That Pesky Constitution

By now, most Bearing Arms readers are probably aware of the controversy at Guns & Ammo magazine (and web site).  Dick Metcalf, a long time columnist for that publication wrote an editorial for the upcoming December issue that caused an uproar and led not only to his firing, but to the firing of the editor Jim Bequette.  Metcalf’s offense was appearing to be soft on the Second Amendment.  For an in-depth explication on that situation, go here.

S&W Shield 9mm Pistol
S&W Shield 9mm Pistol

Commentary on that situation has raised a number of pertinent issues, among them, the value of “moderation” in the Second Amendment debate.  Shouldn’t Second Amendment advocates be willing to compromise?  Shouldn’t they be “reasonable,” and accept “common sense” regulations in excess of those already in force?

See what passes for common sense and moderation among Massachusetts Politicians:

Selectman Barry Greenfield introduced an enforcement discussion Wednesday that he hopes will lead to the safeguarding of guns in town — keeping them out of the hands of children.  In school shootings around the country, guns have been taken from parents and used by kids, he said.   The selectman said state law requires Massachusetts gun owners to keep their firearms locked away or rendered inoperable.

The problem, he said, is that police do not have the authority, granted by a local ordinance, to enforce the law and inspect the safeguarding of guns at the homes of the 600 registered gun owners in town.

The selectman said he has spoken with Swampscott Police Chief Ron Madigan about this.  ‘We need the ability to enforce the state law,’ the selectman said.

Pop Quiz:

The portion of the Bill of Rights that prevents the police from unreasonable searches of homes is:

A) The Fourth Amendment

B) The Fourth Amendment


C) The Fourth Amendment

D) The Fourth Amendment

E)  All of the above

Michael Graham at the Boston explains further: 

In America, it sounds crazy. Here in Massachusetts, it’s just another day in liberal paradise.

Last week, Swampscott Selectman Barry Greenfield proposed the idea of mandatory home inspections for the town’s 600 licensed gun owners. He mentioned the Newtown massacre. He mentioned children’s safety.

There is no record, however, of Selectman Greenfield mentioning the Constitution.

Massachusetts law requires gun owners to store their firearms safely. Greenfield is frustrated with the inability of local cops to push their way into local homes and have a look around without all that ‘probable cause’ and ‘search warrant’ nonsense…

If this incredibly bad goose-stepping attack on gun ownership sounds familiar, it should. The state of Washington considered it earlier this year. Then some lawyer heard a rumor about some ‘Second Amendment thingy’ and it went away.

By the way, nobody should be surprised that this attempt to intimidate gun owners is happening in Swampscott, aka ‘Marblehead Without The Beemers.’ It’s a town notorious for treating citizens like servants to be ordered around. Remember the school ordering every parent to attend a program on drug abuse and threatening to punish their kids if they didn’t show up?

Liberals who think “hatin’ on guns” is a guaranteed winner may want to check in with Westford Selectman Robert Jeffries. He proposed requiring gun owners to store them at their gun clubs. He’s now former selectman Jeffries.


Two Colorado politicians recently got a similarly rude awakening, and a third just fled the field  before being tossed out on her ear.  Graham continues.

But the real question for Massachusetts liberals is this: Why do Swampscotters (Swampscottians?) put up with such heavy-handed treatment from their public ‘servants?’ Are they, as citizens, prepared to put up with government-mandated inspections of their bedrooms and closets?

This isn’t a Second Amendment issue. It’s a Fourth Amendment one — unreasonable search and seizure. If Swampscott residents who don’t own guns sit back and allow this to happen, they’ll be playing their role in the famous parable of Martin Niemoller:

‘First they came for the gun owners, but I didn’t own a gun … ‘”

The two Colorado anti-gun democrats ousted in September–John Morse and Angela Giron–are of a kind with Greenfield.  Morse said the offensive guns laws he was instrumental in passing were “commonsense ideas to reduce fatalities in mass shootings.  Giron said “We will win in the end because we are on the right side.

When liberty is involved, there is only one right side: the Constitution.  Politicians like Morse, Giron and Greenfield are of the leftist, “living Constitution” philosophy, which means that the Constitution has only the meaning leftist political goals allow it at any given moment.  It is an impediment to their tyrannical desires–for our own good, of course, because they know best how our lives must be lived–rather than the supreme law of our land.  No part of the Bill of Rights has a “this may be ignored if leftists think it’s reeeeally important” clause.


That such people are being thrown out of office is a hopeful sign.  That any of them are elected in the first place is not.

Is it really too much to ask that legislators honor that pesky pledge to uphold and defend the Constitution?

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