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Another Oath-breaking Band of Legal Buffoons

by Nicki Fellenzer

December 9, 2002

« Le Droit collectif a donc son principe, sa raison d'être, sa légitimité dans le Droit individuel; et la Force commune ne peut avoir rationnellement d'autre but, d'autre mission que les forces isolées auxquelles elle se substitue. »

--Frederic Bastiat -- It looks like yet another oath-breaking band of legal buffoons, who possess about as much common sense as stray cats in heat and about as much legal acumen as rabid ferrets with Tourette’s  Syndrome (no offense intended to people who actually suffer from this disorder), have once again chosen to try and dismantle the Constitution in favor of tyranny.  Yes, I’m talking about the so-called 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals – that hapless lot of judicially inept “judges,” who obviously have little understanding of the English language as well as low comprehension of what it means to be true to the Constitution.

In upholding California's most recent assault weapons ban, the appeals court -- based not surprisingly, in San Francisco -- turned the Law of the Land on its ear, and concluded that the founding fathers crafted the Second Amendment solely to enable state militias to protect themselves if the federal government grew too powerful.

The historical record makes it equally plain that the amendment was not adopted in order to afford rights to individuals with respect to private gun ownership,'' Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote for a three-judge panel.  Well, Gosh!  Is it such a shock that socialists would try and force the “collective-rights” view down the throats of individuals by unilaterally rewriting the Constitution?  To give a modicum of credit to the third judge on that panel – he did dissent from the Second Amendment portion of the written opinion.

If I sound angry, I damn well am!  As one who was born in the USSR, I’ve had the “collective” shoved down my gullet since birth.  I’ve faced assaults on my individualism from the beginning of my life.  I was taught there were no individual rights, and that every portion of your existence was subjugated to the collective – the common good.  It never made sense to me then, and it certainly sounds like so much inflated, nonsensical crap today.  When I came here, I thought that part of my existence was safe in the United States of America, but that was not to be…

…It wasn’t to be, because a robed band of socialist vomit sacs decided that “The historical record makes it equally plain that the amendment was not adopted in order to afford rights to individuals with respect to private gun ownership.”  Oh really?

Well, why don’t we take a look at that historical record – a record, which Reinhardt, a 1980 Carter appointee, and his pernicious twit of a colleague Raymond Fisher, who somehow stroked Billy Clinton hard enough to get himself appointed to the bench, seem to either misunderstand, or intentionally ignore.  If the “dynamic duo” actually read historical records or any writings by our Founding Fathers and somehow needled out the intent that only a collective group, such as a militia, was allowed firearms ownership, their comprehension skills are highly suspect.  If they read any “historical record” and intentionally ignored it in order to further their own agenda, they should be disrobed and sent packing. 

Maybe Reinhardt and Fisher are too obtuse to comprehend the meaning of "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms,” written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776.  Although, even those of us for whom English is a second language can understand the meaning of those words, maybe Reinhardt’s and Fisher’s blind collectivist indoctrination has damaged their comprehension skills.

George Mason uttered these famous words in 1788: “I ask, who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers.”   Maybe these “astute” legal scholars simply misunderstand the meaning of Mason’s utterances.  Maybe to them, “the whole of the people” implies a bizarre group dynamic of subjects, controlled by the state, instead of “each and every person.”  However, those of us possessing even a modicum of common sense couldn’t possibly misinterpret this particular quote.

Mason also wrote that same year "That the People have a right to keep and bear Arms; that a well regulated Militia, composed of the Body of the People, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe Defence of a free state.”   Again, English is only my third language, Russian and French being my first and second respectively.  However, when someone writes that the militia is composed of the Body of the People, I find it difficult to proscribe collective rights to that particular quote.

Samuel Adams made the issue even clearer when he wrote, "The said Constitution [shall] be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.”  I believe there’s no way in God and Goddess’ green earth that anyone can misinterpret Adams’ claim that peaceable citizens must be allowed to own their own arms, but then again, Reinhardt and Fisher don’t sound too bright.

There are quotes on “historical record” of Richard Henry Lee of Virginia, who stated "A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves . . . and include all men capable of bearing arms. . . To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms... The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle.”

Could it be possible that judges appointed to the federal bench have never read the Federalist Papers?  Had they done so, how could they miss James Madison’s admonition that the Constitution preserves "the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. . . (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

Tenche Coxe wrote in the Federal Gazette in 1789 that "As the military forces which must occasionally be raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article (of amendment) in their right to keep and bear their private arms.”  But I don’t suppose that’s the “historical record” to which Reinhardt and Fisher refer.  Or maybe they believed that the phrase, “private arms” in the 1700’s meant the complete opposite of what it means today.

 What “historical record” could they possibly have consulted that gave these two pseudo-intellectual gasbags the idea that a group, comprised of individuals, can somehow possess a right, while the individuals themselves cannot?

In the 1800’s Frederic Bastiat, a French economist and statesman authored an essay entitled, The Law.

"Each of us has a natural right-from God-to defend his person, his liberty, and his property,” Bastiat stated. “These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two."

"If every person has the right to defend even by force-his person, his liberty, and his property,” Bastiat continued, “then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right-its reason for existing, its lawfulness-is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute.”  This is the translation of the French quote I provided at the beginning of this column.  And now you understand why I’ve included it.

Bastiat, like many great thinkers, understood that a collective – no matter how you define it – consists of individuals, and ergo the idea of a “collective right” is based on a false premise.  A collective right does not exist, because without individuals, the collective does not exist.  Individual rights are the basis – the root – the foundation of any just society, because the individual is the basis, the root and the foundation of any society.  Individuals create society, and consequently government.  Their rights exist apart from governments and aren’t granted by other individuals.  Individual rights exist because individuals exist – not vice versa.  Bastiat understood this simple concept.  Our Founding Fathers understood it even better.  It’s only when ignorant, bed-wetting, socialist dullards, who are deathly afraid of an armed populace threatening their seat of power, get a hold of these sacred ideals, that the individual right gets mired in vacuous invective and subjugated to the great whole! Therefore, for any pseudo-intellectual hacks with pretensions to being a body of justice to noisily squawk their “interpretation” of the “collective rights” theory, and worse yet, ascribe that type of idiotic thought to those who founded this great country is ignorant, disrespectful and deceitful.

The “Body of the People” referred to by George Mason are individuals.

The “free man” of whom Thomas Jefferson spoke is an individual.

The people themselves” of whom Richard Henry Lee spoke are individuals.

The people who are peaceable citizens” are also individuals, as clearly intended by Samuel Adams.

Any attempt to ascribe group dynamics to individual rights is an obscene attempt to force the individual to conform to a set of standards that negate his own existence as a human being. 

I doubt Stephen Reinhardt and Raymond Fisher are so illiterate that they actually misunderstand the words of our founding fathers.  If they were, neither one of them would have ever graduated law school.  I do, however, believe that these two judges, who have sworn to uphold the law of the land, are, in fact, trying to change said law to suit their own warped purposes.

What are those purposes? 

To subjugate the individual to a collective, weakening him and making him into a subject.  To take away an inalienable right.  To force the individual to depend on the state for his protection.  To perpetuate the lie that the government “affords” rights to the people, instead of the people themselves creating that government to protect already existing rights.  And ultimately, to rule over a society of enslaved automatons whose individual identity means nothing in light of group tyranny.

Let’s hope the Supreme Court of the United States overturns these pathetic revisionist oath-breakers and once and for all tells them what they can do with their “collective rights.”


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I heartily accept the motto, "That government is best which governs least." — HENRY DAVID THOREAU

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