Friday, June 26, 2009

Heller +1 Year

One year ago today the United States Supreme court handed down the landmark Heller decision that affirmed what most scholars and students of history already knew – the Second Amendment affirms and enumerates an individual right to keep and bear arms. The decision was far closer than it should have been. On the fundamental question of a “collective” versus an individual right, the decision should have been 9-0, but it was a squeaker 5-4 decision.

Since then, the march of the legal apparatus has continued onward with both victories and defeats for champions of the Second Amendment. We’ve seen one appellate Court rule that the Second Amendment is incorporated under the 14th Amendment, but two others state that it isn’t. An unambiguous ruling from the Supreme Court that the Second represents a universal right not subject to state or local contradiction would be welcome as it would put all anti-gun laws in jeopardy at once.

Recent polls also show that America’s desire for additional gun control laws is waning. Recognition that the Second Amendment affirms an individual right is at an all time high while desire for handgun bans is at an all time low according to several recent polls. Opposition to gun control is truly becoming bi-partisan with members of both major political parties in the U.S. coming out against additional strictures.

Opponents of the Second Amendment haven’t been idle, however. The Obama administration has tried to internationalize the issue. They used false statistics about American guns seized in Mexico and claimed they were fueling Mexican drug cartel wars. They used this basis as a platform to call for a new “assault weapon” ban. The use of patently false statistics was quickly exposed, but much of the media continued to report the faulty numbers. America, however, seems to have seen through the deception – though now Jamaica is claiming American guns are fueling their own drug wars. The administration has furthermore nominated a Second-Amendment unfriendly judge to the Supreme Court, and has nominated several other rabidly anti-Second Amendment individuals to other key positions.

Unfortunately the Heller decision wasn’t the final word in settling the legal questions surrounding our right to keep and bear arms, but it was an important first step in securing our rights. It also served as a wake-up call for those opposed to the Second Amendment. Expect their tactics to become more desperate going forward as legal precedents in our favor mount. Some are already calling those who support our right to bear arms “insurrectionists” – undoubtedly as a precursor to bringing military or civil authority to bear. Internationally the situation hasn’t improved much either with the most of the EU, Canada, and Australia still languishing under various levels of gun control from registration to outright bans.

The Heller case represented an important step forward for securing our rights, but it was really only the first step in a much larger effort. It will take years for the various challenges to the various failed gun control laws to make it through the courts, and there will undoubtedly be setbacks along the way. We have the force of history and Framers’ Intent on our side, however, and I am confident that in the long run we will win this battle.

Until next time!!!

2 comments:

Troy said...

Hope you had a good 4th of July, looking forward to new posts!

Fingolfen said...

4th was great! Getting back to the blog now... :D