The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday handed down its decision on the Constitutionality of the District of Columbia gun control ordinance. Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Court’s so called “swing vote” sided with Justices Roberts, Thomas, Scalia and Alito in declaring the ordinance unconstitutional and upholding the right of individuals to own and carry handguns.
It should be profoundly disturbing to every American to realize that any and every right protected by the Constitution may be abridged or even removed entirely by the vote of one individual. For more than a decade, the Supreme Court has been evenly divided between four constitution conservatives and four socialists with the ninth and deciding vote in the hands of a moderate who might go either way, depending on the issues involved. Since the retirement of Justice O’Connor, that role has been taken over by Justice Kennedy making him the “most powerful man in America.”
In virtually every instance when the issue before the Court has involved social policy the decision of the Court has been a five to four split. In modern times, the ruling has too often been on the side of socialism. Luckily, in this case the decision was in favor of the Constitution making Kennedy, not only the most powerful man in America but for a while at least, the most unpopular among those who have been working for years to undermine and weaken the Constitution.
Gun control has been an effective tool of the left in helping to destabilize the social fabric of America, just as environmentalism has become an effective tool for destabilizing its economic structure.
The majority opinion of the Court, written by Justice Scalia reaffirms the right to carry weapons for self-defense and identifies it as natural right predating the Constitution.
“…It has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right. The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it ‘shall not be infringed,…’” he wrote, adding, “…“[t]his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.”
The Court’s ruling seems to affect mostly the right to keep weapons in the home for self-defense and leaves open many questions concerning states and municipalities’ powers to regulate the carrying of weapons outside the home. It also directly addresses the popular requirements by many jurisdictions for keeping guns in the home unloaded, disassembled, or secured by a trigger lock or gun safe. These devices were ruled unconstitutional because they render the weapon ineffective for the primary purpose for which it was intended, self-defense and home protection.
Justice Scalia devoted a lot of space in the opinion demolishing the number one argument of the left by effectively demonstrating the absurdity of connecting participation in a militia with the right to “keep and bear arms”. He also indirectly took on the concept of a “living constitution“, another mainstay of the left. “A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all.” He wrote.
As would be expected, political leaders from many of the crime-ridden big cities and other socialist enclaves around the country expressed strong disagreement with the opinion of the Court. Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago has vowed to fight all efforts to water down Chicago’s draconian gun laws. In a statement to the press, Daley connected the Court’s decision to the three pillars of socialist rhetoric, children, taxes and health.
“We’re shown time and time again how many children have been killed in their homes by guns. … The only thing it’s gonna do is increase your taxes. More police. More hospitalization. More victims of violence.” Daley said.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Cal):
“I am profoundly disappointed in Justice Roberts and Justice Alito, both of whom assured us of their respect for precedent. With this decision, 70 years of precedent has gone out the window. And I believe the people of this great country will be less safe because of it.”
Uh, Senator Feinstein, the Constitution is the ultimate precedent for all American law. Later court rulings that contradicts or attempts to change the Constitution are themselves unlawful and should be reversed. No court is vested with the power to overrule the Constitution.
Others looked forward to the loopholes they perceived in the Court’s limited decision. Senator Obama issued a statement saying,
“While it ruled that the D.C. gun ban went too far, Justice Scalia himself acknowledged that this right is not absolute and subject to reasonable regulations enacted by local communities to keep their streets safe. Today’s ruling … will provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country.”
The dissenting Justices, Ginsberg, Souter, Breyer and Stevens based their dissent on three standard socialist arguments; the right to bear arms apply only to active members of a militia while serving in that capacity, acts by legislatures trump the Constitution and it is the responsibility of the courts to keep the Constitution updated in keeping with the changing needs of society.
In writing for the minority, Justice Stevens wrote:
“ The Court would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons, and to authorize this Court to use the common-law process of case-by-case judicial lawmaking to define the contours of acceptable gun control policy. Absent compelling evidence that is nowhere to be found in the Court’s opinion, I could not possibly conclude that the Framers made such a choice.”
Yes and No. Yes, the Framers did choose to limit the “tools” available to elected officials wishing to take away rights of the people. No, the Framers did not authorize the Supreme Court or any other court to engage in “judicial lawmaking”. “lawmaking” is the sole purview of the legislatures.
This decision by the Supremes goes a long way in reestablishing one of the fundamental rights of all Americans. However, there is still a long way to go. It is more obvious than ever how important it is to elect Presidents and Congresses that will respect, and defend the requirements of the Constitution.
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