Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bellesiles II?

Patrick J. Charles is claiming that the laws of various American colonies up through 1800 support a "milita" interpretation of the Second Amendment and that the reasoning used in District of Columbia v. Heller is flawed from an originalist point of view.

Read about it here.

From the interview:
Upon sifting through each state/colony’s statutes a common thread began to develop. First, the phrases “bear arms” or “keep arms” were not in any laws concerning crimes, self-defense, homicide, hunting, game etc. Second, in state/colony militia laws the phrases “bear arms” and “keep arms” were prevalent.
I wonder which laws he examined. Perhaps this gem from Maryland's Acts of 1715:
That no negro or other slave within this province shall be permitted to carry any gun, or any other offensive weapon, from off their master's land, without license from their said master; and if any negro or other slave shall presume to do so, he shall be liable to be carried before a justice of the peace, and be whipped, and his gun or other offensive weapon shall be forfeited to him that shall seize the same and carry such negro so offending before a justice of the peace.
Hmmmm. I guess he's got me there. I don't see the phrases "bear arms" or "keep arms" in the above statute.

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