Most discussions of constitutional rights naturally turn on the content of the protected right, whether it pertains to speech, religion, property, contract--or guns. The genius of the American Constitution lies in specifying a sound list of rights to protect against government interference
This celebration of individual rights should not conceal, however, this second question in a federal system: Against which government, national or state, are these right secured? This "incorporation" issue came to the fore in the Supreme Court's hotly contested decision in McDonald v. City of Chicago, By a 5-to-4 vote the court held that the individual right to "keep and bear" arms for purposes of self-defense established in the Second Amendment was protected against state abrogation. It was a vintage conservative-liberal split.