"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."
Statements in logic must have a clear meaning and be either true or false. In general, questions, commands, or vague sentences cannot be used as statements in logic because they cannot be judged to be true or false.
Statement: I have the right to live. = A I have the right to defend my life. = B
If a statement is true, then its negation (opposite) is false.
Negation: I do not have the right to live. = ~A I do not have the right to defend my life. = ~B
Based on these two statements I can construct a conditional statement to test the logic.
Conditional Statement - A ---> B:
If I have the right to live, then I have the right to defend my life. (TRUE)
Converse - B ---> A:
If I have the right to defend my life, then I have the right to live. (TRUE)
Inverse - ~A ---> ~B:
If I do not have the right to live, then I do not have the right to defend my life. (TRUE)
Contrapositive ~B ---> ~A:
If I do not have the right to defend my life, then I do not have the right to live. (TRUE)
Because the statement and its converse are true, the following is a bi-conditional statement, which is a definition:
I have the right to live if and only if I have the right to defend my life.
If the right to defend myself is taken away, then I do not have the right to live. This was one of the major components of the supreme courts decision today, June 26, 2008.
Never before had I read a Supreme decision in such detail. The PDF document of the decision, is available here:
District of Columbia ET AL v. Heller
It is 157 pages long, Scalia delivered the opinion of the court, and Justice Breyer filed the dissenting opinion. Scalia’s form of writing, logic and proof, made the document very easy to read, and his burden of proof affirming the Second amendment was overwhelming. When I got to the dissenting opinion by Breyer, Scalia’s writing style and logic seemed vastly superior in this case.
Justice Scalia delivered the opinion of the court brilliantly in his reasoning and defense of the Second amendment. His logic and insight into the full meaning, caused me to think about the amendment in a different light, he stated “this is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed” (p. 22, District of Columbia ET Al. v. Heller) In other words, the right to defend yourself is a natural, instinctive, and God given right. The Constitution was designed to prevent any government, Federal, State, and Local from infringing on a right that inherently exists within every human being, the right to live.
The right to life, and self defense is inherent in nature. Governments who seek to thwart that right do not have good intentions. Scalia quoted the author Tucker Blackstone from his book “View of the Constitution of the United States”, he quotes: “This may be considered the true palladium of liberty….The right to self-defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine the right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction” (p. 36, ibid).
One of my favorite authors, Edward Griffin, sums up the reasoning behind the Second amendment in his self numbered 99 words:
“Gun-control laws do not control crime because crimes are not committed by guns; they are committed by criminals. Criminals will always have guns because they do not obey laws, including anti-gun laws. Those without guns are easy prey for criminals with guns. Gun control encourages crime.
The right to bear arms was included in the Bill of Rights, not to deter crime, but to deter oppressive government. Just governments honor and protect the right to bear arms. Oppressive governments fear and prohibit the right to bear arms.
Guns are dangerous. The only thing more dangerous is not having them.”
Although I am very happy the ruling passed affirming the meaning and purpose of the Second amendment, it scares me that it was a 5-4 decision. The logic and reasoning of the dissenters (Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Bryer) was in my opinion, tremendously lacking. Instead of looking for the meaning the founding Fathers had when the Constitution was written, their dissent was covertly based on faulty logic of gun control laws. The dissenter believe in a “living constitution”. I praise Scalia for his relentless argument, facts, and counter arguments to the dissenters in this opinion.
The fact that our right to bear arms could have been infringed today by such a small margin, by judicial decree, interfering with my God given rights, brought to my mind a scripture from the Book of Mormon:
“…the foundation of the destruction of this people is beginning to be laid by the unrighteousness of your lawyers and your judges.” ~ Alma 10:27