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Doing what any father would do

By Paul Walfield
web posted January 27, 2003

Ronald Dixon has two children, two jobs and a desire to keep all of them. On the night of December 14, 2002, Ronald Dixon awoke to find a stranger walking in the hall outside his bedroom. After calling 9-1-1, Mr. Dixon saw the man enter his 2-year-old son's room and he knew he could not wait for the police. He picked up his 9mm pistol and went to protect his children.

When he entered his son's bedroom and confronted the burglar, the thief charged Mr. Dixon who then fired his 9mm twice. The burglar was hit and fled down the stairs and out of the Dixon home. When the police arrived, they arrested the wounded career burglar, and they arrested Mr. Dixon.

Mr. Dixon's home you see is in Brooklyn, New York and he needs to be an example to everyone. Regardless of the circumstances, anyone who possesses an unregistered handgun must face jail time in New York. Accordingly, his possession of the unregistered 9mm is a misdemeanor, and he now faces up to one year in prison. Brooklyn had nearly 500 shootings last year and District Attorney Charles Hynes cannot condone illegal firearms.

It does not matter that Mr. Dixon purchased the handgun legally in Florida, or that he was in the process of registering it Brooklyn. It doesn't matter that Mr. Dixon did what any reasonable person would have done under the circumstances. According to the District Attorney, he must spend time in jail for his "crime."

Andrew Friedman, who is Ronald Dixon's attorney, turned down a plea bargain offered by the DA in which his client would spend four weekends in prison. According to the article in the New York Daily News, Dixon holds two jobs, and weekends in jail would certainly cause the loss of one of them.

The Second Amendment is a short concise recitation of an American's right to possess a firearm. The fact that that right "shall not be infringed," has never hampered Legislatures from chipping away at it in a consistent and methodical manner. Unlike any other Amendment to the Constitution, the 2nd, is viewed by the Left as fair game. Of course to do that they need to misinterpret it.

The Left has determined that the 2nd Amendment should only apply to "a well regulated militia" and not to individuals. By doing so, individual Americans have no right to a gun and therefore are subject to any restrictions or bans the government decides upon. Gun ownership then becomes a privilege and not a right under the Constitution.

The ACLU takes the position that the 2nd Amendment only refers to the state militia. However, if our forefathers intended it to mean only that, why did they add the phrase, "the people the right to keep and bear arms"?

Additionally, even if we assume for the sake of argument that the 2nd Amendment refers to a "militia," what did that mean to the framers of the Bill of Rights? Militia, as was known in the 18th century was described by George Mason, who along with Patrick Henry opposed the Constitution without a Bill of Rights, as "the whole people." In 1787, the Federal Farmer, published in New York in the Poughkeepsie Country Journal, referred to the militia as in fact "the people themselves."

Even in the infamous Supreme Court case of United States vs. Miller decided in 1939, Justice McReynolds in describing the purpose of the 2nd Amendment determined that the debates, history, and writings at the time of its creation show plainly that militia meant, "all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense."

Some may argue that times have changed and that the need for individuals to own guns has been made obsolete by the creation of modern police forces. However, that argument would remain hollow for a father in the middle of the night watching a criminal enter his child's bedroom.

Paul Walfield is a freelance writer and member of the State Bar of California with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. Paul has also attended post-graduate classes in behavioral and analytical psychology. He resided for a number of years in the small town of Houlton, Maine and is now a California attorney. Paul can be contacted at paul.walfield@cox.net.

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