U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- The Los Angeles Times editorial page is less a journalistic enterprise than it is a partisan grievance noticeboard. The editorial board’s descent into trivial activist messaging was on full display in a pair of recent pieces lamenting the federal judiciary’s recognition of the Second Amendment. In both, the editorial board denied the core rulings in the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago that recognized the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. In neither piece did the would-be jurists at the L.A. Times offer evidence or argument as to their incorrect position or why the legal analysis of self-important regime press agents should carry any weight whatsoever.
The first editorial was published on April 26 and titled, “The Supreme Court agrees to hear a case that could mean more guns in public.” The item took issue with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to grant cert to NRA-backed case New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Corlett. The case challenges New York’s concealed carry licensing scheme and could prompt the Court to recognize that the right to keep and bear arms extends outside the home.
Lamenting the Court’s cert decision, the editorial board wrote,
The case the court accepted Monday (New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn. Inc. vs. Corlett) follows the court’s controversial 2008 Heller decision, which for the first time enunciated a right to own a firearm in the home for self-protection, breaking with historic perceptions that the right was conferred only to members of state militias. From our perspective, it was an errant reading of the Constitution, but unfortunately the nation is stuck with it.
The second editorial was published June 7 and titled, “The judge is wrong: California’s assault-weapons ban must stand.” This piece complained about the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in Miller v. Bonta. The decision, by Judge Roger Benitez, found that California’s ban on commonly-owned semiautomatic firearms violated the Second Amendment.
Benitez’s ruling on the California ban was the result of a faithful interpretation of the Heller and McDonald decisions. We can be certain of this because Heller author Justice Antonin Scalia signed onto a dissent from the denial of certiorari in Friedman v. Highland Park, a case concerning a local ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms, that stated as much. The dissent noted,
Roughly five million Americans own AR-style semiautomatic rifles. The overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting. Under our precedents, that is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons.
Defending California’s unconstitutional ban, the L.A. Times editorial board whined,
Even the Supreme Court’s controversial 2008 Heller decision, which for the first time recognized (wrongly) an individual right to keep a gun in the home for self-defense, also said that the government has an interest in regulating firearms and that “the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.”
In addition to its rejection of the Heller ruling, the editorial board did not even get the basic history correct when it contended that Heller recognized the individual right protected by the Second Amendment “for the first time.” As Scalia explained in Heller, the Court’s ruling in the 1939 case U.S. v. Miller “is not only consistent with but positively suggests, that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to keep and bear arms.”
After their defeat in Heller, the more sophisticated gun control advocates abandoned their discredited collective right messaging on the Second Amendment. In fact, some gun control organizations have explicitly told activists in their messaging guides not to “Attack the Second Amendment or gun owners in general.”
In 2016, anti-gun group Americans for Responsible Solutions (now Giffords) conducted a gun control rebranding effort “based on poll and focus-group data.” The resulting messaging booklet warned supporters not to “Attack the NRA or the Second Amendment.” An earlier gun control group messaging guide from 2013, titled, “Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging” told readers to acknowledge “Yes, there is a right to possess a handgun in the home for self-defense.” Moreover, it told gun control activists, “don’t re-litigate the court’s rulings.”
There is good reason for the anti-gun groups’ advice. Aside from the fact that the outmoded collective interpretation of the Second Amendment is indefensible, that false reading is wildly unpopular.
A February 2008 USA Today/Gallup poll conducted prior to the Heller decision asked respondents, “Do you believe the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the rights of Americans to own guns, or do you believe it only guarantees members of state militias such as National Guard units the right to own guns?” The response was unambiguous; 73-percent responded that the Second Amendment guarantees the rights of Americans to own guns, while a mere 20-percent limited that right to state militia members
A Quinnipiac University poll conducted shortly after the Heller decision, in July 2008, mirrored these results. This poll asked respondents, “Would you support or oppose amending the United States Constitution to ban individual gun ownership?” 78-percent opposed such a measure, while only 17-percent were in favor.
In May 2009, CNN and ORC conducted a similar poll that asked “Which of the following comes closer to your interpretation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution? In addition to addressing the need for citizen-militias, it was intended to give individual Americans the right to keep and bear arms for their own defense. It was only intended to preserve the existence of citizen-militias, and does not give individual Americans the right to keep and bear arms for their own defense.” Once again, the American public made their position clear; with 77-percent choosing “individual gun ownership” to 21-percent answering “only citizen-militias.”
With the individual right to keep and bear arms firmly established by the U.S. Supreme Court, in April 2018 Quinnipiac asked respondents “Would you support or oppose repealing the Second Amendment, also known as the right to bear arms?” An overwhelming 79-percent opposed repeal.
The vast majority of the general public, the federal government, the U.S. Supreme Court, both major political parties, and even some of the major gun control groups have all acknowledged or reluctantly acquiesced to the fact that the Second Amendment means what it says – “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The L.A. Times’s intransigence is symbolic of an increasingly radical and detached media elite who would rather nurse their own prejudices than accept reality or provide any meaningful reporting or informed commentary.
Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess, and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org
The LA Times showed terrific ignorance in stating that there is a long-held agreement that the 2nd amendment only conferred the right to keep and bear arms on state militias. Anyone who has read the writings of those who advanced and voted for the 2nd amendment knows that the purpose of the amendment was to have an armed populace that could come together at any time to either repel an invasion or put down a tyrant. The notion was that once invaded, or once the tyrant takes power, it will be too late to get weapons, so the right to… Read more »
It is not ignorance, it is leftist advocacy.
you cant be all powerful if one 338 can take you down at a mile
Madison used the term “the people” in (5) of the (10) Bill of Rights Amendments – the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 9th, and 10th. Review each instance – Madison clearly, without the slightest bit of ambiguity, referred to rights of the individual when using “the people”. No participation in any government organization, or membership in any government-sanctioned group, was required for the Rights enumerated in the 1st, 4th, 9th, or 10th Amendments (reference freedom of assembly, to be secure in persons, enumeration of other Rights, reservation of powers). IN EACH INSTANCE, Madison used the term “the people” to mean the singular,… Read more »
It is rather interesting though, that the people also had the right to form militias and that the first 13 words were pretty much nulliied in 1903 by the Dick act. And that NECESSARY is only used there and no where else in the constitution. So it must have been understood that the people needed to be armed so that they could be in a militia to have a free state of being. Do a search for Dr. Edwin Vierra and you’ll find a lot of his talks on the need for well regulated militas formed by the people through… Read more »
Your response is interesting. However, my position is that challenges to the 2nd all too often involve these “if the comma was here instead of there, if the word ‘x’ was in front of/behind word ‘y’, etc.”, then the meaning of the Amendment would be different. How about just looking at Madison’s use/definition of “the people” in the Bill of Rights and reach a conclusion based on reason, common sense, and logic. The linguistic gymnastics often used by critics to “interpret” the 2nd Amendment should be as unnecessary in describing its intent it as they are unnecessary in describing the… Read more »
At the time the Bill of Rights (first 10 Amendments to the Constitution ) was written “well regulated ” meant “well supplied ” ( not “controlled “, a “regulator ” being a supply officer in the military back then and the term was used similarly until the late 1800’s ) and the “militia ” was and still is “all able bodied people ” ( see the Illinois Constitution , and many others defining “militia ) thus the term “well regulated militia ” in the Second Amendment had nothing to do with any Reserve or National Guard type organizations , or… Read more »
I always thought it meant well trained and ready for battle. Federalist Number 6: “Sparta was little better than a well-regulated camp”. Or as Scalia writes in Heller: “Finally, the adjective “well-regulated” implies nothingmore than the imposition of proper discipline and training.See Johnson 1619 (“Regulate”: “To adjust by rule ormethod”)” But if you look into its root, “regular,” you find it related to a standing army, e.g. “Regular Army” is our full time army and not the Reserves or National Guard. From that perspective you can view the prefatory clause as identifying the threat of future tyranny and why the… Read more »
I deny the existence of L.A. and the whole state of Caifornia, so the L.A. Times and thier lies do not exist in my America . Build a wall around Caifornia and let Mexico have it back as it does not exist as a free state. No longer part of America . Good riddens ! Flush the California turd please it smells bad .
Presser v Illinois (1886) Second Amendment rights relating to militias and individuals: The court ruled the Second Amendment right was a right of individuals, not militias, and was not a right to form or belong to a militia, but related to an individual right to bear arms for the good of the United States, who could serve as members of a militia upon being called up by the Government in time of collective need. Prior to Illinois’s infringement, it had been the understood right of the individual as intended by the founders and highlighted to the citizenry through the publishing… Read more »
All the anti-gun politicians and people need an English Lesson.
Look this up.
A 2nd Amendment Grammar Lesson | The Political Hat
Links tend to get a moderation, so….
The government doesn’t grant citizens any rights. The right to bear arms existed prior to the United States, for all free people. “This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed, but this, as has been seen, means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress. This is one of the amendments that has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government.” Cruikshank 1876 Supreme Court