Armed with the Truth

By Fred Thompson

If you care about Constitutional law, and everybody should, the big news is that it looks as if the Supreme Court is going to hear a Second Amendment case some time next year. The event that sparked this legal fuse was a case brought by six D.C. residents who simply wanted functional firearms in their homes for self-defense. In response, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down the District's 31-year-old gun ban -- one of the strictest in the nation.

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Our individual right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, may finally be confirmed by the high court; but this means that we're going to see increasing pressure on the Supreme Court from anti-gun rights activists who want the Constitution reinterpreted to fit their prejudices. The New York Times has already fired the first broadside.

A few days ago, the Gray Lady published a fascinating account of the case -- fascinating but fundamentally flawed. In it, the central argument about the Second Amendment is pretty accurately described. Specifically, it is between those who see it as an individual right versus those who see it as a collective states' right having more to do with the National Guard than the people.

Unfortunately, the article falsely portrays the individual right argument as some new interpretation held only by a few fringe theorists. The truth is very different, as civil rights attorney and gun law expert Don Kates has pointed out recently.

Click here to read the entire op-ed from former U.S. Senator, actor and potential Republican Presidential candidate Fred Thompson. His commentaries, "The Fred Thompson Report," can be heard on the ABC Radio network.

Related Stories:

Washington Post, May 17, 2007: Gun Ban Ruling Puts Fenty on the Spot - Going to High Court Would Be Risky

    Joshua Horwitz, executive director of the D.C. based Coalition to Stop
    Gun Violence. "Despite all the rhetoric about 'We're taking this all the way to the Supreme Court,' you have to really think this one through.

    ...Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, was
    quite direct: "We're very concerned about this case because if it's
    allowed to stand, and if it becomes the law of the land, it places in
    jeopardy just about every other gun law you can think of."

    But Helmke also said: "The D.C. law is an easy one to shoot at.
    Factually, it's a tougher one to get behind and defend. Background
    checks and assault weapons ban -- you can defend all day long. . . . Why is this the one we're going to be taking up to the Supremes?"

Op-Ed: Signs of Intelligence?

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Might there be a pro-gun GOP Presidential contender after all?

Report: Congress Urged to Move Carefully on DC Gun Ban

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