The concept is a profoundly important operational underpinning of the United States legal system. Anyone working to make this country a more peaceful, just, ecologically sustainable, and democratic place should be eager to examine this basic doctrine.
Originally published as 2 Hastings Const. Reprinted in the Senate Reportpg. For educational use only. The printed edition remains canonical.
For citational use please obtain a back issue from William S. Guns and the Constitution As a result of a steadily rising crime rate in recent years, a sharp public debate over the merits of federal firearms regulation has developed.
The number of robberies jumped fromin toinwhile murders committed by guns shot up from 5, to 10, in the same period, and the proportion of cases in which the murder weapon was a firearm rose from Kennedy, and the maiming of George Wallace.
Many people assert that these tragedies could have been prevented by keeping the murder weapons out of the hands that used them. Others vehemently dispute this claim. The free flow of firearms across state lines has undermined the traditional view of crime and gun control as local problems.
In New York City, long noted for strict regulation of all types of weapons, only 19 percent of the homicides of involved pistols, bythis proportion had jumped to 49 percent of 1, The great majority of the American people now support registration of both handguns and rifles.
When the Gallup Poll asked the p. Even gun-owners endorsed registration by a margin of 55 percent to 39 percent with 6 percent undecided. American history has often seen social and political problems transformed into constitutional issues. They therefore assert that "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms" is a collective right which protects only members of the organized militia, e.
It is their belief that no one else can claim a personal right p.
Opponents maintain that having guns is a constitutionally protected individual right, similar to other guarantees of the Bill of Rights.
Some hold this right to be absolute, while others would allow reasonable restrictions, perhaps even licensing and registration. Still others would limit the protection of the Second Amendment to individuals capable of military service and to weapons useful for military purposes.
The essential characteristic of the "individualist" interpretation, as opposed to the "collectivist" view, is that the Second Amendment precludes, to some extent at least, congressional interference in the private use of firearms for lawful purposes such as target shooting, hunting and self-defense.
It is one of the ironies of contemporary politics that the many of the most vocal supporters of "law and order" are persistent critics of federal firearms regulation.
Whereas strict constructionism is often the preferred doctrine in interpreting the constitutional rights of criminals, such a narrow view of the Second Amendment is unacceptable.
Far from being narrowly construed, the Second Amendment is held out to be a bulwark of human freedom and dignity as well as a means of safeguarding the rights of the individual against encroachment by the federal government. It thus becomes a weapon in the arsenal of argument against gun control, and each new proposal is said to infringe upon the rights of the people to keep and bear arms.
The clash between "collectivist" and "individualist" interpretations of the Second Amendment has not been definitely resolved. Even members of Congress believe that their power to regulate firearms is limited by the existence of an individual right to have, to hold, and to use them.
I have a gun in my own home and I certainly intend to keep it. This may change, and it may become necessary for the Supreme Court to rule upon constitutional challenges to federal statutes based on the Second Amendment.
Even before this p. In order to determine accurately the intended meaning of the Second Amendment, it is necessary to delve into history. It is necessary to consider the very nature of a constitutional guarantee--whether it is an inherent, fundamental right, derived from abstract human nature and natural law or, alternatively, a restriction on governmental power imposed after experience with abuse of power.
Historically, the right to keep and bear arms has been closely intertwined with questions of political sovereignty, the right of revolution, civil and military power, military organization, crime and personal security.Dear Twitpic Community - thank you for all the wonderful photos you have taken over the years.
We have now placed Twitpic in an archived state. Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) (), was a U.S. Supreme Court case that established the principle of judicial review in the United States, meaning that American courts have the power to strike down laws, statutes, and executive actions that contravene the U.S.
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A page for describing UsefulNotes: American Civil War. In South Carolina seceded from the United States of America.
Texas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, . The Supreme Court decision Dred Scott v. Sandford was issued on March 6, Delivered by Chief Justice Roger Taney, this opinion declared that slaves were not citizens of the United States and could not sue in Federal courts.
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In addition, this decision declared that the Missouri Compromise was.