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Bang, Bang, The Supreme Court Rules that the 2nd Amendment is Sound June 29, 2010

Posted by legalethicsemporium in Law, Ethics & Society.
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So, this week the  U.S. Supreme Court  held that the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms is an individual right that cannot be impinged upon by  state and local governments.  It did not overturn Chicago’s gun control laws, but rather told the lower courts to reconsider the validity of those laws which appear to be invalid under the Court’s ruling.

 One really has to pause and wonder whether the Founding Fathers ever would have imagined that their need to be able to organize a state militia would translate into the wide spread misuse of hand guns  and a community’s inability to restrict gun ownership in the interest of safety.

‘“The reasons that motivated the framers to protect the ability of militiamen to keep muskets available for military use when our nation was in its infancy, or that motivated the Reconstruction Congress to extend full citizenship to freedmen in the wake of the Civil War, have only a limited bearing on the question that confronts the homeowner in a crime-infested metropolis today,” Justice Stevens wrote in his final dissent before retiring.

He said the court should have proceeded more cautiously in light of “the malleability and elusiveness of history” and because “firearms have a fundamentally ambivalent relationship to liberty.”’ (Entire quote is from the NYTimes article linked above.)

Stay tuned because there will be much more litigation concerning the “ambivalent relationship” between  gun control laws and liberty.   The Supreme Court has decided  that the Constitutional right to bear arms is an individual right that must be respected by the states, but has not provided specific guidance on which gun control laws may be able to pass Constitutional muster.  Predictions are that gun control opponents are loading their legal arsenal and ready to take a shot at the constitutionality of existing gun control laws in communities throughout the country.

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