Second Amendment Upheld By Ninth Circuit As "Against A Degenerate And Tyrannical Government"Submitted by Daddy WarBucks on Wed, 04/22/2009 - 20:31
NORDYKE v. KING
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California
Martin J. Jenkins, District Judge, Presiding
Argued and Submitted
January 15, 2009—San Francisco, California
Filed April 20, 2009
GOULD, Circuit Judge, concurring:
I concur in Judge O’Scannlain’s opinion but write to elaborate my view of the policies underlying the selective incorporation decision. First, as Judge O’Scannlain has aptly explained, the rights secured by the Second Amendment are “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition,” and“necessary to the Anglo-American regime of ordered liberty.”
The salient policies underlying the protection of the right to bear arms are of inestimable importance. The right to bear arms is a bulwark against external invasion. We should not be overconfident that oceans on our east and west coasts alone can preserve security. We recently saw in the case of the terrorist attack on Mumbai that terrorists may enter a country covertly by ocean routes, landing in small craft and then assembling to wreak havoc. That we have a lawfully armed populace adds a measure of security for all of us and makes it less likely that a band of terrorists could make headway inan attack on any community before more professional forces arrived.
1 Second, the right to bear arms is a protection against the possibility that even our own government could degenerate into tyranny, and though this may seem unlikely, this possibility should be guarded against with individual diligence.
Third, while the Second Amendment thus stands as a protection against both external threat and internal tyranny, the recognition of the individual’s right in the Second Amendment, and its incorporation by the Due Process Clause against the states, is not inconsistent with the reasonable regulation of weaponry.
All weapons are not “arms” within the meaning of the Second Amendment, so, for example, no individual could sensibly argue that the Second Amendment gives them a right to have nuclear weapons or chemical weapons in their home for self-defense. Also, important governmental interests will justify reasonable regulation of rifles and handguns, and the problem for our courts will be to define, in the context of particular regulation by the states and municipalities, what is reasonable and permissible and what is unreasonable and offensive to the Second Amendment.