I am a firm believer in the theory that the Constitution is a living document. What does this mean? This means I subscribe to the theory that allows the document and, therefore, the laws of the land, to mold to present day society.
“This idea for a very long time was just laughed at,” said Nelson Lund, the Patrick Henry professor of constitutional law and the Second Amendment at George Mason University, a chair endowed by the National Rifle Association. “A lot of people thought it was preposterous and just propaganda from gun nuts.” More than 35 years later, no one is laughing. In 2008, the Supreme Court endorsed for the first time an individual’s right to own a gun in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller. The 5 to 4 decision rendered ineffective some of the District’s strict gun-control laws. And Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority opinion echoed the work of Kates and his ideological comrades, who had pressed the argument that the Second Amendment articulates an individual right to keep and bear arms.
However, as someone who believes the Constitution is a living document, I must take the good with the bad. It was great when women’s suffrage was granted Constitutional protection, the same for equal rights among all races. Though I disagree with the present day interpretation of the Second Amendment and will continue to argue for its more historical interpretation, I must submit to the fact that the Constitution is a living document and, as a result, certain protections may be granted with which I do not agree. I accept that the interpretation of the Second Amendment can mold to societal norms as the Constitution is, in fact, Justice Scalia, a living, breathing document.