Letter: Andrew Chesney misrepresents gun law history

Gun Rights

I’m disappointed that Andrew Chesney attempts to make his point about gun laws by misrepresenting history in his My View of May 24 (“It’s not about your guns; it’s about your rights”). The Supreme Court has not “continually upheld this is an individual right and completely overturned all attempts at infringement on this Right.” The Second Amendment starts with the words “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” Courts for over 200 years knew that “well-regulated militia” meant something. The Supreme Court only modified this view in 2008 in District of Columbia versus Heller, by a 5-4 vote. Even that decision says the right is not unlimited and can be regulated. To imply that this is the way the Second Amendment has always been interpreted is contrary to history. Even constitutional originalists used to know this. “I’m not an expert on the Second Amendment,” Judge Robert Bork said in 1989, “but its intent was to guarantee the right of states to form militia, not for individuals to bear arms.” Chesney is entitled to his opinion, but he shouldn’t support it with inaccurate historical claims. — Diane Neal, Freeport

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