The 2nd Amendment a 2nd Class Right?

NewsBusters.org | MRC.orgIt's a funny thing about the Bill of Rights. Rather than view each Amendment's protections as equally valid, many (but not all) liberals tend to enshrine some as sacrosanct but dismiss others at antiquated. Hence the First and Fourth amendments and their protections of free speech and press and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure respectively are held in extremely high regard, with state or federal restrictions on these rights held to strict scrutiny. But the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bears arms, eh, not so much.

But shouldn't a major newspaper like the Los Angeles Times take due care to not echo that line of thinking in its reporting? Above at right is a screen capture for a teaser headline on the L.A. Times Web page that hints that the First Amendment's protections are more iron-clad in their nature as individual rights than the Second's guarantee of firearm ownership rights.

What's more, in the third paragraph of reporter David Savage's article, the writer seems to suggest the Second Amendment does not guarantee the right to keep and bear arms because, well, the Supreme Court hasn't said as much (emphasis mine):

The case [Heller v. District of Coumbia] has drawn wide attention not because of the district's law itself, but because the court may decide for the first time whether gun rights are truly protected by the Constitution, like the right to free speech and the right to freely practice one's religion.

Otherwise, Savage did a fairly decent job representing both sides of the Heller handgun ban case, and it is true that the Supreme Court does not have an extensive history of case law on the Second Amendment to the extent that it does on the First, Fourth, or Fifth. But just because the Court has not made numerous rulings striking down affronts to free speech or freedom from unreasonable search and seizure does not mean that gun rights are non-existent for a dearth of Court precedent.

Isn't it kind of like saying that prior to rulings overturning flag burning bans and protecting animal sacrifice that free speech and freedom of religion were not "truly protected" by the Constitution?

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters