Op-Ed By: William Heino Sr.
In some 225 years neither law professors, academic scholars, teachers, students, lawyers, or congressional legislators after much debate have not been able to satisfactorily explain or demonstrate the Framers intended purpose of the Second Amendment of the Constitution. I had taken up that challenge allowing Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s dilemma to understand the true intent of the Second Amendment.
I will relate further by demonstration, the intent of the Framers, my understanding using the associated wording to explain. The Second Amendment states, “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Militia, a body of citizens organized for military service.
If, as some may argue, the Second Amendment’s “militia” meaning is that every person has a right to keep and bear arms, the only way to describe ones right as a private individual is not as a “militia” but as a “person.” (The individual personality of a human being: self)
The 4th Amendment reminds us, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons….”
The Article of Confederation lists eleven (11) references to“person/s.” The Constitution lists “person” or “persons” 49 times to explicitly describe, clarify and mandate a constitutional legal standing as to a “person” his or her constitutional duty and rights, what he or she can do or not do.
It’s not enough to just say “person/s” is mentioned in the United States Constitution 49 times, but to see it for yourself (forgo listing), and the realization was for the concern envisioned by the Framers that every person be secure in these rights explicitly spelled out, referenced and understood how these rights were to be applied to that “person.”
Whereas, in the Second Amendment any reference to “person” is not to be found. Was there a reason? Which leaves the obvious question, why did the Framers use the noun “person/s” as liberally as they did throughout the Constitution 49 times and not apply this understanding to explicitly convey the same legal standard in defining an individual “persons” right to bear arms as a person?
Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s dissent in Barr v Kanter (2019) Second Amendment argument acquiesced to 42 references to “person/s, of which 13 characterize either a gun or firearm. Her Second Amendment, “textualism” approach having zero references to “person/s. Justice Barrett’s view only recognizes “person/s” in Barr, as well in her many other 7th circuit rulings. It is her refusal to acknowledge, recognize or connect the U.S. Constitution benchmark legislative interpretive precept language of “person/s,” mandated in our Constitution 49 times, to the Second Amendment.
Leaving Supreme Court Justice Barrett’s judgment in question.
In the entire U.S. Constitution “militia” is mentioned 5 times. In these references, there is no mention of “person” or “persons.” One reference to “people” in the Second Amendment. People, meaning not a person but persons in describing militia.
Now comes the word “shall” mentioned in the Constitution 100 times. SHALL; ought to, must ..
And interestingly, the word “shall” appears in the Second Amendment. “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, and shall not be infringed.”
“[S]hall not be infringed.” Adding another word “infringed” to clarify any misunderstanding as to the intent of the Second Amendment. Infringe. To encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another;
The condition “Infringe” has put a stop as to any thoughts counter regarding the Second Amendment, as you shall not infringe or encroach on beliefs other to what is evident as to the subject “Militia.” Article 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in the Congress of the United States, …”
Clarifying “..the right of the people to keep and bear arms…”
People. Human beings making up a group or assembly or linked by a common interest.
In closing, I am not against guns, everybody has them. I’m against using the Second Amendment illogically as a crutch. If it makes those feel better so be it. Just what it deserves, use it with a wink.