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Reason Alert: Gun Rights, Drew Carey on Free Trade

June 27, 2008

What's Next for Gun Rights?
Reason magazine asked several leading civil libertarians to weigh-in on the Supreme Court's Heller decision upholding the individual right to bear arms, and where we go from here. Here's a sampling:

Randy Barnett, professor at Georgetown University Law Center: "Justice Scalia's historic opinion will be studied for years to come, not only for its conclusion but for its method. It is the clearest, most careful interpretation of the meaning of the Constitution ever to be adopted by a majority of the Supreme Court. Its analysis of the 'original public meaning' of the Second Amendment stands in sharp contrast with Justice Stevens' inquiry into 'original intent' or purpose and with Justice Breyer's willingness to balance an enumerated constitutional right against what some consider a pressing need to prohibit its exercise. The differing methods of interpretation employed by the majority and the dissent also demonstrate why appointments to the Supreme Court are so important. In the future, we should be vetting Supreme Court nominees to see if they understand how Justice Scalia reasoned in Heller and if they are committed to doing the same."

Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit and a law professor at the University of Tennessee: "My first thought on Heller is that many gun-rights supporters never thought they'd live to see a Supreme Court opinion to the effect that 'The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.' Bob Levy, who brought the case against the advice of many gun-rights supporters, should feel very good about that. My second thought is that this is a gift to the Obama campaign. While this won't take the gun issue off the table, it also won't energize the gun-rights crowd (which cost Al Gore the election in 2000 when he failed to carry Tennessee, largely because of his support for gun control) the way a contrary opinion would have."

Reason magazine's Brian Doherty: "Heller represents no happy ending to our legal and public policy duels over guns. Scalia's opinion does admit that we do have a constitutionally protected right to some degree to defend ourselves and our property with weapons. But the opinion also stresses that right is still regulatable in many, many ways. It leaves plenty of room (which you can be sure will be filled rapidly) for future court challenges and public policy fights to define the degree to which the government, at any level, can restrict or regulate the sale, possession, and use of weapons. It may well turn out that anything less severe than D.C.'s total ban will withstand scrutiny even under the newly revived Second Amendment."

For more from Alan Gura, who argued Heller before the Supreme Court, Reason magazine's Jacob Sullum, University of Texas Law Professor Sanford Levinson, and Dave Kopel, please click here.
Related:
» Brian Doherty Op-Ed in Today's LA Times: Gun-Rights Battle Isn't Over

Drew Carey on Trade and Technology
Reason.tv host Drew Carey says the political discussion over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been boiled down - incorrectly - to "all those Mexicans taking our jobs." Carey says the current dialogue about trade and jobs completely ignores the role technology plays in increasing productivity and creating new jobs. Companies like Google have created entire industries that didn't exist a decade ago. As manufacturing jobs in Ohio and Michigan disappear, new tech jobs emerge in other states. While CNN's Lou Dobbs and other pundits regularly complain that American companies are "selling us out for cheap, foreign labor," they don't complain that technology is putting workers out of business. We can now plan and book our vacations online, without travel agents. We can buy movie tickets without going to the theater's cashiers. And today's toll roads use electronic transponders, not toll booth cashiers. Should America stop seeking technological advances? "It's easy to stand in an empty factory and blame NAFTA and Mexico," Carey says in the Reason.tv video. "But free trade is a lot like technology: it lowers the price of things for consumers, expands markets for businesses, and provides jobs…Maybe someday we'll realize that, like technology, trade gives us more good stuff than bad."
» Archive of Drew Carey's Reason.tv Videos



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