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Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
reply to post by The Old American
Respectfully, defense of "civil liberties", which are, by the language of your post, presumably the exclusive province of "citizens", is hardly a win for "our side". Government cannot use technology to deny or disparage the rights of people not because it is statutorily written so, but because they have no legal authority to deny or disparage unalienable rights retained by the people. One need not any citizenship in order to retain these rights, as they exist with or without government. Going into agreement with "civil liberties", which is the same as "civil rights", which is the same as legal rights, and what can be granted to a person legally can legally be taken away. Why anyone possessing unalienable rights would willingly surrender those in exchange for the tenuous legal rights arrogantly granted by government is hard to fathom.
The federal government can and does disparage the inalienable rights of citizens every day, several times a day. Just because they aren't supposed to doesn't mean that they can't. We aren't given our rights, we are born with them inherent. But they are trampled on by a government so oppressive that China is beginning to look like good guys. Their legal authority to or not to deny our rights is a null value as long as the government allows it to happen.
The ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.
Given the reference to "a well regulated Militia" and "the security of a free State," the ACLU has long taken the position that the Second Amendment protects a collective right rather than an individual right. For seven decades, the Supreme Court's 1939 decision in United States v. Miller was widely understood to have endorsed that view.
The Supreme Court has now ruled otherwise. In striking down Washington D.C.'s handgun ban by a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court's 2008 decision in D.C. v. Heller held for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to keep and bear arms, whether or not associated with a state militia.
The ACLU disagrees with the Supreme Court's conclusion about the nature of the right protected by the Second Amendment. We do not, however, take a position on gun control itself. In our view, neither the possession of guns nor the regulation of guns raises a civil liberties issue.