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    [The Second Amendment] has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word "fraud," on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime. Now just look at those words. There are only three lines to that amendment. A well regulated militia -- if the militia, which was going to be the state army, was going to be well regulated, why shouldn't 16 and 17 and 18 or any other age persons be regulated in the use of arms the way an automobile is regulated?
    . . .
    I don't want to get sued for slander, but I repeat that [the NRA has] misled the American people and they, I regret to say, they have had far too much influence on the Congress of the United States than as a citizen I would like to see -- and I am a gun man. I have guns. I've been a hunter ever since I was a boy.
      Former Chief Justice Warren Burger, The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, December 16, 1991
    All rhetoric aside, these lawmakers and their mentors in the National Rifle Association should recognize the undeniable fact that the Second Amendment has never been an impediment to laws limiting private ownership of firearms.
    . . .
    Never in history has a federal court invalidated a law regulating the private ownership of firearms on Second Amendment grounds. Indeed, that the Second Amendment poses no barrier to strong gun laws is perhaps the most well-settled proposition in American constitutional law. Yet the incantation of this phantom right continues to pervade congressional debate.
      Former Solictor General and Dean of the Harvard Law School, Erwin Griswold, "Phantom Second Amendment 'Rights' " Washington Post, November 4, 1990
    The United States Supreme Court and lower federal courts have consistently interpreted this Amendment only as a prohibition against Federal interference with State militia and not as a guarantee of an individual's right to keep or carry firearms. The argument that the Second Amendment prohibits all State or Federal regulation of citizen's ownership of firearms has no validity whatsoever.
      American Bar Association Coordinating Committee on Gun Violence, "Second Amendment Issues"
    [The Second Amendment's] intent was to guarantee the right of states to form militia, not for individuals to bear arms.
      Robert Bork, quoted in "Bork Says State Gun Laws Constitutional," Los Angeles Times, March 15, 1989, Part 2 pg 5


©Copyright, 2000, Mike Rosenberg