Aaron Gardner is really doing a wonderful job highlighting Laurence Silberman's defense of the 2nd Amendment in RedHot -- and I hope he continues -- but I thought something else should be added here in the diaries so that comments could flow:
The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is *your* amendment just as much as the 1st or any of the other Amendments comprising the original Bill of Rights.
We're a society of laws, not men -- and it's important that when we apply the laws we understand why and how they were written. Silberman does a wonderful job of explaining that from a legal perspective and I hope A.G. continues his thread. Still, as important as that sometimes esoteric discussion is, the simple fact is that the 2nd Amendment relies today for its vitality on the citizens of the United States and how well they understand it: in other words, and very truthfully so: "YOU save the 2nd Amendment, each day."
I personally believe that every adult citizen of the United States should be armed -- yep, just like Switzerland. At the very least they should make sure that they carefully consider their right to be armed and appreciate it -- by becoming licensed in their state (if that's what's required) or by becoming a permit holder, or by taking a course and joining the NRA, or perhaps all of the above.
I live in Massachusetts, which is one of the most restrictive states in the USA when it comes to firearms licensing and regulation. Here in MA I hold a Class A Large Capacity License to Carry, and I'd be happy to help anyone who is interested in becoming licensed to carry, trained and capable of carrying one and being safe while doing so.
In the end, it's not just the people on the Supreme Court who decide whether or not the 2nd Amendment is something that applies to "ordinary citizens" -- it's the citizens themselves who do (it *was* a preexisting right), and that's why I'll open this thread up to questions that anyone might have. I'll also remind people of my last post about gun reviews, which you can find here.
Folks, it boils down to this: the 2nd Amendment is yours to keep, protect and defend. It's not a matter of luck that it's there in the Constitution, and when you exercise your rights under the 2nd Amendment, you are its most important representative in the 21st Century, so treat it with respect. It certainly isn't a foregone conclusion in the future, given the legislative and rhetorical shenanigans of the people who oppose it as an individual right, so it's up to you to defend it -- capably and safely.
It's almost unique among nations of the world right now, and I'm proud to say it's American. People in other countries envy the ability of our citizens to purchase and own and shoot firearms as it is defined in our Constitution. Please treat that with the respect it deserves, because in the end YOU are the people who keep and defend the 2nd Amendment.