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Friday, November 23, 2007

Time to support our 2nd Amendment freedoms!

As anyone that might have turned on a television set in the past week no doubt knows already, the Supreme Court of the United States of America has agreed to consider a case involving the rights of citizens of the District of Columbia to own firearms. More importantly than that distinct decision will be the greater scoped issue of what exactly does the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution mean as related to states rights or individual rights.
"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."
As you might imagine, gun rights advocates and gun ban control advocates are in a complete flutter around the internet, predicting either complete freedom from any gun restrictions or complete breakdown in law and order should individual rights win the day. Every gun blog and forum is burning up the bandwidth with experts of all stripes postulating on what will happen when SCOTUS makes a decision. You can find some links to get you started at Sailor Curt's place to understand the significance of the possibilities.

You can read a couple of editorials on the subject, first by the Attorney General of the state of Michigan and by law professor Glenn Reynolds. Professor Reynolds makes the point that no matter how SCOTUS decides, this is an election year upcoming and the politicians that are running for office better be prepared to debate, discuss and support their views on this subject or suffer for it.

My own humble opinion? I think it is time, finally, for this determination of states rights vs. individual rights is finally settled at the highest level. I think it has been too long since the Supreme Court considered this issue and it is time to get it figured out. Most of the states have resolved the question in favor of the individual and the 2nd Amendment is the only one of our specified rights in the Bill of Rights that anyone tries to bend to a state's right as opposed to an individuals right. Imagine if we decided that only the states had the 1st Amendment freedom of speech, you might not agree with going that direction, now would you? Ditto for the 2nd Amendment. I think our country has to stop being embarrassed by this part of our Constitution that makes our country unique among all the others. There is a terrific essay, The Embarrassing Second Amendment by Samuel Levinson that really spells this out. I predict that when SCOTUS rules, it will be in favor of us, individual United States citizens.

And, I'm putting my money where my mouth is, (or my electrons in this case) and I am sending money to support
Academics for the Second Amendment, a group of academics that are writing an amicus brief in support of the individual's right in the upcoming SCOTUS case. If you value your individual freedoms and believe that the 2nd Amendment gives you the right to keep and bear arms, then I'd ask you to support their efforst with some cash as well.

Finally, I've added a new link to my blogroll today, this one-Gun Cite. It a page of links that will take hours to read and digest but its a great place to begin if you want to understand why this upcoming case is so important.

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