Less Than One Percent?

In recent months (and in very recent days), the call for banning “assault rifles,” or banning Muslims has run rampant.  Do people really think that banning a certain type of weapon or a specific religious group will solve a the mass shooting problems we have here in the US?  In just the past few days, 49 people were killed and another 53 injured by a “Muslim” with an “AR-15.”

First off, this Muslim was an American citizen, born in New York and residing in Florida.  How does stopping Muslims from entering the country resolve the issue of American born terrorists killing people?  Talk about a political end run.  Sounds like a very straight forward equation:  1=1=Thursday.  Keep in mind, the Fort Hood shooting was committed by an American born Muslim, as were several other shootings.  We as a society should probably stop blaming everything on immigrating Muslims and Mexicans and start looking within.

Next, to ban an entire religion for the problems of 1% (in tis case, more like 1/100th of one percent) makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.  But, that is the tone we are getting out of one side of the political stream.  This is merely an excuse to divert attention away from the real problem, our country cannot get anything don to help and protect its people when Congress is full of a bunch of self-serving morons who sit on party lines without regard to how working together might help this country.  We are living in a time of the worst congressional sessions in the history of this great country.Congress should be completely ashamed of the mess that they have caused over the last 10 years.

Next, when we look at the issue of the “AR-15” used by the Orlando shooter, we see that the media and our politicians are completely ignorant.  The AR in AR-15 DOES NOT stand for “assault rifle,”  it stands for “ArmaLite,” which is a gun manufacturer.  It should also be noted that the weapon used WAS NOT an AR-15…it was a Sig Sauer MCX carbine.  The media, and our politicians should figure out these facts before they start spounting off about gun issues.  It is as if they believe that anything that is a long gun/rifle is an AR-15.  This is akin to calling my HP VP9 a Glock.  It is nothing of the sort.

Now our political “leaders” start arguing that the ability to purchase guns needs to be curtailed and Muslims need to be banned from entering the US.  As mentioned earlier, the Muslim issue is clear.  These politicians want to ban an entire religious group for teh actions of 1/100th of 1 percent.  Does this really make sense?  Diverting the issue and blaming a religious group in total is nothing more that political rhetoric that serves no purpose but to rile up supporters.

Then we look at the “gun control issue.”  That term says it all: CONTROL.  How can you justify infringing on the constitutional rights of people when less than one percent of the people cause a problem.  As you may be aware, well over 99% of all gun owners use their weapons for lawful, non-violent means.  I use to be of the opinion that there was no need for an AR-15 type weapon… but now, after Paris, San Bernadino and Orlando, my thoughts have changed.  I would not want to be in a position of having to lawfully protect my family with my HK VP9 against an intruder with an assault rifle.  It would be like taking a knife to a gun fight.  That is why we have the 2nd Amendment.  We all know that if a person wants to use a high powered weapon to commit a crime, they will get a high powered weapon.  New guns laws cannot stop that.  So why punish the 99% pf the people who use their weapns for lawful and non-violent purposes?  Again, the argumentsaround “gun control” make no sense.  If we keep weapons out of the hands of the 99% when we know the 1% will be able to access them, we have done nothing but put our citizens in a vulnerable position.  Will closing “gun show loopholes” help?  Maybe.  Will refusing to sell to people on a no-fly list help?  Maybe. What we do know is this, if we limit the ability of the everyday citizen to ensure their own protection, we have done nothing but made our nation weaker and more vulnerable to attacks from both outside and within.

Think of this:  If you were in a dangerous situation like the Orlando setting or the San Bernadino setting, would you be one who would just lay there and wait for the inevitable?  Or, will you be one who will fight back to help yourself, your family and your friends?  I made the choice that I will not be the one laying on the floor waiting for the inevitable.




Denver DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys| The Nellessen Law Office

Arrested at Roadside

If you get arrested, call the Nellessen Law Office TODAY!The Nellessen Law Office is a Denver DUI defense and Denver criminal defense law firm. We are located in the LoDo area of Denver, Colorado,  and we are here to help you through the most difficult times in your life. With are experience in handling DUI and other criminal matters, the Nellessen Law Office is a ready to fight for you. We have been providing skilled legal representation for over 20 years to individuals facing DUI and criminal charges.  Whether it is a DUI or DWAI offense, a drug related charge, cases involving weapons, domestic violence, prostitution, or all other felony, misdemeanor and traffic matters, we will work for you./ Contact us through our website or through this blog, or call us at 303-284-5781.Remember, no offense is minor when you are the one charged, so it is very important that you speak with an experienced DUI or criminal attorney. Experience is crucial for an attorney representing individuals in criminal cases.  Incompetence in a criminal case may be particularly devastating to the client’s freedom and liberties.  Perhaps more than any other area of law, retaining an attorney early on in a criminal defense case is of utmost importance.  The longer your attorney has to handle and prepare your defense.  So, contact the Nellessen Law Office TODAY!

Denver Criminal Attorney discusses 2nd Amendment

AR-15 Semi-automatic High Powered Weapons were not meant to be in the public hands.
As a Denver criminal defense attorney, I am often asked questions about weapons and weapons charges. These questions all come down to one’s belief and interpretation of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Let me preface this post by saying that I believe everyone should have the right to possess weapons, but this possession should be regulated and should be reasonable.  I do not believe that any citizen should be able to possess automatic, or even semi-automatic, weapons.  These types of weapons are not needed for “personal protection.”  Clearly, weapons like the AR-15 that was used in the Aurora, Colorado theatre killings.

First, when looking at the Second Amendment, we must first look at the underlying constitutional provisions that created the militia (or military) and the legislative Acts that further clarified the intent of the “Founding Fathers.”  These provisions always seem to be left out of the discussions about the Second Amendment.

Article 1; section 8, clauses 15 and 16 of the United States Constitution gives Congress the power to “provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia.” Further, Congress was given the power to create an army and a navy to protect the people of the United States.   These provisions were developed to ensure that the federal government was able to use the militia to “execute the laws” of the United States, to “suppress insurrection” and to “repel invasions.” So, the United States Constitution allows for the creation of the United States military.  Then, it had to be determined who would be a part of the military.

In 1792, the Congress enacted a law that stated, in part, that “each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia.” This was the essence of the Militia Act of 1792.  People seem to forget that these provisions of the United States Constitution and the Militia Act of 1792 must be included when arguing the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms provision. Yes, the “founding Fathers” were involved in all of these creations.

People have varying opinions on the possession of fire arms, and my opinion is just that, an opinion. Does the Constitution allow for gun ownership?  That answer would be “YES;” however, it is a qualified statement.  When addressing the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States in its original form, we find the amendment to read:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

This amendment was ratified by the States on December 15, 1791, and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, the Secretary of State at the time.  This ratification was PRIOR to the Militia Act of 1792.  However, this provision of the Second Amendment calls for a “well regulated militia” that the people would support and supply for… NOT for every person, militia related or not, to be allowed to possess weapons.  For those who believe that every person should be allowed to possess automatic weapons, I would ask:  Why would the amendment begin with the phrase “[a] well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State”? Why would this phrase be included in the Second Amendment, but not given any meaning?

Next, the common definition of the word  militia, according to Webster’s Dictionary is as follows:

1.  (a) a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency.

(b) a body of citizens organized for military service

2.  The whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service.

These definitions are fairly clear.  The fact that the Constitution of the United States, with the afore-mentioned Articles and in the Second Amendment, specifically mentions a “militia” would indicate for military purposes.

Of course there is always the question of “How would the Founding Fathers have interpreted the Second Amendment?”  Well, let’s look at some obvious facts:

1.  The plain reading of the Article 1; section 8, clauses 15 and 16 of the United States Constitution; and

2.  The plain reading of the Second Amendment.

These provisions specifically discuss a militia, not an individual not associated with a militia, to have the right to possess weapons.  Next, there is Alexander Hamilton, one of the “Founding Fathers,”  a soldier and one of the first Constitutional lawyers in American history (among other things.)  Alexander Hamilton said to the people of New York in The Federalist Papers No. 29, :  “a tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss.” Emphasis added.

Was Alexander Hamilton saying that every person should have the right to possess a weapon?  Of course not.  Hamilton was specifically talking about those individuals going through military exercises and evaluations.  This “Founding Father” was not talking about the unqualified possession of weapons by every ordinary citizen of the United States.  Hamilton was talking about a military…  a militia.

Clearly, when an individual states that they have a right to own an automatic weapon, or just a weapon in general, I direct them to the thousands of news articles that show where innocent people die every year in the United States from improper weapon use and possession.  I direct people to news reports virtually every day where innocent children get killed playing with guns that they found in a parent’s home, garage, etc.  All weapons that “I have a right to own under the Second Amendment.”

Interestingly enough, if you ask the gun toting public to follow the intent of the Second Amendment and join the military, what would you get?  As you would expect, “I am not joining the military.  It is too dangerous right now,” or, “I am not going into the government-run army.”  This speaks for itself.  People want to read the Second Amendment in an incomplete manner, only taking the one phrase, “right to bear arms,” without looking at the intend of the entire amendment and the other provisions in the constitution that were created to develop the United States military.

The hope is that all people in the United Sates can be protected from the violence that occurred last week in Aurora, Colorado.  It is a tragic situation when family members and friends are lost to senseless violence that could have been prevented by taking access to some of the illogical weapons away from the ordinary citizen who has no real need for such a weapon.  Again, these are only my opinions.  Feel free to have your own and feel free to comment on mine if you would like.  Discussing this issue will only spread the concerns and opinions of both sides of this issue.

Please be safe and use your head when possessing all types of weapons.  Common sense goes a long way.

Until next time,

Thomas Nellessen

Nellessen Law Office