Conservative Defense of the Second Amendment Falls Short: Needs-Based Defense No Longer Sufficient to Preserve Citizens’ Right to Self-Defense

Conservative Defense of the Second Amendment Falls Short: Needs-Based Defense No Longer Sufficient to Preserve Citizens’ Right to Self-Defense

The Second Amendment stands at a critical crossroad in America. The future of gun rights in America will likely be decided not decades from now, but within the next few years. It is imperative that conservatives, in particular, who historically have been strongly supportive of the right to keep and bear arms, understand not just the practical benefits to our society from a robust Second Amendment, but the philosophical foundations of gun rights as premised on the protection of our God-given, natural rights. Only with this well-armed, well-rounded expertise will supporters of the Second Amendment be properly equipped to mount a successful defense of such rights that increasingly are in danger from activists and politicians of all stripes and at all levels. An Overview A primary reason why America is at such a pivotal point with gun rights is the inaction of the United States Supreme Court. Since its first major Second Amendment case of the modern era in 1939,1 the Supreme Court waited more than 70 years before substantively addressing the scope of the Amendment. In 2008, the Court issued a striking, albeit limited, victory for the right to keep and bear arms when, in District of Columbia v. Heller ,2 by a bare majority, it held that the Second Amendment in fact protects an individual right, striking down a District law banning the possession of operable firearms in the home. The Court expanded on its Heller decision two years later in McDonald v. Chicago ,3 applying its […]

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