Reading the comments of Linda Singer, the former District of Columbia’s Attorney General, “[w]hile the majority spent much time on British and colonial history, they talked almost not at all of the real world, right now, life and death consequences to the Court’s ruling,” another thought crossed my mind.
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.
Can any of you textualists out there point out where in the Second Amendment the words “self defense” (or defence, as they preferred to spell it back then) appears?
While defense of one’s home is certainly a significant reason why the right to keep and bear arms should exist, nowhere does the text of the amendment provide a limitation of its purpose to self-defense (as opposed, for example, to the defense of democracy from a tyrant).
And where does it mention a home, apartment, abode, living space, castle or any other particular location? So how do we end up with a right, but only inside our home?
As noted in my earlier post, Scalia went on at length to explain that the right to “bear Arms” refers to the right to carry arms around with you. Yet this aspect of the right disappears during his discussion of what the court is permitting. Is it a magic trick? Is it a miracle? Is it a concession to that reality that Linda Singer was talking about?
This is not an argument over whether it’s a good or bad idea, but whether it’s rational and internally and externally consistent. What was that thing about judicial philosophy again, Justice Scalia?
And don’t get too hot and sweaty over which of your state laws are going to fall first. After all, it’s not like Scalia said that the right was incorporated and applies to the states. Even that will be left for another day and a million dollars later.