In case you live under a rock, or on another planet, here's the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution:
"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.”
Pretty simple, right? Look at the grammar:
Subject Clause: "the right"
Modifying subject prepositional phrases: "of the people", "to keep and bear arms"
Verb Clause: "shall not be infringed".
That's pretty straightforward: the right of the people shall not infringed. That's commonly referred to in libertarian circles as the "individual right" perspective.
In contrast, there are some who think the amendment applies to a militia or a group of people, and not single persons. That's commonly referred to in authoritarian circles as the "collective right" perspective. Libertarians commonly refer to it as "bullshit."
So what did the Supreme Court do today? Well, to hear the LameStream Media tell it, the Court upheld the individual right perspective.
And to some extents they did. Here's the first sentence of the actual holdings:
"1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home."
So far so good.
But, wait a minute, all is not as it seems. Note that was Section 1 of the holdings. Now, here's Section 2:
"2. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not 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. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons."
WTF is this?!? The Court in this section contradicts itself! "shall not be infringed" means exactly that: no infringements--no limitations. Yet here they say the right is not unlimited. It has infringements!
So, once again, in the tradition of Kelo and Raich, we have the Supreme Court engaging in Orwellian doublespeak: black is white, up is down, "public use" is "public purpose", "intra-state commerce" is "interstate commerce", and now, we can new to the list, "shall not be infringed" is "may be infringed". Is that bullshit or what?
Look at the list of allowed infringements:
Possession by felons. Considering that these days the legal defintion of a felon is much more than a hardened criminal who robs, rapes, or kills, this infringement is ridiculous. You want to keep them away from felons? Then fix what a felon actually is, and actually lock them up and throw away the keys!
Possession by the mentally ill. These days the definition of mentally ill has expanded more than the definition of a felon. Mental illness is not just for rubber-room candidates anymore, so this infringement is also ridiculous. Fix the definition to mean the criminally insane, lock them up, and throw away the keys!
Carrying in "sensitive" places. No, they don't mean with a cocked hammer in the front of your waistband. They mean schools ("think of the children!"), government buildings ("we must protect our oppressive bureaucrats from the public they piss off!"), airplanes ("pass the box cutters!"), and so on. In other words, the Killing Fields. Didn't 9/11, Virginia Tech, and Columbine teach them ANYTHING? (I leave out prisoners in prisons for obvious reasoning--they have forfeited this right in the first place!)
Conditions and Qualifications on commercial sales. This means FFLs, gun show loopholes, background checks, and all that meaningless garbage. Come over to my house later so we can ignore this crap while I buy your rifle.
Dangerous and unusual weapons. Well, the first term is redundant. Weapons are SUPPOSED to be dangerous! As for unusual, what's that? An XP-38 Space Modulator? A rocket launcher? A suitcase nuke? An angry Tazmanian Devil? The Airborne Laser? A Super Soaker, Wrist Rocket, Daisy BB gun, rubber band gun, or a paintball gun?
Note two things on this list: the Looney Tunes references in the infringements (but I repeat myself!), and the fact that criminals and terrorists can, do, and will ignore any and all of these infringements at will.
And there's one more infringement in Section 3. See it?
"3. The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. The District’s total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition—in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family, and property is most acute—would fail constitutional muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional. Because Heller conceded at oral argument that the D. C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily and capriciously, the Court assumes that a license will satisfy his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement. "
Yep, the licensing part. The Court naively assumes that a license is not an infringement, mainly because Heller wimped out on that point at oral arguments, which outraged those of us who believe in RKBA. Police departments in general don't like to grant licenses or CCW permits because they mistakenly think only their guys should be the armed ones--never mind that that mentality fosters an attitude of arrogance, corruption, and brutality, and greatly improves one's chances of suicide-by-cop.
But the Court in Section 3 also pointed out two other things.
First, that the trigger lock and disassembly requirements are unconstitutional, because in that state the purpose of self-defense cannot be fulfilled. They got that one right. No criminal is going to wait for you to assemble and load your gun, and no criminal is going to wait for you figure out how to get off the trigger lock. In those cases, you're dead because you couldn't defend yourself (unless you beat the crap out of the criminal with the locked-up gun or gun parts!).
Second, they pointed out that a total ban on handguns is a prohibition on a class of arms, and that fails constitutional muster. That also means banning any other class of arms is also unconstitutional by extension. Note this contradicts part of the infringements listed as OK above for "dangerous and unusual weapons"! This includes machine guns, so-called assault rifles, and so on. Yep, the machine gun ban is lifted by implication.
So this ruling is not what it is claimed to be.
Yes, the Second Amendment is officially an individual right.
No, it can be infringed, despite the plain wording.
Yes, the Supreme Court are a bunch of hypocritical fools. They refer to the plain language on one hand when referring to the individual right part, but then turn around and ignore it when looking at "shall not be infringed."
So, once again, the Supreme Court screwed up. What they should have ruled was this:
"The Second Amendment says that individuals have the right to keep and bear arms, without any restriction by government. But that right also includes the right to self-defense, so if you are packing and start shooting up the joint, you better hope your insurance is paid up, because your life will quickly end by return fire. Learn to shoot straight and accurate and for crying out loud, if you feel depressed, angry, frustrated, homicidal, suicidal, or just ready to snap, be responsible, put the gun away and get some help!"
Section 2 is a travesty. Shame on the Court for being unable to read plain English.
We are back to the age-old question: "What part of 'shall not be infringed' don't you understand???"
P.S. The Incorporation Cluse of the 14th Amendment makes this apply to the states as well. This makes perfect sense since a state cannot deny a Constitutional right anyway.