Thursday, June 26, 2008

Big Win for Freedom: Supremes Strike Down D.C. Gun Ban.

The Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Second Amendment, and striking down the District of Columbia’s handgun ban and the ban on the use of any firearm for self-defense in the home, is solidly reasoned. Although the case leaves ample room for moderate gun control laws, the case casts doubt on the continuing validity of a variety of other gun prohibitions.

I think it's appalling that it was only a 5-4 decision. The Second Amendment has always been embarrassing for liberals who consistently seek to interpret every constitutional guarantee as broadly as possible save this one. This isn't some vague penumbra we're talking about here. The right to keep and bear arms is an express provision of the Bill of Rights.

The notion advanced by some, that the right to bear arms is conditional on service in a "well regulated militia" begs the question of why would the framers think they had to guarantee such a right in the first place.

The already enacted Constitution provided for the creation of the armed forces. Did the framers think they needed to make it clear that the army was allowed to have weapons? Of course not. It would be stupid, but that's what you essentially have to believe if you embrace the "collective right" approach. What the framers intended was that the populace be armed to protect itself, not just against criminals, indians and foreigners, but against the possibility of tyranny by by our own government. They came from a tradition that stood in defiance against the worst excesses of absolutism. They wanted to build a shining city on a hill where the state would be the servant of the people, not the reverse.

Glen Reynolds (better known as Instapundit) says it much better here.

The full text of the court's decision is here.

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