Enough abortion for one day: let’s have a Comment of the Day on another unending Supreme Court controversy, the Second Amendment. Here is Jutgory’s passionate response to the post, “From The “Appeal to Authority” Files: Why Should We Care What John Paul Stevens Thinks Now?”:
So many pet peeves all wrapped into one post:
“Bloviating about Columbia v. Heller, the 2008 decision holding that the Second Amendment created an individual right to bear arms”
NO! The Bill of Rights created no rights. It identified rights upon which the government could not infringe. This is as old as the Constitution. The Federalists said, we don’t need no Bill of Rights because powers not given to the government could not be exercised (naive and idealistic. The Anti-Federalists insisted but wanted it to be clear that the enumeration of the Bill of Rights was not exhaustive of the rights we had.
Sadly, they were both wrong: we needed the Bill of Rights because government seizes power when it can, and, not only do we look at the Bill of Rights as creating rights, we look at it as delimiting the rights we have.
You are spot on about rights not being subject to need. I know many people who don’t need freedom of speech and have hardly exercised that right in a constructive way, but they have it nonetheless.
On the argument that the Second Amendment is limited to militias. First off, see the above argument about rights. Continue reading