Defenders of the Second Amendment often use federal lawsuits in an attempt to protect their right to keep and bear arms.
This is a really bad strategy.
At its core, the Second Amendment exists as a limit on federal authority. When you sue in federal court, you do so in the hope that the federal government will limit itself.
Remember, federal courts operate as part of the federal government, and federal judges are nothing more than politically connected lawyers drawing federal paychecks. When we keep these facts in mind, it becomes pretty obvious we shouldn’t count on federal courts to limit federal power, and uphold or preserve the Second Amendment.
If you needed proof of this, I direct your attention to the most recent opinion on the Second Amendment handed down by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. As NBC put it, in a 7-4 decision, the federal panel held that there is no constitutional right to carry a concealed firearm.
“The protection of the Second Amendment — whatever the scope of that protection may be — simply does not extend to the carrying of concealed firearms in public by members of the general public.”
Before I get the angry emails, I understand the mainstream media frames the issue entirely wrong. The Constitution doesn’t give anybody the right to do anything. It restricts government from infringing on rights we already have – in the case of the Second Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms. So strictly speaking, there it’s true there is no “constitutional right” to conceal carry. (More on that subject HERE.)
But that misses the point. In effect, the 9th Circuit effectively gave government the green-light to infringe on your right to keep and bear arms by making it illegal to conceal carry. It basically just blew a giant hole in the middle of the Second Amendment.
And these are the people many Americans count on to protect their rights.
That brings us to the real point here. Depending on federal judges to properly interpret and apply the Second Amendment is a fool’s game.The bottom line is the federal government will never limit itself. You can never count on it to put your rights above the “needs” of government.
You need a better strategy.
James Madison gave us the blueprint. When the federal government commits unwarrantable acts, the Father of the Constitution didn’t say “file a lawsuit in federal court.” Madison advised a refusal to cooperate with officers of the union. Don’t depend on politically connected lawyers to protect your right to keep and bear arms.
Instead, focus your efforts at the state and local level where you can have some practical impact. You will never change a federal judges opinion, but your efforts can move a bill in your state house to refuse cooperation with enforcement of unconstitutional federal gun laws.