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Guns and the Constitution - Is the Second Amendment an individual, or collective, right? ^ | November 24, 2007 | The Editors

Posted on 11/24/2007 12:34:43 AM PST by gpapa

In recent decades, the Supreme Court has discovered any number of new rights not in the explicit text of the Constitution. Now it has the opportunity to validate a right that resides in plain sight--"the right of the people to keep and bear arms" in the Second Amendment.

This week, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of District of Columbia v. Heller. In March, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit declared unconstitutional the District's near-total ban on handgun possession. That 2-1 ruling, written by Judge Laurence Silberman, found that when the Second Amendment spoke of the "right of the people," it meant the right of "individuals," and not some "collective right" held only by state governments or the National Guard.

That stirring conclusion was enough to prompt the D.C. government to declare Judge Silberman outside "the mainstream of American jurisprudence" in its petition to the Supreme Court. We've certainly come to an interesting legal place if asserting principles that appear nowhere in the Constitution is considered normal, but it's beyond the pale to interpret the words that are in the Constitution to mean what they say.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2ndamendment; dc; guns; supremecourt
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To: gpapa
Is the Second Amendment an individual, or collective, right?

Who would even ask such a constitutionally pointless question, and why?

The Bill of Rights does not grant individual or collective rights. The Bill of Rights protects inherent rights from interference by the government.

Anyone asking that question one would have first taken the position that a state would call upon unarmed men to make up a militia. I fear only constitutionally corrupted courts would entertain answering constitutionally corrupted questions.

41 posted on 11/24/2007 2:53:20 PM PST by MosesKnows
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To: gpapa
I understand what people think they mean by the phrase "collective right" but I don't think that there is any such thing in truth. It isn't as if George and Jack and Jane possess any rights as a group that they do not possess as individuals. Even for them to form a corporation that "collective" possesses an individual (if somewhat fictive) legal identity and is treated in the courts as such. A labor union, to cite another example, does not possess a collective "right" to bargain, its members possess a right to form such a union in pursuit of it.

This gets even more curious when the argument is made that a State may possess the "right" to a militia and hence to arm it. States do not actually possess rights at all, they are accorded powers within the construct of the federal Constitution and their own State Constitutions. Opinions on the nature and distribution of these may differ (we had a Civil War about that) but not whether that sort of power is the same thing as a right accorded an individual. It isn't. The Constitution delineates powers and recognizes rights.

It is a little difficult to fathom how an honest individual could possibly confuse the two. It is not at all difficult to imagine a dishonest individual attempting to conflate the two in order to manipulate the credulous.

42 posted on 11/24/2007 3:22:28 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: stevie_d_64

thanks- I stole it from Neal Boortz.

43 posted on 11/24/2007 3:31:23 PM PST by ovrtaxt (You're a destiny that God wrapped a body around.)
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To: truth_seeker

The reason for your right is spelled out. Why didn’t they say “The right for a militia to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” ??

44 posted on 11/24/2007 3:35:02 PM PST by eyedigress
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To: gpapa

It’s an individual right - “being necessary for the free state...” can only mean that it’s an individual right, free from government regulation. You cannot ensure a free state while regulating the very tools needed to do so.

45 posted on 11/24/2007 3:37:15 PM PST by meyer (Illegal Immigration - The profits are privatized, the costs are socialized.)
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To: meyer

Exactly, Every right under the Bill of Rights is individual.

46 posted on 11/24/2007 3:39:37 PM PST by eyedigress
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To: gpapa

A better question, define Bill of Rights. The answer is in there if you look.

47 posted on 11/24/2007 3:40:02 PM PST by Tarpon
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To: Beckwith

“Perhaps you can tell me how the Founders knew about an organization created by the Militia Act of 1903?”

A very good question and one I have often posed to gun grabbers. The standard answer is that times have changed and what may have then been a citizens militia is now the NG. As far as their concerned it’s one of those ‘living Constitution’ thingies.

48 posted on 11/24/2007 4:05:10 PM PST by DugwayDuke (Ron Paul - building a bridge to the 19th century.)
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To: Misterioso

“What, pray tell, is “collective right?”

The right of the state to take all your money and control all your actions, for the children.

49 posted on 11/24/2007 6:14:58 PM PST by Jim Verdolini
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To: gpapa
How is “the right to keep and bear arms” a collective right?>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


50 posted on 11/24/2007 6:33:09 PM PST by Candor7 (
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To: PLMerite
51 posted on 11/24/2007 6:33:57 PM PST by Candor7 (
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To: Jim Verdolini


52 posted on 11/24/2007 8:56:13 PM PST by Misterioso
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To: Candor7

This man was on Tammy Bruce’s show this PM. He seems to think that the way the complaint was worded assures a majority opinion against the DC gun ban. He thinks maybe as hisgh as a 7-2 vote killing the DC bill. He has a site and is following the story:

Let’s hope he knows what he is talking about.

53 posted on 11/24/2007 9:12:49 PM PST by casino66 ( If I vote Dem I'll get everything 'free')
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To: MosesKnows


“Nail on the proverbial head, post of the day!”

You’d almost bring to a halt the whole process this is going to encounter if they let you argue that one point before the court...

You would make the government look really stoopid if you got the chance though...

I’d pay money for tickets to just watch!!! ;-)

54 posted on 11/25/2007 4:49:31 AM PST by stevie_d_64 (Houston Area Texans (I've always been hated))
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To: truth_seeker
My question begins the premise that if you fulfill certain criteria, there is absolutely no question whatsoever, regardless of legal approach/theory, that you fit the militia clause. Failure to fit that criteria does NOT mean you're not a fit, it simply means that there are some legal theories (albeit stupid ones) that argue otherwise and which (bizzarely) currently have some leverage.

No, I'm not making this stuff up. The current federal definition of "militia member" explicitly includes the category I presented; ergo, if you fit that category, then there is no question of a fit.

At 59, you're outside that particular category, but fit others. Yes, you fit the "militia clause".

According to what you wrote, only males 17-45 should have firearms?

No, that's NOT what I wrote!!! You asked a question, and I gave an incomplete answer - do not extrapolate that to answer a question that wasn't asked.

The 2ndA plainly says "THE PEOPLE" have that right - and that right is NOT contingent on the militia clause.

55 posted on 11/26/2007 7:07:35 AM PST by ctdonath2 (The color blue tastes like the square root of 0?)
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To: gpapa

Of course the 2nd Amendment protects a collective right to keep and bear arms.
Ya don’t expect a single person to handle a crew-served weapon, right?


56 posted on 11/26/2007 7:19:08 AM PST by ctdonath2 (The color blue tastes like the square root of 0?)
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To: ctdonath2
I understand the concept of a crew-served weapon. Other than in the organization of a State and Federal sanctioned National Guard, does that permit me to create my own private militia equipped with such weapons?
57 posted on 11/26/2007 7:31:03 AM PST by gpapa
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To: gpapa
Here's a nice summary from the most recent news release Second Amendment Foundation:

“An affirmative ruling by the Supreme Court will probably not be the death knell for the extremist citizen disarmament movement,” Gottlieb said, “but it will properly cripple their campaign to destroy an important civil right, the one that protects all of our other rights. The insidious effort to strip American citizens of their firearms rights, while at the same time permanently harming public safety must end.

I believe that the right to keep and bear arms is the most fundamental right of all, the very foundation of a free society.

If there comes a day that the GCA and the NFA are finally extinguished, then that truly will be the greatest day for American liberty.

58 posted on 11/26/2007 7:48:33 AM PST by snowsislander
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To: stevie_d_64

I defer to your excellent judgment, sir.

59 posted on 11/26/2007 8:07:02 AM PST by RatRipper
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