With President Obama and the National Rifle Association trading accusations, it seems like a good time to look into the real facts about the Second Amendment. What exactly did the U.S. Supreme Court say when it ruled on the right to own a firearm?
The justices said there is an individual right to own a gun, separate from any service in a militia. They also said the Second Amendment applies to the states, just as it applies to the federal government.
That's not as clear-cut as it sounds, though. A state law that restricts firearm ownership might still be constitutional, if the state can convince five justices on the Supreme Court that there is a compelling reason for the law, that it's necessary, and that it's narrowly tailored for the purpose. It's a very subjective test that the Court invented to get around the fact that the entire Bill of Rights was intended to apply only to the federal government, and not at all to the states.
Hard to believe, but true.
If you'd like to read more about the Court's decisions on the Second Amendment, download "How the First Amendment Came to Protect Topless Dancing," which is free on Amazon.com all day on Thursday, January 17. You can download a free Kindle reading app for your computer or other device here.