Put simply, if the phrase “the people” connotes an individual guarantee in the First and Fourth Amendments, it logically follows that the same term, used in the same document (the Bill of Rights), in the same series of amendments within that document, should also be construed as guaranteeing the preservation of an individual, not “collective” right.
The next portion of the operative clause necessary to the determination of whose right the Second Amendment protects is the sentence predicate — “shall not be infringed.” This language indicates that “the right to keep and bear arms” was not created in the Amendment, but rather preserved by it. Id. at 382. The right to keep and bear arms was viewed at the founding as a natural right that preexisted the formation of the national government. Thus, the Second Amendment was guaranteeing its preservation by providing that it “shall not be infringed.” Case law from the late-nineteenth century expounding on the purpose for the Bill of Rights supports this interpretation of its plain meaning.
February 11, 2008
Brief of Maricopa county attorney’s office and other prosecutor agencies as amici curiae in support of respondent.
[No Heller decision today. We are assured, by the Chief Justice, that the Heller decision will be announced tomorrow at 10:00 AM.
It was suggested to me by a fellow activist that we should celebrate the decision, assuming we get the expected result, by going out and drinking Miller beer. In a sense it would be “Miller Time”. I’m not much of a drinker of any type of alcohol so one of the first things I will be doing is going to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned. The next non-work thing I’ll be doing is having lunch with a fellow gun-nut. Then in the evening my Lautenberg victim friend is coming over to get his guns back. All his legal troubles have been resolved in a satisfactory manner–other than the expenditure of way too much money and time.–Joe]