My fellow blogger and oppressed Illinois gun rights activist at We Are the Militia made a point way back in March that I think needs to be repeated. In his post, he explores the language of both the First and Second Amendments, and makes a pretty compelling case for the argument that the Constitutional grounds for incorporating the Second Amendment--that is, applying it not only to the federal government, but to the states as well--is actually stronger than the argument for incorporating the First Amendment.
Currently, aspects of the 1st Amendment are applied to the States by the 14th Amendment, whereas the 2nd Amendment is not considered to be applied to the States.He then points out that the 1st Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law . . . ." In other words, the only entity of government prohibited by the First Amendment from suppressing freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc., is Congress, the makers of our federal laws. Nothing is said in the First Amendment about other units of government (the states, for example) making such laws.
I find this odd, given that if you read the text of the two amendments, a case can be made for a stricter adherence to the right of the 2nd Amendment over the 1st.
I am not trying to argue that states (or counties, or municipalities) should have the power to control what people say, or compel them to worship in a manner dictated by the state. I am quite grateful for the incorporation of aspects of the First Amendment, under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
However, if the First Amendment can be said to apply to the states, how can it be argued that the Second Amendment does not? The Second Amendment, after all, describes a right that "shall not be infringed"--with no limits placed on by whom it shall not be infringed. In other words, the Second Amendment does not state that "Congress shall not infringe" the right to keep and bear arms--if anyone infringes on a right, it cannot properly be claimed that said right "shall not be infringed."
The right to self-defense is a fundamental, natural, human right. Any unit of government that tries to deny citizens any means of exercising that right is, by extension, denying--and thus violating--that fundamental right. Any such violation is therefore illegitimate.