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.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s Second Amendment Dilemma

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.

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.”

The President was elected on 13 of these references. Of which 11 are Amendments, conditioning a “person,” unlike the Second Amendment, to the role of the President of the United States.

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.

Finally, another reason and need for…. “A well regulated militia, …” exactly, because we fight among ourselves.

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.

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7 Replies to “Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s Second Amendment Dilemma”

  1. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” People meaning all persons. The intent seems clear.

  2. The author’s command of English sentence structure is flawed. The subject of the sentence that is the Second Amendment is “people.” As in “We the People” in the Preamble. As in everyone. The prefatory clause, “A well-regulated militia…” is simply one reason for the people to retain the right to bear arms.

  3. Anyone failing to understand why the founders wrote and included the 2nd amendment is either not reading or extremely ignorant. The framers understood the tendency of humans to become tyrannical and made sure the citizens had the resources to stop tyrannical oligarchs when those oligarchs effectively undermined the people’s will and authority such as rigging elections, insider trading, accepting bribes and selling government influence.

  4. The author also lacks context of the times. The thought comes from the fact that the people have the right because there was a regulated military and the framers feared that a leader could turn military into a domestic police ( as further evidences by prohibition of quartering military in private homes. This clearly prohibits c’mon practices of the British army at the time. The vision was that each and every farm house, and city dweling would have a rifle of a pistol and could defend against tyranny.

  5. The founders wanted compulsory militia duty, similar to compulsory jury duty. This was evidenced by statutes of different states enacting compulsory militia service in the 1700s. Stands to reason then, that they expected the people to be armed already with their own guns. This was what early Americans expected to do but its been greatly watered down over time. But the actual right to own and carry guns doesn’t come from the second amendment it comes from natural law and the right of people to defend themselves against anything that may harm them. Also helps fulfull a couple of God’s commandments “thou shalt not kill” and “thou shalt not steal”.

  6. Samuel Adams: “The Constitution (shall) never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”
    — During Massachusetts’ U.S. Constitution Ratification Convention, (1788).

    Edmund Burke: “The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.”
    — 1784 speech.

    Noah Webster: “The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops…”
    — An examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution by the Late Convention (1787).

    Benjamin Franklin: “They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    — Historical Review of Pennsylvania, (1759).

    Thomas Jefferson: “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
    — Proposed Virginia Constitution (1776), Jefferson Papers 344, (J. Boyd, ed. 1950).

    John Adams: “Arms in the hands of individual citizens may be used at individual discretion… in private self defence.”
    — A Defense of the U.S. Constitutions of Government of the United States of America (1787-88).

    James Madison: 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.”
    — The Federalist #46.

    Thomas Paine: “…arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property… Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.”
    — Thoughts on Defensive War, (1775).

    Thomas Jefferson: “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
    — Quoting 18th Century criminologist Cesare Beccaria in On Crimes and Punishment (1764).

    Richard Henry Lee: “A militia when properly formed is in fact the people themselves…and include all men capable of bearing arms…To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms…”
    — Additional Letters From the Federal Farmer 53 (1788).

    George Mason: “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people…to disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”
    — During Virginia’s ratification convention, (1788).

  7. Let’s word the 2A a little differently:

    Well stocked libraries being necessary to the development of a sound mind, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed.

    Does the right to read belong to the library? Obviously not. It belongs to the people — just like the right to bear arms.

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