Thursday, June 26, 2008

Supreme Court rules in favor of gun ownership rights

The US Supreme Court building in Washington.Image via WikipediaThe Supreme Court of the US have struck down a District of Columbia law absolutely prohibiting gun ownership or possession within the district. I have to admit I am surprised by this. I had expected the DC law to be validated. But this is, in my view, a good ruling.

It's broader than many expected... the Supremes tend to rule as narrowly as possible, so many were expecting the court to rule on some narrow interpretation. But Justice Scalia, writing the majority opinion, said that an individual right to bear arms is supported by "the historical narrative" both before and after the Second Amendment was adopted. (quoted from Yahoo's report).

That's a strong affirmation of the interpretation that "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." means individual rights, not army rights... For a long time, the meaning of "well regulated militia" has been in dispute, not least because the language has changed... militia then meant every able bodied male, and regulated didn't mean subject to regulation.

I expect that I will be in the minority among my viewing audience in being happy about this.

That's OK.

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