"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. ... "
The Framers of the Second Amendment did not say, "The people shall have the right to keep and bear arms." They wrote, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
This isn't just theory. The Cato's Institute's Tom Palmer, an early plaintiff in the D.C. gun case, told "20/20" he is alive today because he was carrying a handgun when he was approached on the street by some toughs. "They told us, 'We're going to kill you.' I showed them the business end of a pistol. They turned around, went away."
The four dissenting justices fear the Supreme Court's decision will unleash a flood of gun violence. Unlikely. "Criminals do not have a problem getting guns," Palmer reminded me. It's law-abiding people who suffer when guns are banned.
The victims of gun crimes are easy to count. What cannot be counted are the lives saved because would-be victims were armed. Palmer's confrontation is one of many that didn't make the news.
He asks, "If someone gets into your house, which would you rather have, a handgun or a telephone? You can call the police if you want, and they'll get there and they'll make a crime report and take a picture of your dead body.
"They can't get there in time to save your life."