Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Breyer Fires Warning Shot Across Second Amendment’s Bow

Friday, December 17, 2010

On Sunday, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer reminded Americans why it is important to vote for a president whose nominees to the court will likely be faithful to the Constitution, to vote for U.S. senators who will reject nominees who likely will not be faithful, and to vote for federal and state legislators who can check and balance justices like Stephen Breyer who don't believe the Second Amendment protects any meaningful right.

On Sunday, during an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” Clinton nominee Breyer, who dissented from the Supreme Court's decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010), claimed that the role of the court is to interpret the Constitution flexibly, in light of ever-changing circumstances.  Breyer argues that the court should give consideration not to the Constitution’s “words,” but to the “values” that the Framers had in mind. Fox News’ article on the interview can be viewed here.

The Framers’ “values,” Breyer suggested, would allow a total ban on handguns in Washington, D.C. “It’s not a matter of policy, it’s a matter of what those Framers [of the Bill of Rights] intended,” he said.

What Second Amendment author James Madison intended, Breyer said, was only to prevent Congress from nationalizing state militias. That, of course, is not what Breyer said in his dissent in the Heller case. Then, Breyer said that the amendment was intended to prohibit Congress from disarming state militias.

Regardless of what Breyer was trying to sell on Sunday, Wallace didn’t seem to be buying it. Pointing out the plain language of the amendment’s “keep and bear arms” clause, Wallace asked Breyer whether, in ignoring those words, he was assuming the role of politician or policy-maker, rather than that of a judge.

Breyer grinned smugly, said “no,” and sarcastically asked whether the amendment should be interpreted to allow the ownership of machine guns and torpedoes, as well as handguns. Wallace countered that at the very least, the amendment “certainly . . . didn’t provide for a ban on all handguns, as we have here in Washington, D.C.”

To that, Breyer, still grinning, asked Wallace, “Are you a sportsman? Do you like to shoot pistols at targets? Well, get on the subway and go to Maryland.”

Realizing that Madison and the other Framers surely did not intend for the Second Amendment to mean one thing in Maryland and another in D.C., Wallace pointed out that allowing a ban on handguns in D.C. while not allowing it in Maryland would be “a policy issue, not a constitutional issue.” Breyer changed the subject.

TRENDING NOW
Gun Control Lobby Seeks to Thwart SHARE Act with Hysteria, Fear Mongering

News  

Hunting  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Gun Control Lobby Seeks to Thwart SHARE Act with Hysteria, Fear Mongering

The panic is now starting to set in amongst the gun control lobby, which is desperately searching for ways to smear a bill that has been around for years in various forms without attracting much ...

Washington Post Employs Deceptive Tactic on “Children” and Guns

News  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Washington Post Employs Deceptive Tactic on “Children” and Guns

The Washington Post has surpassed the Brady Campaign and Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety to take a place alongside the New York Times as the premier anti-gun propagandists in the country.

UK: Growing Support for Arming More Police

News  

Friday, September 22, 2017

UK: Growing Support for Arming More Police

The UK’s fear of firearms, and potential weapons of all kinds, is well-documented. Subjects are urged not to carry any item, such as pepper spray, that might be adapted for self-defense. Officers take to social media to boast of ...

Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll Throws Wrench in Anti-gun Agenda

News  

Friday, September 8, 2017

Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll Throws Wrench in Anti-gun Agenda

Demonstrating the importance of the gun issue to the American electorate, 35 percent of respondents reported that “gun rights or gun control” had an impact on their voting behavior. The issue was the highest-rated answer, ...

Reuniting The United States With Reciprocity

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Reuniting The United States With Reciprocity

Most concealed-carry permit holders understand the potential pitfalls of traveling with a firearm, given the outrageous patchwork of state laws involved in even a short interstate trip. And while we haven’t posted much about reciprocity ...

Long Term Trends in Gun Sales Remain Strong

News  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Long Term Trends in Gun Sales Remain Strong

Discussion of the state of the firearms industry began again with the release of the August NICS numbers. Allegations of a fading industry recur every month. Obama was the greatest gun salesman ever, Hillary Clinton ...

Rhode Island:  House Gives Final Approval to Gun Control Bill

Friday, September 22, 2017

Rhode Island: House Gives Final Approval to Gun Control Bill

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello summoned lawmakers back to Providence in a rare September session, and the House passed an anti-gun bill Tuesday afternoon.  The session had abruptly ended in June with the budget and a ...

Anti-Gun Politicians: Blocking Out The Facts About Suppressors

Hunting  

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Anti-Gun Politicians: Blocking Out The Facts About Suppressors

As soon as the Hearing Protection Act was put forward on Jan. 9, 2017, leftists came out of the woodwork to criticize and misconstrue the goals of those who supported removing suppressors from the auspices ...

National Reciprocity Bill Nears Goal Line in the House but Needs Your Support to Reach the End Zone

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

National Reciprocity Bill Nears Goal Line in the House but Needs Your Support to Reach the End Zone

Gun owners received good news this week with the passage of the SHARE Act by the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources (see related story). Meanwhile, progress continued to be made on another NRA legislative ...

House Committee Passes SHARE Act by Wide Margin

Hunting  

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

House Committee Passes SHARE Act by Wide Margin

As we have reported, this year’s version of the SHARE Act is the most expansive and far-reaching yet. Besides previously-introduced provisions aimed at enhancing opportunities for hunting, fishing, and shooting and broadening access to federal lands ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

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.