Falsehoods, misrepresentations

Mr Mannello, in his latest letter “Here we go again”, makes a couple of statements that aren’t factual.

His 1st statement suggests that there is no mention of an ‘individual’ right to bear arms either in the 2nd amendment itself or in anything from the founding fathers prior to it. It’s clear that the 2nd amendment states “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”. Pretty straightforward. The right of the PEOPLE. And here a few quotes from our founding fathers”

“A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined…” – George Washington, First Annual Address, to both House of Congress, January 8, 1790

“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” – Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Constitution, Draft 1, 1776

“What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787

“To disarm the people…[i]s the most effectual way to enslave them.” – George Mason, referencing advice given to the British Parliament by Pennsylvania governor Sir William Keith, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, June 14, 1788

“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country.” – James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434, June 8, 1789

His second statement suggests that no SCOTUS decision prior to D.C. vs. Heller, in 2008, ruled that it was an individual right to own arms. However:

• Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252 (1886) The court ruled the Second Amendment right was a right of individuals, not militias, and was not a right to form or belong to a militia, but related to an individual right to bear arms for the good of the United States, who could serve as members of a militia upon being called up by the Government in time of collective need. In essence, it declared, although individuals have the right to keep and bear arms, a state law prohibiting common citizens from forming personal military organizations, and drilling or parading, is still constitutional because prohibiting such personal military formations and parades does not limit a personal right to keep and bear arms.

• United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939) – The Court stated in part: These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. ‘A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline.’ And further, that ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.”‘

Mike Kerstetter


Submitted by Virtual Newsroom