obama and Vice President Biden talk about guns in the past month, you have heard them express a decided commitment to use the powers of the federal government to maintain safety in the United States. You also have heard congressional voices from politicians in both parties condemning violence and promising to do something about it. This sounds very caring and inside the wheelhouse of what we hire and pay the federal government to do.

But it is clearly unconstitutional.

When the Founders created the American republic, they did so by inducing constitutional conventions in each of the original 13 states to ratify the new Constitution. The idea they presented, and the thesis accepted by those ratifying conventions, was that the states are sovereign; they derive their powers from the people who live there. The purpose of the Constitution was to create a federal government of limited powers—powers that had been delegated to it by the states. The opening line of the Constitution contains a serious typographical error: "We the People" should read "We the States." As President Ronald Reagan reminded us in his first inaugural address, the states created the federal government and not the other way around.

Notwithstanding the Constitution's typo, the states delegated only 16 unique, discrete powers to the new federal government, and all of those powers concern nationhood. The Constitution authorizes the feds to regulate in areas of national defense, foreign affairs, keeping interstate commerce regular, establishing a post office, protecting patents and artistic creations, and keeping the nation free. The areas of health, safety, welfare and morality were not delegated to the feds and were retained by the States.

How do we know that? We know it from the language in the Constitution itself and from the records of the debates in the state ratifying conventions. The small-government types, who warned at these conventions that the Constitution was creating a behemoth central government not unlike the one in Great Britain from which they had all just seceded, were assured that the unique separation of powers between the states and the new limited federal government would guarantee that power could not become concentrated in the central government.

It was articulated even by the big-government types in the late 18th century—such as George Washington and Alexander Hamilton—as well as by the small-government types—such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison—that the new government was limited to the powers delegated to it by the states and the states retained the governmental powers that they did not delegate away. At Jefferson's insistence, the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution to keep the new government from interfering with natural rights such as speech, worship, self-defense, privacy and property rights, and the 10th Amendment was included to assure that the Constitution itself would proclaim affirmatively that the powers not delegated to the feds were retained by the states or the people.

The Supreme Court has ruled consistently and countless times that the "police power," that is, the power to regulate for health, safety, welfare and morality, continues to be reposed in the states, and that there is no federal police power. All of this is consistent with the philosophical principle of "subsidiarity," famously articulated by St. Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas argued that the problems that are closest to the people needing government intervention should be addressed by the government closest to those people. Its corollary is that all governmental intervention should be the minimum needed.

Now, back to Obama and Biden and their colleagues in the government. If the feds have no legitimate role in maintaining safety, why are they getting involved in the current debate over guns? We know that they don't trust individuals to address their own needs, from food to health to safety, and they think—the Constitution to the contrary notwithstanding—that they know better than we do how to care for ourselves. Obama and Biden and many of their colleagues in government are the same folks who gave us Obamacare, with its mandates, invasions of privacy, increased costs and federal regulation of health care. They call themselves progressives, as they believe that the federal government possesses unlimited powers and can do whatever those who run it want it to do, except that which is expressly prohibited.

This brings us back to guns. The Constitution expressly prohibits all governments from infringing upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms. This permits us to defend ourselves when the police can't or won't, and it permits a residue of firepower in the hands of the people with which to stop any tyrant who might try to infringe upon our natural rights, and it will give second thoughts to anyone thinking about tyranny.

The country is ablaze with passionate debate about guns, and the government is determined to do something about it. Debate over public policy is good for freedom. But the progressives want to use the debate to justify the coercive power of the government to infringe upon the rights of law-abiding folks because of what some crazies among us have done. We must not permit this to happen.

The whole purpose of the Constitution is to insulate personal freedom from the lust for power of those in government and from the passions of the people who sent them there.

NEXT: Nick Gillespie Talks Fiscal Cliff, Gun Control, Political Correctness at CY Interview

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  1. This history lesson isn’t going to keep my children safe in schools daily being shot up by assault rifles. Only President Obama will.

    1. He has a magic pen that farts rainbows.

      1. Don’t be ridiculous, sir. There’s a scientific explanation: by putting his portrait in every room of every public institution we can ward of evil. Also the more places we make public institutions the more evil we can ward off.

        1. Wow. That’s the kinda protection we all need. 😀

      2. Well, what does the Constitution have? It’s just a bunch of ink made from berries on some old paper made out of animal parts like savages would do.

        1. Exactly. I don’t need a piece of paper to tell me what my rights are.

    2. Get your head out of your ass, fool. Obama isn’t going to keep your kids safe. And no one is shooting up schools daily with assault rifles.
      Gun bans don’t work. The last one didn’t work according to the FBI research.

      The real need is to identify violent, deranged people and get them off the street.

      1. Looks like someone needs to recalibrate their sarcast-o-meter.

      2. Place to start would be the Reason commentariat.

  2. How did you get a picture of my basement?

    1. Guns in your basement I can understand. But why are you keeping three uniformed men down there too?

      1. Those belong to his wife.

      2. Those are party costumes. They come with padded handcuffs.

  3. WTF, it says it right there, Judge, can’t you read?:

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms approved by His Majesty by the will of God, Emperor of the Americas and Northumbrians, Lord Governor of the Downtrodden, commander of the Media, shall not be infringed.

    1. Would that be Reagan and his support of the Brady Bill?

      1. Oh, how it must pain you to your core to know that Obama will be completely ineffectual in trying to grab our guns!

        1. No,

          1- I don’t want any gun legislation. None.

          2- I am not an alarmist. I know when a pol is pandering to a constituency.

          3- Not one of Obama’s suggestions involved gun grabbing.

          1. Oh, no really, I believe you!

          2. No, no, no (IRT point 2),

            He is using the bodies of children as a step stool to climb on the left’s favorite hobby horse. This goes far beyond pandering.

            as to 3, if he thought he could get away with a royal decree he would (While saying “I” and “mine” alot.

      2. heh heh – good one Shriek. For a change.

      3. You should stick to feces related subjects and let the adults discuss serious ones.

        1. Obviously all libertarians worship Reagan, Suthenboy. Didn’t you get the strawmemo?

          1. The false left-right paradigm shrikes again.

            (What happened to the “Preview” button? Is it my “No-Script” add-on?)

        2. suthenhick,
          Are you going to post your stockpile so your fellow Paranoids can fap over them?
          I always find that entertaining when you Nutters get into a lather and in desperation start comparing your Glockenspile .452s and your Magnum PEI .222s
          It’s like laughing at guys who watch fat-chick porn.

      4. It’s a sock, people. Please ignore it.

      5. I saw this and thought of you.…..0663702195

        1. We’ve double-needle stitched the bottom and sleeve hems for extra durability.

          Because you’ll want to hand that down to your grandchildren

      6. Re: Palin’s Buttwipe,

        Would that be Reagan and his support of the Brady Bill?

        Was Reagan president? Did your unionized leech of a teacher of the Amerikan Pulbic Skool Seistem Dat Teeches To Red An Writ told you lies, you poor poor Buttwipe?

      7. Reagan was a fool to do that, shrike.

        And you are as well, for supporting Obama.

  4. The judge neglected the “Save the Chirrun” power clearly enumerated in Article I, Section 8.

  5. 3-D printed 30-round mag in action……..10Jz2qIog8

    “How’s that national conversation going?”

    HA! Love it.

    1. Gonna need a Clipper Chip for those 3d printers.

  6. An alert has been put out for the angry young man; he has been responsible for slaughtering dozens of the innocent and defenseless. If you see him do not remain silent, report the loony to the nearest cop. No growling youngster must be allowed to hide beneath the radar of concerned parents and a God loving nation.

    1. Fuck off gramps!

      *slams door*

  7. What I need to be safe from is this increasingly unrestrained, overreaching, illegitimate, and unaccountable government. Which is far and away a bigger threat than crazies with guns, terrorists, or a bad diet.

    1. ^^ tell it from the mountain ^^

    2. *calls 911 and reports Bitter Clinger to teh Auhtoritahz*

      /apparently a majority of Americans these days

    3. Why don’t you get a couple hundred children to send letters to the God-Emperor? They can ask him to rein in the over-arching state and its increasingly murderous minions.

      I’m sure that will work.

      1. Be sure to enclose drawings of Patrick Henry done with pink crayon.

    4. How is increasingly unrestrained, overreaching, illegitimate, and unaccountable government not the same thing as crazies with guns?

      1. It isn’t. I just didn’t want the media to misquote me as targeting my ire at nongovernmental crazies.

    5. Yeah, what polnick said.

      1. oops, my bad. I meant “what Prop Lib said”.

    6. Pro Libertard,
      if you actually believe your own drivel, then you’re the first person who should be put on the mental health list the NRA Nutters are calling for.

      1. I love it how it thinks that a series of ad hominems without a hint of rational discourse would possibly merit a response from anybody.

  8. This is why I love Drudge: He links to a story about other tyrants that have used children as props with a picture of Stalin holding up a child.

    I love the way he pokes this administration in the eye–since no one else seems to be willing to do it. (Not counting here, of course.)

    1. Careful, he may lose his singing gig on MNF if he keeps that up.

      1. “Turn out the lights!
        The drone has found you…”

  9. I will also note – fully realizing the potential for starting a foodfight – what I see as the irony of “saving EVEN ONE child” from teh evul gunz, when the Bamster supports millions for “female healthcare” (AKA abortions*) and was the lone IL senator not to vote for some liitation to late-term abortions back in the day.

    Not ONE child taken by an evil, inanimate object at the hands of a madman (or in an accident due to neglectful owners), but tens of thousands sanctioned and paid by the state through abortions.

    PS Also, drones.

    What a fuckhead.

    *whether one is “pro choice” or “pro life” or whatever

    1. But in an abortion, the child is killed by TOP. MEN., fully sanctioned by the State.

      I’m amazed you don’t grasp the difference.

    2. The kids are a prop. They dont really give two shits about the children. This latest gun control push has nothing to do with children and everything to do with disarming the american populace.

      I am sure it was just a typo on a requisition, but Homeland Security has recently purchased 1.4 billion rounds of ammo and refuses to answer any questions about it.

      I see dark days ahead.…..ition.html

      1. Shite…I really do wish I had bought some stock in an ammo manufacturer some time back.

      2. “They dont really give two shits about the children. ”

        Son you’ll never face an assault weapon, or a decent education, a good paycheck or ever know a nation without crushing debt. You’re welcome.

      3. The 2nd Amendment does not forbid Homeland Security from buying billions of bullets. Anything not forbidden the govt. is allowed. Anything not expressly permitted the citizen is forbidden. It’s quite simple really, why are the proglodytes the only ones who get it?

    3. Until the moment of birth they are not children. They are cancerous growths within the mother’s womb, to be disposed of like trash. Once they are born they are the most precious thing on the earth.

      The difference between trash and treasure is mere seconds.

      1. I always wondered when the magical second occurred, that transformation from gob of tissue to be disposed of with no remorse, to special snowflake.

        1. The second that some statist shithead needs them for a photo op.

        2. I say it occurs at the point when they are capable of carrying on an intelligent conversation.

          1. For a lot of people that would be never.

        3. According to Pelosi the Vatican’s doctors don’t know either.

      2. One mans trash is another mans treasure

    4. Obama’s DOJ has murdered more people than all of the deranged shooters in the last 10 years. And that’s not even counting the drone strikes.
      Obama and Holder have blood on their hands.

    5. There you go using rational thought…shame on you. Just drink the kool-aid a go to sleep.

    6. Exactly. Liberals don’t give a damn about children. See 54.5 million abortions since Roe v. Wade. And now I’m supposed to pay for them.

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    1. waamin emailed, he wants his anonybot exclusivity back.

    1. when it comes to machines, I prefer to lounge against them

  11. “The Constitution says for you to SHUT UP!”
    -Administration spokesman Nelson Muntz (delivering a punch to your gut)

  12. http://livewire.talkingpointsm…..upport-for

    Al Franken, yes that Al Franken, raises doubts about assault weapons ban. When you have lost Al Franken, you lost crazy America. This whole thing is turning into a very entertaining farce. The dip shits in the White House and in the media live in such a bubble, they honestly thought they finally had enough dead kids to stand on they were going to get away with it this time. Ah sorry.

    1. Al slipped in stolen, er “discovered” votes. He figures he wouldn’t get by a second time with gun banning on his resume. The scandi-socialist in MN will tolerate much, but that might be a bridge too far. He might as well come out against fishing.

      1. I figures he has been such a joke, he has pretty much given up on standing for re-election. They would try to run a stunt Dem in 2014 instead in hopes people forget how bad Franken has been. But maybe he does want to run again. I would think he would be a very vulnerable incumbent.

        1. On the contrary, he may very well be be cruising to re-election. And basically because he hasn’t done anything:

          First, Mr. Coleman isn’t planning on a rematch?at least not for Minnesota’s Senate seat. Firmly denying to the National Journal this week he would run, the former senator noted, “You can’t play handball in an open field. At this point there’s been no candidate. He (Franken) has been pretty much invisible. In that sense he hasn’t created a lot of enemies. I don’t know if that’s his strategy, but it’s a pretty good strategy if it is.”

          1. Amazing that they would vote for that stupid bastard twice.

            1. Why not, they voted king oblamaaaa in twice.

  13. “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States”
    Noah Webster

    “If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.”
    Alexander Hamilton
    Federalist No. 33, January 3, 1788″

    1. They don’t care about history, facts, or logic.

      1. How many times do we have to tell you that bourgeois truth is what matters. Revolutionary truth is what matters.

        1. People ask me why I hate the statist left more than the statist right. It’s because the statist right’s delusions are more compartmentalized.

    2. That’s a pretty fancy way to talk about deer hunting.

  14. I think its pretty sad, they will have to pry my gun from my dead hand!

    1. oh anonbot, you are evolving!

  15. Gun Control Doesn’t Work ? Ask Mexico

  16. I just read on the CNN ticket that King George III has his ships just off Catalina Island.
    Gives you Nutters just enough time to gather you dick extensions, your bullets, have a good fap, write a letter to the editor of Guns N’ Porno, and then brag about it to the other Nutters around here, before you fend off the evil Redcoats with your Thursday Night Specials, Bowie Hunting Knives, and MGD .357s.
    Good luck defending your compounds. Tim Thomas sends his best wishes.

    1. Solid F, for two reasons:

      1. I’m much more concerned with Obama the Great than King George.

      2. That sounds awesome. Wolverines!

  17. Buying an unregistered gun is no problem for the seriously
    mentally ill psycho. For less than 100 bucks one of the two million Gangbangers in the
    US can deliver it fully loaded in an hour. There is no background check
    required but only a high five.

  18. There is no typo. Based on the idea that government exists and wields power only by consent of the governed, the framers rightly regarded the rights of individuals above the states and the nation.

  19. Angry white gun owners are causing great concern among mental health specialists, once devout family men are now attaching more importance to the need of assault weapons. Thousands of the nation’s leading social workers and psychologists should be dispatched to the homes of white gun owners and report back to the president after a survey of grievances is completed.

  20. “The areas of health, safety, welfare and morality were not delegated to the feds and were retained by the States.”

    Judge, I love to read and listen to your opinions because there is steel in your words, but I think you erred here in that these matters are not left to the states (except public safety, if that is what you meant by safety) – which were created by the people. These matters are left to the people themselves.

    I could not agree more though, with your final sentence. I wish that it were the final sentence on those power-drunk bums.


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  22. we need to bring back militias!!
    “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.”
    If we form militias nobody, not the federal fascists or civilian fascist sheeple, can take away any armaments.
    Plus, millions of armed civilians can’t do much if they aren’t organized. Bring back militias!!

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  25. Constitution contains a serious typographical error: “We the

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