by Jim Davis
Much of the confusion about the Second Amendment can be clarified by the two recent Supreme Court decisions on the issue. Those cases are District of Columbia v. Heller from 2008 and McDonald v. Chicago in 2010. In the Heller case, the Court not only rejected the proposition that the Second Amendment applies only to a National Guard-type militia, but that it specifically applies to the American citizen (and legal immigrants) as well. The Court also dismissed the leftist notion that citizens have the right to no more than musket-era firearms; but have the right to keep and bear modern armament and ammunition. Furthermore the Court confirmed the doctrine of the absolute right to keep and bear arms was uniquely American when established: and is a “fundamental right” that was purposefully established by the founding fathers. Therefore, that right is immutable via the Bill of Rights.
The Court used the term “Fundamental right” specifically in acknowledgement of the precedent set in a 1966 Supreme Court decision. That decision found that a young black man in Louisiana had a Sixth Amendment right to a trial by jury instead of being railroaded to prison for two years by a hostile court. That decision established that Constitutional rights are indeed: guaranteed. The combination of the series of decisions establishes that fundamental rights are not passé, nor are they viable for sunset applications. The Court also recognized that the inconvenience of rights in “modern society” do not mitigate their applicability to the citizenry. In short, society is obligated bow to the rights of the people.
The second case, McDonald v. Chicago dismisses the proposition that a State or lower government can supersede or ignore the rights guaranteed in the Constitution. This incidentally is the argument supporters of the Constitution should make in New York State, where oligarchs are attempting to void the Constitution with unlawful ordinances that conflict with the courts ruling. Stare decisis has already established the state law is, (to be redundant) unconstitutional and therefore: unenforceable:
“Two years ago, in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U. S. ___, this Court held that the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense and struck down a District of Columbia law that banned the possession of handguns in the home. Chicago (hereinafter City) and the village of Oak Park, a Chicago suburb, have laws effectively banning handgun possession by almost all private citizens. After Heller, petitioners filed this federal suit against the City, which was consolidated with two related actions, alleging that the City’s handgun ban has left them vulnerable to criminals. They sought a declaration that the ban and several related City ordinances violate the Second and Fourteenth Amendments. Rejecting petitioners’ argument that the ordinances are unconstitutional, the court noted that the Seventh Circuit previously had upheld the constitutionality of a handgun ban, that Heller had explicitly refrained from opining on whether the Second Amendment applied to the States, and that the court had a duty to follow established Circuit precedent. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, relying on three 19th-century cases— United States v. Cruikshank , 92 U. S. 542, Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, and Miller v. Texas, 153 U. S. 535— which were decided in the wake of this Court’s interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges or Immunities Clause in the Slaughter-House Cases, 16 Wall. 36. Held: The judgment is reversed, and the case is remanded”
Secondly, the decision settles which weapons can and cannot be owned by citizens. The verbiage states:
“None of the Court’s precedents forecloses the Court’s interpretation. Neither United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542 , nor Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252 , refutes the individual-rights interpretation. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174 , does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes.”
This clarifies the principle that citizens and legal aliens can keep and bear arms that are equivalent to those in common use by the National Guard- the “well regulated militia”. Thus, refuting any attempts by the left to make “assault weapons” illegal. As long as the “well regulated” militia (National Guard) has assault weapons: the American citizen carries that fundamental right as well. So much for the war on the AR15 rifle. . .
The Democrat Party consistently finds itself in opposition to the Constitution and the founding patriots. This explains the Harvard findings that the party has become the anti-America party: and its candidates are diminished by patriotic events. The Supreme court of the United States has already settled the debate on the Second Amendment, and indeed the applicability of the Bill of Rights.
Much to the chagrin of the left, the issue is settled law.
(first posted on examiner.com, January 21, 2013)