THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 474, June 29, 2008
"These are beings perfectly willing to kill
you and your children for your own good."
Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise
The final decision in Heller v. District of Columbia is pretty much what most reasonable people expected.
Some probable results:
A lot of lawyers are going to make a lot of money arguing which gun laws constitute an infringement of the right to keep and bear arms and what is a "reasonable regulation" to prevent criminals and irresponsible persons from using guns to violate their neighbors rights.
Various pro and antigun groups are going to be requesting donations to fight for legislation and court decisions that meet their definition of "reasonable regulation" (ranging from none at all to only rich people and polticians holding offices' bodyguards can be armed.).
Many pro and antigunners will become complacent about this debate. After all, their side has won (or lost) so why keep flogging a dead horse?
Also there are some points to consider:
In Heller and in Kennedy v. Louisiana the Court stuck to stricter Constitutional interpretations than a lot of people like. Freedom is neither liberal nor conservative, both extremes put other goals over liberty. (By the way, would you rather be executed for raping a child or get the general population of Angola State Prison in Louisiana turned loose on you? The man should have told his lawyers to shut up!). Libertarians should beware of left and right wing ideologues.
Washington DC and other polities are going to have to come up with realistic plans to reduce crime and violence instead of ducking the issue and blaming their problems on a surplus of guns. You're stuck with the guns, now how do you intend to make your territories sane and decent enough that people won't be so strongly tempted to misuse them?
While the gun rights debate is still important, what other threats to freedom must we face and deal with? Remember, once the enemies of liberty find a way to start restricting one set of rights, they will find a way to restrict others.
Most importantly, the next time we go buy weapons, it will be those who try to stop us, not we who are exercising our God given and Constitutionally guaranteed rights, who will have society telling them that they are doing something shameful.