What irks me is the narrow margin by which second amendment rights were supported. Before I go further let me refresh everyone's memory as to the exact wording of the amendment.
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
I support the decision of the court that banning the owning of firearms by private citizens is unconstitutional. Strange to hear from a liberal, isn't it? The court supported reasonable legislation but restricted states from completely banning firearms. What disturbs me is that this decision was not unanimous. To be clear, the job of the Supreme Court is to interpret the Constitution and apply it to the cases brought before it. Whatever the personal belief of the judge, the Constitution must reign supreme. The intent of the writers of the amendment is quite clear. The people's right to bear arms is maintained specifically to form militias to protect themselves from the government. These men had just fought off an oppressive regime using a militia formed by men with their own personal guns. It was tantamount to the founders that, should the government ever become oppressive, the people must be able to rise up. A government not scared of its people will trample its people. Look at every major genocidal regime in history. They started by disarming their people. The enemy of tyranny is a well educated and armed populace. That bears saying again.
The enemy of tyranny is a well educated and armed populace.
I hate that defense of the right to bear arms falls to the uneducated dolts of the Christian right who inherently tie guns to conservatism. Defense of liberty is a very liberal ideal. There is no reason to let the conservatives take this ideal and run with it. More importantly, the justices of the Supreme Court have no business attempting to legislate from the bench. The intent of the framers of the Constitution is quite clear. Allowing infringement of the rights of the people to keep and bear arms is directly controverting the very duty of the Supreme Court. The four justices who attempted to reinterpret the intent of the second amendment were one vote away from doing away with one of our basic liberties, the right to defend ourselves. Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen G. Breyer, you shame the institution of the Supreme Court and sully the reputation of its justices by ignoring the real intent of the document you are sworn to defend.