I like guns, but I’m really not an NRA type (they are funded by the mafia after all). But sweeping gun bans don’t seem right. The article over at Truthdig seemed to hit it on the head.
I’d like to be able to thunder about the injustice committed by an activist, arch-conservative Supreme Court that seeks to return our jurisprudence to the 18th century. I will, almost certainly, about some future outrage. But this time, I can’t.
The big problem, for me, is the clarity of the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the “right of the people to keep and bear arms.” The traditional argument in favor of gun control has been that this is a collective right, accorded to state militias. This has always struck me as a real stretch, if not a total dodge.
I’ve never been able to understand why the Founders would stick a collective right into the middle of the greatest charter of individual rights and freedoms ever written—and give it such pride of place, the No. 2 position, right behind such bedrock freedoms as speech and religion. Even Barack Obama, a longtime advocate of gun control—but also a one-time professor of constitutional law—has said he believes the amendment confers an individual right to gun ownership.
And even if the Second Amendment was meant to refer to state militias, where did the Founders intend for the militias’ weapons to be stored? In the homes of the volunteers is my guess.
After all, I think the era of rising against the standing army may be passed, but you never know when you might need defense as some highly armed group of paramilitary religious fundamentalist freaks come to invade your town.