Guns are an individual right

So saith the Supreme Court:

OKAY, having quickly skimmed the McDonald opinion, a few thoughts.

First, it’s 5-4. Though a pro-gun-rights opinion may pacify the gun-rights crowd to a degree, the closeness of these decisions is likely to keep them active in upcoming elections.

Second, it shows how little influence legal academics have. Virtually all of us have been saying that Slaughter House is lousy and that privileges and immunities should be far more significant, but only Justice Thomas was willing to go that far.

Third, it really is interesting how much emphasis the majority, and Justice Thomas’s concurrence, put on the racist roots of gun control. See this article and this one by Bob Cottrol and Ray Diamond for more background. And isn’t it interesting that this is happening on the same day the Senate’s last Klansman went to his reward?

On the one hand, I am all for whatever puts more guns in the hands of individuals. Or tactical nukes, for that matter. I will never understand why people who understand the many and manifest evils of the DMV think that only government employees should have weapons of mass destruction. Today’s decision didn’t go nearly far enough to return the many laws of the land on the matter to a reasonably Constitutional state.

On the other, I am opposed to increased federalization even in a good cause. Although since the States haven’t been sovereign since the political debate was settled by mass slaughter, I suppose it’s a bit late to worry about that now. And since the federal government isn’t about to stop ruling over the state and local governments with an iron hand, this is a better decision than the most likely alternative.

And much respect to the liberal law professors whose intellectual integrity played a major role in this case. Remember them when you find yourself tempted to think all liberals are inconsistent and hypocritical charlatans. Integrity and honesty are not part of the political spectrum.

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