U.S. vs Miller 1939
That court’s decision is apparently a malicious misinterpretation from a government seeking to dispossess you of the broader right.
The court’s ruling:
In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a ...[weapon] at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument.
The amendment was constructed specifically avoiding making the right to bear arms being predicated on the establishment of a militia, and, yet, the court’s interpretation requires exactly that. At the time, cannons, bombs, bomb shooting cannons, or repeater rifles were, perhaps, the most widely lethal arms, and, the founders envisioned no arm that a citizen should be restricted from (thus “shall not be infringed” without reference to type restrictions). Consequently, even from this ruling, this court should have no problem with the right to rocket launchers or automatic machine guns.
And, at the time the amendment was written, there existed weapons which might be deemed un-useful in a militia (flails, brass knuckles) – and yet, they were not provided as exceptions to the right to bear arms. Further, concealment of weapons was also possible at the time the amendment was written, and yet, no exception to the right to bear arms specifying against concealment was provided. If it was the intent to restrict the arms in type or manner, this would have been included in the amendment. If it was intended to predicate the right to bear arms on establishing a militia, this would have been how the amendment was written.
In other words, the 2nd amendment provides the right to bear arms without exception to type or manner.
And, let us consider what it means that the right is not predicated on militias. It means one or both of two things:
- the founders thought predicating the right on militias would give government the tyrannical power of limiting the right through that predication.
- there are other reasons besides a militia for the right.
And, in having read much from the founders, it is apparent that both of these things were the reasoning. The belief is that rights are given by God or Nature. And, specifically, the right to bear arms is the right to pose a threat to anyone/anything, (government, criminal, alligator) that would violate you.
And so, it is a right all the way down to needles and brass knuckles and all the way up to – well, that is to be determined, but at least cannons that shoot bombs and vessels that carry many of these such cannons.
At best, the gun grabbers can argue that the founders did not envision nukes, and thus, it is required in considering nukes that we consider the spirit of the amendment, and that spirit is of people power. And, nukes, arguably, are not a people power weapon. But, tanks are.
Now let’s consider the intent of the court’s ruling.
I can imagine scenarios where a sawn off shotgun would provide utility to a militia. But, the court is saying they need evidence towards the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, and without that evidence, the court can decide to dispossess you of the right for any particular class of arms.
So, clearly, the intent of the ruling is to subject the right to governments’ interpretation of what is needed for the efficiency of a government defined militia (for them to judge efficiency requires they also define what the militia is). This is a beautiful case of exactly what the founders were attempting to avoid with the amendment – the infringement of the rights of the people by a government gradually turning to tyranny.