Thursday, June 26, 2008

Score One for the Gun Guys

Today's Supreme Court decision striking down the Washington, D.C. handgun ban, in a 5-4 ruling, and affirming so-called Second Amendment rights was predictable, and comes as no surprise. While the dissent, and dissenters, on the court were formidable, there was no wiggle room .

Now if only the court were to defend the First Amendment, and expand the scope of their ruling on child rape to make capital punishment unconstitutional insofar as it violates the Eighth Amendment injunction against "cruel and unusual punishment."

Some historical perspective is in order, too, as some on the bench have suggested. The Second Amendment is part of a Constitution that was written in the years following the Revolutionary War when the framers were accustomed to living with the constant fear of what we would characterize today as the "insurgency." Times have changed, indeed. Now those who resist occupation, and defend human rights, have come to be seen as insurgents, and weapons themselves far outnumber those who use them.

While the gun lobby may crack open that bottle of champagne, this is a victory that thrives in theory, but one that can only be condemned in practice.

The gravest threat to a generation of youngsters of color in our inner cities has just won the good housekeeping stamp of approval from the highest court in the land. And, while poverty, disease, and ignorance are precarious, there is nothing more dangerous than a handgun, or firearm, in the wrong hands.

Senator Obama is on the mark when he suggests that the right to bear arms doesn't mean the right to do so without limitation, and oversight required to protect the community at large, as well as inner city youth who are rapidly joining the endangered species list.