The fight over original meaning has to come an end when the opinions analyze “the” right to keep and bear arms. The D.C. Circuit opinion pointed out that the phrasing indisputably shows that the right was a pre-existing one. That is, the right to keep and bear arms already existed before the Second Amendment was written. The Second Amendment merely imposed a legal requirement that the right not be infringed by the federal government. The 1875 Supreme Court decision in Cruikshank said the same thing, as both the majority and dissent agree.
July 18, 2008
The Right to Bear Arms and “Sensible” Gun Laws
[This is going to be a big stumbling block for the anti-rights crowd. Even if they try to repeal the 2nd Amendment Cruikshank says, “This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.” But we should not let them get so far as to publicly suggest repealing the 2nd Amendment. They should get all the derision, outrage, and humiliation that would arise should they suggest the equally unacceptable repeal of the rights to free speech, to a trial by jury, and protection from cruel and unusual punishment.–Joe]