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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions May 22, 2015


4/19/2013 10:00:00 PM
Editorial: Why deny a bit of symbolism?
The Daily Courier


The Arizona Legislature made it clear this week that gun control of any kind is not on the table, nor will it be for any time to come.

On Monday - the same day a pair of alleged domestic terrorists bombed the finish line of the Boston Marathon - the Arizona House approved a measure that cleared the state Senate in February.

HB 2291 makes it a felony in Arizona for a federal agent to enforce or try to enforce federal gun control measures that become effective after Jan. 1, 2013. Specifically, the bill rejects federal laws relating to the ownership of semiautomatic weapons or magazines, as well as any requirement to register any form of firearm or ammunition.

Two days later, President Barack Obama's gun control amendment calling for enhanced background checks for gun purchases failed in the U.S. Senate.

Thus, the point is moot for now, but the question remains of whether the law would hold up in a court challenge. The answer to that is likely no, since the "Supremacy Clause" of the Constitution holds that federal law is supreme when a conflict exists.

Then on Tuesday, the Legislature gave a second life to an untold number of firearms when it strengthened a law concerning the disposition of unclaimed property in the hands of a public agency by specifying that if the property is a firearm, agencies "shall sell the firearm," an action that previously required a court order.

Second life isn't entirely accurate, of course, since guns are inanimate objects, devoid of life, intentions and rights. Over in Tucson, though, where former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was nearly killed, the city recently put on a gun buy-back and intended to destroy the weapons it came to own.

If Gov. Jan Brewer signs the bill into law, they will be forbidden to do so.

Granted, the destruction of a handful of weapons can do little to stem the rampant violence our country is enduring these days. According to Wisconsin Law School Professor Michael Scott, who told the Associated Press that bought-back guns are highly unlikely to be used in crimes, "There's just so many guns in private hands in the country that collecting a relative few of them at any one time is not going to have a big impact on their availability."

It's hard to tell if the Legislature's actions are symbolic or born out of sheer stubbornness, but Arizona has once again bucked the national trend and, in the process, denied anyone within its boundaries the opportunity to exercise a little political symbolism of their own.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, April 22, 2013
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

Laughable, just hilarious. The Keystone Cops are at it again. Seriously, now many Arizona legislators does it take to make a halfwit?

Posted: Sunday, April 21, 2013
Article comment by: Hobbes2 aka Sam Brunstein

TO: J Madison, P.S.

The Anti-Federalist arguments about the power of the Judiciary are found in The Anti-Federalist Papers numbers 78 - 82 by "Brutus."

"Brutus" is thought by most scholars to have been Robert Yates, a New York judge and a delegate to the Federal Convention.


Posted: Sunday, April 21, 2013
Article comment by: John Citizen

How about securing our borders first. AND, don t we all feel safer with Eric Holder in charge? HA

Posted: Sunday, April 21, 2013
Article comment by: Hobbes2 aka Sam Brunstein

TO: J Madison who doubts the authority of the Supreme Court to establish the Constitutionality of a law.

Turns out that this topic is murky.

There is an extensive discussion in Wikipedia, including the history in England and the colonies, partially quoted below because I have to observe the word limit:

Please read the entry, because neither of our positions is completely supported.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marbury_v._Madison

"Although the power of judicial review is sometimes said to have originated with Marbury, the concept...has ancient roots. The idea that courts could nullify statutes originated in England with Chief Justice Edward Coke's 1610 opinion in Dr. Bonham’s Case.....

.....The idea that courts could declare statutes void was defeated in England... in 1688, when King James II was removed and the elected Parliament declared itself supreme. ...it continued to be known in the ...colonies and ... the ... young states.... The doctrine was ... enshrined in some state constitutions, and by 1803 it had been employed in both State and Federal courts in actions dealing with state statutes, but only...as the statutes conflicted with...state constitutions.....

.....A number of legal scholars argue that the power of judicial review in the United States predated Marbury, and that Marbury was merely the first Supreme Court case to exercise a power that already existed... These scholars point to statements about judicial review made in the Constitutional Convention and the state ratifying conventions, statements about judicial review in publications debating ratification, and court cases before Marbury that involved judicial review.....

.....judicial review was discussed in ... Federalist Paper...No. 78, that under the Constitution, the federal courts would have not just the power, but the duty, to examine the constitutionality of statutes....:"

BUT NOTE, the final sentence in Wikipedia is:

"However, it is important to note that nothing in the text of the Constitution explicitly authorized the power of judicial review, despite persistent fears voiced by Anti-federalists....."


Posted: Sunday, April 21, 2013
Article comment by: J. Madison

@Hobbes 2 - you are mistaken. The Supreme Court is not authorized anywhere in the founding documents to be the final arbiter of what is or is not constitutional. They arrogated that power to themselves in Marbury v. Madison. Our republic has two sovereigns, the states and the people. It is ultimately up to those sovereigns to determine what is constitutional by any number of several processes. Finally, I would ask you and all others of like mind regarding the Supreme Court's supposed power to determine constitutionality: what would be the point of establishing our system of government and then allocating to a branch of the federal government the authority to determine what its own power and authority is under that system?

Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Article comment by: Hobbes2 aka Sam Brunstein

TO: Oh Please, who offers yet another mindless request to "Read the Federalist Papers." All 85 of them? The 285 pages they occupy in the book that I have. The papers that cover a wide range of subjects that have nothing to do with gun control?

Which Federalist Paper do wou want us to read? They are numberd 1-85 as well as titled. Which one?

Then, I wonder if you even know of the Anti-Federalists and the 85 AntiFederalist Papers? They were the group arguing for a weak central government and strong state governments, not the Federalists, who argued the opposite.

You should read, "That's Not What They Meant" by Michael Austin (2012), all 231 pages of it!

TO: J. Madison, who wrote:

"Art. VI of the Constitution provides as follows: 'This Constitution, and the laws of the United States WHICH SHALL BE MADE IN PURSUANCE THEREOF . . . shall be the supreme law of the land.' This makes it clear that for Congress to just pass any old law does not make it the supreme law of the land. It has to be in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution."

You are correct biut left out an important fact.

Only the Supreme Court can declare a law to be unconstitutional (Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution). So Congress can pass any cockamamie law they want (and has) and the law is the law of the land until and if the Supreme Court declares it to be invalid. You can't do it, the State Legislature can't do it, the Governor can't do it. Only the Supreme Court can decide what is and what is not unconstitutional.


Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Article comment by: latest news

I was told our governor is going to make all of us cooks register our pressure cookers.

Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Article comment by: There is no 'rampant violence these days' in the USA

The little bit of violence in the USA is just highly publicized.

Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Article comment by: Mike Bates

Symbolism indeed. This legislation is the kind of nonsense we see over and over in the state legislature that will be overturned in court at great expense to the taxpayer. Is there no one in this State with a lick of good sense willing to run for elected office?

Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Article comment by: My Thought

Why deny how foolish, and in some ways dishonest, this editorial happens to be?
Unfortunately, that has become all too common at the Daily Courier.


Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Article comment by: Oh Please

Lena: You should look up "selective perception" and understand your own thought processes a bit better. Then you should read the Federalist Papers and understand the opinion of the founders regarding guns/gun control.

Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Article comment by: Zig E.

@ Tom - I was responding, in case you didn't notice, to another comment. As in " So anyone who supports gun regulation is a hippie " ? Hooty, I'm waiting for your response to that claim.

Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Article comment by: Mr Maverick

Arizona wants the Federal Government to invalidate our medical marijuana law but will tell the feds to take a hike on gun control. How inconsistent can it get?

Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Bowden

Zig E: So anyone that supports the 2nd Amendment is a "redneck". Not a deep thinker are you? I never cease to be amazed at liberal hypocrisy on this issue. They can easily find a right to a 3rd trimester abortion for convenience in the Bill Of Rights but not a right of Americans to keep and bear arms.


Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Article comment by: DragonMaster 6

@ Editorial: Why deny a bit of symbolism?
Again, how could you possibly try to falsely connect the, "Boston Bombing" with any legislative gun-control action in this, "Free State of Amerizona?" WWHHHOOOOO!


Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Article comment by: DragonMaster 6

@Editorial: Why deny a bit of symbolism?
Are you foolish enough to believe that pretentious, role-playing, artificial, symbolism in opposition to the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights is appropriate to America built on real challenges over-come in order to exist especially at this time of crisis of failed "Leadership [???]? We cannot believe you could possibly concoct or create such a fallacy in your own mind then attempt to sell it by misrepresenting your self to the public as an editor! Are you attempting to stretch the delusional limits of, "Political Correctness" beyond all lunatic-fringe boundaries? We are a freedom loving American people which is why these fantasy, Gun control and buy-back programs are a fallacy that even Uncle Joe Biden said publically would not work!!! The "Gun-Buy-Back" programs are simply an open invitation for all of the punks in and around Tucson to steal from the neighborhoods then sell to police no questions asked for more drugs! It does appear this editor is an, "Idiot-Savant" mdefined as a Genius at being an Idiot!





Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Article comment by: Let me state the obvious

Anything that makes the liberals at the Daily Courier whine is fine with me.

Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Article comment by: J. Madison

Editor - you, like so many others who do not understand the U.S. Constitution, have made an error in this editorial. You state that the law forbidding federales to enforce gun laws becoming effective after a certain date would not pass a legal challenge because "the "Supremacy Clause" of the Constitution holds that federal law is supreme when a conflict exists." Actually, that is NOT correct. Art. VI of the Constitution provides as follows: 'This Constitution, and the laws of the United States WHICH SHALL BE MADE IN PURSUANCE THEREOF . . . shall be the supreme law of the land." This makes it clear that for Congress to just pass any old law does not make it the supreme law of the land. It has to be in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Any federal law passed that is unconstitutional as a violation of the Second Amendment, therefore, cannot be the supreme law of the land.

You owe it to your readers to do better than this.


Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Article comment by: Lena Sanchez

What is sad about the whole 2nd amendment debate is that when it was written in late 1791. All about keeping the blacks controlled and try to keep slaves. Well regulated State militias kept their slaves in chains. No federal paid military existed at that time. The South was afraid the north was going to truly lead the slaves out of slavery! Each state had a militia, now known as the Volunteer National Guard, except you get paid and you don't have to furnish you own guns as they did then. In Georgia, for example, laws were passed in 1755 and 1757 that required all plantation owners or their male white employees to be members of the State Militia, and for those militia members to make monthly inspections of the quarters of all slaves in the state. The 2nd amendment says "state" not "country" or “US”. The Framers of the amendment knew the difference - 10th Amendment clarifies that – and simply wanted to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia's vote. Founders Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison were totally clear on that issue. It was never about the U.S. as a totality! Many books were written back then and later about this very conflict and the reason behind the 2nd amendment being written. There is a lot of rhetoric and gun control running around but until you study history on the military, militia and second amendment you cannot know what is behind it but it was to preserve slavery not gun freedoms!

Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Article comment by: Bill Hill

Editor (since you didn't sign this piece),

Here's a classic example of why I so strongly object to anonymous letters, responses, and in this case editorials you print in your increasingly left-wing publication. Several of your facts are simply wrong. As an example I cite your use of the term "rampant violence". This occurs in Democrat strongholds such as Chicago and Milwaukee, but the general trend in the country is such that there is, according to FBI statistics, less violent crime now than in the last several decades.

Your knee-jerk, automatic, anti-gun response is becoming tiresome, as is your inability to understand the term "...shall not be infringed".

Perhaps the old adage needs to be updated to this: Those who can do. Those who can't become leftist media types.


Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Article comment by: There You Go Again

Courier: Using your logic (or illogic) we need to ban pressure cookers. I will support the ACLU in enforcing the first and third amendments to the Constitution when the ACLU supports the NRA in enforcing the second amendment to the Constitution.

Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Article comment by: Jack May

Editor. Your left wing biased story is not much more that space filler in your paper. The story is laced with inuendo and insinuations. For example what does the Boston Marathon bombing have to do with gun control? Its mention in the first paragraph was only there to trigger the emotions of the reader so that they will be more inclined to join in the pompus attempt to rally anti gun sentiment. The editorial view that the Arizona Legislature is "stubborn" and "bucks the national trend" is pure inuendo, and left wing opinion.

Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Steele

One win in Phoenix and Washington is of little consequence compared to the legislation that costs us dearly in our lives. As regulations and taxing increase and favors are traded for campaign support "We the People" are under threat. If we can't elect more ethical and honest people who support their sworn oath of office, we will be doomed. And we all have an obligation to get involved with the political process and work for better solutions.

Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Article comment by: Zig E.

WELL REGULATED, CHOKE ON THAT REDNECKS AND REGRESSIVES.

Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Article comment by: Remember The Alamo

" in the process, denied anyone within its boundaries the opportunity to exercise a little political symbolism of their own."

Any citizen can can buy as many guns as they want and can then destroy them if they wish. No one has been denied anything.



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