Newnan Pratlaw's Posts On Hot Legal Topics

March 3, 2010

RIGHTS OF THE INDIVIDUAL CITIZEN || Bearing Arms without infringement

The Supreme Court’s review of Chicago’s law making it illegal to possess a handgun in the city limits, McDonald v. City of Chicago, is the “Hot” case in this term of the Supreme Court’s appellate review of lower decisions.  Many people don’t know that the 14th amendment guarantees that “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”  The 2nd amendment states 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.”    There is an argument afloat that the right of the people to keep and bear Arms without infringement is qualified by a State’s ability to regulate Militias and that a right of  “the people” is not a right to each person.  The NRA and others hope that the Supreme Court will not just overturn Chicago’s gun ban law but will in fact actually state that the 14th amendment secures the right to bear Arms without infringement to the individual.  In Mr. McDonald’s case , what I recall from listening to the brief interview of him by Nina Totenberg (PBS),  the right seems self evident:  as I recall hearing, he is an elderly man robbed by “utes” 3 times, the last time they just strong-armed him, ignoring his demands that they leave his home.  He thought Mr. Colt’s equalizer might make his words a little more heeded the  next time “utes” came to his home to “visit”.

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