Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Second Amendment - New York Times Letter

The folks on the New York Times Editorial Board usually get it right, but they missed one last week in their criticism of the decision from the Federal Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit finding that the Second Amendment protects an individual right. As I said in a previous blog posting, and again in a letter to the New York Times published yesterday:

"To the Editor:
Much of the recent serious legal scholarship from both right- and left-leaning commentators, including Laurence H. Tribe, now concludes that the Second Amendment was intended to protect an individual right.

Instead of angst, the decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit should be cause for celebration for all who treasure freedom, even those deeply concerned about gun violence.

Nothing prevents the strict regulation of firearms; other individual rights are properly subject to government regulation (though never prohibition), such as the First Amendment freedom of speech.

A faithful reading of the Constitution does not allow us to pick and choose from among rights we like or dislike, and we bolster our claim on other enumerated and unenumerated rights (for example, the right to privacy) when we adopt an expansive view of liberty.

Michael Anthony Lawrence
East Lansing, Mich., March 14, 2007
The writer is a professor at Michigan State University College of Law."