American civilization has been spared to live another day

The Supreme Court today upheld the right of free Americans to bear arms. Thank you God. We are not dead yet. More to follow…

Update: You can find the opinion for download at SCOTUSBlog.

“Logic demands that there be a link between the stated purpose and the command.”

“We start therefore with a strong presumption that the Second Amendment right is exercised individually and belongs to all Americans.”

From The Wall Street Journal:

Court Strikes Down D.C. Gun Ban,
Affirms Second Amendment Rights
June 26, 2008 10:51 a.m.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling Thursday, for the first time declared the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution contains a specific right to individual gun ownership and rejected Washington, D.C., handgun restrictions, which were the strictest in the nation.

“We find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the majority ruling. “This meaning is strongly confirmed by the historical background of the Second Amendment.”

The ruling significantly restricts the D.C. gun laws, enacted in 1976 as the strictest gun control law in the country, but does not bar government regulation of firearms.

“The Constitution leaves the District of Columbia a variety of tools for combating that problem, including some measures regulating handguns,” Justice Scalia said, adding the Constitution bars an absolute handgun ban.

The decision affirms a lower court ruling that reached a similar conclusion based on the Second Amendment.

The issue split the court along conservative and liberal ideological lines, with Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito in the majority. Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and David Souter dissented.

The Supreme Court had not ruled directly on the Second Amendment in almost 70 years. It also, over time, has offered little guidance on the extent to which the amendment covers individual gun ownership for self-defense, hunting and recreational shooting.

The D.C. law, on the books since 1976, bans handguns, bars concealed weapons possession and requires shotguns and rifles to be registered and then kept unloaded and disassembled or locked.

The law was challenged by six D.C. residents who said they wanted to legally possess handguns in their homes for self-protection. A U.S. District Court threw out the challenge, but a panel of the Washington-based U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revived one of the claims and ruled a special police officer, the now-retired Dick Heller, was wrongly denied a handgun permit.

The D.C. Circuit added the city can’t ban handguns in the home or require that residents keep their guns dismantled or equipped with a trigger lock.

The case is D.C. v. Heller, 07-290.

Fom FoxNews:

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court says Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, the justices’ first major pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history.

The court’s 5-4 ruling strikes down the District of Columbia’s 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision goes further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most firearms laws intact.

The court had not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its ratification in 1791. The amendment reads: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

The basic issue for the justices was whether the amendment protects an individual’s right to own guns no matter what, or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia.

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for four colleagues, said the Constitution does not permit “the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.”

In dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the majority “would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons.”

He said such evidence “is nowhere to be found.”

Download the decision here.

2 thoughts on “American civilization has been spared to live another day”

  1. Isn’t the Supreme Court supposed to ONLY interpret the constitution and NOT amend it? I have a real problem with the four justices that didn’t want to uphold the right of Americans to bear arms. What would have happened if the vote had gone the other way?

    Our forefathers knew and understood Tyranny. The second amendment guarantees us the right to defend ourselves against a corrupt government if there was ever was a need.

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