Supreme Court upholds Constitution

A vote against collectivism

It is, of course, a relief that the United States Supreme Court took its first look at the Second Amendment since 1939, and decided that the founders really did mean that when it came to individual rights and guns, “ ... the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

Gun opponents had long argued — and will continue to do so despite the ruling — that the phrase could not be disconnected from its first part, which says, “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State...,” and so, in their view, granted only government the right to keep and bear arms.

But it was precisely to limit the goverment’s authority to be the only armed kid on the block — and thus the kid with the power to tyrannize — that prompted the founders to empower individuals with the right to bear arms. It’s an individual right, and the Court upheld that right.

It is notable to point out that the leading dissenter in the ruling was Justice Stephen Breyer, who sided with the minority in the 5-4 ruling. It is notable because it is yet another instance where Justice Breyer has found individual rights to be subservient to the rights of government. Justice Breyer would doubtless have been a Royalist in the time of the Revolution. Royalists, of course, believed King George of England was the supreme authority, and that the colonists must bow to his authority.

Justice Breyer, in other words, believes government should be unfettered in its pursuit of the general good. That’s why, in Kelo v. New London, the notorious and noxious ruling on eminent domain whereby the Supreme Court considered nothing wrong with government taking property from one individual and giving it to another individual, all in the interests of generating government revenue, Breyer came down on the side of government. He doesn’t believe, in other words, in individual rights or private property.

Which is why the November presidential election grows in importance as the date approaches. The next president will probably make at least one, and probably two, Supreme Court nominations in his first term, and there’s little doubt Barack Obama would look favorably on a judge who believed as he and Justice Breyer believe: that the State trumps the individual, and that “rights” can only be exercised as collective rights. Individuals, and individual rights, in their view, are subordinate to the will of the collective.

That’s not only dangerous, it’s in direct opposition to the intent of the Founders. Breyer and Obama, o course, don’t give much of a hoot for either the Founders or their — and our — Constitution. Breyer and his liberal mates on the court see it as a “living document” that can be changed to fit changing times, changing attitudes and changing standards.

Perhaps that’s why Mr. Obama bills himself as the candidate of change; he doesn’t seem to like the United States of America or what it stands for, which is the primacy of the individual over government. In that, he and Breyer are soulmates.

That threatens liberty, and the United States as it is.


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