Monday, May 24, 2010

McDonald v. Chicago: Brief for the Respondents, by Alyssa & Veronica

Ashley and Anya are delighted to welcome their first-ever guest bloggers, Veronica and Alyssa! They're in Anya's AP Government period and argued for the respondents (Chicago) and have graciously allowed us to post their notes (a combination of notes and their testimony so it's a bit less organized than Ashley's brief).

Supreme Court of the United States
No. 08-1521
OTIS MCDONALD, et al., Petitioners,
CITY OF CHICAGO, Respondent.
On Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Ms. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court:
The Second Amendment should not be incorporated and applied to the States because the right it protects is not necessary to the idea of ordered liberty. For the past two centuries or so, firearms regulation has been administered by state and local governments.
The Second Amendment is different from the rest of the Bill of Rights because it protects firearms. Firearms — unlike anything else protected in the Bill of Rights — have the power and are designed to injure and kill. The reason the framers created this Amendment was that they feared the Federal Government disarming the militia. The right to self defense — while, yes, very important — "had little to do with its codification" as stated in Heller.
The Second Amendment is unique in that it's a right that gets controlled in accordance with local conditions, with local cultures and with local views about the questions of how best to protect public safety. States should be allowed to regulate guns as they see fit, seeing that they know the problems of their own states best.
With a strict interpretation of the Constitution, one could argue that the right of a person to bear arms is clearly stated, however, we are asking the Court to interpret this law in light of society's current needs and the community's concern. In today's society, is it "fundamental" to a person's well-being to carry a gun? No. Also, the historical record shows that the ratifiers of the 14th Amendment had no reason to suspect that it would make the 2nd Amendment, never mind the whole Bill of Rights, applicable to the states.

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