Blog of Rights

⬅ Return to Heller Decision and the Second Amendment

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  1. Just John Says:

    What a bunch of arrogant assholes you are, ACLU. Of course I am not surprised....

  2. ghhorse Says:

    Give to the NRA, forget the left leaning we like the rights we like organization.

    I guess this ruling took out more than the Unconstitutional DC gun law, it also unmasked another liberal front group.

  3. JohnH Says:

    Wow, the hypocrisy of your stance just floors me. Guess I'll support other groups that actually care about the legal rights of Americans

  4. John in Iowa Says:

    Well that cements it for me. My money will go to an organization that fights for the *entire* Bill of Rights.

  5. Jim Smith Says:

    I can't wait to see what other amendments the ACLU will disagree with and make their own interpretations. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of an individual's right, but that's not good enough for the ACLU. What about the 1st amendment? Come on, if the second is collective than the rest must as well. How do you account for this?

    Come on now.

  6. WuzYoungOnceToo Says:

    - "The stance they’ve taken on the 2nd amendment, while clearly not one that’s popular with all the people following the link here from the Cato Institute (you commenters are SO subtle), isn’t substantively changed by this posting.

    I suggest you read their full statement here again:"

    So...your defense of an intellectually dishonest position is that it is consistent with a pre-existing intellectually dishonest position?

  7. Former Supporter Says:

    Unbelievable. To claim that "the people" in the 2nd amendment is a collective is like saying that "the people" in the First is collective...and that individuals don't have the right to peacefully assemble because we've elected people to do that for us.

    I celebrated Heller as a validation that the BoR is ALL about individual rights.

    I can't tell you how saddened I am by your position. Seriously. I have been a staunch defender and member of the ACLU for years...for what? To have them morph into another myopic organization who only quotes the Constitution to support their own policy goals? You are no better than Bush's hack lawyers.

    Since you are so good at "interpreting the meaning" sentences, try to figure out what I am saying here..."I QUIT. YOU HAVE LOST YOUR DIRECTION. I QUIT. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES. I QUIT. DECADES OF GROUND-BREAKING WORK WASHED DOWN THE TOILET. I QUIT."

    Any problems with that, or do I need to clarify?

  8. Christopher Johnson Says:

    “The ACLU interprets the Second Amendment as a collective right.”

    I used to live in a collective when I was a young idealistic man.

    Even then I knew there was no hope of revolution without "the people" having the right to own a weapon and knowing how to use a rifle.

    I would like to thank the A.C.L.U for helping swell the ranks of the N.R.A with this absurd & pitiful statement.

  9. disgusted member Says:

    I am truly disgusted with the ACLU's stance on this issue. I will no longer be donating or renewing my membership and will be telling all my friends to do the same.

    Shame on you.

  10. Civilitas Says:

    I just took the renewal letter mailing out of the "in" box and moved it to the trash. I'm as disappointed as if my child were caught stealing from the offering box at the church. I would have thought they had more respect for themselves, the law, and our community.

  11. kbarrett Says:


    Still supporting laws originally passed to disarm blacks, I see.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    The Second Amendment...Because Freedom Can't Protect Itself

  13. xlh883 Says:

    The ACLU is the best friend of Mugabe, Castro, Chavez and company. These tyrants are firm believers of the rights of the collective (their goverments). Teh individual, well, they can go to h>>l

  14. Adjutor Says:

    ACLU, your stance is absolutely absurd. Thankfully, you have now exposed yourselves as being the hypocrites you are. There is no such thing as a collective right, and not one justice, even those that dissented, found the Second Amendment to enshrine a collective right. Stop pouting that you lost and have some integrity.

  15. pb Says:

    So its now official. ACLU only supports those civil liberties which agree with it's 'liberal' agenda.

  16. scott Says:

    Well my comment is this then -

    The ACLU is NOT a "civil rights" organization.

    As the SC said in Dredd Scott - "if blacks were citizens they would have the right to keep and carry arms wherever they went".

    That was waaaayyyyyy back before the civil war. Finally in 2008 the SC grants full recognition to the basic right to arms.

    But the ACLU won't go for it.

    Ergo the ACLU is now an enemy of freedom, because the freedom (and the right to the ability) to defend oneself from attack is the MOST basic right of all. Without it there are no citizens, only slaves.

    The ACLU will never get a dime for me and I will work actively against the ACLU (and ANY of its causes) wherever I can.

    The ACLU clearly does not want people to be free - they want the people to be defenseless victims waiting to be slaughtered.

  17. Hoplophobia Hurts Says:

    It's all been said in over 98% of the above comments, but I'll add my voice:

    The ACLU has to make a hard choice to make between libertarian or merely liberal. If they have even a wisp of integrity, they will support the civil rights guaranteed by the second amendment, as clarified by Justice Scalia in D.C. v. Heller.

    I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is. If the ACLU will join Chicago v. NRA and San Francisco v. NRA or whatever the official names are) or even write a pro-2A amicus brief in those cases, I will become a card-carrying member. And you know what? I bet tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of others will too.

  18. James Nelson Says:

    This is why I have refused to support your organization even though I am a very strong advocate of the bill of rights and agree with most of the ACLU's positions. Saying the second amendment is a collective right is just ideology over its obvious meaning.

  19. Tyler in AK Says:

    I guess I'll have to find a different organization to give my money to.

  20. WilliamS Says:

    It is with great disappointment that I must remove the ACLU from my list of supported organizations.

    Just as I will no longer support a Planned Parenthood that accepts money specifically for aborting black children.

    What on Earth is wrong with you? Where did you take this turn?

    Is there ANYONE there listening?

  21. Brett Bellmore Says:

    "isn’t substantively changed by this posting"

    That's true, it was wrong before Heller, it's wrong now. The only difference is that they lost their fig leaf.

  22. Chas Clifton Says:

    As an ACLU member for more than a decade, I am disappointed that a clear civil rights victory is denigrated by the ACLU.

    My next membership-renewal envelope will probably be returned empty.

  23. Jim C Says:

    "The ACLU interprets the Second Amendment as a collective right. Therefore, we disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision in D.C. v. Heller."

    SCOTUS ruled that it IS an individual right as in right now this present moment. It is a FACT. That ruling IS now the law of the land and is definitive on the issue of "individual right vs collective".

    If there are going to be other lawsuits, those lawsuits will not be challenging whether or not the 2nd amendment is an individual right. The challenges will rise out of existing laws that have violated that individual right like Chicago's handgun ban. Other issues will, of course be incorporation of the 2nd amendment through the 14th amendment.

    Your stance is 100% wrong on the 2nd amendment. The ACLU should adopt at least a "wait and see policy" saying, "Yes, it's an individual right, but we need to wait and see what all that entails." Not the BS line you have stuck with.

  24. Jim C Says:

    If you guys are shaking in your boots that you might lose ultra leftwing members due to a policy reversal on the 2nd amendment, you will make up that lost membership many times fold by attracting rightwing moderates. Use some business logic and common sense!

  25. Liberal Gun Owner Says:

    What's a liberal/libertarian to do? Cato seems to be too much about cutting taxes, NRA is too extreme (no bazookas please). I thought the NRA was the only real "pure play" civil rights group. guess i was wrong.

  26. Carl Says:

    It is astonishing that the ACLU cannot even take the time to logically defend their viewpoint in light of a Supreme Court ruling 'expanding' the rights of U.S. Citizens that contradicts their own.

    I have been a member or donated money to the ACLU for about seven years. I let my membership expire a few months ago and keep getting renewal notices begging for my money. I put off renewing because I wanted to see how the Heller case would turn out. I have always been annoyed by the ACLU's lack of support for the 2nd amendment, but have been willing to overlook it.

    Now it is clear that planned ignorance is dictating the policy of the ACLU. Good job guys, you should feel real proud of yourselves. At this point I wouldn't put it past you to log my IP address, call your friends in the FBI, have them issue a NSL and come take a look around my house for anti-ACLU information. Whatever it takes to protect your precious ego.

    ACLU... either support the whole constitution of the United States or quit asking for my money!

  27. Tim Says:

    Please, reconsider your position here, ACLU. The rest of the things that you fight for are so good. I really wish you would support my civil liberties outlined in the second amendment as well as you support the others.

    You really have a good reputation. Statements like these hurt it, because you are turning your back on one of our civil liberties. And that makes me sad and should make you feel ashamed.

    Thanks for your other work. But please, reconsider.

  28. Former Donator Says:

    I have in the past donated large sums of money to the ACLU but this latest stance sickens me. You dare to pick and choose which civil liberties you will defend? You have lost my money forever

  29. Mark Says:

    It's pretty clear that, just as the Second Amendment is a collective right, the First Amendment is also a collective right; it refers to the right of the state governments to establish a religion, print newspapers, and meet to send a petition to the federal government.

    Thanks to the ACLU's principled stand against individual rights, we can now silence all subversive organizations. Including the ACLU

  30. Bowen Says:

    Funny how the ACLU seems to forget a large percentage of the guns laws (especially down here in the South) owe their existence to Jim Crow and disarming African Americans.

    Then again, being for one amendment of the Constitution but patently against another pretty much demonstrates the sort of "flexible" principles their members like to see.

    Urine on a crucifix? Fine!
    Personal self defence? Heck no!

  31. Thomas Says:

    Then the ACLU is not a defender of the constitution of the United States but is a defender of its interpretation of the constitution.

  32. Carl Says:

    Great, Thanks for deleting my comment! Real professional, guys.

  33. Lyle Says:

    From the ACLU "About Us" page:

    "If the rights of society's most vulnerable members are denied, everybody's rights are imperiled."

    Sounds nice. So, lets say a gay man is being attacked by a much stronger man in WA DC. Must he be beaten or killed because, according to the ACLU, he has no right to armed self defense? How many more must be victimized because their own government has effectively disarmed them, turning them into helpless little lambs for the slaughter?

    What right could be more important that the right of self defense-- the right to live?

    The ACLU has been a joke for a long time. This statement of yours is just the icing on the cake.

  34. L Says:

    If the ACLU supported an individual 2A right then they would lose their funding from the Joyce Foundation and other anti-2A organizations.

  35. SupporterOfAllOfTheBillOfRights Says:

    Whomever at the ACLU decided that the 2nd is a collective right, within the group of individual rights, should justly suffer cognitive dissonance into perpetuity, even while in the grave... Such a position is clearly a stretch of the imagination and illogical. Is this a case of Group Think?

  36. Randy Says:


  37. Beulah Says:

    I like the heading of the page, "Blog Of Rights". SOOO you want to pick which rights? You think that the 2nd amendment isn't a right? You think that law abiding citizens, who go through the proper procedures to purchase and/ or carry a firearm, is a danger to society? As a slap in true american's faces, why don't you try to get habitual criminals, those who disregard the laws for purchasing and/ or carrying a firearm, better TV channels while you are trying to get them out of jail! At best I believe the whole organization is hypocritical!

  38. Oneofsix Says:

    Pardon me, but your ideological slip is showing-
    So, the ACLU interprets the Second Amendment as a collective right. Isn't that hypocritical in light of the fact that all of the other rights outlined in the Bill of Rights are INDIVIDUAL rights and the ACLU has sued in court to defend those individual rights? The ACLU has no basis to interpret anything, let alone what rights I have-the framers of the Constitution have already done that, quite clearly enough without any help from any of you.
    Don't Tread on me!

  39. David E. Young Says:

    Over a decade ago, Nadeen Strossen invited me to attend a meeting regarding the ACLU's policy on the Second Amendment. I declined to attend that ACLU policy meeting in the 1990s. The sole reason for my invitation was as the editor of The Origin of the Second Amendment, which was cited several times in last week's Heller decision.

    Note that if the ACLU ever decides to have such a meeting in the future and would like me to assist them on this subject, I would seriously consider trying to help the ACLU better grasp the historical information that directly contradicts current ACLU policy on the Second Amendment.

  40. Glock and dagger Says:

    Well, it looks like the ACLU is pissing everybody off today.

    Sucks when you aren't on the moral highground, doesn't it???

  41. Freedom Loving American Says:

    It is curious that ALL of the other Rights in the Bill of Rights are individual rights, but the ACLU takes the position that only the Second is a collective right.

    Like the first, you don't have to agree with something but you should support it if it allows others to express their freedom or beliefs.

    How can the ACLU say that it is for civil liberties when it won't even defend the entire Constitution?

    The Constitution is an all or nothing document. If you don't support it all, you don't support it at all.

    The money that I normally send to the ACLU is now going to the NRA, an organization that stands for freedom, 1st and 2nd Amendment.

    The ACLU leaders need to leave NY sometimes and come out to meet the real America. It's not limousine liberals.

  42. Jay in California Says:

    I used to be an ACLU supporter. Then I realized they ignored the 2nd Amendment. I had a fun phone call last year with an ACLU membership drive marketer. He was a nice guy, but he had no clue as to what the 2nd even was about. That shows how the ACLU is at its core anti-2nd and anti-personal freedom. He was shocked that the ACLU had mis-informed him so much. I wasn't. SHAME on you ACLU.

  43. jlbraun Says:

    I'm an ACLU member and a Democrat. I've defended the ACLU's positions to many conservatives and liberals, with good reason I felt. I've been a member since 1989.

    I was OK with the neutrality on the 2nd Amendment because there wasn't clear caselaw on it and the ACLU shouldn't be in the position of making up a position for or against it.

    Now that it's been settled that the right to arms is a protected individual right, it's different now. The ACLU's position on the 2nd is now as untenable and unpalatable as if you had endorsed Jim Crow laws or segregated schools after Brown vs. Board of Education.

    I'm going out of the country for a month soon. If the ACLU's position has not changed when I return, you will find my well-worn ACLU membership card in your mailbox - cut into pieces.

  44. TexasFats Says:

    Allow me to point out that the history of weapons prohibitions has always been one of disarming peasantry in order to better facilitate the control and exploitation of that peasantry by some elite. Let us review some of the history of weapons prohibitions. First look at the Toyotomi shogunate of Japan. Society was divided into five classes which were made hereditary, and only the Samuri and Nobility were allowed to own swords. In the post-bellum South, weapons restrictions were used to leave freed slaves defenseless when the KKK came calling with their whips and ropes. In New York, the Sullivan Law ensured that opponents of Tammany Hall were disarmed and only Tammany Hall thugs had guns on eleection day. In Britain, in 1920, their National Firearms Act was passed, ostensibly as an anti-crime measure, but actually as the result of fears of a Bolshevik type revolution in the depression that followed WWI.

    These, along with defense against criminal attack by the sociopaths of society, fit with the founders' comments on the reason why the Second Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights. While we may not be in danger of imminent dictatorship, the threat of the criminal predators is still with us.

    Finally, read Miller, especially the sentence where that opinion defines the militia. That definition is all able-bodied men over the age of 18 who are willing to defend the United States, using arms supplied by themselves. It is there. Read it.

  45. joshcdc Says:

    How can the ACLU disagree with the bill of rights? What part of "shall not be infringed" do you guys not understand? Besides the supreme court now has ruled that it is a individual right, and since this iss the highest court in the land, how can the ACLU contradict its rulings regarding civil liberties? You have no credibility in my eyes until you change your position to one more consistent with the bill of rights. An above poster said it well. “If the ACLU wants to maintain its credibility as the defender of the bill of rights then it must endorse the 2nd amendment as an individual right, and not maintain its pathetic stance claiming it disagrees with the SCOTUS."

  46. LMTD Says:

    From your official position posted

    The national ACLU is neutral on the issue of gun control. We believe that the Constitution contains no barriers to reasonable regulations of gun ownership. If we can license and register cars, we can license and register guns."

    You do NOT have to register or license cars, you only have to do that if you intend on using cars on public tax supported land aka roads.

    I own a car that is NOT registered or licensed and an affidavit clearly defines that it is NOT used on public lands.

    OOPs, there you go looking silly again.

    Disgraceful is how you look when you do not support individual rights after they have been clearly defined, STUPID is how you look when you try and compare it to another commonly owned item and then say something about that item that is 100% false and incorrect.

    I thought you guys had some lawyers working for you to prevent such public and stupid mistakes!!!

    Then again, ignoring SCOTUS rulings clearly does not indicate a large level of smarts now does it.

  47. Lucia Says:

    I agree with David here. Once again, people are commenting without knowing the full extent of the situation. And the excessive name calling in these comments is, at best, childish. I believe as the ACLU does. Furthermore, I don't see the reason as to why someone needs an AK-47 or a pistol. I would have absolutely no problem with someone owning a rifle for hunting or a shotgun, a handgun is useless in this case unless hunting a human, which is not my style. The 2nd amendment is widely misunderstood, it protects militias, not an individual's right. All you need is a little American History lesson to realize why this amendment was enacted. It was not enacted so that some little old lady could shoot an African American man who is across the street because she feels threatend but rather to protect our democracy by holding a revolution against our own govt. if necessary. All of those that agree completely with the ACLU except for this decision and are not renewing their memberships should really consider all of the things that the ACLU does. After all, they do occupy almost a third of the Supreme Court's time in order to defend us. And to paraphrase Anthony Romero, the NRA has one amendment to protect, the ACLU has all the rest. So cut them some slack if you disagree with one mere decision.
    Always a supporter,

  48. Waffen Says:

    Guns must be removed from the public so the aclu's real agenda can surface.. Remember they were founded by communists.

  49. Anonymous Says:

    You have to be kidding me. This is very disappointing. I was hoping that the ACLU would stand up for the bill of rights instead of being a mouth piece for the Democratic party much like the NRA has become for the Republicans. I unfortunately won't be renewing my membership this year. :(

  50. Intact Says:

    You have to be kidding me. This is very disappointing. I was hoping that the ACLU would stand up for the bill of rights instead of being a mouth piece for the Democratic party much like the NRA has become for the Republicans. I unfortunately won't be renewing my membership this year. :(

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