October 15, 2012
THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS (SORT OF): Liberal Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens tells an anti-gun audience at the Brady Center that the Second Amendment “right of the people to keep and bear arms” may indeed be infringed, so long as the “arms” being borne aren’t weapons typically possessed for unlawful purposes, such as fully automatic weapons or short-barreled shotguns. In a shockingly snarky moment, Justice Stevens demeaned the recognition of a right to bear arms for self-defense purposes (the essence of the right recognized by a majority of the Court in District of Columbia v. Heller), to the progressive crowd’s approving laughter:
Maybe you have some kind of constitutional right to have a cell phone with a pre-dialed 911 in the number at your bedside and that might provide you with a little better protection than a gun which you’re not used to using.
Ironically, it would be the “living” constitutionalists on the Court–such as Stevens–who would feel free to interpret the word “arms” in the Second Amendment to encompass “cell phones.” Because after all, words–even constitutional words–are infinitely capacious.