Theodore's World: Individual Right To Bear Arms AFFIRMED!!!

« Supreme Court Gun Ban Ruling Expected Today | Main | Dem Pledges:" I'll 'rip apart' child-rape victims on stand" »

June 26, 2008

Individual Right To Bear Arms AFFIRMED!!!

Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm

Our Founding Fathers Intent!

Affirmed 5-4.
The decision goes further than the Bush administration was asking for!! WOO HOO!!!

Thank you God.
And thank you President Bush for allowing the American people to protect themselves from criminals, stalkers and other lunatics and tyrannical governments.

Praise and Blessings to the Almighty and all SCOTUS Justices who voted to protect those rights.

I think all of us would buy Heller a steak right now, along with 5 of the Justices. A steak, a cigar and a whiskey.

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.”

Source:SCOTUS blog

Court: A constitutional right to a gun

Answering a 127-year old constitutional question, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to have a gun, at least in one’s home. The Court, splitting 5-4, struck down a District of Columbia ban on handgun possession. Although times have changed since 1791, Justice Antonin Scalia said for the majority, “it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.”

Justice Scalia’s opinion stressed that the Court was not casting doubt on long-standing bans on carrying a concealed gun or on gun possession by felons or the mentally retarded, on laws barring guns from schools or government buildings, and laws putting conditions on gun sales.

In District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290), the Court nullified two provisions of the city of Washington’s strict 1976 gun control law: a flat ban on possessing a gun in one’s home, and a requirement that any gun — except one kept at a business — must be unloaded and disassembled or have a trigger lock in place. The Court said it was not passing on a part of the law requiring that guns be licensed. It said that issuing a license to a handgun owner, so the weapon can be used at home, would be a sufficient remedy for the Second Amendment violation of denying any access to a handgun.

Justice Scalia’s recitation from the bench of the majority’s reasoning continued for 16 minutes. Justice John Paul Stevens followed, for seven minutes, summarizing the reasons for two dissenting opinions — his and one written by Justice Stephen G. Breyer.

The decision was the final one of the Term and, after issuing it, the Court recessed for the summer, to return on Monday, Oct. 6. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., said that concluding orders on pending cases will be released by the Court Clerk at 10 a.m. Friday.

The opinion can be downloaded here. This is a pdf file.


1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a
firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for
traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
Pp. 2–53.
(a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but
does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative
clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it
connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2–22.
(b) The prefatory clause comports with the Court’s interpretation
of the operative clause. The “militia” comprised all males physically
capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists
feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in
order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing
army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress
power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear
arms, so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved.
Pp. 22–28.
(c) The Court’s interpretation is confirmed by analogous armsbearing
rights in state constitutions that preceded and immediately
followed the Second Amendment. Pp. 28–30.
(d) The Second Amendment’s drafting history, while of dubious
interpretive worth, reveals three state Second Amendment proposals
that unequivocally referred to an individual right to bear arms.
Pp. 30–32.
(e) Interpretation of the Second Amendment by scholars, courts
and legislators, from immediately after its ratification through the
late 19th century also supports the Court’s conclusion. Pp. 32–47.
(f) None of the Court’s precedents forecloses the Court’s interpretation.
Neither United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553, nor
Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, 264–265, refutes the individualrights
interpretation. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, does not
limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather
limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by
the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes. Pp. 47–54.
2. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited.
It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any
manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed
weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment
or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast
doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by
felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms
in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or
laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of
arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those
“in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition
of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.
Pp. 54–56.
3. The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to
self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. The District’s total ban
on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an
entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the
lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny
the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this
prohibition—in the place where the importance of the lawful defense
of self, family, and property is most acute—would fail constitutional
muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the
home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible
for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and
is hence unconstitutional. Because Heller conceded at oral argument
that the D. C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily
and capriciously, the Court assumes that a license will satisfy
his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement.
Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment
rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and
must issue him a license to carry it in the home. Pp. 56–64.
478 F. 3d 370, affirmed.

SCALIA, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS,
C. J., and KENNEDY, THOMAS, and ALITO, JJ., joined. STEVENS, J., filed a
dissenting opinion, in which SOUTER, GINSBURG, and BREYER, JJ.,
joined. BREYER, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which STEVENS,
SOUTER, and GINSBURG, JJ., joined.


Quotes from the opinion:

“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.”

“the most natural reading of ‘keep Arms’ in the Second Amendment is to “have weapons.”

“The term was applied, then as now, to weapons that were not specifically designed for military use and were not employed in a military capacity.”

“Putting all of these textual elements together, we find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.”

“Thus, we do not read the Second Amendment to protect the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation, just as we do not read the First Amendment to protect the right of citizens to speak for any purpose.”

“The prefatory clause does not suggest that preserving the militia was the only reason Americans valued the ancient right; most undoubtedly thought it even more important for self-defense and hunting.”

“It was plainly the understanding in the post-Civil War Congress that the Second Amendment protected an individual right to use arms for self-defense.”

“Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.”

“Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

“We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those ‘in common use at the time.’ 307 U. S., at 179.”

“Whatever the reason, handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid.”

“In sum, we hold that the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense. Assuming that Heller is not disqualified from the exercise of Second Amendment rights, the District must permit him to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.”

On the question of the Second Amendment’s application to the States: “23 With respect to Cruikshank’s continuing validity on incorporation, a question not presented by this case, we note that Cruikshank also said that the First Amendment did not apply against the States and did not engage in the sort of Fourteenth Amendment inquiry required by our later cases. Our later decisions in Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, 265 (1886) and Miller v. Texas, 153 U. S. 535, 538 (1894), reaffirmed that the Second Amendment applies only to the Federal Government.”



Justice Stephen Breyer wrote a separate dissent in which he said, “In my view, there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas.”

Posted by Wild Thing at June 26, 2008 10:55 AM


We now have a right to own guns, isn’t that special?!?!

It seems to me that right has been in effect ever since the 2nd amendment was written. Many anti-gun lobbies have tried their best to interpret it otherwise, and constitutional scholars have been trying to tell them that the original intent of the Framers of the Constitution was exactly what is read, word for word, because when you get right down to it, we ARE a militia if this nation comes under attack.

In 1941, when Japan attacked the U.S. Naval forces at Pearl Harbor, there was a major reason they attacked where they did and not on the west coast of this nation. They didn’t fear our military, they feared the ARMED U.S. citizen and the insurgency that they were certain they would face.

We, The People are the very reason that no foreign power has even tried to invade this nation, always have been, always will be, by God, lets keep it that way.

All I can tell you fine folks is this, if you have em, secure em, if you don’t have em, you’d be well advised to buy a few, become highly proficient in their use and invest in precious metals, brass, copper, lead, things of that nature.

You never know when they might change their minds.

Posted by: TexasFred at June 26, 2008 11:43 AM

Texas Fred, yes, we sure did already have this allowed to us. Too bad it even had to come up for a vote.

But the way things have been going it could have gone the other way. That we would even have to hope and pray it passed is a disgrace.

Thank God it is a good day!

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 26, 2008 12:00 PM

5 to 4!! Don't meet me at the poles in November--beat me to the poles in November!!!


Posted by: Sierrahome at June 26, 2008 12:46 PM

Like most liberal elites Stephen Breyer thinks he is a social engineer. This is the first good news we have had in a long time.

These Justices are suppose to be the best and the brightest legal minds in the country. The Constitution is not rocket science, nor is it written in some exotic language that ceased to exist 200 years ago.

So how in the hell does it take these 9 geniuses so long to decide whether we have a right to own guns. It couldn't be any planer, "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed". There is no double speak, no hidden messages, it is just simple, this right shall NOT be infringed.

Score one for the good guys.

Posted by: Mark at June 26, 2008 12:52 PM

Justice Stephen Breyer should be impeached!!-"the right to keep and bear arms"!!- D C gun ban "shot down" in a blaze of glory! This should send a clear and solid message to the pansy asses that want to take away our firearms !!- The NRA will be having a BIG party!! Another day to be a proud American! I know my (deceased) Daddy, who was the biggest pro gun owner that ever walked the earth- is very very happy today up in gun heaven!!!LOL!!

Posted by: Cheryl Zee at June 26, 2008 01:13 PM

Five to four is too close, but I am still relieved. Thank God this wan't postponed until the next SCOTUS appointee is made.

There will still be attempts made to circumvent or ignore this ruling by local governments and maybe some Federal agencies.

Buy what firearms and ammo you may feel the need for before January. This ruling could have a calming effect on a McCain presidency, but Obama has proven to be 100% anti gun.

Posted by: TomR at June 26, 2008 02:17 PM

I didn't realize how important a vote this was. They said it was the DC gun ban in reality it was the life of the 2nd amendment, and for now, the 2nd Amendment got a stay of execution.

Amazing that 4 of the 9 justices voted to suspend the 2nd amendment, voiding their oath to protect and defend the Constitution.

This is scary indeed. An Obama election would probably void the entire Constitution, and the country as it now stands.

Posted by: Mark at June 26, 2008 02:25 PM

The Supreme Court ruling on the Second Amendment protecting an individual's right to bear arms, although welcome, is something like ruling that it is OK for individuals to breath. Duh!

This ruling will only embolden the gun control lobby and individuals to be more creative in their efforts to restrict the Constitutional ownership and use of guns by law abiding citizens. What today's ruling and numerous commentary on the ruling doesn't address is the total failure of the criminal justice system to properly deal with criminals who actually illegally obtain and use guns.

Isn't it interesting that proponents of gun control are silent when it comes to the light sentences and punishment given to criminals who actually break the law obtaining and using guns for murder and other heinous crimes?

Posted by: Les at June 26, 2008 04:23 PM

This was a item on Cofederate Yankee talk about
a sick SOB.
Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling supporting the individual rights interpretation of the Second Amendment today, and within moments, a commenter to the liberal blog Crooks and Liars said Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the majority decision on the case, should be murdered.

David Ehrenstein, an entertainment industry liberal, made the comment. He blogs at Fablog.

this is the same David Ehrenstein that created the meme of Barack the Magic Negro. Quick, somebody tell Rush!

It looks as though this could be a Federal Crime
some one should drop a dime on him to the FED'S.

Posted by: Tincan Sailor at June 26, 2008 05:05 PM

Sad that 4 justices voted to take some rights away from us. But we won the day. No more looking at how foreign countries run their business and time to get back to being AMERICA!!!!!!
Oh, I have a new grandniece, Jadyn, born yesterday in Jerome, Idaho! Woo-Hoo! She's adorable! My sister is a grandma!!! I'm so happy I could just bust!

Posted by: Lynn at June 26, 2008 08:09 PM

Lynn - Thanks for sharing your happiness about your grandniece. It is a welcome antidote to all the crap thrown at us every day. I know that we can count on you to make sure that she grows up to be a loyal and vocal conservative.

Posted by: Les at June 26, 2008 09:07 PM

Sierrahome,yes, the picking of judges will be huge again for our country.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 26, 2008 11:27 PM

Mark, Yesss score one for the good guys.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 26, 2008 11:32 PM

Cheryl big smile that's great, he must be meeting my Dad up there too. Comparing notes on guns. giggle

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 26, 2008 11:35 PM

Tom, yes, no one can tell what will happen till we know who wins in Nov.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 26, 2008 11:40 PM

Mark, yes it was huge today. Sad it even had to be up for a vote like it was.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 26, 2008 11:42 PM

Les, hardly a peep out of them.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 26, 2008 11:44 PM

Tincan Sailor, oh my gosh how awful. I never go to that blog and I am glad I don't. wow!
Thanks for letting us know.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 26, 2008 11:49 PM

Lynn, CONGRATULATIONS that is great news!!!

I am so happy for all of you. Thanks so much for sharing about your new grandniece Jadyn.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 26, 2008 11:52 PM

I only wish I lived in America so I could enjoy the freedom..... I live in the P.R.C (Peoples Republic of California) We were under Obama type rule for SEVERAL years, and right now we are under RINO rule with Obama congress sitters...And our Gun laws reflect the change the nation will see if allowed to "progress" More crime against the innocent and more prisons filled with murderers that won't be executed because it's inhumane.. I am ready to move to America.. maybe Texas will have me.

Posted by: Robert at June 26, 2008 11:56 PM

"Finally, the US Supremes have made my day!"
I give W a lot of credit here for his two nominations in Alito and Roberts have come through...DC gangstas beware on burlarizing and breaking and entering as of June 26, 2008. It took 32 years for the 2nd Amendment rights to be righted! Chuck Heston is delighted in Heaven! "With my cold dead hands!!!"

Posted by: SFPD Harry Callahan at June 27, 2008 12:09 AM

Robert, I know how you feel. I love California, it is the most beautiful State. I lived there for 28 years. But at the same time all the liberals there have been destroying it.

I lived in Texas for 5 years and I loved it too and it is much better and a lot more freedom like our country was meant to be. That was a long time ago that I lived in Texas, but I think it is still a great place to live.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 27, 2008 12:31 AM

SFPD Harry Callahan, Yesssss me too!!! I agree!

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 27, 2008 12:32 AM

Hi Robert, we live in North Hollywood and are totally surrounded by beaners and gang bangers. We keep a Mossberg 12 gauge at hand at all thines and it is loaded. I will also be looking for additional weaponry and ammo in the event the communist SCOTUS abolishes the 2nd Amendment. They got close yesterday and thats really scary.

Posted by: cuchieddie at June 27, 2008 04:00 PM

Cuchieddie, thank you for sharing about that. I agree it was way too close 5-4.

It is disgusting and VERY scary to me.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 27, 2008 06:40 PM