The U.S. Supreme Court announced Thursday that the individual right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment was nevertheless open to regulation, restriction, licensing and registration, just like the First Amendment.
So much for unalienable rights.
In a 5-4 decision (PDF) announced Thursday morning, the Court upheld a 2007 appeals court decision and affirmed that while the Second Amendment does indeed refer to individuals without regard to their affiliation with a militia, “the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.”
The court struck down two provisions of the 1976 D.C. gun law: the prohibition on owning handguns, and the requirement that rifles and shotguns be stored disassembled or with trigger locks.
It did not address the issue of whether licensing gun owners and registering firearms were constitutional, but suggested that such laws may withstand scrutiny.
“The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”
Its faults notwithstanding, this ruling will help reduce crime and save lives. “Where crime rates are high, a gun may be the only means for law-abiding citizens to safeguard themselves and their families,” said Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr. “Lawful gun ownership deters an untold number of crimes every year.”
“I know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne,” said Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, a strange statement to make since Chicago’s gun ban has been responsible (along with the war on drugs) for that city’s high crime.
Which is probably why Chicago mayor Richard Daley called the decision “very frightening.” Lower crime could be bad for political careers, and Daley has a vested interest in scaring the people of Chicago with wild and crazy tales of how the streets will erupt in violence if honest, peaceful people are allowed to defend themselves from violent criminals; meanwhile the streets of Chicago are erupting in violence and honest, peaceful people are powerless to defend themselves.
D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty, not nearly as well-spoken as Daley, also tried the same tired old scare tactics, saying, “More handguns will lead to more handgun violence.” Most everyone with at least half a brain knows this is not true, but these morons keep on repeating it, since “if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
That’s right, your elected politicians (not to mention the lunatic far-left fringe liberals who follow them, such as the Brady Campaign to Promote Gun Violence) are using Nazi propaganda tactics on you to keep you unsafe in your homes and your neighborhoods. There’s a point to this: if you are unsafe, you’ll look to them for solutions. But they don’t have solutions; all they can do is to control your life. This won’t make you any safer. It certainly won’t get guns out of the hands of criminals. In fact, you’ll be in even more danger than ever.
I can’t wait for the law which says that not only must newspapers register their printing presses and get licenses to publish, but so must individuals register their computers and printers and get licenses to print or to blog. It’s exactly the same thing, only applied to the First Amendment. Under the logic of this Court, such restrictions would be perfectly fine. And you thought “Congress shall make no law” meant something?