Monday, December 03, 2007

A Law Professor and I Agree on Predictions Only

Where do I apply to become a law professor? Here’s what University of Chicago law professor Cass Sunstein had to say about the pending Heller decision:

“This spring, the Supreme Court will probably issue its first major ruling on the Second Amendment. Here's a prediction: Dominated as it is by Republican appointees, the court will adopt the individual-rights interpretation.…

At the same time, the court will recognize that reasonable restrictions are permissible - and thus will energize, rather than end, the national discussion about the regulation of guns.”
I said this about two weeks ago:

“I predict though that the Court will support an individual right to own firearms and I think that it won't be all that close (maybe 6-3 for instance). The reason it won't be close: the Court will add language like "...subject to reasonable regulation for public safety..." or some such wording. Anti-gun justices will see how useful such language will be.

Then, it will be off to the races to write laws that allow individual ownership while still infringing on our rights to keep and bear arms.”
Sunstein came to his conclusion from the opposite side of gun freedom. He doesn’t like the idea that the Supreme Court may very well agree that there is an individual right to own guns. However, we came to the same conclusion that the Court decision will likely include "reasonable" restrictions.

I can’t speak for Sunstein, but for me, the government will never give up its ability to regulate guns. It may agree that we can own them, but it will always try to determine what kinds of guns may be owned, how guns will be stored, when and where they may be used, what types of people may own guns, and so much more.

In fact, I believe that if the Bradyites and their partners had long ago agreed that gun ownership was an individual right, by now we would all be able to own only single-shot rifles, double-barrelled shotguns, and the only handguns would be Olympic-style free pistols.

If we do win the Court battle, we can never let our guard down.

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