The link between handgun legality and aggregate crime levels has little constitutional significance. The purpose of the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms is to allow individuals to privately protect themselves, not to reduce overall crime rates or curb gun-related accidents. … The framers knew that an individual right to keep and bear arms would carry with it the risks of crime and accidents, just as an individual right to speak freely carries with it the risk of libel. Faced with these trade-offs, the framers deliberately chose a form of government that can accept such risks as the price for protecting individual liberties.
Richard K. Willard
February 11, 2008
D.C. versus Heller
Brief Amicus Curiae Of The Heartland Institute in support of respondent
[This one is for Lyle. Who, rightly so, says safety is irrelevant to the constitutionality issue.–Joe]