The Individual Right to Bear arms.(EDITORIALS)

Article excerpt

Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

This week, Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson went before the U.S. Supreme Court and began making the federal government's case that the Second Amendment does, in fact, protect an individual right to keep and bear arms. "The current position of the United States," Mr. Olson wrote in briefs filed with the court, "is that the Second Amendment more broadly protects the rights of individuals, including persons who are not members of any state militia or engaged in active military service or training, to possess and bear their own firearms." (Italics added.)

Many people likely do not realize that the linchpin of gun-control efforts for decades has been the exact opposite of Mr. Olson's position - that the Second Amendment guarantees only the corporate right of "the militia," not private individuals unconnected to the armed forces, to keep and bear arms. Indeed, the government itself has taken that very position for years as well.

It is a patently ridiculous argument, however, that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right to keep and bear arms. To accept it, one must take the position that the Founding Fathers, who led a war against an oppressive government, endorsed disarming every citizen who wasn't somehow connected to "the militia," or another branch of the armed services - obvious historical evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. Most colonial Americans, as any school child knows, possessed firearms openly, even though most had little or nothing to do with any formal branch of the armed services or "militia. …