Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Senate.gov Invents Second Amendment Controversy

Friday, September 27, 2013

Perhaps we were too harsh on textbook publishers last week for botching the proper interpretation of the Second Amendment, as even those in charge of the official website of a body sworn to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States" apparently can't be expected to get it right. The official website of the United States Senate features a "Virtual Reference Desk" section on the Constitution which offers an explanation of the Second Amendment that reads, "Whether this provision protects the individual's right to own firearms or whether it deals only with the collective right of the people to arm and maintain a militia has long been debated." The passage downplays the individual right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment and gives undue credence to an interpretation of the amendment long-held in disrepute and rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008 and 2010.

While there remain a handful of radical anti-gun advocates who bitterly cling to the incorrect "collective" and "sophisticated collective" right interpretations of the Second Amendment, no debate is apparent in the platforms of the two major political parties, who, along with two independents, populate the upper house. The 2012 party platform of the Democratic majority states, "We recognize that the individual right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans' Second Amendment right to own and use firearms." The 2012 Republican platform states, "We uphold the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, a right which antedated the Constitution and was solemnly confirmed by the Second Amendment."

In fact, other parties that routinely field candidates for the presidency and senate haven't weighed in for the collectivists either. Expectedly, the Libertarian platform reads, "We affirm the individual right recognized by the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms." The 2012 Green Party platform for 2012 is silent on the matter.

Further, the writers of the materials on the Senate's website needn't have even parsed through the U.S. Supreme Court's Heller and McDonald decisions in order to come up with a more appropriate explanation of the right; they could have merely looked to the history of their own governing body. In February 1982, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on the Constitution released a report entitled, "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms." The interpretation of the right offered in the report was unambiguous, stating, "The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and the court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner."

The content of the Senate website is the responsibility of Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson, who spent 16 years as a staffer for the NRA-PVF "F"-rated Sen. Tom Daschle. Those with questions regarding the content of the senate's website are asked to contact the Office of the Secretary Webmaster at webmaster@sec.senate.gov. With enough encouragement, the writers of Senate.gov may be convinced to accurately list the meaning and intent of the Second Amendment and provide it with the same respect offered by political parties (at least facially), the U.S. Supreme Court, the general public, and the Senate itself.

TRENDING NOW
Mainstream Media Misrepresents NRA's Position on Right-to-Carry Permits

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, June 23, 2017

Mainstream Media Misrepresents NRA's Position on Right-to-Carry Permits

There is an ongoing debate as to the severity of the decline in the modern attention span. However, in a world pervaded by 140 character messages and trivial clickbait articles, few would argue that many ...

Nationwide Firearms Turn-in Not Enough for Australia’s Gun Haters

News  

Friday, June 23, 2017

Nationwide Firearms Turn-in Not Enough for Australia’s Gun Haters

On July 1, Australia begins National Firearms Amnesty 2017, the country’s fourth federal firearms buyback (more accurately termed turn-in) or amnesty program since 1987. According to the Australian government, officials hope to capture some of ...

Steadfast Czechs Fight on Against EU Gun Control

News  

Friday, June 23, 2017

Steadfast Czechs Fight on Against EU Gun Control

The European Union’s new restrictions on firearms ownership were finalized on May 24, when the misguided changes to the European Firearms Directive were published in the political bloc’s Official Journal. Despite this setback, the Czech ...

Delaware: Hearing Scheduled for Radical Gun Seizure Legislation

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Delaware: Hearing Scheduled for Radical Gun Seizure Legislation

Tomorrow, the House Administration Committee is scheduled to consider House Bill 222.

Goodyear Fires Australian Competitive Shooter over Simple Miscommunication

News  

Friday, June 16, 2017

Goodyear Fires Australian Competitive Shooter over Simple Miscommunication

In the United States there have been a handful of high-profile incidents in which an employer has terminated an employee following the employee’s use of a gun in self-defense while at the workplace. In recent ...

NJ Court: State Can’t Criminalize Possession of “Pencils” and Other Lawful Objects for Home Self-defense

News  

Friday, June 16, 2017

NJ Court: State Can’t Criminalize Possession of “Pencils” and Other Lawful Objects for Home Self-defense

It is refreshing to finally see some common sense coming out of a court in NJ, as the state is notoriously known for its illogical and Draconian gun laws that do little more than make ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Rhode Island: Last Chance to Stop Anti-Gun Bill

Friday, June 23, 2017

Rhode Island: Last Chance to Stop Anti-Gun Bill

The Rhode Island Legislature is going to be ending their six-month session any day now, and as we approach the finish line, this is the most dangerous time for gun owners.

California: Pre-Litigation Letter Sent to DOJ Opposing “Bullet Button Assault Weapon” Regulations

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

California: Pre-Litigation Letter Sent to DOJ Opposing “Bullet Button Assault Weapon” Regulations

On Monday, June 19, the NRA and CRPA’s legal team submitted a joint-letter to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and Office of Administrative law demanding that the regulations be withdrawn or not approved as the regulations exceed ...

Delaware: Anti-Gun Bill Hearing Cancelled

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Delaware: Anti-Gun Bill Hearing Cancelled

Today, thanks to your calls and emails, the Delaware House Administration Committee cancelled its hearing on anti-gun House Bill 222.

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.