Gun Nut Judicial Activism

Today, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision authored by ultra-righty Laurence Silberman, took the Second Amendment to a place it has never been before. It extended an unfettered right to bear modern weapons to individuals. In doing so, the Court struck down a democratically-enacted, Washington D.C. law prohibiting DC residents from keeping handguns in their homes.

With their minds on a national preparedness to repel attacks from foreign powers, like Britain, the founding fathers included a Second Amendment stating: “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.” To date, courts have limited the Second Amendment to state militias (modern day National Guard units) and have not extended an unfettered right to bear arms to individuals. If it was otherwise intended, the Founding Fathers need not to have placed the qualifier contained in the first part of the sentence and would have simply stated: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Further, sane and rational jurists recognized there could have been no original intent as to the Second Amendment’s application to the much more dangerous modern weaponry available today because – duh – such weapons didn’t exist then and there is no evidence such firepower was contemplated at the time. Their world was muskets and flintlocks, not hollow point firing Glocks, 50 caliber machine guns and RPGs.

Two wingnuts on the DC court decided to trump democracy and engage in activism of the most egregious sort. They did so by fantasizing that the Founding Fathers intended something they certainly could not have even contemplated.

Don’t expect the right to notice the inconsistency between this decision and their claimed ideology of judicial restraint. Being a righty means never having to apologize for a lack of consistent principles.

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