More proof that the courts do not understand the Second Amendment
Or are purposely trying to obfuscate it.
It came to my attention, recently, that the shipment of “automatic” or “switch blade” knives is illegal according to Title 18, Section 1716, Part I (Crimes), Chapter 83 (Postal Service), Injurious articles as nonmailable. Paragraph (g) of the citation reads:
(g) All knives having a blade which opens automatically (1) by hand pressure applied to a button or other device in the handle of the knife, or (2) by operation of inertia, gravity, or both, are nonmailable and shall not be deposited in or carried by the mails or delivered by any officer or employee of the Postal Service. Such knives may be conveyed in the mails, under such regulations as the Postal Service shall prescribe –
(1) to civilian or Armed Forces supply or procurement officers and employees of the Federal Government ordering, procuring, or purchasing such knives in connection with the activities of the Federal Government;
(2) to supply or procurement officers of the National Guard, the Air National Guard, or militia of a State ordering, procuring, or purchasing such knives in connection with the activities of such organizations;
(3) to supply or procurement officers or employees of any State, or any political subdivision of a State or Territory, ordering, procuring, or purchasing such knives in connection with the activities of such government; and
(4) to manufacturers of such knives or bona fide dealers therein in connection with any shipment made pursuant to an order from any person designated in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3).
“Ballistic” knives, or knives in which the blade is detached and “fired” via a spring mechanism, are also covered under this law. The very words of this statute make it unconstitutional, as I will show. Incidentally, it is not illegal to own a switchblade in, I believe, eight states. The U.S. Government, however, has made it as difficult as possible to buy them.
Let us first examine what is meant by arms as specified in the Second Amendment. For those who do not know, by now, the Second Amendment states, 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. You may place your commas where you will.
The Supreme Court has deemed, in D.C. v. Heller that your right to bear arms and protect yourself inside your home is not a consequence of membership in any militia. Meaning that you can have a weapon in your home—in this case in particular, a handgun—to protect yourself. And this does not require any locking device. However, they fell short of a true definition of the Second Amendment by indicating that the Congress could regulate what you own. Supreme Court nominee Sonya Sotomeyer even believes States can still ban guns altogether.
When speaking of the “right of the People to keep and bear Arms,” the new speak dictionary introduced in the indoctrination centers across the country has associated that with “firearms.” If you are a Marine, there is a legendary phrase that you probably associate with when a person speaks of their rifle as a gun. In those centers they are taught that they only have the right to bear the arms that the government allows, if any at all.
Yet, we still have not made headway on defining just what an “arm” is. The term arms does not apply simply to rifles, firearms and handguns. To seek a simple explanation, I turned to the 2003 electronic version of the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. As a noun, the main definition that we seek is, “a means (as a weapon) of offense or defense; especially : FIREARM.” You will find that in most new speak dictionaries, they will include some convolution of the phrase, especially : FIREARM. It is meant to equate with the word “FEAR.” However, the first part of the phrase is essentially accurate. An arm, in the classical sense, is any weapon used for offense or defense. The caveman’s club, the sword, the bow-and-arrow, the firearm and, yes, the knife are all examples of arms. And they are all covered under the Second Amendment.
In 1988, the Eighth Circuit Court heard the plea of John Nelsen. Bear in mind that this case was prior to D.C. v. Heller. Nelsen was appealing a conviction for violation of the Switchblade Knife Act, 15 U.S.C., Section 1242 which states, “Whoever knowingly introduces, or manufactures for introduction, into interstate commerce, or transports or distributes in interstate commerce, any switchblade knife, shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.” There was an additional charge under 18 U.S.C. Section 545 for the fraudulent importation of prohibited goods.
The case, as they saw it, was, “The sole question before us is whether the district court erred in upholding the constitutionality of section 1242’s prohibition of the transportation or distribution of switchblade knives in interstate commerce. Nelsen advances three theories for invalidating the Act. First, he argues that the Act bears no rational relationship to any legitimate legislative goal, and therefore violates the due process clause of the fifth amendment. Second, he attempts to discover a fundamental right to bear arms in the second amendment. Finally, he asserts that the Act is so vague and overbroad that it violates due process.”
When it came to considering the Second Amendment argument, the decision reads, “ We also decline to hold that the Act violates the second amendment. Nelsen claims to find a fundamental right to keep and bear arms in that amendment, but this has not been the law for at least 100 years. In United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542, 23 L.Ed. 588 (1876) , the Supreme Court overturned criminal convictions based on interference with supposed second amendment rights. “The right there specified is that of ‘bearing arms for a lawful purpose.’ This is not a right granted by the Constitution.” Id. at 553. Later cases have analyzed the second amendment purely in terms of protecting state militias, rather than individual rights. See, e.g., United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, 59 S.Ct. 816, 83 L.Ed. 1206 (1939); United States v. Oakes, 564 F.2d 384 (10th Cir.1977), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 926 , 98 S.Ct. 1493, 55 L.Ed.2d 521 (1978); United States v. Warin, 530 F.2d 103 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 426 U.S. 948 , 96 S.Ct. 3168, 49 L.Ed.2d 1185 (1976). Nelsen has made no arguments that the Act would impair any state militia, and we do not see how such a claim could plausibly be made.”
If you examine the Miller case, their contention was that they could not ascertain what military use a sawed-off shotgun had. However, we have acknowledged what military use a switchblade knife has. We have, apparently, ascertained what use a spring assisted knife has. We know what military value a fully-automatic AK-47, Mac-10 and an Uzi has. So, too, grenade launchers, bayonets, tanks and planes. Even a cursory examination of the Federalist Papers will tell you that the founding fathers intended a nation armed and trained equally to any standing army. That being the facts, the very wording of Title 18, Section 1716 make the laws against switchblade unconstitutional. Paragraph (g) of that section specifies that these knives may only be shipped to Armed Forces procurement officers, National Guard and Air National Guard officer, “…or militia of a State ordering, procuring, or purchasing such knives in connection with the activities of such organizations;…” The Constitutions of most States have a provision outlining who is in the militia of that State, if not specific laws. If your description fits within those confines, then even that State cannot prevent you from owning a switchblade, automatic or any other knife, for that matter. Because the State and federal governments give up their authority delegated to them over two hundred years ago does not mean that you have to give up yours.
I would urge that you contact your representatives in Congress and tell them to stop. Stop trampling on your rights and repeal this amendment before H.R. 2892 passes. The next time that you have to fumble with a knife to cut one of your family members from some entanglement they might get into, you will wish you had.