46 thoughts on “Gun Owners of America opposes gun rights”

  1. Hmm… I’m not sure the constitution was about giving Brits who were still UK citizens (he could be a spy for King George) and did not renounce their allegiance to the crown by becoming Americans a right to carry!

    All kidding aside, if you accept the idea that states can control CCW through permits, then there is no legal argument to compel them to issue permits to anyone – especially someone who is not a citizen of that state by virtue of not being a citizen of the USA.

    If you believe a right to own a firearm and a right to carry it are inseparable as defined by the 2nd amendment, then states should have no power to regulate CCW through permits.

    Gene

  2. Think about it… we are talking about Green Card holders. They must go through the same process as any citizen. If they get through that process, I have no problem. However, Federal law prohibits the sale of firearms to non-citizens. So while they may go though the process to get a CCW, they will be breaking the law if they purchase. And, since our system does not tap into foreign criminal records, the government will have to ask for this info from that country, making the process exceeding long for any green card holder.

  3. ” However, Federal law prohibits the sale of firearms to non-citizens.”

    Nope, and I have the well-stocked gun safe to prove it! 🙂

    Federal prevents gun sales to non-residents (and even then it’s OK if you’ve got an certain kind of hunting permit. It’s on the 4473 form if you look for it).

    I am not a citizen (I’m Canadian, and yes, our beer is better than yours 🙂 ), but I am a legal immigrant and proud resident of the United States. I can buy any firearm that a citizen can: Class III, C+R, handgun, you name it.

    The only difference is, I need to bring 3 months worth of utility bills with me each time I visit my FFL to establish residency. That’s it.

  4. There are several questions here
    1. Should states be able to control who can Concealed Carry?
    2. Should non-citizens be able to get CCW?
    3. Does the constitutional right to bear arms extend to CCW?
    4. Should a guy who thinks his UK citizenship is more important than getting a US citizenship after living here for 30 years need to get slapped upside the head!?

    Caleb the issue here is not so cut and dry as GOA is against CCW while NRA is for it. I’m a member of both (life NRA) and have been for over 20 years and the issue of what rights do citizens have vs. non-citizens is not black and white and extends beyond gun rights. While certain rights are held to be inalienable, others are guaranteed to the citizenry. To further complicate matters some rights are left up to the states to control while others are federal.

    My ex-wife was a green card holder and the proudest day of our marriage for me was when she got her US citizenship. As a former CCW instructor I have a hard time sympathizing with a guy who doesn’t want to do that while demanding a right to conceal carry. Laws apply equally to everyone, even non-citizen residents, but some things, like voting in elections or serving in US armed forces, are reserved for US Citizens only.

    1. I stand corrected. “Only individuals who are U.S. citizens can become commissioned officers in the United States military.”

      However non-citizen residents can enlist provided (1) Have an Alien Registration Receipt Card (stamped I-94 or I-551 Green card/INS Form 1-551), (2) Have a bona fide residence established, and (3) Have established a record of the U.S. as their home.

    2. It takes a long, long time and a lot of work to become a citizen (as I’m sure you know). I see no reason people should have to go unprotected during that time.

  5. serving in US armed forces, are reserved for US Citizens only.

    Nope. Non-citizens can get drafted. I got my Selective Service Card right after I got my Green Card and my Social Security card.

    And one of the two regrets I have in life (the other is not buying shares of Apple Inc. in 1995 🙂 ) is not enlisting in the military when I could have.

    Yep, they would have taken me, non-citizen and all.

    And as to the “Why did he wait 30 years” thing, it costs a not-insignificant amount of money to become a citizen, and the cost/benefit just hasn’t been there for me, especially with a family to feed. I don’t have $800 to spend on getting the right to vote and serve on jury duty right now. Sometime soon, yes, as I want my sons to see me vote, but that’s not been the case in the past.

  6. Well, Constitutionally I don’t think citizens should be required to have a concealed carry permit. Since when did we need special licences to exercise our Constitutional rights?

    But as for issuing CC permits to non US citizens; he Constitution protects the rights of U.S. citizens, not citizens of other countries.

    1. “he Constitution protects the rights of U.S. citizens, not citizens of other countries.”

      You should check out the whole text of the 14th amendment.

      1. “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. ”

        The person in the lawsuit was neither born, nor naturalized and while a lawful permanent resident, he is not a citizen.

        1. Nice way to be selective in your reading.

          The clause you cited is regarding WHO is a citizen.

          Go ahead and read the rest of section one:

          “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

          Note where it twice states ANY PERSON.

          1. I know the entire amendment thank you, but if you are going to quote it you should know that the equal protection clause has nothing to do with providing equal protection for people who can become citizens but choose not to. It is for providing protection based on ethnic or sexual discrimination. In essence if you were born a non-citizen and could not become one, this ensured you still had the same protection (blacks, women).

            The laws can differentiate who they apply to, so long as it is not based on race, creed, sex, or other predetermined factors. Discrimination based on age (you are an adult at 18, but can’t buy alcahol till 21 for instance) and certainly status (you can’t vote unless you are a citizen) are examples of laws that stand the test of courts while discriminating against some group or other.

            Seriously if you think that a guy who has lived in the US but hates the idea of being on jury duty so much that he has not become a citizen but wants to have a CCW permit has an equal protection case you are nuts! It would get thrown out at the lowest court level.

            And while I like living in TX where damn near everyone carries, I have no sympathy for a guy who has actively chosen to not become a citizen.

  7. It is my opinion that green card holders who are legally allowed to own firearms in the US should also be allowed to carry firearms for self-defense and safety. “Gun rights” is not a right restricted to people who happen to be born here, but is a component of the human right of self-defense.

    My opinion is that if you are legally allowed to own a firearm whether as a citizen or a green card holder, that you should also be allowed to carry that firearm. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need concealed carry permits, and I believe that it is a violation of this man’s rights for the state to deny him a permit simply because he’s a resident alien and not a citizen.

    1. Well first off being born in the US is not the issue. The man in question lived in the US but chose not to swear allegiance to this country. This is a choice he has been making every year since getting his green card. While no one expected that guy to be born in the US (which he has no control over) some of us do expect him to get a US citizenship if he lives here continually. (Money is not an argument guys, you live here, you own cars, houses, and durable goods here but you can’t save $1000 to become a citizen and vote???)

      That aside you say that green card holders should be allowed to carry firearms. While I probably agree with you that in a perfect world there should be no distinction made between own and carry (concealed or otherwise), there are gradients and practical considerations as the laws stand.

      What happens when you submit paperwork and fingerprints for a CCW? Well your info (and in some states fingerprints) are sent to an FBI clearing house for cursory check of felony convictions over your lifetime.

      You can get a green card in as little as 3 years after entering the US.The answers as to whether or not you were ever convicted of violent crimes in the past is whatever you fill out on the forms yourself.

      If you happen to be born here, your entire life choices are reviewed in determining a CCW permit. If we follow your logic, the only the last couple years of a resident alien’s life would matter for a CCW.

      Again, I don’t think we are far off, we both would prefer the right to carry to be synonymous with the right to ‘have’ but as the laws currently stand, forcing states to grant permits to resident aliens does kind of put the native born Americans at a disadvantage since they don’t get to ‘re-invent’ themselves and only having the last couple years of their life be looked at.

  8. This is an interesting “States rights” issue. It seems that the GOA is coming down on the side of the State being able to set its own regulation on concealed carry, and the NRA is walking dangerously close to Federalizing the issue.

    While the notion of a unified set of national laws regarding firearms is appealing … I don’t like the idea of being a felon because i forgot to take my hi-cap mags out of my gear bag when I cross from PA to NJ … we could end up with NJ/MA/CA type regulations if we head too far down that road.

    All of our rights are subject to sensible regulation. I am not sure if this is sensible, but it seems to me that it should be up to the State to determine who should and should not qualify for concealed carry permit.

    1. I’m sorry, this sounds completely preposterous compared to any normal conversation about gun rights.

      Rights in the bill of rights are not special privileges that we get because we put them down on a piece of paper. They are inherent, natural, inalienable rights of man that we require our government to recognize.

      Would you think it completely reasonable for *legal* immigrants to be dis-allowed from publishing books, too?

      Until there is a rash of green-card holding CCW-licensed people running amuck (which, honestly, how do you make it any *easier* to deport you if you screw something up) then this is an unnecessary infringement on liberty based only on the same vague uneasiness that has led to every single gun prohibition in existence.

      This constitution sets out a bare minimum of areas which may not be infringed on, either by the federal government or the states.

      1. Hey Mike,

        I didn’t actually say anything about this particular case. The residency status thing is not something I made any reference to.

        As for our rights – none of them are free from government regulation. The right to free speech is protected, but the law also recognizes that some speech is unlawful – threats to kill the President for example, and the classic “shouting fire in a movie theater”.

        The point in my post is that, at this point, the regulation of firearm laws rests with the states, and that seems like a good thing to me.

  9. “Self-defense is a human right”. The Second Amendment did not create the right to “keep and bear”, it recognized the pre-existing right and guaranteed it.

    I’m not going to claim there are Constitutional rights that are available to citizens but not residents, but the right of self-defense is not one of them. To argue otherwise would be to set the precedent that there are people who have not be adjudged to be dangerous to themselves or others who should not be allowed to possess the means of effective self-defense

  10. So do you think the self defence is a human right thing is going to keep me out of prison if a CCW in the UK or Canada?

    Me neither.

    1. Good thing the U.S. doesn’t take it’s cues from the UK or Canada when it comes to firearms and self defense laws.

    2. Neither will it keep you out of jail if you carry around a pocket knife in Perfidious Albion, nor will the inherent right to free speech keep you from a swingeing great fine if you tell the unkind truth about someone.

      Using Canada or England as examples of places where you can get in trouble for exercising your freedoms to demonstrate that those freedoms aren’t recognized everywhere is a bit silly.

      1. But Ian, they are God given rights? Have they no God in the UK and Canada?

        Please don’t take this personally. My snark tank was overloaded.

        Governments determine who gets what. I just find it funny a non citizen demands something here his own nation would not tolerate.

        1. It’s the opinion of many in the 2A community that self-defense is a human right independent of any amendment. Just because England doesn’t recognize it doesn’t make it “not a right”. Same as free speech not being recognized in dictatorships like Massachusetts.

        2. They are immorally prohibited from exercising those rights in Canada and the UK. The presence or absence of God is between each person and God, I suppose.

          I just can’t see that in a free State that recognizes those rights that we should only guarantee them to citizens.

  11. I have already written a strong, but polite, letter to Larry Pratt reminding him of the full text of the Second Amendment and asking, “What part of, ‘the right of the people,’ do you not understand?”

  12. How about we worry more about having all Americans, including CA and IL residents being able to carry firearms before spending a great deal of energy condeming gun rights groups for “not going far enough” in protecting gun rights of foreighners. Sheesh!

  13. Caleb,

    I found your blog while playing with my new Christmas present, a kindle. I’m enjoying your site but to attack GOA for making a statement that is technically “correct” while overlooking the many many sins of the NRA ie endorsing Guiliani and many other democrats/neocons/republicans is absurd. The NRA has bought been infiltrated by leftists and is playing politics with our money.

    1. The issue I have with GOA is that they claim to be the “no-compromise” gun group, but apparently they’re quite willing to compromise. Self-defense is a human right, the 2nd Amendment is just a written definition of it.

      1. I am an NRA Life member and was endorsed by the NRA when I ran for office years ago, but New Subscriber is right. The history of the NRA bears many embarrassing decisions much greater than “not going far enough” in protecting gun rights of foreigners.

        I don’t think you’ll find the phrase “no-compromise” for human rights on the GOA site. They have been no-compromise on the 2nd Amendment, but you dismiss the amendment as inconsequential while saying the right is universal. That’s fine, but don’t misquote GOA quotes to fit your argument.

        This sounds like a personal grudge against Larry or the GOA. Care to enlighten us as to what GOA did to piss you off and what the NRA did for you that you are so willing to forgive their past mistakes?

        1. I don’t have a grudge against Larry Pratt. I think that the GOA would be fine if they would simply be the “no-compromise” group. However, what they actually do is use every opportunity to attack and tear down other pro-gun groups that are not as ideologically “pure” as GOA would like them to be. Essentially, the GOA’s business model is “release angry press release attacking the NRA, get people to sign up, profit”.

          I’d be okay with that as well if someone, anyone, could point me to a single piece of legislation that GOA has passed.

          1. LOL – well I don’t disagree on much of that with you. But the GOA also does give money and endorse candidates, so an NRA win is a GOA win most of the time. You can see candidates that they endorsed and who won at http://www.goapvf.org/.

            I’m far from a GOA apologist, I’m much more involved in the NRA and run the linkedin site for NRA members, but I also like the pitbull attitude Larry has had over the years.

  14. Caleb isn’t dismissing the 2nd Amendment as “inconsequential” by any means.

    The fact is, as evidenced by the Founders THEMSELVES, the 2nd Amendment is merely a restatement (which onlypartially covers the matter) of the basic human right to defend your life against unlawful attack or tyranny.

    The right the 2nd defends predates the Bill of Rights, Constitution, Western settlements in the Americas, etc.

    The only reason we have – or need – a Bill of Rights (or any Constitutional provision or amendment that defines personal rights) is to define a set of rights which everyone can see are enforceable. Any other rights (such as the unemureated rights mentioned in the 9th Amendment) are subject to debate, precsiely becuse they AREN’T written down.

    those portions of teh Constitution that are reserved as applying ONLY to citizens are cleverly (if perhaps too subtly for your tastes) labelled as applying to “citizens”.

    Portions of the Constitution (especially rights) that apply to all people (if only enforceable by United States law) within the bounds of the United States would be those that refer to “people”, rather than “citizens”. Those old dead white guys who wrote the document weren’t exactly illiterate hicks — they very carefully parsed words (for example, the 1776 argument over the proper use of inalienable/unalienable is not a joke — there are subtle differences between the two, even if most 21st Century Americans couldn’t define either).

    The PEOPLE have the right to keep and bear arms — that’s why resident aliens are considered part of the militia and have to register for the draft.

    SCOTUS has ruled that “the people” can be limited to those people who are part of teh community of the United States – in other words, those that live here or have US nationality (factoid of the day — you don’t have to be a US “citizen” to be a US “national”. . . )

    I believe there is case law that suggests that those that live here illegally are not part of the community of teh United Sttaes, becuase they are specifically excluded — either by their own choice in not following the rules for legal admission, or by explicit declaration of the people through Congress setting bars to certain immigrants.

    Now, a non-resident vistitor may well have problems getting a CCW from most states, as many don’t issue non-resident permits. But he isn’t part of “the people”, either.

    Now, please explain how insisting that the people get to keep and bear arms, rather than restricting that right to citizens, increases gun rights for ANYONE?

    That’s a compromise right there — Larry Pratt is willing to sacrifice the human rights of people he doesn’t think present enough political power. EXCATLY like the Fudds and cluless Congresscritters (you know, the ones that make sure they get posed with a quail gun every election cycle) who want to throw people who own ugly guns under the bus.

    What has the NRA done for me? One HELL of a lot more than the GOA. For all the missteps, occaisional grandstanding, bad compromises, and boneheaded Fuddisms the NRA has been guilty of in the past (and probably will be agin in the future), they have been reasonably effective on the national level. (State 2A groups are generally better at the state level. . . go figure.)

    I’ll just name one, for anyone who has a C&R FFL. Aren’t you glad you don’t have to meet the same documentation and inspection criteria as a licenced gun dealer? Thank the NRA.

    Did you buy a handgun without paying a $200 federal tax stamp, getting two sets of fingerprints & passport photos, and begging your chief of police to sign off, so you could submit to a detailed fedeal background check and finally receive permission months later? Did you ever leave a handgun you bought in the house where your spouse could access it when you weren’t home without having her commit a felony by merely having access?

    If so, thank the NRA — originally handguns were going to be covered by the National Firearms Act.

    The NRA has clout in Congress, because the NRA can bring pressure — and money (generally indirectly, as NRA members often tailor their political donations to where the NRA states resources are needed). (In part, this effectiveness is can be explained by sheer memebrship numbers and in VERY large part by the blog article title a while ago, “The ‘R’ doesn’t stand for ‘Republican'”.)

    GOA? What have they EVER accomplished? What actual pull does the GOA have on Capitol Hill? How has GOA actually ACCOMPLISHED anything to protect my rights as a gun owner?

    (Disclosure — I used to be a GOA member. Years ago. I realized they were ineffective blowhards who succeeded in exactly NOTHING in this political war. well intentioned, sure — but about as useful as a papier-mache main battle tank armed with a squirt gun. lierally — their ONLY useful purpose was to create a big obvious target the NRA could use to say, “Hey, we’re the realists here.” unfortunately, they also prove just as useful a visual deception to teh blood-dancers, who could point to carefully misquoted GOA blustering, and say, “See?!? All those gun nuts are crazy people who probably want to kill you!”)

  15. Re:Geodkyt

    So taking your argument reductio ad absurdum – to the logical conclusion – we do not need ANY amendments, hell we don’t need a constitution because all these rights are self evident. This is asinine guys – arguing that something doesn’t need to be defined because it’s obvious that it should be that way is a naturalistic fallacy.

    Oh and all those old white guys who wrote the constitution and used citizens when they meant citizens and people when they meant people apparently had a definition of people which included only old white guys. Yup – amazingly neither black guys or white gals were people back then. Or am I right in saying that while all of them WERE people, only old white guys were citizens, and therefore the constitution applied to them. Hmm… Could a black man walk in to a store and buy a gun 225 years ago? Nop – not unless he could prove that he was a citizen. Could an American Indian? Nop. Could a Chinese guy? Nop. All of them are people, yet not all of them were citizens. Women were people too, but they had no property rights (which also were inalienable rights of the people according to the old white guys). It wasn’t until the 19th century that women started getting property rights. (http://womenshistory.about.com/od/marriedwomensproperty/a/property_1848ny.htm)

    Bottom line, if you are going to use the “this is a God given right that was merely recognized by the founders as such” argument, then please explain how you reconcile that with the founders’ definition of ‘people’ and ‘citizens’ and they are most definitely NOT what they are today if you do any history research at all.

    Lastly I’ve said in every message that I’m not praising GOA and bashing the NRA. I’ve donated more and do more with the NRA than the GOA, but I also thank the GOA for being the tip of the spear that deflects the anti-gunners and allows the NRA to be seen as more moderate. Without the GOA and other similar groups the NRA would have a much harder time politically.

  16. Starting off, let’s look at your opening sentence:
    So taking your argument reductio ad absurdum – to the logical conclusion
    Actually, you took it so far as to constitute a straw man argument. . . so let’s start here with your logical fallacy. . .
    1. In reality, the argument WAS made that the Bill of Rights was not needed, because only a fool wouldn’t be able to figure out what the protected rights were. Many argued that, by stating ANY enumerated rights at all, they were implying that ONLY those rights were protected, and worse — that enumerating those rights meant that the government granted them, rather than the government protecting pre-existing rights. Some said that there was absolutely no need to list any rights, because the Constitutional did not give and enumerated authority to the government to restrict any rights. Some argued that the protection of rights was a state issue. BIG fight, in both ratification of the Constitution, as well as the following ratification of the Bill of Rights. In the end, people preferred to write them down to avoid any possibility of misunderstanding – while still proclaiming that they were not CREATING these rights, merely EMPHACIZING them – while the 9th Amendment makes it clear that these aren’t necessarily the ONLY pre-existing rights. . .
    Of course, you would have to have access to the very obscure and esoteric knowledge of the history of the Constitution and its ratification to know these details. . . why, my classmates and I only had those mysteries revealed to us when we reached the rarefied heights of education known as the 5th or 6th grade. . .
    2. 225 years ago, many blacks (including slaves, although slaves were often more restricted than free blacks) owned guns. Just as they owned other tools. After a couple of highly publicized slave rebellions, Southern state laws against blacks were made significantly more onerous and even pre-existing laws were more vigorously enforced. In the 1800’s – well AFTER the Constitution and Bill of Rights were passed. Worse, since the Bill of Rights originally did not apply its protections against governmental tyranny AT ALL to the states, no state law violating the right to bear arms had any Federal court standing. However, in 1819, South Carolina required a slave to get his master’s permission to own a gun. It was 1831 (after the Nat Turner rebellion) before Virginia had enacted a total ban on black possession of firearms for the first time since the 1712 statute passed under the Royal Governor. Only white male citizens were legally obligated to muster in the militia to the second federal Militia Act in 1792, but free blacks were still members of the state militia in states that allowed it, and as such were obligated to federal service if their state militias were called up under the first Militia Act of 1792 (which was still in force).
    Of course, restricting mandatory militia membership to white male citizens in 1792 has exactly bupkis to do with whether or not gun ownership is a protected privilege only held by citizens. Under the CURRENT US militia law, resident aliens can be automatic and involuntary members of the militia of the United States, but females who are not in the National Guard are not, nor does ANYONE who is over age 65. Do women not have any Second Amendment rights, unless they are in the National Guard? How about old men, including combat veterans who are honorably retired from the Services?
    As the Supreme Court has stated, the rights protected by the 2nd Amendment ARE NOT dependant on your military service (although, under Miller, it is possible to argue that the guns protected might be limited to ones that could be militarily useful – or at least useful to the militia).
    3. 225 years ago, unassimilated Indians were by and large NOT considered to be either citizens or even legal residents — they were NOT considered to live within the community of the United States, even if their reservations existed physically within the borders of the US. They were member of sovereign nations that happened to be co-located within the borders of the US. That’s why Indians “not taxed” were excluded from the census by the Constitution. External affairs of Indian tribes were ceded to the United States (and in the case of treaties negotiated prior to the Constitution, ceded to the Crown, and inherited by the US Government) by treaty. For a good analogy, think of protectorates (or the US insular possessions like American Samoa, Guam, USVI, Puerto Rico, Philippines 1898 – 1935, etc.). There were Indians who were assimilated and considered citizens and residents, which is why pretty much anyone with deep roots in the Southeast can claim Indian ancestry (members of the First Families of Virginia are generally quite open and proud of their Indian heritage. . . intermarriage started about 400 years ago there.)
    The Indian reservations were established by treaties – the two remaining reservations in Virginia, for example, were established by treaties with the English Crown (with the treaty obligations inherited by the United States). Look up the word “treaty”, and you will see that treaties are NOT made between a sovereign government and a lesser, subordinate government that is considered part of the whole. Treaties are made BETWEEN legally sovereign governments (even if the treaty is forced on a weaker party by a stronger one who has utter dominance, such as the peace treaty Japan signed after WWII). For example, the Cherokee Removal (AKA Trail of Tears) was conducted under the same sort of legal fiction that was used to create West Virginia – a minority faction was recognized as the sole authority, and formally agreed to the subsequent action – in the case of the Cherokee, a treaty that sold the Cherokee lands to the US for $5,000,000 and submit to resettlement out west.
    Later on, after the 14th Amendment, Indians who lived on reservations were stillgenerally denied US citizenship, on the grounds that, like a diplomatically immune ambassador, they were not“subject to the jurisdiction of the United States”, being members of (still) sovereign nations (albeit ones that had little or no contact with the outside world except through the United States Government, since they were landlocked and surrounded.) Indians living on reservations were only granted birthright citizenship in 1924; prior to that, Indians from reservations had to be naturalized, such as the automatic naturalization granted Indians on enlistment. All of this was because Indians who had not assimilated into American society were considered citizens of sovereign nations that just happened to be physically co-located within the boundaries of the United States. (Look up the word “extraterritoriality” – another case where land within a particular nation is NOT considered to be part of that nation. Usually applied to refer to embassies, but that is not the only proper usage. Then look up the Supreme Court decision, Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, 1831. SCOTUS denied a suit against the state by pointing out that the 11th Amendment stripped the federal judiciary of original jurisdiction, since this was a suit between a foreign nation and a state. See also Worcester v. Georgia, 31 U.S. (6 Pet.) 515 (1832, which states that the relationship between the US and Indian tribes is between “nations”.)
    4. Women had no property rights in America and couldn’t own a gun before the 19th Century? Wow, that is a surprise, given the COLONIAL-era probate records OF WOMEN, with guns not infrequently mentioned. Oh, you mean they didn’t have federally enforced property rights, got it. Um, again, until the 14th Amendment, the Bill of Rights was not federally enforceable against the individual states. So any claim in federal court of a violation of an enumerated right from the Bill of Rights failed on its face until those rights were “incorporated” against the states. (The Bill of Rights was not intended to limit the STATES, it was intended to limit the FEDERAL government against encroaching on rights of the people or authorities of the states. Since the idea was that the several states voluntarily chose to create the federal government to concentrate the states’ individual authority into a collective unified front to handle external affairs and only those internal issues that spanned across state lines or national borders, there was the thought that there was no reason for the federal government to restrict the STATES in 1791.)
    5. Yes, the GOA is useful in that it creates an easy target for the blood-dancers (damn those sticky panda paw prints all over the carpeting! {grin}). Of course, I said that in my original post – however you conveniently choose to ignore that. This is not, however, anything to praise GOA about – it isn’t what they are trying to do, nor what they claim to do.
    GOA claims to be “no-compromise” on the Second Amendment – no surrender, no retreat, not even a strategically deceptive withdrawal in order to stage a vigorous surprise counterattack.
    But, as soon as a KEY case comes along that would do more to dramatically expand the protection of 2nd Amendment rights than anything since Heller, the GOA hides in the corner, flings poo at “furriners”, and then tries to backtrack when called on it.
    Keep in mind, if it is established that the right is of the people to the extent this case is about, then it becomes MUCH harder to justify restricting this right for anything less than felony conviction (which suspends a whole slew of civil rights), CURRENT incarceration (meaning defendants and convicted misdemeanants can be disarmed while physically in jail), CURRENTLY dangerous lunatics, etc. In other words, no more denying your rights because of an unfounded accusation during a custody case. No more denying your rights because the sheriff thinks you have squinty eyes. Of course, if this case is lost, chances are it will mean nothing more severe than stating that resident aliens do not have an intrinsic right to a concealed carry permit. That makes this case a GOLDMINE for anyone purporting to support the Second Amendment.
    What GOA made blatantly clear is that the GOA leadership hates “furriners” more than they love liberty.

    1. Your arguments can be summed up as a fallacy of relevance. Once again you take a single sentence, claim to be be rebuking it, and then veer off in a tangent making argument that no one disagrees with which are irrelevant until you eventually declare your conclusion to be true.

      Let me deconstruct for you:
      Here is your first argument in a nutshell:
      Some people argued that there was no need for the bill or rights
      You think there is a need for the bill of right
      They are right, therefore you are wrong.

      Nice argument!

      Second deconstruction:
      Some blacks served in militias
      225 years ago some blacks owned guns
      Therefore all blacks could own guns
      Therefore gun ownership always was a universal right

      In the same argument the red herring
      People in militias owned guns
      Militias are not a reason for owning guns
      Therefore argument about restricting gun ownership shouldn’t depend on militias (Duh!)

      Third another red herring
      Indians were not citizens and not legal residens
      Indians had kids with citizens
      Those kids had guns
      Therefore – (no actual conclusion just a distraction)

      Fourth appeal to novelty
      Women didn’t have property rights
      Property rights exist w/o laws
      Therefore women should have had property rights
      14th amendment fixed this
      Therefore women always had property rights and we see that now

      Lastly, an ad hominem attack on GOA along with a bit of non sequitur and affirming the consequent.

      Second amendment codifies and guarantees gun ownership
      Second amendment is in the bill of rights
      Some people think there was no need for the bill of rights (from first)
      Therefore gun ownership is universal and needs no codification into law
      A right to own guns is equivalent to a right to carry a gun concealed
      All universal laws apply to all people on the planet
      Foreign national are people on the planet
      Therefore it is a right of every foreign national to carry concealed guns in the US
      Therefore the second amendment (unneeded as it is) is the same as a right of every foreign national to carry concealed guns in the US
      The GOA claims to believe in no-compromise on second amendment
      The GOA does not support striking down a restriction to foreign nationals on carrying guns concealed as legally required by one state’s laws.
      Therefore – the GOA sucks ass because they clearly are pussies and hate the second amendment
      QED

      Bravo for use of several pages of historical anecdotes to make not a single good argument.

      Cheers!

  17. Sorry about the formatting — I did it in Word, so I could spell check, and forgot to use double paragraph returns. . .

  18. I’m sorry, your “deconstruction” is a rambling mess of no coherent correlation to my statements.

    BTW, c your statement on (7 Jan 2011 hrs), “It is for providing protection based on ethnic or sexual discrimination. In essence if you were born a non-citizen and could not become one, this ensured you still had the same protection (blacks, women). ”, is just flat-out wrong.
    The 14th Amendment DID NOT protect the rights of blacks and women who could not become citizens – it SPECIFICALLY states that everyone born in the US (except those not “under the jurisdiction” of the US) is AUTOMATICALLY a citizen. It goes on to state that no citizen may be denied the “privileges and immunities” of being a US citizen, and finally that no one (not just citizens) may be denied “due process of law” or “equal protection of the laws”.

    The only time I have ever seen an argument similar to yours is by crazed tax evaders claiming (during losing court cases) a sovereign citizenship somehow different from that granted via the 14th Amendment to anyone who is not a white male, and white supremacists (using the same argument). It is a curious argument, and so easily proved factually wrong. May I ask where you got the idea that the 14th Amendment excludes blacks and women from US citizenship, but protects their rights as if they were citizens anyway? (This is VERY different from what it actually says in explicitly defining birth citizenship so states do not get to say, “Well, you’re black, so you can’t be a citizen; even if you were a US citizen, blacks still can’t be citizens of this state.”)

    Moving on. . .

    1st Argument – You said to Caleb (11 Jan 2011 1511hrs), “ you dismiss the amendment as inconsequential while saying the right is universal

    I pointed out (11 Jan 2011 1552hrs) that Caleb wasn’t dismissing the 2nd Amendment, but that the right pre-exists the 2nd Amendment, and that the Founders stated publicly, and in writing, that the 2nd Amendment was not a creation of a new right, but a partial statement of that pre-existing right. (A point the Supreme Court has recognized, but you fail to appreciate.)

    I went on further to discuss the fact that the only reason the Founders felt a need to insert the Bill of Rights so there would be no question that these particular rights are protected (without limiting protection to only the enumerated rights.

    These are verifiable facts – may I suggest reading the Federalist Papers, Anti-Federalist Papers, and the writings of the guys who actually wrote the Constitution and the subsequent Bill of Rights and publicly debated their ratification (usually through public correspondence)?

    The very first sentences of both the Summary and the Argument of the GOA and the GOF (the GOA’s legal division, similar to the NRA-ILA) amicus brief in the Nordyke case admits the fact that the 2nd Amendment is a codification of a pre-existing right!:

    District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. ___ (2008), 128 S.Ct. 2783, recognized that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution codified a preexisting, individual right.

    In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. ___ (2008), 128 S.Ct. 2783, the Supreme Court recognized that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects a preexisting, individual right possessed by all American citizens.

    In the Heller case, GOA/GOF argued:

    But the Second Amendment protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms, not the right of any special class — such as retired D.C. police officers. As this Court has ruled in Verdugo-Urquidez, the ‘people’ protected by the Second Amendment ‘refers to a class of persons who are part of a national community or who have otherwise developed sufficient connection with this country to be considered part of that community.’ 494 U.S. at 265.

    For those not aware of it, Verdugo-Urquidez was a case concerning whether or not non-citizens enjoyed the rights guaranteed to “the people”. SCOTUS ruled that they did, if they were part of the “national community”. . . however, Verdugo-Urquidez was not one of those people, as he was not a US citizen, nor ever had been, a resident alien. As is quoted in the Verdugo-Urquidez opinion, “ The Bill of Rights is a futile authority for the alien seeking admission for the first time to these shores. But once an alien lawfully enters and resides in this country he becomes invested with the rights guaranteed by the Constitution to all people within our borders.

    2nd Argument – You said to me (11 Jan 2011, 1635 hrs), “ Yup – amazingly neither black guys or white gals were people back then. Or am I right in saying that while all of them WERE people, only old white guys were citizens, and therefore the constitution applied to them. Hmm… Could a black man walk in to a store and buy a gun 225 years ago? Nop – not unless he could prove that he was a citizen.

    I pointed out that your statement was false – black men could walk into a store and buy a gun, even in some Southern states where slaves outnumbered whites, and there was wide feeling that blacks could never be considered social and political equals with whites. I never claimed it was “universal”, but it was a LOT more common than your statement implies. At NO time did Congress nor the state legislatures of Southern states think that slaves were citizens, so non-citizens were allowed to buy guns.

    Of course, forcing a buyer (black, white, or Martian) to “ prove that he was a citizen” would be problematic, as there was no Citizen’s Identity Card or internal passport to present. . . so your argument fails there – NO person could prove his citizenship, yet people could buy guns.

    The militia context is simple – while gun ownership is not contingent on membership in the militia, active membership in the militia did require one to own a gun – with steep fines in most states for militiamen who did not have guns of their own (often the laws provided an exemption for the poor, in that they could receive the necessary gear at cost).

    Blacks were members of the militia in several states, and as such would be called up into federal service if the President called up that state’s militia.

    For blacks to be members of the militia, they must have had guns, even if they were not citizens of the United States. The Militia Acts of 1792 did not limit militia duty to citizens, it limited obligatory militia obligations to citizens of the state they reside in (in modern terms, “legal residents”).

    However, some non-citizens ARE specifically named as members of the militia today, so any claim that only citizens can own guns, because only white guys were required to be militia members in 1792

    Please show me the FEDERAL law against blacks owning guns since (prior to incorporation under the 14th Amendment three-quarters of a century later) the federal government was the only entity the Bill of Rights protections originally applied against). State laws do not count, as no federal 2nd Amendment case could be brought against the states, regardless of their possible infringement against one’s rights. I don’t mean the case would lose – I mean the case would not even be heard in federal court.

    Please show me where ANYONE here (other than in your strawman arguments) claimed that the Second Amendment is universally enforceable through the US system? It is only enforceable for those who have legal recourse to the American court system, which includes legally resident aliens. It is only enforceable on behalf of people who are part of the larger US community, which includes legally resident aliens.

    Others have made the point that citizens who renounce their US citizenship are prohibited from possessing arms within the US. True, but then, those people have made a declaration under oath, signed an affirmation of that oath, and done so in a US embassy or consulate while overseas. They have made a definitive statement that they are not part of, nor do they wish to be part of, “We, the People”. VERY different situation from a guy who is living here as a legal permanent resident, but has not yet naturalized. (There is a very good reason WHY someone may not want to naturalize, starting with the fact that to do so, they have to renounce their other citizenship, something a “native born” American with dual citizenship does not have to do. This can have MAJOR impacts, including automatic loss of family property under alienation property laws, loss of inheritance rights, HUGE tax penalties, etc.)

    3rd Argument – You said to me (11 Jan 2011, 1635 hrs), “ Could an American Indian? Nop.
    You were factually incorrect. Indians who were citizens could buy guns. Indians who were NOT citizens, were not even “legal resident aliens” to use today’s terminology – they were foreigners, legally neither resident within the United States nor within the individual states. Their status was exactly the same (legally) as a Canadian citizen living in Toronto today, and there was no provision for an Indian to be a legal resident of a state or the United States who was not a US citizen. Google “Indian Removal Act”.

    4th Argument – You stated (11 Jan 2011, 1635 hrs) that women were not citizens, because they had no property rights. Factually wrong.

    First off, women DID have property rights, at least on the federal level and in most states. Second, we are talking about (among other things) the right to own guns – and women were widely documented gun owners, as we can tell from probate records.

    Which still leaves the big stinking turd in the bowl of Cheerios:

    GOA goes on about how they are a no-compromise Second Amendment defender.

    On THIS Second Amendment issue, however, they not only are willing to compromise, but are willing to throw resident aliens under the bus, even those who may be obligatory members of the militia. Even though it is a complete contradiction of what they have gone before the Supreme Court and argued for.

    Xenophobic doublespeak at its finest.

    1. Once again red herring and ad hominem –
      You attack my statement about the Due Process Clause as being incorrect, yet fair to follow the thread. Had you followed the thread you would see that the subject of my reply was the last clause of section 1. Which I argue protects non-citizen residents as well as citizens. The prior sections cover who is a citizen and who is not.

      You failed to read, or comprehend, the thread in your desire to argue and have once again made the same error. You exemplify here what I said you did in my last message – take a single sentence, claim to be rebuking it, and then veer off on a tangent making argument that no one disagrees with, but which are irrelevant, until you eventually declare your conclusion to be true.

      Next section, oh boy this is getting old – you do the exact same thing – you take a sentence, purpose to rebuke it, then do no such thing, but instead write a paragraph or two of factoids about who said what, and conclude with a QED.

      You quote me saying “you dismiss the amendment as inconsequential while saying the right is universal” then you actually bolster my claim by suggesting that the right is universal, pre-existed the amendment, and that the amendment is in fact inconsequential as the men who wrote it suggested.

      What part of my statement are you disagreeing with? You basically confirm that your opinion (based on your great historical insight) is the same as Caleb’s. No where do you actually challenge what I said as being erroneous, rather you make my arguments for me.

      If you are at all interested here is what I personally think: The right to self defense is a basic right of free men (and women). The 2nd amendment codified this concept (which while a good concept that we can agree on) in order to make the enforcement of said concept be possible. Do I think it’s a bad concept? no. Do I think the concept existed before the 2nd amendment was penned? yes. Do I dismiss the 2nd amendment as something unneeded because the concept it’s based around is self evident? no. I think it is exactly the codification of this concept that makes it so great. We didn’t just talk amongst ourselves 225 years ago and say “good idea that is! we should have rights to protect ourselves.” No we did much, much more by making that right a part of the supreme law of the land. Beyond argument and clear as day – at least for a time. My question to Caleb was based on my surprise that he sees less value in the codification of the right as done in the 2nd amendment than the idea of men being able to defend themselves.

      You also kept dismissing the amendment as being nothing more than a “partial statement of that pre-existing right.” That may well be true, but it was a major step for any government of the 18th century to codify that ‘existing right’ into something legally enforceable. This is the point you guys seem to be missing which I’m stressing.

      You spend the next page of text trying to prove (and by the way no one is arguing with you on this!) that the 2nd amendment codified a preexisting concept. Yes – indeed that was my point and thank you for taking a page of factoids to agree.

      You ask to prove that black people could not buy guns after offering examples of blacks in the militia using guns. Well rather than an example of a negative, could you offer an example of blacks being able to buy guns for personal protection and not for use in organized militias? Perhaps you have some source of gun store receipts or sales records or some other historical basis to show that indeed blacks, who were not citizens, could in fact purchase guns – or even horses. I exclude black citizens because there have always been some from the beginning of the country and saying citizens could but others could not buy guns – black or otherwise – would strengthen my argument that some rights differ for citizens and non-citizens. In fact I would love to see some actual evidence for the following statement “I pointed out that your statement was false – black men could walk into a store and buy a gun, even in some Southern states where slaves outnumbered whites”

      You then again come back to the whole militia and guns rhetoric which is neither here nor there. No one is arguing here (that I can see) that the 2nd amendment applies only to militias. That is a different forum discussion probably.

      The difference between a concept of all men having the right to defend themselves (including with guns which they may poses) and a law stating such is that the concept is non-enforceable. The law on the other hand is, and like many laws has cases of exceptions. If applied universally no one should be deprived of a right to own a handgun (again keep in mind we are discussing CCW not right to own, but for sake of argument I’ll assume you equate the two rights as I suggested in the first response to Caleb way back when). Going by a strict interpretation convicted felons should have the same rights, all people who live in the US (legally or otherwise) should have the same rights, people who may have renounced their citizenship but are physically within the proximity of US law should still have thous rights, and certainly foreign nationals like the Brit in question should have those rights.

      If the right exists outside of the law as some argue here, then the exceptions which currently exist are at best, bad ideas, and at worst treasonous for going against the principles of the founders.

      You make the distinction that a legal resident should have all the same rights and restrictions as a citizen, hence this Brit should get his CCW even if he doesn’t want to be a US citizen. However there again we have different standards for citizens (naturalized or born) than we do for foreign (legal) nationals.

      A US citizen can not be deported. He can be charged with treason as a foreign agent, but he can not be deported and the rest of the constitutional protection still applies to him. A legal resident alien can be deported for an offense as simple as stating they are a citizen when they are in fact not – even after 30 years of living in the US, owning property, having children in the US, and otherwise being a good citizen. Foreign nationals can also not be officers in the US armed forces (although can serve as enlisted) and of course they may not vote.

      My point originally was simply to say that A) there are differences between US Citizens and legal residents and B) that there is nothing wrong with the GOA siding with the law as written which distinguishes between citizens and aliens in granting carry permits.

      I left it open for others to decide whether it was a good idea or not to allow states to make any such laws (I don’t think it is personally) or whether anyone (states or feds) should be able to restrict the right to carry (again I personally don’t think its a good idea) and lastly whether the right to carry was synonymous and embodied in the right to own (again I tend to think they are very much linked and can not be separated any more than a gun and ammo can be separated for a right to own) or whether separate.

      I would bet that my personal opinions about the right to own/carry/regulate guns are shared by most people who are on here. The opinion which clearly is not shared with me is that there is nothing wrong with the GOA siding with the existing law limiting who is covered by a CCW law and who is not.

      The blame of GOA to not “go far enough” reminds me of Lilliput and Blefuscu arguing about which side to break eggs on. The anti-gun crowed loves all the infighting going on!

      Cheers!

  19. Gene, you keep avoiding the very words you wrote:

    you should know that the equal protection clause has nothing to do with providing equal protection for people who can become citizens but choose not to. It is for providing protection based on ethnic or sexual discrimination. In essence if you were born a non-citizen and could not become one, this ensured you still had the same protection (blacks, women).

    The problem is that blacks and women who were born in the US, and all blacks or women who were naturalized, were automatically citizens, by virtue of the 14th Amendment. The equal protection clause provides equal protection to everyone (“any person”), not just people subject to ethnic or sexual discrimination, nor merely to people who .” were born a non-citizen and could not become one”. (Who are these people? There are no ethnic or sexual criteria that absolutely prohibit ANY person from being naturalized, despite quota systems that have discriminated against certain ethnic groups from immigrating in high numbers. Nor would it apply in the case under discussion – so far as I am aware, anyone who has a permanent prohibition from naturalization is also prohibited from obtaining an entry visa to get here even temporarily, much less Permanent Resident Alien status.)

    Let’s simplify this to the core issue you seem to have a problem with:

    Can you not understand that the right to keep and bear arms being considered a pre-existing right, whether or not it is enumerated does not equate with the partial codification of that right as the Second Amendment being “inconsequentional”? The rights already existed, and due to that fact, some Founders thought there was no need to write it down; however, in the end they inserted it anyway, just to make it clear that this right was not negotiable.

    Do you also think that a sign on a gasoline pump that says “FLAMMABLE AND EXPLOSIVE! DO NOT SMOKE! Violators will be punished under. . . [code section listed]” is either inconsequential, or somehow the posting of the sign created the danger?

    No – the danger was pre-existing; the posting of the sign just makes it crystal clear so when they arrest you for reckless endangerment (or worse, if you actually start a fire) because you were sucking down a Camel while you’re pumping high-test you can’t claim “I didn’t know!”

    Your statements make it clear that the Founders were 100% correct when they warned that incorporating ANY Bill of Rights would somehow be construed later as a LIMIT of any rights not exactly enumerated. (I still think enumerating at least some of them was a good idea, as the enumerated rights are less subject to the “He said, she said,” controversies surrounding rights discovered in the “penumbras” by the courts.

    The GOA’s previous statements (available on their own website) make it clear that they repeatedly and consistantly argued in court that the Second Amendment was a codification of a pre-existing right of the people, and that those people were NOT limited to citizens or other select classes. They proudly proclaim themselves to be the only major gun rights group that is 100% uncompromising.

    Unless the person trying to claim Second Amendment protection is merely a permanent lawful alien with decades long roots in the community – then they’ll merrily throw him under the bus.

    There are only a few things a Lawful Permanent Resident cannot do that a naturalized citizen can, such as:

    LPRs cannot falsely claim to be US citizens.

    LPRs cannot live abroad – even extended visits have to be justified.

    LPRs cannot vote nor run for office in federal elections.

    LPRs cannot hold certain US government jobs, like commissioned officer in the Armed Forces.

    But LPRs CAN join the military, can buy and possess firearms (unless their state discriminates against them. . . just like until Heller SCOTUS never addressed whether the 2nd Amendment applied against the states AT ALL), can live and work freely in the US, etc.

    You can make a case for removing non-resident aliens from the protection of the Second Amendment — SCOTUS has ruled that transients such as that are not necessarily considered part of the “people”. . . (although they HAVE insisted that basic, fundamental rights ARE retained by temporary aliens). However, there is no way to argue that LPRs are not part of “the people” in a manner that is consistant with 225 years of Supreme Court rulings.

  20. At this juncture it’s worth pointing out that Larry Pratt is backpedaling like whoa saying “hey hey hey Fox News misquoted me it’s all their fault and this guy should totally have a gun”.

    1. Which I might give some credit to, except the fact that GOA staffers were still sending out notices that the official GOA opinion IS that non-citizens don’t have any right

      From SayUncle’s comments:

      From: Gun Owners of America [mailto:[email protected]]
      Sent: Monday, January 10, 2011 10:33 AM
      To: XXXXXXX
      Subject: Gun Owners of America: Ticket 201115416, FOX News

      Re: Ticket XXXXXXXX, Responded

      Dear XXXXXX

      A new message has been added to the email #XXXXXXXXX.

      Constitutional rights belong only to citizens. The ACLU’s logic can lead to tearing down our border – that there are no rights unique to American citizenship, so, hey, let everyone come in. That same logic allows the state to take away the right to keep and bear arms of a citizen. We have argued in court that only a citizen can lose his right to keep and bear arms by renouncing his citizenship. The current view that citizenship is no big deal has led to a progressive encirclement of the exercise of our rights. We gave gone from denying the right to keep and bear arms to felons, then to those with misdemeanors, now to those with certain medical diagnoses (and that without any due process).

      We must make the distinction between citizens and others.

      The American constitutional order is one of rights for citizens. Any enjoyment of those rights by non-citizens is a privilege in constitutional terms. The ACLU, as usual, is wrong in this case. It is for the state of South Dakota to determine whether legal non-citizens have the right to keep and bear arms. I don’t agree with their new policy, but constitutionally, they are within their power to so act.

      I have forwarded your comments to my supervisor.

      Robert Duggar
      Gun Owners of America

      1. Yeah, Larry gets no credit here. He’s just backpedaling because he got caught with his foot in his mouth, and the frothing lunatics that normally support GOA started to froth at him.

Comments are closed.