The argumentum ad populum. Something is true because many or all people believe it. There is a converse to this the argumentum ad verecundiam, the argument from authority or appeal to authority is a logical fallacy, where it is argued that a statement is correct because the statement is made by a person or source that is commonly regarded as authoritative.
But, if the people or the authority is wrong, then that does not make the proposition true. So, even if 5 out of 4 of the Supreme Court justices rule that something is the law, that does not make it proper law.
The question is how does one educate the people that the popular beliefs about the Second Amendment, in particular it's being an "individual right" are The Emperor's New Clothes. There really isn't anything there. Heller was pure partisan politics which is the only reason that piece of intellectual dishonesty could have been written.
Everyone who has read the decision has found it wanting, with the exception of some gun control groups who are happy that it allows for reasonable restrictions. I have to admit that it is a harbinger of ill when I think of this in light of Cass Sunstein: "The Second Amendment: The Constitution's Most Mysterious Right", but I am not sure how the ill will come about.
It certainly is interesting how Laci points out that "some gun control groups [who] are happy that it allows for reasonable restrictions." I never noticed that, I've been so busy listening to the pro-gun crowd praising Heller to high heaven.
What do you think about calling it "partisan politics" and "intellectual dishonesty?" Do you think there's anything to those accusations?
Of course if it is true, if the Heller decision was a departure from the true juridical ideals we expect from the Supreme Court, we may be in for more of the same. But sooner or later, the possibility exists that a Court, one perhaps lacking Justice Scalia, might straighten this all out.
What do you think? Please leave a comment.