From a NYTimes editorial today:
When the Supreme Court struck down a ban on handguns by the District of Columbia in 2008, ruling that there is a constitutional right to keep a loaded handgun at home for self-defense, the decision was enormously controversial in the legal world...
The text of the Second Amendment creates no right to private possession of guns, but Justice Antonin Scalia found one in legal history for himself and the other four conservatives. He said the right is not outmoded even “in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem.”
It is not just liberals who have lambasted the ruling, but some prominent conservatives like Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The majority, he wrote, “read an ambiguous constitutional provision as creating a substantive right that the Court had never acknowledged in the more than two hundred years since the amendment’s enactment. The majority then used that same right to strike down a law passed by elected officials acting, rightly or wrongly, to preserve the safety of the citizenry.” He said the court undermined “conservative jurisprudence.”
Oh how conservatives hate activist judges,' except when one of those judges is their own, and no judge currently on the Supreme Court has been more activist than Scalia (or more overtly partisan).
But it is important to note that even Scalia and his band of four other activist judges who concurred with him added,
“Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.”
Oh my! Read on,
"...nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms” —“prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons.’ ”
Dangerous, like the Bushmaster semi-automatic with high capacity clips that Adam Lanza used to pump as many as 11 rounds into 20 1st graders last Friday? What possible realistic use do semi-automatic firearms with high capacity clips like that have in society? Hunting? Not really. Self-defence? There are much better choices. So why does society allow them to be purchased and stored at home with no restrictions? Because the NRA and gun nuts told us that gun owners are law abiding and responsible. Thousands of innocent shooting victims murdered this year alone might beg to differ...if they were still alive to testify.