District of Columbia v. Heller Summary | quimbee.com
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District of Columbia v. Heller Summary | quimbee.com


Hoping to reduce violent crime in the city,
the Washington D.C. city counsel passed the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975,
which effectively banned individual gun ownership in the District. The Act generally prohibited
D.C. residents from possessing handguns, but made some exceptions for police officers and
security guards. The Act also prohibited residents from keeping firearms in their homes without
licenses, and required that any licensed firearm kept in the home either be unloaded and disassembled,
or fitted with a trigger lock. Dick Heller, worked as a special police officer
in Washington, D.C. As part of his employment, he was allowed to carry a handgun while at
work. Wanting to keep a handgun in his home after hours, he applied for a license to do
so. The District of Columbia denied Heller’s application. Heller sued the District of Columbia for violating
his Second Amendment rights. Based on its reading, the district court found
that the Second Amendment does not create an individual right to gun ownership unrelated
to service in an organized militia, such as the National Guard, and dismissed Heller’s
complaint. The court of appeals found that the Second Amendment does create an individual
right to gun ownership and reversed the lower court’s decision. The United States Supreme
Court granted certiorari. The issue on appeal was whether the D.C. law
prohibiting the possession of handguns in the District or usable firearms in the home
violated the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. In a narrow 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court
held that the District of Columbia’s law restricting Heller’s ability to possess
a firearm and altogether prohibiting Heller from keeping a handgun in his home violated
his Second Amendment rights. Justice Scalia, writing for the majority,
said that the Second Amendment protected Heller’s right to possess a firearm, even if such possession
was unconnected with service in a militia. Scalia engaged in a deep textual analysis
and concluded that the Second Amendment’s reference to the need for a “well ordered
militia” was only an introductory clause indicating the amendment’s purpose, but
that it did not limit the right to bear arms guaranteed in the amendment’s operative
clause. Further, Scalia concluded that there was nothing in the legislative history of
the Constitution, nor state constitutions enacted around the same time, nor writings by contemporary
scholars, nor even the antecedent English history showing that the Founding Fathers intended
to limit gun ownership solely for militia purposes. The majority did allow that states must be
free to regulate who can own firearms in order address certain safety concerns. For example,
a state may restrict convicted felons and the mentally ill from gun ownership. However,
because Heller did not fall into one of these narrow categories of gun owners who may threaten
public safety, the Court found the District of Columbia’s prohibition on gun ownership
to be overly broad and deemed it unconstitutional. Justice Stevens dissented, relying on the
Court’s decision in United States v. Miller. In that case, the Court held that it was unlawful for two
men to possess a sawed-off shotgun, because their reasons for doing so bore no relationship
to the purpose of preserving a well-regulated militia. Stevens alleged that neither the
text of the Amendment nor the debates surrounding its passage indicated an interest in limiting
the legislature’s ability to regulate the private, civilian uses of firearms. Rather,
Stevens explained that the individual right to keep and bear arms was designed to be solely
for the purpose of preserving a well-regulated militia. Because Heller sought to own a handgun
for self-defense, and not as a member of a militia, Stevens contended that the District
of Columbia may restrict such ownership without infringing on Heller’s Second Amendment
rights. In his dissent, Justice Breyer asserted that
the District of Columbia’s law did not violate Heller’s Second Amendment rights, because
the Second Amendment’s protection of the right to bear arms is not absolute, and is
subject to reasonable restrictions. Breyer explained that the Court must balance the
burden a law may place on an individual’s right to bear arms with the importance of
a state’s interest in doing so. Breyer concluded that the District of Columbia’s law did
not unreasonably interfere with Heller’s right of self-defense, because its purpose
was to combat the presence of handguns in high-crime urban areas, and that interest
was important enough to justify the restrictions. District of Columbia v. Heller was the first
Supreme Court case to explore the meaning of the Second Amendment since United States
v. Miller in 1939. Heller set the stage for the 2010 case of McDonald v. Chicago, in which the Supreme
Court expressly held that the Second Amendment was incorporated against the states. If you found this video helpful, you can explore
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47 Comments

  • TehMorbidAtheist

    Keep up the good work, guys.
    Too bad Scalia messed up big time here.

    In most of his decisions and dissents the absence of something in the Constitution usually mean that it was unconstitutional; but of course his religious republican agenda always got in the way.

    Death to the judicial tyrant.

  • Planet Bathwater

    Yeah, thanks guys. I can understand better with someone else verbalizing it. Maybe they'll use that against my ownership of a firearm someday.

  • James ALEXANDER

    You can see why Hillary needs to be defeated to better insure that more constitutionalists are appointed to the Supreme Court. Americans owned private guns before the constitution.

  • Agent K 2

    I am by no means a fanatic of firearms and do not even have one. And furthermore my opinions are not in line with US American conservative lawyers, e.g. I am clearly against death penalty because I do not trust that the state is perfect enough to prevent the execution of innocents.  But as a German citizens I really also find the over-restrictive gun-laws in Germany very questionable. They simply deprive citizens of basic rights and overpower police and army. And I was stunned when I read the story about the "DC vs. Columbia" case. The US constitution simply guarantees the private possession of firearms that represent the militia weapons (e.g. non-automatic handguns). It is as easy as that as far as I see. So the DC law was blatantly unconstitutional and the Supreme Court had to turn that down with 9:0 majority I would presume. Instead it was a tight 5:4. The dissents of the "liberal" judges in "Heller vs DC" are hilarious in my opinion. I have to agree with ´the right-wingers here (which is rare..). I have never seen such strongly left-wing judges as the liberals in US Supreme Court, and I am speaking of todays Germany and Europe where we (fortunately) do not have a right-wing jurisdiction. Reading about some landmark cases I am really astonished that sometimes I found the dissents of Scalia and Thomas much more convincing by LOGICAL and LAW aspects than the majority decision – although I agreed with the POLITICAL point of the liberals! The liberal judges really seem to make politics directly from the Court. They sometimes try to 'overrule' right-wing politics or to 'correct' flawed strategies of lawyers of the defendants (who claimed the wrong rights) rather than really fixing wrong jurisdiction.

  • nunyuh business

    How can anyone say the 2nd amendment isn't absolute when "shall not be infringed" is included in the amendment?

  • Storm-Night

    So some Bill of Rights apply to states and some don't. Wasn't it made to keep all of the government from becoming too powerful? Didn't the forefathers create the Bill of Rights to keep the government to do this? Because didn't the British take away firearms?

  • Sooner Admirer

    the reason the sawed-off shotgun wasn't protected is because it was an illegal weapon. Furthermore the militia act of 1903 created an organized militia (national guard) and the reserve militia (regular Americans).

  • boedude

    there is not one sentence or phrase in the Constitution that allows for any government to restrict firearm possession for any reason, regardless of safety concerns or even the judicial status of the citizen (felons). the assertion that government can violate to one degree or another the rights of the citizenry for safety or any other reason if it can show 'just cause' is salacious and why governments are so dangerous. the government's authority comes from only one place and this power is not there. there is no constitutional limit on arms. courts are part of the government and they do everything they can to preserve their jobs and power. even scalia was guilty of self and government before country. but fortunately he did throw us a bone, though it was full of razor blades

  • its Me

    The reason the Supreme Court made that statement is the fact that miller was dead and no argument was use to have a saw off shotgun. The court instead agrees by default on the government side, however they quoiting from Blackstone the importance of having an up to date weapons, they left it as open question about the gun control act of 1934

  • Chad K

    Well of course the fucking politicians are going to insist that their gun control bullshit is "important to the state's interests" these leftists are mentally ill and shouldn't have access to firearms. Going after the 2nd amendment like this is outright treason and a huge threat/enemy to the constitution. many leftists want to straight up ban ALL people from owning guns. Literally just the military and police officers. That's it. No ordinary person needs a gun for any reason.

  • Kyle Spade

    5-4…that's how close we came to losing our gun rights. All 4 dissenters were democrat appointed judges. "…does not unreasonably interfere with Hellers right of self-defense." SERIOUSLY? They wouldn't let him have a gun in his own home to protect his family in one of the most crime ridden cities…The man used a firearm in his proffesion? How was any of this REASONABLE. Fuck you Breyer, Right here buddy🖕.

  • Remote Viewer 1

    Did criminals comply with the law? If not, what is the point of disarming honest people? Why guarantee law abiding people can only be victims? Do criminals pass these laws to guarantee them a safe work place? Or do the legislative bodies work for the criminals? Are the legislators themselves protected by men with guns? Frankly, the premise of infringement works for the safety of violent actors and against the physical safety of the law abiding. How asinine.

  • RKBA

    In Miller, the court prefaced it's holding with "Since no evidence has been presented to the court that a shotgun …" (or verbiage substantially to that effect) because Miller had died by the time the case came before the court and his sorry arsed lawyer didn't even show up to argue the case. The Miller case means nothing but did indicate that if a weapon has military utility (you know like fully automatic machine guns and shoulder-fired anti-tank/aircraft missiles, mortars, etc.; including "Any Thing which may be used for offensive or defensive purposes; usually refers to weapons of military utility."), it's guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment.

    Additionally, the courts are obligated to "preserve" the FULL SCOPE of ALL of our RIGHTS and NOT just the "core right" because that's the PRIMARY reason governments are instituted among men.

    Further, the Supreme Court has repeatedly defined "to bear arms" as: “… to ‘wear, bear, or carry upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.’ ” Heller v. D.C., 554 U. S., at 584 (quoting Muscarello v. United States, 524 U. S. 125,143 (1998) (Ginsburg, J., dissenting); alterations and some internal quotation marks omitted).

    Sure sounds like Open or Concealed Carry at the discretion of the individual to me! And, it covers both long guns and handguns, knives, swords, daggers, e.g. "Any Thing …"

    Let's look at some other legal definitions:

    INFRINGE: actively break the terms of a law, agreement, etc.; contravene, violate, transgress, break, breach; disobey, defy, flout, fly in the face of; disregard, ignore, neglect; go beyond, overstep, exceed; infract; act so as to limit or undermine (something); encroach on, restrict, limit, curb, check; undermine, erode, diminish, weaken, impair, damage, compromise, REGULATE WITHOUT LAWFUL POWER, as in, "The statute infringes constitutionally guaranteed rights."

    WELL REGULATED: Operating properly; functioning as intended

    And, the famous slave case, Dredd Scott v. Sandford, indicates where and when we can carry:

    “It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognized as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs AND TO KEEP AND CARRY ARMS WHEREVER THEY WENT. …” – Dred Scott v. Sandford (Page 60 U.S. 417) [EMPHASIS MINE]

    Furthermore, the government's arguments that they have expanded/enhanced, non-enumerated powers because they have declared an "emergency" for "Public Safety" (or even "National Security") and passed some "color of law" legislation are UNPERSUASIVE and MAKE NO SENSE since the Constitution and Bill of RIGHTS were written by the founders with the expressed purposes of ensuring "Domestic Tranquility" and promoting the "General Welfare". Both terms which INCLUDE the goals of "public safety" and "national security"!

    And, finally, we MUST STOP our illegitimate, criminal, foreign government from continuing to use their Commerce Power UNLAWFULLY to contravene other provisions of the Supreme Law, such as Background Checks (which violate over a half dozen rights at a minimum) and other "infringements" imposed by UNLAWFUL "commerce" rules, regulations and other "color of law"! (With our Privately Owned Automobiles and Right to Travel too by the way!)

    Actually, I would begin my defense or case with a challenge to the court’s jurisdiction that it's OUTSIDE the lawful Subject Matter Jurisdiction of the court and that the right's enshrinement in the Bill of Rights takes legislative options off the table too (that's actually already standing precedent – aka: stare decisis) and move for dismissal because the prosecutor has brought a complaint for which the court has no lawful jurisdiction and cannot grant relief!

    But, I'm not a lawyer and never went to law school just multitudes of Law School Websites on the web.

    Fwiw

  • The Chronicles

    Keep in mind that the supreme court decision was 5-4 meaning 4 supreme court justices believed that the average citizen DOES NOT have the right to possess a firearm. So when liberals say that people who think that they are coming for our guns are crazy remind them that those 4 justices were DEMOCRATS! WE NEED TO STOP ELECTING DEMOCRATS! They do not respect the constitution or the founding fathers vision for this country. They also apparently don't understand what fucking commas are. DO NOT ALLOW THE LEFT TO TAKE AWAY OUR ABILITY TO DEFEND OURSELVES FROM THEIR SOCIALIST DREAM OF TYRANNY!!!!

  • opmike343

    Interesting that a convicted felon can be considered too dangerous to own a firearm but still safe enough to move about in society.

  • Nerve

    Breyer's dissent is ridiculous. If rights are not guaranteed and can be violated as suits the interest of the state for any reason given, then we have none. This defeats the point of rights entirely. He is an affront to the title of Supreme Court Justice.

  • Aaliyah Smith

    This helped a lot. Thank you so much for the homework help! I have to do a slideshow about District of Columbia VS. Heller and this helped a lot.

  • Falcor's Adventure

    Excuse me but my right to own a firearm is a natural right and the second amendment RECOGNIZES my rights it does NOT create them.

  • Falcor's Adventure

    In Switzerland the militia is every man 18 to 45 in that country. Our militia is every citizen capable of using a weapon. The reason it's everyone and not just the national guard is that we someday may need to execute our right to remove a corrupt government. Read the declaration of independence if you need a reftesher course on constitutional law. And just look at Venezuela and what's happening there. They confiscated everyone's guns and now it's a socialist dictatorship. The reason we have the second amendment is because WE OWN THE GOVERNMENT not the government owning us. Someday we may need to rise up and reclaim what is truly ours.

  • Falcor's Adventure

    Your rights spelled out in the bill of rights are natural rights not something the government gave you. Remember that. This is exactly why we have the second amendment…..to prevent the government from taking away any and all of our rights.

  • Belligerent Instigator

    All of these news sources saying that the AR-15 is not protected by the 2nd amendment are lying. In Scalia's opinion he writes that guns "in common use" are protected by the 2nd amendment. The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America with 8 million of them. All of these talking heads, wrong about the Covington kids, wrong about Jussie Smollett, wrong about Trump-Russia collusion are constantly telling lies.

  • glsnj

    Note of History: US v Miller in 1939 went to the Supreme Court UNOPPOSED…. no one argued for Miller and the government knew that before it was appealed to SCOTUS. There might have been a different outcome had Miller been represented. US v Miller was a scam…

  • Corno di Bassetto

    Scalia ignored his opinion in Harmelin v Michigan (1991) on disproportionate sentencing:

    “We think it enough that those who framed and approved the federal constitution chose [to exclude] the guarantee against disproportionate sentences” in State Constitutions. But in Heller he writes, “Our interpretation is confirmed by analogous arms-bearing rights in state constitutions.”

    Scalia hilariously fudged the word “analogue”: “[A] Second Amendment analogue was … by Thomas Jefferson. (It read: ‘No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms [within his own lands or tenements].’”

    Where’s the analogue? There’s no RIGHT to arms, just the USE of arms! There’s no “people,” just “freeman.” There’s no “free state,” just “lands and tenements.” There’s no “militia,” just “arms.” It’s the well-known “Castle Doctrine.” If Jefferson thought there was a “right” to private arms, he would have said so. Why not call a lynch mob an analogue to a jury.

    Scalia similarly equivocated the British Bill of Rights: “the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as ALLOWED by Law.”

    Scalia cites Eugene Volokh to claim analogues in state constitutions with “a prefatory statement of purpose.” But Volokh’s examples prove parallelism, not subordination: “The liberty of the press being essential to the security of freedom in a state, any person may publish his sentiments. . . .” Thus “liberty of the press” and “person may publish” are synonymous, as are “well regulated militia” and “to keep and bear arms.”

    Scalia cited but ignored the key argument of Andrews v State (1871), which favored community welfare over self-defense: “to banish these weapons from the community by an ABSOLUTE PROHIBITION FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRIME, NO MAN'S PARTICULAR SAFETY . . . OUGHT TO BE ALLOWED TO DEFEAT THIS END. Mutual SACRIFICE OF INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS is the bond of all social organizations.”

    To protect modern weapons, Scalia misrepresented Scotus precedent: “[T]he First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union” But that opinion UNANIMOUSLY upheld regulations of “communications received by RADIO OR TELEVISION.” Thus the First Amendment does NOT protect “modern forms of communications,” as Scalia claimed.

    Scalia claimed “19th-century courts never read ‘common defence’ to limit the use of weapons to militia service.” But AYMETTE v TENNESSEE (1840) ruled: “[T]he right of keeping, and bearing arms is . . . to public, and not private, to the common, and not the individual, defence.” ARKANSAS v. BUZZARD (1842) ruled: “‘[C]ommon defense,’ in ordinary language, means NATIONAL DEFENSE.” The States confederated “for their common defense” (Articles of Confederation, III). That’s why the phrase was deleted from the Amdt.

    Citing Bishop, Scalia claimed: “‘the remedy often extends beyond the particular act or mischief’” (Commentaries, 1882). But Bishop addressed “interpretations of STATUTES, as of CONTRACTS,” not Constitutions. There is no surplusage in a Constitution (Marbury).

    Scalia quibbled the deleted “scrupulous of bearing arms” clause. But the issue was military duty, not self defense (Debates, 20 August 1789). One is not fined for not exercising a right!

    Scalia scrupled, “It is always perilous to derive the meaning of an adopted provision from” a rejected text. Yet he argued from REJECTED arms proposals of Jefferson, Sam Adams, the Pennsylvania Dissent, and State Constitutions. These prove the opposite of what the Heller Court intended: they prove that the MAJORITY in the Founding Era did NOT SUPPORT PRIVATE ARMS. Thus Madison read Tench Coxe’s ad populum defense of the proposed Amdt to guarantee “private arms” and clearly elected NOT TO INCLUDE THAT PHRASE in the ratified Amdt.

    Scalia called the Pennsylvania Dissent “highly influential.” It was so influential it was DEFEATED 46-23.

    Scalia cites Robertson v Baldwin (1897) “that the Second Amendment was not intended to lay down a ‘novel principl[e]’ but rather codified a right ‘inherited from our English ancestors,’” but omits the words, “SUBJECT TO CERTAIN WELL RECOGNIZED EXCEPTIONS. . . . which continued to be RECOGNIZED AS IF THEY HAD BEEN FORMALLY EXPRESSED,” concluding that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms (Art. II) is not infringed by laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons. . . .”

    Scalia’s claim that “free state” meant “free polity,” since that was its meaning in French and Latin, totters on the brink of absurdity. Just in the case of this Amdt our Founders suffered bilingual aphasia!

    In the prior Articles of Confederation (1777/87), each state viewed itself as sovereign: “Each state retains its sovereignty” (II) in a “league of friendship” (III), not a Union.

    “State” means Union State 150 times up to the BOR. Two exceptions are modified (“foreign state”). Thus the DEFAULT meaning was Union State.

    Ironically, Scalia rejected lexical, as distinct from contextual, reading in his dissent in Smith v United States (1993):

    “The Court does not appear to grasp the distinction between how a word can be used and how it ordinarily is used.”

    Thus nothing proves the result-oriented and agenda-driven snow job that was the Heller opinion than the following:

    "It is true that the term 'State' elsewhere in the Constitution refers to individual States, but the phrase security of a free state' and close variations seem to have been terms of art in 18th-century political discourse, meaning a “‘free country’ or free polity."

    Scalia claimed to prove “original meaning,” not original intent. Yet the original meaning of the Bill of Rights was to prohibit Congress from infringing the rights of the States, not the rights of individuals. In a letter to James Madison (1788), Thomas Jefferson wrote:

    “I hope, therefore, a bill of rights will be formed to GUARD THE PEOPLE AGAINST THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, AS THEY ARE ALREADY GUARDED AGAINST THEIR STATE GOVERNMENTS, in most instances.”

    As late as his letter to Major John Cartwright, 4 June 1824, Jefferson wrote, “The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people . . . that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed. . . .”

    This is 23 years after the Bill of Rights. If the Bill of Rights had applied to the States, Jefferson would have cited it instead of “[t]he constitutions of most of our States”!

    The People of the States were already protected by their state Constitutions. Cf. Barron v Baltimore (1833). After the 14th Amdt, Paul v Va (1869), Slaughterhouse (1873), Cruikshank (1876, specifically addressing the first two Amdts).

    Scalia claimed “For most of our history the [arms] question did not present itself.” But United States v Swinton (1975), citing Miller (1939), affirmed “the ESTABLISHED PRINCIPLE that there is no absolute constitutional right of an individual to possess a firearm.”

    Scalia protected arms “in common use” but omits text in the cited ruling that reads, “A colonist usually had only ONE GUN” and relied “PRIMARILY ON SWORDS, HATCHETS, KNIVES, AND PIKES” (State v Kessler, 1980).

    Scalia quotes “Cruikshank”: “The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed … .” But in one citation he omits the words, “BY CONGRESS” (“shall not be infringed by Congress”).

    Scalia approvingly quotes Thomas Cooley: “It might be SUPPOSED FROM THE PHRASEOLOGY [that the arms right] was ONLY GUARANTEED TO THE MILITIA; but this would be AN INTERPRETATION NOT WARRANTED BY THE INTENT”!

    “Normal meaning,” Scalia wrote in “Heller,” “excludes secret” meanings. “You will never hear me refer to original INTENT.” He was “first of all a textualist” of original meaning (“A Theory of Constitution Interpretation,” 1996).

    What “TEXTUALIST” reads BACKWARDS? “[W]e will begin our textual analysis with the operative clause,” thus reading backwards to render one clause inoperative. How can original meaning ignore the original text and its Founding Era context?

    Such decisions "become law by precedent, SAPPING, BY LITTLE AND LITTLE, THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION, working its CHANGE BY CONSTRUCTION, before any one has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm has been busily employed in consuming its substance.” Jefferson to A. Coray, 1823

  • Sinjin 62

    From the District of Columbia v. Heller, Opinion of the court, pages 55 and 56:

    “It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.”

    Most people argue that he is saying that it’s OK to ban certain types of military service guns, but that is not the case. Here is what I think he was saying:

    If we ban any military-type gun, then we are losing the connection between the primary purpose of the amendment and the prohibition against infringing on the right to keep and bear arms. Here is what he stated in the Syllabus:

    “1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Pp. 2–53.
    (a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2–22.
    (b) The prefatory clause comports with the Court’s interpretation of the operative clause. The “militia” comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved. Pp. 22–28.”

    He does continue on in the Syllabus to say that it is not an unlimited right and gives examples:

    “2. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Pp. 54–56.”

    This limiting of a right I do disagree with. A restricted right is no longer a right but becomes a privilege, although suspending or restricting the rights of the mentally ill is probably a good idea; if someone is not in their right mind, then they can’t be trusted to fulfill the duties of citizenship. And no one would argue that criminals’ rights need to be revoked.

    Here is a quote from the Gales & Seaton’s History of Debates in Congress, page 451, dated June 8, 1789, House of Representatives, discussing the Amendments to the Constitution:

    James Madison: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.”

    This is the original text of the 2nd amendment and speaks volumes about what the true intent was. Notice that the main clause is stated FIRST, followed by the primary reason for the right.

  • J P

    Ya, but these wicked states and politicians instruct police to make as many criminals out of the people as they can, and thus seize every firearm

  • Arizona ranger with a big iron on his hip

    If someone wants to get a gun and kill someone they will get a gun one way or another to get it

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