Montana And D.C. vs Heller (MERGED)

Montana And D.C. vs Heller (MERGED)

This is a discussion on Montana And D.C. vs Heller (MERGED) within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; This is a letter to the editor of the Washington Times from Montana Secretary of State Brad Johnson, asserting that a collective rights (of the ...

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Thread: Montana And D.C. vs Heller (MERGED)

  1. #1
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    Montana And D.C. vs Heller (MERGED)

    This is a letter to the editor of the Washington Times from Montana Secretary of State Brad Johnson, asserting that a collective rights (of the 2nd Amendment) ruling by the USSC in the Heller case would violate Montana's statehood contract with the federal government.

    I don't know if we're making plans to secede, just in case.

    The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide D.C. v. Heller, the first case in more than 60 years in which the court will confront the meaning of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Although Heller is about the constitutionality of the D.C. handgun ban, the court's decision will have an impact far beyond the District.

    The court must decide in Heller whether the Second Amendment secures a right for individuals to keep and bear arms or merely grants states the power to arm their militias, the National Guard. This latter view is called the "collective rights" theory.

    A collective rights decision by the court would violate the contract by which Montana entered into statehood, called the Compact With the United States and archived at Article I of the Montana Constitution. When Montana and the United States entered into this bilateral contract in 1889, the U.S. approved the right to bear arms in the Montana Constitution, guaranteeing the right of "any person" to bear arms, clearly an individual right.

    There was no assertion in 1889 that the Second Amendment was susceptible to a collective rights interpretation, and the parties to the contract understood the Second Amendment to be consistent with the declared Montana constitutional right of "any person" to bear arms.

    As a bedrock principle of law, a contract must be honored so as to give effect to the intent of the contracting parties. A collective rights decision by the court in Heller would invoke an era of unilaterally revisable contracts by violating the statehood contract between the United States and Montana, and many other states.

    Numerous Montana lawmakers have concurred in a resolution raising this contract-violation issue. It's posted at Montana's contract and the Second Amendment. The United States would do well to keep its contractual promise to the states that the Second Amendment secures an individual right now as it did upon execution of the statehood contract.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

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    Terry


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    Member Array WarHorse1961's Avatar
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    Here is a link with more information. [Oops, missed the link in the original quote. Oh well, I guess it doesn't hurt to have 2 links.]

    A small excerpt:

    Some speak of a "living constitution," the meaning of which may evolve and change over time. However, the concept of a "living contract," one to be disregarded or revised at the whim of one party thereto, is unknown. A collective rights holding in Heller would not only open the Pandora's box of unilaterally morphing contracts, it would also poise Montana to claim appropriate and historically entrenched remedies for contract violation.
    Personally, I don't think the SCOTUS will declare that the 2nd Amendment defines a "collective" right. But if they do, and the Congressmen and Senators of Montana are serious, this could get very interesting!

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    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    OOoooo.......I remember a little of this from American history in college, but this aspect (the specifics concerning the 2nd) hadn't occured to me.

    Intresting.
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

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    Not sure how they(DC) and a few other states get the "collective" right-there's no mention of the word "state" in the 2nd amendment, and "state" only appears in the amendment(I want to say 10th?) that grants all other powers NOT MENTIONED in the other amendments to the states. Mind boggling.
    "The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree..."
    Nunn v. State GA 1848

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    VIP Member Array SammyIamToday's Avatar
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    You know. You constantly make me want to move to Montana with these kinds of threads.
    ...He suggested that "every American citizen" should own a rifle and train with it on firing ranges "at every courthouse." -Chesty Puller

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    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    The Montana Secretary of State should file a brief with the Court.
    Tim
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    The last time we tried to secede things didn't turn out so well for us.

    But I would move to Montana,
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgrass101 View Post
    The last time we tried to secede things didn't turn out so well for us.

    But I would move to Montana,
    Lol same here.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
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    I think Texas will be there with you...
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    Senior Member Array Shadowsbane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgrass101 View Post
    The last time we tried to secede things didn't turn out so well for us.

    But I would move to Montana,
    And our government has a very long history of following contracts it has signed in the past.
    Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.

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    Article 4 of the Kansas Constitution:
    § 4. Bear arms; armies. The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be tolerated, and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.
    Maybe the whole Mid-West can just start our own country.

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    Senior Member Array walvord's Avatar
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    The SCOTUS opinion on the 2nd amendment and the elections in November - it's all starting to align.
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    Washington State Constitution, Article 1:

    ...
    SECTION 24 RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.
    ...
    Yet our illustrious Seattle Chief of Police supports D.C.:
    http://www.abanet.org/publiced/previ...ePolicyCtr.pdf
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    Colorado State Constitution, Article II, Bill of Rights:

    Section 13. Right to bear arms. The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons.

    This has since been amended to allow CCW............

    An interesting twist....Colorado has a provision in its constitution for a militia!

    ARTICLE XVII
    Militia
    Section 1. Persons subject to service. The militia of the state shall consist of all able*bodied male residents of the state between the ages of eighteen and forty*five years; except, such persons as may be exempted by the laws of the United States, or of the state.


    Section 2. Organization * equipment * discipline. The organization, equipment and discipline of the militia shall conform as nearly as practicable, to the regulations for the government of the armies of the United States.


    Section 3. Officers * how chosen. The governor shall appoint all general, field and staff officers and commission them. Each company shall elect its own officers, who shall be commissioned by the governor; but if any company shall fail to elect such officers within the time prescribed by law, they may be appointed by the governor.


    Section 4. Armories. The general assembly shall provide for the safekeeping of the public arms, military records, relics and banners of the state.


    Section 5. Exemption in time of peace. No person having conscientious scruples against bearing arms, shall be compelled to do militia duty in time of peace; provided, such person shall pay an equivalent for such exemption.

    Last edited by sniper58; February 21st, 2008 at 01:49 PM. Reason: addition
    Tim
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    Quote Originally Posted by press1280 View Post
    Not sure how they(DC) and a few other states get the "collective" right-there's no mention of the word "state" in the 2nd amendment, and "state" only appears in the amendment(I want to say 10th?) that grants all other powers NOT MENTIONED in the other amendments to the states. Mind boggling.
    Actually, of course, the word "State" is in the 2A, but it is commonly interpreted to mean state as in "sovereign entity" rather than meaning a State in particular.

    "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    I would absolutely love to see all the states that joined the Republic with a contract guaranteeing the right to bear arms sue the federal government should SCOTUS completely lose their collective minds and rule the 2A a collective right.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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