AUTHOR: Mike Edelman (@HawksLoveDoves)
NOTES: Article deals with the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms (PLCA) Act, the “legal equivalent of a bulletproof vest for gun manufacturers, shielding them from all liability in the majority of civil lawsuits arising out of the unlawful use of their products.” (2) Avoidance for profit: to avoid liability, gun manufacturers could simply stop making the guns that are most frequently used by criminals. Or, gun manufacturers could restrict the marketing of these guns to only law enforcement agencies. (3) Rather, gun lobby passed changed the law so that “courts are required by law to dismiss the vast majority of lawsuits against gun manufacturers arising out of unlawful gun violence.”
(1) The Second Amendment is not only a matter of law, but a matter of politics. Conservatives put originalism aside to alter a long-held legal interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. (2) The text of the amendment is divided into two clauses and is, as a whole, ungrammatical. (3) Courts have found that the 1st part, the “militia clause,” trumps the 2nd part, the “bear arms” clause. As a result, the 2nd Amendment conferred on state militias a right to bear arms; it did not give individuals a right to own or carry a weapon. This changed after a post-coup d’état-NRA came into the picture in 1977. A novel interpretation of the 2nd Amendment was then sought, one that gave individuals, not just militias, the right to bear arms. An uphill battle was fought and, eventually, won, but not without brute political force. It wasn’t until the 2008 case of District of Columbia v. Heller that the Supreme Court fully embraced the individual-rights view of the Second Amendment.
NOTES (Much has changed in public opinion since this article, nonetheless…): NRA wields considerable clout in the nation’s capital. They spent $695,000 so far this year and about $2.6 million last year to lobby Capitol Hill.