Democracy in Peril
Friday, September 10, 2010
Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice
". . . [T]he Framers did not write the Second
Amendment in order to protect a private right of armed
self-defense."--Justice Stephen Breyer
"By its terms, the Second Amendment does not apply
to the States; read properly, it does not even apply to individuals
outside of the militia context."--Justice John Paul
Those words in McDonald v. City of Chicago are at the
core of a judicial activist attack on the Second Amend-ment, signed
by four associate justices of the United States Supreme Court: John
Paul Stevens, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia
They are the heart of two blunt U.S. Supreme Court dissents
filed in opposition to the Court's majority, which confirmed that
the Second Amendment and its implicit individual right to armed
self-defense must be applied to all levels of government.
Had these four justices been joined by a single new anti-Second
Amendment vote on the high court, their words would have been the
law of the land.
It didn't happen that way, thanks entirely to courageous court
appointments by then-President George W. Bush and a pro-Second
Amendment U.S. Senate majority that fought hard to clear the
nominations of John Roberts as chief justice and Samuel Alito as
With those appointments, the future of the Second Amendment as
protecting an individual right was assured: first, in the
sea-change D.C. v. Heller case two years ago, striking
down the District of Columbia gun ban as violating the individual
Right to Keep and Bear Arms; then with the McDonald case
in June 2010 applying that decision to every level of government,
including Chicago and its suburb, Oak Park.
With Heller, the court recognized armed self-defense as
a core element of the individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms. In
McDonald, Justice Alito's majority opinion was joined by
Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Clarence Thomas, Anthony
Kennedy and Antonin Scalia.
This adds up to a stunning victory, but with a huge cautionary
flag. The dogmatically anti-Second Amendment minority on the high
court is within a heartbeat of reversing both Heller and
McDonald, especially with an Obama rubber-stamp Senate and
a Judiciary Committee dominated by the likes of New York's Charles
The outcome of any future Second Amendment case before the high
court would be disastrous if President Barack Obama and his Senate
ideological water-carriers retain power to load the court.
So far--in terms of anti-gun high court nominations--Obama is
batting a thousand. Justice Sotomayor, to gain confirmation,
pledged that she considered the Heller decision to be
"settled law," yet she signed on to Justice Breyer's vehement
dissent in McDonald, which declared there is no such
individual right. And as President Obama's nominee to replace
outgoing Justice Stevens, Elena Kagan has earned our firm
opposition for confirmation due to her record of hostility to
Second Amendment rights as a staff member in Bill Clinton's White
Since Kagan would replace an anti-Second Amendment jurist on the
high court, the 5-4 balance remains the same, but all that could
change with the next vacancy.
Again, look no further than the threats leveled by the minority
Had there been five instead of four anti-Second Amendment
justices, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms would be effectively
written out of the Bill of Rights.
As Justice Breyer wrote, "After all, the Amendment's
militia-related purpose is primarily to protect States from federal
regulation, not to protect individuals." Breyer's opinion was also
signed by Justice Ginsburg.
As for self-defense, try this from Justice Stevens:
"In my view, the Court badly misconstrued the Second Amendment
in linking it to the value of personal self-defense above and
beyond the functioning of the state militias. . . ."
Or this embrace of foreign law:
". . . [T]he experience of other advanced democracies, including
those that share our British heritage, undercuts the notion that an
expansive right to keep and bear arms is intrinsic to ordered
liberty. . . . it is silly--indeed, arrogant--to think we have
nothing to learn about liberty from the billions of people beyond
It takes no imagination to see where this is going. Try the
United Nations and the kind of global gun-ban treaty pressed by
internationalist billionaire and Obama moneybags mentor, George
A sobering revelation about the future liquidation of the Second
Amendment came last year from Justice Ginsburg, who told the elite
Harvard Club that when majority opinions are "grievously mistaken,"
as in the Heller case, minority opinions would be used to
rewrite legal history and thus create a purely "collective right
connected to the militia."
Unless we get our friends, family members and co-workers to the
polls November 2 to create a pro-Second Amendment Senate that can
block anti-Second Amendment nominees, we will face what Justice
Scalia warns is "a system in which unelected and life-tenured
judges always get their way." Such an approach, he warned, "puts
democracy in peril."
All of this will come true, unless we do the right thing this
November: Vote Freedom First!