Something Feral

Digging up the flower-beds.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A step in the right direction...

Past experience makes one suspect a popular movement pressuring Washington D.C. to clarify and affirm the Bill of Rights, Amendment 2, rather than giving credit to those politicians for self-initiative.

This weekend, Congress passed, and sent to the President for his signature, the Homeland Security appropriations bill, H.R. 5441... Also included in the legislation is a ban on gun confiscation during emergencies and natural disasters, to prevent a repeat of the post-Katrina abuses such as law enforcement officers breaking into homes and confiscating firearms from law-abiding citizens.

(Hat tip: JWR at

I wasn't impressed that this followed the Heller decision, and I won't be impressed until Congress recognizes that Article 1, Section 8 does not give blanket-authority to legislate contrary to the spirit of the rest of the document; to quote a "reliable source":

"On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed."

--Thomas Jefferson to William Johnson, 1823

Which, if the minority opinion of Heller had bothered to read United States v. Miller, would have been of conspicuous import to the Heller decision. Frankly, I don't expect much from that same SCOTUS that gave us the majority opinion on Kelo v. New London.

Furthermore, and especially regarding the market-interference that our federal government regularly enjoys:

"I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That "all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people." [10th Amendment] To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition."

--Thomas Jefferson: National Bank Opinion, 1791

(Emphasis added by yours truly.)

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