Monday, November 7, 2011

Congress vs Gun Rights

"A person’s rights are best secured by conceding the very same rights to every other person under the same jurisdiction." — Balint Vazsonyi

"For something to truly be considered a right, it must apply to every member of society equally." — Timothy B. Lewis of the Constitutional Freedom Foundation

The Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, commonly referred to as the "Lautenberg Amendment" to the Gun Control Act of 1968) prohibits possession of a firearm or ammunition by persons convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence or who are under a restraining order for domestic abuse. This legislation was passed in 1996 by an overwhelming majority of Congress, including a self-described defender of the Constitution named Orin Hatch.

Of course, I heartily condemn domestic violence and I support appropriate punishment for those who are convicted of such a cowardly crime.

However, I object to this law for the following reasons:
▪ Most of the powers of Congress are listed in Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution. The 10th Amendment clearly warns that the central government has no authority beyond what is specifically delegated to it by the Constitution. Therefore, the central government has absolutely no authority or right to stick its nose into the vast majority of criminal acts – especially domestic violence. Nearly all crimes are matters of State or local law – never national!
▪ The central government has absolutely no authority or right to distort and abuse the commerce clause in order to regulate who can possess arms.
▪ The central government has absolutely no authority or right to distort and abuse the commerce clause in order to regulate the purchase of arms or ammunition by any person from any seller within their own State. That clearly is a local or intrastate transaction -- not an interstate transaction!
▪ The "Lautenberg Amendment" violates Article 1, Section 9 of the US Constitution ("No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.") in that it retroactively punishes non-felons for relatively minor crimes committed prior to enactment of the Lautenberg bill.
▪ Congress is specifically restricted from regulating the use and ownership of arms by the Second Amendment. There is absolutely no loophole allowing Congress to restrict arms for those convicted of domestic violence or any other crime or otherwise regulate arms in any way.
▪ The prohibition against the free exercise of a constitutionally-enumerated right is an extreme (cruel and unusual) punishment for a misdemeanor. If a crime is so severe as to warrant the termination or suspension of a constitutionally enumerated right, it certainly should be severe enough to warrant a felony conviction.
▪ An assault is an assault. To make the punishment more severe simply because the victim is a family member (or a person of another race -- so-called hate crime) is, again, cruel and unusual.
▪ Parents have been convicted for simply spanking their own children. Americans have even been convicted for intrafamily verbal confrontations with no physical contact!
▪ The "Lautenberg Amendment" potentially affects every soldier, police officer or any other person who has, or will have, a conviction of domestic violence.

The "Lautenberg Amendment" is only a few words of many thousands of pages of federal law, regulation, and policy which are outside the authority given to the central government through the Constitution.

As an elected official of the United States, every member of Congress took an oath to " and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same....." By voting for the Lautenberg Amendment (and most other legislation) nearly every member of the Senate violated their own oath – including a self-described defender of the Constitution from Utah named Orin Hatch.

The right to arms of all non-felons must be restored by immediately repealing the Lautenberg Amendment. This is bad law!

Congress must immediately reverse this egregious Congressional crime against the people of the United States!

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