Heller Decision in Near Retrospect

July 1, 2008

Adler at Volokh brings up an excellent point:  Perhaps the Supreme Court isn’t as conservative as we thought. 

This, combined with the the fact many of the issues relating to the 2nd Ammendment still have to be litigated, leads me to the conclusion that the Heller decision may have been too premature for our own collective good.

I don’t think McCain is out of the running, but I think the odds of the Presidential race greatly favor Obama.  He is among the most liberal senators, and I’m sure his liberal politics will carry into his Supreme Court appointees.  I think the odds of the 2nd Amendment Amendment surviving an Obamic Supreme Court are slim.  At the same time, Obama’s stance on 2nd Amendment has changed.  And Change is what Obama is all about.

The Heller Decision

June 27, 2008

Lexington Green quoted Justice Scalia at ChicagoBoyz wrote:

T]he enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home. Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.

I agree completely with Scalia on this.  The 2nd Amendment is a practical guarantor of the natural right of the individual to protect himself against tyrannies of crime and the state.  It is easy to recognize that natural right.  It is difficult to hold in contempt the man who defends his house from a burglar, or the woman who fends off an assault at night.  Yet our society that claims to support rights to self defense often holds in contempt the very means to exercise that right:  Firearms available for purchase, practice, and use by the public.

To those who oppose gun ownership rights, but support natural rights to self defense, I ask:  How do you reconcile these?

I am concerned that the District of Colombia, et al V. Heller Decision was five-four.  That margin is too narrow, and only demonstrates that the natural rights of the people need to be constantly defended, even against the Supreme Court. 

Zen posted a link to a UN Human Rights Council report.  I quote from the introduction of that report, emphasis mine.

The principle of self-defence has an important place in international human rights law, but does not provide an independent, supervening right to small arms possession, nor does it ameliorate the duty of States to use due diligence in regulating civilian possession.

It appears that our defense of our natural rights has international enemies, too.

On a related note, my support for the 2nd Amendment actually goes much deeper:  I think gun safety ought to be taught in public schools.  There is no reason why one should have to join the military or go to an NRA-sponsored gun safety course to learn the four rules of firearms safety.  Somehow I doubt that the nanny-statists who want to distribute condums and birth control in public schools would support a proposal as this, however.  You see, only certain kinds of nanny-statism are allowed.

agree with Zen, too.  Also, some interesting analysis at The Belmont Club.

My pistol.