Sunday, March 16, 2008

D.C. v Heller: The Issues and the Arguments

Nelson Lund, Ph.D., has written an overview of DC v. Heller that is well worth your time. This "Web Memo" was published by the Heritage Foundation and covers the three major arguments in this very important case before the SCOTUS.

The parties presenting arguments next week offer three different interpretations of the meaning of the Second Amendment. D.C.’s argument—that the Second Amendment protects a right to arms only in service of a government-organized militia— does not stand up to historical analysis or textual scrutiny. Heller’s position—that the Amendment establishes an individual right to keep ordinary weapons for self protection—is sound but not persuasively argued. And the Bush Administration’s position—recognizing an individual right but leaving the government with some large and undefined power to curtail the right—is dangerously vague and legally weak.

Careful textual analysis, along with the relevant historical context, yields a remarkably clear, sensible, and workable answer to the question presented in this case. The Amendment protects an individual right to keep operable firearms for self-defense, which cannot be taken away by federal law. D.C.’s effort to disarm the residents of that city is unconstitutional.
This is one you will want to save.

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