Prof. Nick Johnson on the right to arms
"Undermining Our Conversation About the Right to Arms." I esp. enjoy its ending:
"Meanwhile, and perversely, federal power is deemed to be nearly boundless. We recently heard top Senators and Representatives say that Congress unquestionably had the power to force people to buy health insurance--and if that, one wonders, why not the power to dictate flossing, broccoli-eating, and infinite other no doubt healthy mandates that are utterly corrosive of liberty. (Some find consolation in the Supreme Court's rationalization that the edict was really a tax.)
All of this turns our constitutional structure on its head. If we took the Constitution's creation of limited powers and affirmation of pre-existing rights seriously, the salient question about the individual right to arms would be this: Where in the enumerated federal powers is there anything close to the authority to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense?
For those who would answer, "The Congress shall have Power To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes"--and notice how much more limited the clause seems when you read its actual language rather than just say "the commerce power"--we should apply the kind of stingy, skepticism that Stevens, Waldman, and others would erroneously apply to the "right of the people to keep and bear arms.""