Today was a monumental day indeed. There are multiple facets of this decision worth covering. We have the Supreme Court acknowledging the fact that the 2nd amendment does in fact grant the citizens of this country the right to bear arms. But there is a scary side to this. We had 4 judges vote down the 2nd amendment. By only 1 vote, we had the highest court in the land that is supposed to do nothing but strictly interpret the constitution to reach decisions on cases presented to them, rule in favor of the 2nd amendment.
The 2nd Amendment states: "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." Now, as one who is supposed to strictly interpret the Constitution, how can you mess this up? Our founders religiously believed in individual liberty. They composed the greatest written document on freedom and governance that the world has ever known. The founders knew that in order to insure liberty to the citizens of America, the right to defend one's self and one's property must be allowed.
Justice John Paul Stephens had his final dissent today as he is retiring from the High Court. What did the retiring liberal judge have to say about this decision? “Just as they [guns] can help homeowners defend their families and property from intruders, they can help thugs and insurrectionists murder innocent victims. The threat that firearms will be misused is far from hypothetical, for gun crimes have devastated many of our communities.” Now it is true that thugs use guns as a main weapon source against their victims. It is also true that violence has absolutely ruined many areas of this country that used to be safe. Nobody can argue against that. But how do criminals get these guns? This text is taken from PBS's webpage and titled 'Hot Guns':
ATF officials say that only about 8% of the nation's 124,000 retail gun dealers sell the majority of handguns that are used in crimes. They conclude that these licensed retailers are part of a block of rogue entrepreneurs tempted by the big profits of gun trafficking. Cracking down on these dealers continues to be a priority for the ATF. What's needed, according to Wachtel, is better monitoring of the activities of legally licensed gun dealers. This means examining FFL paperwork to see where their guns are coming from, and making sure that those guns are being sold legally. But he says, "Let's be honest. If someone wants a gun, it's obvious the person will not have difficulty buying a gun, either legally or through the extensive United States black market."
So in essence, Justice Stephens has basically claimed his reasoning for voting against the 2nd amendment is because guns can end up in the wrong hands. Now, using this logic we can apply the same conclusion for anything that gets into the wrong hands. Take alcohol for example. Alcohol is consumed by millions of Americans on a daily basis. Yet, alcohol gets into the hands of the wrong people and daily there is another death caused by a drunk driver. According to The Century Council, 37,261 people died in car crashes in 2008. 11,773 of those deaths had alcohol involved. Now, I had a tough time looking up the most recent numbers of murders involving a firearm, but I came across a chart produced by the United Nations on Crime Trends back in 2002 showing that there were 9,369 murders involving firearms in the US. Not knowing the latest numbers, one can safely assume that they have increased due to the large influx of violent crime from illegal immigrants and Mexican drug cartels that spill over our southern border. Looking at these numbers, you can come to the conclusion that murder through improper use of firearms, and deaths caused by improper use of alcohol are very close. If Justice Stephens was sincere in his reasoning that we should abandon the second amendment due to "gun crimes devastating our communities", then perhaps he should summon the High Court to bring back prohibition.
For the majority decision, the 14th amendment was cited repeatedly as the means for justifying the ruling on the 2nd amendment. Section 1 of the 14th amendment states: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States" This is where Chicago got slapped in the face. The 2nd amendment clearly states it is the right of citizens in this country to own firearms. Chicago banned citizens living there from owning handguns. The Supreme Court, citing the 14th amendment which clearly implies states do not have the authority to limit constitutional rights, correctly ruled in favor of the 2nd amendment.