Dead Wrong Dissent - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Dead Wrong Dissent

Robert VerBruggen ought not be so impressed by the Henderson dissent in Parker. The argument that the Second Amendment doesn’t apply to DC because the District is not a state is completely implausible, at least from an originalist perspective. The “security of a free State” language was understood at the time of ratification to mean “security of a free country” — as Eugene Volokh notes, it’s a formulation that comes from Blackstone’s Commentaries. Blackstone used “state” as a synonym for “nation,” and so did the Framers; the word “state” is used in that sense in several places elsewhere in the constitution, in reference to “foreign state[s].” And remember that when the constitution was written, the US included the Northwest Territory; does it really make sense to think that the Framers would deliberately deny rights to Americans in that region?

(UPDATE: Robert VerBruggen replies here.–Ed.)

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