Saturday, March 10, 2007

Repeal The Second Amendment

The recent ruling that Washington DC restrictions on handgun ownership are unconstitutional was interesting. It clearly shows that the term "strict constructionist activist judge" is not an oxymoron.

While the United States Constitution is a superb document, it was not without its flaws. This interpretation clearly shows it is time to repeal the Second Amendment. Most the of ruling revolves around historical interpretations that no longer have much meaning.

Much of the majorities argument centered on whether or not the Second Amendment is an individual right. They conclude it is an individual right and offer as one proof Robertson vs Baldwin which includes the much quoted phrase "the right of the people to keep and bear arms (article 2) is not infringed by laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons;." The majority ignores their own admission that it is legal to restrict gun ownership by insisting that a person has a constitutional right to keep arms in their homes for self protection and as preparation for service in a militia (an arcane and unclear entity).

Citing legal precedence, they do agree that there are legal restrictions as to what kinds of weapons a person can own. A sawed off shotgun can be legislated as illegal, because the term "arms" refers "only to those weapons which are ordinarily used for military or public defense purposes and does not relate to those weapons which are commonly used by criminals;" (Miller).

Although not stated, the clear interpretation is that any weapon that is commonly used by the military or for public defense is legal in a home. That may have made sense when most soldiers carried muskets. The judges have basically said it is legal for people to have in their homes fully automatic assault rifles, machine guns, rocket propelled grenade launchers, etc. in case they are called upon to join a militia. The case before them did not require them to decide whether or not restrictions on these weapons outside the home would be legal.

The language of the Second Amendment is unclear and out of date. It needs to be repealed.

Read the courts ruling here.

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