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ACLU on the Second Amendment!

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Internet Project: If anyone knows of a local or state ACLU chapter that supports the Second Amendment as an “individual right,” please e-mail me at www@saf.org

NEW: ALCU Chapter stumped on Responding to Question on Meaning of the Second Amendment. originally from the NY Post, October 2, 2001.

Previous ACLU answer: “We would be better without that.” (Quoted from Steve Dunleavy’s article in NY Post 10/02/01)

By Dave LaCourse

Since the Second Amendment and the Emerson case are being debated on the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Web site as part of their Sovereign Citizen board at http://webcenter.aclu.boards.aol.com/aclu/brdlist.mbl?boardId=436480 , I thought it would only be fair to post on-line some information on the ACLU and their position on the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment Foundation has repeatedly featured an ACLU representative at our annual Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC) to discuss areas where we can work together. Asset forfeiture, Waco and privacy rights are all areas of some agreement. And the ACLU did say a recent gun ruling erodes rights, but only on Fourth Amendment grounds. See ACLU says gun ruling erodes rights; prosecutors disagree, by Mark Hutchison, NewsOK.com on 9/07/01.

Unfortunately, we have never been able to reverse the ACLU’s national position on the Second Amendment as a non-individual right. A few years ago, I tried very hard to contact a pro-Second Amendment Chapter of the ACLU to work together in crafting an Emerson amicus brief, but struck out in finding one. This was very disappointing, and I hope some day that law-abiding gun owners will receive as much defending and advocacy from the ACLU as some even less-popular groups already receive.

Until then, I look toward individual ACLU members to work on changing their local chapters. Now that the Emerson decision out of the Fifth Circuit is in, this task may become easier as the court said clearly that the Second Amendment is an individual right, and soundly rejected the “collective” claims. If there is already a pro-individual rights ACLU chapter, please e-mail me information on them here: www@saf.org . Thank you!

One of our frustrations, for example, it that the ACLU claims that poor people “deserve both freedom and security.” I agree with much of the following article, but the ACLU forgets about one right.

Poor People Deserve Both Freedom and Safety by Vic Walczak

What about the right of self-defense and the means to exercise that right? Where was the ACLU when public housing authorities were trying to ban legal gun ownership in the projects? Nowhere. But erect a gate, and suddenly they remember the other amendments. Picking and choosing Amendments should stop.

For Articles on the potential Suffolk Housing Ban, see the following articles.

Suffolk may ban guns from public housing. The Virginian Pilot online 9/10/01.

Suffolk backs off gun ban in housing. The Virginian Pilot online 9/10/01.

An earlier Portland, Maine public housing gun ban is mentioned near the bottom of this article, and the ACLU is mentioned favorably on a separate issue as well. Selective Disarmament: No Guns For The Poor, by David Kopel.

The rest of this page is devoted to providing information on the ACLU and their position on gun rights. To begin with, I have posted a good debate between ACLU members published in Spring 1994.

Their Point/CounterPoint was featured on Page 5 of The Sentinel, which I believe is or was an ACLU publication, but I may be mistaken. Please e-mail me at www@saf.org if I am wrong.

Interestingly, this page featured a shadowy figure pointing a handgun at an angle out from the page as well as another picture of a women pointing a gun DIRECTLY at a reader with the text under this picture reading, “People Killed by Guns Last Year: CANADA: 76 JAPAN 82 GREAT BRITAIN: 33 UNITED STATES: 40,000.”

A fair and balance page, don’t you think? Well, at least the debate was, and here it is.
1. This is Not a Well-Regulated Militia (anti-self-defense)

2. Protect the Right to Bear Arms (pro-self-defense)
Once again, if anyone knows of a local or state ACLU chapter that supports the Second Amendment as an “individual right,” please e-mail me at www@saf.org
The Official National ACLU position on the Second Amendment is available here:

3. Gun Control: “Why doesn’t the ACLU support an individual’s unlimited right to keep and bear arms?” Note terms like “unlimited” and other code words.
A search for “ACLU Second Amendment” yields many web pages. Here are only a few of 16,200 matches from http://www.hotbot.com

4. A re-energized ACLU: But some positions deserve rethinking. A good article that admits how the ACLU’s silence on the Second Amendment makes them anti-individual rights on the issue.

5. A Letter to the ACLU. Ex-ACLU member debates the organization.
Two less cordial attacks are available here:

6. Dishonesty and Deception: The ACLU and the Second Amendment.

7. ACLU (Arms-Confiscating Lies Unmasked).
Once again, if anyone knows of a local or state ACLU chapter that supports the Second Amendment as an “individual right,” please e-mail me at www@saf.org

Thanks!