Gun Quotes : Individual Right
A recent distraction is, "before the NRA got to it, the 2nd Amendment wasn’t an individual right". That somehow this a right of the people (plural: meaning the collective), and thus not of individuals, thus the people can regulate it away. (The milia is "us", so "we" can say that "you’re" not the militia as an individual, and thus you don’t need your gun). However, six relevant Supreme Court decisions have recognized that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual's right to keep and bear arms, not a collective one. There aren't really collective rights enumerated in the Constitution.
The problem is pesky history: the reason the bill of rights was created is because in the ratification of the Constitution there was fighting over the wording of the enumerated rights of individuals. So they agreed to ratify the constitution AND get the bill of rights to enumerate what the individual rights were. So the whole reason why the Bill of Rights (including the 2nd) was written was to protect the individuals rights from the government. The Framers understood the concept of a "right" to apply ONLY to individuals.
There was never any discussion about collective rights, there has never been any historical, legal or linguistically evidence that they were written to mean: “all these are individuals rights, except for the 2nd”. And if you claim that the Bill of Rights are not individual rights, then your right to free speech, protections from illegal search and seizure, are also dependent on the public whims of the collective. So while it’s popular to try to teach the "collective rights” fallacy in Colleges and places of lower learning, no Supreme Court decision has ever held a right to be “a collective right”. And you don’t have to take my word for it, there are multiple quotes, legal (Supreme Court) rulings, and the words of the authors and experts:
The wording in the state ratification conventions (for the Constitution) fought to declare the 2nd Amendment even more explicitly:
- New Hampshire wanted it to read, "Congress shall never disarm any Citizen unless such as are or have been in Actual Rebellion."
- Massachusetts wanted to read, "be never construed...to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable, from keeping their own arms.”
- Pennsylvania wanted the Constitution to state, "that the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and their own State, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals."
None of the states were looking to water it down, or clarify that it only applied to Militia's. (In fact, adding Militia clause was meant to strengthen it, in stated that it applied to more than just hunting and explicitly to defense against governments).