Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Smart money is on the right to bear arms being an individual right

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. "

By all accounts, arguments went well yesterday in Heller. The Court seems primed to reject the assertion that the right to bear arms exists only in connection with state-regulated militias. If gun ownership is limited to "state militias," Chief Justice Roberts asked, why does the Constitution say "the right of the people"?

It is no different than if the First Amendment were prefaced with "An educated population being necessary to intelligent use of the franchise, Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the press." Surely, no one would argue that the freedom of the press is limited to educational setting because of the prefatory language. It is really the same thing with the Second Amendment. The right is an individual right.

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