“The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
So says the independent, active clause of the Second Amendment. The Heller decision, handed down in 2008, was in large part about the meaning of those words, particularly “right,” “the people,” “keep and bear,” “arms,” and “shall not be infringed.” The majority decision affirmed long-standing legal principle and common sense: words mean exactly what the dictionary says they mean and what reasonable people understand them to mean. Individual citizens have a fundamental right to keep and carry the kinds of arms in common and usual use. The decision is much more fuzzy on to what degree that right may be infringed, and only slightly less fuzzy on which arms may be regulated or banned . . .