District of Columbia vs. Heller?

Okay, so I'm trying to do some work for my government class, and I'm doing pretty good. However, part of the last question has stumped me. In two well developed paragraphs, I must explain the significance of the Supreme Court case District of Columbia vs. Heller, and also explain how it relates to federalism.

I have done a pretty good job about telling it's significance and explaining the case itself. In short, it was a landmark case over Second Amendment rights, and gave individual citizens the right to carry weapons not related to a military or militia and use them for lawful purposes such as self-defense. However, I can't for the life of me get a good idea how it relates to federalism. I would look it up, but my class doesn't exactly have a text book per se (it's more of a guide, and can be difficult to read some times).

I'm not asking anyone to do this for me, but if anyone could just give a quick point of how the case relates to federalism, or even just a quick nudge in the right direction, it would be much appreciated.

4 Answers

  • tom
    Lv 6
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The problem is you have got the case wrong.

    It did not say that individuals could carry weapons not related to the military or the militia at all.

    You have to look more closely at what it really says.

    The second amendment is in two parts. The right to keep arms and the right to bear arms.

    Not the right to keep arms is simple, the right to own weapons. yes, this is not related to being in the militia. The simple reason for this is that the founding fathers did not want the federal govt to be able to take arms away from the militia, so they made sure the militia had a ready supply, and an untouchable supply, of weapons. So individuals could own weapons without needing to be in the militia.

    The reality is the 2A like all other amendments is a LIMIT of the federal govt. It doesn't actually allow individuals to own arms. It actually prevents the federal govt from stopping any individual owning arms. Different, sort of the same but the reality is that it does make a difference.

    The right exists, so they say, but the 2A merely protects the right.

    The problem is with the right to bear arms. I've just written another post about http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/... this website which shows you that "bear arms" is synomymous with "render military service" and "militia duty"

    The right to bear arms is the right to be in the militia. It is not, and never has been, the right to carry arms, the right to hunt, the right to watch TV, the right to play baseball or any other right.

    Let's make it simple. "Guns don't kill people, people do". So if you have a militia which has its arms protected, you also need to protect the personnel so they can use these arms. The bear arms clause protects the militia's personnel.

    Let's read what the case says.

    "(1) The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home."

    The language says the right to possess a firearm. That is the right to keep arms. And to use them for lawful purposes. I mean, they are "lawful", that means that they do not break the law. if something becomes "unlawful" then it is not protected. It doesn't mean much other than if you are legally allowed to do it, you can do it. Pointing out the obvious.

    "(2) Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose:"

    Oh, so it's limited. Of course it is, pointing out the obvious.

    "For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues."

    This is the court upholding carry and conceal. Imagine the 2A protects the right to carry arms (because people say "bear" means "carry" in this sense) then carry and conceal would be UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Yet the court says its not.

    So all those people who think that the 2A actually protects the right to carry a weapon need to read this closer, it doesn't say that, it says the EXACT OPPOSITE.

    How does this relate to federalism? It is a LIMIT on federalism.

    The checks and balances that exist within federalism to weaken its power, like the president having to sign bills made by Congress, or the Senate appointing Supreme Court Justices etc.

    This is the ULTIMATE check and balance, when all else has failed, you have the militia, a militia with a ready supply of weapons and personnel protected.

    I'd also say this case leads on to McDonald v. Chicago (2010) which then applied this to the states, INCREASING federalism. Without the first case, the second case might not have been heard.

  • ?
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Columbia Vs Heller

  • lappin
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Dc Vs Heller

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago


    Youtube thumbnail

    Everything you need to know about D.C. v. Heller

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