Chuck Klein © 2001

Published in Guns & Ammo 9-2001

Too many times I find myself in discussions with another person where we both might be on the same page, but end up comparing apples to oranges. In most all cases, the difficulty with verbal intercourse is due to either a misunderstanding or unfamiliarity of certain terms. Many words have more than one meaning, especially in the English language, lending more confusion to communication. Some organizations, such as our military, "coin" or write their own definitions of words to fit a particular situation.

THE BEST OF CHUCK KLEINUsed to be the goal of a soldier was to kill the enemy. Today, the military talks about "servicing the enemy". Does that mean kill? Injure? Wound? Change his oil? With the use of special definitions, as in "servicing the enemy," the term can be made to mean what ever the military heads want it to mean on any given occasion. Gun grabbers have always tried to read different meanings into even some of most obviously common terms.

In hopes of furthering our goals of educating the public, we, the pro-gunners, might better "service the enemy" if we made sure of our definitions. The reader is encouraged to copy this article and send it to his local newspaper, elected officials and selected anti-constitutionalists. In your correspondence, please be careful not to offend our adversaries as they, just like us, love mom and apple pie and truly believe their cause is what's best for America - just like Adolf, Sadamn, Pol Pot, Attila....


The controversy of the 2nd Amendment exists because, erroneously, some have insisted that "the right to keep and bear arms" is a state (as in Ohio, Texas, Florida) right and not an individual right. However, it is clear that the first clause, "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state," means a free America. The word "state" means: nation/country such as "the State of Israel" or "the Arab States" or "Secretary of State". In other words, the nation/country can best form a "well regulated militia" (army/navy) if its militia (originally, men between the ages of 18 and 45) are free to "keep and bear arms". The second clause says it is "the right of the PEOPLE [not the state] to keep and bear arms" (see Klein's column GUNS & AMMO: The Second Amendment: Black & White or Gray? [2-01]).


The Madisons, Jeffersons and other framers of our most-sacred-document knew well that the evil that lurks in man could work to usurp individual rights. Therefore, in order to further protect our inalienable rights they included the Ninth Amendment. Here we see that not only are our other rights protected, but these other rights cannot even be reduced in meaning or intent. This simple, yet powerful demand commands: The enumeration in the constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
It is clear the framers intended to recognize certain intrinsic rights such as the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - as noted in the Declaration of Independence. Of course, if one has this right, but is DENIED the means (use of arms) to defend and protect this life, etc., then this right has been DISPARAGED (lowered in rank or reputation, degraded or depreciated by indirect means). To deny or disparage a right is a violation of this Constitutional provision (see Klein's column GUNS & AMMO: The Other Right to Keep and Bear Arms [12-99] and Definitions Even the Constitutionally Challenged can Understand [5-00])


Though this amendment makes no reference to firearms, it is important because it restricts the individual states from infringing on individual citizens federal rights. Section I, second sentence: No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.... Therefore, if one has a right (aka privilege or immunity) as a citizen of the United States; Ohio, Virginia or any other state cannot pass any law that negates that right.


(a-mye'-kus ku'-ri-ee) Latin term for friend of the court. Any person may present to the court information of which that person believes the court should be informed. Next time one of your local courts is hearing a firearm related case, consider submitting your views on the case to the court.


Principles of law which are based on custom or judgements of courts rather than upon enactments of written law. Though our nation is based on custom and historical decree, we are not a common-law nation - we are a statutory country whereas only conduct expressly forbidden by statute is punishable by law.


A person whose political thinking is to the right side of political scale. Conservatives lean toward viewing less government control as being better than more control. One who tends to believe in conserving or preserving established rules and traditions and one who believes that when change is needed, the proper procedures should be adhered. 


Basic and underlying system of rules of which all other laws and behavior is judged. The supreme law; the rule of law.
"We are NOT a nation of laws - we are a nation of constitutions. Laws, statutes, court decrees, presidential edicts are subservient to constitutions."


Sometimes called Strict Constructionist. Persons, in a republic, who believe in a rigid adherence to the rule-of-law. These citizens believe that if the majority of the citizens wish to place controls on firearms the only legitimate method is by conforming to constitutional provisions, i.e., amend the Constitution.


An act which has been determined (by enactment of a law) to be injurious to the public. We are a statutory nation inasmuch as unless there is a statute against a certain act, the act is not a crime. If the subject statute is in violation of any constitutional provision, it is not a crime to violate that statute.


A nation that is governed by the concept of majority rules. In a true democracy the people decide all issues by what ever the majority wishes. This is accomplished either by direct election or indirectly through elected representatives. Without any guiding provision, such as a constitution, the rules of conduct change as the majority of the population changes. If the majority is comprised of X persons, they can repress or control Y persons.
If there is a shift in population where Y persons suddenly become the majority, then they are free to discriminate (retaliate with their vote) against X persons. America is not a democracy, it is a republic (see REPUBLIC and RULE OF LAW) where this discriminating practice is negated. Some liberals (see LIBERALS) erroneously believe they can enact and enforce anti-gun statutes, merely by garnering the majority of votes to pass restrictive gun laws.


: (aka unalienable) Something that cannot be taken away. An intrinsic right such as the right to life and with it the right to use what tools (firearms) necessary to protect that right (see AMENDMENT #9).


Our forefather's realized that judges not only represent the government, but being human they carry their own prejudices. Because of this, the framers of our Constitution did not require judges to swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. In all criminal proceedings witnesses who are going to testify before a jury must swear, under penalty of perjury, to tell the whole truth. The judge is immune to this rule of law because he, like the prosecutor and defense attorneys are not expected to testify.

There is no constitutional provision for judges to "instruct" juries on how to reach their decision and it is an abuse of their powers to define or judge the law. Unfortunately, a practice has evolved where judges do testify in the form of their "instructions" or "charges" to the jury. It is during this "testimony" -- this propagation of their own power -- that the judge will NOT tell the whole truth. The whole truth being a juries right and power to nullify a law for being unconstitutional (see JURY NULLIFICATION). (see Klein's columns GUNS & AMMO: Judicial Accountability and the Slippery Slope [5-99] and Take Charge and Apply the Constitution [10-98]).  


The right and power of a jury to determine the facts as well as the law in a criminal case. Though most judges insist on deciding all matters relating to the application of the law, it is the jury that has the prerogative to judge the constitutionality of any law. Judges have been known to have denied seating jurors who even knew of this right. For a jury to nullify a certain law because they don't like the law or feel the law is morally wrong is a violation of a juror's duty. Nevertheless, jurors are obligated, when addressed during summation, to declare a law nullified if in fact they, the jurors, find the law violates, or is not in accordance with, the constitution.
"The jury has a right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy." John Jay, 1st Chief Justice U.S. Supreme Court, 1789.

"The law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided." Harlan F. Stone, Chief Justice U. S. Supreme Court, 1941.

"The pages of history shine on instances of the jury's exercise of its prerogative to disregard instructions of the judge...." U.S. v. Dougherty, 473 F.2d 1139 (1972). 
If called for jury duty and the judge asks if you will comply with his instructions or follow the law as given by the trial court, consider replying: "I agree to follow all instructions, laws, rules and statutes if these instructions, laws, rules, and statutes are not in conflict with this state or our Federal Constitution" (see Klein's columns GUNS & AMMO: Taking Charge [2-98] and Take Charge and Apply the Constitution [10-98]. Also: A Dirty Little Judicial Secret What the courts and judicial branch won't disclose or even acknowledge).  


Rules, statutes, constitutions, customs and practices a society has established to regulate and control the actions of its constituents (see Rule-of-law).  


A person of the left side of political beliefs. Considers more government control to be better than less control. Persons who view our Constitution as a guideline inasmuch as they believe it can be twisted and molded to fit the political correctness du jour. These people resent living in a REPUBLIC - at least until their ox is gored.  


a person who believes in full individual freedom and a very limited size and role of government. It has been said that a REPUBLICAN is one who was robbed last night; a DEMOCRAT is one who was arrested last night and a LIBERTARIAN is one who shot the person robbing him.  


(Latin) Acts that are wrong in and of themselves - morally wrong. American's don't need a law to tell us that murder is wrong. Championing (voting) to pass laws that violate one's constitutional or inalienable rights is mala in se (see Klein's column GUNS & AMMO: The Evolution of Rights and Wrongs in America [11-98]. Also: Evolution of Rights and Wrongs A look at how our rights have been eroded and some suggestions on how to fix them.)  


Acts that are wrong only because society says it's wrong. Parking your car in a no parking zone is only wrong because a law says so.  


The unjust or illegal performance of an act for which the person has no right to do. A politician or other government employee who steals from the public till, or almost any and all events surrounding Waco (see MISFEASANCE; NONFEASANCE).  


A lawful act done in an unlawful or wrongful way. President Clinton had the legal authority to pardon anyone he wished. However, exercising that right in an unlawful manner (taking money to pardon someone) is misfeasance. A police officer, under color of law, arresting a person without cause. Or, a political who votes to pass pass unconstitutional laws (see NONFEASANCE; MALFEASANCE).  


Failure to preform an act one is required to do. An example would be: You use a gun to ward off a criminal attack, the police confiscate your weapon as possible evidence, but refuse to return it to you, without due process, after completion of the investigation/trial (see MISFEASANCE; MALFEASANCE). POLITICAL CORRECTNESS: A slang catechism meaning LIBERAL thought- of-the-day or the most expedient thing to do regardless of legalities. For example, those who desire to restrict or control firearms by passing unconstitutional laws, will justify their position with the pseudo belief that their actions are in the best interest of society.
Acts of MALFEASANCE or MISFEASANCE by violating the constitution for any reason is always counter to the best interest of the American society. (See MALFEASANCE, MISFEASANCE also see Klein's column GUNS & AMMO: Judicial Accountability and the Slippery Slope [5-99].  


A nation operating under a RULE-OF-LAW where its citizens have the sole power to elect representatives to enforce the rule-of-law and conduct the nation's business to the best interest of its citizens. The difference between a true democracy (see DEMOCRACY) and a republic is in a democracy the majority rules, i.e., there is no controlling factors (constitutions) to hinder the will of the majority of the citizens or their representatives. In a republic, the citizens/representatives can only act in accordance within the established rules-of-law. Of course if the majority wishes to act in contravention to their own rule-of-law (a constitution), they must first change the rule-of-law (constitution).  


aka privileges or immunities. That which belongs to a person by law, nature or tradition (see: INALIENABLE). RULE-OF-LAW: An organization (including a nation) that has agreed to live (operate) by a set of pre-established rules or laws and that these codes take precedent over all else. The U.S. Constitution is our rule-of-law inasmuch as it is the set of laws to which all other laws, statutes, ordinances, court orders and executive edicts must conform.  


The court of last resort. Contrary to what some believe, the Supreme Court does not have to hear a case. It can choose which cases it will decide. The only appeal to a Supreme Court ruling is by amending the Constitution. The Supreme Court has the right and power to interpret the law, but it does not have the right to act in violation of the Constitution. There have been a number of instances where their rulings violated the Constitution. The most infamous affront to our rule-of-law being the Dred Scott decision where the Court ruled that African Americans were not citizens. Just because the SC says thus-and-so does not make a usurpation of the Constitution legal. Ergo: if the SC someday rules that we don't have the right to keep & bear arms; their ruling will be null and void as it will be a violation of the Second, if not the Ninth Amendment.