IL RNHA Releases Statement Supporting the Supreme Courts’ Interpretation of the 2nd Amendment
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed,” Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers. The Final Opinion of the Supreme Courts’ 2007 term, District of Columbia v. Heller, breathed a breath of life into the body of the Second Amendment and to that sentiment of Hamilton’s. Justice Scalia wrote for the 5-4 majority, stating without equivocation that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm in the home for self-defense, unconnected with militia service. However, questions remained regarding what regulations were then permissible, and whether or not the Second Amendment applies against state and local governments?
One answer to these questions came on June 28th, 2010 and shall be recognized by the ILRNHA as a great day for states’ rights, the Constitution, and for the American people. By a vote of 5-4, the Court in McDonald v. City of Chicago held that the Second Amendment right to individual gun ownership, which was recently recognized in District of Columbia v. Heller, should be incorporated upon the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. The right to bear arms was stated by the majority as “fundamental” to the American “scheme of ordered liberty,” and “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.”
The ILRNHA must align its position with the majority on the Court, due to the historical background, academic scholarship, and the lack of persuasiveness of opposing arguments of the Second Amendment. The rights enumerated in the Constitution are neither to be infringed by the prevailing political tides nor by the intellectually en vogue. The Bill of Rights, here more specifically the Second Amendment, is a commitment to the protection of our unalienable rights, and that our government may not do to us what governments have done to their citizens in the past. We are proud to live in a country where the government is unambiguously denied the ability to disarm its citizens, regardless of the States’ justifications.
In the words of Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story of the John Marshall Court, “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."
***Statement written by Ric Gruber, Vice-President RNHA of DuPage County