Recently, the chief justice of the Supreme Court and a few other members of the court seem to have a problem understanding why many citizens now increasingly question its legitimacy.
Recently, the chief justice of the Supreme Court and a few other members of the court seem to have a problem understanding why many citizens now increasingly question its legitimacy. I happen to be one of the doubters. Let me explain one of my problems with the court.
The one issue I have selected is the majority’s views on the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment was adopted in 1791 when we were a young country surrounded by two major colonial powers, Britain and Spain. A national army was in a very early stage of being developed and military power was largely in states with military volunteers if the need arose to face a threat to our sovereignty. Individual weapons needed to be reloaded after being fired.
Currently, we have a substantial national military force to meet any outside threat. State forces, the National Guard, are mostly used to deal with the state and local emergencies. We have state and local police to deal with criminal and civil misbehavior. Yet we tolerate the sale and distribution of military-type weapons capable of literally firing an infinite number of rounds of bullets.
Why have we been unable to stem gun violence in this country? The court majority, presumably pro life, uses the Second Amendment to invalidate any serious proposal to regulate the sale and distribution of military-style weapons Yet we have witnessed the mass murder of children in their schools and adults in their churches, synagogues and community meetings. Over 100 people are killed daily and better than 300 shot on the average every day in this country. Tens of thousands die every year after being shot with these weapons.
What is more important to this court? They prefer to see the Second Amendment as ensuring an individual absolute freedom, “right to keep and bear arms.” The amendment is prefaced by the phrase “well regulated militia,” however, this Court refuses to apply this as a restraint. Yet all freedoms must be balanced with the need to protect society and individual security and safety. To put it plainly, we live in a country which has changed since the 18th century. We need to confront this issue now in a meaningful way. Another way of putting it, they need to insure RIGHT TO LIFE. Just as I was recording my feelings, three Connecticut policemen were shot, two of them were killed. It’s hard to believe that police can ensure our safety when the court forces them to confront a gun crazy society.
Philip E. McGovern