The First Amendment recognizes some very basic rights:
- to speak truth to power, personally and through the press;
- to practice our religion – or not – as we choose;
- to associate with others and peaceably assemble together;
- to petition our government for a redress of grievances.
The Second Amendment, which recognizes our right to arm ourselves, means we – as individuals – may legally and practically secure the rights of the First.
Or does it?
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.”
A debate has raged over what these words actually mean. Does the Amendment support an individual right to be armed . . . or only when enlisted in a state militia? This makes a big difference for gun regulation and prohibition.
Now, in the case D.C. v. Heller, the U.S. Supreme Court has settled the issue. Voting 5-4, the court says Yes, the Second Amendment does enshrine an individual right to bear arms.
This makes perfect sense to me. That’s why the framers wrote “right of the people.”
Indeed, this is a wonderful victory for freedom.
It is also welcome news for Washington, D.C., residents who now, whether driving a cab or sitting at home alone, will be able to protect themselves. Which means, in the end, less crime and violence.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.