Ten Years After District of Columbia v. Heller, the Fight to Secure Second Amendment Rights Continues

Tuesday marked the 10-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s most significant pronouncement on the Second Amendment, District of Columbia v. Heller . That decision changed the terms of the debate over the right to keep and bear arms. Yet the battle to expand legal protection for the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans continues. Activists, including in the judiciary, had sought to convince Americans that the Second Amendment was a relic of history that had nothing to with individual rights — that it existed only to promote organized militias. These anti-freedom activists feared that if private individuals had judicially enforceable Second Amendment rights, their designs on outright firearm prohibitions would be jeopardized. Thus, they distorted law and history to promote a falsehood about the meaning of the Second Amendment. Heller should have put an end to their politically motivated chicanery, declaring unambiguously that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to the sorts of arms in common use for lawful purposes, without regard to service in an organized militia. A decade later, however, gun control activists – still abetted by statist judges on the lower courts – continue to press for the disarmament of the American public. As long as ordinary Americans still possess firearms, the fight to keep liberal elites from taking them will continue. It is not surprising that the same courts who once tried to write the Second Amendment’s individual right out of existence haven’t been quick to embrace the letter or spirit of Heller […]

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