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Letter: Second Amendment explained for the masses

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The Constitution, as originally proposed, was rejected by the states. But the promise of bright line limits to federal power, the promise of what is now called the Bill of Rights, allowed the states to adopt the Constitution.

The last of the Bill of Rights, the 10th Amendment, says that the powers not given to the new central government are kept by the states, or by the people.

Where powers are rightly kept by the state, that power which is kept by the state cannot be claimed to be kept, at the same time, by the people, basing that claim on the liberty clause of the 14th Amendment.

The purpose of the Second Amendment is to protect the ability of each state to call up its army. It precludes the new central government from disarming the people of the state. It was not intended by its framers, its framers being the states, to prevent the states from regulating firearms or to frustrate each state’s normal police powers to protect the health and safety of their communities.

An individual’s right to bear arms, to the extent such a right exists, may be based on historical precedent or traditional usage or state law, which precedent or usage or state law can be recognized and upheld by the central government.

Martin Gugino



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