The Heller Case, commonly referred to as the DC Gun Case, went before the Supreme Court today and may finally resolve the question of whether or not owning a gun is an individual right. Since the Constitution is unambiguous about it, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed,” this case should be a slam dunk. But since the Supreme Court seems more open to the whims of the members rather than bound by the oath they swore upon entering office (see the Kilo decision), anything is possible.
There’s no point in arguing the merits of the case, some people support individual rights, other don’t like them and want the court to rule them on to the ash heap of history (rather than go about doing away with an amendment to the Constitution the way it was designed to be done – by amending it again (see prohibition). That’s fine, they can think it all they want, at least until someone doesn’t like what people think and gets a legal ruling against having those thoughts, that’s not really the point.
What is telling about this case is the clear line of editorial input in the first line of this Associated Press story:
Advocates of gun rights and opponents of gun violence demonstrated outside the Supreme Court Tuesday while inside, justices heard arguments over the meaning of the Second Amendment’s “right to keep and bear arms.”
Catch the implication there? As if those who advocate for gun rights somehow support gun violence, perhaps not explicitly, but implicitly.
What is really telling about the different sides is this part of the story:
Anise Jenkins, president of a coalition called Stand Up for Democracy in D.C., defended the district’s 32-year-old ban on handgun ownership.
“We feel our local council knows what we need for a good standard of life and to keep us safe,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins and members of Stand Up for Democracy in DC have full faith in government to take care of them over themselves. That is both telling and disturbing. Washington DC has one of the highest murder rates in the country WITH a gun ban, yet Jenkins “feels” the government that horribly mismanages the District will somehow magically take care of its citizens when criminals strike.
Criminals specifically avoid the strong in society, hence the phrase “prey on the weak.” People are free to be as weak as they like, but the Constitution clearly grants everyone the right to choose whether they wish to so or not. Mr. Heller chooses not be to weak, he chooses to protect himself. It’s now in the hands of the Supreme Court to determine if he’s allowed to exercise that right.