Supreme Court has spoken on Second Amendment

While I sympathize with a Jan. 21 letter writer’s interpretation of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, in the final analysis his take does not matter.

The U.S. Constitution provides for the U.S. Supreme Court to have the final say in interpreting the Constitution or any part thereof. The U.S. Supreme Court has spoken in the District of Columbia v. Heller case: The Second Amendment recognizes an individual right to keep and bear arms.

The high court also recognizes limits to this individual right. It states that only arms in “common use” are protected, as opposed to “dangerous and unusual weapons” such as “weapons that are most useful in military service – M-16 rifles and the like,” and that “felons and the mentally ill” may be denied this right.

The Heller opinion says that all arms may be prohibited in certain places – the examples given are schools and government buildings. It also allows for “laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

Anyone is free to disagree or even protest the Heller decision or any part thereof. But, according to the process as set forth in our Constitution, the decision is the final word. As with most or all appellate court opinions, the Heller case may well need further judicial refinement.

Joe Clarkson