Posted by Dupray on 26 June, 2008 at 12:09 pm. 27 comments already!

The tyranny of the liberals was almost complete. One more vote and they would be confiscating our guns. After that, they could have done whatever they wanted and an unarmed population of sheep could have done nothing about it.

Five Justices, in the starkest display yet of the importance of presidential elections, saved a Constitutional right from extinction at the hands of liberals. One more Obama liberal on that Court, and the 2nd Amendment would be gone, erased from the Constitution, after more than 200 years. They are dangerous and they are dismantling our republic.

But real Americans won this one.

From the New York Times:

The Supreme Court declared for the first time on Thursday that the Constitution protects an individual’s right to have a gun, not just the right of the states to maintain militias.

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority in the landmark 5-to-4 decision, said the Constitution does not allow “the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.” In so declaring, the majority found that a gun-control law in the nation’s capital went too far in making it nearly impossible to own a handgun.

But the court held that the individual right to possess a gun “for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home” is not unlimited. “It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose,” Justice Scalia wrote.

The ruling does not mean, for instance, that laws against carrying concealed weapons are to be swept aside. Furthermore, Justice Scalia wrote, “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.”

Scalia notes how, if the liberals had their way, anyone not in a militia (not sure where one signs up for that nowadays) would be subject to having their guns confiscated. Text of the opinion here. (All citations omitted).

Petitioners and today’s dissenting Justices believe that it protects only the right to possess and carry a firearm in connection with militia service.

And smacks it down

We start therefore with a strong presumption that the Second Amendment right is exercised individually and belongs to all Americans.

The irony of the decision is that the 2nd Amendment was enacted to prevent the government from confiscating citizens’ guns. That’s a great idea until the government, through liberal justices on the Supreme Court, does an end around, and decides that there was no right in the first place. Thus is the tyrranny of the liberal judiciary.

We reach the question, then: Does the preface fit with an operative clause that creates an individual right to keep and bear arms? It fits perfectly, once one knows the history that the founding generation knew and that we have described above. That history showed that the way tyrants had eliminated a militia consisting of all the able-bodied men was not by banning the militia but simply by taking away the people’s arms, enabling a select militia or standing army to suppress political opponents. This is what had occurred in England that prompted codification of the right to have arms in the English Bill of Rights. The debate with respect to the right to keep and bear arms, as with other guarantees in the Bill of Rights, was not over whether it was desirable (all agreed that it was) but over whether it needed to be codified in the Constitution. During the 1788 ratification debates, the fear that the federal government would disarm the people in order to impose rule through a standing army or select militia was pervasive in Antifederalist rhetoric.


It is therefore entirely sensible that the Second Amendment’s prefatory clause announces the purpose for which the right was codified: to prevent elimination of the militia.The prefatory clause does not suggest that preserving he militia was the only reason Americans valued the ancient right; most undoubtedly thought it even more important for self-defense and hunting. But the threat that the new Federal Government would destroy the citizens’ militia by taking away their arms was the reason that right—unlike some other English rights—was codified in a written Constitution.

Scalia hits Breyer’s dissent for its typical arrogant, elitist, whatever-we-want-it-to-be, judicial philosophy, i.e. you only have the rights the judge gives you.

We know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding “interest-balancing” approach. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government—even the Third Branch of Government—the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon. A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all. Constitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them, whether or not future legislatures or (yes) even future judges think that scope too broad.

And the hammer.

Whatever else [this opinion] leaves to future evaluation, it surely elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.

[W]hat is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.

We should not have to worry so much that we will wake up one Thursday in June to find that the Supreme Court has taken away our Constitutional rights. Had the liberals had one more vote, the sleeping masses would have risen up and demanded judicial scalps. Had they allowed guns to be banned in the home, there would have been mass lawbreaking with citizens hiding their weapons and stockpiling ammunition. The Founding Fathers certainly would have recognized that kind of behavior.

We’re lucky the liberals didn’t have that last vote.

Also find Bill Dupray at The Patriot Room

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