Second Amendment grammar -- the Framers parsed it one way, but will the Supreme Court agree with their analysis?
debaron at UIUC.EDU
Mon Mar 17 01:45:50 UTC 2008
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Second Amendment grammar -- the Framers parsed it one way, but will
the Supreme Court agree with their analysis?
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments this week in a case
that could decide whether the Second Amendment – the one about the
right to bear arms – permits or prohibits gun control.
In 2003, Dick Heller and five other plaintiffs challenged Washington,
D.C.’s, tough gun control law, claiming that its ban on handguns
violated their Second Amendment right to tote a gun. Last Spring, the
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld
Heller’s claim. The Supreme Court then agreed to hear D.C’s appeal of
the Heller case.
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states,
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
One of the points at issue in the Heller case is whether the right to
bear arms is related directly to service in a militia, or whether
it’s an individual right conferred on every American. Opponents of
gun control favor an individual rights reading, ignoring or
minimizing the militia’s presence in the Second Amendment.
But according to the grammar lessons that the Framers would have
learned, the sentence structure of the Second Amendment binds the
right to bear arms to service in the militia.
Want to know more about guns and grammar? Read the rest at the Web
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University of Illinois
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