Mudcat Café message #3452485 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #148617   Message #3452485
Posted By: pdq
15-Dec-12 - 07:41 PM
Thread Name: BS: Shooting tragedies and guns
Subject: RE: BS: Shooting tragedies and guns
2nd Amendment Annotations

Prior to the Supreme Court's 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller,1 the courts had yet to definitively state what right the Second Amendment protected. The opposing theories, perhaps oversimplified, were (1) an 'individual rights' approach, whereby the Amendment protected individuals' rights to firearm ownership, possession, and transportation; and (2) a 'states' rights' approach, under which the Amendment only protected the right to keep and bear arms in connection with organized state militia units. Moreover, it was generally believed that the Amendment was only a bar to federal action, not to state or municipal restraints.

However, the Supreme Court has now definitively held that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that weapon for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Moreover, this right applies not just to the federal government, but to states and municipalities as well.

In Heller, the Court held that (1) the District of Columbia's total ban on handgun possession in the home amounted to a prohibition on an entire class of 'arms' that Americans overwhelmingly chose for the lawful purpose of self-defense, and thus violated the Second Amendment; and (2) the District's requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock also violated the Second Amendment, because the law made it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense.

The Court reasoned that the Amendment's prefatory clause, i.e., '[a] well regulated

Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,' announced the Amendment's purpose, but did not limit or expand the scope of the operative clause, i.e., 'the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'"

{Bill D wants to turn a prefatory clause into a Santa Clause}