Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Reasoned Debate: Our Second Amendment Rights & Preventing Firearm Violence

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, January 26, 2013

Alabama State House GOP "Dare Defend Our Rights" gun logo

Alabama State House GOP “Dare Defend Our Rights” gun logo, from the FaceBook page of Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn

Recently in another Social Media forum, a long-time friend had posted a link to a site operated for the Alabama State House GOP faction, which is a so-called “supermajority” in that state’s elected legislative body. That site may be found here: http://ALHouseGOP.com/WeDareDefend/.

Perceiving that that those political ideologues were very likely drumming up support for their positions based upon pure emotion and fear, rather than reasoned, rational and informed debate, I initially responded by quickly writing a somewhat sarcastic response, precisely worded to give pause for thought. My initial response elicited a query, to which I delightfully replied more eruditely.

The exchange as it exists presently, now follows.

Me: Yeah. Alabama was wrong on their right to segregation and their right to deny civil rights, too.

Friend: So, do you support the current assault on our constitutional right to arms?

Me: How does one answer a loaded question? I would share this for thoughtful consideration: Rights are not absolute. Not even our First Amendment rights are. For example, one cannot go into a crowded theatre and yell “FIRE!” Our Second Amendment rights are not absolute. Convicted felons and the mentally unstable/incompetent are barred from firearm ownership. While our nation’s founding documents state that rights emanate from the Almighty, we also have due process – which appears in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments – which establishes a process & procedure for the removal or limitation of individual rights. This is true in Alabama, and in the other 49 states in our union as well as the federal level. No one denies – I should hope not, at least – that sensible regulation allows the fullest expression of liberty, for no one is fully allowed to do whatever they want, whenever they want, where ever they want. So in that context, how would you respond?

Third individual: If we could keep guns away from felons, we wouldn’t be having this conversation in the first place.

As can be seen, the conversation is lacking, for my friend – and I mean to say that the gentleman has been known to me personally for many years – for whatever reason, has not yet responded. I do not mean to cast aspersions upon him, yet I hasten to point out to the readers of this entry that the hoped-for dialogue has not yet begun.

It is difficult to govern when one of at least two parties does not involve themselves in discussion about any topic or issue.

And yet, that is precisely what the GOP has historically done… to bow out of, or remain absent from rational, reasoned debate on subject matter that is of paramount importance to our entire union.

Again, I do not mean to draw unkind parallels – unintentional, or otherwise – to my friend and the actions of the GOP. Yet again, to this point, I cannot help but notice an strikingly uncomfortable and eerie similarity.

As a case in point – that is, to illustrate my previous initial remark that “Alabama was wrong on their right to segregation and their right to deny civil rights, too.” – I share with you, dear reader, the following germane news item.

Alabama Senate bill would bar federal regulation of guns, ammo made in Alabama

By Brian Lawson | Brian Lawson – BLawson@al.com
January 25, 2013 at 4:37 PM, updated January 25, 2013 at 4:39 PM

GUN SALES BRISK IN BIRMINGHAM 121220 BIRMINGHAM, Alabama– Gun and ammunition sales at Birmingham area gun and outdoor stores reached near-record levels around Christmas time. Customers line the display counters at Birmingham Pistol Wholesale in Trussville. (Joe Songer/jsonger@al.com)

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama-- Gun and ammunition sales at Birmingham area gun and outdoor stores reached near-record levels around Christmas time. Customers line the display counters at Birmingham Pistol Wholesale in Trussville. (Joe Songer / JSonger@al.com)


Gun and ammunition sales at Birmingham area gun and outdoor stores reached near-record levels around Christmas time. Customers line the display counters at Birmingham Pistol Wholesale in Trussville.
(Photo by Joe Songer / JSonger@al.com) Joe Songer – JSonger@al.com

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — A group of Alabama senators is sponsoring a bill that would bar the federal government from regulating firearms, ammunition and related accessories made and retained in the state.

The bill is titled the “Alabama Firearms Freedom Act.”

Firearms manufactured or sold in the state under act, must include a stamp “Made in Alabama.” The measure would apply to “firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition that are manufactured, pursuant to this act, and retained in this state on or after October 1, 2013,” according to the bill.

The bill’s sponsors include Alabama Senators Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa; Cam Ward, R-Alabaster; J. T. “Jabo” Waggoner, R-Birmingham; Harri Anne Smith, I-Slocomb and Jerry Fielding, R-Sylacauga, according to the Alabama Legislature‘s legislative information system website.

Senate Bill 43 argues that federal regulators cannot use the commerce clause as a basis for regulating firearms. The commerce clause – governing interstate commerce — has been used by Congress to regulate a wide variety of issues through the years, including racial discrimination.

The bill also seeks to bar registration of Alabama-made firearms.

“A personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately in this state and that remains within the borders of Alabama is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce, because those items have not traveled in interstate commerce,” according to the bill.

The proposed measure comes during a national debate on guns and the Obama Administration’s efforts to rein in sale of some firearms in the wake of a December massacre at a Connecticut elementary school.

Firearms sales in Alabama have been brisk since the rekindling of the long debate over proposed regulation of military-style assault weapons.

The bill cites the 10th Amendment, which gives states and their people all powers not granted to the federal government in the U.S. Constitution. The measure argue that understanding goes back to Alabama’s entry into the U.S. in 1819.

Alabama’s citizens are also given rights not spelled out in the Constitution through the 9th Amendment, the measure argues.

“Congress has not expressly preempted state regulation of intrastate commerce pertaining to the manufacture on an intrastate basis of firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition,” the bill reads.

The bill also argues that firearms accessories – regulated under the commerce clause — that are imported into Alabama and attached to an Alabama-made firearm does not subject that firearm to federal regulation “because they are attached to or used in conjunction with a firearm manufactured in this state.”

The bill includes some exceptions: a firearm that cannot be carried and used by one person; a firearm with a bore diameter greater than one and one-half inches and that uses smokeless powder, not black powder, as a propellant; ammunition with a projectile that explodes using an explosion of chemical energy after the projectile leaves the firearm and a firearm that discharges two or more projectiles with one activation of the trigger or other firing device.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: