I have been getting some feedback from our more liberal readers regarding my earlier article regarding the 2nd amendment. Most of it centers around practical arguments such as gun violence, deaths, and other things of that nature. This misses the point of why the second amendment is important so I felt it necessary to make a follow-up article explaining why.
The Second Amendment
When conservatives defend the second amendment they say that it is the right that protects the others. They are correct but not in the way that they mean. The second amendment is unique. Off hand I think only Mexico and some other South and Central American countries grant gun rights to their citizens in the constitution and to my knowledge only the US constitution guarantees unrestricted rights. Since it is unique it is also polarizing. A portion of the populace, the liberals, hate it and want it taken away the conservatives love it.
The second amendment acts like a shield for the rest. If an unpopular right is given to all American citizens solely because it is in the bill of rights then what more of the others? They would get even more deference. One of the things I loved about Scalia was he had a stamp that said “constitutional but stupid”. It does not have to be smart or even morally right in all cases as long as its guaranteed by the constitution it must be followed.
Liberals may have a point regarding their practical arguments. I generally don’t care about gun rights enough to look at it too closely. The only gun I really want to own is a bolter and I don’t think that is happening anytime soon. I generally only support gun rights because the other factions of the Trump coalition do. Given that liberals may have an argument they also have a recourse. If they feel the 2nd amendment is no longer necessary they should repeal it. If their arguments are valid then they would be able to convince others of them.
The Judicial Path
Liberals are impatient however and are doing the worst thing they possibly can. Under no circumstances can the judiciary be allowed to interpret away the second amendment. Thankfully most Justices are sane and know this as well so the 2nd amendment has held up in court.
Since the second amendment is unpopular with half the population it becomes an easy target for judicial overreach. It even becomes a tempting one as it may improve the standing of the court with some people. The problem with this is the 2nd amendment is in the bill of rights. That is supposed to be the strongest guarantees you can have as an American Citizen. Once the court is allowed to interpret away your rights then all your guarantees are built on sand. At one point or another all amendments will enter a period where they will become unpopular. You could have a murderous religion emerge and put the first amendment in jeopardy. You could have a person who the public believed did not deserve a fair trial due to his crimes. Like Bill Clinton and his rapes for example and the right to a fair and speedy trial would be in question. If the court is allowed to interpret away one amendment then they have precedent to do away with the others as well. It is just a matter of time. That must not be allowed to happen.
Rights are hard to come by. We should not be so quick to sign away.