The ACLU has long refused to acknowledge an individual right to bear arms, insisting on a narrow, collective-militia-rights interpretation of the Second Amendment. That’s unprincipled. It’s not unprincipled because the collective rights interpretation is self-evidently stupid or dishonest; that interpretation is a perfectly arguable, though wrong. The ACLU’s position is unprincipled because it bills itself as a defender of individual rights and has consistently taken the most pro-individual-right position possible in interpreting the rest of the Bill of Rights. Their flat declaration that ‘in our view, neither the possession of guns nor the regulation of guns raises a civil liberties issue’ is inconsistent and unconvincing.
I agree with Popehat on this one (and I bet that my occasional guest blawger and former superstar student Jon Blevins will post a concurring comment in less than 45 seconds).
I’m a member of both the ACLU and the NRA — which means that I am not welcome in either group. As much as I dislike the NRA’s stance on everything except the Second Amendment, and as much as I wish that the ACLU would drop its Affirmative Action cheerleading (leave it to other groups), I love the Constitution. If it takes two membership fees per year to protect the entire Bill of Rights, so be it.
However, if I lived in Nevada, I wouldn’t need to waste my money supporting the Charlton Heston branch of Scientology. The Silver State’s ACLU gets that Civil Liberties equals the whole Bill of Rights, not just the parts that hippies like.
In light of the United States Supreme Court’s decision concerning the D.C. handgun ban (District of Columbia v. Heller) the ACLU of Nevada considers it important to clearly state its position regarding the right to bear arms. The Nevada ACLU respects the individual’s right to bear arms subject to constitutionally permissible regulations. The ACLU of Nevada will defend this right as it defends other constitutional rights. This policy was formulated by our afilliate Board in light of both the U.S. Constitution and the clearly-stated individual right to bear arms as set out in the Nevada Constitution’s Declaration of Rights.
Unless you live in Nevada, I don’t understand how you can support the ACLU and not the NRA (and vice versa). I think that the two groups should merge. Think about it. We could drive all the religious nuts out of the NRA, and for fun, we could hunt and eat the hippies! Yaay!
By the way, welcome to the blogroll, Popehat!