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April 11, 2002
Reynolds on the Second Amendment

Glenn Reynolds wrote a well balanced article on the state of the Second Amendment and the firearms debate. Quoting:

While some gun opponents and legal observers call Emerson a wacky outlier and an irresponsible act of judicial activism, the court may have pointed the way to a more reasonable approach to gun control. The gun issue is divisive in American politics largely because it is falsely treated as an all-or-nothing choice: Either homicidal maniacs will carry howitzers on Main Street, or jackbooted government thugs will confiscate revolvers at midnight. As the Emerson decision shows, however, the individual-right theory allows for neither of these extremes.

The right does bar efforts to disarm Americans as a whole and create a British-style society in which guns are limited to the military and police. But it wouldn't stop the government from passing laws to protect the safety of Americans. Regulations aimed at prohibiting criminals and people with histories of violence from owning guns will face no problems under the individual-right theory. If that view were generally adopted by the courts, a lot of political wrangling would come to an end. Gun owners confident that their rights would be protected would be less likely to oppose minor gun control as a step down a slippery slope.

An excellent overview and a great overall read. I think the passage above really explains why this issue troubles me so.

Posted by hoffmang | April 11, 2002 08:06 PM


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