The right to bear arms
One of the most contentious issues in American society today has to be the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms. This is literally a life-and-death problem, so we've discussed this issue several times before.
The issue, as I'm sure you know, is that the Second Amendment provides for the right to keep and bear arms as part of a sanctioned militia for protection of the country, and for personal protection. These concepts were honorably developed by our forefathers to deal with circumstances as they existed at the time of the writing.
Times have changed
Times have changed. Society has become immeasurably more complex. The English language has become more complex and nuanced, so what passed for clear and understandable text then can often not make a lot of sense now. Ideally, a group of ongoing forefathers would be working on a continual basis to keep the language current and relevant.
We've delegated that to the Judicial Branch court system, which honors both tradition and progress at the same time. At this particular junction in history, the Judicial Branch has four traditionalists and four progressives on the Supreme Court, so they are often crippled with respect to how to deal with issues like this.
The Legislative Branch has frankly not behaved honorably in response to firearm deaths in the country, even when those deaths involve children. The Legislative Branch has not behaved honorably even when the shootings involve the deaths of innocent churchgoers in a circumstance that was clearly racist. The response to these and other gun violence incidents across the country always results in complete legislative silence--to our great shame.
The Executive Branch actions dealing with gun violence have been mixed. At the federal level, numerous Executive Orders have been issued in an effort to protect our citizens.
Conversely, states such as Texas are allowing 21-year-old children to carry concealed weapons in college classrooms -- presumably so that students can shoot teachers that give them a poor grade (no other explanation makes any sense). So it's a mixed bag.
So for those of us who feel that human life is more important than the right to carry a gun in public, and that mass shootings and gun deaths in general violate the Declaration of Independence mandate of right to life, then the news coming out of the 9th Circuit Court is REALLY good news.
The decision, in essence, states: A ... federal appeals court in California ruled Thursday that there is no constitutional right to carry a concealed handgun. This essentially ends the debate, in legal terms, regarding various divided rulings in the lower courts on gun rights outside the home. The interesting features of this ruling are that it is both established upon and sets precedence; that due to the level of the court, only the Supreme Court could overrule it; and that this ruling could be used as precedent in challenges to laws such as the one in Texas.
It's complicated. It's incomplete and clearly far from over. But for those of us who value the sanctity of life over rights to carry deadly weapons for no good reason, then this decision cannot be seen as anything other than a victory.
I'm celebrating. Please join me.