Editorial in Jackson, MS Clarion Ledger newspaper supporting the Second Amendment [Archive] - Glock Talk


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11-26-2007, 05:58
A pleasantly surprising editorial in today's Jackson, MS Clarion Ledger newspaper supporting the Second Amendment:

Guns: Second Amendment should be protected

The U.S. Supreme Court last week agreed to hear a challenge to Washington, D.C.'s three-decades-old gun laws that contain a strict ban on handguns, setting up one of the biggest Second Amendment cases in history.

The case is set for arguments in the spring of 2008 and a decision is expected by June of next year. The case returns the high court to a legal question it last spoke significantly to in 1939 - whether unaffiliated individuals, outside of a state militia, enjoy an individual right to own firearms.

For gun rights advocates and gun opponents as well, the case will address a simple premise: What does the Second Amendment mean?

The Second Amendment's wording will specifically be on trial.

The 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."

But in the District of Columbia case, the nation's highest court said it would consider whether the law violates "the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes."

The Washington, D.C., law being challenged in the case prohibits ownership of handguns by all residents, except retired police officers. The law permits ownership of shotguns and rifles but requires that they be stored unloaded, disassembled and trigger-locked.

While the case centers on the law in the District of Columbia, it has much broader implications for the rest of the nation. The court will, in essence, be deciding whether the constitutional right to bear firearms is an "individual" right or one that's tied to the broader state interest in maintaining "a militia."

If the court determines that the Second Amendment is an individual right, it will be easier for proponents of gun ownership to challenge other gun restrictions nationwide.

We hold the belief that the Second Amendment is both an individual right and one that is also tied to the broader state interest in maintaining a militia.

For the Supreme Court to rule otherwise would fly in the face of the founding principles of this nation. The rights of individual to own and possess firearms - including handguns - is one guaranteed by the Second Amendment and one that the courts should protect and defend.

Likewise, the Second Amendment is a two-way street in that the right of individuals to own and possess handguns means that not all individuals will use their rights appropriately - some will resort to criminal activity and senseless violence - and they will forfeit those rights.

But the argument that the Second Amendment does not extend to individuals is one to which we do not subscribe and one we believe endangers this nation.
Source: http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071126/OPINION01/711260319 (LINK)