Those who are wondering why exactly they should be alarmed by the prospect of President Obama’s replacing Antonin Scalia with yet another advocate of the “living Constitution” should look no further than the possibility that a post-Scalia Court will overturn D.C. vs. Heller.
I do not issue that warning in my capacity as a champion of the right to keep and bear arms (although I will concede that I am that), but as somebody who believes that history matters a great deal and who does not want to see it rewritten in the name of transient expedience. It is often presumed that my support for Heller is the natural product of my having come around on the question of gun rights per se. This, I’m afraid, is incorrect. Certainly, I have changed my mind as to the wisdom of an armed populace (I used to be vehemently “anti-gun”), but that conversion has had no meaningful bearing on the effects of the Constitution, and nor should it. I also happen to be opposed the death penalty, but this has no more led me to pretend that the Eighth Amendment prohibits capital punishment than my opposition to abortion has pushed me to pretend that the commerce clause would allow a federal ban. The text is the text, whatever I might think of the outcomes it yields, and it must be treated as sacrosanct at all times. The Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms not because I like the right to keep and bear arms, but because the evidence points overwhelmingly in that direction.
Read the complete article: National Review