Sporting rifles and the Second Amendment

Hat tip to Tari Cooper of the Commentari Blog for the following great post.

You’ve probably heard about the exchange between Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Ted Cruz during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the assault weapons ban. According to media sources, they clashed, they tangled, they had a showdown, even fireworks! That’s as it should be, since the measure being discussed is quite important and a possible infringement of your constitutional rights.

Senator Cruz asked about whether only some books are protected by the First Amendment and whether only some people are protected by the Fourth Amendment. In return, he received a thorough lecture from Senator Feinstein about her experience with gun violence and her knowledge of the Constitution. This by-now familiar scenario was also played out on the day that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was finally required to testify under oath about the tragedy on September 11 in Benghazi. It is this: mean and horrible man bullies woman by asking very specific question. Woman gets offended, spends much energy displaying her emotion, does not answer specific question.

A ray of light for those to whom the Constitution is almost sacred and to be defended at terrible costs is that Senator Cruz was not at all deterred or distracted from his laser focus, responding when given more time, “I would note that she chose not to answer the question that I asked.”

Interestingly, the Heller decision which Senator Feinstein used to support her position that an assault weapons ban is constitutional, is the same case cited by Senator Cruz to support his position. The next day, Senator Cruz appeared on Your World with Neil Cavuto, to further explain, “What the Supreme Court said in Heller is that the Second Amendment allows ‘dangerous and unusual weapons’ to be prohibited. And the example it gave was machine guns and sawed-off shotguns. But it also said that weapons that are in ‘common use’ cannot be prohibited consistent with the Second Amendment.

One of the many problems with the so-called assault weapons ban is it’s trying to ban a semi-automatic rifle, effectively a deer rifle with certain cosmetic features, of which there are over four million in circulation. And under the explicit terms of the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller, you cannot ban a firearm that is in common use by the American citizenry to defend their homes and their families.”

Which part of the Second Amendment is up for a power grab? The actor Bruce Willis may not have a Harvard Law degree and has not argued cases before the Supreme Court, but he gets to the heart of the matter in his analysis of the current debate over the Second Amendment. He spoke recently to The Associated Press, “I think that you can’t start to pick apart anything out of the Bill of Rights without thinking that it’s all going to become undone. If you take one out or change one law, then why wouldn’t they take all your rights away from you?”

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the assault weapons ban on a party-line 10-8 vote. This is about much more than being smarter than a sixth grader or who wins the verbal sparring match. It shows you which party to stand with if you care about your constitutional rights. Senator Cruz and others are making a stand for you and your rights as an American citizen. It does make a difference.

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