Quote of the day—Emily Miller

Americans realized that infringing upon their Second Amendment rights must have a proven public safety purpose.

Since no gun-control law has ever reduced crime, they now realize they have to strengthen the laws affirming their constitutional rights before they are further chipped away.

Emily Miller
January 28, 2014
MILLER: South Carolina kicks back ban on gun concealed carry in restaurants
[A stronger form of Just One Question. Nice.—Joe]


10 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Emily Miller

  1. What a horribly clueless statement.

    Unfortunately, far too many people say things like that. “…infringing upon their Second Amendment rights must have a proven public safety purpose.”

    NO NO NO. A “proven public safety purpose” is utterly irrelevant. There is NOTHING in the Constitution that supports such a “balancing” exercise. The 2nd amendment doesn’t say “shall not be infringed except if doing so is good for public safety”. It says “shall not be infringed PERIOD”.

    This is the sort of thinking that gives you the complete lack of protected rights you see in Europe. I’m reminded of the Dutch “constitution” which has things like “the right of free association is recognized. This right may be abridged in the interest of public order”. Translation: there is no actual right of free association. The UN “universal declaration of human rights” does the same sort of thing (see its article 29).

    • Have you ever read any of the state constitutions? I was surprised, but the California state constitution says a lot about public safety.


      “SECTION 1. All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.”

      I wonder how many other state constitutions talk about safety?

      • I haven’t read a lot of state constitutions, but I have read mine (New Hampshire). It says (Bill of Rights, article 2a): “All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state.”
        As for the use of “safety” in the CA constitution, that isn’t talking about public safety (a collectivist notion). It’s talking about individual rights, among them individual safety. In other words, the right to self defense.

      • The full Washington State constitution is here:

        The part about guns is SECTION 24 RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.

        Section 32 is also interesting: FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES. A frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is essential to the security of individual right and the perpetuity of free government.

        They seem to forget it a lot.

      • Hmm. I note that even before it mentions safety (which is actually DEFINED later in the California Constitution, and NOT as some nebulous “right” to allow personal neurosis about inanimate objects and paranoia about your fellow law abiding citizens owning and carrying such inanimate objects), it mentions, “DEFENDING life and liberty” as an INDIVIDUAL right.

        You own cite makes our point for us.

      • I also note that only six state constitutions fail to have EXPLICIT “right to keep and bear arms” provisions in their constitutions, and only one other state holds it’s interpretation (pre-Heller, at least) that the right is “collective” only.

        Of course, the 14th Amendment makes any state constitutional protection of the right to keep and bear arms less broad than the federal Constitution’s moot in the end — it matters not if the state constitution fails to explicitly recognize what the federal Constitution already guarantees.


        • An interesting point is that you need the 14th amendment to apply the 1st to the states — since the 1st starts with “Congress shall make no law…”. But the wording of the 2nd amendment is more general; to claim that it (originally) only restricted the federal government is incorrect reading of the text. And indeed some courts (Texas supreme court was mentioned by Halbrook) recognized that.

          • Paul — NONE of the Bill of Rights were automatically considered (by the federal courts) incorporated against the states. SCOTUS ruled that that the Bill of Rights DID not apply to the state governments in Barron v. Baltimore, 32 U.S. (7 Pet.) 243 (1833). (“In almost every convention by which the constitution was adopted, amendments to guard against the abuse of power were recommended. These amendments demanded security against the apprehended encroachments of the general government-not against those of the local governments… These amendments contain no expression indicating an intention to apply them to the state governments. This court cannot so apply them.”

            In fact, it took until 1925 before SCOTUS expressly declared that some of the Bill of Rights were incorporated by the 14th Amendment so as to apply to the state governments as well as the federal.

            It was only in McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010) that SCOTUS declared that the 2nd was incorporated against the states.

          • SCOTUS had all sorts of wacky rulings saying the Bill of Rights didn’t apply to much of anything.
            But I wasn’t talking about them, I was talking about (a) the plain reading of the text, and (b) the fact that the Texas Supreme Court actually understood.

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