Sunstein Attacks Second Amendment
“The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that… it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.”
–Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824.
In a lecture at the University School of Law on October 27, 2007, Obama’s administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs emphatically stated that you do not have a right to own firearms. “It is striking and noteworthy,” said Cass Sunstein, “that well over two centuries since the founding, the Supreme Court has never suggested that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to have guns.”
It is said Sunstein is a constitutional scholar. And yet he fails to mention that opinions dealing with the Second Amendment come from almost every period in the Court’s history and almost all of them are consistent with the proposition that the Second Amendment is an individual right. See David B. Kopel, The Supreme Court’s Thirty-five Other Gun Cases: What the Supreme Court Has Said about the Second Amendment.
“My coming view is that the individual right to bear arms reflects the success of an extremely aggressive and resourceful social movement and has much less to do with good standard legal arguments than [it] appears,” Sunstein said elsewhere in the lecture (not included in the above clip). “My tentative suggestion is that the individual right to have guns as it’s being conceptualized now is best taken as a contemporary creation and a reflection of current fears — not a reading of civic-centered founding debates.”
“Mr. Sunstein’s overt hostility to the idea that the Constitution protects an individual right to bear arms, including for purposes of self-defense, is not something that should be welcomed from somebody whose job might entail weighing in on the value of anti-gun regulations. It also makes his more recent assurances that he is a Second Amendment stalwart seem rather disingenuous, at the very least,” an editorial published by The Washington Times stated last September.
In July of 2009, Sunstein sent a letter to Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia assuring him that he strongly believes the Constitution protects an individual right to bear arms. “Your first question involved the Second Amendment. I strongly believe that the Second Amendment creates an individual right to possess and use guns for purposes of both hunting and self-defense. I agree with the Supreme Court’s decision in the Heller case, clearly recognizing the individual right to have guns for hunting and self-defense. If confirmed, I would respect the Second Amendment and the individual right that it recognizes.”
In response, Chambliss dropped his hold on the nomination of Sunstein to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. In other words, Sunstein lied about the Second Amendment in order to fool Congress into accepting his nomination.
It’s too bad Chambliss didn’t see the above video before voting to confirm Sunstein. If he had, Sunstein would probably not be in the government now. He would not be threatening to close down the First and Second Amendments.