Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The 2nd Amendment and the Right to Bear Arms

The Second Amendment and the Right to Bear Arms:
Was the Supreme Court Right in its 5-4 Ruling to Guarantee Individual Gun Rights?

Recently, the US Supreme Court affirmed gun rights in a historic decision. In a narrow 5-4 decision, the High Court held that the Second Amendment "protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home."

Gun control activists have been swift to condemn the Court decision as a return to the days of the Wild West. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley mocked what he saw as the Court's endorsement of everyone having a gun as a means of protection. If that's what they want, said Daley, "why don't we do away with the court system and go back to the Old West?"

Justice Stephen Breyer sharply criticized the majority decision, arguing that there is "no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas."

Of course, can we ASSUME that gun control reduces violence?

Best question from the above video...."If someone breaks into your house, would you rather have a gun or a telephone?"

Roger Saunders, the Feature Writer-Editor for American History at Suite101, says that it's critical to ascertain the Framers' intent when it comes to the 2nd amendment. And he agrees with the Court's ruling. Says Saunders: "I believe the Framers were trying to say that the Militia could not be infringed by the Federal Government and that the individuals right to bear arms also had this protection."

According to Glenn Beck, the subject of the right to bear arms shouldn't even be up for debate. The debate was settled, argues Beck, at the founding of our nation.

What do you all think? Was the Court's decision in step with the Founders' intent? Does the Founders' intent matter?

1 comment:

bpabbott said...

The 2nd amendment was written in the context of a militia being beyond the control of federal government. The arms of the militias of that day might be provided by a locally, or by the individual members themselves.

The purpose of the militia was to provide for protection and safety of the individuals. Although, the context was more along the lines of defense of a foreign force or tyrannical government.

The individuals of that day also commonly had fire arms for hunting, and feuding. Although the feuding was generally illegal.

While many of the justifications for gun ownership are laughable, and while I personally doubt I will ever own a gun, it is my opinion that the court got this one right.