A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State
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Back in February, I eviscerated an essay by Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Paul Barrett riffing on retired Supreme Court Justice Steven’s proposed change to the Second Amendment. Yesterday’s washingtonpost.com published a larger excerpt from Justice Stevens’ new book Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution. Stevens’ nonsense logic on Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms should not go unchallenged. Again. Still. So know this: Stevens believes the Founding Fathers added the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution to protect “keeping and bearing arms for military purposes.” Stevens also believes . . .
that the Second Amendment “did not impose any limit whatsoever on the power of states or local governments to regulate the ownership or use of firearms.” The fact that the Fathers enacted the 2A to defend against government tyranny, the fact that all the other rights in the Bill of Rights impose limits on state and local governments is neither here nor there, apparently. Stevens kvetches about his colleagues’ difference of opinion on the subject, and offers a 2a fix:
The Second Amendment expressly endorsed the substantive common-law rule that protected the citizen’s right (and duty) to keep and bear arms when serving in a state militia. In its decision in Heller, however, the majority interpreted the amendment as though its draftsmen were primarily motivated by an interest in protecting the common-law right of self-defense.