Myth Blaster: Eric Holder and the Second Amendment

Email circulating:

Obama’s new Attorney General, Eric Holder, has already said this is one of his major issues. He does not believe the 2ndAmendment gives individuals the right to bear arms. This takes literally 2 clicks to complete.   Please vote on this gun issue question with USA Today.  It will only take a few seconds of your time.  Then pass the link on to all the pro gun folks you know.   Hopefully these results will be published later this month. This upcoming year will become critical for gun owners with the Supreme Court’s accepting the District of Columbia  case against the right for individuals to bear arms. 

Here’s what you need to do:

First – vote on this one.

Second – launch it to other folks and have them vote – then we will see if the results get published.

The Question is:

“Does the Second Amendment give individuals the right to bear arms?”

Click on the link below and PLEASE vote Yes! – Quick Question

Myth Blaster Verdict:

Varied Response: (1) QuestionableEric Holder is quoted by Soda Head, in fact it appears the email is from that source; however provides no link to Eric Holder stating, either quoted in print or viewed on video, the following alleged statement: 

He does not believe the 2nd Amendment gives individuals the right to bear arms

(2) TRUE – The link to USA Today is a poll. I voted and at that time there were 5,718,630 votes with 97% choosing YES, 2% choosing NO, and 1% Undecided.
The Second Amendment reads:

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.

I am sure even the dumb-down government-run school students can understand this simple amendment.
The original authors and signers of the Constitution and its amendments, the first ten, which has come to be known as the Bill of Rights, was written to be as clear and yet concise as possible. In its draft the Second Amendment was debated and modified during sessions of the House in 1789. The debates were mostly about the risk of mal-administration of the government using the religiously scrupulous clause to destroy the militia as Great Britain had attempted to do at the commencement of the American Revolution. On December 15th, 1791, the first ten amendments, which included the 2nd Amendment, were ratified by three-fourths of the states.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the phrase To bear arms is to:

Serve as a soldier, do military service, fight.

“Bear” means to carry. Duh! Oxford folks must have missed that.

US Supreme Court cases involving disputes concerning the Second Amendment are: United States v. Cruikshank (1875), Presser v. Illinois (1886), Robertson v. Baldwin (1897), United States v. Miller (1939) and District of Columbia v. Heller (2008).

A key legal question is whether the Second Amendment is held to apply to state and local governments by way of the Fourteenth Amendment. Cruikshank and Presser predate the modern criteria by which it is determined whether a particular part of the Bill of Rights applies to state and local governments. Because Heller did not make such a determination, it remains an open question.

Attorney General Eric Holder’s views that the Second Amendment only allows for organized militia ownership of firearms is sure to raise a great deal of controversy among gun owners over the next four years. In fact, since the election, the number of Americans seeking federal permits to own a gun has skyrocketed to the highest levels ever recorded, as many fear that the private ownership of guns might be severely limited by new legal efforts of this new attorney general. … What makes Holder such a controversial choice for attorney general is that he holds such restrictive views of many portions of the bill of rights, and may feel that his own views or some misguided sense of public safety could guide his legal views on issues like Second Amendment rights or First Amendment press freedoms. … 

There are also some disturbing federal cases that Holder might attempt to champion. In one case, a gun owner loaned a legal assault weapon to a friend that misfired at a shooting range, and the federal government then brought illegal machine gun charges against the gun owner who has faced huge legal bills as well as serious criminal charges. It is pretty obvious that this was a fully legal weapon, and that the illegal machine gun charges are simply overreaching and unfair. However, Holder might choose for the Justice Department to champion such outrageous cases in an effort to mount up a number of legal challenges to weaken the Second Amendment.

My own personal feelings are that guns might cause a great deal of problems in society, however the Second Amendment does very clearly allow for the ownership of private firearms. 

No one should be an Attorney General for federal or state who does not agree with the laws, constitutional or otherwise. Eric Holder’s duty is to uphold law, not political ideology and personal opinion.
Eric Holder has side stepped when asked directly by Katie Couric in an interview concerning the Second Amendment, but his policies and other statements make clear he is not loyal to the Second Amendment or the other Bill of Rights. Until given a reputable source, it stands that Eric Holder did NOT make the statement described in the chain email.

9 comments on “Myth Blaster: Eric Holder and the Second Amendment

  1. Jill Grubb says:

    The second amendment was long interpreted as referring to a well-regulated militia, not individuals. The recent Supreme Court Decision applied it to individuals. Holder is in a long tradition, which is now changing. Cut him some slack.

  2. J. Grubb:The 2nd Amendment has NOT been "LONG" interpreted to only refer to a "well-regulated militia".You need to go back and re-read the article as well as the second amendment.Recent Supreme Court decision applied to individuals because that is what the amendment reads and was written to be by the Founders.No "slack" for "interpretutionalists" who attempt, and has sometimes succeeded, to rewrite the Constitution which is in plain language. The Supreme Court's job is to ensure that the Constitution is upheld and applied under questionable circumstances as to the letter of the law.In addition, the Supreme Court has, for too "long" of a period of time, failed to perform the functions intended. For example: The 2nd Amendment is the law of the land – and all states of the Union must comply; however, they are allowed to "add" to constitutional law to fit the needs of individual state governments. Any state that does not allow a citizen to apply for a permit to carry a concealed weapon is undermining the 2nd Amendment. In recent years, this is slowly being fixed – but it would have gone much faster if Justices would not interpret the constitution according to political climate or personal opinion.In reality, much of what is going on in Congress and legislative practices is clearly not in the Constitution, like the Filibuster procedures. Both parties use it, but clearly not in their assigned duties as congressional members. If the Supreme Court and the President would perform their duties under the constitution, Congress would be more careful what they propose and what they legislate and government would be smaller and more efficient.What was written stands.I suggest you read Constitution and the Federalist Papers and related material instead of what "interpretutionalists" write in an effort to "interpret" something as simple as the wording in the Second Amendment.

  3. Joe says:

    Jill, the 2nd amendment DOES allow individuals to bear arms. Do a little research next time please. It make anti-gun people look bad when they don't even know what the 2nd Amendment says.Two recent Supreme Court decisions, District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010), interpreted the Second Amendment. In Heller, the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm (unconnected to service in a militia)and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Additionally, the Court enumerated several longstanding prohibitions and restrictions on firearms possession that it found were consistent with the Second Amendment. In McDonald, the Court determined that the Second Amendment limits state and local governmental authority to the same extent that it limits federal authority.Amazing what you can find by doing 10 seconds of research.

  4. @Joe – Really? Because the last time I read the 2nd amendment, it's wordedA 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.Forgive me if I'm missing it, but I don't see the word "individual" in there at all. Now, before you blow your lid, know that I am neither anti gun nor pro gun control. I'm simply stating that the amendment, to me (and to many people) is not black and white. And to blast Jill for her statement seems ignorant to me. Americans see what they WANT to see in this amendment (well…anything, really), and that's why we rely on the Supreme Court to interpret for us.In fact, it seems to me that you're just reinforcing what Jill posted. You quote "recent Supreme Court decisions" that "apply it to individuals" which is, correct me if I'm wrong, exactly what she said.

  5. The "People" are not individuals?You, Jill and others who have a reading disability, should go back to school …If you want a government that does not allow citizens to protect themselves – consider moving to a nation who outlaws personally-owned and used means of self defense.If you choose not to have a weapon, use a weapon – own a weapon … you have that right – but do not take that right or any other away from those who disagree with your brainwashed form of thinking.The Supreme Court's job is not to "interpret" the Constitution, but to interpret its words to mentally challenged people like you.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The question here is not what the second amendment says, it is whether or not Holder said what the circulating email claims. This post is on 'Myth Blaster', duh. People here jumping right to 2nd amendment issues, and questioning the accusation. Due process is a lot more important than the 2nd amendment beliefs. People believing any and all things they hear is the real problem here. Or more accurately, WANTING to believe what they hear, because it suits their ideology and uninformed views, is the problem. And look at Hooson's article. Full of 'fear', 'MIGHT attempt', 'MIGHT choose', 'My own personal feelings'. And not one actual factual action cited. This type of fear mongering never goes away I guess. Why get the facts when you get just accuse and smear, and sway people with rumor, conjecture and lies. My god, in grade school we were supposed to learn that a lie spread as rumor can cause damage and we should know better. But since it is in a email, heck, it MUST be true, huh. I fall neither way on Holder's views, but I know enough to not blindly assume the smear.

  7. Anonymous says:

    …did anyone else notice the survey is from Nov 2007?…I vote that the citizens definitely should be considered people (although most of them act like sheeple, and the government/corporations treats us like sheeple to shear as profitable).However, an interesting point to me that nobody has yet mentioned… I just got a nearly identically worded email regarding the attorney general's view on the 2nd ammendment, and following the post, I went and voted (yes). Then being the curious person I am, I happened to look at the web address for the survey… which is …. and noticed the date seems to reference 2007 and November. also, when I voted/viewed the results, it indicated that 8,282,537 people had voted which seems like a lot of people (I haven't done any research on the proportion of USA population or whatever, it just seems like a lot of votes in say, a month/year if the survey was anywhere near current). I tried briefly to even find any sort of current "quickquestion" on and failed.Anyone know how current this survey is?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone recall that the "well-regulated militia" that defended this young nation was made up of regular citizens and Native Americans that employed their personal weapons to defend this nation against the tyranny being imposed. This militia was not a "Regular Army" organized by a State, Colony or Government.

  9. marymm says:

    Leave it to Eric Holder…the Fast & Furious guy….give all the weapons to the drug cartel…."Um, I just heard about it yesterday"…yes, Eric, we believe every word you say…you little altar boy!

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