Like the issue of abortion, the right of Americans to keep and bear arms is hotly contested. It has much to do about how the US Constitution should be interpreted — either as a “living document” where the judge decides how it ought to be understood today, or according to the “original intent” where the judge's job is to determine what the text means, studying the framers' original intent if necessary for further illumination. Liberals typically advocate for the first method, conservatives for the second.
An important ruling has just been made by one of the federal appellate courts.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia) ruled last week that an individual carrying concealed gives up essential Fourth Amendment rights under the presumption that since he is armed, he is also dangerous.
That ruling is dangerous, and shows how important the appointment of these judges really is.
Note the carefully nuanced wording of the decision.
The ruling issued on Monday, January 23, United States v. Robinson, reversed an earlier decision by the court’s three-judge panel, claiming that the Supreme Court, in two relevant decisions, concluded that “armed and dangerous” meant “armed and therefore dangerous” rather than “armed” as a fact and “dangerous” based on reasonable judgments surrounding the case.
That almost sounds like splitting hairs, but it illustrates how weighty matters can turn on what appear to be very small hinges. At issue here is whether a private citizen who is armed, whether legally or not, gives up some Fourth Amendment rights just by virtue of the fact of carrying a gun. The court answered that question in the affirmative.
This is not good news for law-abiding gun owners.
The court's decision is abominable because it signals out the possession of a possible deadly tool to lose one's constitutionally protected rights, and that's wrong. First, the Constitution protects both the Second and Fourth Amendments equally, and the Founders didn't put in wording allowing one to preempt the other. It is, in fact, pure sophistry, the rationalizing of breaking of the Constitution.
If the Fourth Circuit Court’s decision isn’t challenged and overturned, not only will those carrying concealed become second-class citizens and lose their Second and Fourth Amendment rights, they could also, during a simple traffic stop, lose their lives.
Will the US Supreme Court hear this case on appeal? Possibly, and if so, the importance of the decision will be profound.
Again, one of the reasons elections have consequences is because presidents nominate federal judges. President Trump is already off to a good start with his nominee to succeed the late Supreme Court Justice Scalia. Let's hope he keeps that up.
Source: The New American