I was going to wait to address this topic but now seems as good a time as any. This piece will be based both in fact and opinion. I looked up information on the Internet and did my best to verify secondary sources. I am an avid reader and believer in the Bill of Rights. The Founding Fathers had the foresight to look down the line, into the future, and understood the need to address limits on the Federal Government and that the states, in their individual sovereignty, not disregard the Constitution when crafting its own laws.
The 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as set forth in the U.S. Bill of Rights provides for and clearly protects the rights of people to keep and bear arms. The United States Supreme Court has ruled on numerous occasions that an individual's right to possess and carry firearms in fact is a right under the 2nd Amendment. Let's look at two relatively recent Supreme Court cases to further establish this right.
In 2008 the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision addressing the longstanding argument made against an individual's right to possess and carry firearms as a non-member of a state's militia. In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 US, 570 (2008), the Court ruled that the 2nd Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia (states National Guard) and to use that firearm for traditional lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
In 2010 the case of McDonald v. Chicago, 561 US, 3025 (2010), citing District of Columbia v. Heller, defined what the term "state militia" meant in the 2nd Amendment. Numerous other cases were also cited in this decision, and outlined that a "state militia" is made up of able-bodied citizenry who would report for service to their state and were expected to provided their own arms. It is important to note, however, although both decisions cited above upheld an individual's right to possess and carry firearms, they also upheld individual state's rights to make laws addressing the lawful ownership and possession of a firearm.
All that being said, and as promised, I will give my opinion on the matter. This caveat first... I am not a Constitutional Attorney or Scholar. I am a fairly educated American who served in the United States Marine Corps. I am a believer in traditional values but also recognizes and believes in progress. I will not repeat right-wing conspiracy theories here, nor will I give credence to any of the left-wing's "scholarly interpretations" of what our Founding Father's meant when they wrote these founding documents. You see, I think the Founding Fathers left behind volumes of literature that clearly delineates what they intended their words to mean. Clearly there was dissent between the Federalist and the Anti-Federalist during the drafting and subsequent passage of the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights... but they were able to reach a consensus. Something that is painfully obvious our politicians cannot do today!
I believe that history is our guide for the future. Not withstanding all the supporting literature written by the Founding Fathers during that time, we should also look at the unstable history of Europe and the great civilizations over the Milenas for guidance. The adage "those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it" is not just an adage in my eyes... it has been proven through the wrinkled pages of time. It is simple concept to me that the Federal Government does not have the right to take away the individual right to own firearms. Literature, laws, and times should not have the ability to change that. Further, states cannot unfairly abridge these rights that were first granted by the Federal Government. What states like New York, Illinois and the District of Columbia have done to limit these right are criminal and a direct violation of our rights!
I will save my opinion on the situation in Connecticut for a later post. I will leave you with this though first... when will we address the real route of this issue... the way our society sees and deals with mental health issues. What New York is doing doing now is a knee-jerk reaction to a truly tragic situation. The President of the United States, in the same vein as New York, is attempting to address the means of this situation, and not the ends. The means beings the guns... the means could have been a car driven at high speeds through a school yard, or a firebomb in a school cafeteria, or poison in the school lunches. And of course, the ends being the clear demonstration by a troubled youth of mental health issues that were not properly addressed. I do not blame only the school in this instance, but they certainly share in the responsibility. Again, I will address this issue in more depth in the future... until then, Happy Reading!