Posted by: Jay | March 12, 2008

ACLU – 2nd Amendment

It’s funny. I was looking at the NRA page where there are links to all of the organizations, foundations, associations, etc. have filed their amicus briefs in support of Heller or DC and noticed that the ACLU hasn’t gotten involved.

So I searched and got to the ACLU’s website. While I was not all that surprised to find the ACLU sees the second amendment as a collective right, I do find their reasoning to be similar to that used by the Brady Campaign and the Violence Policy Center. For example:

We believe that the Constitution contains no barriers to reasonable regulations of gun ownership. If we can license and register cars, we can license and register guns.

There are many vehicles that do not need to be registered, nor is a license necessary to drive them, depending upon which state you’re in. Most states also exclude vehicles like snow mobiles and ATV’s from being registered, so this is a bogus argument. (Update: In addition to what I said, Flashman points out that there is constitutional right to own and drive a car. It’s a stupid analogy.)

Most opponents of gun control concede that the Second Amendment certainly does not guarantee an individual’s right to own bazookas, missiles or nuclear warheads. Yet these, like rifles, pistols and even submachine guns, are arms.

Another bogus argument. No right protected under the constitution is absolute. There should however, be a strict test for the government to enact certain gun laws. There must be a compelling interest on the part of the state to enact a gun law which may otherwise deny a citizen the protection of his rights under the second amendment. However, bans like the one in DC and laws that give discretion to officials (police chiefs) as to who gets a permit to own or carry a gun (and often which is classist and racist), have no compelling state interest.

Such viewpoints coming from the ACLU make me openly question their supposed interest in defending constitutional rights. If their view is that the second amendment only protects the right of the state to maintain a militia, then how can they possibly square that with the first and fourth amendment? In addition, the tenth amendment makes a clear distinction between “the states” and “the people.”



  1. You’d think the ACLU would realize that there’s no constitutional amendment guaranteeing a right to own a car and drive. Very poor analogy.

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