Gun Control and the Constitution

Via: Wall Street Journal

February 10, 2013, 5:01 p.m. ET

The courts would no more allow government to undermine the Second Amendment than the First.

By DAVID B. RIVKIN JR. And ANDREW M. GROSSMAN

Could there be a better illustration of the cultural divide over firearms than the White House photograph of our skeet-shooting president? Clay pigeons are launched into the air, but the president’s smoking shotgun is level with the ground. This is not a man who is comfortable around guns. And that goes a long way toward explaining his gun-control agenda.

Lack of informed presidential leadership aside, there is a gulf between those Americans who view guns as invaluable tools for self-defense, both against private wrongdoers and a potentially tyrannical government, and those who regard that concept as hopelessly archaic and even subversive. For them, hunting is the only possible legitimate use of firearms, and gun ownership should be restricted to weapons suited to that purpose.

But while the level of the policy discourse leaves much to be desired, its constitutional dimensions are even more dimly recognized, much less seriously engaged. Yet the debate over guns, as is the case with many other contentious issues in American history, cannot be intelligently pursued without recognizing its constitutional dimensions. The Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in Heller v. District of Columbia confirmed that the Second Amendment means what it says: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Read more: here

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