Nullification Against Gun Control
By Douglas V. Gibbs
“Shall not be infringed.” Those words are an order to the federal government. The central government shall not infringe, in any way, against the fundamental right of keeping and bearing arms. The Second Amendment is clear. For the purpose of having a militia that is in good order so that it may protect the States against tyranny, be it foreign, or domestic, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
When breaking down the language of the Second Amendment, one realizes that the amendment applies only to the federal government. The reason? “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State.” Necessary to the security of a free State. A free Massachusetts, a free Virginia, a free Pennsylvania, a free Michigan, a free Alaska, a free California, and so forth.
Free from what?
Free from the tyranny of an oppressive federal government.
And who is to protect the States?
A well regulated Militia.
Who is a well regulated Militia?
Some will argue that the 2nd Amendment does not apply to our current society because the militia is a thing of the past.
The National Guard now serves as the organized militia envisioned by the Founding Fathers, but an unorganized militia also exists, like the one that fought the Revolutionary War.
Title 10 of the United States Code provides for both “organized” and “unorganized” civilian militias. While the organized militia is made up of members of the National Guard and Naval Militia, the unorganized militia is composed entirely of private individuals.
United States Code: Title 10 – Armed Forces, Subtitle A – General Military Law
Chapter 13 – The Militia:
Sec. 311. Militia: composition and classes
(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are –
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of
the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.
Other than age, health, gender, or citizenship, there are no additional provisions for exemption from membership in the unorganized militia. While it is doubtful that it will ever be called to duty, the United States civilian militia does legally exist.
What about the part about the militia being well-regulated?
Looking at the Revolutionary War, the first thing we notice about the militia was that it was not in very good order. Some of the patriots had no shoes. The muskets were not the same sizes.
In the 1828 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, the second definition, after the one about weights and measures, was the definition the founders meant by the word “regulated.” The definition is: To put in good order.
For the purpose of having a militia in good order so that it may protect the States against tyranny, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Thomas Jefferson wrote in his draft of the Kentucky Resolution that any unconstitutional federal law is null and void. This means that all federal regulations regarding the right to keep and bear arms are null and void, because they are unconstitutional. And because the States are the final arbiters of the Constitution, the States have the right to nullify (ignore and refuse to implement) any unconstitutional federal gun control laws.
And it is beginning to happen. . .
Iron County, Utah is making a preemptive strike against the Federal government’s attempts to infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of its citizens. According to a press release, “Laws that violate 2nd Amendment are null and void and have no effect in Iron County, Utah.”
On Thursday, March 14, the Kansas House of Representatives approved House Bill 2199, the Second Amendment Protection Act, which would nullify any new federal restrictions — passed either by Congress, presidential executive order, agency order, rule, or regulation — on firearms, magazines, and ammunition.
The bill originally passed Wednesday, March 13, by a voice vote, but the actual official recorded vote was not taken until Thursday, when it passed 94-29.
These are just the latest in a whole slew of attempts to nullify the federal government’s assault on the fundamental rights of American citizens.
The real question is, when the federal government tries to force the States into compliance, will the authoritarian liberal dictators in the federal government win over the States? Will the States buckle under the pressure of the courts? Or will they stand firm on the Constitution, and protect the rights of the people in their States?
Doug is a longtime Internet radio host, conservative political activist, writer and commentator; he is the host of Constitution Radio and teaches weekly classes on the Constitution in Southern California. Follow him @douglasvgibbs