Thanks for that, Truckie. Assuming your data's correct, then gun shows don't seem a significant source of handguns for criminals. That's what I'd love to see, here: more data!
Your main point, however, seems to be about the Constitution and "activist" judges. I'd just like to point out a couple of things: First, the second amendment is quite clear, I agree: It states that a "well-regulated" militia was essential to the health of the republic, and that in order to secure that well-regulated militia, a citizens right to keep and bear arms should not be infringed.
is the well-regulated militia, the mean
s is "the right of citizens to keep and bear arms."
And here's the problem: We have
a well-regulated militia in the National Guard and reserves -- the object
is achieved. The issue of private ownership of handguns is, now, an independent issue. The objective of the second amend is the well-regulated militia, not
the ownership of fire-arms.
The interpretation of the constitution changes over time, and has for the entire history of our republic. How can that be? Why isn't it held unchanging? Because of the ninth amendment:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
For example, the 7th amendment sets $20 as the lower limit for a jury trial -- a wholelotta money in 1787. That makes no sense any more, clearly. Jury trials are now reserved for much more considerable sums. Is that the result of "activism"? No, just common-sense -- and the belief that our founders were no more idiots than we are.
The right of the people to be free from fear of other folks toting deadly weapons is as much a right -- if so deemed by the courts -- as the second amendment. That's not "activism," that's the 9th amendment.
Let's talk sense here. Noone wants to take away your guns. We just want them well-regulated, just as your militia is.
And thanks for coming back to the discussion. If we disagree, we need to talk. That's how the constitution got made in the first place.