Thursday, March 27, 2008

Come Heller High Water

Hi boys and girls! This here is a gun. It's a SIG 229 to be exact and my brother owns one and I like it. A lot. He's on a gun forum and those guys voted for me when I was up for some Blog award a year ago and I just want to give 'em a shout out.

If you don't know, you should know that a big case is before the Supreme Court regarding your right to bear arms. In Washington D.C. there is a hand gun ban and it's being challenged and the case moved through the courts. The case has huge implications for gun owners everywhere and for those who might want to own a gun in the future.

Glenn Reynolds has been all over the Heller case and has been giving great updates. This is how the Wall Street Journal sums up the case (which will be decided by May):

Judging by Tuesday argument, the High Court has a majority in support of the circuit court opinion. Chief Justice John Roberts asked why the Framers included the word "people" if the Amendment only applied to militias. Justice Antonin Scalia discussed the importance the Framers attached to providing citizens the means to protect against tyrannical government. Justice Anthony Kennedy, often the Court's swing vote, informed all in attendance that "In my view, there's a general right to bear arms quite without reference to the militia either way."

The debate also focused on what restrictions, if any, government could impose on such an individual right. Several Justices had particular fun with Solicitor General Paul Clement, who was charged with defending his (and thus the Bush Administration's) odd split-the-baby amicus brief arguing that while the Second Amendment is an individual right, the D.C. Circuit opinion would bar governments from banning even such heavy weapons as machine guns.

In fact, that opinion leaves ample room for a government to regulate machine guns, bazookas and the like -- much as even the First Amendment protects speech as an individual right but not as a right to shout "fire" in a crowded theater. We hope the Supreme Court agrees with Judge Silberman that the Second Amendment does protect the right to own pistols, rifles and other guns of the kind the American Founders believed were needed to protect liberty.
Amen to that. No one knows until the court hands down the decision what the outcome of the case will be, but it's important. Jay at The Right to Bear Arms notes this:
The Toledo Blade wades into the Heller case and repeats some of the same drivel we hear all the time:

No sane public purpose would be served if the court manipulates the wording of the Second Amendment to infer that Americans have an unfettered right to carry guns. The amendment says no such thing.

Moreover, while many people in the early days of the nation did carry weapons, they were single-shot muskets and not the rapid-fire Glock 9s or AK-47s that are the firearms of choice of modern-day criminals.

Don’t you just love how the anti-gun crowd loves to talk about what the constitution doesn’t say when it comes to the second amendment? I’m certain if we asked the editorial board of the Toledo Blade about the word abortion not being mentioned at all in the constitution, they’d stutter and spittle and tell us how that’s ‘different.’ Bottom line is, what part of “shall not be infringed” do they not understand?

As for the type of weapons, all the talk about Glock’s and AK-47’s is a non sequitur. Free speech rights don’t change because we have the Internet now and they had quills and parchment paper back then.
It is uncomfortable to think about these days, but the 2nd Amendment is a hedge against governmental tyranny. I don't know what could be done against the government's arsenal, but an armed citizen can do more than an unarmed one, that's for sure. The right to protect life and land is the right to protect liberty. The Heller case is important for everyone--gun owners or not.

1 comment:

sandy said...

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