2012 and the Second Amendment

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling in McDonald v. Chicago, a landmark decision that determined whether the Second Amendment applies to the individual states, I cautioned gun owners and constitutionalists that the battle is not over and that the opponents of liberty will not abandon their goal of taking away the right to keep and bear arms. Now we have the proof.

Speaking at a fundraiser event for the President, Michelle Obama said, “In just 13 months, we’re going to make a choice that will impact our lives for decades to come…let’s not forget what it meant when my husband appointed those two brilliant Supreme Court justices…let’s not forget the impact their decisions will have on our lives for decades to come.”

Recently, Time magazine asked recently retired Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens what he would fix about the American judicial system. Stevens’ response: “I would make all my dissents into majority opinions.

But then Time asked Stevens to single out one issue in particular, and he said, “I would change the interpretation of the Second Amendment.” Referring to the Court’s decisions in the Heller and McDonald cases that the Second Amendment protects individuals from federal, state and local infringements on their right to possess and carry arms, he added “The court got that quite wrong.”

In his dissent in Heller, Stevens claimed that “there is no indication that the Framers of the [Second] Amendment intended to enshrine the common-law right of self-defense in the Constitution.” And in his dissent in McDonald, he claimed that even if one assumed the Fourteenth Amendment protects a general right to self-defense, that didn’t mean that a person has a right to have a handgun. As if to suggest some logic to his theory, Stevens said “while some might favor handguns, it is not clear that they are a superior weapon for lawful self-defense.”

The next president will likely appoint at least two new justices. A second Obama term will tip the 5-4 balance to the progressive side. Once we get through the Republican primary squabble it is imperative that constitutionalists rally around the nominee if for no other reason than to ensure that supposedly least dangerous branch won’t become the opposite.