June 27, 2008

Some "guardian" of the Bill of Rights

Check out the ACLU's summary of yesterday's Heller SCOTUS gun rights decision. Here's their preface:

The Second Amendment has not been the subject of much Supreme Court discussion through the years. To the extent it has been discussed, the Court has described the Second Amendment as designed to protect the ability of the states to preserve their own sovereignty against a new and potentially overreaching national government. Based on that understanding, the Court has historically construed the Second Amendment as a collective right connected to the concept of a "well-regulated militia" rather than an individual right to possess guns for private purposes.

Is that really true? Not from what I've read and studied. I would presume that the ACLU is referring to the classic Miller case -- the last time the SCOTUS substantially dealt with the 2nd Amendment. This was back in 1939. The case has a lot of quirky twists and turns, but the high court eventually ruled against Miller's right to possess a sawed-off shotgun -- that the 2nd Amendment did not "protect" this right. But, as Robert A. Levy notes in the link above,

Miller applies to the type of weapon, not to the question whether the Second Amendment protects all individuals, only members of a militia or just states.

Which would not contradict anything in yesterday's Heller ruling since the majority stated that reasonable restrictions on guns could be implemented. And looking back at Miller, it'd be hard to argue that handguns aren't commonly used military weapons!

So, again, how did the so-called "Guardians of the Bill of Rights" come up with the idea that the very second of all amendments is ... a collective right? Mainly, it's from the wording of the amendment itself. To help dispel the notion, however, the NRA's website provides myriad links. And this may be one of the best sites I've seen recently that dismantles the "collective" notion. And geez, look -- the government itself says the Bill of Rights is all about individual rights:

In the summer of 1787, delegates from 13 new American states, recently British colonies, met in Philadelphia to write a constitution for a unified nation. By September, they had produced a document that then began to circulate among the state legislatures for ratification. The new constitution provided a blueprint for how the national government would function, but it did not contain a section specifically outlining the rights of individual citizens.

Jefferson's position gained advocates, and a compromise was reached. State legislatures agreed to ratify the draft document with the understanding that the first national legislature meeting under the new constitution would pass amendments guaranteeing individual liberties. That is precisely what occurred. By 1791, these 10 amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, had become part of the supreme law of the land.

The ACLU says that the SCOTUS, in Heller, "reinterpreted the Second Amendment as a source of individual rights." In actuality, the ACLU reinterpreted history to make their specious argument.

Posted by Hube at June 27, 2008 03:56 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

I would challenge the ACLU to defend its position. As a defender of individual rights, it is preposterous that the ACLU rejects that notion for the second amendment. We all must question the motivation of the ACLU.
My short take after 59 years of witnessing the ACLU is that they prefer to defend criminals. leaving law-abiding citizens open to be undefended victims. The ACLU is a Lawyer agency, and seems to think that solutions belong in court.
Well, when accosted on the street, in my car, my neighborhood or my home, IS NOT the time to consider if I have enough Insurance, a good lawyer, and whether the police will arrive in time to Save me from serious loss of life or essential property.
Yes, I hold that some property is more valuable than another humans life. When a Household or business, or even a community has been raped frequently by the parasitic society, the healthy are themselves threatened. Their quality of life is threatened. And eventually, their health and families health as a result of the economic
losses. It DOES become a matter of LIFE and DEATH, even over property. We can not all replace what is stoled or vandalized.
I believe that the value of the LIFE of the thief is worth no more than the object that the thief is illegally in pursuit of. I believe that allowing citizens to defend themselves would not degrade into Dodge City. I believe that just letting those with prior military service and serious other weapons experts to have and possess guns at home ind in public would do more that one MILLION new cops, or lets say 1,000 new Wilmington city police officers.
I BELIEVE it is TIME for the STATE of DELAWARE to consider and to enact Legislation such as the "CASTLE LAWS", where a person has the right and responsibility to defend themselves, their families, their homes and their neighbors.
Time to STOP PROTECTING CRIMINALS, aclu!!
ACLU, time to become consistent in recognizing and protecting INDIVIDUAL rights. Time to protect the INNOCENT.
Stop being DEFENSE attorneys, that protect the parasites.

Posted by: Paul falkowski at June 28, 2008 02:33 PM

Fix, Stolen.
Fix, Human's life.
fix, than one million.

Posted by: paul at June 28, 2008 03:34 PM

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