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Some Clarity on U.S. v Emerson

Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2001 23:35:23 -0700
Reply-To: <>
To: <>
Subject: U.S. v Emerson


Douglas Sharafanowich
Milford, CT

Greetings from what used to known as "The Constitution State":

In the recent article "A Right of the People" by Dave Kopel & Glenn Reynolds (National Review Online - 10/23/01,, I was concerned about some very key issues that were given a broad and assumptive brush stroke.

Item 1:
"Most Second Amendment advocates, on the other hand, have always noted that ˜just as with other constitutional rights like free speech˜ the right to arms is not absolute, and is subject to reasonable regulation."

a) Please define "most". And, why would this be so? Does not the phrase "shall not be infringed" plainly mean what it says? Looks like an "absolute" to me!

b) It is a crime against the art of professional writing (and very wrong) to use the word "regulation" in this sentence. The use of a word that had quite a different meaning in 1700's than it has in the year 2001 is a poor choice at best.

Item 2:
"People can differ in good faith about what constitutes reasonable regulation."

a) As can be seen in 1b, this is only possible if the word "regulation" (or "well regulated") is not translated in to modern parlance, and the parties speaking are each, separately, using a dictionary of each period.

b) "Reasonable regulation" (using year 2001's meaning) has resulted in the deaths of not only the 6 million Jews (and 7 million other "undesirables")in Nazi Germany, but also the deaths of an additional 20 Million people in other countries during the 20th century alone. So, one can plainly see that there can be no such thing as "reasonable regulation". Indeed, "reasonable regulation" has proven itself to be most unreasonable and deadly.

Item 3:
"The Fifth Circuit noted that the Second Amendment allows "limited, narrowly tailored specific exceptions or restrictions for particular cases that are reasonable and not inconsistent with the right of Americans generally to individually keep and bear their private arms as historically understood in this country."

a) What part of "shall not infringe" did not the Court understand?

Item 4:
"...make it clear that ordinary, law-abiding people cannot be prohibited from owning ordinary rifles, shotguns, and handguns."

a) Please define "ordinary". If the definition excludes the private ownership current military grade firearms, then the 2nd Amendment is gutted of it's true intent. The result being twofold. First, the unorganized militia can no longer effectively provide security to a free state. And secondly, that the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution then becomes a noble (but worthless) heap of paper stripped of the ultimate check and balance. Namely, the ability of the American "We, the People" to abolish or change a Government that may at some time no longer "serve" them.

I hope I have made my concerns clear. I look forward to a considered reply.

Sincerely yours,
~ Douglas Sharafanowich
Without the Second, there is no First

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