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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Second Amendment Caucus

By Douglas V. Gibbs
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From an originalist view of the United States Constitution, every federal gun law is unconstitutional.  If there needs to be protections like background checks and laws asserting any regulations, that must happen at the State level.  That is not to say the States have the authority to betray our right to keep and bear arms.  Our right to our guns is an inherent right, a natural right that belongs to us no matter what.  However, we must also remember that regarding our rights, while it is a no-no for the federal government to interfere with them in any way, it is the authority of the States to have laws regarding our rights, when necessary.

For example, we have the right to swing our arms all we want, but that right stops at the tip of another person's nose.  We also have the right to drive through intersections, but our right to do so stops at the tip of another person's bumper.  When it comes to intersections, however, the federal government has no authority to pass any laws, or enforce any federal action, regarding those intersections.  The local government, however, be it our State, or our counties and cities, have authority to put in stop signs and stop lights, not to infringe upon our right to travel through those intersections, but to ensure that we traverse those intersections without running into each other.  In a same manner, the 2nd Amendment applies to the federal government, so the "shall not be infringed" part strictly applies.  No federal gun law is constitutional.  However, while our natural right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed because the right is naturally ours, at the local level if tweaks need to be made to protect us from, say, children buying guns, or felons purchasing firearms, the States are allowed to make those laws.  However, if a State goes too far (California is a great example of that), it is the responsibility of the people to stop the State from infringing upon our right to keep and bear arms.

As residents of our States, we are closer to our government here than we would be to the federal government, and so the Founding Fathers expected the people to keep their State governments under control.

While I am not convinced the Republicans in Washington D.C. fully understand the concept of natural rights, or State authorities, they do realize that the federal government has overstepped its authority regarding gun rights.  Therefore, the GOP members of Congress have created a new Congressional Second Amendment Caucus.  While I am always skeptical when Congress tries to get involved in protecting our gun rights, this is definitely a step in the right direction.

The Second Amendment Caucus originally launched in 2004 and was renamed in 2009, when it became a “task force.” Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky has grabbed the reins of the Second Amendment Caucus, redirecting the group, framing it again as a caucus because of the opportunities Donald Trump’s election affords defenders of the Second Amendment.

In a statement, Massie said, "The recent election results present us with a new opportunity to advance pro-gun legislation and reverse the erosion of the Second Amendment that’s occurred over the last few decades. I look forward to working with the new President and this determined group of conservatives to promote a pro-gun agenda.  In addition to pushing a pro-gun, pro-Second Amendment agenda, caucus business will include hosting guest speakers on Capitol Hill. Those will include 'firearm experts, constitutional scholars, and pro-gun groups' who will address the importance of the Second Amendment and of specific pieces of legislation as they arise."

Do me a favor, readers, and tell Congressman Massie that yours truly would love to be one of those Constitutional Scholars to speak before Congress.

Among the founding members of the caucus is Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, a Congressman I have been supporting and defending for a while.  Membership in the caucus will be based on a Representative’s pro-gun voting record and their ability to demonstrate a history of “drafting and sponsoring pro-gun legislation.”  In addition to Massie and Duncan, the founding members of the caucus are Ted Yoho (R-FL-3), Brian Babin (R-TX-36), Paul Gosar (R-AZ-4), Mark Meadows (R-NC-11), Ken Buck (R-CO-4), Alex Mooney (R-WV-2), Justin Amash (R-MI-3), Jody Hice (R-GA-10), Dave Brat (R-VA-7), Warren Davidson (R-OH-8), Scott Perry (R-PA-4), and James Comer (R-KY-1).

I see good things coming out of this effort.  And, it may be through this caucus that Trump's call for a constitutional "full faith and credit" (Article IV. of the United States Constitution) action regarding concealed carry permits, making them more like driver's licenses in the sense of recognition in each State, will come to pass.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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