Friday 22 April 2005, 10:00 am
"Right-to-Carry" Law: A Background Statement
Any law related to a constitutional right should be developed and implementation analyzed mindful of that right and its purpose(s). Review should also be mindful of pertinent scholarly data and related law(s). The writer has background in history (B.A. History, 1967), and as a “Crime Prevention Officer.” My presentation highlights certain of the pertinent historical background. Such facts may not always be popular, but a lack of popularity does not make them any the less true.
1. To start, for a summary of 19th century views on this subject of human rights, including on “resisting tyranny . . . personal protection,” see the scholarly article by David B. Kopel, “The Second Amendment in the Nineteenth Century,” 1998 Brigham Young Univ Law Review (Issue #4) pages 1359-1545 (1998), http://www.i2i.org/SuptDocs/Crime/19thcentury.htm
2. Note also that the Second Amendment “right to bear arms” was hardly written to secure fishing and hunting rights! They were hardly the issue! The Second Amendment does use the word “militia.” Who's that? Let's see the early view. “The Uniform Militia Act of March 1792 . . . made all 'free able-bodied white male citizens' aged eighteen through forty-five members of the militia,” says Geoffrey Perret, A Country Made by War (New York: Random House, 1989), p 85. [Now 10 USC § 311].
3. The Founding Fathers against oppression had exercised the right to bear arms. In fact, they were better armed in the Revolutionary War (with rifles effective at 100 yards) than were the forces of law and order (the British, with muskets with mere 40 yards effective range), says Perret, supra, pp 70-71. The Founding Fathers designed the “right to bear arms” in that context, to enable effective protection against oppressors. An ineffective right is no right at all.
4. Some people say the right to bear arms leads to tragedies. Let's take a balanced view; let's look at an example of the high number of casualties that result when the right is not respected. The Civil War 1861-1865 had 1,038,222+ casualties. How did that happen? Slavers had refused slaves the "right to bear arms." If the right had been respected for slaves, and if the right had been directed against, say, 50,000 slavers [of the 347,000 slavers], it is hardly a stretch to conclude that those 1,038,222+ casualties might not have occurred. We don't need to argue that the “right to bear arms” has meant some unfortunate results. But . . . let's not forget to put those numbers, sad as they are, in context, perspective. They are fewer than the Civil War's million casualties! Not to mention the vast numbers of slaves killed due to their having been refused the "right to bear arms."
1. The issue of right of self-defense, a legitimate concern, is oft cited. [Example]. The subject arises due to the prevalence of preventable crimes. Exhaustive research on the process behind the subject of who commits crimes has been done from at least the 1600's to present. The earliest analysis I have seen is from the year 1603. Research found that criminals are made, not born. Doing this is a deliberate process. The criminal-manufacturing process accounts for about 90% of criminals, as studies have long shown (from 1830's to present). In 1909, the Michigan Legislature reacted. It passed a law, MCL § 750.27, MSA § 28.216, to ban the underlying factor in the criminal-making process.
2. Sadly, that law is never obeyed, never enforced. The natural and probable consequence result thus occurs. The manufacturing process turning non-criminal children into criminals continues. And, the education system has been “dumbed down” so as to not teach the subject matter. Wherefore, the prevention data on this subject that was known to our ancestors of past centuries down though the early 19th century, is now essentially unknown, and comes as a complete surprise to all except subject matter specialists. Legislators cannot investigate and hold hearings on non-compliance with, and non-enforcement of, a crime-prevention law (MCL § 750.27, MSA § 28.216) of which they have never heard, and if they had, they lack the educational background of the past pre-“dumbed down” level, to understand the background behind it. The public at large, likewise handicapped by the "dumbed down" educational system, cannot demand legislative oversight of what they too have never heard of or been taught. Thus, there is the issue of resort to the "right to bear arms," due to understandable fear of criminals, being so prevalent due to the uninterrupted criminal manufacturing process.
3. Let's focus on prevention, by calling attention to that pertinent fact known to our century-past ancestors in the pre-“dumbed down” educational era. That fact is that long-time research shows that most crime, about 90%, is committed—not by guns, which are passive typically metallic instruments—but by persons behind those guns. Who typically are those persons? What on this subject did our great-grandparents know that we now mostly do not?
4. They knew that . . . crime is committed 90% by tobacco users. Knowing this, they in 1909 by law, MCL § 750.27, MSA § 28.216 (and see 1931 codified version), enacted prevention of future criminal-manufacturing (the 90% factor). Details on this subject can be found at http://medicolegal.tripod.com/preventcrime.htm.
5. Others will focus on other aspects. But please, deal with the underlying factor leading to the professed Second Amendment issues. Investigate the non-compliance with, the non-enforcement of, the criminal-manufacturing ban law, MCL § 750.27, MSA § 28.216. Protect the public from the criminal manufacturing process. Then secondary issues such as how to defend against crime, will be seen as what they are—secondary, preventable.