Understanding the Second Amendment


Pastor Dewey Note: We are so blessed to have David Standridge with us each week. Just like all our writers for FGGAM, we Praise God for them! David has been speaking all around the area on the Constitution. If you would like him to speak at your event, just drop us a line.

Now enjoy this informative post……

There is much debate about the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.  Debate about to what extent the Federal Government can go to regulate firearms.  Arguments on both sides abound.  Those who are pro-gun often debate the importance of self preservation.  Those who are anti-gun often debate the importance of public safety.  While both sides are entrenched, the real debating point doesn’t lie in whether guns are good or bad, but in what the constitutional analysis requires when it comes to analyzing a firearms issue.

Enter the doctrine of incorporation.  In a nutshell, incorporation is the process by which the Courts have applied the National Constitution to the States.  Remember, the Constitution of the United States serves to control the Federal Government and not the states.  Thus, in theory, the freedom of religion, press, speech, etc. are only a protection against Congress and the President from infringing on those rights.  I can hear you yell right now . . . “What about the states?”  “Why is my state allowed to infringe on my rights?”  Great question.  This is where our court system got involved to use the 14th Amendment to the Constitution as a vehicle to tell the states that they too are restricted from violating rights in the same way that the Federal Government is.  Sounds great?!  Let’s evaluate the 2nd Amendment.  Until the case of McDonald v. Chicago (find the case here:  https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-1521.pdf), the 2nd Amendment was never incorporated.  This means that while the Federal Government was limited in what they could and could not do pertaining to the right to bear arms, the states had more latitude.  This is exactly as our founders intended for it to be.  The decision to modify, amend, alter, construct, restrict, etc. certain rights is a decision that is to be left to the local levels.  Who better to decide for Dexter, NM than the citizens of Dexter as to how much they want freedom of certain liberties.  Who can argue that the dynamics of Dexter, NM are much different than New York City?  Don’t we want local government making local decisions?  I hear many people now yelling about how certain rights should always be protected.  This is where local state constitutions come in to play.  Most state constitutions are much more protective of rights than the Federal Constitution.  I for one would prefer the protection of my state’s constitution when it comes to the protection of my right to bear arms.  Have you read your state constitution lately?

I know this sounds like a bunch of legal talk but the reality is that the key to protecting individual liberties doesn’t come from Washington, it comes from the states and localities, just as our founders intended.  While we have a history of jurisprudence extending the protection of the US Constitution to the states, we should be aware that our founders never intended for that to be that way.  Instead, it was the people themselves, through the states, who would protect their rights at a local level through their own constitution.  The move to nationalize all rights and protections has lead us down the path of confusion when it comes to understanding the real issues behind the constitutional arguments involving important rights, like the 2nd Amendment.

Until Next Time,


David A. Standridge

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David Standridge graduated from Albuquerque High School and attended the University of New Mexico for his undergraduate work. He graduated with a degree in Political Science and Economics and graduated magna cum laude. He then went on to attend Law School at the University of New Mexico, graduating cum laude. In 1997 he formed the Standridge Law Firm, n/k/a the Justice Legal Group where he has been practicing law for the past 16 years. In addition to practicing law, David and his wife, Debbie, own several small businesses. David frequently speaks about legal and political issues to different community groups and organizations. David has been appointed to various boards and commissions in New Mexico. David has been married to Debbie for 19 years and has two sons, Isaac and Rylee. In his free time, David volunteers for little league baseball, enjoys gardening, hunting, and reading.

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