16 March 2008

A Few Final Words On Heller

The day after tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case that probably has not stirred this much national emotion since Roe v. Wade.

At stake is the individual right to keep and bear arms, as GUARANTEED by the Second Amendment to our Constitution. And the fate of a 30-year-old ban on handguns in the District of Columbia. A ban, designed to reduce crime, but that in reality has allowed crime to fester and spread. For those who would say that the First Amendment isn't absolute, that you can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater, I would remind them that, yes, you can. As long as the theater IS on fire. This case, many hope, will clear that up.

Whether the court gets squishy and tries to find some middle ground -- putting to rest forever the debate that the 2A is an individual right, but says some government regulation is permissable -- is yet to be seen. The attorneys I have talked to since last summer all seem to think that will be the case. We might all be surprised. Or not.

Many, many talented, intelligent people have chimed in on this subject. Many well crafted amicus briefs have been submitted to the High Court. A few questionable briefs, as well as briefs that cite events that never occurred, also have been submitted. This case could not have come at a better time for firearms owners. Five years from now, a ruling would likely have gone against the best interests of every American, regardless of whether they choose to exercise their 2A right. Five years from now . . . the same thing, likely.

This summer we will know the answer. But the decision, as most are indicating, will not end there. There will likely be countless legal questions: "What is meant by this wording," etc. More specifically, just exactly what did the court intend. I hope the High Court is specific enough. I'm no attorney, but IMHO, a strong case has been made for little government intrusion in to firearms ownership.

We'll see . . .

Here is a round up of stories as the clock ticks down to Tuesday's oral arguments before the Justices.

Washington Times -- "Really Hot Gun Hearing To Decide Ban's Fate"
Human Events -- "Your Second Amendment Rights Take The Stand"
Slate.com -- "Moving Target: Soliciter General The Latest Target In Showdown Over Guns"
University of Colorado -- "CU Law Prof Says Gun Control Laws Nationwide To Be Decided With U.S. Supreme Court Ruling"
Associated Press -- "D.C. Gun Ban's Effectiveness Questioned"
Heritage Foundation -- "The Second Amendment Comes Before the Supreme Court: The Issues and the Arguments"
Quad-Cities Online -- "Defining the right of self-defense by gun"
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership -- "Is The "Individual Right' theory in Heller vs. DC a bad idea?"
SCOTUSBLOG -- "Novak, Clement, Cheney and the Gun Case"

No comments: