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By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | December 15, 2012
Back in 2008 I put up a short post on the grammar of the Second Amendment , pointing out that the introductory absolute puts the right of bearing arms in the context of the establishment of a militia. It would have been interesting to expand on that in discussion, but, as you can see from the comments, the immediate response was vilification, under the assumption that I was one of those gutless liberals trying to take away all the guns.* All I was saying is that the amendment as the Founders composed it put the right in the context of the militia, and I think that that is indisputable to anyone who can comprehend straightforward English.
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NEWS
August 13, 2014
U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake's decision Tuesday upholding Maryland's ban on assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines almost certainly won't be the last word on the subject. The gun advocates who sued to overturn the ban won't be satisfied until they've heard from the Supreme Court, nor likely will their compatriots from four other states where courts have come to the same conclusion as Judge Blake. But her ruling provides a clear analysis of why the state's interest in banning these weapons outweighs the individuals' interest in owning them, even under the expansive view of the Second Amendment the Supreme Court embraced several years ago. No matter how often gun rights advocates like to quote the phrase "shall not be infringed" from the Second Amendment, even the current Supreme Court, which overturned a century of precedent in its determination that the amendment conveys an individual rather than a collective right, recognizes that it has limits.
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NEWS
February 10, 2013
At the time the Second Amendment was written, the killing rate of a rifle was about three people per minute. Today, the Bushmaster can slaughter 500 people per minute. So is banning assault weapons really a chipping away of gun crazies' rights, or instead has there been 200 years of incremental piling-on of unintended "killing rights" which need to be checked? Bob Bruninga, Glen Burnie
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | August 12, 2014
A federal judge on Tuesday upheld Maryland's new ban on assault rifles and magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds, handing at least a temporary victory to state officials who say the measures could ward off mass shootings. A collection of gun owners, stores and industry groups had sued the state, saying the bans violated their Second Amendment right to bear arms. Judge Catherine C. Blake disagreed, writing flatly: "I find the law constitutional. " Blake's decision adds to a growing list of legal victories for states that have tightened their gun laws in recent years, even after the Supreme Court decided in 2008 that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms.
NEWS
January 18, 2011
OK, so we have another gun killing, another mass murder. But so what? Guns don't kill. Now, we're focusing on mental health (which is a very real problem in our society) and on who failed to spot the signs and symptoms of this coming carnage — while guns get another free pass. Our Second Amendment was written 220 years ago when a well regulated militia was necessary to create citizen soldiers to grab their guns and run out the door to protect against the coming redcoats. But the redcoats are no longer here, and we now have a paid and standing army to come to our defense.
NEWS
January 24, 2013
Could adults who want to exercise their Second Amendment freedom to own assault weapons consider refraining from exercising this freedom for the sake of our children's well-being and safety, just as adults do all the time with many other freedoms? All of us who are parents have forgone things we might have been quite free to do with our money (a new car, home improvements, or travel) in order to help our kids, in everything from braces to college or trade school educations. These may be things we have the money for, really want, or perhaps even need.
EXPLORE
Letter to The Aegis | March 14, 2013
Editor:      As I write this, I am in the joint hearing room listening to freedom-loving Marylanders testify in opposition to HB 294. These proud men and women, around 5,000, took off, losing a day's pay, to stand up for their right to bear arms; I am honored to be in the same room with them. You can rest assured that I will continue to hold firmly to my position on the Second Amendment: "I believe, in accord with the founders, that our right to own firearms stands next in importance to the constitution itself.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | December 18, 2012
I received a note a couple of days ago from a gentleman concerned about the placement of commas in the various drafts of the Second Amendment. And today, at The New Yorker , Jeffrey Toobin writes that "the text of the amendment is divided into two clauses and is, as a whole, ungrammatical. " Well, The New Yorker may not be the best place to go for instruction on grammar and usage . The Founders (it's a little vexing to have to keep explaining this ) loved Latinate constructions, one of which is the absolute, a phrase modifying a whole clause, often consisting of a noun and a participle.
NEWS
January 19, 2013
Members of the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun groups are determined to stop any and all gun control laws. They fear the government will attempt to confiscate their weapons, and they are desperate to hold on to them. Why? These people generally do not live in crime-infested urban neighborhoods. They don't need their guns to protect themselves from armed criminals - no, they need them to protect themselves from the government. They think gun-control is the first step to dictatorship.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | July 22, 2014
Lawyers for the state and gun rights advocates debated in federal court Tuesday about the government's power to hem in the Second Amendment to ward off mass shootings. Spectators crammed into a federal courtroom in downtown Baltimore to watch the hearing regarding bans on the sale or sharing of assault rifles and magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. Those provisions, which took effect in October, were among a package of measures enacted to strengthen Maryland's gun laws after 26 people were killed in an elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
NEWS
By Cal Thomas | April 26, 2014
Honestly, unless you are a big government liberal, how many people think the federal government should have more power than it already exercises over its citizens? Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, 94, thinks the Constitution needs at least six amendments in order to bring the country more in line with what he believes is good for us. He outlines them in his new book, "Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution. " It is a revealing look into liberal thinking and the ideological opposite of radio talk show host Mark Levin's book, "The Liberty Amendments: Restoring theAmerican Republic.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr and By Leonard Pitts Jr | April 10, 2014
This is a column about campaign finance reform. And your eyes glazed over just then, didn't they? That's the problem with this problem. Americans know that government truly of, by and for the people is unlikely if not impossible so long as the system is polluted by billions of dollars in contributions from corporations and individual billionaires. Half of us, according to Gallup, would like to see public financing of campaigns; nearly 80 percent want to limit campaign fund-raising.
NEWS
By Alexander E. Hooke | March 21, 2014
Prepared for the next invasion? It will not be led by foreign terrorists or illegal immigrants. This invasion will come in the form of drones - an American specialty. A judge has just ruled that the Federal Aviation Agency cannot ban from public airspace flying robots or pilotless air vehicles owned by commercial enterprises. This decision means drones will no longer be used primarily for war or border patrols. They will soon become part of everyday life. Advocates anticipate a veritable panacea.
NEWS
February 8, 2014
Barely a day after the shooting at the Columbia Mall, columnist Dan Rodricks used the tragedy to promote social separatism at a time when the community needed to be brought together ("Expecting the horrible is the American way," Jan. 25). He took the opportunity to argue for sensible gun laws in an emotional, fear-mongering soliloquy that referred to Second Amendment rights activists as "gun worshipers" and implied that they are being unreasonable. Nothing could be further from the truth.
NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | February 4, 2014
Several hundred gun-rights advocates rallied in Annapolis Tuesday, saying they'll work to unseat state legislators who voted for Gov. Martin O'Malley's gun-control law in 2013. "The dragon that got awoken last year is still on patrol," said Shannon Alford, Maryland lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, to the more than 300 people gathered at Lawyer's Mall in freezing temperatures. It may have been a fraction of the crowd drawn to the State House complex last year as the legislature debated a ban on the sale of assault weapons, but advocates warned the activism ignited last year would continue, leading chants of "freedom" and the Second Amendment's final clause "shall not be infringed.
NEWS
January 17, 2014
The Sun should understand that any law that restricts people's right to own a gun is illegal ("Panicking over Md.'s gun law," Jan. 13). Our Second Amendment provisions exist outside regulation, local laws or public opinion regardless of whether you are for it or against it. It is simply the absolute law of the land that supersedes all laws that contradict it. It is illegal to create any law that contradicts our Bill of Rights. I cannot fathom why there are even discussions on the subject.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr and By Leonard Pitts Jr | January 9, 2014
Here is what he said: "...all constitutional rights are regulated, always have been, and need to be. " It would seem to be a self-evident truth. After all, your First Amendment right to freedom of speech is regulated. If you don't believe it, write something libelous about a guy with deep pockets and man-eating lawyers. Your Fourth Amendment right to freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures is regulated and then some. If you don't believe that, pick up your phone and ask the NSA agent tapping your line.
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