Tag Archives: amendment ii

The Individual Right to Bear Arms

Lively, T. & Taylor, D. (2007). Court strikes down D.C. ban on guns. Washington Times, 10 March 2007, http://washingtontimes.com/metro/20070309-102401-2730r.htm.

Order matters.

The Articles of the Constitution are in a logical order, with the center of government (the Congress) coming in Article I, the servant of the government (the Presidency) described in Article II, and the interpretor of the government (the Supreme Court) outlined in Article III. The remaining four original articles, IV, VI, VI, and VII, are essentially housekeeping, outlining how the union should function given the three branches previously described.

The Bill of Rights are outlined the same way. The critical rights of expression — starting with the preemption of a Church of the United States, prohibiting prohibitions on worship, and making its way to freedom of speech, press, assembly and petition — come at the beginning, while rules of how to read the Constitution (Amendments IX and X) come at the end.

The second-most important amendment of the Bill of Rights, which protects the right of the people to possess guns, reads as follows:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

And means that there is an individual-right to possess weapons. As the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled:

A federal appeals court yesterday struck down the District’s 30-year-old gun ban, ruling that the right to bear arms as guaranteed in the Second Amendment applies to individuals and not only to militias.

The Second Amendment would be an inexplicable aberration if it were not read to protect individual rights as well,” the 58-page ruling said.

Alan Gura, an attorney for the plaintiffs, called the ruling a “tremendous victory for the civil rights of all Americans.”

One of the upsides of this freedom – taken from Columbians by the local government and restored by the federal — is that crime will drop. The expected force difference between a 300 pound man and a 100 pound woman, say, is now negligible. Both can pull a trigger.

Thank you, D.C. Court of Appeals.