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Joe Manchin: Say… about that gun grabbing thing…

Posted on: January 5th, 2013

I actually owe Jim Geraghty and his indispensable Morning Jolt newsletter a big hat tip for this story, though we wrote about the roots of it multiple times here. In any event, astute readers will recall the response of long time Democratic Second Amendment supporter Joe Manchin in the wake of the Newtown tragedy.

“I just came with my family from deer hunting,” Manchin said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I’ve never had more than three shells in a clip. Sometimes you don’t get more than one shot anyway at a deer. It’s common sense. It’s time to move beyond rhetoric. We need to sit down and have a common-sense discussion and move in a reasonable way.”

Well, a bit of time has gone by, allowing cooler heads a chance to prevail and some of Senator Manchin’s constituents a chance to weigh in. Some of the swamp fever may be breaking down in West Virginia, as this more recent interview suggests.

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  • Jeffrey

    The one thing that I have not heard from anyone when they talk about firearms bans and hunting etc. is that the second amendment had nothing to do with hunting and everything to do with the common man having the ability to defend themselves against and change their government(as per the declaration of independence) when it went bad, which is exactly what happened causing the revolutionary war.

    • reggiec

      Here is some ammo for you Jeff;
      I have posted the following several times on different sites because I feel it is the most powerful argument that can be presented to our members of congress and other public officials at all levels. I have added one more sentence to the emails or letters I send. Actually a letter sent by snail mail is more effective as many emails are just deleted by some staffer. Loads of envelopes piling up are hard to ignore. Feel free to cut and paste it into an email or preferably a snail mail letter.
      Sorry it is so long but I felt the meaning should be absolutely clear.
      *** Added sentence:
      If you, as one of my representatives in public office, do anything to negate any portion of my unalienable rights as contained in the Second Amendment of The Constitution of These United States of America; I will do everything in my power to make sure you are never elected to any public office in the future.
      Second Amendment meaning:
      “Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.” James Madison
      Second Amendment in context:
      ***”The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference. They deserve a place of honor with all that is good. When firearms go, all goes. We need them every hour.” – George Washington in address to the 2nd session of the United States Congress.
      ***“Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth.” (George Washington)
      ***”The right of self-defense is the first law of nature; in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and when the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.” Henry St. George Tucker, in Blackstone’s 1768 “Commentaries on the Laws of England.”, Judge of the Virginia Supreme Court & U.S. Dist. Court of Virginia

      ***”Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” – Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria
      Those who argue that the Second Amendment was written just for militias are completely blown out of the water by the following quote from Thomas Jefferson.
      “The strongest reason for “people” (My emphasis) to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” – Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334 (C. J. Boyd, Ed., 1950)
      James Madison is credited with the writing of the “Bill of Rights” and was pretty clear about the meaning on the Second Amendment.
      “The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the “PEOPLE” (My emphasis) with arms.”
      Here are a few others who help define the true meaning of the Second Amendment. It becomes very clear upon the examination of the meanings attached to the Second Amendment by our Founding Fathers that the original intent of the Second Amendment is being attacked in order to eventually disarm the American people.
      ***”I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.”
      George Mason, in Debates in Virginia Convention on Ratification of the Constitution, Elliot, Vol. 3, June 16, 1788
      ***”Whereas civil-rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as military forces, which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.”
      – Tench Coxe, in Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution
      ***”The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.”
      – Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-188
      ***”That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms … ”
      – Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, at 86-87 (Pierce & Hale, eds., Boston, 1850)
      ***”Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.”
      –Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (Philadelphia 1787).
      ***”No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
      – Thomas Jefferson, Proposal Virginia Constitution, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334,[C.J. Boyd, Ed., 1950]
      ***” … to disarm the people – that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”
      – George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380
      ***”The right [to bear arms] is general. It may be supposed from the phraseology of this provision that the right to keep and bear arms was only guaranteed to the militia; but this would be an interpretation not warranted by the intent. The militia, as has been explained elsewhere, consists of those persons who, under the laws, are liable to the performance of military duty, and are officered and enrolled for service when called upon…. [I]f the right were limited to those enrolled, the purpose of the guarantee might be defeated altogether by the action or the neglect to act of the government it was meant to hold in check. The meaning of the provision undoubtedly is, that the people, from whom the militia must be taken, shall have the right to keep and bear arms, and they need no permission or regulation of law for the purpose. But this enables the government to have a well-regulated militia; for to bear arms implies something more than mere keeping; it implies the learning to handle and use them in a way that makes those who keep them ready for their efficient use; in other words, it implies the right to meet for voluntary discipline in arms, observing in so doing the laws of public order.”
      – Thomas M. Cooley, General Principles of Constitutional Law, Third Edition [1898]
      Then there are politicians who insist in taking our Constitution out of context of time and original meaning. Once again, James Madison warned us against this.
      “Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.”
      Second Amendment:
      “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
      Arms, in the context and time when our Constitution was written meant the usual arms carried by militia members, everyday citizens or light infantry in the Continental Army. Many of these arms were supplied by their owners for militia duty and were personal weapons initially used for hunting or home defense. They came in all types and calibers; from a 30 cal. squirrel rifle to a 75 cal. smooth bore musket, pistols and shotguns of all types, calibers and gauges. They also included a huge variety of other arms including: knives of every conceivable shape and size, bayonets and swords. Many early citizens also carried tomahawks.
      Attempts to control the type and or caliber of arms Americans’ can possess are absolutely against The Constitution and the Second Amendment as it was written and intended. By the supreme law of the land (The Constitution), an American citizen should be able to keep and bear any weapon now used individually by our light infantry soldiers.
      Larger weapons such as cannon and mortars that required more than one person to operate were considered to be “ordinance”.
      Words have meanings! If those meanings are bastardized all becomes chaos.
      Definition of to keep: to hold or retain in one’s possession; hold as one’s own.
      Definition of to bear: to carry, transmit, transport, have a characteristic of and exhibit.
      Definition of INFRINGE: to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another.
      Why is this so hard to understand? The meaning of the words in the Second Amendment have not changed since the amendment was ratified.
      I am not aware of the Second Amendment being repealed or amended.
      In Reference to arms control by the states; the Fourteenth Amendment Section .1. is crystal clear.
      Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; (My emphasis) nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
      Many in politics and or judges cite “precedent” as a justification for the violations of our rights as contained in The Constitution of These United States of America. Precedent only describes what has been done, not if it was done in compliance with the supreme law of the land or in accordance with the oath of office to uphold The Constitution.

  • rikker5700

    I don’t hear that either, besides with over 2000 federal gun laws that are not enforced they aren’t talking gun control, they are talking confiscation.

  • DEfromDC

    Joe had better think again. After they take guns with big clips because they say they are more dangerous, then they will go after cars because they kill more children than guns did. The pull back will be to take your truck because it is more dangerous like the extra bullets in the clips. Then they will take something else probably before going after the rest of the guns. Somewhere in there they have to take away the churches because they don’t fit their agenda either.

    We have a Constitution that is the basis for our laws without it we don’t any firm laws.

  • DEfromDC

    Maybe the vote should decide. Those districts that voted for Obama must turn in their guns. Districts that voted otherwise keep their guns. Didn’t the democrats already restrict guns in most of the areas that voted for Obama? Isn’t that where most of the gun crimes are committed? Do they really want to expand the gun crimes? Only criminals would have guns so they would do whatever they want. But again isn’t this about Obama doing whatever he wants? Think about it!

  • Bisley

    Manchin is your typical lying, socialist snake. If any gun control measure comes to a vote in the Senate and the party needs his vote to pass it, they have it. If it will pass without his support, he will “stand up” for the 2nd Amendment.

 

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