Posted by: reformedmusings | June 26, 2008

2nd Amendment Preserved!

Praise God! Freedom continues to ring! The US Supreme Court has upheld (5-4) the individual citizen’s right to keep and bear arms, striking down the District of Columbia’s unconstitutional ban on handgun ownership by private citizens. The Court also nullified DC’s requirement that firearms kept in the home must be disassembled or trigger-locked. You can download the majority opinion here (pdf).

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the majority opinion, and a masterful opinion it is. He goes through the amendment phrase by phrase, word by word, with reference back to the common definitions and practices of the founding era of our history. This is a model of how to properly interpret the Constitution–referencing and accurately capturing the writer’s original intent. He emphasizes the plain meaning of English words and basic grammar, rejecting the tortured twisting of words and intent by gun control advocates and their friends who wrote the minority opinion. Justice Scalia does an expert job of dissecting the nonsensical arguments of the minority opinion, which makes the opinion very readable. I will post some excerpts from the opinion when I get more time. In the meantime, there are some nice quotes from the report on the SCOTUS blog. UPDATE at 1245 EDT: SOCTUS blog has an excellent summary of the opinion which is better than what I have time to write. I highly recommend his summary.

I don’t agree with the entire opinion. I believe that the plain meaning of “bear arms” includes a Constitutionally-guaranteed right to carry those arms concealed on one’s person. I also believe that the court left too many other unconstitutional restrictions standing or unaddressed, including laws mandating the registration of firearms. Registration has historically always led to confiscation, just as in the post-Katrina police state tactics in New Orleans. We cannot say that it cannot happen “here” because it has indeed.

On the whole, though, today will stand out as a day when a key “right of the people” was affirmed by the highest court in the land. We remain citizens rather than subjects. Let freedom ring!

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