No one is surprised that I am covering the Supreme Court decision today. In DC vs Heller, the individual’s right to keep and bear arms has been confirmed. I am reading through the entire opinion and will update when I have finished. If you want to take on the 157 pages, you can find it here. I find it especially interesting that the courts opinion is that the right to keep and bear arms is not granted by the Constitution, but rather a pre-existing right that shall not be infringed. (Emphasis, of course, mine)
Putting all of these textual elements together, we find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation. This meaning is strongly confirmed by the historical background of the Second Amendment. We look to this because it has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right. The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it “shall not be infringed.” As we said in United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553 (1876), “[t]his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed
Basically they have afirmed that self defense is a basic human right. They have now placed in the pages of history that any man (using ‘man’ as a generic and not a gender specific term) has the basic right to defend himself and his home. It is not at all tied to military service, but instead the basic human right of self-preservation.
Americans understood the “right of self-preservation” as permitting a citizen to “repe[l] force by force” when “the intervention of society in his behalf, may be too late to prevent an injury.”
or “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”
The phrase “shall not be infringed” is an interesting one. In light of the abuses of power by the tyrannical government, the founding fathers felt it of utmost importance that this basic human right is not granted but instead cannot be limited by the government.
I celebrate today’s decision not only as person on the pro-gun side of the argument, but as a human being. I celebrate it as a confirmation of basic human rights.
This decision is being covered on several other blogs as well. Here is a very non-exhaustive listing. I’m very anxious to see how the bleeding heart liberal dissenters react.