Sunday, May 06, 2007

Liberal Legal Scholars Support Individualistic Interpretation of Second Amendment

Apparently important liberal legal scholars are finally recognizing that the Second Amendment...well, says what it rather obviously says: that individuals have the right to own firearms. [Says the NYT]

The anti-individualist reading of the amendment has simply never seemed even vaguely plausible to me, for reasons I've gone on about before. The amendment recognizes/grants a right, and states a reason for doing so. Even if the reason were in error, the right is recognized/granted. The anti-individualist reading requires wild interpretive contortions. Now, one might argue that the amendment is a bad idea, that it's predicated on a mistake, that it should be repealed or whatever, but it says what it says.

That having been said, I know virtually nothing about the law and legal scholarship, so I don't know what other considerations are relevant in such cases, to what extent conclusions about history are thought to be relevant to such interpretive questions, and so forth. But I've never personally read a case for the anti-individualist case that didn't seem to border on the casuistic.

My favorite quote from the Times story:

“The Second Amendment doesn’t guarantee the right to have firearms at all,” Mr. Burger said in a speech. In a 1991 interview, Mr. Burger called the individual rights view “one of the greatest pieces of fraud — I repeat the word ‘fraud’ — on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

See, "A well-regulated militia being necessary for the defense of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" "doesn't guarantee the right to have firearms at all"!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In fact, it's not even about arms, nor about militias, nor about keeping nor bearing, nor about free states! It's really about gardening and the 1932 olympics...though there does seem to be at least some concern with pelycosaurs and the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. But only very advanced legal minds can be expected to understand such matters.

I mean, jebus...


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