July 5, 2015
The Constitution says I have a right to own guns. There is considerable confusion about the legal theory underlying the "right to keep and bear arms". This is a brief outline for a clarification of the discussion of this issue.
I don’t know why but for some reason gun advocates think that the right to bear arms is the only constitutional right that is without limit. We have the right to practice our religion, but not if our religion involves human sacrifice. We have the right to free speech, but we can still be prosecuted for incitement or conspiracy, and we can be sued for libel. Every one of our rights is subject to limitation when it begins to threaten others, and the Supreme Court has affirmed that even though there is an individual right to gun ownership, the government can put reasonable restrictions on that right.
In United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that, "The right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution; neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence" and limited the applicability of the Second Amendment to the federal government. In United States v. Miller (1939), the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government and the states could limit any weapon types not having a “reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia.
And we all know that if a shooter turns out to have a Muslim name, a lot of Americans, including plenty of gun owners, will be more than happy to give up all kinds of rights in the name of fighting…