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Guest Post: Incorporation and the 2nd Amendment


Hi, this is a guest post from my blog, which I am reproducing here without any editing, save for this introduction and a short bit about who I am at the end of the post. Ryan was very kind to ask me to reproduce this here and I hope everyone enjoys reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

More theoretical political thought, since the last post on American political history and thought was oh so popular! This one is on the recent extension of Incorporation to the 2nd Amendment. Of course, the 2nd Amendment – the right to bear arms – has been probably the most contentious of the Bill of Rights, and dutifully so. A very strong percentage of Americans, especially American liberals, believe that gun control is an important method of crime prevention, especially aggressive and violent crimes.

Due to the case of Barron vs. Baltimore, the Bill of Rights was not applied to state or city governments in the United States; therefore, according to constitutional precedent, while the federal government cannot unreasonably restrict the right of a person to bear firearms, the many state and municipal governments are not bound by that particular restriction. Many states and especially cities, therefore, established laws banning handguns and other restrictions. One of these cities was Chicago.
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