Friday, March 09, 2007

Gun nuts . . . rejoice!

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban violated the Second Amendment. It seems that everyone has a right to keep and bear arms, not just militias, even though the Supreme Court has never said that is the case. In fact, the Court hasn't ruled on the issue in 70 years.

Another reason why judicial activism and judicial restraint are political terms and not descriptive of what courts (and the judges who serve on them) actually do.


Carlos said...

If there's one thing (other than how to thnk) that I learned in your classes, is that silence by the court on an issue is no indicator of how an issue may be treated in the future.

It seems to me though that its difficult to argue that "the people" spoken of in the 2nd amendment are somehow not individuals guaranteed its protection, but "the people" mentioned in the first, fourth, ninth and tenth amendments are, in fact, all individuals, who then have their rigths protected by those amendments.

And for the record, an argument that the words "the people" on the Second Amendment really refers to "the states" is in direct conflict with the ninth amendment (which was written by the same group of individuals as the 2nd). The ninth amedment specifically makes a distinction between "the states" and "the people", which means the founding fathers were not stupid.

Had the drafters wanted to limit gun ownership to militias, they should have said "The rights of the state to keep a well regulated, armed militia shall not be infringed". Its hard to believe that this amedment, which was based on state constitutional provisions that specifically endorse ownership of arms for self protection (and have been determined to do so by state courts over and over) was somehow drafted to secure something other than that specific right.

I suggest you read the analysis on the opinion. As well as that of the court in United States v. Emerson, 270 F.3d 205 (5th Cir. 2001).

Jen Singleterry said...

I was going to comment that "oh, you were just baiting Carlos with this post", but he's already beaten me to it!