Late last night I sent the following email to my state senator (Holt) and representative (Echols). Because it was late and I'd had a long day some of the syntax wasn't quite what it should've been. My bad...
In light of the recent events, I would like to raise a point of consideration in the event the Oklahoma state legislature moves forward with legislation protecting the right to keep and bear arms.
The word "arms" in the Second Amendment is critical in the current debate. In many pieces of legislation introduced in other state legislatures and assemblies to support the right to keep or bear arms, (or to restrict the right), I am hard pressed to find the word "arms". The term "firearm(s)" and/or "weapon(s)" is used most often, neither of which is used in the text of the Second Amendment. And thus, theoretically, legislation purported to support the right to keep and bear "arms" would in effect by useless. And legislation purported to infringe on "firearms & weapons" would be effective.
By using the term "arms" in place of the common terms "firearms & weapons" in legislation designed to protect the right to keep and bear arms, such legislation is in complete accord with the Second Amendment in protecting the right to keep and bear "arms". Any legislation thereafter that seeks to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms that uses the terms "firearms & weapons" would be null and void as they would not be describing that which the Second Amendment protects from infringement... "arms".
I encourage you therefore to consider this point when introducing or supporting any legislation that seeks to protect the right to keep and bear arms. Although it many seem a matter of semantics, it is quite important in acknowledging that words in the English language, especially in the arena of legal terminology, unequivocally protect our rights from infringement by government. The Second Amendment protects from infringement upon "arms". It is essential in my opinion that legislation use the exact same term of "arms" in order to protect the right.
Thank you very much for your email. Second Amendment protection is of the utmost importance to me and I will be co-authoring at least one major piece of legislation regarding it that will be offered by Representative Dan Fisher. While I have studied the issue, I have never thought about the exact issue you have raised. I think you are completely correct. Semantics do matter and as a legislator I should strive to be as exact as possible.
I am very grateful for all constituent contact, but this particular email was one of the most helpful I have received. I will take this advise into consideration when making drafting decisions on all future second amendment issues. Thank you for the thoughts.
If you ever have any further questions or concerns of any kind, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Representative Jon Echols
As for the Supremacy Clause:
The bold words in red above are the key to understanding this clause. What it means is that only laws that are made in accord with the enumerated powers of Article 1, Section 8 are supreme. Any law that is not made in "pursuance thereof" of those specific, listed, enumerated powers are null and void as per the 9th & 10th Amendments. The ratifying debates of the original states bear this fact out. Too many of you take what you hear for gospel and believe the SCOTUS has the final say. It doesn't. It only has jurisdiction on those powers enumerated. The Kentucky and Virginia Resolution by Jefferson and Madison state that it is the States that have the final say on matters as it was the States that created the central government.This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.
But I digress. Most folks are unwilling to educate themselves and take to heart what others tell them, even if that information is incorrect.
I said it before... the US Constitution is dead. You're all witnessing the inevitable rot of it's decay. Unfortunate but this is the new reality.