Gun rights advocates, working entirely outside the legal profession, actively promoted the commonsense truth about the plain meaning and historical context of the Second Amendment by publishing articles in gun magazines, law reviews and other journals. At first, the legal community scoffed at these people as ignorant "gun nuts," but eventually the weight of their logic and historical evidence became overwhelming.
Then came a couple of breakthroughs. On May 17, 2001, Attorney General John Ashcroft issued a statement that read in part, "Let me state unequivocally my view that the text and the original intent of the Second Amendment clearly protect the right of individuals to keep and bear firearms. ... This view of the text comports with the all but unanimous understanding of the Founding Fathers."
Ashcroft cited many writings by the Founding Fathers as well as Supreme Court decisions from the early years. He concluded, "In light of this vast body of evidence, I believe it is clear that the Constitution protects the private ownership of firearms for lawful purposes."
On Oct. 16, 2001, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in U.S. v. Emerson, "It appears clear that 'the people,' as used in the Constitution, including the Second Amendment, refers to individual Americans." Yes, it is clear; but liberals had been pretending otherwise.
The Democrats then had a great awakening about why Al Gore lost the presidency to George W. Bush in 2000. Gore lost three traditionally Democratic states — Gore's home state of Tennessee as well as Arkansas and West Virginia — primarily because Gore was a gun-control advocate and those states have lots of voters whom Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has insulted by saying they "cling" to guns because they are supposedly "bitter."
Obama is now backpedaling to try to defuse the gun issue. He hopes people will forget that he originally defended the D.C. gun control law knocked out in the Heller case.
The Supreme Court is still a major problem because four liberal justices are diehard supremacists who believe they have the right to repeal the Second Amendment. The biggest issue in the upcoming November election is whether the next president will fill court vacancies with supremacist or constitutional justices.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Phyllis Schlafly‘s column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.
Today's the Day: Scots to Vote For Whether or Not to Secede From the United Kingdom | Christine Rousselle