Thursday, June 26, 2008

Breaking News – 2nd Amendment Upheld by Supreme Court

The first ruling by the Supreme Court regarding the right for private citizens to own weapons was handed down today, marking a turning point in the NRA’s struggle. The question was always whether the amendment was intended to be defined as the State having rights to train a militia and keep arms on their behalf, or if the citizens armed are the militia, and their private use and knowledge of the weapons served to better the protection of the state and the self.

The ruling was 5-4, along “party” lines, that the amendment should be understood that it is the right of a private citizen to own a weapon, and that laws to that effect cannot infringe on their ownership or assembly status.

The NRA finally gets a win. Fox News suggests that the NRA will now bring suits against other large cities that have a ban on hand-guns as well. This is a great day for the personal responsibility and liberty of a free society and free man (or woman).

The opinion of the court reads, in part, {The Second Amendment is naturally divided into two parts: its prefatory clause and its operative clause. The former does not limit the latter grammatically, but rather announces a purpose. The Amendment could be rephrased, “Because a well regulated Militia is necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” }

It continues with a very well written opinion breaking apart the language, and how it is used throughout the rest of the document, in an attempt to fully define and interpret this Right accurately:

1. Operative Clause.
a. “Right of the People.” The first salient feature of the operative clause is that it codifies a “right of the people.” The unamended Constitution and the Bill of Rights use the phrase “right of the people” two other times, in the First Amendment’s Assembly-and-Petition Clause and in the Fourth Amendment’s Search-and-Seizure Clause. The Ninth Amendment uses very similar terminology (“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”). All three of these instances unambiguously refer to individual rights, not “collective” rights, or rights that may be exercised only through participation in some corporate body.
b. “Keep and bear Arms.” We move now from the holder of the right—“the people”—to the substance of the right: “to keep and bear Arms.” - a “right” (singular) rather than “rights” (plural), implying a right of an individual, not the right of a plural state militia.
c. Meaning of the Operative Clause. Putting all of these textual elements together, we find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation. This meaning is strongly confirmed by the historical background of the Second Amendment.We look to this because it has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right. The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it “shall not be infringed.”

There could not be a more historic event regarding personal freedoms from the government. The court, which I am often critical of, has made the correct decision today, fully understanding that there is a separation from what was being created to what was being agreed to… that the creation of this union was not intended to infringe on rights that free men already had in existence.

Let me state clearly, that through all the doom and gloom I hear about this country, moments like this are a shining beacon of hope… there is still hope in my heart that this country will remain a country of freedom and liberty.

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