I keep coming back to this question, but It just keeps coming up. Does this still apply today?
The right means, you have a right to not be in a position where your liberty can be easily oppressed. The Constitution was written by a bunch of dudes that just overthrew their government. If the government they set up became bitches, they wanted us to have the ability to dress them down and kick some ass.
Planktime, I wasn't referring to you. I didn't even read your post (sorry dude) I was giving episilon an answer.
Epsilon, yes, it holds true today.
“We are surrounded by warships and don’t have time to talk. Please pray for us.” — One Somali Pirate.
The founders used language that was often unclear, but the ability of IL to limit its citizens' access to guns wasn't one of the things that the founders were unclear about.
Originally Posted by Planktime
The Bill of Rights on its face restricts ONLY the activities of the Federal government. In the 20th Century, the Supreme Court incorporated many of the rights embodied in the first Ten Amendments against the states via the Fourteenth Amendment (damn activist judges ;)), but they have not yet so incorporated the Second. There is therefore nothing at all subjective about a state's regulation of firearms. Until the Supreme Court rules otherwise, it is explictly constitutional.
Everything you say is true. However, I still hold the opinion that it's silly and unjustifiable that the First, Fourth, Fifth, etc. are held to be so important that states and even cities are prevented from violating them, while the Second is apparently unimportant. I can't find any reason for this divide except for the personal opinions of various leaders of the Supreme Court over the years that guns are icky and they wish the Second Amendment wasn't there. They've managed to pretend for 70 years now that it's not there.
The Supreme Court gets the final legal say on this matter, but since they used to be such fanatics about the First Amendment, I can still grouse about it.
It's even simpler than that - the issue of whether the Second applies to the States hasn't been before the Supreme Court since Presser v. Illinois in 1886. Although, if and when the issue does get litigated, I expect that they'll incorporate the Second (or hold that Presser was wrong and that the Second always applied to the States). In U.S. v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598, 639 n.11 (2000), the Court stated that "While [the Bill of Rights] protected a range of specific individual rights against federal infringement, it did not, with the possible exception of the Second Amendment, offer any similarly specific protections to areas of state sovereignty" (emphasis added). That's non-precedential and basically doesn't amount to anything except that the court felt like tossing that out there, but it's still an indication of where their heads are at on the issue. Various circuit courts have held that the rationale behind the Presser decision - that the Bill of Rights applies only to the Feds - has been discredited.
Originally Posted by Don Gwinn
So while no one can ever say for sure until it actually happens, I think that given the current composition of the court and their recent language about the 2d, if it does get litigated, it'll probably be incorporated.
Call me crazy, but when I read that, it looks like all they're doing is acknowledging the so-called "collective right" theory, in which the 2nd Amendment was meant to protect a state's right to maintain a state militia but not to protect private citizens.
Saying that the 2nd Amendment possibly offers specific protection for state sovereignty seems to me to be the opposite of arguing that the 2nd is a restraint on the states.
I'm not a lawyer, I'm basing this on English, your mileage may vary, etc.
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