Thursday, June 26, 2008

Words and Guns

Many commentators, not liking the outcome, will criticize the Supreme Court's decision today in D.C. v. Heller, without bothering to read it. That is unfortunate, as the opinion, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, is a tour de force.

Justice Scalia provides a careful grammatical and historical analysis of the language of the Second Amendment, an approach that provides credence to the commendation by a close personal friend, who responded to reports of the ruling by exclaiming, "The Supreme Court can finally read plain English."

I pointed out that five of its members can, anyway.

Actually, they all read English quite well, but Justice Stephens' dissent reads like a conclusion in desperate search of an argument. In that regard, it typifies the judicial approach of the activist left. For those who think that the right to own guns makes for dangerous policy, there is the option of seeking to amend the Constitution. Short of that, words do mean something, and for those who can both read and value the fact that we live under a government of laws and not of men, it should surely be recognized that the Court decided rightly.

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