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Monday, January 10, 2011

After Arizona, A Simple Question About The Second Amendment

The Arizona shootings are a good opportunity to reconsider the Second Amendment.

The Supreme Court's conservative majority declared in 2008 that the Constitution gives people a personal right to possess firearms, ignoring the 2nd Amendment's limiting clause, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..." Note that there's no serious movement today to take away people's hunting firearms; politically, the fight is over whether students may carry guns at school, use of body-armor-piercing ammunition, etc. The recent Supreme Court ruling is now being used as the basis for arguments in favor of "cop-killer" bullets, fully automatic weapons, unlimited concealed-carry rights (even, in Arizona, in bars and schools), etc.

My Q: does anyone really believe the Founders considered universal ownership of military weaponry, outside the context of a National Guard unit or other "well-regulated militia," to be a human right as fundamental to human liberty as the freedoms of speech and religion? Are your Bible and your hollow-points equally sacred? (If so, what does that say about the primacy of your faith?) Or have we gone too far in the name of "gun rights," with political game-playing & intellectual bankruptcy now costing lives?

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