Monday, July 9, 2012

What happened?

I wish that I had bookmarked in a book I have on Scottish Firearms where it said that concealed weapons were considered for sneaks and assassins.  Unfortunately, I don't have a cite for that which means it will remain anecdotal.  Although, Adam Winkler mentions in his book, “Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America,” firearms have been regulated in the United States from the start. Laws banning the carrying of concealed weapons were passed in Kentucky and Louisiana in 1813, and other states soon followed: Indiana (1820), Tennessee and Virginia (1838), Alabama (1839), and Ohio (1859). Similar laws were passed in Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma. As the governor of Texas explained in 1893, the “mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder. To check it is the duty of every self-respecting, law-abiding man." Robertson vs. Baldwin, 165 U.S. 275 (1897) pointed out that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms (Art. II) is not infringed by laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons."

Amusingly enough, the discretionary concealed carry statutes which have been abolished had been proposed by the Handgun Owners Association and other firearms related groups.

But times have changed and the gun lobby now frequently suggests that carrying a concealed handgun in public is a constitutional "right." However, the Supreme Court was clear on this issue in  District of Columbia v. Heller. "The Second Amendment right is not unlimited," wrote Justice Antonin Scalia. "It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues."

Despite a long history against carrying concealed weapons, it is now being said that it is a right which is covered by the Second Amendment--even though the Heller-McDonald cases have made it clear that this is not the case.

We have already seen an Amendment which relates to the nature of the national defence establishment being subjected to a revisionist history which has taken it out of the context of standing armies v. militias and placed into an anachronistic concept of "gun rights".  Not, it is being taken even further to promote an idea which history is very clear in saying would not be covered as a right under any circumstances.

What is going on?

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