Disarming the citizenry vs. the right to keep and bear arms
lawsg at LANGATE.GSU.EDU
Mon Oct 16 15:55:00 PDT 2000
" But what I don't understand is how this test can be deduced from, or
even reconciled with, "Paul's position," or from the position of anyone else
who takes the view that the 2nd Am creates no individual right but only a
I spoke too quickly and was not as clear as I could have been. My " test" would support an individual rights perspective as opposed to Paul's conclusion which rules out such a perspective. My "test" and Paul's conclusion are consistent to the extent that many of the gun control regulations (on gun shows, on assault weapons, perhaps most well crafted registration and waiting period statutes) that I would politically support (and I imagine Paul would as well) would pass muster under either viewpoint. Of course, my test would very likely strike down legislation that would pass muster under Paul's reading of the 2nd amendment (for example, legislation banning concealed weapons).
My point was that the individual or group right interpretation is irrelevant if one reads the qualifying phrase as a limitation on the type of use that is protected. Now I understand (from Randy Barnett's post) that I am making too much of the phrase, and I plan on educating myself about Eugene's (and other) writings on the topic. But my instinct is the words are there and should be given meaning as opposed to being read out of the clause. If the problem is that the prefatory language is ambiguous and unhelpful for interpretation, I wonder if the heart of the problem is the use of textualism and not the meaning of this specific text.
More information about the Conlawprof