Cruz and Feinstein Clash on Guns and the Constitution

By:  John F. McManus
03/18/2013
       
Cruz and Feinstein Clash on Guns and the Constitution

An exchange between Senators Ted Cruz and Diane Feinstein about the latter's gun control bill presented an opportunity for all to learn an important lesson about the Constitution and the rights of the people including the right to keep and bear arms.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) posed a few questions for Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) on March 14, during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on her bill. Her measure would limit the number and types of arms that individual Americans may possess. The exchange between the two presented an opportunity for all to learn a lesson about the Constitution that the American people need to consider.

Senator Ted Cruz began the exchange with the following statement and questions:

The second amendment of the Bill of Rights provides that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The term “the right of the people,” for the framers who included it in the Bill of Rights used it as a term of law. That same phrase, “the right of the people” is found in the First Amendment: “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” It is also found in the Fourth Amendment: “the right of the people to be [free from] unreasonable searches and seizures.”

The question that I would pose to the senior senator from California is “Would she deem it consistent with the Bill of Rights for Congress to engage in the same endeavor that we are contemplating doing with the Second Amendment in the context of the First or Fourth Amendments, namely: Would she consider it constitutional for Congress to specify that the First Amendment shall apply only to the following books and shall not apply to the books that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights?

Likewise, would she think that the Fourth Amendment protection against searches and seizures could properly apply only to the following specified individuals and not to the individuals that Congress has deemed outside the protection?

Senator Feinstein’s response began with insistence that she was not a “sixth grader” in need of “a lecture” about the Constitution. She added that she greatly respects and has studied the Constitution, has 20 years of service in Congress, and knows of many misuses of weapons such as what occurred in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. But she did not respond to the Texas senator’s questions.

Video and full article available here.

Graphic: Sen. Ted Cruz (AP Images); gun and the Constitution; Sen. Diane Feinstein

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