It’s the right, not the gun

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A new bill misunderstands the Second Amendment

By HANNAH HILL

This week the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill that would allow individuals filing for bankruptcy to keep up to three guns worth up to $3,000 total.

In South Carolina, bankruptcy filers are allowed to keep a home, car, tools of a trade, and so on, up to a certain value. While a case can be made for some kinds of exceptions, the purpose of the bankruptcy process is for the debtor to pay whatever reasonably can be paid toward debts that exceed assets, and then start over with the bare necessities.

Sounds good, right? The creditor gets the short end of the stick, but you can’t get blood out of a turnip, and the turnip, to bend a phrase, will have a much harder time starting over without work or shelter.

So why exempt guns?

Presumably, it’s an attempt at pro-Second Amendment legislation. Except that it’s really not.

The Second Amendment guarantees your right “to keep and bear arms.” It’s up to you to get the arms, and it does not secure your right to keep any particular one.

Government can’t hinder you from buying a gun in a lawful way, but you aren’t entitled to one any more than you’re entitled to, say, healthcare.

Which brings us to the bankruptcy exemptions. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if you owe a debt, you should pay it. If you want to be forgiven all your debts and start over, you should be required to pay as much as you possibly can, from almost all your assets.

Your creditor is losing money that you were  legally bound to pay him. He’s more entitled to your assets, including your guns, than you are if you can’t meet that obligation. That’s kind of the point of property rights.

There is no reason to exempt guns from bankruptcy except for the fact that they’re, you know, guns. And here’s where Second Amendment rights activists often go off the rails: government may not stand in the way of the free exercise of a right, but it is under no obligation to ensure that you DO exercise that right or that you have the wherewithal to do so. If chronic laryngitis kept you from exercising your First Amendment rights, the government wouldn’t be obligated to pay for your treatment.

If you steal a gun, you go to jail. If you don’t have the money to pay your debts, your assets should go to cover them.

To argue otherwise isn’t protecting Second Amendment rights. It’s shooting yourself in the foot.

Nerve stories are always free to reprint and repost. We only ask that you credit The Nerve.
  • snickering

    Smoke and Mirrors is the Specialty of the SC General Assembly. They figure as long as they aren’t found out about their Shady Dealings it is both Right and Ethical. They are not right in their thinking.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/84e2172f86883afd1a8d754dff8e8201d8d9427b535c738a9737ef95fb51d140.jpg

  • Creekeris01

    While I agree 100% with the article, if we stay consistent with the recent and misguided foray into Health Care, since that is now a “Right” which is to be given by Government to those who can’t afford it, effectively the Government (we taxpayers) ARE paying for the treatment for a person to regain their First Amendment. I can’t wait until that same logic is used to hand out a firearm to those who can’t afford one. Do you think that will ever happen? LoL

    • paul

      They hand a gun to everyone that gets drafted or joins the service “This is my rifle, it is unique…..”

  • ramrodd

    The right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or the State, is absolute. He does not derive it from the State government. It is one of the high powers” delegated directly to the citizen, and `is excepted out of the general powers of government.’ A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power.” [Cockrum v. State, 24 Tex. 394, at 401-402 (1859)]

    • Constantine

      Interesting Texas decision, but of course that was only interpreting the Texas Constitution’s right to bear arms and not the 2nd Amendment.

      • ramrodd

        The TRUTH about the “supremacy clause” – our Constitution does not delegate to the national government authority to restrict our arms, ammunition, regulate firearms dealers, do background checks, etc. The national government may not
        lawfully circumvent this restriction by means of a treaty wherein the signatory governments agree to disarm their Citizens or Subjects.

        https://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/?s=The+TRUTH+about+the+%22supremacy+clause

      • Jim_Macklin

        Since 2008 the HELLER decision considered the Texas and other states bills of rights. In 2010 the McDonald case applied the US Bill of Rights, Second Amendment to all states.

  • Vet for Trump

    Your home, cars, and personal possessions are not protected by the Constitution, firearms are. The exception to the former are a matter of Bankruptcy Law. You cannot be forced to relinquish the “right to KEEP and bear arms” unless you commit a felony and are convicted.
    Filing for bankruptcy is not a felony offense.

    • Steve

      If you want to “keep” your arms, pay your damn bills.

  • pwrserge

    Well, this is the weirdest set of circular logic I’ve ever seen…

    Let me simplify it for you. Bankruptcy exists to protect lenders, not borrowers. Why? Because without it, lenders would have no recourse to recover any assets at all.

    • jkozma

      Incorrect. See South Carolina Code of Laws, Title 15 – Civil Remedies and Procedures (http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/title15.php). Note in particular Chapters 19 (Attachment), 35 (Judgments and Decrees Generally) and 39 (Executions and Judicial Sales Generally).

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  • paul

    Bankrupcy law was designed to allow you to have personal items and tools of the trade, so that you won’t have to wear a barrel, barfoot and be forced to beg. In our current times, this also means that you can keep a reasonable vehicle(maybe one that has depreciated to the point that it still runs, but holds no extra value. They allow the home maker to keep her kitchen tools and sewing machine. Allowing a family to keep of self protection guns is also reasonable.
    I do not believe that an extensive collection, worth thousands should be kept, maybe an heirloom or the like could be overlooked.

    Going through bankruptcy, allowing people to see you at your low point is about as bad as a divorce. The whole point here is to find a way out of your debts without ruining the lives of you and your family.

    • Jim_Macklin

      Obviously, each citizen should be allowed to keep their military useful handguns and rifles and trench guns [short shotguns]. But collector “safe queens” with gold inlays, will go on the block for sale to help pay the debts.
      A family of 5 should be able to keep a battery of arms suitable for service… i.e. 9mm or 45, 5.56×45 NATO or 7.62×51 NATO, or even older arms no longer “front line” such as the M1 Garand or 1903 Springfield.

  • Jim_Macklin

    The “well regulated militia” requires each citizen to possess arms. To that end, arms are shielded from bankruptcy.

    • Bill

      The “unorganized” militia, basically people who not already in the armed forces is defined in the US Code of Laws as “every able-bodied man of at least 17 and under 45 years of age, not a member of the National Guard or Naval Militia”.

      Does that mean under the 2nd Amendment I can actively restrict guns from any women,and men under 17 or over 45? Can I also restrict them from people who are not “able-bodied”?

      • Jim_Macklin

        No, such an interpretation ignores the SCOUS HELLER case. Actual service in “the militia” is not the only reason for the right to keep and bear arms. Self-defense is a reason that applies to everybody.
        Since 2008 and 2010 the United States Bill of Rights applies to all states and no law in any state can be “made or enforced” if it violates the rights of citizens. [14th Amendment] Congress can enforce this with legislation, such as National Reciprocity, which should pass this year.
        According to te 1939 MILLER case, military arms, such as te Thompson, M14 and M16 and the semi-auto versions too along with standard capacity magazines of 20-30 and greater capacity are also protected.

  • William Morgan

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7e40f10acbc706a15c8e52b388f9914031bf5093d89a2ce30b03f814a0b1821f.jpg Speaking from my experience in defending myself from, and now exposing, the corrupt freemason LE/Magic-Strate mafia in Berkeley County, I suspect this absurdly crafted bill is designed in part to allow same criminals and their legislative brethren within said “society with secrets” who’ve been racketeering and committing treason in this masonically (synonym = “pathologically lying”) corrupt state since the civil war, who are about to be indicted by Federal Grand Jurys’ (and as such, will surely be bankrupted by same karma related to the subversion of our civil institutions they’ve unleashed upon we the people, their prey), to keep their arms in order to exact further persecution and terrorism upon their accusers, just as their vows require. I say, “I GOT RIGHTS, I GOT RIGHTS TOO”. (Ref. Hanks Greatest Hits). 🙂

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  • ED Lown

    stop folks……….just what part of “SHALL not be infringed” do you not understand ?