Guns: The Key to Understanding the Role of the Supreme Court

For the second time in two years, the United States Supreme Court has upheld the right of Americans to own guns. And for the second time the ruling was 5 – 4, when it should have been 9 – 1. OK, maybe 8 – 1 (Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a lost cause). The ruling in the case of McDonald vs. Chicago has clearly revealed why liberal judges should never be allowed to sit on the bench.


Not really. Because time and again, judges with a liberal bias have shown that they have absolutely no understanding of the role of judges, especially those who sit on the highest court in the land. And it is in the area of gun rights that this lack of understanding can best be observed, since the right to own firearms is not just about the meaning of the 2nd Amendment.

Access to firearms is inextricably linked to the most basic human right of all, the right of self-preservation – because without being able to legally use the most effective tool to exercise your God-given right of self-defense, it may as well not exist. And the right to protect ourselves and our loved ones from violence existed long before there was a Constitution, let alone a 2nd Amendment.

Unfortunately, the issue of the right of self-defense has been buried under egregious misreading of the meaning of the 2nd Amendment, the most common being that it was somehow limiting the ownership of firearms to members of the Militia. The virulently anti-gun Brady Campaign is a typical example; they claim that the Second Amendment secured “to the people a right to use and possess arms in conjunction with service in a well-regulated militia.”

But the truth is, the Founders considered the right of every citizen to own firearms as a given, so obvious as to not even be necessary to discuss – if you doubt this, you have never read any of the Founders comments on the subject. Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams, and even George Washington may have vehemently butted heads on a whole host of topics, but on one thing they unanimously agreed: the right of every individual to own firearms, for their own protection, as well as to hunt for food.

So why put the 2nd Amendment in the Constitution in the first place?

Because the first clause of the 2nd Amendment, far from being a restrictive statement, was actually an expansion of the fundamental right of the people to own firearms – to include their use in the event of the need to activate the Militia, which might become necessary to deal with more widespread threats to the newly created Republic. After all, the 2nd Amendment was written while the country was in the midst of a war to disengage from a repressive “foreign” government.

Which brings us back to the latest ruling – why was it 5 – 4? The short answer is: four of the Justices can’t read. But the reality is that liberal judges are so compromised by their irrational, emotional biases they simply cannot act as the “neutral umpires” they are supposed to be. They invariably seek to bend the law to cater to their own biases –  imagine an umpire in baseball who expands the strike zone for a pitcher he thinks “deserves” to succeed, and shrinking it for one he dislikes. Or declaring the “designated hitter” rule “discriminatory” because one league allows it and one does not.

But nowhere is liberal bias more glaring than when it comes to guns. Justice Stevens, in his dissenting opinion in McDonald v Chicago revealed a lot about his “thinking” when he wrote the following:

“Hence, in evaluating an asserted right to be free from particular gun-control regulations, liberty is on both sides of the equation. Guns may be useful for self-defense, as well as for hunting and sport, but they also have a unique potential to facilitate death and destruction and thereby to destabilize ordered liberty. Your interest in keeping and bearing a certain firearm may diminish my interest in being and feeling safe from armed violence. And while granting you the right to own a handgun might make you safer on any given day—assuming the handgun’s marginal contribution to self-defense outweighs its marginal contribution to the risk of accident, suicide, and criminal mischief — it may make you and the community you live in less safe overall, owing to the increased number of handguns in circulation.”

For those unfamiliar with Constitutional law, nothing that Justice Stevens says above has anything to do with his role as a judge. First, the idea that the number of handguns in circulation would make the community less safe is factually wrong (the number of guns in America has tripled in the past 50 years, while all firearm related deaths, whether accidental or criminal, has declined). Second, whether criminals might also use the same kind of tool employed by the law-abiding is utterly irrelevant. Otherwise, we would ban power drills because “safe-crackers use them, too.”

Worse, note that like many liberals, Stevens seems to assert that “feeling safe from armed violence” is somehow a “right.” Sorry, Justice Stevens, but no one has any right to feel any particular way at all, especially when it requires that others give up their legitimate right to protect themselves.

And it is just such distortion of the law and the role of the courts that has brought us travesties like “disparate impact” law – the insane concept that if some particular group of people breaks a law more than everyone else (smokes crack, for example) then there must be something innately “unfair” about the law.

The battle for self-defense rights is not over, and probably never will be. But in matters that go to the very core of what it means to be a free human being, we cannot continue to allow the courts to chip away at them. Not surprisingly, Obama’s first picks for the high court, Sonia Sotomayor, who was confirmed, and Elena Kagan, who doubtless will be, are both radical leftists who clearly view the Constitution as little more than a list of “suggestions” that can be ignored when it suits their ideology.

5 – 4

Remember that in November…

John Caile