In your view, are the regulations on owning fully-automatic weapons a violation of the 2nd Amendment - or not?A number of gun-rights advocates found the site and carried on a spirited debate, generally emphasizing the inviolability of the 2nd Amendment. (Sample comment: "I, and many other 2nd Amendment supporters believe it [banning automatic guns] does violate the spirit and words of the Second.") Pressed on it, they add comments like "There is no "except for machine guns and short-barreled rifles" clause in the 2nd amendment."
I was unaware that so many Americans misunderstood the extent to which the Bill of Rights protect individual rights--they are neither all-encompassing or absolute. Let's leave aside the second, how about the fourth:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.This amendment has been so thoroughly eviscerated by various Supreme Court rulings that it's hard to see that there's any right left at all. Even the first amendment (which, admittedly, covers a lot of areas) has had a number of limitations cited by the Supremes. There is nothing sacred about the Bill of Rights, nothing permanent, nothing above revision.
It is perhaps for these reasons that the gun-rights lobby is so keen to protect the 2nd--a badly-worded right that has been little-tested in case law. So long as legislation curtailing rights are not passed, they can't be challenged, and the amendment remains as robust as the lobby can keep it. Good for them--that's politics. But nowhere do rights exist that are outside the purview of legal review. Interesting that so few people know this.