Interpreting the Second Amendment
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    It has been famously said and often repeated that the Constitution means what the Supreme Court says it means. While this statement is generally true, it is incomplete. Regardless of what the Supreme Court says, the Constitution ultimately means what the People believe it to mean.

    So far in our history the Supreme Court has refrained from any interpretation of the Constitution that was so flagrantly at odds with the beliefs of the People that a serious, violent uprising ensued. But they may have come perilously close in last year’s decision in DC v. Heller. In that case the Court unanimously agreed that the Second Amendment refers to an individual right to arms, but disagreed in a 5 – 4 split as to whether the District of Columbia’s virtual ban on handguns violated that individual right. Even in the prevailing opinion, the justices expressed positions which are completely at odds with the understanding of those of us in the Second Amendment community.

    The Second Amendment exists to ensure that the government does not trample the rights of the People under color of law. There are some 90 million gunowners in the U.S. and at least one third of those maintain a relatively purist understanding of the Second Amendment; meaning that at least 30 million citizens would strenuously object to any interpretation of the Second Amendment supporting the banning of any type of commonly held firearm or the mandatory registration of firearms or licensing of firearm owners. That’s 30 million people – with guns – rejecting unconstitutional laws, regardless of what the Supreme Court might approve.

    That is not to say that 30 million gunowners would rise up in armed revolt at the passage of an “assault weapon” ban or a registration scheme; we would not. A fair number of us would however roundly refuse to comply with such laws and thus, officially become criminals. If even a third of those Second Amendment fundamentalists refused do comply with an unconstitutional ban, the results would be disastrous. Any attempt to apprehend and punish any of those 10 million, otherwise law-abiding citizens, for the crime of disobeying an unconstitutional law would undoubtedly escalate tensions and could lead to some very serious consequences.

    Written by Jeff Knox
    Last edited by lukem; 02-13-2009 at 12:01 PM.

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