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Candidates on Second Amendment Case:

Yesterday, Senator Fred Thompson issued a statement on the Supreme Court's decision to grant certiorari in the District of Columbia gun ban case. It reads, in part:

I've always understood the Second Amendment to mean what it says -- it guarantees a citizen the right to "keep and bear" firearms, and that's why I've been supportive of the National Rifle Association's efforts to have the DC law overturned.

In general, lawful gun ownership is a pretty simple matter. The Founders established gun-owner rights so that citizens would possess and be able to exercise the universal right of self-defense. Guns enable their owners to protect themselves from robbery and assault more successfully and more safely than they otherwise would be able to. The danger of laws like the D.C. handgun ban is that they limit the availability of legal guns to people who want to use them for legitimate reasons, such as self-defense (let alone hunting, sport shooting, collecting), while doing nothing to prevent criminals from acquiring guns.

The D.C. handgun ban, like all handgun bans is necessarily ineffectual. It takes the guns that would be used for self protection out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, while doing practically nothing to prevent criminals from obtaining guns to use to commit crimes. Even the federal judges in the D.C. case knew about the flourishing black market for guns in our nation's capital that leaves the criminals armed and the law-abiding defenseless. This is unacceptable.

The Second Amendment does more than guarantee to all Americans an unalienable right to defend one's self. William Blackstone, the 18th century English legal commentator whose works were well-read and relied on by the Framers of our Constitution, observed that the right to keep and bear firearms arises from "the natural right of resistance and self-preservation." This view, reflected in the Second Amendment, promotes both self-defense and liberty. It is not surprising then that the generation that had thrown off the yoke of British tyranny less than a decade earlier included the Second Amendment in the Constitution and meant for it to enable the people to protect themselves and their liberties.

Governor Mitt Romney also issued a statement, which reads in full:

It is my hope that the Supreme Court will reaffirm the individual right to keep and bear arms as enshrined in the Bill of Rights and protect law abiding gun owners everywhere. To further guard this fundamental liberty, as President, I will take care to appoint judges who will not legislate from the bench but will instead strictly interpret the Constitution.

If Mayor Rudy Giuliani issued a statement, I could not find it on his website. [UPDATE: I must've not looked very hard, because more than one commenter found this statement: "I strongly believe that Judge Silberman's decision deserves to be upheld by the Supreme Court. The Parker decision is an excellent example of a judge looking to find the meaning of the words in the Constitution, not what he would like them to mean."]

I could not find a statement on the Senator Barack Obama or Senator Hilary Clinton campaign sites either. Note: If these or other candidates issued statements on the cert. grant, I'll post links to those as well. Just e-mail them to me, or note them in the comments.

Cold Warrior:
Umm, didn't David Bernstein just tell us that Jonathan Adler had signed on as an advisor to the Thompson campaign?

Yes, he did:


Republican Candidates Battle for the Law Professor Vote: Here's the tally so far; a surprisingly large percentage of well-known conservative professors have signed up with a campaign.

Rudy Giuliani: Lillian Bevier, Steven Calabresi, Ronald Cass, Charles Fried, John McGinnis, Daniel Rodriguez, George Priest, Nicholas Quinn Rosencranz, Ron Rotunda

Fred Thompson: Michael Abramowicz, Jonathan Adler, John Baker, Michael Dimino, Viet Dinh, John Duffy, Brian Fitzpatrick, Rick Garnett, Orin Kerr, Caleb Nelson, Eugene Volokh, Todd Zywicki

Mitt Romney (technically an advisory committee on the Constitution and the Courts): Michelle Boardman, Mary Anne Glendon, Alan Ferrell, Douglas Kmiec, Stephen Presser, Brad Smith

John McCain: If law professors are organizing themselves on behalf of McCain, it's not easy to find on the web, though my colleague (and former head of the FTC) Tim Muris is a bigwig in the campaign.


Next time, Jonathan, just eliminate the middleman and post your thought directly to this blog and have the Senator issue the following comment:

"What he said."
11.21.2007 5:20pm
Anonymous Coward #39841:
Rudy's statement:

"I strongly believe that Judge Silberman's decision deserves to be upheld by the Supreme Court. The Parker decision is an excellent example of a judge looking to find the meaning of the words in the Constitution, not what he would like them to mean." (http://www.joinrudy2008.com/article/pr/1009)

(Not that I support Rudy; I consider his views on freedom vs authority to be quite damning.)
11.21.2007 5:25pm
DonP (mail):
I predict a lot of tap dancing candidates on this issue over the next few months.

Expect to hear, mainly rom the Dems, the phrases "Common Sense Gun laws", "Gun Show Loophole", "No one needs an AK-47 to hunt deer" et. al. and repeated ad nauseum until our ears start to bleed.

At least Biden was honest (not neccessarily smart, but honest) enough to propose reinstating the '93 AWB so voters in Iowa will know where he stands on banning their Grandpa's Browning Auto 5 shotgun and Marlin Model 60 .22 semi-auto squirrel gun.
11.21.2007 5:27pm
DJ (mail):
Funny, Rudy issued a statement right away and posted it to his website. Real easy find: http://www.joinrudy2008.com/article/pr/1009

What he said.
11.21.2007 5:29pm
Cornellian (mail):
Thompson has clearly doomed his candidacy by citing to foreign law.
11.21.2007 5:40pm
Anderson (mail):
Thompson has clearly doomed his candidacy by citing to foreign law.

Ha!

Next time, Jonathan, just eliminate the middleman

The Cold War's over, C.W. - lighten up, wouldja?

If I were Hillary or Obama, I'd just say that I look forward to the Court's clarifying the law.
11.21.2007 6:00pm
tvk:
Pray tell, in what sense is Judge Silberman's decision "an excellent example of a judge looking to find the meaning of the words in the Constitution, not what he would like them to mean"? Does anyone even remotely acquainted with Judge Silberman's political inclinations (no disrepect to them, and Parker may very well be affirmed) believe that his opinion in Parker ran in any way, shape or form contrary to his personal policy preferences?

Scalia on flag burning as an example of principle over preference, yes. Silberman on gun-rights as an example, I doubt it.
11.21.2007 6:02pm
KeithK (mail):

Thompson has clearly doomed his candidacy by citing to foreign law.

18th century English common law that pre-dates American independance isn't foreign law.
11.21.2007 6:07pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
So Thompson, if I understand his position, believes that an armed populace is necessary in case we need to overthrow his government?
11.21.2007 6:40pm
Cornellian (mail):
Dilan,

Hey, and this a gun ban that would apply in the District of Columbia! Coincidence?
11.21.2007 6:52pm
Andy Freeman (mail):
Should we prefer candidates who believe that their administration is necessarily one that shouldn't be overthrown? If so, what other checks and balances are superfluous for said candidates?
11.21.2007 7:16pm
Gil Milbauer (mail) (www):
Didn't the NRA initially oppose this challenge to the DC Gun Ban?

Isn't Thompson factually wrong to give them credit?
11.21.2007 8:08pm
jed (www):
> Jonathan Adler had signed on as an advisor to the Thompson campaign

> Didn't the NRA initially oppose this challenge to the DC Gun Ban?

Gil, Yes and yes.

Well, perhaps Mr. Adler can help Mr. Thompson in the fact-checking department. references to Gura's and Levy's remarks re. the NRA aren't terribly difficult to find.
11.21.2007 8:55pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
So Thompson, if I understand his position, believes that an armed populace is necessary in case we need to overthrow his government?

Sure. The 2nd Amendment reflects that the Founding Fathers recognized that the people should always be prepared to rise up and overthrow ... the Founding Fathers. (Not original, and I wish I could remember who had said it first).
11.21.2007 10:49pm
Gaius Marius:
Thompson will throw in the towel after back to back single digit losses in Iowa and NH.
11.22.2007 12:49pm
therut:
Clinton, Obama, Dodd, Edwards and Kuch will all have to lie . Clintons DOJ and Gore specifically argued in court that I and every other citizend does not have an individual right to keep and bear arms. The only one who disagress on the "liberal" side is Richardson. Rommey and Gulliani are also telling a lie. Look for them to talk about alot about hunting and so forth. As I said LIE.
11.22.2007 9:29pm
iowan (mail):
Thompson is the only Pol. to get it right. He impresses me as some one that always has an answer because he has core values, and while maybe not deep in details, he knows what the big picture is.

The whole BOR forbids and restricts Government actions.
the only reason for the 2cnd is to protect a free state. Free from what. Invasions? No, got an Army for that. Free from the government. Thats it.
11.23.2007 7:24am
RKV (mail):
iowan - nope. See Article 1 Section 8, US Constitution.

"To provide for calling forth the Militia to
execute the Laws of the Union,
suppress Insurrections and
repel Invasions"
11.23.2007 8:09pm