Washington State Secedes from the Union

Ok, so Washington State hasn’t actually seceded from the Union yet.  However, according to one Federal judge it must have…

“A federal judge ruled Thursday that Seattle's ban on carrying firearms in city parks and community centers is constitutional.”

“In her ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Marsha J. Pechman wrote that under current case law, the Second Amendment constrains the actions of Congress, not cities and states. Therefore the city was within its rights to enact the ban.”

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2011329010_gunban13m.html

Now I am not a Constitutional Lawyer; however, thankfully, the Framers of this country and this State (as well as most states) wrote their Constitutions in words that even a laymen like myself can understand:

The Constitution of the United States says:

  • Amendment 2 – Right to Bear Arms.  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.

The Washington State Constitution says:

  • ARTICLE I, SECTION 2 SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND. The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land.
  • ARTICLE I, SECTION 24 RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.

So, I ask you, after reading the above plain English statements, how is it that the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution only applies to actions of Congress?

I am also pondering, what her Honor considers “current case law” – considering the U.S. Supreme Court (Heller v. Washington D.C.) just recently ruled that the right to keep and bear arms is a “personal right” guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.

I am a simple scientist, I usually put two and two together and make four.  So I ask you, if the U.S. Constitution guarantees a personal right to keep and bear arms, and the Washington State Constitution shows deference to the U.S. Constitution, as well as guaranteeing an individuals right to “keep and bear arms” – how is it that in this case it doesn’t apply?

I welcome all you Constitutional Law Scholars out there to explain this one to me, because frankly I am dumbfounded!

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James A. Restucci is the author of this blog. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Internal License.

15 Responses to Washington State Secedes from the Union

  1. AvatarTVNews says:

    Joel, based on the number of assaults, rapes and murders on public land, that has to be in the top ten places you would want to be armed.

    Think about this for a minute. In the city you have a police response time averaging from 3 to 10 minutes on the highest priority calls. In some cities with vastly overloaded departments that time can be even higher.

    And the police are unable to stop most crimes in progress in these cities. In most cases they are hard pressed to catch someone after the fact.

    How long do you think it will take to get help deep in the trails of some national park if you dial 911? That is assuming you can get a cell site.

  2. Avatarjimr says:

    Joel, thanks for the comment.  Wow, this post has been dormant since March!

    I respectfully disagree.  Your analogy is flawed, in that sidewalks were not designed to have cars driven on them; however, parks on the other hand offer perfect cover and concealment for criminal activity and no amount of policing, just look at New York City’s Central Park, will stop that.

    Citizens should have the right to protect and defend themselves and their families while in our state parks.

  3. AvatarJoel says:

    Keeping people from carrying firearms in state parks and community centers is NOT the same as keeping people from owning firearms. There is no conflict here. If you believe there is, do you also believe that preventing people from driving on the sidewalk infringes their right to own a car?

  4. Avatarjimr says:

    Agreed! Thanks for the comment!

  5. AvatarTVNews says:

    Everything you said is right on the money. EW is right too. When we stopped teaching the Federalist Papers we stopped teaching the basis for the US Constitution.

  6. AvatarEagleWatch says:

    As I have discussed before, when Congress is presented with the problem “2+2=?”, they invariably come up with the answer “grapefruit”. Your scientific accume is lost to those in government, and that apparently incudes those on the bench.

    Heller is being construed as only applying to federal districts (hence, transparent to cities and states). I agree with you that that simplistic (if politically opportunistic) view will be overtruned by McDonald.

    I have always found it peculiar that the Second Amendment is the only of our enumerated rights that isn’t assumed to be universal.

    I am sorry they have stopped using the Federalist Papers in teaching American history, as they brilliantly lay out the Founders thinking on all of this, as well most Constitutional questions of our day.

  7. Avatarjimr says:

    hehe, very funny Libby [:)]

    The reason your comments haven’t madei it to the blog is two-fold.

    1. You are using myaxcess.com in your URL instead of axcess.me – I have created a Virtual Directory to redirect all myaxcess.com requests to axcess.me so that should be fixed now.

    2. If you would like to see your comments immediately, you need to login to your account at http://axcess.me – I don’t block comments from registered users.

    Looking forward to hearing more from you, now that we have the URL thing fixed.

  8. AvatarLibby says:

    I hope my comment will appear in your posting. None of my comments lately have, for some reason. In the hopes that it will, I have one question of you:

    When do you think Washington State and Texas will take that giant leap and secede from the Union? LOL

  9. Avatarjimr says:

    Thanks for the comment Tony L and I agree wholeheartedly with you.  If they can claim that the 1st Amendment applies to states and cities, and it specifically states “Congress shall make no law…” then it goes without saying that the 2nd Amendment which does not use the word “Congress” should apply as well.

  10. AvatarTony L says:

    “The Second Amendment does not apply to cities and states.”

    That was lifted directly from the attached pdf. The fact that they specifically said that makes me wonder where they think the US Constitution applies to.

  11. AvatarJosh Allen says:

    Washington State culturally succeeded long ago.

  12. Avatarjimr says:

    I believe this and other cases like it (Nordyke) will ultimately be decided in McDonald v. Chicago which is currently in front of SCOTUS.

  13. Avatarjimr says:

    Thanks Jason, yes, I meant “secedes” – have changed the title.

    On the issue of State’s rights, although I agree that State’s should have the right to enact laws that “fit” their residents, and that there is no perfect solution for every state. I think it’s important that State Legislature’s when enacting laws, be mindful of Section 1 of The Constitution:

    Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Even though there is nothing in there that says something specifically about 1st Amendment rights. It does say “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States”.

    Now I know you are going ask, how do we know what “privilieges or immunities”, I say we look to The Constitution.

    If the 14th Amendment extends the 1st Amendment constraints on Congress to the states, then it equally must extend the 2nd Amendment constraints, which doesn’t even mention Congress.

    I believe the precedent set by extending the 1st Amendment via the 14th Amendment, means they almost have to extend the 2nd Amendment as well if they’re to be consistent.

    Makes you wonder though, what The Framers had in mind when they included the 10th Amendment?

  14. Hey Jim,
    Good piece.

    Question: Did you mean secedes or succeeds in the title?

    I have been having a conversation with some friends about this concept recently. I disagree with libertarian leaning people like Jack Hunter (a.k.a. The Southern Avenger) on this subject.

    He wrote a piece recently making the same type argument as the judge in this case: http://bit.ly/a6mSAb

    Conservative radio host Mike Church has jumped on the state’s rights bandwagon for this issue as well.

    Some of our founding fathers did not think the bill of rights was necessary, since it was inconceivable that government would actually pass laws to restrict what they considered were God-given rights.

    Obviously, smarter voices prevailed. However, in my view, I do not think that states and cities can overrule the federal constitution.

    But, even if we accepted the judge’s reasoning about cities or states not being constrained by the U.S. Constitution, wouldn’t the Washington State Constitution take precedence over a municipal ordinance in Seattle?

  15. Avatarjimr says:

    Thanks for your comment Josh, and unfortunately I have to agree with you.  It is truly difficult being a Constitutionalist in this State; however as T.R. said, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led diffcult lives and led them well.”