The Rich Irony, Part 5: Second Amendment

The Supreme Court just handed down a landmark decision on the Second Amendment. They determined that the right to keep and bear arms was a right granted by the Constitution to the individual, ,basically claiming that "the right of the people" means the same thing in the Second Amendment as it does in the First Amendment.

The rich irony is that many of the liberals who applauded the Supreme Court for taking an expansive view of the right to habeas corpus (having it extend to non-enemy combatants apprehended on foreign soil) are furious the the Court is taking the more extensive view of the Second Amendment. They are the people who have attacked the Bush administration for using a very narrow interpretation of the Fourth and Sixth Amendment, "in the name of public safety." Yet they are demanding the narrowest possible reading of the Second Amendment also "in the name of public safety."It is perfectly reasonable to have a debate if gun ownership is no longer necessary and/or too dangerous in a modern society. But if we want to completely deny all law abiding citizens the right to keep and bear arms, we need to amend the Constitution. Simply because we would be "safer" if we denied people their Constitutional rights is not a reasonable justification. We would be safer if we allowed the police to search anyone at random, did not let anyone use inflammatory language, and put cameras inside everyone's home. Our freedoms put us in danger but being free is worth the risk.

Freedoms are hard to gain and easy to lose. That is why we should look with suspicion at anyone who wants a very narrow interpretation of our Constitutional rights, whether those rights are laid out in the Fourth, Sixth, or the Second Amendment.

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