Joined: Jan. 2006
Did you read the ACLU material at the link? They make what I consider a fairly good point - that the NRA (whatever they may believe; I don't know if I exaggerated their beliefs or not) in practice concedes that some level of arms regulation is reasonable. The ACLU then claims that this being the case, the debate only revolves around what degree of regulation we as a people consider reasonable. I got the distinct impression that the ACLU believes that if we as a people decide that "reasonable regulation" means outlawing all private ownership *except* when a State has called up and armed an active militia, the 2nd Amendment is still not violated.
To me, this degree of flexibility renders the 2nd Amendment pretty meaningless.
Yes, we're aware that in the 18th century, living in sometimes hostile conditions and with hunting for food a common necessity (as well as defense against animals, etc.) gun ownership was as much a necessity (and thus taken for granted) as vehicle ownership is today. I'm not personally convinced that 18th century SOP should in all circumstances be regarded as today's ideal model.
I'm not persuaded myself that an armed citizenry presents any serious obstacle to a national military force, so I agree with the ACLU in that. I'm personally not opposed to "reasonable regulation" so long as all serious voices get a say in what's reasonable. To me, personal arms are for hunting, collecting, recreation, and self-defense. My own collection of about a dozen guns fall into all but the hunting category; my wife competes in shooting contests, we both carry everywhere we can. If our own activities became too difficult, we'd probably join the forces of the gun-nuts ourselves.
But I see the outcome of the suit you spoke of (I hadn't heard anything about that) as reasonable. They had no good cause to confiscate guns, and the court agreed. Presumably, next time it won't happen. This is the kind of "reasonable regulation taking its course" I spoke about. Sounds reasonable to me.