Skip to comments.Yes, the Second Amendment Guarantees an Individual Right to Bear Arms
Posted on 03/20/2007 4:04:15 PM PDT by neverdem
On March 9, the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a groundbreaking ruling. It declared in a 2-1 decision that the Washington, D.C. ban on handgun possession in private homes, in effect since 1976, is unconstitutional. The court reached this conclusion after stating unequivocally that the Second Amendment's right to keep and bear arms applies to individuals and not just "the militia."
It is quite likely that this ruling will be appealed to Supreme Court, which hasn't offered an interpretation of the Second Amendment since 1939.
Appalled by the District Court ruling, the Washington Post editorialized that it will "give a new and dangerous meaning to the Second Amendment" that, if applied nationally, could imperil "every gun control law on the books."
The Post accused the National Rifle Association and the Bush administration's Justice Department of trying "to broadly reinterpret the Constitution so as to give individuals Second Amendment rights."
But actually, to argue that the Second Amendment does not apply to individuals is a reinterpretation of the Constitution and the original intent of the founders.
One of the major concerns of the anti-Federalists during the debate over the Constitution in 1787 was the fact that the new document lacked a Bill of Rights. In order to get the Constitution ratified, the framers promised to pass a Bill of Rights during the First Congress as amendments to the Constitution. The Second Amendment with its right to keep and bear arms became part of that package.
What was the original intent of the Second Amendment? Was the right to bear arms a collective right for militias, or an individual right for all citizens? The "Dissent of the Pennsylvania Minority," from the debates of 1787, is telling. This document speaks...
(Excerpt) Read more at realclearpolitics.com ...
How do you limit a right that shall not be infringed?
Rights are not granted by the Constitution, they are acknowledged to be preexisting.
Appalled by the District Court ruling, the Washington Post editorialized that it will "give the true American meaning to the Second Amendment" that, if applied nationally, could imperil "every unconstitutional gun control law on the books."
I sure am glad we have the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia there to explain plain english for us. I won't be completely satisfied, however, until the Supreme Court explains to everybody that the word 'bear' means carry, not own. Could you imagine Thomas Jefferson paying money to the government for the right to conceal his weapon on his person?
Of course the 2nd Amendment is about individual citizens. Why would they have needed to amend the Constitution to allow our military to bear arms?
The Washington Post's interpretation along with Hand Gun Inc.'s and every other gun grabber, has everything to do with literally changing the constitution away from the Free Republic it was intended to be, and into the socio-marxist construct they want to replace it with...which is exactly why the second amendment was enumerated in the first place, and which is exactly what they fear.
They know it, and we know it.
In determining whether the Second Amendments guarantee is an individual one, or some sort of collective right, the most important word is the one the drafters chose to describe the holders of the rightthe people. That term is found in the First, Second, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments. It has never been doubted that these provisions were designed to protect the interests of individuals against government intrusion, interference, or usurpation. We also note that the Tenth AmendmentThe powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the peopleindicates that the authors of the Bill of Rights were perfectly capable of distinguishing between the people, on the one hand, and the states, on the other. The natural reading of the right of the people in the Second Amendment would accord with usage elsewhere in the Bill of Rights.
Yes it does. If you don't understand the 2nd Amendment you don't understand America. Some understand the 2nd A. and want it gone. That tells you exactly what they're about.
I am unaware of any evidence from the 18th Century that there was ever any claimed right for people to carry concealed armaments. However, in today's world, the right to carry arms, combined with the fact that open carry will usually result in harassment, would imply a right to carry concealed.
As a strong second Amendment supporter, I would agree with your last sentence, however where does the limit fall, with the extreme being tactical nuclear weapons or 155mm Howitzers? Are citizens to be allowed these as well? I don't have an answer, and am actually asking the question. I think that "small arms" as in rifles and handguns, even machine guns should be our right to own. Should we have NO limits? That might require a level of perfection in personal responsibility humans are not capable of.
Your individual RKBA is protected by your state constitution. Which is why gun laws (eg., concealed carry) vary from state to state.
Think about it. If the second amendment protected that right, the laws would have to be the same in each state, would they not?
Easy. The same way Congress passes legislation restricting speech when the first amendment clearly states, "Congress shall make NO law ..."
You are absolutely right. The right was not claimed; it was assumed. In the 18th Century, with people walking around with swords on their belts, the right to carry weapons was not controversial.
Prior to this ruling, every lower federal circuit court in every lower federal circuit court case (save one) has ruled a "collective" right -- ie., an individual RKBA as part of a state Militia. The second amendment was to protect the ability of the states to form state Militias from federal interference.
I'm always thrilled when gun grabbers make really blatant errors. So "the people" in the 1st Amendment is an individual right but in the 2nd Amendment "the people" is a collective right. I have this really nice bridge that surely you'll be interested in buying.
You just shot yourself in the foot for the umpteenth time.
That would be up to each state, given that the states are charged with forming state Militias. If Congress prohibits 155mm howitzers, the states can appeal to the courts, saying that it infringes on their Militia.
"Are citizens to be allowed these as well?"
Again, that's up to each state. If the state wants its citizens to take certain weapons home or store some of the larger ones in an armory, that's up to each state. It is not the federal government's business.
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