Even a stopped clock is right twice a day

Posted: June 27, 2008 in america, freedom, politics

And this time, the Supreme Court got it right. They must be on some kind of courageous streak or something, now that they’ve followed up several headshots to the Bush Administration’s anti-habeas corpus policies with their latest decision. In case you’ve not been paying attention, in a recent 5-4 decision, the Supremes ruled that the Second Amendment does, in fact, protect the rights of individuals to own weapons. Gun-control advocates have long argued that the language of the Amendment refers only to a “collective” right and not to an individual right, and thus the states have the right to restrict or allow gun ownership as they see fit.

Gun ownership advocates see it the other way, that the same language does indeed allow individuals to own firearms for self-defense in all forms. Some take this interpretation to extremes on both sides, often to the point of ridiculousness. But the fact remains that the language of the Second Amendment, while not exactly clear to modern ears, provides protection and security for both sides of the coin – in other words, as written,

“A well-regulated militia being essential to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”

Means that in order to preserve the freedom and security of the republic, the Founding Fathers intended for every citizen to have the right to bear arms, and unlike in a Monarchy or Feudal state, this right can neither be granted nor removed by the state. In a democratic republic, which is what we are, rights reside in individuals, not in institutions.

In order for rights to have value, they must have value to every individual in society, not just to groups. Yet the proponents of the “group” theory of the Second Amendment would have us believe that alone among the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment refers to organized state-run (“regulated”) institutions and not to each and every citizen of society. Taking it a step further, this is like saying the right to freedom of the press belongs only to large printing houses or other state-approved media outlets. Imagine if the current government tried to limit access to the broadcast airwaves and cable channels only to those networks it likes (i.e. Fox News). What a nightmare that would be!

No, the fact is each and every one of us has the right to bear arms. And the purpose is not for hunting, or “sport” or other such trivial uses. It’s for self-defense, and to make sure power continues to reside in the people of this nation and not just in the state.

  1. andbehold says:

    While I understand that it’s people who have rights and not just groups, I don’t quite see how the individuals’ rights to bear arms is a step forward for security. Neither is it the case with groups, mind you.
    Do we really want to maintain the idea that “power to the people” is given in the form of a gun? And that’s in the self-proclaimed oldest democracy?
    Do the people who don’t want gun-bearers near their houses, children, workplaces or hiking camps have no right to ask for a gun-free environment?
    Obviously, we’re not even talking about responsible people with proper training and the right mindset and balanced emotions who handle their guns properly, but about the fact that states make it so easy for every fucktard to go and get a gun, say at a gun fair etc. and then act out their pre-pubescent fantasies of gun-and-power-wielding… The least one could do is establish and enforce very strict rules for acquiring and using arms.
    Personally, I’d be worried to know every guy in my neighbourhood has a gun.
    My two cents.