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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Supreme Court to hear Second Amendment case today

Today the Supreme Court of the United States is going to hear arguments in a case regarding the interpretation of the Second Amendment. Namely, whether possession of a gun is the right of an individual or whether it's a "collective" one.

I would like to report that I am cautiously optimistic about how they will decide on this, but I can't even muster up that much.

This is the same Supreme Court that a few years ago that effectively destroyed the security of owning personal property by way of the Kelo decision. They ruled in favor of "the community" then and against the rights of the individual. Why should we believe that they will do any differently this time, on this issue?

Actually, I must confess that part of me is secretly hoping that the Supremes will attack individual rights on this one. Maybe then some of the Christians in this country - who I am still angry toward regarding their sheepish complacency - will wake up and realize what's going on with this country. Maybe they would... but again, knowing what I do about them I can't be very hopeful on that one.

But I'm not terribly worked-up about this, however it turns out. Because I know enough about why the Founding Fathers included the Second Amendment to understand that they no doubt fully anticipated something like this happening eventually. The Second Amendment is written confirmation that the individual has the right to protect himself or herself... but that's not the main reason why the Founders made such prominent note of it. They were people who were plenty wise about human nature and its capacity for corruption and destruction in the pursuit of power.

So it is that the primary purpose of the Second Amendment is a temporal guarantee that government in America is derived by the consent of We The People, and that the People have the right and responsibility of overthrowing that government if and when government becomes abusive without restraint.

In other words, the Second Amendment is there not because we can shoot the bad politicians dead in the streets, but so the bad politicians will know that we can shoot them, if they get out of line.

Thus, the Second Amendment is the final "checks and balance" of government in the United States. It is a bulwark against human nature... because without that, this country will become something that few of us want to see.

No wonder why many who enjoy exercising the power of the state are hoping the Supreme Court will quash individual rights again in this case.

No, I am not a violent man. I just understand enough of humanity's capacity for violence to know not to trust it.