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Good Article on Rights

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by RicInOR, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. RicInOR

    RicInOR Washington County Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    <Related not just to the right to bear arms, but all natural rights>

    Court: It's Not a Right When Only the Sheriff's Friends Get To Hold Guns - Reason.com
  2. CounterOfBeans

    CounterOfBeans northwest Active Member

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    Unfortunately this article cites Heller (a DC case) as a contemporary standard of where gun rights stand. The problem is that this case deals with the rights of people who, by force of the Constitution itself, are not necessarily endowed with full Constitutional consideration. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17 is the what's called the D.C. clause, which states:

    "Congress shall have power.....
    To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings"

    The D.C. clause was created because in 1783, in Philadelphia, while under the Articles of Confederation, a bunch of disgruntled revolutionary war soldiers attacked Congress because they hadn't been paid. Congress, having no permanent venue of its own, did its business in different locations and relied on the host jurisdictions to provide for security. Congress appealed to the State of Pennsylvania to muster the militia to stop the attack and Pennsylvania said no. Congress had to flea for their lives and when the Constitution Convention came around, the framers asserted that such an embarrassing event would never happen again. Therefore, as authorized by Art 1, Sec. 8, Cls 17, D.C. was formed to provide the federal government with its own autonomous office space where it's rule reigned and reigns supreme.

    The physical landscape of D.C. is utterly and eternally federal in nature and as a result, citizens who live there are federal citizens, not State Citizens. The D.C. clause says Congress exercises "exclusive" legislation "over" the district, in "like" manner as it does over other federal property like "Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings". D.C. citizens literally live in a space that is of the same nature as post offices and military bases, and the federal government has total control over how things are managed there, ...constitutionally. This why the motto across the bottom of D.C. license plates is "taxation without representation". Because only State Citizens must be represented in Congress as a pre-condition to being taxed.

    The legal disability of D.C. clause federal citizenship is the direct result of the framers intent to prevent armed uprisings against Congress, and by extension, this is the reason why D.C. citizens have historically complained about Congress' "infringement" of their gun rights. All D.C. citizens have to do is move 5 miles in one direction or another to set up their home in a State that borders D.C. and their infringement problems are solved, ... because they convert themselves to State Citizens, i.e. parties to, and full-fledged beneficiaries of the Constitution. The legal plight of D.C. life is a contractually established by-product of the distinction that the Constitution makes between State Citizens and federal citizens. Territorial citizens (Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, etc.) under Article 4, Section 3, Paragraph 2 (cited below), exist under the same disabilities as D.C. citizens, but have the hope of one day emerging as State Citizens when their territory gets admitted into the Union:

    "The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States"

    The Constitution is a contract, a supreme contract. And it is a fact of history that the only parties to/ beneficiaries of that contract were the States and State Citizens who drafted and perfected (ratified) it. State Citizens were the ONLY citizens who existed during the debates of the Constitution Convention, and those debates related to no other issues other than the rights and interests of those State Citizens who were jealously protective of their rights and interests. The Constitution was their contract with each other and they made no provisions that explicitly related to the rights or interests of any other kinds of citizens that may emerge in the future.

    The emergence of D.C. and territorial citizens was/is simply the result of people either choosing to continue calling D.C. home after it became federalized or of the acquisition of foreign lands and people through the Constitution's treaty powers or war powers. Congress, under the two provisions cited, has constitutional authority to manage the rights and interests of federal peoples as a function of being the constitutionally prescribed legal agent of the Union of the several States. The SCOTUS case of DeLima vs. Bidwell and the federal case of Adams vs. Clinton are great commentaries on this issue.

    Heller is a problem because it initiates the blurring of the line that has long been held in the courts regarding the rights distinctions between State and federal citizenship. By Heller's blurring of that distinction, is it elevating federal citizens to State citizenship (which it can't do) or, by associating the Chicago-based McDonald case with Heller, are State Citizens being melded into the reach of federal citizenship disabilities?