Monday, July 14, 2008

Nevada ACLU Breaks with National ACLU on Second Amendment

UPI ran an interesting story on the Nevada chapter of the ACLU. Typically the ACLU has been extremely unfriendly to the Second Amendment. In fact, they seem to take a broad interpretation of every civil right out there EXCEPT the Second Amendment. On the Second, the ACLU has always clung to the “collective right” myth which was clearly against Framers’ intent. Their position remains unchanged after the Heller decision, and they still cling to the “collective right” hypothesis. However, the Nevada Chapter of the ACLU has publicly broken ranks with the national organization in the wake of the Heller ruling. According to the article:

""The ACLU of Nevada will defend this right as it defends other constitutional rights," the group said in a statement posted on its Web site…

“The state's ACLU chapter has broken with its national counterpart in taking the stance, which came after the high court ruled last month that a District of Columbia handgun ban was unconstitutional and, for the first time, interpreted the Second Amendment as an individual right, The Washington Times reported Monday.”

Well, the last bit is technically correct, yet it is misleading. The Heller ruling is the first time that the Second Amendment has been explicitly ruled an individual right – but the Judicial branch in the 18th and 19th Centuries (even the early 20th Century) seemed to understand that as a given and didn’t need to be reminded that when the Constitution says “the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”, that’s what it really MEANS.

Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons had these comments:

"Obviously, the ACLU in Nevada has seen the light on this issue and we are happy they have. It adds to the long list of supporters of Second Amendment rights in the state … It is a state where the right to bear arms is held close to the heart."

The National ACLU was noncommittal in its response.

"Our local ACLU affiliates are free to take positions that differ from those of the national office," Dorothy Ehrlich, ACLU deputy executive director, told the Times. "While the organization is unified in purpose, we do not impose uniformity regarding specific positions."

For an organization that has been openly hostile to one of the basic Civil Rights our Republic was founded upon, this has to rankle the higher level directors. I sincerely hope that this represents the beginnings of grassroots change in the ACLU where ALL rights are truly respected, instead of just a select few at the expense of others.

Until next time!

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