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Reactions to Supreme Court Ruling on Gun Rights

Here's a thread for reactions, your own and others, to today's Supreme Court decision in D.C. v. Heller. I have provided selected quotes from the opinion here.

< Supreme Court: Second Amendment Conveys Individual Right to Bear Arms | Thursday Open Thread >
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  • The "conservatives" (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:37:01 AM EST
    are willing to practice judicial activism. The shtick about "legislating from the bench" is once again revealed as opportunistic nonsense (in my opinion. . .).

    I donb't think so (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by befuddledvoter on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:41:55 AM EST
    This opinion is very consistent with Scalia's textual approach.  This is not judicial activism at all.  The right to bear arms in this country precedes our federal constitution.  And how is this activism??

    Parent
    Two reasons (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:43:38 AM EST
    One, as BTD says, overturning precedent without acknowledging it. And two, misreading the Constitution to suit political aims.

    Parent
    the right to bear arms (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:44:04 AM EST
    in the service of a MILITIA predates the Constitution.

    that is what the 2nd amendment protects.

    Parent

    That was the reading I always understood (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:46:01 AM EST
    to be correct. The left has given up on that recently.

    Who would have thought that we'd have a Democratic nominee who recognized an individual right to bear arms? Not me.

    Parent

    Self defense (none / 0) (#88)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:40:57 AM EST
    is best left to the Government.  It works so well in DC.

    Parent
    This is an argument to repeal the law (none / 0) (#94)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:43:33 AM EST
    It has nothing to do with the Constitution.

    Parent
    I think the individual right to bear (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:55:51 AM EST
    arms for personal protection so pre-dates the Constitution that it was simply assumed and didn't need to be spelled out, like, say, the right to own a horse so you could get from place to place.  The Founders were not prescient and could not envision today's world.  In the world they knew, it would have been inconceivable that individuals could be told they couldn't own a gun, since that would in practice mean a death sentence.

    I don't like guns and would be thrilled to have everything but single-shot rifles for hunting in the countryside banned, but I think it can't legitimately be done until there's a broad enough consensus on it to pass a Constitutional amendment-- largely thanks to the hysterical but all too persuasive NRA "slippery slope" propaganda.

    Speaking, of course, totally as an utter layman on constitutional issues. (ie, I may well not know what I'm talking about!)

    Parent

    So it is a 9th amendment argument you present (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:59:15 AM EST
    Scalia would not agree with you. He does not believe the 9th Amendment protects any rights. He is a fierce opponent of the entire unenumerated rights doctrine.

    I take it you disapprove of the opinion even if you agree with the result then.

    Parent

    If indeed the right to bear arms (none / 0) (#38)
    by frankly0 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:11:20 AM EST
    was meant to embrace the sorts of needs you describe, why wouldn't the Founders have said something like this instead of what they did say:

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, and men, having the imperative to defend themselves and their families, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    You see, that's my problem with Scalia's forced interpretation of the language of the Second amendment. He's acting as if the purpose of the right had not been mentioned, which it was, or as if further possible purposes -- such as the general right to self defense -- had not been omitted, which they were.

    His is just a contrived interpretation of the actual language of the amendment. The natural interpretation would pay due note to what was said, as well as to what was not said.

    Parent

    What "the people" meant in the 1780's (none / 0) (#96)
    by Dadler on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:44:49 AM EST
    Think about what, in fact, was meant by "the people" at the time of the constitution's drafting.  The founders intended land owning males essentially.  By the way, guns were not so available then, or cheap, or reliable.  The government bought it's revolutionary war weapons from Europe, since there were no manufacturers of any not here.  It wasn't until the 19th century, leading up to the Civil War slaughter, that technology and manufacturing advances and government encouragement and support allowed for large scale production.

    Parent
    Your argument that the founding fathers never could foresee the availability of firearms is ridiculous. Could the founding fathers foresee broadcast television or the internet? I guess the first admendment does not apply?  

    You are still trying to argue that the people do not have a right to bear arms. What is it about Liberals  that they are so open-minded that their brains fall out? Plain simple English is not acceptable for Liberals. Why is it that Liberals are so smart that they can not conceive that they may hold a wrong opinion? I'm wrong from time to time , but I can understand 'the right of THE PEOPLE'

    Parent

    You're arguing what you think the law (none / 0) (#51)
    by myiq2xu on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:21:16 AM EST
    should be.

    As of today, that's not what the law is.

    I always thought Miller was a bad decision.

    Parent

    I am arguing what the law WAS until today (none / 0) (#84)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:39:42 AM EST
    The Court today, without justification, overturned a 68 year old precedent.

    As you know, the overturning of settled precedent is no small thing and believing that the precedent is wrong is NOT ENOUGH to overturn it.

    Parent

    Lawrence v. Texas? (none / 0) (#110)
    by Alec82 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:58:12 AM EST
    That precedent was younger.  I'm not sure what justified overturning it beyond believing that it was wrongly decided.  

    Parent
    The younger the precedent (none / 0) (#120)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:18:58 PM EST
    the less deference it deserves.

    Parent
    Does that really make sense? (none / 0) (#186)
    by Alec82 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:12:12 PM EST
    If you think about it, the older precedent is, the less well-settled many of the principles supporting that decision are likely to be.  Moreover, there's a much stronger argument to be made, textually and historically, for a right to own a gun than there is, say, for the right to have sex with a person of the same gender.

    Parent
    Originalism (none / 0) (#140)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:50:54 PM EST
    means everyone is entitled to his or her own musket.

    Parent
    The rights of the people belong to the state.... (none / 0) (#185)
    by Rojas on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:00:22 PM EST
    But wallmart Inc. is a person....

    age of reason


    Parent

    Oh, I don't know about that (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:45:55 AM EST
    Seems to me it's a thoroughly legitimate interpretation of the 2A, one which half the legal scholars in the country, or more, agree with, including some who aren't reactionary right-wing gun nuts.

    Since I'm not a legal scholar, I'd get real originalist and decide the Constitution was only protecting ownership of the basic kinds of firearms that existed at the time, that being single-shot rifles, and that anything outside that was never even conceived of being constitutionally protected-- ie, handguns, automatic weapons, etc.

    I wonder if Scalia et al have ever given a moment's thought to the number of people who will die or be permanently maimed as a result of their decision.

    Parent

    DC had the ban since 1976 (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by befuddledvoter on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:53:49 AM EST
    DC has one of the highest homicide rates in the country. The ban does nothing to address this.  It is illegal guns for the most part used in homicides. Scalia well understands this.  

    He is a hunter and during oral argument, it was obvious he was very familiar with firearms.    

    Parent

    So Scalia as legislator? (none / 0) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:57:55 AM EST
    that is your defense of this opinion?

    Parent
    well the legislature (none / 0) (#48)
    by Salo on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:18:12 AM EST
    tend to be a bit ginger about comitting to any lawmaking. So he's filling a void.

    Parent
    Please do not put those words in my mouth (none / 0) (#85)
    by befuddledvoter on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:40:39 AM EST
    Scalia is anything but a legislator.  That is your spin only.  I mentioned Scalia being a hunter and very familiar with firearms termonology because I thought it was interesting, and nothing more.    

    Parent
    these were the words from your mouth (none / 0) (#104)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:50:50 AM EST
    DC has one of the highest homicide rates in the country. The ban does nothing to address this.  It is illegal guns for the most part used in homicides. Scalia well understands this.

    You cast Scalia in the role of judging the efficacy of the DC law.  My comment put no words in your mouth. you wrote those words, not me.

    Parent

    does he hunt (none / 0) (#25)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:58:20 AM EST
    with a handgun?

    Was it argued in any way that a ban on handguns would have any effect at all on hunters?

    Parent

    He hunts with Dick Cheney ... (none / 0) (#68)
    by Ellie on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:28:18 AM EST
    ... which is worse.

    Parent
    If he hunts with Dick Cheney (5.00 / 0) (#123)
    by myiq2xu on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:26:57 PM EST
    then he probably wants to be able to shoot back.

    Parent
    I still can't believe Cheney and his Ringwraiths (none / 0) (#157)
    by Ellie on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:14:07 PM EST
    ... made that old man apologize.

    Parent
    Sorry if this is chatty... (none / 0) (#171)
    by Thanin on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 03:44:38 PM EST
    but this is just hilarious.

    Parent
    Even shotguns (none / 0) (#108)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:55:35 AM EST
    and long rifles had to be turned in or rendered inoperable in DC.

    Parent
    Handgun history is older than USA (none / 0) (#77)
    by wurman on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:35:09 AM EST
    This is a brief, non-technical summary (link):

    By 1754 the civilian use of firearms had been common in England for some three hundred years and in its American colonies from the outset. Over the centuries, technology had led to the replacement of cumbersome, heavy, and inaccurate military weapons by more reliable and smaller flintlock muskets and, in the eighteenth century, by the famous Brown Bess musket. Lighter fowling pieces and pistols were also available and popular for personal protection and hunting. By the mid-seventeenth century, well-to-do women had taken to carrying little "pocket pistols" that could fit in a purse. By the eighteenth century the handgun had also become the weapon of choice for duels and highway robbery.

    For a replica of General Washington's pistol see here (link):

    One more for effect (link):

    George Washington's favorite weapon was a flintlock pistol made by the famous London gunsmith Hawkins in 1748. This perfect non-firing replica features working hammer and trigger mechanisms. It has a simulated-brass engraved barrel and silver-finished engraved fittings, including Washington`s nameplate on the grip. This is the most famous of all colonial classic weaponry, a keepsake to hand-down generation to generation

    Firearms tech was more advanced than your comment indicates.

    Parent

    Fell too far from #21 (none / 0) (#83)
    by wurman on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:39:40 AM EST
    Response to gyrfalcon

    Parent
    An excellent agrument! (none / 0) (#100)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:46:16 AM EST
    and freedom of speech was never meant to encompass the internet, radio, telegraph, telephone, computers or TV either.  After all, they were not envisioned by the framers.

    Parent
    Rights kill people? (none / 0) (#191)
    by Cajunrebelrouser on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 08:04:36 PM EST
    How many people have died because of the First Admendment? Im sure many. Should we scrap that one?  Come on man grow the hell up!

    Parent
    Since when is upholding (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by talex on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:46:02 AM EST
    an Amendment to the Constitution activism? You may not like guns but the law of the land is the law of the land.

    I say thank God they upheld the law of the land.

    Parent

    i don't see how anyone can read the 2nd ammendment (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:03:00 AM EST
    and then assert with a straight face that the right to own firearms is distinct and separate from the militia.

    The ammendment is on 27 words long and the first 4 words are "A well regulated militia"

    Parent

    yeah (none / 0) (#57)
    by talex on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:23:54 AM EST
    and a militia are citizens...

    and the guns they own are regulated.

    So what is your problem?

    Parent

    That is what I came to also (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by MissBrainerd on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:32:49 AM EST
    The court did not say there could be no regulation, just no outright bans.

    Parent
    my problem is that the (none / 0) (#70)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:30:54 AM EST
    court said the right to arms was separate from the well regulated militia.

    And, if you don't separate it from well regulated militia, and there aren't any state militias NOW, having been replaced with the National Guard, there would seem to me to longer be a RIGHT to a gun.

    So, it seems logical the a state or local govt should be allowed to ban certain types of weapons if they wanted to.  Especially if that state or local govt has no plans to organize a well regulated militia in its name.

    Parent

    I'm glad the court (none / 0) (#79)
    by talex on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:37:22 AM EST
    said the right to arms was separate from the well regulated militia. That makes your previous argument null and void.

    In many ways the language of the constitution 200 years ago was inadequate to address more modern times and the 'intent' of the framers. It is up to the courts to update that 'intent' with laws that fit the times.

    Botttomline: Guns will never be outlawed in this country.

    And if they ever were outlawed by some future US Government you will end up wishing you owned one.

    Parent

    isn't the argument of the strict constructionists (none / 0) (#132)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:39:36 PM EST
    that judges should not be trying to interpret "intent".  they should just look and see what is actually THERE in the constitution and not be trying to adjust it to make it apply to today's society?

    I never advocated OUTLAWING guns.  But, I see no valid reason for not allowing different locales such as DC to ban certain types of firearms.  And, I see no need for the average citizen in a urban environment to own a hand gun.

    Parent

    Well (none / 0) (#135)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:44:36 PM EST
    if the average citizen is a yuppie, you may be right.  But every major urban area has places where you simply can't count on timely police protection.   Some places are so dangerous that the cops won't go there, period.  If I were forced by circumstances to live in such a place, you better believe I'd want a gun for my family's protection.

    Banning handguns might be acceptable if we lived in a world where everyone can just dial 911 and the police are there within minutes to make everything safe.  In the rural areas, and in the more dangerous parts of the urban areas, that's not the actual situation.

    Parent

    well then wouldn't you expect (none / 0) (#168)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 02:12:25 PM EST
    that persons who live in dangerous urban environments would feel even safer if they had a machine gun instead of a hand gun?  then they would be able to "mow down" multiple gang members and ner-do-wells faster by just spraying ammo in the general direction of the group that intended to do them harm.

    Parent
    the people (none / 0) (#192)
    by Cajunrebelrouser on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 08:10:47 PM EST
    Who exactly are "the people" ?   Being that you are so intelligent and I so dumb , please explain who "the people" are.

    Parent
    I don't think the Constitution says (none / 0) (#14)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:47:24 AM EST
    what you think it does, apparently.

    Parent
    The 2nd ammendment is problamatic (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by MissBrainerd on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:34:22 AM EST
    Is there another ammendment that is so ambiguous and open to many different interpretations?/

    The Constitution is the best document ever written for free people, but nothing is perfect.

    Parent

    Apparently (none / 0) (#54)
    by talex on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:22:04 AM EST
    the courts, the federal government, states, counties and cities - and millions of law abiding citizens disagree with you and agree with me.

    The argument about the 2nd amendment is fruitless with people who are just afraid to death of guns.

    Parent

    Not Afraid Of Guns (none / 0) (#139)
    by daring grace on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:49:33 PM EST
    Unhappy with the pervasive misuse of them, but not otherwise afraid of them.

    But arguing how many agree with you is unpersuasive as to the correctness of this ruling: It's the argument that maintained oppression, like slavery, and second class citizenship status for anyone not a property owning white male in the U.S. for years.

    Tradition and prevailing values can be lousy moral compasses.

    Parent

    Wyatt Earp (none / 0) (#143)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:53:31 PM EST
    wasn't afraid of guns but still enforced the city ban of his day....

    Parent
    Most people who are killed are killed (none / 0) (#165)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:38:14 PM EST
    by people they know....

    As a parent, I would be afraid to let my kid play in homes with guns....Handguns are meant to kill people....

    I do think the D.C. ban was a bad law--people should have a right to a handguns in their homes for self-protection.....

    Personally, no guns in our house; and there are so many, many murder/suicides...I like the idea of using brains over brawn for protection....Lighting, alarms, barking dogs, calls to 911, etc....  

    Parent

    We don't keep guns in our (none / 0) (#181)
    by Grace on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 05:17:59 PM EST
    home either.  I also believe that your brain is your best weapon.  

    Not only that, as someone else once said:  "If anyone wants to hurt me, he's going to have to bring his own gun."  

    Parent

    I've never even held a gun.... (none / 0) (#189)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:38:18 AM EST
    but I full support the right of individuals to own them...even assault rifles.  

    I go with the Lousville Slugger home security system myself...and my mutt.  I'd be too afraid of an accidental shooting somebody to own a gun...it's very hard, if not impossible, to accidentally bat somebody.  I always thought if you want to kill somebody you should use a knife or blunt object....up close and personal.  Guns make it too damn easy to kill....too bad we can't uninvent the blasted things.

    But if the authoritarian police state trends, and food and gas price trends, continue...I might just have to get one yet....to be prepared for a Mad-Max like existence in a post-apocolyptic America:)

    Parent

    Applause!! (none / 0) (#90)
    by befuddledvoter on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:41:57 AM EST
    Thank you!

    Parent
    the most interesting thing here is (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:39:57 AM EST
    the decision to overturn a settled precedent but to not own up to doing so.

    Parent
    The decision doesn't "overturn" Miller (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by scribe on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:12:19 AM EST
    Rather, Scalia (correctly) notes that (a) Miller was a one-sided decision in that Miller never filed a brief (only the United States filed a brief) and (b) the discussion of the Second Amendment and precedent in the United States' brief was cursory at best and (c) goes on to limit Miller pretty much to its own facts.

    It's not overturning - it's distinguishing.

    Actually, Scalia has some verbiage regarding (i.e., denigrating) Miller and one-sided adjudication which would properly and accurately be put to use to condemn things like ... military tribunals, CSRTs, and such.

    Parent

    Hah! (none / 0) (#87)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:40:53 AM EST
    I grant you Scalia CLAIMS he did not overturn Miller, but you and I both know he did.

    Parent
    One should only count (none / 0) (#133)
    by scribe on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:42:36 PM EST
    a decision as having been overruled, when the Court explicitly says "we overrule...".  Otherwise, one can run into nasty problems when writing or responding to briefs.

    As the law stands now, Scalia (for the Court) distinguished Miller into relative insignificance, but the Court did not overrule it.  But, it still has some vitality left.

    Parent

    Which is the first thing Stevens's dissent (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:41:21 AM EST
    calls them out on.

    Parent
    And what precedent (none / 0) (#6)
    by talex on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:43:17 AM EST
    would that be? Don't say states rights.

    BTW - off topic - but is this blog going to remain silent on Obama's cloture non-vote yesterday?

    Parent

    Miller (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:44:52 AM EST
    Are you unfamiliar with the case?

    Parent
    As justice Stevens writes (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:48:16 AM EST
    [S]tate militias could not effectively check the prospect of a federal standing army so long as Congress retained the power to disarm them, and so a guarantee against such disarmament was needed.27 As we explained in Miller: "With obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of such forces the declaration and guarantee of the Second Amendment were made. It must be interpreted and applied with that end in view." 307 U. S., at 178.

    (Emphasis mine.)

    Parent

    I'm not quite sure (none / 0) (#32)
    by talex on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:04:01 AM EST
    how that makes your case. Stevens is saying Miller guaranteed the Second Amendment. Again Miller had to do with registration not banning.

    Parent
    you asre mistaken (none / 0) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:09:37 AM EST
    Miller declared that ownership of a machine gun was not guaranteed under the Second Amendment outside of use in a Militia.

    Parent
    Vaguely familiar (none / 0) (#20)
    by talex on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:55:33 AM EST
    as a gun owner I think I recall Miller being about the registration of guns not the outright banning of them, in this case handguns.

    Apples and oranges. How can you even begin to argue that Registration and Banning are the same? You must be anti-gun to come to that stretch of a conclusion.

    Parent

    You are mistaken (none / 0) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:00:01 AM EST
    Miller involved the banning of machine guns.

    Parent
    Excuse me (none / 0) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:08:42 AM EST
    It involved the claimed constitutional right to own a machine gun.

    Parent
    A MACHINE GUN!!! (none / 0) (#72)
    by talex on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:31:29 AM EST
    MACHINE GUN!!!

    MACHINE GUN!!!

    MACHINE GUN!!!

    If your argument can't distinguish between a gangsters MACHINE GUN and a law abiding citizens hand gun then there is nothing to argue about because you have no argument.

    If you can't distinguish between a case having to do with a 1934 gangster era case "Passed in response to public outcry over the St. Valentine's Day Massacre" and the banning of hand guns of law abiding citizens in their own homes then you have no argument.

    Apparently you don't believe in the right for a citizen to own a handgun in their own home. Is that correct?

    Parent

    My argument is based on the Constitution (none / 0) (#92)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:42:39 AM EST
    not on you ALL CAPS response.

    If I understand you correctly, you are saying the 2nd Amendment meant "handguns" not "machine guns" when it uses the word "arms."

    It is an interesting interpretation.

    Parent

    Whatever Man (none / 0) (#130)
    by talex on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:38:30 PM EST
    You know damned well that the distinction between handguns and sporting arms versus automatic weapons is well documented including a now expired 10 ban on assault weapons.

    So your argument is totally nonsense. Give it up. You are just flat wrong and not looking any to knowledgeable on the subject by making such arguments.

    Parent

    The D.C. ban was overbroad (none / 0) (#146)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:01:24 PM EST
    It should have been struck down on privacy grounds....One's right to privacy includes having a hand gun in one's home for personal protection.  Griswold and penumbras ride again.

    It could have been struck down on the basis of violating people's "liberty" under Substantive Due Process.  Those routes would have required less legislative writing than Scalia's opinion.

    Parent

    Whatever Man - pt 2 (none / 0) (#134)
    by talex on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:43:47 PM EST
    additionally when the 2nd amendment was written there were no readily available over the counter automatic weapons to be had.

    In addition society back then was not what it is today. Use a little common sense Armando. Sometimes the constitution has to be reworked to reflect the realities of today and sometimes we need to have judges that have to try to determine the 'intent' of the framers and put it into present day terms and laws. If those things were not done we would still have slaves and women would not be able to vote.

    Parent

    Heh (none / 0) (#137)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:47:15 PM EST
    So you're under the impression that slavery ended, and women got the right to vote, as a consequence of judicial decisions?

    BTD has not argued that there is no difference between machine guns and handguns.  He has simply argued that Scalia did not offer any convincing basis for setting aside prior precedent.  The reason, it seems to me, is that Scalia's actual reasoning process is completely inconsistent with his ostensible judicial philosophy.

    It's all well and good for you or me to write "sometimes the constitution has to be reworked to reflect the realities of today."  Tell me, have you seen language like that in many Scalia opinions?

    Parent

    Yes, I have (none / 0) (#149)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:04:41 PM EST
    Scalia believes that the Original Intent matters....

    In this case, the Founders weren't liberals afraid of guns; so, guns is good.  You have to get back to the anti-liberal, god-fearing beliefs that made this country great.  And guns are part of that....

    Parent

    Okay (none / 0) (#151)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:07:41 PM EST
    Please point me to one or two of the Scalia opinions you've seen where he has written something like "sometimes the constitution has to be reworked to reflect the realities of today."

    Parent
    Bush v. Gore (none / 0) (#155)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:10:26 PM EST
    Scalia believes in a living, breathing constitution flexible enough to avoid anarchy....And federalism, allowing states to  have their own laws, can be so darned inconvenient when conservatives don't run the states....

    Parent
    I gather (none / 0) (#158)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:15:44 PM EST
    that you agree with me that Scalia has never written anything like that.

    Parent
    Ahem, Bush v. Gore (none / 0) (#161)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:24:23 PM EST
    Scalia was with the majority on that one....No such thing as Federalism when it becomes inconvenient.....

    Loosey, goosey, Equal Protection analysis to be applied according to one's own political belief, righto?

    Parent

    Which militias use only handguns? (none / 0) (#145)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:55:24 PM EST
    Well, once again (none / 0) (#188)
    by pedestrian on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:12:44 AM EST
    that is a distinction for the legislature, not a constitutional argument.

    Does your copy of the Second Ammendment say that people have an individual right to own handguns, but can only own machine guns as part of a well-organized militia?  

    Parent

    I'm not mistaken (none / 0) (#41)
    by talex on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:12:52 AM EST
    DC had to do with hand gun banning which are use for personal protection and sport shooting.

    Hand guns are not machine guns. So your saying that they are one and the same and that the SCOTUS " overturn[ed] a settled precedent" is hogwash. The two cases are entirely seperate

    In my post I specifically named handguns. And then you come back with machine guns? Ridiculous. The two are apples and oranges as are Miller and the recent Heller case.

    One must be able to distinguish between a hand gun and a machine gun in order to rationally argue the difference between the two cases I suppose.

    Parent

    he's not saying that at all (none / 0) (#78)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:37:11 AM EST
    he's saying if it doesn't go against anyone's  constitutional RIGHTS to ban machine guns, why is it unconstitutional to ban hand guns?

    How have the justices justified allowing the ban of machine guns and not allowing the ban of hand guns?

    Who gets to decide which weapons can be banned and which cannot?

    Did this ruling auomatically negate the ban of machine guns?  If it didn't, why wouldn't someone just use this ruling to overturn the ban on machine guns?  and on, and on, and on until every one of us can own any type of weapon we want to.

    Parent

    The answer (none / 0) (#93)
    by talex on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:43:05 AM EST
    to your question about the difference between machine guns and hand guns is well documented and I won't try to sumerize it here.

    But I will say that a little common sense in distinguishing between the two would go a long way to answering your own questions.

    Parent

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:48:35 AM EST
    It would be nice if the answer were well documented in this opinion.  Judges are supposed to explain the reasons for distinguishing or harmonizing prior precedent, not leave it to random Internet commentors to explain What Scalia Really Meant.

    Parent
    Who said there was any precedent? (none / 0) (#124)
    by talex on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:31:58 PM EST
    I don't think precedent was even argued in the case was it?

    Parent
    the second ammendment doesn't (none / 0) (#144)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:54:36 PM EST
    state anything specific about DIFFERENT types of firearms.  if you can't constitutionally ban hand guns based on the 2nd ammendment, then how can you ban machine guns based on the ammendment?  The 2nd ammendment has no definition in it of firearm that would allow you to distinguish between a hand gun and a machine gun.

    Parent
    Ah, "common sense" (none / 0) (#162)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:25:49 PM EST
    as a basis of interpreting the Constitution....That doesn't sound like Originalism to me.....

    Parent
    Big Tent, I'm afraid that you are unfamiliar... (none / 0) (#187)
    by tommythegun on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 05:45:48 AM EST
    with the case (Miller).  In point of fact, so are Stevens, and the dissenters, since they argued that Miller et al were convicted under an NFA violation in the case (which they weren't).  First off, Miller had nothing to do with machine guns.  The respondents in the case were arrested by Treasury agents for carrying a short-barreled shotgun across state lines without paying for a tax stamp.  Second, the Court's ruling in Miller did NOT require that any weapon subject to the 2nd Amendment be exclusively used in a militia, only  that the weapon in question (a short-barreled shotgun) had no reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia (whether another weapon, which presumably might have had such a relationship, would be protected was a case that the Court never addressed). There is a subtle, but clear distinction which the Court in Heller realized, and which the dissent relying on Miller failed to grasp.

    Secondly, the dissent also failed to grasp the legal definition of militia (which, interestingly, the Court in Miller seemed to). The Miller decision found "...the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. 'A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline.' And further, that ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time."  The Court in Heller correctly distinguished between the Unorganized militia (the type referred to in Miller, and recognized in the Militia Act of 1792, currently in 10 USC 311, which specifies all male citizens or those expressing an intent to become a citizen between the ages of 17 and 45, all females part of the National Guard, excepting certain public officers, as belonging to the Militia) and the Organized Militia (the type address by the Militia clause of Article I in the Constitution, currently organized under the National Guard following the Militia Act of 1903).

    Parent

    please don't go off topic (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:47:50 AM EST
    send an email if you'd like to see something else covered, or put it in an open thread. Thanks.

    Parent
    Sorry (none / 0) (#22)
    by talex on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:55:56 AM EST
    I think Stevens wraps it up nicely here (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:43:02 AM EST
    When each word in the text is given full effect, the Amendment is most naturally read to secure to the people a right to use and possess arms in conjunction with service in a well-regulated militia. So far as appears, no more
    than that was contemplated by its drafters or is encompassed within its terms. Even if the meaning of the text were genuinely susceptible to more than one interpretation, the burden would remain on those advocating a departure from the purpose identified in the preamble and from settled law to come forward with persuasive new arguments or evidence. The textual analysis offered by respondent and embraced by the Court falls far short of sustaining that heavy burden.14 And the Court's emphatic reliance on the claim "that the Second Amendment . . . codified a pre-existing right," ante, at 19, is of course beside the point because the right to keep and bear arms for service in a state militia was also a pre-existing right.

    (Emphasis mine.)

    In order for there to be a militia (4.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Radix on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:00:13 AM EST
    the people would need to be armed, or there would be no point of a militia at all. At the time of the writing and signing of the constitution, rifles were common place. It may not have occurred to the writers that they would have expressly state the obvious, people have to have weapons if a militia is to be formed. Nor, do I imagine, that the writers believed that the states would have to telegraph their intentions by arming the citizens themselves, as one of the purposes of a state militia was to defend the state from the Fed.

    Parent
    you put the cart before the horse (none / 0) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:11:34 AM EST
    In order to assert the right under the Second Amendment, the use of the "arms" must be related to membership in "a well regulated Militia," not in the potential membership in a well regulated militia.

    Parent
    That's not the law (none / 0) (#47)
    by myiq2xu on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:17:14 AM EST
    Scalia said so.

    Parent
    We are discussing (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:28:15 AM EST
    the Constitution, and indeed, I accept the statement of  Marbury v. Madision that the Constitution is what the SCOTUS says it is. So technically, you are correct.

    but Scalia's interpetation is incorrect. Even though it is now the law of the land.

    Parent

    I don't believe so. (none / 0) (#80)
    by Radix on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:38:24 AM EST
    I believe I addressed this point in my original post. One of the purposes, as intended, for militias, was the check against an over reaching central government. If the citizens of a particular region didn't already own arms, then the State they reside in, arming them, would not go unnoticed by the Fed. I don't believe militia is a condition of own arms, instead, I view it as a extra benefit to a State or region of having an already armed populace.

    Parent
    Could this reflect on corporate personhood? (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:02:40 AM EST
    "All three of these instances unambiguously refer to individual rights, not "collective" rights, or rights that may be exercised only through participation in some corporate body." from Scalia's opinion

    Through some sleight of hand ~100 years ago, corporations were granted the same rights as individuals. Which gives them huge power since they do not die and individuals aren't held to account etc etc etc.

    This quote gives me hope that someday we can revisit the fact that corporations are allowed rights that belong to the people.

    Yes, one can hope... (none / 0) (#170)
    by Rojas on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 02:58:31 PM EST
    Support for the Bill of Rights (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Jim J on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:08:10 AM EST
    isn't just limited to warrantless wiretapping and other Fourth Amendment concerns.

    We have the right to keep and bear arms in this country. Period.

    The "but, but, only for militia" dissent is a red herring. No way the founding fathers intended for private citizens to be prohibited from owning personal firearms in any way, militia or no militia.

    Great decision by the court here.

    I've (none / 0) (#43)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:13:00 AM EST
    listened to some debates on this. The only agreement that most people can come to is that the second amendment was poorly written.

    Parent
    Well (none / 0) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:13:50 AM EST
    There is a convincing argument. "period."

    Actually, that is exactly what they intended. Otherwise the language about a well regulated militia would not have been included in the Amendment.

    More to the point, the Court has just overturned a 68 year old settled precedent without in any way explaining why that is acceptable.

    You can argue that Miller was wrongly decided, but that is not sufficient to overturn it.

    Parent

    As to that language you mention: (none / 0) (#148)
    by Jim J on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:03:34 PM EST
    It clearly does not limit gun ownership to militia. Otherwise it would have been far more explicit, yes? As in: "The right to keep and bear arms will be allowed insofar as the needs of a well-regulated militia dictate."

    Yes?

    The lack of distinct prohibition means we have the right to keep and bear arms in this country.

    Period.

    Deal with it.

    Parent

    Come on (none / 0) (#154)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:10:21 PM EST
    You could make this "the language could have been clearer" argument in either direction.  Obviously the clearest way to convey that there is a right to keep and bear arms, period, is to write "There is a right to keep and bear arms."

    People who refuse to acknowledge that there are two sides to the argument make this particular debate extremely tiresome.

    Parent

    There are not two sides actually (none / 0) (#174)
    by Jim J on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 04:06:59 PM EST
    The Supreme Court has ruled on this. There's one side, the correct side.

    Nice way to dodge my point, btw.

    So: Any answer as to why the fathers didn't specifically prohibit individual gun ownership in the absence of a militia if that's actually what they intended?

    Didn't think so.

    Parent

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 04:39:00 PM EST
    I can acknowledge that the language could be clearer in support of EITHER position.  Why can't you?

    The idea that once the Supreme Court rules, the issue is settled now and forever, is something I've noticed people tend to apply very selectively.  Prior to today, there was precedent squarely against the individual rights position, and I doubt you considered that the other side of the debate was the only correct side.

    Your immature brand of triumphalism is extremely annoying, and I'm just going to let you go on your way at this point.

    Parent

    No. (none / 0) (#52)
    by jtaylorr on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:21:42 AM EST
    "We have the right to keep and bear arms in this country. Period. "
    The ruling was 5-4.
    So unless you feel you know more about the Constitution than Justices Breyer, Stevens, Souter, and Ginsburg, then this debate is hardly settled.
    The fact of the matter is, if Kerry had won in 2004, the ban would have been upheld.


    Parent
    A 5-4 decision is still the law (none / 0) (#62)
    by myiq2xu on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:26:02 AM EST
    If pigs had wings they would be eagles.

    Parent
    You of course recognize (none / 0) (#156)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:13:02 PM EST
    that the Founding Fathers also believed in Federalism?  

    Certain rights would be protected by the Bill of Rights--that did not mean that the states did not have the ability to curb other rights...

    Parent

    OT but i've seen just how "progressive" (1.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Salo on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:12:57 AM EST
    our friends are.  can we get a condemnation of th edeath penalty from his followers?  At least? pretty please?

    wow.

    Salo, can you stay on topic? (none / 0) (#66)
    by Tortmaster on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:27:34 AM EST
    BTD, here is my best rationale:

    I figured Scalia would recognize that militas, at the time of the framers, were average citizens who did not belong to the Illinois National Guard or the Vermont State Police. Thus, whether you look at the "Right of the People" (obvious individual right) or the "militia" clause (militias used to be just average individuals), there was an argument for an individual right.

    For that reason, I thought an individual right would be recognized, and I really cannot argue with the logic -- although I want to do so.

    The big issue for me was regulation. Even if you have a fundamental right to own a gun, does it have to be a handgun (i.e. the automatic weapon, bazooka argument)? I would think that Washington, D.C. would have put on some very COMPELLING evidence vis-a-vis murder rates, accident rates, etc. Why can't a D.C. resident just own a shotgun -- not sawed off?  

    It will now become a challenge for municipalities to regulate the right as far as they can, but without an outright ban, and then try to respond to the court challenges that are sure to come.  

    It looks like this is going to go a similar route as Roe v. Wade, with a right announced and insular jurisdictions chipping away at the right through "regulation" of that right -- but with no outright ban. Yet.  


    Parent

    And now we have yet (1.00 / 0) (#89)
    by mikeyleigh on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:41:13 AM EST
    another mealy-mouthed, weasel-worded response from our constitutional law teaching Democratic nominee.  Senator Obama is truly pathetic.

    Sadly, it seems like an OK decision. (none / 0) (#8)
    by MissBrainerd on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:43:42 AM EST
    I hate guns, would prefer no one have any at all, but this is America.

    Thank goodness they said we can still regulate in some ways.

    But how can we charge people with extra jail time for committing a crime with a gun they have a right to own?

    What makes it an ok decision? (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:50:10 AM EST
    Is it a proper interpretation of the Constitution? does it respect a settled precedent of 68 years? Does its reasoning explain why a settled precedent has been overturned?

    It is a very poor decision.

    Parent

    If you can answer this point, please do (5.00 / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:52:24 AM EST
    Justice Stevens writes:

    The evidence plainly refutes the claim
    that the Amendment was motivated by the Framers' fears that Congress might act to regulate any civilian uses of weapons. And even if the historical record were genuinely ambiguous, the burden would remain on the parties advocating a change in the law to introduce facts or arguments " `newly ascertained,' " Vasquez, 474 U. S., at 266; the Court is unable to identify any such facts or arguments.


    Parent
    I am not allowed (none / 0) (#58)
    by MissBrainerd on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:24:14 AM EST
    to post a comment on anything you write.

    :)

    Parent

    Not true (none / 0) (#64)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:26:53 AM EST
    You are not allowed to post comments in my post.

    this is not my post.

    Parent

    I would prefer a total ban! nt (none / 0) (#82)
    by MissBrainerd on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:39:18 AM EST
    Kelo was (none / 0) (#107)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:52:52 AM EST
    a poor decision for individualism.  This was a excellent decision for individuals.

    Parent
    Indeed (none / 0) (#119)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:17:02 PM EST
    Kelo was a decision faithful to precedent, the Constitution and the history of our common law.

    This decision is violative of precedent, the Constitution and the history of our common law.

    I think you make an interesting point in comparing them.

    In both cases, the "strict constructionists" of the court violated all judicial and Constitutional precepts to reach the result they favored. Judicial activists and Legal Realists all of them.
     

    Parent

    Kelo is no big deal (none / 0) (#159)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:18:15 PM EST
    Takings for the public good occur all the time....Redevelopment projects revive cities--that is a public good....Local City Councils make the decision to take--not some remote, inaccesible federal or state agency....

    The reality is that few city councils want to exercise the right to emiment domain because of the political blowback....They get thrown out of office--the recall petition is only a couple of months away for those folks...

    Parent

    No big deal until (none / 0) (#182)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 05:38:57 PM EST
    your property is taken.  Next you'll be saying no big deal, it's not my freedom on speech being infringed.

    Parent
    Strange decision (none / 0) (#27)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:59:45 AM EST
    It recognizes the principle of an individual right, which is significant, but it doesn't seem to go much further than that in practical terms.  The part of the opinion where he says "oh, of course this won't affect any standard restrictions, like guns in schools," seems like a bunch of hand-waving.  We recall from the reaction to the Virginia Tech shooting that there is not, at all, a national consensus on the notion that banning guns in school is reasonable and consistent with the Second Amendment.

    So if these restrictions are okay, what specfically makes them okay?  How are we to distinguish the okay restrictions from the not-okay restrictions?  Apparently Scalia has the answer, because he's willing to tell us that all these various restrictions are okay, but he doesn't provide it.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#33)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:07:36 AM EST
    IMO this negates all gun 'infringing' laws in the country. It is a right that cannot be infringed. I now fully expect concealed weapons on the streets.

    The purpose clause, IMO should regulate firearm owning rights for the purpose of a militia, which would allow for regulation of non-usable in combat firearms and might dictate training and safety precautions needed.

    Parent

    Well (none / 0) (#37)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:11:07 AM EST
    To be clear, Scalia plainly says that it's not a right without limitation, any more than the First Amendment is a right without limitation.

    The problem is that he doesn't explain why or how, or go through the reasons why he knows the current restrictions are all okay.

    Parent

    Right. (none / 0) (#50)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:20:14 AM EST
    There are unenumerated limitations. But by ignoring the moderating phrase and heralding gun ownership as one of the inalienable rights of individuals, don't you think he has opened the door pretty wide?

    Parent
    Open the door wide to what? (none / 0) (#65)
    by kredwyn on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:27:08 AM EST
    You use a gun in the commission of a crime, you're a criminal using a gun.

    If you get caught, arrested, and convicted for committing that crime, you go to jail.

    Some states have added charges for using a gun during the commission of the crime. So you wind up going to jail for longer.

    Parent

    But if I have a right to my gun (none / 0) (#86)
    by MissBrainerd on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:40:43 AM EST
    how can I be punished further for that gun?

    devils advocate here

    Parent

    Well... (none / 0) (#99)
    by kredwyn on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:46:12 AM EST
    IIRC from my time living in TX, it's how you use that gun.

    Parent
    OJ Should be Happy with this Ruling (none / 0) (#111)
    by Dan the Man on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:58:35 AM EST
    He was charged with a bunch of crimes associated with deadly weapons.  But now he can claim all that happened was he "asked for guns to be carried to look tough but that the guns would not be used", and since it is a constitutional right to carry guns and look tough while not using the guns, it is unconstitutional to charge him with a higher crime (with a potentionally tougher punishment) merely because he exercised his constitutional rights.

    Parent
    And let the legislation and litigation begin... (none / 0) (#74)
    by santarita on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:32:56 AM EST
    I just took a glance at the NRA site and they are happy but not satisfied.  The limitations that Scalia mentioned will be legislated and then litigated for a long time.  I notice that he used the term "mentally ill".  I don't know if that term has a settled legal meaning but that seems like an exception big enough to drive a Sherman tank through.  And he also talked about restricting the right to the kind of weaponry in existence at the time of the drafting.  This apparently feeds into "common use" vs "dangerous and unusual" weapons.

    This decision is really a gift to McCain and Republicans, in general, because it brings up one of those wedge issues that will rouse people to vote against Obama.  His remarks about bitter people clinging to guns and religion will come back to haunt him.

    Parent

    There are already concealed guns (none / 0) (#45)
    by kredwyn on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:16:47 AM EST
    on the street.

    Parent
    Your job isn't to tell the difference (none / 0) (#46)
    by Salo on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:16:58 AM EST
    That's a judge's job.

    Parent
    Er (none / 0) (#63)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:26:05 AM EST
    Is this snark?

    Parent
    Actually it is worse than that (none / 0) (#55)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:22:47 AM EST
    Consider that the Second Amendment did not apply to states (since this is a DC law this issue seems not to have been raised in the opinions) until the passage of the 14th Amendment (through the incorporation doctrine), how could one possibly interpret a STATE law prohibiting handguns to violate the Second Amendment in its original meaning?

    Scalia says of course there can be "reasonable regulation" of arms ownership and use. Why there can be is not explained by him. but it is explained by the Second amendment itself - because the purpose of the Second Amendment is to prohibit the federal government from impinging on the States' ability to form militias.

    What the Second Amendment does is prohibit the federal government from interfering with the right of the people to bear arms for the purpose of serving in a state militia.

    that is the only logical interpretation, it was the settled precedent of the Supreme Court for 68 years and Scalia does not come close to meeting the burden for overturning the Miller precedent, even if you believe Miller was incorrectly decided.

    Parent

    Hmm (none / 0) (#69)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:28:22 AM EST
    That's a good point, but really, the interplay between the incorporation doctrine and original understanding is one of those things the originalists have a lot of trouble dealing with in general.

    I think the reason "reasonable regulation" is permissible, in Scalia's view, is not because of the purpose of the Second Amendment, but because of the same reason it's permissible under the First Amendment.  That reason being "oh, come on, obviously they never intended it to be an unlimited right."

    Parent

    Heh (5.00 / 0) (#112)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:59:10 AM EST
    Legal Realists we all are no?

    Anyway, to further my point, I again quote from Stevens' dissent:

    Only one other 19th-century case in this Court, Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252 (1886), engaged in any significant discussion of the Second Amendment. The petitioner in Presser was convicted of violating a state statute that
    prohibited organizations other than the Illinois National Guard from associating together as military companies or parading with arms
    . Presser challenged his conviction, asserting, as relevant, that the statute violated both the
    Second and the Fourteenth Amendments
    . With respect to the Second Amendment, the Court wrote:

    "We think it clear that the sections under consideration, which only forbid bodies of men to associate together as military organizations, or to drill or parade with arms in cities and towns unless authorized by law, do not infringe the right of the people to keep and bear arms. But a conclusive answer to the contention
    that this amendment prohibits the legislation in question lies in the fact that the amendment is a limitation only upon the power of Congress and the National government, and not upon that of the States." Id., at 264-265.

    And in discussing the Fourteenth Amendment, the Court explained:

    "The plaintiff in error was not a member of the organized volunteer militia of the State of Illinois, nor did he belong to the troops of the United States or to any organization under the militia law of the United States. On the contrary, the fact that he did not belong to the organized militia or the troops of the United States was an ingredient in the offence for
    which he was convicted and sentenced. The question
    is, therefore, had he a right as a citizen of the United States, in disobedience of the State law, to associate with others as a military company, and to drill and parade with arms in the towns and cities of the State?

    If the plaintiff in error has any such privilege he must be able to point to the provision of the Constitution or statutes of the United States by which it is conferred." Id., at 266.

    Presser, therefore, both affirmed Cruikshank's holding that the Second Amendment posed no obstacle to regulation by state governments, and suggested that in any event nothing in the Constitution protected the use of arms outside the context of a militia "authorized by law" and organized by the State or Federal Government.

    Emphasis supplied.)

    Parent

    To be honest (none / 0) (#113)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:01:00 PM EST
    of all the justifications, I like Scalia's reference to the "inherent right of self-defense" best of all.  I do agree with you that Scalia is not the person who ought to be bringing up unenumerated rights.

    Parent
    Sawed-off shotguns are probably (none / 0) (#142)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:51:55 PM EST
    the most effective arms for self defense, especially within the confines of one's home.

    I'm starting to not understand how their ban can be constitutional.

    Parent

    It is like other rights. (none / 0) (#61)
    by MissBrainerd on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:25:56 AM EST
    I have a right to own a car, but I can't drive without a license and I have to be 16.

    I have a right to own a gun, but I can't bring it to school or keep it in my car unless I have a permit.

    Parent

    Hmm? (none / 0) (#71)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:31:29 AM EST
    You have a constitutional right to own a car?  Seriously?

    All you're doing is stating what the status quo is, without providing any explanation for why it's constitutionally permissible.  Where does the school exception appear in the Second Amendment?  Where does the automobile exception appear in the Second Amendment?  How can Scalia declare, without going through any reasoning process whatsoever, that these restrictions on gun ownership are obviously consistent with the Second Amendment?

    Parent

    There is no car-owning right n/t (none / 0) (#97)
    by Valhalla on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:45:08 AM EST
    Rights are reserved to the people (none / 0) (#125)
    by wurman on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:32:35 PM EST
    unless the Constitution delegates them or prohibits them to a state government, & my specific state has not taken some action to limit or forbid.

    I have a right to milk, or a car, or anything else that is not delegated or prohibited in the US Constitution or regulated by my state.

    Parent

    Well, he specifically called out (none / 0) (#121)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:23:17 PM EST
    banning firearms from government buildings, not to imply he was exhibiting self-interest, or anything.  

    Parent
    Gun Ownership Decision (none / 0) (#49)
    by veloer on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:18:13 AM EST
    What is usually overlooked in the militia argument is that Militiamen were required to bring their own firearms to muster.

    That's just not (none / 0) (#81)
    by mikeyleigh on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:39:05 AM EST
    historically correct, especially for the time period during the Revolution.  One of Washington's unending problems, as well as that of the Continental Congress, was finding supplies of muskets to equip all the mililtas called into service.

    Parent
    It is (none / 0) (#116)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:10:59 PM EST
    historically correct.  Washington had to find arms that took the same size ammo.  

    Parent
    You are wrong on the facts, but (none / 0) (#122)
    by mikeyleigh on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:23:40 PM EST
    even if you were right in your assumption, it undermines the thrust of the well-armed militia argument.  If the government needs to find weapons for a miltia, then it doesn't matter whether said militia men own their own weapons or not.

    By the way, militias got their members from all walks of life and from all locales within the state.  The odds of working class citizens in New York City, for example, owning muskets was not as good as militia members coming in from the hinterlands.

    Parent

    Is your argument, then, with the word (none / 0) (#138)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:48:55 PM EST
    "required?"

    Parent
    Some very telling language from the opinion (none / 0) (#53)
    by scribe on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:21:42 AM EST
    This is an enumerated right and therefore not to be lightly or easily limited.  He cites Footnote 4 of Carolene Products for that proposition, BTW.  This tells me he wanted to go to strict scrutiny but couldn't get the votes for it.  This - and the result he hands up - tells me he only got a 5th vote by not announcing the standard of review.

    More to the point, and applicable in other cases and as to other Amendments, at the end of Scalia's opinion, he says:

    We know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding "interest-balancing" approach. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government--even the case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon. A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges' assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all. Constitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them, whether or not future legislatures or (yes) even future judges think that scope too broad. We would not apply an "interest-balancing" approach to the prohibition of a peaceful neo-Nazi march through Skokie. See National Socialist Party of America v. Skokie, 432 U. S. 43 (1977) (per curiam). The First Amendment contains the freedom-of-speech guarantee that the people ratified, which included exceptions for obscenity, libel, and disclosure of state secrets, but not for the expression of extremely unpopular and wrong-headed views. The Second Amendment is no different. Like the First, it is the very product of an interest-balancing by the people--which JUSTICE BREYER would now conduct for them anew. And whatever else it leaves to future evaluation, it surely elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and
    home.
    * * *
    We are aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country, and we take seriously the concerns raised by the many amici who believe that prohibition of handgun ownership is a solution. The Constitution leaves the District of Columbia a variety of tools for combating that
    problem, including some measures regulating handguns, see supra, at 54-55, and n. 26. But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home. Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.

    Let's substitute in Scalia's language "Fourth Amendment" for "Second Amendment", and "suspicionless warrantless wiretapping" for "handgun prohibition", and then see where all you people condemning the opinion come out.  Because the principles are neutral.

    Nope - this is a very, very important opinion and not just for those of us who like our guns.

    Well (none / 0) (#59)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:25:08 AM EST
    The problem is that having a handgun in your home is sui generis and not necessarily analogous to any other factual situation under any other Amendment.  Not everyone will agree that the rights should be equated.

    Parent
    The flasw in your argument (none / 0) (#60)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:25:54 AM EST
    is your acceptance of Scalia's definition of the right.

    I suggest you read Stevens' dissent carefully.

    Parent

    Nope - no flaw in my argument (none / 0) (#91)
    by scribe on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:42:07 AM EST
    A colleague once remarked that a good appellate argument was one where a listener would hear out both sides and acknowledge both sides have a good point or points.

    That's what we have here.

    I just happen to be of the opinion (that's why they call them judicial opinions, BTW) that the better view of the law is the one Scalia set forth.  Not necessarily because I think unlimited weapons ownership is a great idea (though for me it would be quite OK, because I'm both eminently reasonable, safe and knowledgeable... /snark>),  Rather, I want constitutional decisions - particularly those on enumerated rights - to be as broad as possible in favor of the individual and as ruthlessly limiting as possible on the power of the government.

    Remember, as the wise man once said:  "It's not whether you live or die but, rather, it's about how you choose to live.  You're going to die anyway, so being scared about dying is a waste of time, energy and stupid, to boot."

    Which, FWIW, is why I thought the dissent in Boumediene was a crock of sh&t.  Telling me that because of the Court's decision, people will die, is telling me nothing, other than the person writing it wants to scare the stupid into being a mob running to hide behind someone's skirts.  

    The unifying principle which allows me to support both the majority decisions - Boumediene and Heller - is that they enhance the rights and powers of individuals and diminish the powers of government.

    And, because I'm right, you should agree with me.

    Parent

    Not all appellate arguments (none / 0) (#118)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:12:11 PM EST
    are good ones.

    Parent
    This was one of the good ones (none / 0) (#131)
    by scribe on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:39:01 PM EST
    This ruling is NOT... (none / 0) (#56)
    by kredwyn on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:22:51 AM EST
    going to automatically turn the whole country into the Wild Wild West.

    I'm betting that each city street will not suddenly become a reprise of the OK Corral.

    Hmmmm... (none / 0) (#95)
    by santarita on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:44:11 AM EST
    Some might argue that we are approaching O K Corral status anyway.  I agree that drive-by shootings, gang warfare, and people taking the law into their own hands by shooting fleeing suspects will increase dramatically as a result of this ruling.  We may see an increase in accidental shootings because Scalia's opinion could be seen as promoting the use of handguns for self-defense.  

    Parent
    Well (none / 0) (#98)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:45:31 AM EST
    that is not, imo, a cogent defense of this decision.

    Parent
    Did I say it was? (none / 0) (#103)
    by kredwyn on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:50:09 AM EST
    But one of the emotional arguments I remember from the CO legislature's decision to fix the state's gun laws so that they were far more uniform was:

    "We're going back to the Wild Wild West and the streets are going to run with blood."

    It's an emotional appeal of the hyperbolic kind based on a rhetoric of fear.

    Parent

    The ruling will open up lots (none / 0) (#75)
    by myiq2xu on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:34:20 AM EST
    of new litigation.

    The NRA must be ecstatic.

    Happy but not Ecstatic (none / 0) (#101)
    by santarita on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:46:31 AM EST
    They are not 100% satisfied.

    Parent
    Don't Get It (none / 0) (#105)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:51:59 AM EST
    Irrespective of whether you like to have guns around the house or not, I do not see how anyone could make the leap that the 2nd amendment applies to anyone who is not in a well regulated militia. Seems to me if gun owners are basing their right to bear arms on the second amendment gun owners should be sent to go  Iraq, and Afghanistan.

    Oh, you say that the well regulated militia is needed to protect the homeland? Well a good test of that would be to form a well regulated militia, and see what the local, state and federal government does about it. My guess is those participating in the said militia would find themselves in Gitmo real quick.

    Heh (none / 0) (#109)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:55:40 AM EST
    Here's a recent story that says your guess is wrong.

    Parent
    Good One! (none / 0) (#127)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:36:51 PM EST
    Although somehow I imagine that I would not get the same treatment if I started a well regulated militia, in order to defend myself and my friends against foreign or domestic militias like Blackwater.


    Parent
    who cannot understand how anyone could make the leap that the 2A applies only to those in a well regulated militia.

    They called it the Bill of Rights, not the Bill of Limitations of Rights.

    Parent

    OK (none / 0) (#153)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:08:51 PM EST
    Than you should be allowed to murder, rape, pillage and steal. Because the Bill of Rights is not the Bill of Limitations of Rights. And when laws are passed about things not mentioned in the bill of rights, you are free to argue that those laws are not valid because the Bill of Rights was not the Bill of Limitations.

    Not sure how many you will convince when you break the law, but be my guest and go for it.

    Parent

    In 1791 for many if not most of the People, guns were a critically important for survival, among other things, they were used on a daily basis to put food on the table.

    Are you suggesting that it was James Madison's intent to outlaw guns and thereby the very survival, possibly, of the People, except for the People who were members of well organized Militias?

    Parent

    Sorry For Losing You (none / 0) (#166)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:44:50 PM EST
    Maybe I misunderstood your argument.

    Simply I think it is illogical to assume that Rights that are not spelled out in the Bill of Rights should be assumed to be rights, so common that they hardly needed mentioning.

    The fact that the argument's here and yours in particular are based on the 2nd amendment means that the words in that amendment are the ones justifying the right to bear arms. The words left out, and as you contend, so normal that there was no need to include them in the bill of rights are not part of the argument.

    IOW, what you are arguing has nothing to do with the constitution or the bill of rights, but more to do with things like traffic laws, red lights speeding etc.


    Parent

    The words of the 2A, (none / 0) (#169)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 02:15:39 PM EST
    as badly chosen as they may be, do enumerate the right of the People to bear arms imo.

    This jibes with common-sense, as I pointed out.

    I certainly understand the arguments of those that say that the 2A does not enumerate the right of the People to bear arms, and I accept that to some people those arguments hold sway.

    I, however, I do not find them as compelling as the arguments that say the 2A does enumerate the right of the People to bear arms.

    I think the SCOTUS arrived at the correct opinion here.

    Parent

    OK (none / 0) (#172)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 03:55:14 PM EST
    So the milita thing was just an afterthought. Seems to me that the language is not vague at all and addresses the right to form militias, as long as they are well regulated, as a precondition to bear arms.

    I guess you dropped your earlier argument, regarding the notion of an individual's right to bear arms independent and exclusive of a milita did not need to be clarified or even mentioned in the second amendment, because owning a gun was as natural as breathing, and we all know that the right to breath is not in the constitution, and it is still legal.  

    Good move, imo, to let that argument evaporate, not that you have replaced it with anything.

    Parent

    This is probably your worst effort ever. (none / 0) (#177)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 04:52:41 PM EST
    I said "This jibes with common-sense, as I pointed out."

    ie., as I pointed out before, it was clearly not Mr. Madison's intent to strip the right to bear arms from the People because, for but one example, they use their arms daily to put food on the table in order to survive.

    I also said, imo, the words of the 2A do enumerate the right of the People to bear arms, despite your dogged insistence that they unquestionably don't.

    Thanks for all the snarks though, you never fail to amuse.

    Parent

    OK, to make Steve M feel better: (none / 0) (#179)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 05:04:05 PM EST
    ie., as I pointed out before, it was clearly not Mr. Madison's intent to strip the right to bear arms from the People [who are not in a well regulated Militia] because, for but one example, they use their arms daily to put food on the table in order to survive


    Parent
    Er (none / 0) (#176)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 04:41:33 PM EST
    I don't know anyone who says that the Second Amendment does not enumerate the right of the People to bear arms.  I know people who say that it enumerates that right in a collective sense, and I know people who say that it enumerates that right in an individual sense, but I don't know anyone who says that it has nothing to do with the right of the People to bear arms.

    I gather that you feel framing the argument in these terms makes you the automatic winner, but it looks an awful lot like a strawman from over here.

    Parent

    I guess you need to read better. (none / 0) (#178)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 04:54:25 PM EST
    I do not see how anyone could make the leap that the 2nd amendment applies to anyone who is not in a well regulated militia.
    quoth squeaky

    Parent
    Just for you: (none / 0) (#180)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 05:05:52 PM EST
    I certainly understand the arguments of those that say that the 2A does not enumerate the right of the People [who are not in a well regulated Militia] to bear arms, and I accept that to some people those arguments hold sway.
    Feel better now?

    Parent
    Well this is fantastic news (none / 0) (#106)
    by SoCalLiberal on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:52:14 AM EST
    I love DC and now if I ever move back there, I can have handguns!!! Yay!  I just hope with more guns in the streets held by untrained, unready people, that crime lowers as well as accidental shooting deaths.

    (snark)

    What I find most troublesome... (none / 0) (#114)
    by Alec82 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:03:06 PM EST
    ...is the lack of a meaningful standard of review.  The Court provides almost no guidance on this point...apart from the licensing issue, which was not addressed because it was conceded at oral argument.

     So we're left wandering in uncharted territory.
     

    I remember a cartoon I once saw (none / 0) (#115)
    by dianem on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:04:07 PM EST
    It was a couple of "founding fathers" talking, saying something like "We'd better put in something about a well regulated milita, we don't want everybody in the nation running around with guns". The Constitution seems very clear on this matter. I do not understand why it is possible to simply ignore words in the document and interpret it as if they didn't exist, merely because the NRA has promoted the second part until most people have forgotten that the first exists. Presumably, the justices have read the Constitution itself, and not just NRA handouts about it.

    I think I'd approve of only allowing militia members to own guns. Of course, we'd have to change the definition of "milita". Right now it means "right wing nutcases who are prepared to overthrow the government". I'd prefer it to be a group of licensed gun owners who meet periodically to review current gun regulations and gun safety. Sort of a licensing system, more than a war machine. I know that won't happen. Guns are easier to get in this nation than a driver's license.

    This is my favorite (none / 0) (#126)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:32:44 PM EST
    sentence, especially since it was authored by the champion of Constitutional originalism:

    The Amendment could be rephrased,"Because a well regulated Militia is necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."



    The problem I have with the ruling (none / 0) (#129)
    by Makarov on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:37:15 PM EST
    is that it seems a circular argument. We can have certain restrictions - banning ownership among groups like felons and mentally ill, and bans on carrying in some places - but the crux is banning "weapons in common use" is not permissible.

    From a framer's standpoint, there is nothing similar about modern handguns - 15 round or larger clips that can fire semi-automatic - to those in use at the turn of the 18th-19th century. While they are popular for home defense, they are not optimal compared to shotguns when it comes to safety of those in the home or living next door.

    While I disagree with the DC law on the part that requires disabling/trigger locks of rifles and shotguns stored in the home, I think states and localities (where state law permits) should be able to ban handgun ownership.  The facts are that the overwhelming majority of homicides in the US are committed with handguns. In terms of robberies that result in deaths, again handguns are used more commonly than all other weapons combined.

    The decision seems to say that because handguns are popular, they cannot be banned. Under that logic, if automatic weapons or rocket-propelled grenades were popular, they too could not be banned. I suppose we should count it fortunate that courts did not use this logic 65 years ago, or people would have the right to use Street Sweepers (Thompson .50 caliber machine guns). They certainly were popular at the time.

    I don't understand the distinction the court has made between handguns and automatic weapons other than the former are popular.

    My view is that they have created a new (none / 0) (#141)
    by magnetics on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:51:36 PM EST
    right out of whole cloth.  Let some future court replace 'stare decisis' with 'stompare decisis,' or words to that effect.

    In San Francisco, two days ago, a motorist and his two sons were murdered by another driver trying to wedge into a crowded lane of traffic, who thought they were moving too slowly out of his way.  According to witnesses, no words were exchanged; the shooter fired without warning or provocation.

    In Berkeley two weeks ago, a man was shot dead in broad daylight, on a busy street near the University, by a youth whom he was haranguing.  You could say there was a provocation, but hardly a commensurate response.

    Does anyone really think we need more of this, or does it amount  (as I personally believe) to a national psychosis?

    I[ve read (none / 0) (#147)
    by frankly0 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:02:58 PM EST
    the first part of Stevens' dissent.

    It is truly a thing of beauty, simply tearing to shreds Scalia's textual argument.

    It reviews the history of the drafting of the Second Amendment, and its overall context. What's perfectly clear is that the Framers were aware of alternative formulations that explicitly extended the right to keep and bear arms to civilians for such purposes as self-defense and hunting, but that they chose instead a formulation that could be interpreted in a strictly military fashion.

    From a logical point of view, as a reading of the intention of the Framers, as well as of its natural meaning, it's a devastating critique.

    Judicial activism is too good a word for what Scalia has wrought.

    Man (none / 0) (#152)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:08:19 PM EST
    you sure get nasty and combative when you're wrong about something, don't you?  Kind of a sucky way to carry on a conversation.

    concealed weapons (none / 0) (#163)
    by diogenes on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:28:57 PM EST
    Although the studies claiming that area having right-to-carry laws have less crime (the book "More Guns Less Crime") are disputed, there isn't really evidence that localities with right-to-carry locales have MORE crime.


    precedent and the SCOTUS (none / 0) (#164)
    by diogenes on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:30:55 PM EST
    Well, if the Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional in all cases, I don't think too many posters here would be heartbroken about the lack of regard for precedent.

    interestingly, neither (none / 0) (#167)
    by cpinva on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 02:11:54 PM EST
    the constitution or the recent opinion make any mention of a right to own ammunition, necessary for using the arms as anything more than clubs.

    before some twit goes off, arms and ammunition are not mutually inclusive terms, and never have been, so even scalia might have some difficulty torturing that right into the 2A.

    i have to wonder how this decision will impact gun control laws all over the country? of course, the 2A doesn't ennumerate the types of arms, so i can see arguments being made that anyone should be able to own any weapon at all, if they can afford it.

    me, i want a fully combat loaded f-16, teach those annoying neighbors to put up an ugly fence!

    Obamabots (none / 0) (#173)
    by RedSox04 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 03:55:26 PM EST
    You may recall that Obama came out yesterday against the Supreme Court's decision to ban the DP for child rape as disproportionate.

    Apparently, now that he's unopposed, Obama feels no constraint, and his right/center instincts can run roughshod.

    Obama came out in support of Scalia's decision in Heller today.  Bully for him.  I suppose after praising Reagan as the greatest Preznit evah, it's not really much of an ideological leap to proclaim the need for more Scalia types on the SCOTUS.

    Jaralyn, I am one of the few (none / 0) (#183)
    by AX10 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 06:26:59 PM EST
    in this country who is pleased by the courts 2 rulings in the past 2 days.
    I do not believe in capital punishment, and find it to be even more absurd to be used when no wrongful death has occured.
    I am also a believer in the Constitution, all TEN amendments.  So I am pleased that the DC gun ban has been ruled unconstitutional.

    Sadly, none of those running for the President on the major party tickets supports me on these issues.
    Russ Feingold would represent me well if he were President.  We don't always agree(i.e abortion and trade), but we do most of the time.

    PRECEDENT OVERTURNED? (none / 0) (#193)
    by GratefulDad on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 10:10:34 PM EST
    I keep seeing people writing about the precedent in the Miller case being overturned, can someone who has actually read the results of that case tell me what precedent was set?  From my readings, and I have read that case, the only thing the Supreme Court decided was that Miller was not entitled to own a sawed off shotgun, but the reason why he couldn't own it is the important part.  He was not entitled to own it because it had no function as a weapon commonly used for military purposes.  That means the precedent that was set was that individuals had the right to own military style weapons.  That means the banning of machine guns in 1986 is unconstitutional (the law in 1934 only placed taxes on owning a machine gun), and that the banning of guns based on the fact that they look scary, aka the Assault Weapons Ban, is absolutely unconstitutional, as well as completely ineffective.  By the way, since that ban was lifted nationwide the percentage of gun crimes they are used in has stayed exactly the same, less than 2%.  

    Do yourselves a favor and actually learn what you are talking about before you speak, it will make you look a little smarter.