New York Times Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak has thrown
new light on the long-simmering battle over the Second Amendment's true meaning
and import in a fascinating October 21 front-page piece. Liptak, who deftly
took over the Times' Supreme Court coverage from the recently-retired and much
respected Linda Greenhouse, points out that the text is anything but crystal
clear: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free
state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
I’m old enough to have concluded, not so long ago, that I probably would not live to see Americans elect a truy reflexive – yet thoughtful – civil libertarian as President. I had hoped that Bill Clinton would be such a President, at least until he actually moved into the White House. Just his act of signing the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) (summary here) was enough to sober me up.
By Wendy Kaminer
“A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”1939 ruling
These are among the most disputed words in the U.S. Constitution. People who support gun control, or prohibition, generally argue that the Second Amendment conditions the right to bear arms on service in a state militia, merely establishing a “collective” right.