The Ongoing Debate Over the Second Amendment

The Ongoing Debate Over the Second Amendment

Conservatives and liberals may as well speak a different language when it comes to guns. Liberals typically call for more governmental control over the right to bear arms, whereas conservatives tend to be more guarded about that right.

Constitutional arguments vary as well with liberals using a narrow, literal take on the Second Amendment’s language. On the other hand, conservatives look more to the scope of that amendment, as interpreted by the courts.

In short, there are two kinds of law in the American legal system. There is statutory law, which refers to the laws as passed by the legislature and signed by the president. Then, there is common law, which is the way those laws are interpreted by the courts.

Once the courts create a common law interpretation of the application of any law, or in this case a constitutional amendment, that takes precedent moving forwards.

Liberals Defeat Their Argument Regarding the Second Amendment

The original intent of the Second Amendment was the elimination of the need for a national standing army, hence the use of the word “militia” in the amendment.

However, in 2008 the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment applied to individuals and the personal right to bear arms in its landmark case District of Columbia v. Heller. And, this is the point at which liberal arguments against the private ownership of guns breaks down.

Liberals adore the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, which grant defendants the right to remain silent and the right to counsel in any criminal proceeding. However, the modern use of those amendments relies heavily on recent common law interpretation.

In the instance of the Fifth Amendment, the 1966 Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona established the use of the Miranda warning. This is the official notification that suspects in police custody have the right to remain silent.

When it comes to the Sixth Amendment, the Supreme Court’s 1963 case Gideon v. Wainwright, firmly established defendants’ right to an attorney in any criminal proceeding. Before that decision, defendants lacking funds did not have an absolute right to legal counsel.

However, liberals seem to prefer to carve out an exception to that thinking where the Second Amendment is concerned. Sure, they love the modern interpretation of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, which many believe coddle suspects to a certain degree.

But, when it comes to the 2nd Amendment, which empowers citizens, they sing an entirely different tune by demanding a literal interpretation. For this reason, liberals who push for gun control essentially doom their own argument on the subject.

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