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Another Early 1800s Source Supporting the Individual Rights View of the Second Amendment:

From H.P. Nugent, An Account of the Proceedings had in the Superior Court of the Territory of Orleans, against Thierry & Nugent for Libels and Contempt of Court 43-44 (Philadelphia 1810), relating statements by Judge Fran├žois Xavier Martin, then a territorial judge and eventually a Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court:

It is true, said he [Judge Martin], the constitution secures the liberty of the press, but it likewise secures the liberty of keeping arms; now, as the liberty of keeping arms is not the liberty of killing or maiming whom we please, so is not the liberty of the press, the liberty of publishing libels....

It was for the second time during the trial, that judge Martin compared the liberty of the press to the right of keeping arms, and argued that as one was not the liberty of killing or maiming, neither was the other that of publishing libels.

The Louisiana Supreme Court went on in the 1850s -- after Judge Martin was dead -- to likewise characterize the Second Amendment as an individual right, but it looks like this view was taken by a leading Louisiana judge as early as 1810. The reference is in passing, but it just reflects, it seems to me, the uncontroversial nature of the assertion at the time; and though it's second-hand (Judge Martin's words are paraphrased, not quoted), the tangential nature of the assertion adds credibility to it, since the author had little reason to misreport it.

I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere else, so I thought I'd post it. If any of you know of a source that talks about it, please let me know so I can give it proper credit. I know of no relationship between H.P. Nugent and Ted Nugent.

Modus Ponens:
Methinks the gun nut doth protest too much.

Or is it that Heller says less than you've said it says?
7.8.2008 5:02pm
Dave N (mail):
An Account of the Proceedings had in the Superior Court of the Territory of Orleans, against Thierry &Nugent for Libels and Contempt of Court
Now we know why Ted is so vociforously pro-gun. It is genetic.
7.8.2008 5:34pm
Modus Tollens (mail):
Modus:

Do you have an actual argument?
7.8.2008 5:36pm
Brett:
Snark is the new argument.
7.8.2008 5:38pm
Johnnie (mail) (www):
I noticed that both mentioned libel as not protected by the Constitution. I wish we could also bring back libel laws to where they were before a notorious Supreme Court decision that all but eliminated libel laws and actions.
7.8.2008 6:44pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Methinks the gun nut doth protest too much.

Or is it that Heller says less than you've said it says?
Please try to keep up. We've established an individual right (subject to reasonable regulation) against the federal government with Heller. Now we're coming for your state laws that disarm law-abiding adults, and thus give the advantage to rapists, robbers, murderers, and other professional predators. See the Fourteenth Amendment.
7.8.2008 6:50pm
A.W. (mail):
So looking at this case, does the judge thing there is merely a right to bear the press, but not to use it?

On its own terms, what a crazy analogy.
7.8.2008 11:02pm
tom gunn (mail):
IANAL so I ask this in complete ignorance.

What is the first law regulation rule or statue promulgated by the fed infringing the right of individuals to keep and bear arms and based solely on the collective theory of the second amendment?

The NFA is the first I can find and that was based on the fed's taxing authority.

Though I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at that inception. "We can't ban mg's that'd be a violation of the second". "Let's tax them into oblivion."

Over at HNN there is a claim by R J Sptizer that the individual right to arms for self defense and the right to throw off the shackles of an overreaching fed found in the second was first put forth in "a law journal article published in 1960 in the William and Mary Law Review (2), written by a student member of the review's editorial board (and life NRA member). . . "

rel="nofollow" href="http://www.hnn.us/articles/51600.html">
7.9.2008 2:44am