Gun Ban Case Could Mean You Have No Rights

Posted by Jason | Posted in Gun Control | Posted on 19-02-2010

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The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments related to gun bans in Chicago and Oak Park, Ill. Those trying to uphold the bans are arguing that the second amendment does not limit what states can do. It only applies to the federal government. If the court rules in this direction, what does that say about the rest of the Bill of Rights?

The court will consider March 2 whether the Constitution blocks states from restricting handguns. The case could further rework arms regulations in the aftermath of the court’s 2008 decision to strike down a law for violating the Second Amendment for the first time.

That decision invalidated the District of Columbia’s handgun ban for infringing what the court called an “inherent right to self-defense.” The capital’s peculiar status as a federal enclave, however, left unclear the implications for state law.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments over that question in challenges to handgun bans in Chicago and Oak Park, Ill., weighing whether the principle it set for Washington, D.C. also applies to states and local communities. The issue has scrambled traditional alliances, as gun-rights groups battle each other over how to argue the case, and some left- and right-leaning legal theorists unite over how to interpret the Constitution.

No need to worry. The Supreme Court supposedly leans conservative now. I’m sure our rights will be protected.

In judging the justice’s stances, most enigmatic may be that of Antonin Scalia, who wrote the majority opinion in the District of Columbia case.

In a 1997 book, “A Matter of Interpretation,” Justice Scalia wrote that he viewed “the Second Amendment as a guarantee that the federal government would not interfere with the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”

Yet, this next passage gives court watchers some pause. “Of course,” Justice Scalia continued, “properly understood, it is no limitation upon arms control by the states.”

Now a claim to the contrary—that the Second Amendment does limit arms control by the states—is pending. Justice Scalia declined to comment through a court spokeswoman.

via Handgun Case Creates Odd Alliances – WSJ.com.

Eh boy. Guess we can’t just assume that we will have our rights protected. So, if what Scalia said in his book is the way he rules, what does that say for the rest of the Bill of Rights? Can we look forward to states establishing their own churches? Maybe they can limit our free speech by imprisoning us without due process and use cruel and unusual punishments on us when we complain about the state? Hey now you say? Well, apparently the Bill of Rights only applies to the federal government. You can’t go around proclaiming your rights to the state.

It would seem only our “elite” politicians and judges could have a hard time understanding the intent of the second amendment. How hard is it to interpret,

“the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”?

Sounds pretty straight forward to me. It does not say “shall not be infringed by the federal government”. Maybe the founders made a mistake using words. Maybe pictures would have helped our leaders figure out what they meant.

Clearly the right to bear arms without government interference was the intent of the founders. By the very statement in the Declaration of Independence that we are endowed  by our creator with the unalienable right to life and liberty (and property which was edited out), it would seem to me implies you have a right to defend that life, liberty and property. If we are stripped of our right to defend ourselves by the state, then you really have no rights at all. You only have the rights that have yet to be taken from you.

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