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View Diary: President Obama: 'These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.' (83 comments)

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  •  Second amendent is fine - well regulated militia (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Blicero, eps62, Mistral Wind

    There is no need to abolish the admendment.  The interpretation has been completely co-opted by the gun industry.

    Playing on "frontier spirit" etc., the gun lobbying has been very effective in creating the perception that the 2nd Admendment grants indivudals complete rights to bear any type of arms.

    In reality, the admendment is very specific about "a well regulated militia" this is known as the state National Guard.

    Regulating individual access to firearms is completely compatible with the 2nd Admendment.   Banning combat weapons, limiting the number of weapons and ammunition an individual can posess, requiring liability insurance for all firearms and ammunition,  all are valid and constitutional regulations.  

    Add background checks.  

    Stir and reevaluate in a year.

    •  Yep, my thoughts exactly (1+ / 0-)
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      A strict textual approach to thee 2nd Amendment would allow substantial leeway in regulating the f**k out of guns.

    •  The Supreme Court... (0+ / 0-)

      ...has completely, crisply, and specifically disagreed with your seeming interpretation that the Second Amendment is about the "National Guard". They have clearly ruled that it reflects an individual right and includes the possession of firearms for the purpose of self defense (as opposed, perhaps, just for the purpose of overthrowing an unconstitutional dictator installed via a military coup).

      You obviously disagree with the Supreme Court, but it is rare that the court reevaluates issues of enumerated rights (Heller) that they have found to be incorporated into the 14th Amendment (McDonald) and reverses their fundamental decisions (actually, I can't think of a single such case in modern times, but I certainly don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of all Supreme Court rulings!). Indeed, the trend for decades has been in the opposite direction -- identifying new (and not specifically enumerated) rights rather than eliminating previously recognized rights - see, for example, Roe v. Wade.

      We are in the infancy of determining what level of scrutiny the courts will hold firearms laws to as Heller, IIRC, provided little guidance except to say the Washington D.C. laws/regulations they struck down failed all levels of scrutiny the Court applies to laws restricting enumerated rights. They simply had no need to go further to conclude the case before them, so they did not (typically, the Supreme Court tailors their rulings as narrowly as possible). They did note that their ruling was not to be interpreted as prohibiting all long standing restrictions on guns (such as prohibiting possession by felons) but nor did they find that any such restrictions are constitutional - they just warned that they were not, in the Heller ruling, issuing an opinion on such matters.

      Anyone who believes that other important enumerated rights (such as the rights to assemble, exercise religion, enjoy a free press, and not be subject to unreasonable searches or cruel and unusual punishment) should be subject to a high level of scrutiny should be very wary of the court applying a low level of scrutiny to firearm possession. Such an interpretation potentially opens the door, for example, to finding more warrantless searches or exorbitant insurance requirements for public assemblies (such as OWS) constitutional.

      The courts have a delicate balancing act here. I suspect that one reason that supporters of the right to keep and bear arms have been fairly quiet in the past week are that they have little reason to engage now that the question of the Second Amendment has been decided. It is fairly clear from Heller that any law that substantially interferes with the ability of a private citizen to posses firearms that are suitable and readily available for self protection in their home will be struck down. Some of the proposals elsewhere in this thread, such as prohibiting possession of guns that can fire no more than three rounds before reloading, would almost certainly fail such a test as the remaining "allowed" weapons would be nearly useless in protecting oneself against a home invasion robbery.

      The sort of gun control that many dreamed of in the 1970's and that some still do today clearly requires a repeal of the Second Amendment and that is the battle that supporters of such policies would be well served to begin. Perhaps, if that battle is started today, in fifty to seventy-five years it could happen. Statistically insignificant, but widely publicized, abuses of firearms will not result in the repeal of the Second Amendment soon. (For those who bristle at my "statistically insignificant" comment, about every 7 hours, more people die in avoidable automobile accidents in the US than died at Sandy Hook last week -- how many of those did you hear about?)

      •  Which decision, exactly? (0+ / 0-)

        I admit that I am not an expert - which Supreme Court decision rejected the idea that the second admendment defines a "well regulated militia" as the entitled right?

        As far as it goes, it can always be challenged again and the Court reach a different conclusion.  This has happened before - voting rights, etc.

        To your point about "opening the door" to warrantless searches - we are already there with "Patriot Act", Bush violations of FISA, TSAhole activities, etc.  

        and "public assembly"  - forget about it.  "Free Speech Zones" to corral citizens for easy pepper spraying etc.

        Finally, comparing automobile accidental deaths to mass murder is inane.  If you don't see the difference, then I can explain that to you.

        "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

        Plenty of room to regulate firearms for individuals there while still allowing "the people" to maintain a well regulated militia without repealing anything.

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