Friday, April 27, 2007

State v. Kerner, "To deprive him of bearing any of these arms is to infringe upon the right guaranteed to him by the Constitution.", May 11, 1921

A couple of quotes from this somewhat good judicial decision;

...We know that in the past this privilege was guaranteed for the sacred purpose of enabling the people to protect themselves against invasions of their liberties. Had not the people of the Colonies been accustomed to bear arms, and acquire effective skill in their use, the scene at Lexington in 1775 would have had a different result, and when "the embattled farmers fired the shot that was heard around the world," it would have been fired in vain. Had not the common people, the rank and file, those who "bore the burden of the battle" during our great Revolution, been accustomed to the use of arms, the victories for liberty would not have been won and American Independence would have been an impossibility....

...The maintenance of the right to bear arms is a most essential one to every free people and should not be whittled down by technical constructions. It should be construed to include all "arms" as were in common use, and borne by the people as such when this provision was adopted. It does not guarantee on the one hand that the people have the futile right to use submarines and cannon of 100 miles range nor airplanes dropping deadly bombs, nor the use of poisonous gases, nor on the other hand does it embrace dirks, daggers, slung-shots and brass knuckles, which may be weapons but are not strictly speaking "arms" borne by the people at large, and which are generally carried concealed. The practical and safe construction is that which must have been in the minds (p.225)of those who framed our organic law. The intention was to embrace the "arms," an acquaintance with whose use was necessary for their protection against the usurpation of illegal power--such as rifles, muskets, shotguns, swords, and pistols. These are now but little used in war; still they are such weapons that they or their like can still be considered as "arms," which they have a right to "bear."....

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