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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.

In a 5-4 decision authored by Justice Scalia (PDF, link fixed), the Supreme Court today determined that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to bear arms, even though no one's entirely sure what the text of the Second Amendment is:

There seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms. Of course the right was not unlimited, just as the First Amendment’s right of free speech was not. Thus, we do not read the Second Amendment to protect the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation, just as we do not read the First Amendment to protect the right of citizens to speak for any purpose.

From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.  For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.  We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those "in common use at the time." We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of "dangerous and unusual weapons
It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.

And, as such, there goes DC's ban on owning handguns:

It is no answer to say, as petitioners do, that it is permissible to ban the possession of handguns so long as the possession of other firearms (i.e., long guns) is allowed. It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon. There are many reasons that a citizen may prefer a handgun for home defense: It is easier to store in a location that is readily accessible in an emergency; it cannot easily be redirected or wrestled away by an attacker; it is easier to use for those without the upperbody strength to lift and aim a long gun; it can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials the police. Whatever the reason, handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid.

So, too, did the Court strike down DC's trigger lock requirements, though the majority declined to specify what sort of test could apply to restrictions to gun ownership in future cases.  Basically, Justice Scalia writes, this is our first Second Amendment case we've really done.  Give us time.  He concludes:

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. 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.

Justice Stevens, dissenting, argues for judicial restraint, and believes that the Founders intended to leave gun control options on the table for legislatures:

Until today, it has been understood that legislatures may regulate the civilian use and misuse of firearms so long as they do not interfere with the preservation of a well-regulated militia. The Court’s announcement of a new constitutional right to own and use firearms for private purposes upsets that settled understanding, but leaves for future cases the formidable task of defining the scope of permissible regulations. Today judicial craftsmen have confidently asserted that a policy choice that denies a "law-abiding, responsible citize[n]" the right to keep and use weapons in the home for self-defense is "off the table."  Given the presumption that most citizens are law abiding, and the reality that the need to defend oneself may suddenly arise in a host of locations outside the home, I fear that the District’s policy choice may well be just the first of an unknown number of dominoes to be knocked off the table.

... The Court properly disclaims any interest in evaluating the wisdom of the specific policy choice challenged in this case, but it fails to pay heed to a far more important policy choice -- the choice made by the Framers themselves. The Court would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons, and to authorize this Court to use the common-law process of case-by-case judicial lawmaking to define the contours of acceptable gun control policy. Absent compelling evidence that is nowhere to be found in the Court’s opinion, I could not possibly conclude that the Framers made such a choice.

Justice Breyer, dissenting, makes something of a federalist argument, focusing on DC's evaluation of its own local problem:

I here assume that one objective (but, as the majority concedes, not the primary objective) of those who wrote the Second Amendment was to help assure citizens that they would have arms available for purposes of self-defense. Even so, a legislature could reasonably conclude that the law will advance goals of great public importance, namely, saving lives, preventing injury, and reducing crime. The law is tailored to the urban crime problem in that it is local in scope and thus affects only a geographic area both limited in size and entirely urban; the law concerns handguns, which are specially linked to urban gun deaths and injuries, and which are the overwhelmingly favorite weapon of armed criminals; and at the same time, the law imposes a burden upon gun owners that seems proportionately no greater than restrictions in existence at the time the Second Amendment was adopted.

[T]he majority’s decision threatens severely to limit the ability of more knowledgeable, democratically elected officials to deal with gun-related problems. The majority says that it leaves the District "a variety of tools for combating" such problems. It fails to list even one seemingly adequate replacement for the law it strikes down. I can understand how reasonable individuals can disagree about the merits of strict gun control as a crime-control measure, even in a totally urbanized area. But I cannot understand how one can take from the elected branches of government the right to decide whether to insist upon a handgun-free urban populace in a city now facing a serious crime problem and which, in the future, could well face environmental or other emergencies that threaten the breakdown of law and order.

Both sides of the case read much more like a history lesson than an analysis of prior case law, and I'll get to the dissents in more detail as soon as I have time.  

I encourage you to read this fully before rendering your opinions, because, well, it's a Constitution we're expounding here, and this comes up in other contexts as well.  Sometimes in life (and in law), there are things that we might desire from a policy standpoint -- like certain forms of gun control, or restrictions on some election-related speech -- which are nevertheless forbidden by the Constitution.  And as liberals -- unlike the other guys -- we ought not try to pretend that the Constitution doesn't exist when it gets in the way of our policy preferences.

Oral argument transcript here.

edited to add: Via Slate's Dahlia Lithwick, this may leave a mark:

I must first pass along this rather brilliant observation from professor Stephen Wermiel from American University, who wonders why none of the dissenters cautioned the majority that today's decision "will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed." (Boumediene, Scalia, J. dissenting.)

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:51 AM PDT.

Also republished by Firearms Law and Policy.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tragic day for America (20+ / 0-)

    DC has a tremendously bad gun problem and they can't take these extremely resonable step of banning the gun most frequently used in crimes? It's outrageous and despicable.

    Sorry I have to run to the Senate floor to abolish torture.

    by bten on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:53:29 AM PDT

    •  Disagree (64+ / 0-)

      The D.C. law was sweeping in banning the possession of handguns, period. If it were less sweeping, say, you can't conceal the weapon, or you have to have a background check, or you have to wait several weeks or months to receive your gun, blah blah blah, I do not believe that would have been struck down.

      But the right to own a gun, stop, should not be infringed upon.

      At least, that's my opinion on this matter.

      That said, I certainly appreciate the difference between gun ownership in rural areas vs. urban areas.

      •  Just handguns- the people could have other guns (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LRT, Parhelion14

        guns not used in the overwhelming number of crimes

        Sorry I have to run to the Senate floor to abolish torture.

        by bten on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:59:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  maybe I missed it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey

          but I didn't see a link to the decision in the diary?

          I think it's here

          although it's getting late, you still have plenty of time

          by maracuja on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:06:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Given... (21+ / 0-)
          1. That the people most likely to commit a violent crime are not going to be deterred by a gun ban from obtaining a weapon, any more than folks are deterred by bans on illicit substances.
          1. And that the courts have ruled in the past that the police have no legal obligation to protect you.

          This law made little sense to begin with.

          But the overarching question is one of constitutionality, which the court has answered today: We have an individual right to bear arms.

          "Morbo congratulates our gargantuan cyborg president. May death come quickly to his enemies."

          by Dread972 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:30:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So let's repeal all laws (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wystler, Superribbie, bten, Parhelion14

            Those who are likely to murder are unlikely to be deterred by laws against murder.  Ditto rape and assault.

            The Republicans were right about one thing - The media is irresponsible.

            by nightsweat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:32:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  huh? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fizziks, ER Doc, McGirk

              Are you suggesting that if laws against murder were abolished, the number of murders would not increase?

              •  I'm suggesting the reasoning in the parent post (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wystler, bten

                Is just as absurd as my proposal.

                The Republicans were right about one thing - The media is irresponsible.

                by nightsweat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:39:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Apples and Oranges (6+ / 0-)

                  The case of a prohibition against murder is an extension of the principle of ownership over one's body, no one has a right to inflict harm upon you.

                  The ban on handguns is an optional ban on one's possession of a neutral substance.

                  They are not equivalent.

                  Also, in a cost-benefit analysis, if the primary law is not a deterrent, and they do not recognize the validity of it, it is highly unlikely that they will recognize the validity of the second law.

                  And it is even less likely that the black market, which has grandly facilitated this country's demand for alcohol and drugs during prohibition periods would decline to offer firearms, even if the ban were extended to every state.

                  "Morbo congratulates our gargantuan cyborg president. May death come quickly to his enemies."

                  by Dread972 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:55:29 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Second Ammendment Dispells neutral (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    HeyMikey, jccleaver, diddosMN

                    Dread972 I would certainly agree with your analysis were it not for the existance of an ammendment specifically turning guns from a neutral to a protected substance much like speech or freedom of religion. I do not neccesarily agree with the courts argument that the second ammendment was put in place to conffer an individual right, but I do think that the fact that gun ownership was deemed important enough to bestow upon it an ammendment means that it is in at least An elevated class of constitutional protections.

                  •  You miss the point (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm taking on the specific argument made that - well, criminals will ignore the law so why have it?

                    it's a stupid argument for the reasons I point out above.

                    I don't know what country I'm living in, but it's not the United States- not the USA that I was told about growing up.

                    by nightsweat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:20:47 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      James Kresnik

                      You are taking a statement that applies to a specific law (or category of prohibition or secondary laws) and extending it to all laws regardless of their content.

                      "Morbo congratulates our gargantuan cyborg president. May death come quickly to his enemies."

                      by Dread972 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:52:08 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Read the Constitution. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nanobubble, willie horton

              It says you have a right to keep and bear arms. It doesn't say you have a right to murder. You don't have to be a Constitutional law expert to recognize that makes a big difference in how a court decides a case.

              -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

              by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:42:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hmmm (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SpiffPeters, penguinsong

                It says "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."

                1.  In an age with a trillion dollar standing army protecting the security of the State, one could argue that the entire amendment is moot.
                1.  What does "arms" actually mean?  In this context, it would seem that the protected items are those used by the contemporary military to protect state security, i.e. automatic assault rifles, explosives, tanks, and even a nuclear arsenal.  Handguns arguably do not even qualify.

                The frogurt is also cursed. -8.25, -6.51

                by Superribbie on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:57:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Of course.... (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  nanobubble, James Kresnik, sargoth, glynor

                  In an age with a trillion dollar standing army protecting the security of the State, one could argue that the entire amendment is moot.

                  One could counter that sometimes in order to maintain and secure a free state, citizens need to retain the right to bear arms against an illegal or oppressive government action.

                  "Morbo congratulates our gargantuan cyborg president. May death come quickly to his enemies."

                  by Dread972 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:02:13 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Uh (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  James Kresnik
                  1. The clause is not restrictive.  Also note the word "free".
                  1. Ever hear of a side arm?

                  My password is: "transparency" This is a communal account. Everyone may play, few will win!

                  by nanobubble on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:08:35 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Don't forget "infringed." (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  nanobubble, GrouchoKossak

                  "Infringed" -- the drafters could have chosen another verb -- "violated," or "abrogated," or "abolished." But they didn't. "Infringed" implies that not even the fringes of the right to bear arms shall be messed with. Leaving the core is not good enough.

                  When interpreting ALL of the Bill of Rights, I believe any doubt should be resolved in favor of individual rights. That means I agree with the Heller v. D.C. decision. I also agree the Second Amendment is a historical anachronism that has outlived its usefulness and should be repealed.

                  -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

                  by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:42:30 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Easy answers (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  nanobubble, James Kresnik, glynor

                  In an age with a trillion dollar standing army protecting the security of the State, one could argue that the entire amendment is moot.

                  In an age of Terrorists hiding amongst us, seeking weapons of mass destruction, one could argue that the entire fourth amendment is moot.

                  If you read your declaration of independence, you'll see that the founders realized that all forms of government are susceptible to tyranny. And when all other options have been exercised, the People have not only the right, but the obligation to overthrow the government by force.  An armed people are  a free people.

                  What does "arms" actually mean?  In this context, it would seem that the protected items are those used by the contemporary military to protect state security, i.e. automatic assault rifles, explosives, tanks, and even a nuclear arsenal.  Handguns arguably do not even qualify.

                  In the 18th century context, "arms" were rifles and pistols. Field artillery and cannon were considered "ordinance".

                  And you'll see that many soldiers and officers, even in the 21st century, still carry pistols as sidearms.

            •  when logic and reason flee's the conversation.. (0+ / 0-)

              we get posts like yours....

        •  CONCEAL-ABILITY (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Superribbie, cjaznik45

          is the issue.

          I'm ok with people waring guns openly, if they simply must, but hiding the handgun is an issue.

          That said - any sort of attempt to regulate handguns in AMerica is doomed to failure. It can't be done.

          See the war on drugs and realize there are 4 times as many gun owners as marijuana smokers (roughly).

          ALL those people immediately become criminals.

          It's just not going to be enforcable.

          •  huh? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Superribbie

            what does your comment have to do with anything here?

            See the war on drugs and realize there are 4 times as many gun owners as marijuana smokers (roughly).

            ALL those people immediately become criminals.

            Uh, no. This was a small metropolitan area trying to exercise local statutory control.

            Or are you suggesting that "there are 4 times as many gun owners as marijuana smokers" in the District of Columbia?

            There's a very important constitutional issue involved here: a new SCOTUS majority interpretation of the Second Amendment. Prior courts shied away from claiming that the Bill of Rights guaranteed an individual's right to own a handgun. It's hard to read the entire set of words and conclude that the amendment refers to individuals, unless you favor ignoring inconvenient language.

            The next fantasy: Obama/Dean (please let it be)

            by wystler on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:56:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If it's going to be that kind of party (0+ / 0-)

              It's hard to read the entire set of words and conclude that the amendment refers to the states, unless you favor ignoring English grammar and historical context.

              My password is: "transparency" This is a communal account. Everyone may play, few will win!

              by nanobubble on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:10:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I actully never gave much thought to the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mconvente

            concealed weapon arguement. To tell the truth, I still don't have an opinion. Both sides seem to have a good point.

            Just when they think they've got the answer, I change the question. -Roddy Piper

            by McGirk on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:07:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  have you read statistics (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nanobubble

            on crime rates in areas that allow conceal-carry permits?

            wikipedia

            In Florida, which first introduced "shall-issue" concealed carry laws, crimes committed against residents dropped markedly upon the general issuance of concealed-carry licenses

            •  Pro-Gun" States Lead Nation in Per Capita (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Superribbie

              http://www.vpc.org/...
              "Pro-Gun" States Lead Nation in Per Capita Firearm Death Rates New Violence Policy Center Analysis Reveals
              Louisiana, Alaska, Wyoming, New Mexico, Alabama, Nevada, Mississippi, Montana, Arizona, and Arkansas Top List of Most Deadly States in the Nation

              •  Where is WA on that list? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                nanobubble

                We are about as "pro-gun" as you can get. A "shall issue" (concealed weapons license) state for many years.

                Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. - President Harry Truman

                by notrouble on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:00:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Be careful quoting (0+ / 0-)

                VPC statistics... they clearly have an agenda, and that agenda is not (despite their name) policy as relates to violence.

                The agenda of VPC is the elimination, to the maximum extent possible, the private ownership of firearms.

                By their metrics, a state with more liberal gun laws is a priori more deadly.

                CDC numbers do not show that shall-issue states have greater rates of gun-specific violent crime.

                --Shannon

              •  Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc (0+ / 0-)
                Correlation does not equal causation. As for statistical proof, saying some of those states are "pro-gun" is very vague and non-specific. When actual statistical research has been done, it has shown that allowing firearms actually reduces crime.
          •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            penguinsong

            I'm nervous around guns because they kill in an instant. I don't even feel safe when the gun is openly worn by a police officer. There has been more than a couple of times when I have been in line somewhere behind an old fat cop, with my hand inches from his pistol. I could have had it out and fired before he could react if I had been in a suicidal mood - not that I would ever do such a thing, but a crazy person could. Did I mention, I don't like be around guns, period?

        •  Nope, those were essentially banned, too (12+ / 0-)

          In DC, shotguns and rifles are officially available, but in practice you will find that you can never quite jump through all of the hoops required for a permit. It's that way on purpose. Also even long guns were required to be kept unloaded and either locked or disassembled at all times, which renders a firearm ineffective as a firearm in a self-defense situation.

          'Excuse me, mister intruder, while I fiddle with this lock and look for the ammo or spend the next 10 minutes reassembling my weapon.'

          When a weapon is not functional as a weapon, it ceases to be a weapon and the right to possess a weapon has effectively removed.

          Furthermore, the Second Amendment makes no distinction between long and short arms. There is no more Constitutional basis for banning handguns and allowing rifles as there is to ban rifles and allow handguns.

          The guns used in an overwhelming number of crimes are handguns that have been banned in DC for over 30 years. In that time, the ban has had ZERO effect on crime. The murder rate was huge before the ban and it was huge years after the ban. So this idea that the need to prevent violent crime demands banning handguns is utter nonsense.

          The facts and 30 years of history have proven that banning handguns to everyone no more reduces crime than abstinence-based sex ed reduces unwanted pregnancies. Both were plausible concepts that have been discredited and must rationally be abandoned.

          Most of those people committing crimes with handguns in DC were already banned from possession for some other reason. Convicted of past crimes that rendered them ineligible. Few of them could have walked into a gun store and purchased a weapon legally in any state. And most of them comprise the retail ends of an international system of illegal cocaine and heroin distribution that manages to get hundreds of tons of illegal substances from Afghanistan and Columbia to the streets of American cities every year. That same international distribution system will funnel illegal guns to those drug dealers even if every gun in America disappeared overnight.

          The ban didn't work and couldn't work. The only people it stopped from getting handguns were law-abiding citizens. The Court ruled wisely.

          •  You over state it (0+ / 0-)

            when you rip on abstinence-based sex ed. The most effective sex-ed is one that is comprehensive. It should include all the options: contraceptives and abstinence. Natural family planning methods are highly effective (98% roughly) and don't involve anything more than a basal thermometer to take a woman's temperature and a chart to record temps and other observations. The hard part is the will to wait until the days you are infertile to have sex. Many couples use this method but yes it's mostly married couples that use this method. It's a choice that should be offered to students because it works to prevent pregnancy.

            As far as guns go maybe even 30 years ago was too late. We should have banned hand guns a long time ago and rendered them for police or military use only. The second amendment belongs in a different era. Whereas in the era we live in today many die in DC and in Chicago many kids are killed each year. Banning hand guns may not be the complete solution but I think it's a start.

            •  Well said (0+ / 0-)

              I myself tend to be more of an advocate of getting sex ed out of schools entirely - there are so many conflicting opinions of what should and shouldn't be taught, and when they should be introduced, etc. that its best left in the hands of parents to determine how their children are introduced to the facts of human sexuality. But I digress.

              The issue with banning handguns is one of active versus passive enforcement. It's easy, for instance, for a police officer (if he is present) to look at a guy holding a handgun and cite him for it. The problem is that there exists no way to actively enforce a handgun ban, short of systematically purging handguns from residents based upon registration records (which, in my opinion, would be a breach of the unlawful search and seizure amendment) - and even that would be incomplete, since localities like DC (and anywhere else) generally have an open-borders policy. Active enforcement would require a simultaneous roadblock-search-confiscation effort (diverting police resources away from REAL crimes), as well as the aforementioned purging of known weapons. It's a wholly infeasible system, and one that makes little sense because the lack of the local government's ability to control the flow of guns in and out of its jurisdiction.

              The fact that people die as a result of handgun violence isn't a particularly compelling argument as to why handguns ought to be banned - and what's more (to provide a more specific example), it doesn't really make sense to hold a victim of a break-in criminally liable for his possession of a handgun which would only be found on account of its use in incapacitating the attacker. One of the previous posters said it best when he classified handguns as a morally neutral substance - it isn't the gun that commits the crime, it's the guy (or girl) behind the gun who makes the choice.

              •  sex ed & more (0+ / 0-)

                Thanks. I understand the view of keeping sex ed out of school because of the difficulties of developing what exactly should be in the program but I think that would be a mistake. These kids are not getting enough information on their own to make informed choices. Some parents don't make the effort. Other have double standards. My brothers were told to use a condom. The subject was never really spoken about for my sisters and I. It was just assumed we'd abstain. That's how it goes in conservative households some times. I think at school is the best way to present these kids with all the facts.

                Sorry never really thought of a gun as morally neutral substance. It's a weapon, not a chain saw like some others try to compare it to. It's used to kill, It's lethal by design. Can be used to defend, protect, hunt. But it DC and other urban areas it is used to commit murder.

                You ever wonder if we could do a 'Bill & Ted' and bring the framers back to see the US now they'd scream get those guns out of their hands?

                I think there are other ways that the hand gun law can be enforced. If some one is stopped for a traffic violation or some other reason, the gun may be found in their possession. That gun will be taken off the street and a violent act may have been prevented. Don't have any statistics to show how this will lower crime. But it just makes sense to me to not make it any easier for them to get or possess guns in urban areas.

        •  I'd be interested in (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nanobubble, James Kresnik, odod

          finding out the statistics as to which guns are used most in violent crimes.  I suspect those statistics would say that most guns used in violent crimes are illegally obtained.  If that's the case, the idea that banning legally obtained handguns decreases crime is a pipe dream.  Personally I say good riddance to these bans.  The left has been killed for too long on this issue.

        •  Not true (0+ / 0-)

          § 7-2502.01. Registration requirements

          (a) Except as otherwise provided in this unit, no person or organization in the District of Columbia ("District") shall receive, possess, control, transfer, offer for sale, sell, give, or deliver any destructive device, and no person or organization in the District shall possess or control any firearm, unless the person or organization holds a valid registration certificate for the firearm. A registration certificate may be issued:

          (1) To an organization if:

          (A) The organization employs at least 1 commissioned special police officer or employee licensed to carry a firearm whom the organization arms during the employee’s duty hours; and

          (B) The registration is issued in the name of the organization and in the name of the president or chief executive officer of the organization;

          (2) In the discretion of the Chief of Police, to a police officer who has retired from the Metropolitan Police Department; or

          (3) In the discretion of the Chief of Police, to the Fire Marshal and any member of the Fire and Arson Investigation Unit of the Fire Prevention Bureau of the Fire Department of the District of Columbia, who is designated in writing by the Fire Chief, for the purpose of enforcing the arson and fire safety laws of the District of Columbia.

          (b) Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to:

          (1) Any law enforcement officer or agent of the District or the United States, or any law enforcement officer or agent of the government of any state or subdivision thereof, or any member of the armed forces of the United States, the National Guard or organized reserves, when such officer, agent, or member is authorized to possess such a firearm or device while on duty in the performance of official authorized functions;

          (2) Any person holding a dealer’s license; provided, that the firearm or destructive device is:

          (A) Acquired by such person in the normal conduct of business;

          (B) Kept at the place described in the dealer’s license; and

          (C) Not kept for such person’s private use or protection, or for the protection of his business;

          (3) With respect to firearms, any nonresident of the District participating in any lawful recreational firearm-related activity in the District, or on his way to or from such activity in another jurisdiction; provided, that such person, whenever in possession of a firearm, shall upon demand of any member of the Metropolitan Police Department, or other bona fide law enforcement officer, exhibit proof that he is on his way to or from such activity, and that his possession or control of such firearm is lawful in the jurisdiction in which he resides; provided further, that such weapon shall be unloaded, securely wrapped, and carried in open view.

          Definition:
          (9) "Firearm" means any weapon which will, or is designed or redesigned, made or remade, readily converted or restored, and intended to, expel a projectile or projectiles by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such device; or any firearm muffler or silencer; provided, that such term shall not include:

          (A) Antique firearms; or

          (B) Destructive devices;

          (C) Any device used exclusively for line throwing, signaling, or safety, and required or recommended by the Coast Guard or Interstate Commerce Commission; or

          (D) Any device used exclusively for firing explosive rivets, stud cartridges, or similar industrial ammunition and incapable for use as a weapon.

          source

          I support Barack Obama, and I approved this message.

          by mlandman on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:05:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It was an overbroad law (25+ / 0-)

        There's no reason why a better law can't be more narrowly tailored later on.

        It's all part of the process of making better gun laws that don't keep guns out of the hands of responsible people.

        Bush and McCain are suffering from a pre-1215 mindset.

        by droogie6655321 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:01:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  but handguns are not reasonable in DC (5+ / 0-)

          Sorry I have to run to the Senate floor to abolish torture.

          by bten on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:03:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I wouldn't know because I don't live there. (22+ / 0-)

            But any law that prevents law-abiding people from owning a gun is a law I'm against.

            Bush and McCain are suffering from a pre-1215 mindset.

            by droogie6655321 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:04:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Nor Are They Good Weapons... (11+ / 0-)

            For home defense.  This police officer could make a case that he's essentially wanting to bring his sidearm home with him.  The regular firing practice and training he's received means he can probably defend his house with it.  But for the average homeowner, a simple shotgun is far superior.  The aiming is less precise, and the sound of a shotgun being primed (Ca-CHUCK-CHUCK) is going to have your average home invader wetting his pants before he'll even SEE you have a handgun.

            ---- now they sit and rattle their bones and think of their bloodstone days...

            by TooFolkGR on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:07:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is true (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              duck, seabos84, glynor, Nailbanger

              Contrary to what some Kossacks have said, many people own guns for home protection hoping to use them as a deterrent, not as a lethal weapon.

              Bush and McCain are suffering from a pre-1215 mindset.

              by droogie6655321 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:09:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  never draw a gun if you're not prepared to shoot (7+ / 0-)

                never shoot, unless you shoot to kill

                deterrent, my ass

                The next fantasy: Obama/Dean (please let it be)

                by wystler on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:58:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  "Preparation" is not the same as "Committment" (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  nanobubble, James Kresnik

                  If Joe Criminal enters my house uninvited, my drawn gun does mean I'm "prepared" to shoot. But if he ceases to be a threat (hands up, drops prone, runs away) upon seeing my weapon, I certainly won't pull the trigger.

                  •  joe criminal (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    wystler, penguinsong

                    joe criminal will probably be IN your house when you stumble upo him, all you are doing is making sure he is armed when you come home early.

                    Or maybe your kid will stumble onto your weapon and kill himself or a friend, or the gun allows a drunken rage to turn deadly, or.. guns are stupid.

                    They are only safe in locked up nd away from locked up ammo. and if both are locked away sepearte, they do no good on those very rare home invasions in which your are awake and present.

                    Fuck banning guns, BAN BULLETS.

                  •  You are watching too much television (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    wystler, Nate in IA, penguinsong

                    And so is the Justice who wrote that you can hold a gun on the attacker while calling 911 with the other. People capturing a criminal for the police with their gun happens once in a blue moon which is why it is always big flashy news when it happens. Back in real life, the gun is rarely of use because:

                    1. A small percentage of homes are broken into.
                    1. Few people actually are present when there house is broken into.
                    1. If they are home they are usually asleep or in the shower.
                    1. The gun is unloaded and/or is not in a place where they can get to it without revealing their presence to the intruder.
                    1. A non-violent intruder will leave once they realize the house is occupied.
                    1. A violent intruder will likely have a gun or other weapon that are more prepared and able to use.
                    1. The gun owner is rarely able to actually fire the gun and if they do it often misses.
                    1. It is not unusual for the intruder to get the gun away from the homeowner.
                    1. A house that is known to contain guns becomes a  target for gun thiefs, not a deterent. Theft is a huge source of guns for illigal use.
                    1. The gun is thousands of times more likely to be used to kill a friend or relative in a fit of rage or accidentally kill someone than it is likely to save the owners life.
                    •  My responses: (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      rangemaster, diddosMN
                      1. The houses on either side of me have both been broken into - in broad daylight.  And I live in a relatively safe neighborhood.
                      1. Care to cite a source for that claim?  Irrespective of that fact, my purpose for keeping a weapon in my house is to protect my wife and baby girl, not my property. If no one is in the house, there's no one to defend.
                      1. Again, care to cite a source?  I saw my neighbor's house being robbed at noon.  I certainly wasn't napping.
                      1. Kept loaded in my bedroom in a combination-keyed gun box.  I can access it in seconds, while an intruder or child can not.
                      1. Good for them!  But as long as they are in my house uninvited, they will be considered violent.  I'm not about to expect an honest answer to "Are you here to rape my wife? Or do you just want my stereo?"
                      1. So you'd rather face off a violent intruder unarmed and helpless?  Perhaps a Strongly Worded Letter to the perp would get him to leave.  We all know how effective those are.
                      1. Ok, where'd you pull that one from?
                      1. That's why all gun owners should be trained in tactical firearms and weapon retention.  The idea is to drop the prick before he's close enough to grapple with you.
                      1. ORLY?  Yeah, drug houses get robbed all the time, as they have large caches of not only guns, but drugs and cash. But I'd be willing to bet that my home electronics would make me a more likely target.
                      1. Yeah, people can't be responsible with their guns (alcohol, marijuana, communications, sexual habits, etc.) so it's up to the government to be responsible for you.  No, I don't want an idiot to own a gun - but neither do I want an idiot to drive a car, vote, or have offspring.  Who gets to make that call?
              •  It is just beyond me (5+ / 0-)

                that some of the same people who are outraged by the FISA situation, accusing our lawmakers of cherry-picking the constitution, are guilty of cherry-picking the constitution themselves.  With the Constitution, it's either all or none.  We need that second amendment more than many of you will ever know.  It is the one amendment we have that allows us to protect ourselves from the same crooked SOBs that are in Washington.  Imagine for a moment that in the future, there is another more crooked and evil administration that happens to be smarter than the current one.  That thought scares the hell out of me.  And as for banning handguns, that is the most retarded idea that DC lawaker could have come up with.  Instead of fighting to ban guns, they should be fighting to ban criminals by putting forth more resources to fight these criminals on their own turf.  Nothing will be solved until they start fighting at the root of the problems facing our cities.  

                It should be noted that I am about as far left of a progressive as you can get, but when it comes to the second amendment, I have to quote that scumbag Charlton Heston, "You can have my guns when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers."

                "Every amendment is important!!"

              •  Droogie (0+ / 0-)

                I almost alway agree with what you say, but I disagree with this:

                many people own guns for home protection hoping to use them as a deterrent, not as a lethal weapon.

                IMO, owning a gun as a deterrant is not very smart.  Rarely will a gun deter someone who means to inflict harm.  Presenting a gun that one does not intend to use would put one's life in more jeopardy than it was.  

                A gun should only be presented when one is ready, willing, and able to use deadly force to protect themselves and their family.  

                "You must be the change you want to see in the world." -Gandhi

                by diddosMN on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:41:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Given that over 95% of (0+ / 0-)

                  all defensive uses of firearms that are reported to police result in no shots being fired, it seems that the presence of an armed victim does, in fact, deter crime.

                  Note that the actual numbers are most likely even larger, as a lot of these incidents don't get reported. Dude tries to rob you at the ATM, you pull your gun, he runs away. Are you obligated to call the police? Not as far as I know.

                  --Shannon

            •  Let the resident decide (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              duck, ER Doc, cjaznik45, funmerlin, diddosMN

              Good argument, but I disagree that there should be a prohibition on the resident to make that decision for themselves.

              My password is: "transparency" This is a communal account. Everyone may play, few will win!

              by nanobubble on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:15:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  we residents in dc (5+ / 0-)

                don't get to decide anything for ourselves.  though the Second Amendment applies to us, other parts of the Constitution (albeit minor ones ... such as having representation in congress) do NOT.

                •  Taxation without representation (0+ / 0-)

                  The Constitution establishes representation for the states.  DC is not a state.  The situation sucks, it ought to be changed, but that's the law.

                  My password is: "transparency" This is a communal account. Everyone may play, few will win!

                  by nanobubble on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:20:34 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I don't have representation either, Tim Walberg (0+ / 0-)

                  is my congresscritter.

                •  That's more a consequence (0+ / 0-)

                  of the intentions of the planners of DC than anything else. It's a historical argument, really - the land for DC was donated partially by Maryland and partially by Virginia (although the Virginia donation was unused for governmental purposes and was consequently returned, becoming the independent cities of Arlington and Alexandria in the Commonwealth) - specifically and explicitly for use as the seat of the Federal Government.

                  The fact that it's become such a large and heavily populated city may well mean that it is time to reconsider that arrangement - but the reason why DC doesn't have voting rights is because it was never intended to be anything more than 'where the Federal Government is and where its employees live.'

            •  The 2nd is not for home defense (6+ / 0-)

              The 2nd Amendment does not protect only in the case of home defense, nor, as is commonly claimed, guns used for hunting.  In fact, the only thing the 2nd Amendment specifically mentions is war.  A sidearm is perfectly useful in combat.

              What the 2nd Amendment leaves open is the nature of the enemy.  Is it a foreign invader, or our own government gone wrong?  Or both, of course.

            •  not really true (2+ / 0-)

              A 12 gauge will produce a 4" pattern at 20'. That is a small gain over a pistol or revolver. The average local law enforcement officer 9as opposed to FDB or Secret Service) have little practice. It is just too expensive for most forces. generally it is well less than 1000 rounds per year.

              This is really not much. when I go to the range, at lease twice a month, I shoot over 250 rounds.

              In NYC, a cop has a .23% chance of drawing their weapon per year.

              I support Barack Obama, and I approved this message.

              by mlandman on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:32:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I disagree (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              James Kresnik, mlandman

              I'm a smallish woman who is a tremendous shot.  I find shotguns big, bulky, and difficult to maneuver.  A handgun allows me to dial 911, load, and move quickly.  

              "You must be the change you want to see in the world." -Gandhi

              by diddosMN on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:36:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  What does that have to do with the Constitution? (10+ / 0-)

            The Constitution doesn't apply only when "reasonable."  It always applies.  If you think hand guns should be banned in certain places, work for a Constitutional amendment.  It's the only way, since the wording in this case is pretty clear.  As much as I hate to admit it.

            •  I think the wording's pretty clear, too. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bten, Parhelion14

              As I said in another diary: The amendment explicitly prefaces the right in the need for a militia -- now the National Guard. So even if you read it as protecting an individual right (which I don't), it clearly restricts the type of weapons covered. And handguns don't fit.

              "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." -- Gandhi

              by akasha on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:32:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It is not correct (10+ / 0-)

                to equate the word "militia" with the modern National Guard.

                The concept of a militia was explicitly contrary to the notion of a standing army.  See Madison's comment:

                Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops.

                So you can see that a "militia" is a non-federal force.

                If you go here you can also see some of the contents over the debate of the wording of the second amendment (it originally specifically stated that the militia would be composed of "the body of the people" and had a conscientious objector clause):

                Now, I am apprehensive, sir, that this clause would give an opportunity to the people in power to destroy the constitution itself. They can declare who are those religiously scrupulous, and prevent them from bearing arms.

                ...so this framer, act least, was wary of this clause because it would have allowed the government to impose restrictions on who could bear arms.

                And there's another comment in line with what I said above:

                What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.

                Then Mr. Gerry tried to make the first clause more explicit, by stating outright that the militia would be state-trained:

                Mr. Gerry objected to the first part of the clause, on account of the uncertainty with which it is expressed. A well regulated militia being the best security of a free State, admitted an idea that a standing army was a secondary one. It ought to read, "a well regulated militia, trained to arms;" in which case it would become the duty of the Government to provide this security, and furnish a greater certainty of its being done.

                This limitation was not well-received, however:

                Mr. Gerry's motion not being seconded, the question was put on the clause as reported; which being adopted,

                ...so you can see that the framers had the option of tying the amendment specifically to an organized, state-sponsored organization, but chose not to.

                Anyway, that's enough quoting for one comment.  I tried to find the debate over when they struck the language "composed of the body of the people", since that would obviously be instructive, but I need to get back to work  :-p

                •  The National Guard is not a federal force, (0+ / 0-)

                  although it is subject to being federalized -- not the same thing. As I'm having this conversation on my phone whenever I can sneak a moment at work, I don't have access to sources, but Ihave have researched this in the past and found significant, and to my mind convincing, evidence that the militia did morph into the National Guard.

                  "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." -- Gandhi

                  by akasha on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:54:04 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Are you thinking of (4+ / 0-)

                    The Militia Act of 1792?

                    These Militia Acts were amended by the Militia Act of 1862, which allowed African-Americans to serve in the militias of the United States. They were replaced by the Militia Act of 1903, which established the United States National Guard as the chief body of organized military reserves in the United States.

                    While this Act did eventually provide something that morphed into the National Guard, that does not mean that the word "militia" in the Constitution can be interpreted to be this force, or group of forces.

                    This is evidenced by the fact that the militia, in this act, was comprised of every "free able-bodied white male citizen".  Also, "Militia members were required to arm themselves at their own expense with a musket, bayonet and belt, two spare flints, a cartridge box with 24 rounds of ammunition, and a knapsack."

                    So you can see that the concept of a militia was that it was comprised of self-armed citizens.  All of them.

                    The National Guard we have now did originate from a bunch of militias, yes.  But the word "militia" in the Constitution refers to something much broader.

                    •  I disagree. (0+ / 0-)

                      Although all eligible citizens may have been expected to be available to join the militias then, and we don't expect that for the National Guard now, my point still stands: the amendment doesn't apply to those in their citizen role, it is explicitly limited to apply to those in their organized-in-defense-of-the-country militia role.

                      "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." -- Gandhi

                      by akasha on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:35:58 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It is not applied that way. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        James Kresnik

                        Whether or not you know it, you are a part of that militia organized to defend this country.  Every last one of us are.  Whether or not you have a firearm is your personal choice, but it would be in your best interest to obtain one.  Our founders had to survive some of the worst oppressive conditions under British rule and when thay all were constructing this revered document, they most likely were thinking in worst-case-scenario terms.  That is what the Second amendment is about; the worst case scenario.  So no, it is not explicitly limited to apply to those in their organized-in-the-defense-of-the-country militia role; every last one of us as citizens protected under the Constitution of the United States are organized in the defense of our country militia role whether you like it or not!

                        "As others have said before, It's the Constitution, stupid!"

                      •  But your entire point (0+ / 0-)

                        Is premised on the assumption that the purpose of the "well regulated militia" was needed to defend the "security of a free state" against external aggression (by a non-US force).  This was clearly not the framer's intent, as is evidenced by jforman's quotes above (among many other sources).

                        The intent of the second amendment was clearly to allow the citizens to arm themselves in order to defend the freedom of the citizenry against itself (certainly in addition to external forces).  The framers were afraid, having seen it happen before, that a federally controlled standing army would trump all other freedoms, unless it was opposed by an armed populace.

                        It wasn't about defending against the British or French (or Russians or Iranians).  It was about defending our liberty from ourselves, and those who would take it away for our own good.  It was about giving the citizenry the "clout" to force renegade governments (much like the one we have now) to listen to our demands.

                        •  Who says? (0+ / 0-)

                          My point isn't dependent on the party the militia is organized to fight. My point is simply that the Second Amendment, as written, does not provide the right to citizens-as-individuals but only to citizens-as-militia-members.

                          "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." -- Gandhi

                          by akasha on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:19:30 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Tautological or Circular Argument (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            rangemaster

                            But no one here has lost anyone. This is a digital-age pathology, thinking that you have a personal relationship with a TV character. -Free Spirit

                            by James Kresnik on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 02:17:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  How so? (0+ / 0-)

                            "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." -- Gandhi

                            by akasha on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 02:45:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You make a claim without any supporting proof. (0+ / 0-)

                            Your last claim appears to make an assertion without proof. It seems to imply that the claim itself is proof enough and therefore appears to be tautological. Of course it might be better described as an empty claim of the 'I don't buy it' variety.

                            But no one here has lost anyone. This is a digital-age pathology, thinking that you have a personal relationship with a TV character. -Free Spirit

                            by James Kresnik on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:39:09 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  The purpose of a well regulated militia (0+ / 0-)

                          was to make sure the South had firepower.

                          The South was very wary of the federal government and this is why we have the second ammendment.

                          This also explains the 3/5ths clause.

                          •  The Southerners wanted slaves to count 100%. (0+ / 0-)

                            The Northerners argued slaves should count for no representation since they had no rights.  The 3/5ths rule was the compromise.  

                            I don't know why people who should know better constantly screw this up.  The 3/5ths rule stands for the proposition that many people at the time of the revolution were disgusted with slavery.

              •  Why would handguns not be covered? (2+ / 0-)

                ...and how does the wording of the Second Amendment "clearly restrict" the type of firearms when it doesn't even mention or reference the topic?

                I believe that all branches of the U.S. Military and many (perhaps all) National Guards provide sidearms to at least some of their members. If the restriction you see on "type" is "only those suitable for use by the militia (now the National Guard)", handguns qualify for protection under the Second Amendment.

              •  "Infringed." (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                nanobubble, James Kresnik

                "Infringed" -- the drafters could have chosen another verb -- "violated," or "abrogated," or "abolished." But they didn't. "Infringed" implies that not even the fringes of the right to bear arms shall be messed with. Leaving the core is not good enough.

                When interpreting ALL of the Bill of Rights, I believe any doubt should be resolved in favor of individual rights. That means I agree with the Heller v. D.C. decision. I also agree the Second Amendment is a historical anachronism that has outlived its usefulness and should be repealed.

                -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

                by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:47:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  doesn't matter what you think (0+ / 0-)

                the wording says. you just lost. deal.

                It's called the american dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. - G. Carlin

                by RabidNation on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:57:04 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  What troops don't carry side arms? n/t (0+ / 0-)

                There's something attractive about invincible ignorance... for the first 5 seconds.

                by MNPundit on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:43:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  The wording... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sargoth

              ...unfortunately is not that clear.

              The first clause of the amendment makes it clear that the purpose of the amendment is to keep a well-regulated militia. And the framers were clearly aware of, yet unmoved by, other contemporary documents that included a specific right to own firearms for self-defense, yet failed to include one.

              This could easily be interpreted as limiting the right to bear arms to only those arms which are useful in running a well-regulated militia.

              If that sounds like a stretch of logic intended to try and impose "reasonable restrictions" on the 2nd amendment where none exist in the text, maybe it is; but it is no more of a stretch than the seemingly unanimous court decision that the kinds of arms protected by the amendment are those kinds of handguns which a "well-regulated militia" would have access to--i.e. those commonly used and owned by members of the public, explicitly not WMD, bombs, missiles, and machine guns. No such idea is explicitly stated in the amendment, but the opening clause allows for this interpretation.

              Both of these "stretches" of logic seek to apply the intent of the founders (i.e. preventing the state from taking privately owned arms that serve as a break against tyranny) to modern situations that the founders could not have envisioned (i.e. handguns, modern weaponry, gun trafficking, modern urban crime, etc.)

              •  Well, here's how to settle your grevience: (0+ / 0-)

                Pass a Constitutional amendment that explicitly allows states and the government to regulate weapons.

                But no one here has lost anyone. This is a digital-age pathology, thinking that you have a personal relationship with a TV character. -Free Spirit

                by James Kresnik on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:56:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  That's your opinion (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            duck, Sadameatsit

            And the opinion that it is not reasonable to have a total ban on residents to own a handgun is also valid.

            My password is: "transparency" This is a communal account. Everyone may play, few will win!

            by nanobubble on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:17:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  So should I carry a shotgun? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            James Kresnik

            This was a gift for Obama.  Had this been allowed to stand the South would have crushed the Democrats.  CRUSHED!

      •  my view in a nutshell: (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CybScryb, duck, eaglecries, ER Doc, seabos84, glynor

        "I respect your right to own guns.  Will you respect my right not to need a gun?"

        We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

        by ScrewySquirrel on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:02:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well sure (7+ / 0-)

          Nobody's talking about requiring people to own guns.

          I support gun rights, but I don't own a gun right now.

          Bush and McCain are suffering from a pre-1215 mindset.

          by droogie6655321 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:10:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  If you do not own a gun, (0+ / 0-)

          and others do you rights by any definition are diminished.

          Although it still would be very stupid to buy a gun since people that buy guns raise their odds of getting their brains blown out considerably.

          •  People who own chainsaws (16+ / 0-)

            raise their odds of cutting off their legs considerable. People who own band saws and miter saws increase their odds of slicing off a finger.

            Lots of tools are dangerous. It's a bad idea to buy a dangerous tool if you aren't going to learn how to handle and use it safely.  

            Meanwhile, I've got downed trees on my rural property that need cutting into firewood, a roof for my workshop that needs rafters cut to fit, and deer that need shooting come hunting season to put venison in the freezer for the next year (we don't buy factory-farmed meat, as hunting is more ethical and I can hardly afford groceries these days anyhow).

            Some people are scared of anything that's sharp and pointy or goes bang. Ok, fine for them. But there are a great many of us who require the frequent use of dangerous tools and it is outrageous for those suburbanites that call in 'the grown-ups' to fix their roofs and cut trees and deal with the coyotes that attacked their dog to try to tell people like me that we can't have the tools we need.

            I had to call 911 2 weeks ago because of a live, downed power line in my front yard. You know what the response time was? Close to 20 minutes. If I had to call 911 because of a home intruder and then do nothing until the police arrived, my whole family would be dead and the criminal would be miles away.  For rural people, self-defense is literally our only defense. We need the Constitutional right to own firearms.

          •  You've asserted this before, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rangemaster, James Kresnik

            and been asked to prove it, and have never done so.

            I'm probably trying to piss up a rope here, but I'll ask you again:

            You live next door to me. I own 4 rifles, 2 shotguns, and 4 handguns, and keep ~2000 rounds of ammo in various calibers on hand. In addition I have, right now, ~1500 bullets, 25 pounds of lead shot, and ~10 pounds of gunpowder, as I reload for all the guns I shoot, except for the .22s.

            How am I violating your rights? What right am I violating?

            If you cannot answer clearly, please retract your statement, and never make it again.

            --Shannon

            •  No response appears to be forthcoming.... (0+ / 0-)

              How could there be?  All that was spouted by penguinsong was irrational drivel.  He/she would likely have a hard time thinking their way out of a brown paper bag.

              The pro-gun control propaganda has always been highly tainted with purposeful deception.

              "Life is forever menaced by chaos and must restore balance with every intake of breath"-- Jean Gebser

              by rangemaster on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:22:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  How? (6+ / 0-)

        I certainly appreciate the difference between gun ownership in rural areas vs. urban areas.

        So how does an urban citizen have any less constitutional rights than a rural citizen?

        "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

        by gsbadj on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:26:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well ... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey, BachFan, cjaznik45

          ... the Constitution does allow for zoning of certain rights.  A City can bar adult establishments from one neighborhood -- or from near schools -- and allow them elsewhere.  That's not unusual.

          •  Sure (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            James Kresnik

            But land use regulations require only due process.  And you get the same quantum of due process regardless of where you live, although different issues may apply to you depending on where you are at.

            That's a lot different from creating two separate tiers of 2nd Amendment constitutional rights based upon where you live.

            "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

            by gsbadj on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:48:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Other rights a function of where you live? (0+ / 0-)

            So do we make the same kind of argument with respect to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, right of peaceable assembly, freedom from unlawful search and seizures, etc.?  Do we say that these rights vary in both quality and quantity depending upon whether one lives in an urban vs. rural setting?

            Your statement rails against rational reasoning.  Whether you think gun control is good policy or not, it is irrelevant.  The only question at hand before the Court was, does the Constitution protect an individual right to arms?  In an exceptionally well-reasoned and referenced opinion, the High Court said it does.  And the majority opinion stands in contrast with the "policy" statements rampant in the dissenting opinions; policy is a matter for Legislators, not judges.

            Now if you wish to embark on repealing the 2nd Amendment because you think it is archaic or poor policy, that would be an honest statement, an honest goal and an honest argument to undertake.  

            But this whole claim of constitutionality turning on geographic spacing of "rural vs. urban" is absolutely specious, and I would hope you're capable of greater critical thinking.

            "Life is forever menaced by chaos and must restore balance with every intake of breath"-- Jean Gebser

            by rangemaster on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:34:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  You misunderstand... (0+ / 0-)

          Gun ownership in rural areas typically has a purpose. Hunting, for example.

          Gun ownership in urban areas has no real purpose as far as I'm concerned. In many ways, the more guns are in city streets, the higher the rate of violent crime.

          So I see why DC put the law in place, but it wasn't done correctly. They should regulate gun ownership, not ban it outright. That would be constitutional. An outright ban is not.

          •  I gotcha (0+ / 0-)

            But once you start analyzing whether or not the purpose behind gun ownership is valid in one context as opposed to another or not, aren't you picking and choosing what's reasonable and what's not?

            And isn't that a legislative choice, not a judicial one?

            "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

            by gsbadj on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:15:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The regulation of gun ownership (0+ / 0-)

              is a legislative choice. Whether or not American citizens can own guns under any circumstance whatsoever is not a legislative choice however.

              Now you can have those rights taken away for various reasons, but the right to bear arms is supposed to be there with the actions of the individual causing some of them to be restricted.

              For example, some states say that if you're a convicted felon you can't buy a gun. That's not a carte blanch ban and would pass constitutional muster.

          •  The purpose of guns in the inner city (0+ / 0-)

            is to make sure that those scary, scary black people on the south or east side can fight against The Man and not be completely ineffective.

            Did I get that right?

            LOL

            But no one here has lost anyone. This is a digital-age pathology, thinking that you have a personal relationship with a TV character. -Free Spirit

            by James Kresnik on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:46:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nightsweat, Iberian

        Does this mean that people can now enter the Capitol Building with guns? After all it is in DC.

      •  You left out the "well regulated militia" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G from Chicago

        In 1776 the western world was just coming out of a time when the only people who were allowed to carry weapons were the nobility.  In a nation based on the concept that all people are created equal, that might have meant that everyone has the right to carry a weapon.  Times have changed, and the Constitution was meant to be a flexible document that can change with the times.  There's no nation in the world that I know of that has the murder by handguns problem that we have.  Also, in the very same sentence granting the right to bear arms, the first clause is "A well regulated Militia" and the second clause is "being necessary to the security of a free state."  Anyone who understands sentence structure can clearly see that these are the justifications given in the Constitution for granting the right to bear arms.  Times have changes drastically, and using this sentence to justify the carrying of a handgun by anyone who wants one does not jive with "being necesssary to the security of a free state" or carrying a handgun so you can use it when the militia is called out to protect this nation.  We don't even have militias anymore.  We have a standing army with its own weapons.  We have lots of guns today because making a profit on guns is more important than saving lives.  It's that simple.  I'm sure lots of us would like to do things or have things that aren't really good for us to do or have, but when you grow up you realize that sometimes we have to give these things up because they're not good for us or anyone else.  Let's stop letting the people who make money on guns and weapons of all kinds run this nation.

        •  Changing with the times. (4+ / 0-)

          the Constitution was meant to be a flexible document that can change with the times

          Which is why the Constitution clearly outlines the method for making those changes (as this nation has done many times). If the Second Amendment is no longer appropriate, it should be overridden by a new amendment, not just ignored.

          Would we want the courts to decide that we should not have an election this year and Bush should stay in office until he declares the end of the GWOT "because times have changed and the founders didn't anticipate a GWOT and a change in leadership would cripple the GWOT"? (I wouldn't!)

          The shoe may someday be on the other foot - in recent years we have often been one or two justices away from a complete shift in Constitutional interpretation which makes it all the more important that such interpretation is limited.

        •  why is the United States so violent (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vengent

          If it was only the existence of weapons then Switzerland would be the most violent place on earth since every Swiss male of military age has his weapon at home.

          There must be something about our culture at work that we seriously need to think about.

          •  true, but (0+ / 0-)

            while we wait for our culture to change why not try harder to keep guns out of the wrong hands.

          •  Racism (0+ / 0-)

            In 1789, who needed guns?  People on the frontier seeking to prevent Native Americans from taking back the land that had been stolen from them, and slave owners wanting to prevent themselves from being the richly-deserved victims of violence at the hands of rebellious slaves.  This is America's legacy, and it is the legacy still driving things like this decision.

            •  You're not that bright (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              James Kresnik

              "In 1789, who needed guns?"

              How about the fucking people who fought the British for our independence?  What do you think would have happened not long after the Revolutionary War if all of America was stripped of their weapons?  We'd all be saluting the Union Jack.

              "The greater the desire to perform humanitarian deeds through legislation, the greater the violence required to achieve it."

              by UltraLibertarian on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 06:33:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That was, of course, (0+ / 0-)

                The reason for preserving the militia, as set forth in the Second Amendment.  The American cultural fixation with individual gun ownership largely derives from the paranoid fear that various outsiders - Native Americans, African slaves, Mexicans, "Yellow Peril", etc. - are going to take the country away from the white folks who stole it fair and square.

                •  How ignorant you are of history.... (0+ / 0-)

                  Early gun laws targeted blacks in particular, other minorities in addition.  In other words, the whites were allowed to own/keep guns, while those they repressed were forbidden by law.

                  The Racist Roots of Gun Control.

                  "Life is forever menaced by chaos and must restore balance with every intake of breath"-- Jean Gebser

                  by rangemaster on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:42:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  No it wasn't (0+ / 0-)

                  The reason for preserving the militia was to protect us from tyranny.  Pre-1776 Colonial America was not invaded by a foreign nation - we were invaded by our own government.  History isn't that hard to remember.  

                  "The greater the desire to perform humanitarian deeds through legislation, the greater the violence required to achieve it."

                  by UltraLibertarian on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 03:54:20 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  we're on the same page (6+ / 0-)

        In a perfect world, no one on earth would own a gun, but we don't live in that world. A world were SOME people are allowed to have guns (military, police, feds, ect.) and others are not scares the shit out of me.

        Just when they think they've got the answer, I change the question. -Roddy Piper

        by McGirk on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:01:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  perfect? (0+ / 0-)

          "In a perfect world, no one on earth would own a gun, "

          Well, for starters how would I then protect my livestock (and possibly children -- we've had three mountain lion maulings and a death in the county in the last decade)  from predators then? Harsh language?

          And you determine that "a perfect world" requires eliminating the biathlon from the Winter Olympics, and the seventeen various shooting sports from the Summer Olympics? Why exactly would that improve the perfection of your world? What do you say to the competitors and audience of those sports, whom presumably would not agree that a world without the sports they compete in/enjoy watching was actually perfect?

          I could go on, but I'd like those two points reconciled with your vision of "a perfect world" first. Please.

      •  Agree with you, Yalin (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cjaznik45

        But I cannot understand the prohibition against trigger locks. They are simple firearm safety measures, particularly in homes with small children, AND teenagers who are prone to horse around dangerously.

        Self-defense? By all means! But lets do it as safely as possible.

        Nancy Pelosi is nothing like MY Sicilian grandmother!

        by Anthony Segredo on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:19:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  there is no prohibition on trigger locks (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nanobubble

          the law can not require trigger locks

          " Every Thanksgiving, Bill Clinton stuffs a kitten inside a puppy inside a chimp inside a dolphin. It's like a turducken, only more evil. " balancedscales

          by buddabelly on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:10:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I meant SCOTUS prohibition (0+ / 0-)

            on the requirement for trigger locks.

            Does this mean that laws requiring smoke alarms and CO detectors are unconstitutional? The Constitution doesn't explicit state that there is a right to own a house but wouldn't it be in the penumbra as inherent in English Common Law?

            Why isn't a trigger lock similar to concealed carry laws and laws against discharge of firearms in public places? Or should I just wait for the next SCOTUS rulings on firearms?

            Re yesterday's other ruling: It's nice to know that you can escape punishment for a crime by killing all the witnesses and then arguing that you can't cross-examine them. Too bad the SCOTUS isn't as conscientious about GITMO and FISA.

            Nancy Pelosi is nothing like MY Sicilian grandmother!

            by Anthony Segredo on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:02:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think so (0+ / 0-)

              "Does this mean that laws requiring smoke alarms and CO detectors are unconstitutional?"

              From what I read, they struck down a law requiring that a gun have a trigger lock and be unloaded whenever not in use. They didn't strike down laws requiring guns be sold with trigger locks. With the CO and smoke detectors, they could conceivably have struck down laws that require people have their detectors fully operational at all times, but not that houses be sold with or have them

              •  Whoa (0+ / 0-)

                With the CO and smoke detectors, they could conceivably have struck down laws that require people have their detectors fully operational at all times,

                And laws requiring you to wear a seatbelt. Broad implications here, but when did Scalia ever think something through to its broad implications.

                Nancy Pelosi is nothing like MY Sicilian grandmother!

                by Anthony Segredo on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 06:00:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ummmmm (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  James Kresnik

                  How would we know CO and smoke detectors are being fully operational without invading their privacy?

                  As far as seatbelts, it's easy to see from plain view whether or not people are wearing them

                  Regardless, I don't even think it struck down any smoke detector or CO law. They were referring to the right to defend ourselves

    •  Then there's a bigger problem than gun ownership (29+ / 0-)

      at issue.

      As stated, we can't ignore the Constitution (and inherent rights) when it's inconvenient.

      Senator McCain, we don't have to twist everything that comes out of a Republican's mouth - you guys come pre-twisted.

      by PatsBard on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:57:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then Why Are We Allowed To Ignore.. (11+ / 0-)

        ...the "militia" part?

        ---- now they sit and rattle their bones and think of their bloodstone days...

        by TooFolkGR on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:09:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly. I liked the "judicial craftsmen" part (6+ / 0-)

          because it's certainly reasonable to see Scalia pulling this shit mostly out of his butt.

          You either arm a militia as a militia, or you don't, you "Originalist." Put armor piercing, bunker busting, and nuclear back on the table, Scaliasshat.

          •  "Free Speech Zones" (4+ / 0-)

            Are allowed because the first amendment doesn't SPECIFICALLY say you have to let them protest wherever they want, you just have to let them protest.  The constitution isn't specific enough about what we're allowed to do, so they give the government as much freedom to crack down as they want.

            But in the second amendment, the purpose is SPECIFICALLY laid out using more than half the words in the amendment... and that's just tossed aside and ignored.... using the rationale of, "Hey just because they give this as the specific justification doesn't mean it's the ONLY justification."

            And yet again--in the case of free speech where the right is flatly enumerated with no limitations at all, the government can invent limitations out of thin air.

            ---- now they sit and rattle their bones and think of their bloodstone days...

            by TooFolkGR on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:16:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "The powers not delegated to the United States by (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Vengent, Larry McAwful

              the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

              Long dead.

              •  Except Apparently The Right (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                theran, MJB, Larry McAwful

                To define what sort of weapon is required for a well regulated militia.  Which is there, but doesn't mean anything.

                ---- now they sit and rattle their bones and think of their bloodstone days...

                by TooFolkGR on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:24:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The problem with the militia argument (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ER Doc, Norm in Chicago

                  is the 2nd refers to a state militia.  The idea was for the people of the states to have a militia to assert its rights against the federal government.  The National Guard is just that, national.  The reserves are also federal.  
                  How exactly are the peoples interest outlined in the 2nd amendment served today without the right to individually bear arms?

                  •  I'm Not Questioning Their Right To... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Nailbanger

                    ...individually bear arms.  I'm questioning TAKING AWAY the state's right to define what is and isn't "necessary" for the "State Militia."

                    ---- now they sit and rattle their bones and think of their bloodstone days...

                    by TooFolkGR on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:36:37 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So DC should start their militia, and regulate (0+ / 0-)

                      it.

                      •  And the militia would be... (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        buddabelly, sargoth, Nailbanger

                        ...all able bodied males under a certain age as the word was understood at the time of ratification. Although, I'm sure, we would all agree that age and gender discrimination is inappropriate, so it would be interpreted in modern times as all able bodied persons (and from a practical standpoint the ADA would extend this to eliminate "able bodied" as clearly some disabled people are fully able to act in the common defense with reasonable accommodations).

                        Similarly, the phrase "well regulated" meant something like "in working order", not "regulated by government". As in "a well regulated clock".

                        Redefining "militia" and "well regulated" away from their meanings at the time of drafting and using the "new" meanings to justify restricting the scope of the Second Amendment is disingenuous and would be a very dangerous precedent if applied broadly.

                        •  Don't forget that "arms" (0+ / 0-)

                          would be limited to muzzle-loading flintlocks, since that's what the framers meant at the time of drafting.  So you see that restricting the words used to their meanings of 200 plus years ago is disingenuous and sublimely impractical, and would be a very ridiculous precedent if applied broadly.

                          Originalism has its limits.

                      •  DC isn't a state n/t (0+ / 0-)

                        Senator McCain, we don't have to twist everything that comes out of a Republican's mouth - you guys come pre-twisted.

                        by PatsBard on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:14:36 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  True enough (0+ / 0-)

                    But if you buy Scalia's originalism approach, the answer is "amend the Constitution if you want to provide for an individual right. Don't leave it for courts to make things up."

                    The federal courts now face a flood of cases from the NRA, beseeching the courts to strike down every last federal, state and municipal gun law, regulation and ordinance.  

                    Gun rights supporters hailed the decision. "I consider this the opening salvo in a step-by-step process of providing relief for law-abiding Americans everywhere that have been deprived of this freedom," said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association.

                    The NRA will file lawsuits in San Francisco, Chicago and several of its suburbs challenging handgun restrictions there based on Thursday's outcome.

                    http://news.yahoo.com/...

                    I can't wait to read the whole decision to read exactly what Scalia says is ok, what isn't ok, under what circumstances and where.  Talk about the courts doing the legislating.

                    "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

                    by gsbadj on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:43:37 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If all those laws are unconstitutional... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      nanobubble, James Kresnik

                      "Talk about the courts doing the legislating."

                      Same old canard.  If a law is unconstitutional, and many jurisdictions have enacted similar laws, then all of them should be struck.  

                      What this quote really means, just like when republicans talk about abortion is, "If I disagree with it, the courts are legislating."

                      •  Well sure (0+ / 0-)

                        The point is that they never have a problem going to the courts when THEY'RE aggrieved.

                        But let their opponenets file suits against them and suddenly it's a bunch of "frivolous lawsuits" that are "clogging the courts."

                        And when they lose, it's "activist judges" and "runaway juries" egged on by "greedy trial lawyers."

                        "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

                        by gsbadj on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 10:08:38 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  To be fair (0+ / 0-)

                depending on your reading of the amendment, states would not be able to abrogate the rights afforded to you by amendment two.  I too am concerned about the lack of states rights (and Scalia is a prime offender), but I don't think the DC argument is applicable in this case.

            •  Shouldn't you fight Free Speech Zones then? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nanobubble, ER Doc, cjaznik45

              Rather than making the 2nd Amendment equally restrictive.
              I side on the side of freedom each and every time.  We should expand the freedoms granted by the 1st Amendment, not shrink the 2nd to match.

              •  I'm Not "Making" The Second Amendment... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                HeyMikey

                ...restrictive.  I'm READING the ACTUAL WORDS that are in it.

                ---- now they sit and rattle their bones and think of their bloodstone days...

                by TooFolkGR on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:41:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The actual words don't require militia membership (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  nanobubble

                  Point to me where it says you MUST be in the militia to bear arms, and I'll agree with you.

                  But it's not in there.  The militia is a subset of citizens who own guns, not the collection of those who own guns.

                  •  Where Are You Getting This From? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    HeyMikey

                    I just reread all my posts in this thread to see where I said militia membership was necessary to own guns, and as I suspected I never did.  Yet that's the second or third time you've brought it up.

                    The purpose of the people keeping and bearing arms is so that if a militia call-up is required, the people will be armed.  The militia doesn't even have to exist for this to be true.  This is why I do not support the right of any state to "ban guns."

                    I DO however support the right of the state to define "arms" as what is "necessary to the security of a free state."  That's it.  Right there.  Where is this "You have to belong to the militia" business coming from?

                    ---- now they sit and rattle their bones and think of their bloodstone days...

                    by TooFolkGR on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:12:49 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well that's the first I heard you say that. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      nanobubble, James Kresnik

                      You said:

                      Then why are we allowed to ignore the militia part?

                      That argument is used to state that the 2nd does not confer an individual right, but a state's right to form a militia.
                      If you say they're ignoring the militia, that's how I interpret your argument, that one must be a member of the militia to own a gun.  There's no other meaning for that arguemnt.

                      But I agree with you, the states do have the right to define "arms", and they have.  That's why all the "I want a stinger missile or a nuke" rants are bullshit, because those aren't arms, they're explosives or artillery.

                      An "arm" is a handheld, non explosive weapon.  If a shotgun or rifle fits that definition, so does a handgun.

                      What I don't support is nickel and diming the 2nd Amendment to death.  We're allowed to keep and bear arms, all of them, not just the one or two types the state graciously allows us peasants to have.

                      •  Right (0+ / 0-)

                        There's no other meaning for that arguemnt.

                        Except for the meaning that I just explained and you agreed with?

                        But I agree with you, the states do have the right to define "arms", and they have.  That's why all the "I want a stinger missile or a nuke" rants are bullshit, because those aren't arms, they're explosives or artillery.

                        ---- now they sit and rattle their bones and think of their bloodstone days...

                        by TooFolkGR on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:27:43 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  What does that have to do with the militia?? (0+ / 0-)

                          You're talking about the "The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" part, and defining "arms" to not include handguns.

                          Militias have nothing to do with defining arms for that part of the clause, so I don't understand why you brought them up...

                      •  That is not the argument either opinion made. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        nanobubble, GrouchoKossak

                        Both opinions affirmed the right of an individual to own firearms as implicit to the second amendment. That seemed to be unanimous among the judges. This "individual right" vs. "only militias have the right" dichotomy is not held up by any interpretation of the amendment that the justices considered.

                        However, what was also unanimous, and stated in both opinions, was that the term "well-regulated militia" can be used to determine what kind of arms are protected by the 2nd amendment. Both the Scalia opinion and the minority opinion held that given the 18th-century idea of a militia was a military force comprised of able-bodied men wielding their personal weapons, the "arms" which are protected are those that are in common use for legal activities (i.e. what the average able-bodied man might have in their home).

                        The difference in the opinions is simply that the liberal side of the court believes that only those arms that are likely to be used in the course of well-regulated militia-ing, as it were, are protected, while the conservative side believes that all weapons commonly owned by those militia members for legal activities outside of militia-ing are protected. No one, not even Scalia, believes there is a constitutional right to any and all hand-held firearms.

          •  Mr. Originalist (0+ / 0-)

            The text only refers to "well-regulated militia."

            You might hold that this clause is sufficient to establish an individual right (although I'd disagree with it).

            But show me where the amendment refers to all the self-defense stuff that Mr. Originalist says is so damn important.

            And the importance of handguns as the current weapon of choice?  What was the weapon of choice 220 years ago?

            "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

            by gsbadj on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:35:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The Decision Doesn't Ignore It (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nanobubble, ER Doc

          It just puts it into context.

          The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms.

          •  No It Doesn't (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ChurchofBruce, akasha

            It has nothing to do with context.  They are treating it like window dressing.  The court's own ruling in US v. Miller in 1939 said that they couldn't justify protecting the ownership of a weapon that wasn't necessary for a "well regulated militia."

            ---- now they sit and rattle their bones and think of their bloodstone days...

            by TooFolkGR on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:17:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898 (1997) (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Adam B, ER Doc

              From Justia:

              Our most recent treatment of the Second Amendment occurred in United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174 (1939), in which we reversed the District Court's invalidation of the National Firearms Act, enacted in 1934. In Miller, we determined that the Second Amendment did not guarantee a citizen's right to possess a sawed-off shotgun because that weapon had not been shown to be "ordinary military equipment" that could "contribute to the common defense." Id., at 178. The Court did not, however, attempt to define, or otherwise construe, the substantive right protected by the Second Amendment.

        •  Who's ignoring the militia? (6+ / 0-)

          The militia is formed of citizen soldiers using their own guns that they own and keep at home.  It's kind of hard to have a militia if you ban guns.

          Why do you feel that membership in a militia is MANDATORY for gun ownership?  The 2nd Amendment doesn't say that.  It doesn't say that only militia men can own guns.

          What the 2nd Amendment says is effectively this, in my words:

          Having a citizen militia instead of a professional army is important for the protection of a free state.  A militia is formed of citizen soldiers who own guns.  Therefore, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, for if it is infringed, a militia cannot be formed.

          You do not have to be a member of a militia to own a gun.

          •  "And by 'arms', we mean infantryman's weapons' (0+ / 0-)

            and not artillerists' or grenadiers'".

            •  yeah. The Second Amendment (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              phenry, kevinspa

              only allows us to carry those arms which are least useful in modern combat against a well-equipped tyrannical government.
              We get to defend ourselves against tyranny, but we have to tie one arm behind our backs: no RPG's, no Molotov cocktails, no IEDS, nothing that the Hungarians and Afghans used against the Russians.
              Did none of the state militias in 1775 have cannons? This decision is just so crazy on so many levels.

              •  State militias had cannons (0+ / 0-)

                But artillerists required special training, as did grenadiers. They were not expected to be in use by citizens in the unorganized militia, but by the body organizing the militia or fencibles regiment.

                And your dismissal of the infantryman is unfounded. The biggest weapons in the world can not hold ground. Infantry is, and always will be, the core of any fighting force.

                •  The Infantryman is the Army (0+ / 0-)

                  BUT, assuming your fireteam has bolt action rifles, and mine has three guys with M-16s and one with an M-14, all with body armor and grenades, who you gonna bet on?
                  Does this mean my neighborhood organization or the local plantation owner, which were the types sponsoring Zoaves and things like that, get to own artillery? And light anti-tank weapons?

                  •  Viet Nam? Iraq? Afghanistan? (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    nanobubble, James Kresnik, JSC ltd

                    Uh, not to be snarky, but a a bunch of BFE small timers with small arms kicked some Big Army butt in VN.  The Afghans did OK in the 80's against the Sovs, and we're seeing hit and run guerrilla tactics work against us in Iraq and Afghanistan now.  

                    Let me ask you this:  The people on Flight 93 worked in the national interest to prevent the aircraft from hitting another major target.  Should they be qualified as militia?

                    More importantly, learn the law.  Everyone in this entire thread has no idea of the definition of militia (the legal definition):

                    United States Code: Title 10 – Armed Forces
                    Subtitle A – General Military Law
                    Chapter 13 – The Militia

                    Sec. 311. Militia: composition and classes

                       * (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
                       * (b) The classes of the militia are -
                             o (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard
                               and the Naval Militia; and
                             o (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of
                               the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the
                               Naval Militia.

              •  this where the militia argument goes wrong (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jccleaver

                If you are actually pursuing violence against a tyrannical government, you are necessarily ALREADY disobeying the laws of said government, thereby rendering the constitutional minutiae moot.

                •  Militia not necessarily anti-govt. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jccleaver

                  The militia are (were) also just as much for defense against foreign invaders, raiding Native Americans, etc.

                  -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

                  by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:54:36 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  understood (0+ / 0-)

                    but the parent comment was addressing that specific issue.

                    Regardless, we are talking about a current ruling in the modern era. We have a standing army/national guard/police/etc for foreign invaders, etc. The only logical "militia" argument in a modern context is then specifically in an anti-government pose, whether theoretical or actual. Thus my comment remains valid.

          •  I Don't (0+ / 0-)

            It's kind of hard to have a militia if you ban guns.

            Why do you feel that membership in a militia is MANDATORY for gun ownership?

            I think our interpretations are exactly the same.

            The actual problem here is that YOU seem to think "Guns" is a subset of "Handguns."

            The truth is it's the other way around.

            ---- now they sit and rattle their bones and think of their bloodstone days...

            by TooFolkGR on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:28:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Don't forget the "well-regulated" part. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          phenry

          That seems to get overlooked a lot, too.

          A conservative is just a liberal who hasn't needed a second chance yet.

          by Larry McAwful on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:33:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That is the answer (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Larry McAwful

            DC needs to start a militia, regulate the hell out of it and ban all other gun ownership

          •  Yeah, well-REGULATED (0+ / 0-)

            not well-controlled, well-managed, or well-owned. They made the right decision: We have a right to own guns, and government can issue reasonable regulations, and they even went as far as to say that military style weapons can still be prohibited

            •  Yet Washington DC can't ban handguns. (0+ / 0-)

              That's the city's regulation, isn't it?  Now that gun ownership is a Constitutional right, where can handguns be banned?  The only way we could ban handguns in Boston would be if we made the things illegal nationwide.

              I had no problem with Montana allowing handguns.  I don't want them here.  They cause problems.  Studies show.

              Let's go back to regulating the damned things.  Regulating them well.

              A conservative is just a liberal who hasn't needed a second chance yet.

              by Larry McAwful on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:57:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Wrong definition (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rangemaster

              The 18th century definition of "well-regulated" was synonymous with "well-equipped", or "well-maintained". It is not a call for legislative regulation.

              •  If that's the case (0+ / 0-)

                I will grant that. In any event, the right to keep and bear arms is not meant to mean "any person, any gun, any where, absolutely." The 1st Amendment doesn't let you yell fire in a theater

                •  Yes, it does. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  rangemaster, James Kresnik

                  Yelling "fire" in a theater is not, in and of itself, illegal. But if you do yell "fire", and someone gets hurt in the resulting stampede for the exits, then you are criminally liable.

                  Rights do not shield you from the consequences of your actions.

                  Likewise, the fact that the Constitution recognizes my right to be armed doesn't allow me to shoot you.

                  --Shannon

                  •  Well, yes it is (0+ / 0-)

                    yelling "fire" in a theater is known to likely cause a stampede and someone getting hurt. Giving felons and the mentally ill firearms is likely to result in someone getting hurt. Both of those restrictions are reasonable and within the realm of the government

                    A better analogy is with shooting a gun. You don't have a right to shoot a gun at someone but not hurt the person, and it's irrelevant if you actually hit the person. What's relevant is the fact that it was shot at the person

                    •  That's all true, but not really relevant... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      rangemaster

                      First, nobody is talking about felons and the mentally ill, at least not if we limit "mentally ill" to those who have been judged incapable of caring for themselves, or to be dangerous. Due process still applies there. But getting a prescription for Xanax shouldn't deprive you of a basic right.

                      To the second point, it isn't relevant to the discussion at all. What gun control laws regulate is not my ability to use a gun, but rather to own one in the first place. It's not about yelling "fire"... it's about having a larynx.

                      --Shannon

                      •  To an extent... (0+ / 0-)

                        so are you arguing against the waiting requirement, one-per-month limits, etc...?

                        Some gun control laws regulate the use, such as safety features of the gun itself

                        •  Yes, I am arguing against such things. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          rangemaster

                          What other rights are you required to wait before you can use them, or are limited as to how many times they can be exercised? Since the 2nd Amendment protects an individual right, how is this any different from the government telling you you have to wait a month before you can buy a newspaper? Or limiting how many books you can have in your library.

                          The real goal of all such laws is not to protect public safety, they provably do not. It is to make buying a gun such a pain in the ass that nobody will bother. The idea being, that when very few people own guns, it will be easy to completely outlaw the possession of them. Which has always been the goal of groups like VPC and the Brady bunch.

                          And the "safety features" argument is specifically addressed in Heller. The "unloaded and locked or disassembled" requirement was specifically struck down as an undue infringement on the right of self-defense. In basic terms, it does me no good to say that I have a right to own a gun, and that self-defense is a legitimate application of that right, if the law requires that my guns be kept in such a way as to render them useless for their lawful purpose.

                          As to safety features of the gun itself, I'm not sure what you're talking about. Even in California, where we have safety features requirements (loaded chamber indicators, mechanical safety, drop test), they only apply to new firearms. Used guns can be sold as is. Older lever-action rifles are a great example of this, as they used to have no safety beyond the half-cock notch on the hammer. This holds the hammer away from the firing pin, but does not release the hammer if the trigger is pulled. Such rifles could not be sold as new guns in CA, but are perfectly legal on the used market. All lever-action rifles (including mine) now have some sort of positive safety, for liability reasons as much as anything else.

                          I don't see how this is a regulation on use, though. The mechanical features (or lack thereof) of a firearm have no bearing on what I do with said firearm.

                          What were you trying to say here?

                          --Shannon

                          •  Nice arguments. (0+ / 0-)

                            Well done.  I'm glad you were here when this thread was active.

                            "Life is forever menaced by chaos and must restore balance with every intake of breath"-- Jean Gebser

                            by rangemaster on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:48:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No (0+ / 0-)

                            What other rights are you required to wait before you can use them, or are limited as to how many times they can be exercised? Since the 2nd Amendment protects an individual right, how is this any different from the government telling you you have to wait a month before you can buy a newspaper? Or limiting how many books you can have in your library.

                            What does a waiting requirement do for a gun? Not only is it needed to run a decent background check, but it serves as a time for cooling off in order to prevent crimes of passion. As far as one-per-month, it makes it much harder to purchase a lot of guns and sell them on the streets to criminals. Neither of these laws were struck down, thankfully

                            The real goal of all such laws is not to protect public safety, they provably do not. It is to make buying a gun such a pain in the ass that nobody will bother. The idea being, that when very few people own guns, it will be easy to completely outlaw the possession of them. Which has always been the goal of groups like VPC and the Brady bunch

                            Not true. They're not trying to confiscate people's guns. That slippery slope argument was spread by the NRA. Now that slippery slope argument doesn't exist, because the SCOTUS ruled that guns cant be completely banned but reasonable regulations are allowed.

                            As far as safety features, that's exactly what I'm talking about. They're regulations, plain and simple

        •  Militias need not be permanent (3+ / 0-)

          they can be formed as needed.  And normally were.  Which is why the text does not say you have to be in a militia to have this right.  It is basically saying people have the right to band together and defend themselves, and for this reason, guns cannot be banned.

        •  Strict Interpretation When It Suits Us? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey, ER Doc

          That seems to be the direction of your statement. Democratic ideas are nearly FOUNDED on the principle that the Constitution is a living document, which allows us all sorts of wonderful things like "Right to Privacy", which is not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

          The addition of the word "militia" rather than "army" leaves a level of interpretation that favors individual gun rights over gun restriction even for people who have a fairly strict view. It seemed quite plausible that the Founding Fathers wanted to ensure two things:

          1. That US citizens maintained weapons they could employ in defending their newly formed nation from the quite possible expectation of foreign invasion, and
          1. The US citizens could defend themselves against tyranny from the government itself, should it backslide into a replication of the government from which they had just sought independence.

          Now, in those times, the weaponry that could reasonably be owned or operated by the military was not far from what could be reasonably owned by a citizen. Hundreds of years of weaponry development have expanded that gap, but I think that a reasonable interpretation would agree that the same "class" of weaponry in modern form should be acceptable. That is, personal handheld weaponry that can be used for defense of person. That leaves a little wiggle room for assault type weaponry, but I think fairly separates out grenades, ICBMs, nuclear missiles, mounted turret-based weapons, etc. Assault weaponry has waxed and waned in it's support by public and government for this reason, while I've heard no credible source claim that WMD or explosive type weapons should be the provinence of citizen ownership.

          Of course, that's my take on it. I consider this a living comment, open to interpretation. ;)

          --------------
          Condemnant qui non intelligent.
          Economic: -6.75
          Social : -5.03

          by cognizant on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:58:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Infringed." (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nanobubble, James Kresnik

            "Infringed" -- the drafters could have chosen another verb -- "violated," or "abrogated," or "abolished." But they didn't. "Infringed" implies that not even the fringes of the right to bear arms shall be messed with. Leaving the core is not good enough.

            When interpreting ALL of the Bill of Rights, I believe any doubt should be resolved in favor of individual rights. That means I agree with the Heller v. D.C. decision. I also agree the Second Amendment is a historical anachronism that has outlived its usefulness and should be repealed.

            -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

            by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:50:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  They didn't ignore (0+ / 0-)

          the militia part.  People keep saying that the wording is confusing -- does it protect milita rights or people's rights?  They say that the wording is confusing.  I say the meaning is meaning is crystal clear, once you understand what a "militia" is.  I'll put it simply:

          PEOPLE + GUNS = MILITIA

          That's it.  A militia is an armed citizenry.  If you have a gun, you're in the milita.  If you don't, you're not.  So arguing that "only the militia can have guns" is like making a Yogi-Berraesque statement that "only people with guns can have guns".

          You could easily rewrite the amendment to read:

          Because an armed citizenry is nessesary to the security of a free state, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

          It means the exact same thing.

          My password is: "transparency" This is a communal account. Everyone may play, few will win!

          by nanobubble on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 02:57:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely correct. If (11+ / 0-)
        we are to be quick to scream when the Constitution is tossed aside for other reasons, we should also accept when it is upheld even if we happen to be against the decision.

        I personally agree with the decision, not because I want to run out and buy a truck load of hand guns, but because I believe that it is a right which was given in our Constitution.

        If we start thinking that the second amendment our Constitution should not be enforced because we think hand guns are bad or should be banned, then that makes us no better than those who would strip us of other rights under that same Constitution.

        You and others who see this point are right.

        Peace
        :)

        June 3rd 2008 America is at last started on the road to long awaited recovery

        by eaglecries on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:11:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  totally agree (0+ / 0-)

        except that there are no completely inherent rights in the bill of rights.  Basically, every right in there has limits, which are to be measured by some level of scrutiny.

        i.e., race discrimination is strict scrutiny; gender discrim is intermediate.

        free speech is limited by fighting words, no right to scream fire in a crowded theater, no right to slander someone else, etc.

        equal protection is limited in massive ways (every law violates equal protection by treating people who violate the law differently from people who do not violate the law)

        So saying that handguns should not be allowed in DC does not prove a violation without more analysis; doesn't automatically mean the DC lawmakers or their supporters are throwing out the constitution.  As I stated elsewhere, a statute preventing ownership of nuclear missles in DC would withstand scrutiny, so analysis must get deeper.

      •  yes, like the Representation in Congress (0+ / 0-)

        Part?  Does Not Apply here.  

    •  DC has a tremendously bad gun problem... (20+ / 0-)

      ...despite the (now-overturned) ban, and I think would have a tremendously bad gun problem whether or not a ban is in place.  It's not as if it's incredibly difficult to buy a gun in, say, Virginia, and then drive over the Key Bridge.

      The violence in our community is the problem - not the guns.  We need to address the problem, not the symptoms, by increasing police presence in the community, by improving community cohesion and neighborhood investment, by addressing the promotion of violence in the media, and by making education and economic success available to everyone.  Banning handguns in a 10-square-mile area isn't going to solve anything.

      Help provide resources to Obama supporters! Contribute to the Obama Wiki!

      by mistersite on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:00:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, DC has... (6+ / 0-)

        ... a TREMENDOUS CRIME problem, as does Baltimore, Philly, Newark, etc, etc.

        If guns didn't exist on this earth, the same morons would be hacking each other apart with machete's or baseball bats or whatever else they can manage to use.

        The "gun" problem has become the perfect scapegoat for addressing the REAL problem, which is what the FUCK is wrong with community that it has devolved into a madhouse?

        Every manner of social ill, deliberately exacerbated by Republican policies have driven our inner cities into disaster on a massive scale. Violent crime is just the most glaring symptom of the fundamental illness.

    •  And 20+ years of gun control (14+ / 0-)

      really brought that problem under control.  Oh, no wait...

      •  Yes, death numbers are actually up. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RabidNation, cartwrightdale, ancblu

        On CNN while ago, a reporter said that there were actually more gun deaths in DC last year than there were the year before the ban was instituted, and the number of gun deaths has indeed only gone up over the years.

        Sorry, no immediate link, because it was on TV.

      •  Gun control in Canada and Australia (0+ / 0-)

        and Europe brought the problem under control

        The USA is turning more and more backward.

        •  InSwitzerland everyone has (15+ / 0-)

          a gun.  Ditto for Israel.  Murder rate is much lower.  Which leads one to conclude that the presence or absence of guns is really not determinative of anything.

          As an aside, Canad, and Europe also ban a boatload of speech.  I am not willing to follow them down that path either.

          •  good points ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ER Doc

            Their national health care plans, on the other hand, provide good working models to improve ours.

            Canada, by the way, is really moving away from any strict enforcement of firearm licensing in a manner something akin to "don't ask, don't tell."  Don't get caught, but they ain't hunt'n ya down -- so to speak.

            Rome is burning ... put down the fiddle.

            by ancblu on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:46:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  In Columbia, Mexico, South Africa ETC etc. (0+ / 0-)

            There are many guns and a whole lot of people getting their brains blown out.

            •  And, since private ownership of (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rangemaster, James Kresnik

              firearms is damned near completely illegal in all of these places, how does this support your argument that restricting legal gun ownership makes a society safer?

              That's right... it doesn't.

              Not that you've ever shown that you can be rational on this subject, but I'll keep trying.

              --Shannon

              •  it's not the guns (0+ / 0-)

                Sorry Shannon,

                Those countries have a whole host of problems that create their unsafe society as you claim they are. For one thing, Columbia and Mexico create the drugs that make our streets unsafe. It's actually the drug lords that make those places unsafe. Similarly for us it's the illegal drug trade that is a huge factor in many of these gun related deaths. I would also add that their democracies are not as strong as ours (if you don't count the 2000 election). I'm am certain this adds to their instability.

          •  Big differences! (0+ / 0-)

            Here is the situation in Switzerland:

            The country has a population of six million, but there are estimated to be at least two million publicly-owned firearms, including about 600,000 automatic rifles and 500,000 pistols.

            This is in a very large part due to Switzerland's unique system of national defence, developed over the centuries.

            Instead of a standing, full-time army, the country requires every man to undergo some form of military training for a few days or weeks a year throughout most of their lives.

            Between the ages of 21 and 32 men serve as frontline troops. They are given an M-57 assault rifle and 24 rounds of ammunition which they are required to keep at home.

            (more at http://news.bbc.co.uk/...

            Sounds like a militia, doesn't it? And Isreal? All those guns and still so many terrorist bombings.

            Banning speech? We're talking firearms.

            I live near DC and sympathize with their desire to ban gun ownership in their city.  Inner city dwellers hear gunfire weekly. Arming more people in the city is just as stupid as trying to ban firearms.

            •  It certainly sounds like a militia (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nanobubble, buddabelly, James Kresnik

              but the point is people keep gun IN THEIR HOME.  And yet, they don't go out to shoot their neighbors.  If the US or DC governemnt wishes to mandate regular military service (thus ensuring training in guns) that would not run afoul of the Constitution.

              As to Israel, same thing.  They soldiers (and private citizens) there carry guns at all times, including when off duty.  yet, they don't go around shooting people in the cities over domestic disputes.  Which goes to show that gun ownership is not the problem.

          •  Wrong (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            another American

            What Drgrish is omitting is the fact Swiss males of a certain age are issued military firearms as part of their militia service.  These weapons are required, by law, to be locked up and safely stored.  The ammo is sealed and cannot be used for any purpose but militia service.

            Israel is similar as they have mandatory military service.  If you wish to have a privately-owned gun, you must apply for a license which includes a background, medical, and psychological test.  If you have a history of alcohol, drug abuse or any criminal record--no gun for you.

            •  My late uncle belonged to a pistol-shooting team (0+ / 0-)

              in Israel. He had to keep his gun locked up at the shooting range.

            •  Not true. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rangemaster, James Kresnik

              Swiss militia members are issued a certain amount of ammunition for their fully-automatic STGW-90s. That ammunition, and ONLY that ammunition, is required to be kept sealed, and is inspected in annual maneuvers. It's there to be used in the period between call-up and muster, on the assumption that they might have to fight their way to their muster points.

              It is not the only ammunition they are allowed to possess. They are encouraged to purchase additional ammunition, and to practice shooting regularly.

              By the way, I love Swiss guns. I own one, and it's a beautifully made, highly accurate, precision crafted machine.

              --Shannon

        •  Scottland (0+ / 0-)

          has among the highest murder rates and they do it with knives, shivs and booze. England's murder rate, too, is nothing to brag about. Canada never had a very serious problem with gun violence.

          But no one here has lost anyone. This is a digital-age pathology, thinking that you have a personal relationship with a TV character. -Free Spirit

          by James Kresnik on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:14:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  As the gun lobby intended, they don't work well (0+ / 0-)

        The point of the gun lobby is to prevent control...so much so that they seek to remove the very issue of whether it works from public debate by declaring it unconstitutional.

        The Overton Trap Door: The phenomenon where over the top, exaggerated, outraged purism leads to one being ignored entirely.

        by Inland on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:19:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Scalia is a whore. (8+ / 0-)

      His job is to provide a legal sounding rationale for a predetermined decision that somehow always manages to support whatever the wingnut position on any particular issue happens to be. Thus his rulings are to the law what creationism is to science -- he starts with the conclusion and works backwards to concoct the justification.

      Nino is constantly bitching about his salary -- and to be sure, it's not very good money for a lawyer.  But it's GREAT money for a prostitute, so I don't understand the complaints.  

      McCain: Running for Hoover's 21st term

      by Finck II on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:11:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Convenient how he attacks 1st Ammendment (4+ / 0-)

        while giving gun lobby free reign on 2nd!  It is incredible that he drags First Ammendment into this (saying that it can be limited no less) at the same time as the NRA gets all it wants.

        And people still buy into his "originalist" BS.  If he's an originalist, then why read unwritten rights into 2nd Ammendment, why ignore the militia part, and why attack 1st Ammendment?

        Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

        by DefendOurConstitution on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:55:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The problem is violence, not guns (12+ / 0-)

      Switzerland, the most peaceful country you can imagine, actually has one of the highest gun prevalences in the whole world.

      Let's face the facts: It's a violent society, and no ban on guns will fix that.

      •  YOu sound like NRA - guns don't kill, people kill (0+ / 0-)

        Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

        by DefendOurConstitution on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:56:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  and you sound like someone (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Kresnik, sargoth

          who hates facts when they don't dovetail nicely with their prejudices.

          It's called the american dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. - G. Carlin

          by RabidNation on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:08:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fact - Switzerland requires licensing and (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            distantobserver

            education.  US does not.  You don't think that has a lot to do with why we have such an incredible gun violence problem compared to them?  Or do you think the Swiss are just superior to us?

            Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

            by DefendOurConstitution on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:14:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  the swiss ARE superior. (7+ / 0-)

              most people are. but that's beside the point.

              the swiss don't kill each other to the same degree we do because they don't drive their citizens to the level of desperation we do.

              go to zurich or geneva or graz and find me a single city block that looks like the entirety of camden, newark, detroit, gary, south central L.A. or east st. louis. find me a single subset of swiss society that has been so systematically oppressed, starved, and disenfranchised as the american underclass has been.

              in switzerland, you have universal health care, excellent public education, a working welfare and social services system, readily available mental health services...I could go on and on. things that amerikans can only dream about.

              if you want americans to stop behaving like animals, stop treating them like animals. it is that simple.

              It's called the american dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. - G. Carlin

              by RabidNation on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:23:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thank You (0+ / 0-)

                the swiss don't kill each other to the same degree we do because they don't drive their citizens to the level of desperation we do.

                if you want americans to stop behaving like animals, stop treating them like animals. it is that simple.

                But no one here has lost anyone. This is a digital-age pathology, thinking that you have a personal relationship with a TV character. -Free Spirit

                by James Kresnik on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:16:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You named the reasons... (0+ / 0-)

                ... - I just called the fact. The US is a rather violent nation. And there are lots of social and economic reasons for this.

                if you want americans to stop behaving like animals, stop treating them like animals. it is that simple.

                It really is that simple.

          •  prejudice? (0+ / 0-)

            Well, my stance is that no one should carry guns. But it is silly to believe that banning guns (gun prohibition) will change things anymore than alcohol prohibition did stop drinking early last century.

            Gun control could be justified if and only if it really did what it pretends to do: prevent violence.

            Registering guns is helpful - and the SCOTUS didn't call that unconstitutional. Restricting gun access to licensed people doing some kind of background check can possibly be helpful - and it would be constitutional.

      •  bingo!!! (0+ / 0-)

        hello? We're a 21st Century Rome!

        double-recs for you for realizing that.

        Central PA Kossacks Obama: full of win! McCain: full of FAIL!

        by terrypinder on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:12:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Purpose of the Second Ammendment was to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kevinspa

      assure that the South would be well armed in the event of a bloody civil war.

      This is the historical explanation.

      Now the purpose of the Second Ammendment is to insure the profits of gun companies using the blood of the people.

      100,000 people are shot every year in America

      30,000 killed by guns.

      •  Utter nonsense! (4+ / 0-)

        (The Purpose of the Second Ammendment (sic) was to assure that the South would be well armed in the event of a bloody civil war.  This is the historical explanation.)

      •  There is a process for changing the Constitution (6+ / 0-)

        The amendment process is there to use.  I think a lot of people on here actually agree with the way the decision came out even if they disagree that owning a gun of any kind is necessary and not a choice they would make for themselves.  The decision is at least a reasonable interpretation of the 2nd amendment, if not the most clear and straight-forward reading of it especially given the historical context.

        And just for perspective, over 40,000 people are killed by motor vehicles each year.  I'm sure a quick google search can give you more everyday things we consider "safe" but kill more people than guns do.

        •  You've captured my position. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nanobubble

          I agree with the decision because I think any doubt in the meaning of ANY part of the Bill of Rights should be resolved in favor of individual rights. But I also agree the Second Amendment is just bad policy, and should be repealed.

          -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

          by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:39:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  stats incorrect and misleading (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nanobubble

        in '04 (latest stats i have found)

        11,624 killed by firearm assault
        649 accidential firearm discharge
        311 shot by law enforcement
        235 firearm death with undeturmned intent

        16750 firearm suicide

        source

        Since the majority of firearm homicides are drug/gang related, and the majority of "gun violence" is suicide, your stats are, at best, misleading. transportation deaths, all catigories) account for 42% of all injury related deaths, can you give us comparitable angst about that?

        I support Barack Obama, and I approved this message.

        by mlandman on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:55:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not sure (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nanobubble, ER Doc

      you can fairly call a total ban an "extremely reasonable" step.

      It's a fairly radical step. Now one can argue about whether or not such a radical step is needed, but your couching it as somehow a moderate course is just not true.

      I have a hard time getting worked up over it either way. The Court does leave room for restrictions, and heck it even leaves room for licensing which is probably what I'd like to see.

      But at the end of the day, much like drugs, the cat is out of the bag. Criminalizing drugs doesn't make the drug problem go away and neither does criminalizing guns.

      If guns didnt exist or weren't in great use, like say in Britain, It would make sense, but guns are ubiquitous and so how do you ban something when in existence there are already probably enough handguns alone for every man, woman and child in the country?

      And why would we seek an expansive reading of almost every other Amendment (for good reason) but decide that we want a restrictive reading of the 2nd?

    •  It didn't work. (10+ / 0-)

      Handguns have been banned in DC for over 30 years and the ban has had ZERO effect in reducing gun-related crime. It's been about as effective as the drug war. 80 years later, pot is still everywhere and the black market is still thriving.

      You might as well say that DC has had a tremendously bad problem with violent crime committed by young black males. So would it be ok to just start locking up young black males before they even commit a crime? NO! That would be despicable and racist and we have many rights in the Constitution that prevent that from being done. I'm sure that there are many racist people who believe that such action would cause the crime rate in DC to plummet, but I think we can all agree that even if this were true, it could never justify taking away the civil rights of all the innocent people caught up in the sweep.

      Same principle here. You have a civil right enshrined in the Constitution that a government finds it convenient to eliminate. They say it's ok to take away the rights of the guilty and the innocent alike in order to crack down on crime. You support this because you don't think it's a right worth having in the first place. Well, that's why we have a Constitution. There are plenty of Republicans who don't think that freedom of speech is a right worth having. There are people who support GitMo justice who don't think that the right to a fair trial is worth preserving.

      I have no patience for any of it. Whether you dismiss the First Amendment or the Second, you seek to destroy my civil rights simple because you don't care to exercise them yourself.  That is the antithesis of justice.  

      •  ???? (0+ / 0-)

        You might as well say that DC has had a tremendously bad problem with violent crime committed by young black males. So would it be ok to just start locking up young black males before they even commit a crime? NO! That would be despicable and racist and we have many rights in the Constitution that prevent that from being done.

        Tell that to Giuliani.

        But no one here has lost anyone. This is a digital-age pathology, thinking that you have a personal relationship with a TV character. -Free Spirit

        by James Kresnik on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:20:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Tragic day my ass! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Riverman, ER Doc, James Kresnik, sargoth

      Why should law abiding citizens in DC not have the right to defend themselves against home invaders?

      For that matter, what possible defense does our nation have against a rogue state if there is no personal right to bear arms.  The First and Second Amendments are twin pillars which together provide protection to our nation from the implementation of despotic regimes.  Without both of them standing strong, that protection crumbles, and there is no longer anything to ensure that our government is run by and for the people and not vice versa!

      Now of course we could cancel our insurance policy and eliminate private gun ownership.  Such a step may result in fewer violent crimes, but at what expense?  (This is debatable as there are statistics and studies that can be cited to support the opposing point of view as well)  Personally, I am not willing to give up my liberty in order to a false sense of security.

    •  I'd say that DC must have an even bigger (0+ / 0-)

      people problem, if they're so willing to run around shooting eachother.

      If they have that kind of anger, and you managed to eliminate all handguns, I'm sure they'd find other weapons, such as mowing people down in cars.  Then we'd have to start talking about banning cars.

    •  great day for america. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sargoth

      constitution wins, banners lose, hyperbolic emotional nonsense notwithstanding.

      DC's (and for that matter, Detroit's, et. al.) violence problems are hideous and tragic. but no hideous, tragic problem is sufficient to trump the inalienable rights of individual human beings.

      if, in the exercise of our individual rights, we make life intolerable for ourselves, that is highly unfortunate, and it's our loss. this does nothing, though, to change the status of each of our individual rights, which we each possess wholly independent of any and all external circumstances or the influence of others.

      It's called the american dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. - G. Carlin

      by RabidNation on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:52:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ban has had no positive impact (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Kresnik

      From CNN

      There were 143 gun-related murders in Washington last year, compared with 135 in 1976, when the handgun ban was enacted.

      Banning guns for law-abiding citizens, has not, does not, and will not affect gun usage by criminals.  Ever.

  •  my pleasant surprise (15+ / 0-)

    I truly expected the SCOTUS to ignore the constitution on this one. A victory for the country imho.

  •  Gonna go buy me a Sidewinder! (3+ / 0-)

    Yeee haw!

    Remember when we had a Fourth Amendment? That was fun.

    by phenry on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:54:32 AM PDT

  •  The "good news"... (8+ / 0-)

    such as it is, is that Scalia's part III makes very clear that some regulations are going to be permissible--certainly ones directed toward certain types of guns (he refuses to endorse the NRA's "you have the right to a bazooka!" angle), ownership by certain folks who there's a basis to believe might pose a danger, and arguably, even a licensing regime.

  •  It'd be really nice to get those Founding Fathers (10+ / 0-)

    of ours up to this century just so we can ask them "What the hell does this section mean, exactly?!"

    Of course, if we did it now BushCo would rendition their asses somewhere in the deep of Antarctica...

    Senator McCain, we don't have to twist everything that comes out of a Republican's mouth - you guys come pre-twisted.

    by PatsBard on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:55:57 AM PDT

    •  "Dude, we were talking about MUSKETS!" (14+ / 0-)

      "What the hell is wrong with you people?"

      Remember when we had a Fourth Amendment? That was fun.

      by phenry on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:58:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Founding Fathers had firsthand experience... (16+ / 0-)

      ... in knowing that freedom is only earned and defended by physical force.

      Like it or not, the Founding Fathers were pro-gun.

      •  Sorry, dude (9+ / 0-)

        But if the last seven years have shown anything, it's that freedom(s) can be taken away in much easier ways than pointing a gun at somebody; all the handguns in the world aren't going to stop the CIA from extraordinary rendition, torture, black prisons in eastern Europe, or the police knocking down your door at night under guise of the War on Drugs.

        And I say that as the owner of more than a few firearms.

        •  I have no illusions that... (4+ / 0-)

          ... even an extraordinarily well-armed individual can prevail in a direct confrontation with the forces of the State.

          But he's entitled to go down trying and take as many of them as he can with him.

          In The Gulag Archipelago, Solzhenitsyn said that if the police who went out every night to arrest people knew they might not come back, the whole system might have ground to a halt.

          •  Hell Joe (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nanobubble, James Kresnik, Joe Beese

            when it comes to confrontation with state power, the police routinely impose orders making it illegal for a citizen to wear a gas mask or body armor.    And those aren't even weapons by any stretch of the imagination.  rather, those orders are specifically to make one be vulnerable to th armed assault by the authorities, and if you are not willing to present your self submissively, if you simply seek to protect your individual body, you are liable to arrest and imprisonment.

            A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. ~Edward R. Murrow

            by ActivistGuy on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:23:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The well armed individual can defend tyrrany as (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Inland, Swill to Power

            well as fight against it.

            In this country the gun owner is most likely to be a Bush voter and a defender of tyranny.

            •  that's why constitutional rights are important (4+ / 0-)

              When the Bush lovin' authoritarian retard comes to my door looking to rough up a librul, I want to be armed.  I'm not going out without a fight.

              It turns out that Bush IS a uniter... he united the good half of the country virulently against him.

              by fizziks on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:41:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  You'd be surprised how many gun owners are (4+ / 0-)

              Democrats... And you have to bear in mind that the Democratic party has done a lot to drive pro-gun ownership individuals away, in the same manner that "pro-life" voters feel their only home is the Republican party.
                  As a socially liberal, strongly pro-choice voter, who's also a gun owner and firm believer in the individual's right to self-defense, I've often been torn over the years. I can't stay friends with anyone. Jesse Ventura was the last politician I voted for who agreed with me on both guns and abortion. This administration has made it easy to decide which side to be on now, but I'm very happy to see this precedent set, to restrict President Obama and the strong Democratic majority we'll have in both houses of Congress from pushing new draconian gun laws along with the rest of the progressive agenda.

              -5.12, -5.23

              We are men of action; lies do not become us.

              by ER Doc on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:38:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Absolutely right. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Swill to Power, penguinsong

              I suspect our best armed patriots are more likely to join our government in hunting down dissidents then fighting it.

              The Overton Trap Door: The phenomenon where over the top, exaggerated, outraged purism leads to one being ignored entirely.

              by Inland on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:29:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  private Iraqis under Saddam Hussein had guns (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ChurchofBruce

            http://www.slate.com/...

            Yet one would hardly describe Iraq -- before or (especially) after the invasion -- as a bastion of individual liberties, no?

            My point is simply that the concept of "freedom" has been dangerously dumbed down over the years, and in the U.S. some people's focus on the 2nd Amendment has blinded them to the much graver, more pervasive disappearance of liberties we used to take for granted.

      •  As the previous commenter said, MUSKETS (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        phenry, shpilk, wader, mcfly, Osiris

        And flintlock rifles and pistols.

        In those days, people left their doors and windows unlocked.

        Stealing a horse or buggy got you hung by the neck until dead.

        There wasn't much of a standing army because there wasn't much of an institution to pay and quarter them.

        Citizens not living in the cities needed the guns they had for shooting game.

        And a foreign army occupied this nebulous country to be.

        Let's get serious here: the founding fathers didn't envision today's society when they enshrined the Second Amendment.  Hiding behind the founding fathers' "pro-gun" position is like Christian fundamentalists embracing Leviticus.

        •  asdf (13+ / 0-)

          To me, if the First Amendment can apply to blogs, TV and radio, then the Second Amendment can apply to small arms that use modern technologies.

          Bush and McCain are suffering from a pre-1215 mindset.

          by droogie6655321 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:08:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then it should change with the technology (0+ / 0-)

            The application of the First Amendment has not been set in stone.  It has been continually reevaluated.

            Neither should the Second, particularly in light of the clause; it's simply not this absolute.

          •  Not quite the same thing. (0+ / 0-)

            A Militia is not an individual, is it?

            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.

            And protecting "the security of a free State" is not the same thing as "right of the people".

            The capitalization of the original is quite telling, I think.

            "You know what the real fight is? The real fight is the definition of what is reality." Bernie Sanders

            by shpilk on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:25:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's also telling that the words (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nanobubble

              "the right of the people"  are used elsewhere in the Bill of Rights only to refer to individual, not collective, rights.
                   In broader terms, the Bill of Rights contains predominately individual rights, and the placement of this one as the Second amendment, following the rights of religion, speech, assembly, and press, is also telling....

              -5.12, -5.23

              We are men of action; lies do not become us.

              by ER Doc on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:46:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  "infringed" (2+ / 1-)
                Recommended by:
                nanobubble, James Kresnik
                Hidden by:
                sargoth

                "Infringed" -- the drafters could have chosen another verb -- "violated," or "abrogated," or "abolished." But they didn't. "Infringed" implies that not even the fringes of the right to bear arms shall be messed with. Leaving the core is not good enough.

                When interpreting ALL of the Bill of Rights, I believe any doubt should be resolved in favor of individual rights. That means I agree with the Heller v. D.C. decision. I also agree the Second Amendment is a historical anachronism that has outlived its usefulness and should be repealed.

                -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

                by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:14:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  HR'd for spamming the thread (0+ / 0-)

                  We understood this comment the first four times you posted it.

                  •  Get a grip. (0+ / 0-)

                    Last time I checked, there were 800+ comments on this diary. After an initial scan of all comments, I follow these huge discussions only by checking responses to my comments, and I presume a lot of other people use the same method. So if someone posts a response to somebody else's comment, but not to mine, I don't see it. And if I post a response to X's comment, there's no reason for me to think that Y, who made the same point, will see my response to X.

                    -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

                    by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:49:48 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  By this reasoning... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nanobubble, James Kresnik

          In those days, there also weren't terrorists we needed to stop by spying on what everyone said. So the Fourth Amendment is another relic we need to scrap.

          Historical circumstances change. Principles don't.

          Jefferson said the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants.

          Not by contributing to the somewhat less tyrannical guy running for his office.

        •  Like free speech and the internet? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nanobubble, bbachtung

          Did the founding fathers envision the internet and expect that instantaneous free speech would be visible to millions of people in a matter of minutes? No way.

          So by your logic, it would be ok to ban free speech on the internet simply because the founding fathers did not anticipate how the evolution of technology would impact the exercise of the civil right that they created.

        •  bah (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Kresnik

          I'm tired of that Musket argument. That is like YOUR interpretation.

          My interpretation is; I should be able to own the same basic rifle and handgun that our military uses; So the citizens of my town could defend ourselves against  an invading army, or the U.S. army; So the citizens of america can be armed enough to revolt and storm Washington DC if needed; So the citizens of america can defend ourselves against Blackwater security and other private christian militias.

          Private Property is the Curse. Those that Buy and Sell Land, and are landlords, have got it either by Oppression, Murder, or Theft

          by pacific ocean park on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 04:00:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc, Joe Beese, St Alphonso

        You know what they say...
        "The key to a just government is a well armed populous."  The Second Amendment was put in so that we could rise up if our government got oppressive.

        •  So when is the "rising up" part gonna happen? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mcfly, ActivistGuy, The Jester

          We past "oppressive" a number of years back . . . Hell, BushCo is sort of the Poster Child of oppression.

        •  I don't think the Founders put in a (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChurchofBruce

          "self destruct" clause - do you?

          That whole "rise up and take over the government" point is just ludicrous to me, sorry.  Except for some Pennsylvania and a few other concerns about trust in a standing federal army being organized under the new Constitution - not long after fighting against one for their independence, among other things - it seemed that defense of the country and enabling a balance with states for their own needs was of most concern.  Guns for things like hunting, etc. seemed entirely accepted as reasonable - I don't even think that was intended to be covered under the 2nd Amendment, but I'm obviously just a layman on this.

          "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

          by wader on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:22:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, I do (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            James Kresnik, superheed

            because I've read their writings.  The very purpose of having a militia instead of a standing army was to deny the central government means of oppression.

            My password is: "transparency" This is a communal account. Everyone may play, few will win!

            by nanobubble on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:23:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The fear of a federal army was not the only (0+ / 0-)

              reason for militias.  As various examples attested before and after the Constitution was signed, militias had a primary purpose in handling local uprisings and discontent, among other security measures.

              Early fears from some in members contributing submissions to the Constitution definitely expressed an anti-federalist, independent states bent.  This amendment's wording was apparently intended to help assuage their fears a bit, but never to the point of arming the general populace so that they might overthrow the government and create a state of anarchistic or opportunistic, non-federal rule.  That was a pipe dream by the more extreme states rights folks, I feel and NOT accepted to that extreme by the eventual editors of the Constitution.

              "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

              by wader on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:48:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Decleration of Independence (0+ / 0-)

                We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

                That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

                But no one here has lost anyone. This is a digital-age pathology, thinking that you have a personal relationship with a TV character. -Free Spirit

                by James Kresnik on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:40:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  But as the opinion makes clear... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wader, nanobubble

        ...no militia in this day and age can pose a real threat to a standing army, and attempting to rectify that problem by allowing all citizens access to military-grade weaponry is off the table, even for Scalia.

        The question here is what guns may be used for. The question of an "individual right" to firearms is beside the point--both opinions recognize that an individual has a right to bear arms. The question is whether the right to bear arms for self-defense (i.e. handguns, as opposed to rifles) is constitutionally protected.

        This question is open to interpretation, but I think it basically comes down to this: Does the preamble to the right (i.e, that militia stuff) and the absence of any specific mention of self-defense (in contrast to similar documents of the time) imply that the framers specifically did not seek to grant a right to bear arms for individual defense, or does the absence of an clear restriction imply that they sought to grant the right to bear arms for any legal use?

        I think both arguments are a little unconvincing. Obviously the minority argument relies entirely on contextual evidence and implication, hardly the soundest foundation for a major ruling. However, the majority argument simultaneously denies that the individual right to bear arms is limited to the activities of a militia, while affirming the fact that it is limited to only those weapons a militia (i.e. a common man) would have in their home anyway. I think the court just affirmed the constitutional right to torture logic there, by trying to grant a right to handguns without also granting a right to m16s.

        •  "No militia can threaten standing army": WRONG. (0+ / 0-)

          The mujahedeen kicked the Soviets out of Afghanistan. The Viet Cong helped greatly to kick the USA out of Viet Nam, after kicking the French out first. The outcome of Iraq is still up in the air, but if the militia there are put down it will largely be because the populace comes around to supporting the Iraqi army and police. Hamas and Hezbollah have fought Israel to a draw.

          All with outside help, to be sure, but the militia part was indispensable.

          -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

          by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:12:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your overly-bold pronouncement... (0+ / 0-)

            ...is based on either a mis-reading or a mis-understanding.

            I said that "no militia in this day and age can pose a real threat to a standing army".

            I never said that "no militia can defeat a standinf army." Clearly that is not the case. A militia can, if persistent enough, make enough trouble that a standing army no longer wishes to expend the resources on the endeavor. But if you can find me an existing case in the modern age that a powerful military equipped with advanced weapons was actually locked in a war with a militia of the people that threatened the existence of that military, I will be shocked.

            The mujahdeen did not threaten the existence of the Soviet Union, the VC did not threaten the existence of the USA, and Iraqis have never threatened the existence of the USA either.

            It's possible an armed militia in the US could be a nightmare for the US, and might even be able to forestall some abuses of power by making the government look bad killing civilians on TV. But no militia is going to actually overthrow a tyrannical government as long as the military stands with it.

      •  For keeping militia organizing capability (0+ / 0-)

        as an implied state's balance against a standing, federal army, sure.

        For individuals beyond hunting, etc.?  I think it's more murky.

        But, it definitely allows for regulation and limitations on firearm ownership by the government.  And, it seems the court actually recognized this interpretation, amazingly.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:18:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  FF knew the power of armed revolution (0+ / 0-)

        but they weren't for another one, for fuck's sake.  As for freedom being earned and defended by physical force, they were sitting on a huge SLAVE population and huge INDIAN population, who they damn well meant to be deprived of the power to use physical force.

        Anyone who thought that the FF were ensuring a generally armed populace for the purpose of defending "freedom",  as opposed to ensuring specific militias of white males in order to the established order, is nutterbutters.

        The Overton Trap Door: The phenomenon where over the top, exaggerated, outraged purism leads to one being ignored entirely.

        by Inland on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:27:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Silly Goose, FAMILY GUY Addressed This! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, PatsBard

      Everyone has a right to hang a plaque of bear arms on their wall - no hate mail from PETA, please!

      "If I ever lose my mind I hope some honest person will find it and take it to Lost and Found." George Carlin

      by CityLightsLover on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:04:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is no ambiguety about this amendment (8+ / 0-)

      the second amendment was designed to insure that American citizens had the means to insure our servant government remained just that. It is the citizens balance of power, which we the people neglect at our peril.

      •  Not any more (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wader, HeyMikey, nanobubble

        According to the Supreme Court, the 2nd Amendment is about your right to shoot an attacker in your home.  Period.

        If you can start the revolution with only a handgun, and never taking it outside the home (at which point the 2nd Amendment doesn't seem to apply), good luck.

        "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

        by Pesto on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:16:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree that it is very straight-forward... (5+ / 0-)

        We were rebelling against an oppressive government (with "arms"!) at the time when, you know, this Constitution thing was written...like that was the point of it all.

        The founders agreed that it was their right to do so, and put that right in the Constitution!

        A Wattle Breakfast - 1/4 chilled orange juice, poured over 3/4 light champagne

        by WattleBreakfast on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:17:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yet even the cosnervative majority... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pesto, wader

        ....affirmed the right to limit privately-owned weapons to ones that would be in common use. Military hardware, necessary to truly pose a threat to the government, is not protected by the second amendment.

      •  well (0+ / 0-)

        my belief is that the bill of rights was really more directed at protecting the States, not individuals, from the Federal Government.

        Thus why it took over 100 years for most of those restrictions to apply to the States and not just the Feds.

        •  Your belief is wrong (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ER Doc, St Alphonso

          Even if you take "the people" to mean "the states" where at all possible, you have "the owner" in 3, "no warrants" in 4, "no person" in 5, "all criminal prosecutions" in 6, "no fact" in 7, passive voice in 8, and "the people" distinct from "the states" in 10.

          My password is: "transparency" This is a communal account. Everyone may play, few will win!

          by nanobubble on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:01:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are entitled to your opinion (0+ / 0-)

            but considering the states could violate with impunity every single one of the bill of rights, it makes one wonder how the bill was concerned more with individual rights than with state's rights.

            The 2nd amendment talks about militias, that's a concern for state's rights.

            The 3rd about quartering Fed soldiers, again, that's really a concern for state's rights.

            Many of the more "individual" rights could be freely violated by the states so you had states that allowed double jeopardy, trial without counsel, confessions gained by torture, cruel and unusual punishment, pretty much every amendment had state violations until incorporation came along.

            Heck, you had slavery, which was a huge violation of most of the bill of rights as well. At the end of the day, the first attempt to truly "individualize" the bill of rights was the 14th amendment applying parts of the 5th amendment to the states.

    •  Actually, Bush supported the ban. (0+ / 0-)

      Bush hates the Constitution. Not surprising that he instructed the Justice Department to work in support of DC's gun ban during this case.

    •  Sorry, wouldn't work. (0+ / 0-)

      Pet peeve of mine. (I'm a lawyer.) A lot of court decisions look at "legislative history" -- what various Congressmen said in the committee reports or floor speeches accompanying the passage of this or that piece of legislation. The problem with this approach is that different legislators vote for the same piece of law for different reasons, with different ideas about what it means. Founding Father A, who made a floor speech, might have thought the Second Amendment protected individual handgun ownership; Founding Father B, who didn't make a speech, might have disagreed; Founding Father C hadn't really thought about it, but voted for the amendment anyway because he promised to support Founding Father D on this provision in return for D's support of C's preferred wording of the Commerce Clause. Etc.

      The only thing they ALL agreed on was the actual words of the law they enacted. Courts should interpret the words as best they can, according to their ordinary English meaning. If that results in an unpopular interpretation, then the people (through their elected representatives) should amend the Constitution to say something more popular.

      -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

      by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:06:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The problem is (0+ / 0-)

      if you look at many of the arguments made at the time, the founders couldn't really agree on what the 2nd meant.

      Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

      by GrouchoKossak on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 01:55:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What I object to is the notion that (15+ / 0-)

    the holy, sacrosanct Second is the only one that seems to be in force.

    What's so hard about Peace, Love, and Truth and Progress?

    by melvin on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:56:12 AM PDT

  •  That pesky clause (6+ / 0-)

    It's as if the people who drafted that Amendment were trying to be vague on purpose. From a linguistic standpoint, it's an awful sentence. In any event, this is a topic that I am glad the Democrats are staying well away from. There are few votes to be gained from gun control legislation.

    Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

    by The Raven on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:56:27 AM PDT

    •  Thank you! (0+ / 0-)

      The past two days' court cases have been bad (politically) for Democrats, and you better freakin' believe that the Repubs are going to JUMP on this politically.  Heller and Louisiana have been cases that will help McCain.

      As such, Obama needs to be very careful with his words regarding these cases.  It's almost lose-lose for him.

  •  how come nobody is talking about the split? (0+ / 0-)

    who was it that crossed over?  kennedy?

  •  why are trigger locks (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mimi9, phenry, wader, mcfly, CityLightsLover

    an infringement on the right to bear arms?

    •  There isn't time to futz with a trigger lock (7+ / 0-)

      when you're confronted with an attacker.

      Saying the Iraq "Surge" worked is like saying Thelma & Louise had a flying car.

      by JML9999 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:59:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What if I don't think there's time (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        phenry, wader, Treg, JML9999, CityLightsLover

        to pull the trigger over and over again to kill multiple robbers?  Does the 2nd Amendment guarantee my right to a fully automatic weapon in my home?

        "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

        by Pesto on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:04:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I presume using this a precident (0+ / 0-)

          it will be for a future court to decide.

          Saying the Iraq "Surge" worked is like saying Thelma & Louise had a flying car.

          by JML9999 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:05:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Also, sawed-off shotguns (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wader, JML9999

            Can they really claim that it's unconstitutional to mandate a positive safety feature, but constitutional to prevent you from shortening the barrel of a weapon you have the constitutional right to own?

            "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

            by Pesto on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:08:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yep. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JML9999, brein

              They can claim that sawed-off shotguns have no protected legal use. They're affirming the right to own guns for self-defense here, provided those guns are among the most commonly used at the time. Sawed-off shotguns aren't commonly used for self-defense, hunting, or military purposes, and so can be restricted.

              •  That's a circular argument (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                phenry, theran, HeyMikey, JML9999, brein

                Sawed-offs can be banned despite the 2nd Amendment, because they "aren't commonly used" -- due to the laws banning them!

                I assume the basis for banning sawed-offs is that they're better at killing people -- otherwise, why ban them?  I want to use that greater killing power to protect my home.  The Court now says that protecting my home with a firearm is a Constitutional right, and that the 2nd Amendment can invalidate regulations designed to make firearms less dangerous if they make them less effective in home defense.

                "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

                by Pesto on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:36:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's where you're wrong. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JML9999, James Kresnik

                  Sawed-off shotguns are worse at killing people. They reduce effective kill range significantly. What they're better for is being concealed. People who conceal weapons are generally criminals. Who needs to conceal weapons in their own home?

                  Sawed-off shotguns were never "commonly used" by people to defend their homes.

                  •  Range (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    phenry, theran, ER Doc, JML9999

                    I'm in my house.  What kind of range do I need to cover?  5 yards at the most?

                    I need a sawed-off for the same reason I need a handgun, not a long weapon -- it's much easier to use in tight spaces, say, in a hallway.

                    If I don't need a sawed-off, then I can protect myself with a rifle, not a handgun.  If I have a right to a handgun, I have the right to a sawed-off.

                    "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

                    by Pesto on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:46:09 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  5 yards at the most.... (0+ / 0-)

                      ...is also the effective range of a sawed-off shotgun. So better hope you don't confront someone with a pistol across a large dining room, right?

                      You may say "if I have the right to X I have the right to Y", but the court uses the criterion of "common use". Sawed-off shotguns aren't in common use, never have been, and likely wouldn't be even if they were as easy to own as handguns (and in some states they very nearly are). The court has explicitly protected the right of states to place restrictions on weapons that are not commonly used for legal purposes.

                  •  You know what's really good at being concealed? (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    theran, Hey BB, JML9999, zbbrox

                    Handguns.

                    Remember when we had a Fourth Amendment? That was fun.

                    by phenry on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:46:42 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I agree. (0+ / 0-)

                      I don't particularly like the court's decision, but I'm not really convinced it was, constitutionally, the wrong decision. Or the right one, for that matter. What I'm saying is that there's no hypocrisy, given their logic, in protecting handguns but not sawed-off shotguns.

                  •  Factually incorrect. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    James Kresnik

                    Pattern size in shotguns is a function of choke (constriction of the bore near the muzzle) and muzzle velocity.

                    The only difference in pattern size between a 16" barrel cylinder bore shotgun (currently regulated under NFA) and a 18.5" cylinder bore shotgun (not regulated under NFA) is whatever reduction in velocity comes from the 1.5" shorter barrel.

                    Which won't be much, considering the fast burning rate of most shotgun powders. For example, I use Green Dot in both 1 1/8 oz 12 gauge loads and .38 Special target loads. It's one of the faster burning powders available to the reloader. The slower the powder and the higher the working pressure of the cartridge, the more effect barrel length has on velocity. Fast powders will burn completely in very short barrels.

                    In other words, the length of a shotgun barrel is going to have not much effect on it's lethality. And you're wrong to assume that a shotgun is "worse at killing people." In fact, it's just about the most lethal short-range small arm ever invented. One shot from a 12 gauge loaded with 3" 00 buck is about the equivalent of 12 shots with a 9mm pistol, all hitting at the same time.

                    The other practical effect of barrel length in home defense applications is maneuverability. A shorter weapon tends to work better in tight quarters... like, say, your hallway.

                    --Shannon

                    •  Not true. (0+ / 0-)

                      True sawed-offs tend to dramatically decrease the range because of the difference in the choke. Even poorly-done after-market sawed-offs suffer from this, and some people report very limited effective range.

                      Now, if you want to get into police firearms and other short shotguns designed to be so, then we have the issue of them being too effective--that is, tremendous power combined with concealability, which courts have generally rejected for civilian use.

                      •  True enough... (0+ / 0-)

                        I didn't consider the effect of a poorly-cut barrel on the pellets... damaged pellets no fly um good.

                        But, assuming a good muzzle, cylinder choke is cylinder choke... the only effect on pattern size (always taken at 40 yards, IIRC) due to barrel length is because of the velocity change... and even that's tough to predict, because while slower pellets spend more time in the air, faster loads damage more pellets, as the shot charge's trip down the bore is more violent.

                        And a short-barreled shotgun isn't that concealable...  even with a pistol grip, you're still talking about a weapon around two feet long. With a shoulder stock, (much the better choice, IMHO, if you want to hit anything), it's more like three feet.

                        Not to mention, they're legal... you just have to pass a background check and pay $200 to the Feds, assuming that your State allows you to own one.

                        --Shannon

                        •  They're legal... (0+ / 0-)

                          ...but with restrictions potentially determined by individual states, and subject to more regulation than pistols and other handguns usually are. Applying the above commenter's logic (i.e. that sawed-off shotguns are no different than pistols) that would probably have to end, at least the potential state-by-state restrictions.

                          And for the case of short-barreled shotguns being less concealable, with the right shoulder-holster they can be hidden down one's side under a jacket, at the very least.

              •  Actually, this isn't true. Throughout ... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                HeyMikey, ER Doc, zbbrox

                ...history, both regular and sawed-off shotguns have been part of soldiers' repertoire. These started out as the blunderbuss loaded with pellets (not technically sawed-off, but short. They were used during the Texas Revolution, by many cavalry units during the Civil War, in the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902), and the trench warfare during World War I. Also used during World War I, Vietnam, and in Iraq.

                Riot shotguns carried by police often have barrels as short as 14 inches, 4 inches shorter than the length a private citizen may own without a special permit.

                I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land. -- Mark Twain

                by Meteor Blades on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:39:09 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  My apologies. (0+ / 0-)

                  Short-barreled shotguns apparently do have military purposes, though I still the court's logic holds in determining whether or not they fit the "militia weapon" standard they're applying, as few people will use a short-barreled shotgun for home defense instead of a handgun. (And much of the court's rationale for allowing handguns in the first place was based on benefits to handguns that aren't shared by shotguns.)

                •  And, in fact, a short-barreled shotgun (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  HeyMikey, James Kresnik

                  is a fine weapon for home defense, if you have the time to reach for it. (With, by the way, a much longer range than five yards.) For the same reason that a police officer who's expecting a fight will take his riot gun with him rather than relying only on his sidearm.

                  -5.12, -5.23

                  We are men of action; lies do not become us.

                  by ER Doc on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:53:23 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Why Not?! Shoot 'Em Up!! n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JML9999

          "If I ever lose my mind I hope some honest person will find it and take it to Lost and Found." George Carlin

          by CityLightsLover on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:06:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It would be simpler (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wader, JML9999

          in such a circumstance to be able to employ a single weapon of mass destruction.  What has happened to our right to keep and bear WMDs to protect our homes and families from attack by large numbers of assailants?

          A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. ~Edward R. Murrow

          by ActivistGuy on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:10:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh god, if only. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          phenry, JML9999

          I'd get a kit for an Uzi and go to TOWN on home invasion robbers.

      •  What about when you're confronted (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JML9999

        by a government with no regard for the basic procedures / protections of a functioning democracy (habeas corpus, etc.)?

        Too many of us are happy to give up all our other rights so long as we can fill our hands with iron.

      •  The Second amendment (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wader, JML9999

        doesnt say anything about firearms used to confront an attacker.

      •  I can't tell (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JML9999

        if you are snarking or being serious.

    •  Not trigger locks (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ben masel, Adam B, wader, Hey BB

      But the requirement of them.

      Bush and McCain are suffering from a pre-1215 mindset.

      by droogie6655321 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:03:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's my only disappointment, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zbbrox

        since it seems like a reasonable public safety measure. If I'm required, by law, to properly secure my children in my car in a manner above and beyond what is required to secure myself or my wife, then I don't see why the same wouldn't hold for a handgun.

        I think from the reading, that the states cannot prohibit the ownership of a gun without a lock, but could prohibit the sale of a gun without a lock. Of course, that's only effective if you get every state to support it. Good luck with that.

        I have less of a problem with firearm ownership in general, then I do with the complete lack of security measures that have cropped up in the last century and a half and the inability of states to force that issue along.

        -6.00, -7.03
        Obama '08

        by johnsonwax on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:29:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Because Scalia is a reactionary asshole (0+ / 0-)

      Plain and simple.

      Legal arguments aside, that's what it comes down to. As to the legal arguments, the trigger locks might infringe on the practicality of self-defense.

      Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

      by FischFry on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:19:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  how many people are killed by the subjects of the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mas Gaviota, penguinsong

    1st and 4th amendments? The subject of the 2nd amendment is radically different in that guns kill, maim, destablize. I don't get why they overruled the ban on handguns. the people in DC could have other guns.

    Sorry I have to run to the Senate floor to abolish torture.

    by bten on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:58:21 AM PDT

  •  About time...n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alkalinesky, notrouble
  •  Matches my prediction, I agree with this ruling (20+ / 0-)

    I am simply going to copy and paste my comment in a thread from yesterday, before this ruling. I agree with this ruling. It is accurate, both on history and context within the Bill of Rights. I find this to be a very balanced ruling. well stated.

    I should mention that own handguns, and in the past have owned rifles and shotguns, although I have not hunted for decades.

    --------- Repeat of my previous comments ---------

    Just because you do not want to look at the historical context does not change it.

    The clause clearly was intended to insure that individual citizens were armed. And remained armed. That they might be called up as a militia in time of need.

    It does NOT refer to a standing militia. Or a standing military.

    The Swiss maintain this concept to this day, in their requirement that all able-bodied men be trained in use of arms, and maintain them in their home.

       One of the most famous and ancient militias is the Swiss Armed Forces. Switzerland long maintained, proportionally, the second largest military force in the world, with about half the proportional amount of reserve forces of the Israeli Defence Force, a militia of some 33% of the total population. Article 58.1 of the 1999 Swiss constitution provides that the armed forces (armee) is "in principle" organized as a militia, implicitly allowing a small number of professional soldiers. In 1995, the number of soldiers was reduced to 400,000 (including reservists, amounting to some 5.6% of the population) and again in 2004, to 200,000 (including 80,000 reservists, or 2.7% of the population). However, the Swiss Militia continues to consist of most of the adult male population (with voluntary participation by women) required to keep an automatic rifle at home and to periodically engage in combat and marksmanship training.

    The one thing the framers understood above all was that if you take away every vestige of self-defense from the people, then tyrants would triumph.

    I am a raging liberal, so far left it is off the charts.

    But I profoundly believe in the right guaranteed for INDIVIDUAL CITIZENS to own and bear arms.

    As some of us have tried to point out ad nauseum lately, the Constitution and Bill of Rights are NOT OPTIONAL.

    Nor are they like a Chinese menu, where you get to choose A, and maybe C, but not B.

    "We must become the change we want to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HeartlandLiberal on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:58:52 AM PDT

  •  Consider the situation if the decision had (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmonkey, nanobubble

    gone the other way. The police would always have guns; the people, not so much. But the rights of the people pre-exist all forms of government (see the Declaration of Independence). Individual gun ownership increases certain public costs, but provides some measure of security against other, potentially greater, public costs.

  •  What. The. Fuck. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CityLightsLover

    OIL COMPANIES get a free ride and no accountability???

    CHILD RAPISTS can't get the death penalty because that's only for murderers? WHAT?

    And now this??!!!!!!

    There ain't no such thing as a second class child of God.

    by Dan E in Blue Hampshire on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:59:18 AM PDT

    •  you are way (0+ / 0-)

      oversimplifying both of the opinions that you cite. There is accountability to oil companies, just not unlimited punitive damages. You can get whatever compensatory damages you are entitled to. While I don't agree with the 1:1 punitives decision, it is in no way a "free ride".

      As for child rapists, I haven't read the case, but I assume that the decision is based on the language of a statute (could be wrong). After the Supremes knocked out death penalty in the 80s, new death penalty statutes had to be very carefully worded. You may or may not agree that child rapists should get the death penalty, but that is a decision for the Congress to take up.

      Inconceivable! You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      by hopeful on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:10:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kennedy (0+ / 0-)

        The Court's ruling was that only those who kill or intend to kill, or maybe those who commit certain other very serious crimes (such as treason) are eligible for the death penalty. While Kennedy stands, no person will be sentenced to death for raping a child, without more.

        •  But the death penalty are statutes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          glynor

          which are promulgated by Congress (either state or Federal). Supremes can only say whether a certain offense is covered or not covered by statute. I, for one, abhore the death penalty. Until we can know, for certain, that every convicted person is actually guilty, I don't see any point, in a civilized society for this law. It is, however, the law. And the Supremes decided, ages ago that state laws on this issue were too broad.

          My main point is the Supremes are trying to clarify laws not enact them (at least in theory).

          Inconceivable! You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

          by hopeful on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:02:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It was a constitutional ruling (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hopeful

            Not a statutory ruling. Sorry if that was unclear from my reply. The Court's ruling was based on Eighth Amendment proportionality grounds--it held that the Constitution forbids the punishment of death for anything less than murder, attempted murder, and perhaps treason and other similar crimes. The only way Congress could reverse that would be to pass a constitutional amendment. (Of course, the Court could also conceivably reverse itself at some point in the future.)

        •  ok sorry (0+ / 0-)

          I just skimmed the opinion and they do decide on 8th amendment grounds that the death penalty is disproportionate to the crime (of child rape) and it therefor unconstitutional. They appear to be saying that only cases where a death is involved will result in death penalty not being a disproportionate penalty.

          Inconceivable! You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

          by hopeful on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:20:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  2nd Amendment protection is fine with me I think (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, HeyMikey, glynor

    its a very commonsensical position to take, but I do think states should have every right to make it harder to get a gun for people who they deem unfit to own one, but not to the point were no one can, thats where I draw the line.

    McCain/(Hagee+Parsley) '08 "We Hunt Jews and Muslims So You Dont Have To. Straight Talk"

    by DFutureIsNow on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:59:25 AM PDT

  •  What is amazing about this decision (9+ / 0-)

    is that there a core right to self-defense in the Constitution that Scalia would respect, but not a core right to privacy.  You can't support this decision without also supporting Roe v. Wade.
    The hypocricy is overwhelming.

    •  well ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lysias, Drgrishka1, nowheredesign

      ... the phrase "keep and bear arms" does explicitly appear in the Constitution.

      •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hopeful

        I believe in the right to privacy but there's no doubt that the right was created out of interpreting a penumbra in a variety of other explicit rights.  Gun rights are explicit, privacy is implicit.

        Fact are stubborn things. -John Adams

        by circlesnshadows on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:09:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How does (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theran, Inland, nanobubble, brein

        keeping and bearing arms in connection with militia service relate to defending against a burglar in the nighttime? The M-14 I lugged around as a younger man would be a heck of a lot less useful than a sawed off shot gun in repelling burglars in the nighttime.
        If Scalia, et al, are going to start imputing rights in the Constitution which are not there explicitly (the right to defend your home against criminals), then why not recognize the right to be in control of your own body, as well as your own house?

        •  It's all about the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          glynor, brein

          -6.00, -7.03
          Obama '08

          by johnsonwax on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:30:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  "Infringed." (0+ / 0-)

          "Infringed" -- the drafters could have chosen another verb -- "violated," or "abrogated," or "abolished." But they didn't. "Infringed" implies that not even the fringes of the right to bear arms shall be messed with. Leaving the core is not good enough.

          When interpreting ALL of the Bill of Rights, I believe any doubt should be resolved in favor of individual rights. That means I agree with the Heller v. D.C. decision. I also agree the Second Amendment is a historical anachronism that has outlived its usefulness and should be repealed.

          -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

          by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:21:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  As Scalia explains it, (0+ / 0-)

          "keeping and bearing arms" means the exact same thing as "owning a gun to shoot at beer cans".  Unlike the plain meaning of "bearing arms", he says that there's no military context involved whatsover, and the preface...well, that reference to a militia merely means "everyone" because "everyone" was in a militia.  

          So you have just as much right to a weapon for self defense or shooting beer cans as you do for a weapon that actually might be used in a military setting.

          The Overton Trap Door: The phenomenon where over the top, exaggerated, outraged purism leads to one being ignored entirely.

          by Inland on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:44:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  But not the phrase "self defense" (0+ / 0-)

        That must be one of those Bill of Rights "penumbras, formed by emanations", eh, Justice Scalia?

        Are you better off now than you were eight years ago?

        by MJB on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:45:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not hypocritical at all (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hopeful, HeyMikey, nanobubble, boomonkey

      There's a big difference in Scalia's view.  The Constitution has the words "right of the people to keep and bear arms" specifically written in it.  The words "right to privacy" do not appear anywhere in the Constitution.  Scalia believes only in "enumerated" rights -- those actually written in the Constitution.  The "right to keep and bear arms" is written in the Constitution.  The right to privacy is not; it comes from the "penumbras and emanations" (Griswold) of other rights.  

      You can argue that his "enumerated rights" view of the Constitution is wrong.  However, his view of the 2d Amendment is completely consistent with his view of the "right to privacy."  No hypocracy.  

      •  Scalia talked about the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theran, Alakazam, brein

        core lawful purpose of self defense. That is NOWHERE in the Constitution. Scalia imputes it from the Second Amendment, same as Griswold.

        •  He talked about it (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nanobubble, boomonkey

          because that was, in his view, what was intended by the people who wrote the words "right to keep and bear arms." The analysis goes like this, in his view.   Step 1 -- Here's the right "to keep and bear arms."  Step 2 -- what does that mean?  Let's look at the history -- "keep and bear arms" means for militias, for self defense, for hunting.

          For the right to privacy, in his view, you don't get past Step 1 -- where is the right?  If the right is not in the Constitution (he says it is not, because the words aren't there) you don't even get to Step 2 -- what does the right mean.  

          Not inconsistent at all.  

          •  Not how Scalia would describe his jurisprudence. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            theran, brein

            "You will never hear me refer to original intent, because as I say I am first of all a textualist, and secondly an originalist. If you are a textualist, you don't care about the intent, and I don't care if the framers of the Constitution had some secret meaning in mind when they adopted its words." Scalia.

            Scalia claims that he doesn't care what the intent of the drafters was.  He cares about the plain meaning of their words.  If there is no reference to self defense, how can he read that into the text?  

            •  It's the originalist part (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nanobubble, boomonkey

              I am first of all a textualist, and secondly an originalist.

              that is consistent with this opinion.  "Originalist" lets you look at the history around the adoption of the amendment (if there is doubt as to the meaning of the "text), which is what he did.  

            •  "Infringed." (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nanobubble

              Note: this reasoning is my textually-based interpretation. I don't know if it's Scalia's.

              "Infringed" -- the drafters could have chosen another verb -- "violated," or "abrogated," or "abolished." But they didn't. "Infringed" implies that not even the fringes of the right to bear arms shall be messed with. Leaving the core is not good enough.

              When interpreting ALL of the Bill of Rights, I believe any doubt should be resolved in favor of individual rights. That means I agree with the Heller v. D.C. decision. I also agree the Second Amendment is a historical anachronism that has outlived its usefulness and should be repealed.

              I also agree Scalia is an intellectually dishonest hypocrite, even though I happen to agree with his result in this case.

              -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

              by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:20:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  out of context (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brein

        If you read an individual right into the Second Amendment by ignoring the first half of the Amendment, you can just as easily read the right to privacy into the Fourth Amendment by ignoring the second half of that Amendment:

        "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated"

        Scalia can claim he's relying on the enumerated rights in the text, but he's doing no such thing.  

    •  that's the thing... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yashko, Osiris, brein, boomonkey

      You pretty much can't get to where Scalia gets without the Ninth Amendment.  "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

      Relying on the Second Amendment, I believe, is useless; it's remarkably unclear in its meaning (perhaps intentionally so).  I believe you can't throw out half the amendment simply because you don't like it, so I think the link to the militia has to be relevant to the right to bear arms that the amendment is addressing.  

      So if your right to own a gun in the home has nothing to do with your state's right to raise and arm a militia (the National Guard), where would you find the right to individual gun ownership?

      In that murky world of "natural rights" that Scalia normally despises so.  

      The right of self defense Scalia is resting his opinion on does not appear anywhere in the operative text of the Constitution.  It's a right he's claiming as a "natural right," even if not in so many words.  He can howl and scream all he likes about there not being a right to privacy in the literal text of the Constitution, but if he continues to do so, he's being a rank hypocrite.  

      So here's to the Ninth Amendment - the gun nuts can have their right to self defense if I can have my right to privacy.  

      •  damm right he is a hypocrite (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brein

        "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

        •  Have you guys read this opinion? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey, nanobubble

          it is not inconsistent at all with Scalia's approach.  Wrong -- maybe (matter of opinion).  Inconsistent -- not at all.  Scalia takes the view that the Ninth Amendment protects only the "enumerated" rights -- those stated in the Constitution.  The right to bear arms is stated in the Constitution; the right to privacy is not (in his view).

          Only after you find a right can you interpret it.  In other words, Step 1, is there a right?  Step 2, what does that right mean?  You are quoting from Step 2, what does the right to keep and bear arms mean.  In Scalia's view, the "right to privacy doesn't get to step 2, because it doesn't pass step 1.  

          you can disagree with him over what the Ninth amendment means, but this opinion is not inconsistent with his long-standing views on the Bill of Rights.  

          •  I don't understand (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Meteor Blades, brein

            If the explicit text of the Ninth Amendment reserves to the people rights NOT ENUMERATED in the Constitution, how can it only protect enumerated rights?

            Furthermore, having read the opinion, it is riddled with references to the "right" to self defense.  That is not enumerated anywhere in the Constitution.  The Second Amendment does not at all speak to self defense.  It speaks to the security of a free state, which may have fuckall to do with your own personal safety.

            •  I'm not saying his view of the Ninth Amendment (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Meteor Blades, HeyMikey

              is correct.  It is just that there is a long standing debate among legal scholars over exactly what this amendment means.  There is a body of people out there -- not just Scalia -- that do not believe that the Ninth Amendment gives you substantively any rights that are not listed someplace else.  Wiki describes that better than I can:

              The Ninth Amendment has generally been regarded by the courts as negating any expansion of governmental power on account of the enumeration of rights in the Constitution, but the Amendment has not been regarded as further limiting governmental power. The U.S. Supreme Court explained this, in U.S. Public Workers v. Mitchell 330 U.S. 75 (1947): "If granted power is found, necessarily the objection of invasion of those rights, reserved by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, must fail."

              Some jurists have asserted that the Ninth Amendment is relevant to interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Justice Arthur Goldberg (joined by Chief Justice Warren and Justice Brennan) expressed this view in a concurring opinion in the case of Griswold v. Connecticut (1965):

              [T]he Framers did not intend that the first eight amendments be construed to exhaust the basic and fundamental rights.... I do not mean to imply that the .... Ninth Amendment constitutes an independent source of rights protected from infringement by either the States or the Federal Government....While the Ninth Amendment - and indeed the entire Bill of Rights - originally concerned restrictions upon federal power, the subsequently enacted Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the States as well from abridging fundamental personal liberties. And, the Ninth Amendment, in indicating that not all such liberties are specifically mentioned in the first eight amendments, is surely relevant in showing the existence of other fundamental personal rights, now protected from state, as well as federal, infringement.

              Subsequent to Griswold, some judges have tried to use the Ninth Amendment to justify judicially enforcing rights that are not enumerated. For example, the District Court that heard the case of Roe v. Wade ruled in favor of a "Ninth Amendment right to choose to have an abortion."[5] However, Justice William O. Douglas rejected that view; Douglas wrote that, "The Ninth Amendment obviously does not create federally enforceable rights." See Doe v. Bolton (1973). Douglas joined the majority opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe, which stated that a federally enforceable right to privacy, "whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment's concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment's reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy."[6]

              The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals stated as follows in Gibson v. Matthews, 926 F.2d 532, 537 (6th Cir. 1991):

              [T]he ninth amendment does not confer substantive rights in addition to those conferred by other portions of our governing law. The ninth amendment was added to the Bill of Rights to ensure that the maxim expressio unius est exclusio alterius would not be used at a later time to deny fundamental rights merely because they were not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

              Professor Laurence Tribe shares this view: "It is a common error, but an error nonetheless, to talk of 'ninth amendment rights.' The ninth amendment is not a source of rights as such; it is simply a rule about how to read the Constitution."[7] Likewise, Justice Antonin Scalia has expressed the same view, in Troxel v. Granville (2000):

              The Declaration of Independence...is not a legal prescription conferring powers upon the courts; and the Constitution’s refusal to 'deny or disparage' other rights is far removed from affirming any one of them, and even farther removed from authorizing judges to identify what they might be, and to enforce the judges’ list against laws duly enacted by the people.

              In the year 2000, the Harvard historian Bernard Bailyn gave a speech at the White House on the subject of the Ninth Amendment. He said that the Ninth Amendment refers to "a universe of rights, possessed by the people — latent rights, still to be evoked and enacted into law....a reservoir of other, unenumerated rights that the people retain, which in time may be enacted into law."[8]

              It is important, when discussing the history of the Bill of Rights, to realize the Supreme Court held in Barron v. Baltimore (1833) that it was enforceable by the federal courts only against the federal government, and not against the states. Thus, the Ninth Amendment originally applied only to the federal government, which is a government of enumerated powers.

              What I am saying is that most jurists are in one of two schools of thought.  Those who are of your thinking, and those who are of a "strict construction" view.  Scalia is a strict construction guy.  Strict construction people take the narrow view of the Ninth Amendment described above, not your view.  Breyer, Ginsburg, Stevens share your view.  You can are that strict construction is wrong but this opinion is consistent with strict construction.  

              •  but that's not consistent with his view (0+ / 0-)

                in this case.  He's relying on a right of self defense.  That appears nowhere in the Constitution.  

                You can also state that the Ninth Amendment "creates" no new rights and the founding fathers would probably agree with you.  Their view of "natural rights" were that they were inalienable.  They could not be created by a government.  They pre-dated all governments and belonged to people just because they were people.  

                •  Nope (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  HeyMikey

                  he's relying on the "right to keep and bear arms."  That's step 1 -- identify the right.  Step 2 -- what does it mean and how far does it go?  He looks to what the writers meant, and he concludes that they wrote those words because they wanted people to be able to be a militia, to be able to hunt, and to be able to use them in self-defense.  That's what he is talking about -- the right "to keep and bear arms" meant, at the time, a right to use arms to be in a militia, to hunt, and to defend yourself.  It is an interpretation of words that are there.  (Whether it is a correct interpretation of those words is where the dissenters disagreed with him.)  

                  Right to privacy, in his view, doesn't exist, so you never get to talking about what it means.

                  •  And under a strict reading (0+ / 0-)

                    of the "right to keep and bear arms" the DC law did nothing to infringe upon that right.  Residents of DC could keep and bear certain types of arms, but not others.  Scalia found this incompatible with the right to self defense.  

                    Nowhere in his opinion does he tell you where the right of self defense comes from.  

                    •  Gee, I didn't read it that way (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      HeyMikey

                      I found a whole bunch of pages that told me where that conclusion, that the "right to keep and bear arms" was meant to protect a right of self defense, came from.  

                      •  State constitutions don't count (0+ / 0-)

                        He relies extensively on state constitutions which explicitly provide for a right of self defense.  These state constitutions have no bearing on the reading of the federal Constitution and where a right to self defense falls under that Constitution.  

                        •  He also relies (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          HeyMikey

                          on a lot of other history and the context on what was going on in 179.  Part of his "orginalist" view of the Constitution.  

                          He and Stevens BOTH cherry pick history to support their view, while ignoring those parts of history that don't.  It's pretty much the same thing historians do.

                          •  we can certainly agree on that (0+ / 0-)

                            I find Scalia's reference to history in this case to be particularly irritating because he seems to be trying to find the "natural law" right to self defense without calling it that.  For someone who often ridicules the original intent approach and who gets incensed over the mere idea that there are fundamental rights that are not explicitly enumerated in the Constitution, it's particularly vexing.  This is especially true in the portion of the text where he's discussing the fact that self defense is a pre-existing right and the Second Amendment merely says it won't be infringed.  In other situations, I can see veins in Scalia's face popping when others speak of pre-existing rights.

          •  what if, IMHO (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            brein

            his long standing views are hyporcritical?

            Part of this is from Bush vs Gore decision, where he switched his views to align with his politics.

            But to your point...how can enumerated rights be the only rights if the text in the Constitution says "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

            Anyway I am not a lawyer so no need to reply.

            he is wrong on privacy rights.  

            •  The Ninth Amendment (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HeyMikey, brein

              is something of a land mine.  I believe that we shouldn't go ascribing things to "natural rights" status willy nilly.  Nonetheless, it's a full 1/10 of the Bill of Rights.  It has to mean something.  I think as a society, we have to muddle our way toward understanding which rights are so important that they ought to be protected by the Ninth Amendment.  

        •  Oh, the Irony (0+ / 0-)

          As pointed out by Professor Stephen Wermiel from American University:

          "Today's decision will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed."

      •  Maybe not: (0+ / 0-)

        So if your right to own a gun in the home has nothing to do with your state's right to raise and arm a militia (the National Guard), where would you find the right to individual gun ownership?

        In that murky world of "natural rights" that Scalia normally despises so.

        You could find it in the state law, which defines who has the right to own guns.  The opinion says it doesn't change precedent that says the second amendment doesn't apply to states.  Therefore the right to bear arms (as it exists by state law) cannot be infringed.

        The Overton Trap Door: The phenomenon where over the top, exaggerated, outraged purism leads to one being ignored entirely.

        by Inland on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:46:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There may be doubt about what the text of the 2nd (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle

    Amendment means, but there's no doubt at all about what the text of the amendment is.

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:59:53 AM PDT

  •  Big quote (8+ / 0-)

    "Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."

    That section, from the opinion, allows regulations and proper control.  Regulation is ok, bans are not.  I think that's a fair ruling and a good balance of constitutional rights versus public safety.

    Fact are stubborn things. -John Adams

    by circlesnshadows on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:59:57 AM PDT

  •  State's Rights seem to go into the (9+ / 0-)

    toilet when it suits people like Scalia.

    Isn't that fascinating? These are the same people who tried to argue throughout American history that States had the right to hold humans as chattel, that a person was 3/5th's a person, based upon the color of his skin, depending upon which State he or she was situated in.

    The hypocrisy of these people is breathtaking.

    "You know what the real fight is? The real fight is the definition of what is reality." Bernie Sanders

    by shpilk on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:00:07 AM PDT

    •  Its a given (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, yashko, Treg, Osiris, brein, CityLightsLover

      It happens every time you start with a result and work backwards to the justification.

    •  What states? DC is not a state. nt (0+ / 0-)
      •  hmm so this ruling doesnt apply (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wader

        to States?  only DC?

        Or is it nationwide?

        •  For now only to DC (0+ / 0-)

          We will have to await the next case to see if the Second Amendment is incorporated against the states (like say the First is).

          •  ok..well I assumed its nationwide (0+ / 0-)

            and allpies to the states as well.

            •  It will certainly be used (0+ / 0-)

              to challenge state statutes.  But that question is unresolved as of now.

            •  It's a precedent that applies to any state law (0+ / 0-)

              Anyone who tells you otherwise, doesn't know what they're talking about.

              Like any case, it directly applies to only to the statute being considered -- the DC law. However, the reasoning of the decision would apply to anyone challenging similar restrictions anywhere in the U.S.

              Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

              by FischFry on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:15:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wrong (0+ / 0-)

                The first 10 amendments only apply as restrictions on the power of the Federal government.  (Barron v. Baltimore).  They restrict the power of the state governments only if a particular right is deemed to be "incorporated" into the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.  A right will be incorporated if it is deemed essential to the principles of ordered liberty.  Under that test, most, but not all, of the rights guaranteed by the first 10 amendments have been held applicable to the states.  The Supreme Court has previously ruled in three 19th Century cases that the Second Amendment does not apply to the states.  In Footnote 23, Scalia specifically refers to those decisions and states that the applicability of this decision to the states is not being addressed in this decision.

                •  Scalia also says in the same footnote..... (0+ / 0-)

                  "23 With respect to Cruikshank’s continuing validity on incorporation, a question not presented by this case, we note that Cruikshank also said that the First Amendment did not apply against the States and did not engage in the sort of Fourteenth Amendment inquiry required byour later cases."

                  What he gives in one phrase, he takes back in the rest of the sentence. Yes, the question isn't presented because it doesn't involve a sate government. However, the rest of the sentence suggests that if the question were presented, the answer would be in the affirmative. Scalia points out that the declaration in Cruikshank about the 2nd Amendment being only a restriction on Congress, is from a case that also said the 1st Amendment doesn't apply to the states -- and that's a notion that was rejected long ago.

                  As I said, technically, the decision applies only to DC's law. However the reasoning would apply if any similar state law were challenged in court, and the case would be cited as precedent. Then the incorporation question would be presented...and the footnote you cited gives a strong indication how the Court would rule.

                  Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

                  by FischFry on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 06:56:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Totally wrong. Decision is about citizens' rights (0+ / 0-)

            It applies to the rights of all United States citizens. While it is limited to the particular statute under consideration (like any case), any state law that purports to put similar restrictions on gun owners would run afoul of this decision.

            Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

            by FischFry on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:13:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No You Are (0+ / 0-)

              Don't be so definitive when you obviously don't know what you are talking about.

              •  As I noted in my other comment (0+ / 0-)

                If any similar state law is challenged, the Court will rely on this precedent to strike it down. Is it distinguishable because the 2nd Amendment has never been held to restrict states? Yes, but that distinction would not survive a test case. As I wrote in my other, earlier comment, the reasoning of this decision would be decisive -- the footnote about incorporation not withstanding. The discussion is clearly ont restricted to the Congress' power. It is about the rights of citizens to own handguns. It is clear from the discussion that if a state gov't. or municipality within a state had a similar law, it would be struck down by the same 5 justices. Nothing in Scalia's decision is actually limited to Congressional or federal power. Indeed, he makes quite clear the right has nothing to with states' rights, federalism and state militias.

                Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

                by FischFry on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:03:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Except (0+ / 0-)

                  No Court has ever held that the Second Amendment applies to the states and the Supreme Court three times held that it does not.  The Fifth Amendment guarantees a right not to be charged with a felony except by an indictment returned by a grand jury, but it is very clear that the right only applies to the federal government, not the states.  The same is true of the Seventh Amendment's right to a jury trial in civil suits.  It remains to be seen how this issue will be analyzed with respect to this newly-discovered individual right to own guns.

                  •  I say it's silly, but suppose you're right..... (0+ / 0-)

                    Gun-rights advocates are already setting their sights on gun control laws in big cities across the country. It seems like Chicago might be the first in the rush to the courthouse door.

                    Let's say that the Supreme Court, as unlikely as it seems to me based on the Heller decision and footnote 23, hold that the Second Amendment does not apply to the states. What will happen next?

                    I foresee a course of litigation striking down any DC laws that try to control the situation. Laws prohibiting the sales of handguns and other firearms within the District; laws that prohibit the manufacture of same -- they will be deemed infringements on the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Gun dealers and manufacturers will see the obvious logic in relocating to the District, with its own ready market, and its proximity to major crime self-defense markets like Baltimore and Philadelphia. Heck, it's only a $20 bus ride to New York City. The D.C. gov't will determine that "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em", encouraging this new growth industry. 'Straw man' purchases within D.C. flourish, as D.C. becomes the gun-buying capital of America.

                    Neighboring states of Maryland and Virginia, dealing with a plague of gun violence, respond with tight border controls, searching everyone leaving the District. These efforts are ruled violations of the Privileges and Immunities clause and restrictions on interstate commerce.

                    Left with no way to stem the tide of guns leaving the District, the states turn to the Congress for help. Members of Congress, already living in a state of perpetual fear because D.C. has become a modern O.K. Corral, are faced with stark choices. Either repeal the Second Amendment, or give D.C. statehood and trust that the D.C. government will see the light of reason and restore law and order with a return to strict gun control.

                    With the strong backing of the NRA, even Republicans vote for the 28th Amendment, bestowing statehood on all non-federally owned and managed areas of the District of the Columbia. This reveals the ultimate triumph of Mayor Adrian Fenty's long-term strategy to gain statehood, the first step of which was to appeal the Heller decision to the Supreme Court -- despite the vocal criticism of all gun-control advocacy groups.

                    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

                    by FischFry on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:52:31 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  It functionally serves as a State in this (0+ / 0-)

        discussion, and you know it. Not one single scrap of the discussion was based upon DC's unique status, and you know that, too.

        "You know what the real fight is? The real fight is the definition of what is reality." Bernie Sanders

        by shpilk on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:33:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  DC isnt a state (0+ / 0-)

      and they get constantly screwed in national discourse

      •  DC Citizens lack many rights (0+ / 0-)

        Why get so worked up ove the right to own guns? Few DC citizens had a problem with this deprivation....

        When I lived in the District, I was far more troubled by my lack of representation in the House and Senate than I was about not being able to own a handgun. I was thankful for the handgun ban...

        Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

        by FischFry on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:08:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Now let's see ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yashko, Treg, CityLightsLover

    ... if conservatives decry the "activist" court acting on it's own against legislatures!  What are the odds that will happen?

  •  I Guess I Better Start Packin' Heat! (6+ / 0-)

    And, what a shocker that DICK's BFF wrote the majority opinion. I guess he's not so concerned about American deaths in this case as he was with American deaths in their habeaus corpus case. Huh...go figure...

    "If I ever lose my mind I hope some honest person will find it and take it to Lost and Found." George Carlin

    by CityLightsLover on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:00:43 AM PDT

  •  4th Amendment Gone Today= (8+ / 0-)

    2nd Amendment Gone Tomorrow.

    You'd think the 2nd Amendment supporters in Congress would realize that, by gutting the 4th Amendment, they put their favorite one at risk.

    Oh well.

    When it comes to Texas Politics, "Stupid" Plays Very Well

    by KingCranky on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:00:54 AM PDT

    •  The way I see it (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey, Osiris, nanobubble, brein

      the Constitution is whole and inseverable.  Any element of it is only as strong as its weakest point.  Thus, the portions of th Constitution that crate and empower offices of government, of whatever branch, are only to be held as valid as the liberties of the people affirmed under the Bill of Rights.  When my rights under the first, fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth and tenth amendments are traduced by uncontrolled executive power, to equal degree the very legitimacy of the existence of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government is degraded.  Those who seek to usurp my liberties affirmed by the constitution by that action nullify the legal, political, moral and philosophical basis of any authority they may hold.

      A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. ~Edward R. Murrow

      by ActivistGuy on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:06:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yep! Go Out & Buy a Gun (0+ / 0-)

      that can be taken away from you by an illegal search! Hm...maybe this'll work after all!  ;)

      "If I ever lose my mind I hope some honest person will find it and take it to Lost and Found." George Carlin

      by CityLightsLover on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:10:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, at least we can defend the 2nd... (0+ / 0-)

      ... if they come for the 2nd, we can Cheney them ;-)

  •  Scalia, please consider protecting the other nine (10+ / 0-)

    amendments, you jackass.

  •  Obama's going to be hit hard on this for his (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing

    flip-flop on this supreme court case.

  •  Scalia constantly rails against Courts (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcfly, Treg, bten, john07801, KingCranky, brein

    inferring rights (say, the right to privacy) that aren't, in his view, clearly and explicitly described in the Constitution.

    But his inference of the concept of "arms in the home are inviolate, but arms outside the home can be regulated" seems like exactly the kind of argument he's spent his career denouncing.

    It seems to me that he connects "the home" -- which is never mentioned in the text -- to the 2nd Amendment by arguing:

    1. The 2nd Amendment is designed to protect the right of each state to its own militia;
    1. Militia members would have kept their weapons at home;
    1. ergo, the 2nd Amendment is really about weapons in the home.

    After which, he drops the whole militia concept as outdated and no longer relevant, so you can keep your weapons in your home even if they have nothing to do with a militia, but evidently they can be regulated outside the home, even if they do.

    "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

    by Pesto on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:01:32 AM PDT

    •  If you read this decision (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nanobubble

      it is really very much in line with what he always does.  He goes back to what was intended by the people who wrote the words.  His opinion is almost like a history lesson.  The distinction he makes is based on his history lesson -- what was meant, in his view, by the people who wrote the words.  the fact that the militia is outdated does not mean that the right given to the people goes away.    

      •  Stevens puts the lie to Scalia's argument (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nanobubble, brein

        quite effectively.

        He ignores the preface until he can decide what the main clause means, and then goes back and tries to read the preface consistently with his interpretation of the main clause.

        Stevens says, no, you can't do that.

        "Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." - Voltaire

        by DrFrankLives on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:34:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Stevens sets out the argument (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nanobubble

          as to why Scalia is wrong.  Stevens does not demonstrate that Scalia is hypocritical.  Scalia is a strict construction guy pretty much all the time except for Bush v. Gore (where, ironically, the conservatives acted like liberals and vice versa -- everybody was pretty much a hypocrite).  Stevens is against strict construction pretty much all the time.  Nothing hypocritical about either one of those guys.  

        •  Great comment on DC public radio (0+ / 0-)

          A guest on Kojo Nnamdi's show noted that since the ban came into effect, there has not been a single home invasion in which a white resident of the city was killed. He contrasted that with the plane that struck the 14th St. bridge back in 1980. Thus, a white person in DC had a greater chance of being killed by falling airplanes than by a home invasion. But, Scalia's still concerned about home defense....

          Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

          by FischFry on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:07:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Differentiation of the home (0+ / 0-)

      implies a linkage to the 4th Amendment. See Scalia, in KYLLO v. UNITED STATES finding strong 4th Amendment rights specifically apply to the home.

      Obama still gets my vote, but my bumper belongs to Privacy '08.

      by ben masel on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:16:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But isn't "linkage" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        john07801, brein

        the sort of "reading between the Amendments" that the Federalist Society types claim to despise?

        "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

        by Pesto on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:19:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You want consistency? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pesto, nanobubble

          Without the linkage, you get a much broader ruling, ie concealed carry.

          Obama still gets my vote, but my bumper belongs to Privacy '08.

          by ben masel on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:25:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If it's a reductio ad absurdum, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HeyMikey, nanobubble

            it's a reductio ad absurdum.

            If it's a 2nd Amendment right to armed rebellion, then it's a 2nd Amendment right to armed rebellion.

            I think this is the worst of both worlds:  citizens have the right to kill each other in the privacy of their own homes, but any collective use of arms, which would happen outside the home, falls outside the realm of the 2nd Amendment -- despite the fact that the 2nd Amendment never mentions homes, and explicitly mentions a right to collective armament (the militias).

            "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

            by Pesto on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:39:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Scalia is an "activist" judge (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pesto, brein

      when the issue serves him.  This case is second only to Bush v. Gore in that respect.  He's really just a political hack.

      (-7.75, -7.69) No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up - Lily Tomlin

      by john07801 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:20:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bush v. Gore (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey, nanobubble

        was out of line with his long-standing views.  True.  

        This decision -- right or wrong -- was completely consistent with Scalia's long-standing views.  First, the only rights that exist are those written in the Constitution.  Second, when there is any doubt as to the meaning of those words, you look to the intent of those who wrote the words.  Third, you take that 1791 intent and apply it today.  That's what he did here. Wrong?  People will argue about that for a long time.  Inconsistent?  not at all.  

        •  Luckily for Antonin (0+ / 0-)

          the "intent" of people living 230 years ago is basically in the eye of the beholder.

          The little binary opposition the Federalist idiots have set up, between "original intent" and "judicial activism", is a phantom -- look closely enough, and you can't help deconstructing it.

          "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

          by Pesto on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:42:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's exactly the view (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HeyMikey

            of Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, Souter.  That's the long-standing debate over how to interpret the Constitution.  It's been going on for years.  Ironically, the conservatives and liberals were both on the other side of this argument at the beginning of the last century.  Look up "substantive due process."  

      •  Personally... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        john07801, James Kresnik

        I don't mind activism on the part of a judge, if it protects the Constitution.

        Personally, I think our judges have been too deferential to the President and Congress lately. I want them actively tossing out laws and orders that conflict with the Constitution.

        "Morbo congratulates our gargantuan cyborg president. May death come quickly to his enemies."

        by Dread972 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:23:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't get me wrong (0+ / 0-)

          case law is the greater majority of our law.  The "federalist" types claim new law should only come from the legislature but that's only when the argument suits them.

          Take gay rights.  When the new gay marriage decision came down from the California Supreme Court, the right wing said it should have come from the legislature.  Since when does someone looking for equality call his legislator and try to get a bill written?  Bullshit!  He sues for his civil rights!  He's looking for enforcement of "equal protection;" he doesn't need new law.

          The argument is as big a scam as "states' rights."

          (-7.75, -7.69) No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up - Lily Tomlin

          by john07801 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:50:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Cons did that... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nanobubble

            Because a lot of folks (conservative and liberal) tend to labor under the assumptions that the government or Constitution grants us rights, when it only sets limitations on what the government can do to restrict those rights.

            Unless there is demonstrative harm, you have the right to live and pursue happiness as you see fit.  

            "Morbo congratulates our gargantuan cyborg president. May death come quickly to his enemies."

            by Dread972 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:08:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  With respect, you're wrong. (0+ / 0-)

            Title VII, prohibiting race and sex discrimination in public accommodations and employment, was a legislative solution.

            The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, is legislation many Americans are now pressuring their legislators to support.

            -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

            by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:31:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Of course, there's legislation (0+ / 0-)

              I'm just saying that grievances such as these typically begin in court.  

              And many other things come out of court decisions rather than legislation.  Privacy, itself, springs from Griswold v. Connecticut and countless other laws and decisions have been based on it, including Roe v. Wade.

              (-7.75, -7.69) No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up - Lily Tomlin

              by john07801 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:44:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with this decision (3+ / 0-)

    2/2 so far with the courts decision the past two days

    "There is nothing wrong with America can't be cured by what is right with America" -Bill Clinton

    by SensibleDemocrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:01:41 AM PDT

  •  i agree with the decision (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, notrouble

    if you outlaw guns only outlaws will have guns

  •  So Are Sawed-Off Shotguns Legal Now? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pesto, theran, brein, CityLightsLover

    I don't see how the majority opinion can possibly square with US v. Miller.

    ---- now they sit and rattle their bones and think of their bloodstone days...

    by TooFolkGR on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:03:14 AM PDT

    •  I certainly hope so! (5+ / 0-)

      Sawed-offs bring even more personal safety than handguns!

    •  No. (0+ / 0-)

      Obama still gets my vote, but my bumper belongs to Privacy '08.

      by ben masel on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:17:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But Why? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pesto, theran, john07801, brein

        The foundation for US vs. Miller was that a ban on sawed off shotguns was constitutional BECAUSE sawed off shotguns are not necessary to keep a "Well regulated militia."

        Today the court ruled that the "well regulated militia" provision cannot be interpreted in such a way as to limit the scope of the definition of "arms."

        Since that's exactly what Miller did, how are they not overturning Miller?

        ---- now they sit and rattle their bones and think of their bloodstone days...

        by TooFolkGR on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:19:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why? because they didn't go there (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey

          in tghis ruling. Today.

          Obama still gets my vote, but my bumper belongs to Privacy '08.

          by ben masel on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:27:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's Fascinating To Me (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            brein

            So even though the court has implicitly ruled that the logic used in the other ruling is unconstitutional, the other ruling is unaffected.

            ---- now they sit and rattle their bones and think of their bloodstone days...

            by TooFolkGR on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:33:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  To Expound On This A Bit (0+ / 0-)

              If a medical case came up that involved patient privacy, say some state banned boob jobs... and the court ruled that it was legit to ban boob jobs because there's nothing in the constitution that protects the privacy of a patient and their doctor... that wouldn't affect Roe v. Wade either?  

              Like I said I just find it interesting.  It's logic a three year old would use.

              ---- now they sit and rattle their bones and think of their bloodstone days...

              by TooFolkGR on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:37:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  That's a different case (0+ / 0-)

              A federal court has to rule on the case at hand. Someone could now sue to overturn Miller, citing this case. But the Court would uphold the ban under the new "unusual and dangerous" standard. Sawed-off shotguns are definitely unusual, having been illegal for 70 years!  (Yes, it's circular.  It's a bad standard.)

              My password is: "transparency" This is a communal account. Everyone may play, few will win!

              by nanobubble on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:51:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yes. For good reason. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nanobubble

              The reason is that people -- including courts -- are pretty lousy at foreseeing the situations people get themselves into. Unintended consequences are real, and serious. So courts generally confine their rulings narrowly to the facts before them, and save ruling on other factual variations until they actually generate a case.

              -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

              by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:34:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Because Miller did no such thing. (0+ / 0-)

          Remember, by the time the Court heard the case, Miller was dead, and his lawyer didn't show up because there was nobody to pay him.

          What the Court said in regard to Miller's shotgun was that, since no evidence have been presented to show that it had any utility as a militia weapon, and since nobody on the Court knew one way or another, they regarded the question as unanswered, and so the lower court ruling (holding that the 1934 National Firearms Act was unconstitutional) couldn't be supported.

          It's easy to read from the ruling that, had anybody actually presented evidence that a short-barreled shotgun was useful as a militia weapon, (WWI would have provided plenty of evidence for this,) that Miller's conviction would have been overturned.

          But nobody bothered to try, and we've been stuck with a very bad ruling for a long time.

          --Shannon

  •  "it cannot easily be redirected or wrestled... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phenry, theran, CityLightsLover

    away by an attacker"   Can't believe this statement made it into a document that will be a foundation for our laws.

    (Scalia contrasting a handgun with a "long gun")

    Republicans - They Hate Us for Our Freedoms

    by mikeconwell on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:03:47 AM PDT

    •  A "Long Gun"??!! (0+ / 0-)

      Ugh...I better not read this opinion here at work. My computer may go flying out the window. OK, I guess I'll stock up on the sawed - off shotguns as well. Ruby Ridge & Waco will have nothing on my place!

      "If I ever lose my mind I hope some honest person will find it and take it to Lost and Found." George Carlin

      by CityLightsLover on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:13:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He's a "strict constructionist," doncha know (0+ / 0-)

      It's a little-known fact that in the Founding Fathers' day, people were much better at preventing their muskets from being redirected or wrestled away by an attacker.

      Remember when we had a Fourth Amendment? That was fun.

      by phenry on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:13:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My thoughts, Adam (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcfly

    I'm glad to see that Obama reversed himself, and believes this case was wrongly decided.

    I, however, am incredibly disappointed in Obama for voicing opposition to yesterday's death penalty decision.  I would have thought he would have agreed with the framework set out in Coker v. Georgia (1978), where death must result for a crime to be a capital one.  Your thoughts?

    The doctor said I wouldn't have so many nose bleeds if I kept my finger outta there. - Ralph Wiggum

    by jim bow on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:04:30 AM PDT

    •  Even the Court said that Coker does not (0+ / 0-)

      control yesterday's decision.  Not tomention that Coker was equally wrongly decided.

    •  I'm torn (0+ / 0-)

      I don't like the death penalty at all, but if we're going to have one, one can make a solid feminist case that the only way to properly value the harm that rape does to child victims is to -- in limited cases -- allow the ultimate sanction to apply.

      •  I just need need some reassurance, Adam. (0+ / 0-)

        Barack Obama -- to me -- is beginning to look as opportunistic as Bill Clinton.  I know we are bound to be disappointed -- even Paul Wellstone had his sins -- but I didn't expect Barack Obama to disappoint this quickly.

        The candidate with whom I fell in love in the primaries was the guy who understood the complexity of the issues, wanted to appeal to our better angels, and was willing to take unpopular stands for the greater good.  This is the candidate who was unwilling to go along with the gas tax pander; the candidate who was unwilling to drill along the coast.

        Please enlighten me on how your former voting rights professor is far different from that ex-President.  I know there's something about Barack Obama that makes him special, but I can't remember what that is.

        The doctor said I wouldn't have so many nose bleeds if I kept my finger outta there. - Ralph Wiggum

        by jim bow on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:13:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm surprised this was even 5 to 4 (5+ / 0-)

    I wouldn't have been at all surprised if it had been 9 to 0.

    -5.38/-3.74 I've suffered for my country. Now it's your turn! --John McCain with apologies to Monty Python's "Protest Song"

    by Rich in PA on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:04:58 AM PDT

  •  If we need to start... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divitius, superheed

    a revolution, we will need our individual guns and rifles.  Isn't that what is meant by the militia?  I'm not a gun advocate and I don't own any.  I do respect a person's right to own a gun.  What I don't approve of is assault weapons and cop killer bullets.  I believe that gun control should be managing the types of guns available for purchase.  Interesting, the terrorist are using the assault weapons that are allowed in this country to attack our troops.

  •  Supreme Court Justices (7+ / 0-)

    Why I'm voting for Barack Obama Reason #2

    Dr. Dean...Paging Dr. Dean...he's not on-call you say...then get me DR. MATT!! STAT!!!

    by doctormatt06 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:05:08 AM PDT

  •  Scalia (7+ / 0-)

    said in his decision that the Constitution forbids the prohibition the ownership of handguns to be used in the home. Funny, I don't see that written anywhere in the Constitution unless you need to play the Constitution backward to hear it, which means that judges need to INTERPRET the Constitution in the context of the contemporary situation. Therefore, Scalia and his Federalist Society buddies are a bunch hypocrites. They are all for intepreting the Constitution when the interpretation fits their wingnut ideology, but in any other cases, interpreting the Constitution is the act of crazed, unelected, liberal activist judges.    

    •  As I posted above, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Treg, cjaznik45, CityLightsLover

      these are the very same people throughout history who used the cry of "State's Rights" to continue slavery, prohibit the rights of a whole slew of minorities, stop women from voting, and basically be plantation owners.

      It's quite a big deal, as the Federal Government insists that on this issue it claims supremacy.

      Of course, these days if you are a corporation your rights will be defended. The gun manufacturers smell 'boat payment'.

      If you were an individual, and your case was presented to Scalia, he'd do this to you.

       title=

      This is more about the rights of corporations to sell stuff than it is about the freedom of the individual to bear arms. It's an awful precedent. It may well be used under other guises to make summary judgments in favor of more corporate interests.

      "You know what the real fight is? The real fight is the definition of what is reality." Bernie Sanders

      by shpilk on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:12:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, just read the actual explicit (0+ / 0-)

      text.  Says something or other about "right to KEEP and bear arms."  I am sure I read that somewhere.

    •  I disagree with this view (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nanobubble

      You can disagree with the decision, sure, but if you actually read it, it is very very consistent with what Scalia always does -- start with the words, and then goes back to what was meant by the words by those who wrote them.  He then takes the meaning of those words and applies them to the present day.  That is different from interpreting the words (i.e. what they mean) based on contemporary understanding.  He interprets them based on 1791 standards.  If, in 1791, they meant keep in your home guns that can be used for self-defense and hunting, that's what they mean today.  Then he looks at what guns can be used for self defense and hunting.  

  •  My opinion on the 2nd amendment is this: (3+ / 0-)

    1 The 2nd amendment does say that we have the right to keep and bear arms.  We can own guns and bullets.  It says that, so let’s just not argue about it and accept that that’s what it says.

    2 Maybe now, after almost 250 years, is the time to amend the 2nd amendment.  Create the 28th amendment that changes the 2nd by taking away our right to bear arms.  Why not, because let's face it...having the right to bear arms hasn't really worked out well for us, has it?  We just keep shooting each other to death.  Let's change the 2nd amendment and try another tack in trying to achieve the goal of not killing each other.  

    That’d be fine with me.

    Obama, '08 - Because the failure of America as a democracy is not an option!

    by WSComn on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:09:43 AM PDT

    •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

      I'd like to see most gun control in the hands of local/state government, so it can be adapted to local conditions. The best way to do that would be to radically amend, or remove the 2nd amendment. Too bad it is politically impractical.

      Parsing the 2nd amendment was a dubious exercise even before this ruling.

    •  So you want to be defenseless against Blackwater? (6+ / 0-)

      You think whatever citizen gun ban you come up with to "Keep Us Safe" (Don't be a GOP pant pissing coward) will strip the military, police and private mercs from their guns?

      What then prevents martial law?  What keeps our government in check?

      •  Ok, what's your solution? (0+ / 0-)

        Just spend a little time yelling at me?
        Yeah, that works (not!).
        Come up with a solution or an idea that's better than what we have now.  Or state that the present state of affairs is fine with you.
        Don't just bitch at me, pal, asking open ended questions that really can't be answered.
        Let's hear your answers to these questions.
        Let's hear a solution.

        Obama, '08 - Because the failure of America as a democracy is not an option!

        by WSComn on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:33:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The present state is fine with me. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cjaznik45

          I'm on the side of freedom.  Living under a facist government for the illusion of safety will accomplish nothing.
          I'd actually be fine with private citizens being able to own an M-16, like Switzerland, which doesn't have people running all over killing eachother.

          Stop blaming the gun.  Guns don't kill people, people kill people. And the fixation on the inanimate object has done nothing but allow the violence to continue.

          Once you ban guns, will you be as shocked as Britain at the rapid rise in stabbings and knife crime?  Will you give the "Nobody could have predicted" speech?  And then go on to ban knives?  Will you ban pointy sticks next?

          If someone wants to kill someone, they will, and banning guns will not prevent that.  Address the root cause, not the choice of weapon.

          •  Well, Norm (0+ / 0-)

            It seems you can reply to an argument without calling someone a "GOP pant pissing coward" (fuck you very much for that, by the way).
            You make some good points, some which I may come to agree with after I’ve really had time to think them over.
            My main point was the only way to change the way things are is to change the 2nd amendment, not try to interpret it in a different, 'more liberal' way.
            My second point, to you, was to stop jumping down my throat and offer solutions instead.  Just saying I'm wrong means nothing to me and trying to convince me by shouting down my statements with no alternate solution to offer (a Rovian-NeoCon tactic...stop using it, unless, of course, you are a NeoCon) plays very poorly.
            The one thing I don't agree with in your statement above is:  Stop blaming the gun.  Guns don't kill people, people kill people.
            Bullshit.
            I do blame the gun if, for nothing else, the shear convenience of its ability to deal death.  Finger on the trigger, pull the trigger; what could be simpler?  Sure it's people pulling the trigger, but if they didn't have a bleeding trigger to pull in the first place then they don't shoot anyone.  It's thinking like that that falsely justifies the fucking 29,000 atom bombs left on the planet.  "Nobody's going to use them, so it doesn't matter if we just keep them around..."
            Again...Bullshit.
            Concerning Britain, what's your point?  Gun ownership by required licensing has been restricted in Britain since 1907.  Knives are everywhere, and always have been.  Your attempt at linking knife crime to guns is laughable.
            I'll let you do a little historical research here.
            Also see the Hungerford massacre and the Dublane massacre for information on the killings of unarmed innocent civilians by madmen with registered, licensed guns in Great Britain.
            Seems the mania is not unique to the US.
            Finally... "If someone wants to kill someone, they will, and banning guns will not prevent that."  So what's your point there??  If banning guns will not prevent that, then let's ban guns anyway.  Because according to your statement above, it won't make a difference anyway, so what does it hurt and how could you have an objection to banning guns?
            Sorry, you're just not convincing me with the NRA party line.  Try thinking for yourself and then get back to me.
            Peace.

            Obama, '08 - Because the failure of America as a democracy is not an option!

            by WSComn on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:19:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  what I'd like to see (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Norm in Chicago

          Revamp the national guard so that it's independent of the armed forces - allow anyone to sign up make national guard missions volunteer on a case by case basis.  (sure I'll help sandbag the levee, no I won't go to Iraq)

          Let the nat guard keep their F14s, strikers, etc.

          Put a civilian elected by guard membership in charge of the Nat Guard who is answerable to the Joint Cheifs of Staff.

          Interpret the second amendment (or better yet amend it) to clarify that as a member of the guard you have a right to bear arms while performing guard functions.  You do not have a right to own your own guns.

          There are some very dicey balance of power issues that would result from such an arrangement, but I believe that they could be overcome, and that this is an arrangement more in line with what the founders intended.

      •  Not a real risk. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WSComn

        Most developed countries have much stricter gun laws than the USA. Yet they have not become military dicatorships. If the USA had gun laws comparable to Europe, Japan, Canada, then we'd probably continue to be free democracies like Europe, Japan, Canada.

        I agree with Scalia (damn, it hurts to type that) that the Second Amendment guarantees the individual right to own guns. But I also agree that the Second Amendment should be repealed. And, finally, it's obvious that the Second Amendment won't be repealed in the foreseeable future.

        -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

        by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:53:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's a specious argument (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WSComn

        promoted by the gun nuts and right wing.  Randy Weaver and David Koresh tried your approach.  Doesn't seem to have worked out for them.

        Unless you're living in a bunker in Idaho, your fighting is likely to be done over to internet.  Or one would hope so.

        (-7.75, -7.69) No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up - Lily Tomlin

        by john07801 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:00:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fizziks, mlandman

      I want to be a defenseless voter.

      That's modern citizenry!

      My password is: "transparency" This is a communal account. Everyone may play, few will win!

      by nanobubble on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:23:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good luck getting that past the legislatures of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nanobubble, buddabelly

      38 States.

      10 years ago the voters of Wisconsin by 76% passed a State Constitution Amendment clarifying an individual Keep and Bear right, with majorities in every County. Then try ID, MT, WY, ND, SD, UT, NV, AZ, TX,...

      Obama still gets my vote, but my bumper belongs to Privacy '08.

      by ben masel on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:33:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  no thanks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mlandman

      Regardless of whatever law you make, the police, miliary, Dick Cheney, and street criminals will be keeping their guns.  The only thing your law will do is let them know that the people they want to hurt will be unarmed.

      It turns out that Bush IS a uniter... he united the good half of the country virulently against him.

      by fizziks on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:47:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Because (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nanobubble

      Maybe now, after almost 250 years, is the time to amend the 2nd amendment.  Create the 28th amendment that changes the 2nd by taking away our right to bear arms.  Why not,

      Because I'd rather not be completely without defense or redress in the event the government ever degenerates completely into tyranny.

      And I'd rather not rely on the police to protect me, (and in some neighborhoods, who knows how long it will take them to show up.)

      "Morbo congratulates our gargantuan cyborg president. May death come quickly to his enemies."

      by Dread972 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:42:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ah, I love the Supreme Court (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    Such interesting and nuanced arguments. Looking forward to reading Scalia's piece in full. From what is quoted, I reluctantly agree with him. I wish I had time for this today.

  •  I guess it's nice to know (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, CityLightsLover

    that there's at least one part of the Bill Of Rights that will be left standing after Bush & company are through ripping up and pissing on the rest of them.

    America has been murdered. The Republicans killed her, and the Democrats drove the getaway car.

    by jazzmaniac on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:11:05 AM PDT

  •  I don't disagree that the 2d amendment grants (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mas Gaviota

    an individual right to bear arms.  That is a very close call, but I'd probably side with the majority on this one.

    That said, handguns did not exist in 18th century america, and neither did nuclear weapons.  The legislature should be able to ban private ownership of nuclear weapons, even though they are "arms." Or anti-aircraft missles, and so on.

    For similar reasons (i.e., the individual right is not and cannot be absolute), the blanket rule saying you cannot outlaw handguns completely anywhere in someone's home makes sense.  I haven't yet read the opinion, though. Perhaps they posited a level of scrutiny and said the DC rule did not meet it.

    I've got no problem with an interpretation that includes a blanket rule that people in rural areas to very small cities (such as existed in 1789) should have the absolute right to keep muskets in their house.

    •  The issue is, why does the Supreme Court think (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hcc in VA, CityLightsLover

      this is a vital issue, so much so that it is willing to overturn State's Rights in this case.

      The precedent set is not a good one.

      "You know what the real fight is? The real fight is the definition of what is reality." Bernie Sanders

      by shpilk on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:14:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I meant to say that the blanket rule (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey

        doesn't make sense to me.

        I agree that the state/local legislature  should have some latitude to decide.  

        But I don't think that it is technically an issue of States' Rights in the constitutional sense.  The States, per the 11th Amendment (and per the limited nature of the Const.) have those rights not given to the govt in the Const or to individuals in the Bill of Rights (or other amendments).  Since this right was given to individuals in the Second Amendment, it trumps States Rights, as it should, just like Free Speech rights trump States' rights to tell you to shut up.  States can only regulate speech so long as they comply with first amendment jurisprudence.  same here

        •  This is where I we disagree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mas Gaviota

          The interpretation of this seems to be indicative of the public's right to maintain a militia, as opposed to individual rights.

          The Capitalization in the original is quite telling, I think.

          "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."

          "You know what the real fight is? The real fight is the definition of what is reality." Bernie Sanders

          by shpilk on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:06:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  They might believe that the 2nd Amendment (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey

        clearly places it under Federal jurisdiction. Although I think some decisions about policy clearly need to made at the local level, I'm not too fond of 'state's rights' when it comes to determining personal freedoms and Constitutional interpetations.

        "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government. Always hopeful yet discontent, he knows changes aren't permanent. But change is." -Neil Peart

        by Boisepoet on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:42:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Alexander Hamilton was killed by a handgun. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey, nanobubble, Catesby

      They certainly did exist in 18th Century America.  They existed int he 15th Century.

      They just became cheap and reliable in the 1800s.

      "Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." - Voltaire

      by DrFrankLives on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:19:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I stand corrected (0+ / 0-)

        There were certainly pistols at that time.  But not just cheap and reliable.  Also, be fired and re-fired quickly, able to withstand dampness.  The underlying point is that the weapons that existed at the time did not remotely pose the same issues to society that the weapons now.

        I just think that there needs to be a balancing test, as there is for most every other right in the bill of rights.  I realize that that is exactly what the Supreme Court is proposing, but I do not personally agree that a blanket ban on handguns in a certain area is an appropriate "bright line" rule.

        •  no, they specifically oppose a balancing test (0+ / 0-)

          for this right.  That;s one ofg the tautologies in Scalia's opinion.  Breyer applies a balancing test.  Scalia says no such balancing test should be allowed in the context of an enumerated right.  He conveniently ignores Time Place andManner restrictions on speech.  He completely ignores his own argument, where is says that "of course we dont mean to strike down all regulations"

          OF COURSE there is a balancing test.  His denial that on should apply in this specific case is another example of his dishonesty.  Just like in Bush v. Gore, where he "discovered" a new and completely unique application of the Equal Protection Clause.

          "Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." - Voltaire

          by DrFrankLives on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:31:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  very interesting (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DrFrankLives

            i haven't had a chance to read it yet.  sounds like his argument is indeed disingenuous, as you say: "of course there is a balancing test."  

            Just like Bush v. Gore, I guess we should just "get over it."  Scalia is completely consistent, just ask him. I agree:  he completely consistenly thinks that he is right and that people who reach other conclusions are beneath his logical abilities.  

            I used to respect him and enjoy reading his opinions, even when I disagreed; but he has gone increasingly off the track with his ability to follow his own set of principles.  what an ass, these days . . .

          •  I read this as more of a (0+ / 0-)

            "balancing test" vs "strict scrutiny" argument.

            Scrutiny wasn't part of the case, so couldn't be ruled on, but I read in the decision Scalia saying that whatever test is applied to determine the Constitutionality of restrictions on 2nd Amendment rights should be the same as what is applied to other enumerated rights.

            That would be strict scrutiny. A test that very few gun control laws would survive. Felons, those adjudicated via due process to be mentally incompetent, bans on the possession of ordnance and explosives... that sort of stuff.

            --Shannon

    •  nuclear wepon's aren't arms... (0+ / 0-)

      They're munitions.  Same with rpgs and mortars, which is why a ban is not contrary to the 2nd amendment even if you grant an individual right to bear arms.

      •  Interesting. Is that a distinction (0+ / 0-)

        the court has made?  According to Merriam-Webster, an "arm" is:  "a means (as a weapon) of offense or defense"

        as opposed to a "firearm":  "a weapon from which a shot is discharged by gunpowder —usually used of small arms"

        not saying you are wrong vis-a-vis the 2d amendment, but wondering what your basis for that usage.   Obviously, the "arms race" does not refer solely to countries trying to outdo eachother in handguns and rifles . . .

    •  Scrutiny level not a factor. (0+ / 0-)

      I have read only brief excerpts from the decision so far, but in one of them I believe Scalia said the D.C. law failed to meet even the lowest level of scrutiny.

      -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

      by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:55:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  woah (0+ / 0-)

        That would be interesting.  The lowest level of scrutiny is "rational basis."  It just has to be "some rational basis" for "some legitimate benefit."  He is saying there is no rational basis to conclud that a ban on handguns in DC could have some benefit?!?  If so, he really needs to put down the crack pipe.  An easy one is fewer police killed by criminals.

    •  Federal-era weapons (0+ / 0-)

      I don't think I particularly agree that the Second Amendment only protects the possession of those weapons which were in use at the time of its ratification, any more than I agree that the Fourth Amendment doesn't apply to wiretaps because there were no phones when it was ratified. Constitutional rights need to be adapted to current times to have any meaning at all, and as Adam B says, I don't think we can pick and choose which constitutional rights we want the Court to enforce.

      •  Agreeed (0+ / 0-)

        That is why there needs to be a balancing test.  My point is that there are very few bright line tests in all of constitutional law.  

        I do not agree that a bright line should be drawn around a ban on handguns.  I am making a more minor point about the application of the 2d amendment to these facts.  

        I agree with you and Adam that the Second Amendment must trump local legislators' personal opinion at particular vote.  But that begs the question of what the Second Amendment actually protects.

        As a parallel, I think we can all agree that Free Speech is important; we should not allow any locality to set aside.  That does not mean, however, that there is a bright line that anyone can say anything any time they want, and a local government cannot do anything about it.  For instance, a state can pass an anti-slander law, or a law forbidding "fighting words," or a law preventing false disclosures in connection with a consumer loan, etc.

        •  Balancing test (0+ / 0-)

          I don't think anything in the Court's opinion (which I've yet to finish reading) precludes applying a flexible standard of analysis to regulations on gun ownership. Scalia provides some examples of reasonable restrictions governments may place on gun ownership, such as banning possession of guns by certain classes of persons, or regulating methods of purchase. This is the first case ever decided in the Second Amendment individual right category; given time, I think the courts will start to develop some standards for analyzing situations in which the call is closer than in this case.

          •  OK, sounds good, but (0+ / 0-)

            With a big caveat that I have not read the opinoin, why a bright line that a locality (particularly DC) cannot outlaw handguns for everyone in the locality?

            That is not a total ban on "arms."  One can potentially still own knives, swords, shotguns, rifles, slingshots, etc.

            Handguns pose a specific danger; why not allow a specific response by the govt?  Perhaps there is a good reason, but I am not convinced yet of a need for that sort of bright line.

            •  Scalia does address that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nanobubble

              First, the history of the Second Amendment makes it clear that the "arms" it refers to are firearms. The dissenting Justices don't dispute that, and I don't think they could reasonably do so. Thus, the examples of knives, swords, and slingshots are inapposite.

              Second, Scalia does address why handguns specifically are protected as part of the right, and why a blanket handgun ban is a violation of the Second Amendment. I have only skimmed his analysis, but from what I see, it looks convincing. Again, to draw the analogy to another amendment, I think it would just be as unconstitutional to enact a flat ban on political speech on TV, the most widely-used mass communication network of our day, which was completely unknown in the Framers' time. The question is what the individual right encompasses if it is to have continued force and meaning in the modern world, and I agree with Scalia that the Second Amendment would not adequately protect the right to individual firearm ownership if it were held that it did not protect the right to posses the most widely-used form of lawful firearm.

              •  Interesting. Thanks for the analysis (0+ / 0-)

                I'll have to read it.  I may end up agreeing with the conclusion.  But I don't think that the political speech on TV comparison is entirely equivalent, becaue (1) Political speech on TV doesn't kill people (unless perhaps one spins a long chain of cause-and-effet), and (2) without further refinement of what you are banning,  TV generally is a very broad prohibition.  The DC ban is limited to a particular very small geographic area that has a particular very bad experience with handguns.  
                 
                When I think about it further, the Supreme Court cannot possibly be saying that you cannot ban handguns from any particular area.  So probably I should stop reacting and read it for myself to see where they are claiming the line is.  For instance, hopefully the Court is not about to strike down an ordinance banning handguns in airports.  On the other hand, I agree completely that the 2d Amendment, now that it is recognized as an individual right, prohibits a ban on all handguns in the state of Virginia.

                Is the problem with the DC ordinance that it bans handguns from certain people's homes?  That certainly is not in the Second Amendment.  And Second Amendment history doesn't answer everything here, given, for instance, that much of Second Amendment history recently includes the idea that this is not an individual right.

                My objection remains:  There is an open question whether the situation in DC is sufficiently like the situation in an airport to allow this ban.  Moreover,in an airport, no arms at all are allowed at all, so the DC statute is much more narrowly-tailored.

                I don't think that this is an outrageous decision, I just believe that I would decide the application question differently.

              •  having skimmed through some of the majority op. (0+ / 0-)

                now, a couple of observations.  First, I don't see where it says that arms are limited to firearms.  Rather, Scalia says that "arms" included at least "firearms."

                Second, I think the Court gets WAY off track when it concludes that the core purpose of the Second Amendment is for "Self-Defense."  And this is important, because the entire analysis of the DC ban is colored by the Court's opinion that it prevents THE activity at the core of the Second Amendment.

                I have two primary objections to the Court's reasoning re self-defense:  

                1.  The Court's use of other statutes at the time.  The Court says essentially that a lot of the state statutes at the time expressly referenced self-defence in the "bear arms" statute.  Therefore, the Court argues, the founders must have thought that is what the right to bear arms was about.  This logic by the court is directly contrary to my sense of logic and the ordinary rules of statutory interpretation.  Say a state copies the FTC Act and enacts it for state purposes.  If the state copies most of it but leaves out a word or a section, usually a court will interpret that to mean that the state specifically chose to reject that portion, not that State probably really meant to include the idea because other statutes at the time include it.
                1. Probably more importantly, the Second Amendment actually does say what its purpose is--i.e., to ensure a well-regulated militia.  How you can gloss over that to conclude that the "core" purpose is self-defense of yourself and your property is beyond me.  I probably agree with the Court that the 2d amendment conveys an individual right, but its interpretation of the core purpose of that right is nuts.  The core purpose is collective.  The second amendment was intended to allow the people of each state collectively to protect themselves from the potential usurpations of power by the national govt., a self-appointed king, foreign nations, Indian tribes, etc.

                It is one thing to read the first clause out when interpreting the application of the right, but to read the purpose clause out when describing the purpose of the statute is another altogether

  •  I lived in DC when it was called Murder Capital. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CityLightsLover

    Remember the constant gunfire and the children who could identify a gun by the sound of its shots.

    Guess those happy days will be here again.

    -9.0, -8.3. Socialized medicine, not "universal coverage". Public transit, not "35 mpg".

    by SensibleShoes on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:12:01 AM PDT

  •  Eh... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fizziks, droogie6655321

    Not really all that big of a deal to me. My problem is with assault weapons and those people who have small armories in their homes. A handgun kept in the closet for purposes of self defense or hunting rifles aren't something to be afraid of. Personally, I don't think I'd ever own a firearm and from what it sounds like, D.C. can go back to the drawing board and limit the more fringe weapons, just not everything so it's a win-win in my eyes.

    "Just because we hate or fear someone doesn't change who we are or the way we should try someone." -Jonathon Turley

    by epsilon343 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:12:23 AM PDT

  •  Whats astonishing is that Scalia (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nanobubble, fizziks, CityLightsLover

    said this:

    But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.

    in regard to guns.  Perhaps he will do the same thing regarding Civl rigths, warrents, illegal detention w/o trial, torture.....

    I won't hold my breath.

    •  Eh... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nanobubble

      Scalia is actually fairly protective of individual rights as he understand them to have been protected by the various amendments at the time of their enactment. He and Justice Stevens went the furthest in the Hamdi case, which involved a U.S. citizen being held without trial, in saying that the government could only try, release, or suspend habeas corpus officially. He's also been a stalwart on Confrontation Clause cases, going much further than the Court's majority has been willing to in asserting the right to have an actual, face-to-face confrontation with adverse witnesses in criminal trials. He sided with the majority in the flag-burning cases, agreeing that it was a form of symbolic speech protected by the First Amendment.

      So that's a longer way of saying I don't think his statement as to foreclosing policy choices in the name of individual rights is just a pose. It's just that his interpretation of what those individual rights are is often more cramped than that of his more liberal colleagues.

  •  what a beautiful diary....here..here.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey
  •  Impossible to ban Handguns now (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nanobubble, Norm in Chicago

    One of the biggest reasons many people oppose any form of gun registration or control is that should a gun ban be passed the gov't could use the registration lists to just go around and round up all legally owned arms.

    This will remove that fear for pistols and most rifles.

    The next question that will probably be before the court is what sort of semi autos would fall under the protections of the second, ie the testing of the assault weapons ban.

  •  This is pathetic. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    john07801, CityLightsLover

    Not suprised but its just stupid.  I do not understand the obsession with guns in this country.  Especially  with the culture of violence in this country you would think people would be a little more circumspect about guns but no, its the other way around.    God Bless Amaerica and her guns! snark

    http://politicz.wordpress.com/

    by GlowNZ on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:14:29 AM PDT

    •  Go watch some Katrina videos (6+ / 1-)

      And see what happens when looters and rioters come to your residence or business during a disaster.

      Don't you know how "security" exists? Through force and power.

      When you're asleep with your family, and three guys break in with guns, are you going to let them murder your son and rape your daughter?

      How about when your city declares martial law and takes all the weapons away from the citizens?

      You're pathetic.

      My password is: "transparency" This is a communal account. Everyone may play, few will win!

      by nanobubble on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:20:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is NOTHING progressive about guns (0+ / 0-)

      It ain't the wild west, we have a bloodbath in our streets and gun nuts refuse the slightest control over their deadly force.  

      I think a gun should be registered throughout its existence.  If it gets into illegal hands, the last legal owner can be held responsible.  If you want to own one, it is your duty to protect innocent society from its illegal use.  Justifiable homicide doesn't change.

      (-7.75, -7.69) No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up - Lily Tomlin

      by john07801 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:11:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Like spying without a warrant (4+ / 0-)

    "But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table."

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:15:31 AM PDT

  •  I am amazed by Scalia's ability to use (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pesto

    his intellect dishonestly.

    It's a fantastically written opinion,which is, of course, entirely contrary to every argument against judicial activism he has ever uttered.

    He may be right in this case, though I disagree, but to argue that this is somehow an exercise of judicial restraint is laughable.

    "Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." - Voltaire

    by DrFrankLives on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:15:53 AM PDT

    •  How is it inconsistent??? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nanobubble, jccleaver

      It's a fantastically written opinion,which is, of course, entirely contrary to every argument against judicial activism he has ever uttered.

      It's very very much based in the original intent of those who wrote the 2nd Amendment.  You can, of course, disagree with the "original intent" approach -- a lot of people do -- but this opinion, if you read it, is like a history lesson.  It is very very much in accord with the approach Scalia always takes -- start with the words themselves, and if there is doubt, give the meaning to them that was intended by the people who wrote them in 1791 or thereabouts.  Wrong? maybe.  Inconsistent with his other approaches?  I don't see it.  

      •  Please read Stevens' dissent as to why (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey, Mas Gaviota

        Scalia is not actually applying the original intent of the drafters.

        It is only consistent with Scalia's earliuer opinions in that he hides his own interpretation behind a facade of "originalism."  In fact, he cherry picks original documents to support his own conclusion.

        "Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." - Voltaire

        by DrFrankLives on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:37:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bad rationale, right result. (3+ / 0-)

          I agree with your general criticism of Scalia's jurisprudence. But even a busted clock is right twice a day.

          In interpreting ALL of the Bill of Rights, I believe any doubt should be resolved in favor of individual rights. That leads to an outcome I don't like with regard to guns, but it's the only way to ensure protection of the rest of our rights.

          -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

          by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:04:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I did read Stevens' dissent (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nanobubble

          he says Scalia is wrong about what the original intent was.  However, it is clear that Scalia is, in fact, using an original intent approach because he is looking to history to determine what the writers meant.  That is what original intent means.  After looking at history, Stevens disagrees with Scalia's conclusions about what those guys meant in 1791.  Sort of like two historians disagreeing over what Lincoln meant when he said such and such.  

          Again, the disagreement is over Scalia's conclusions about what the history shows.  Both sides have support for their conclusions (like most disputes over history).  Scalia's approach in this case is perfectly consistent with his apporach in other cases -- look to see what history tells us.  If, on the other hand, he had said, I don't care what they meant in 1791, I'm going to interpret it the way I want, that would be hypocritical and inconsistent with his past approaches.  However, you can't read Scalia's decision and conclude that he had no support for his view.  Not even Stevens does that -- Stevens just says Scalia's conclusion was wrong.  They BOTH cherry pick the history to support their view -- pretty much like historians do.  

  •  I would like to see Injustice Scalia... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bten, hcc in VA, brein

    and his gun-nut loving cohorts on the Supreme Court spend a few weekend evenings this summer at the emregency room of a major inner city hospital.  There they can meet the families of innocent gun violence victims, and can spend time explaining this ruling to the parents of a 5-year-old killed while lying in bed by stray bullets fired by a teen-aged gangbanger who can't shoot straight.  I'm sure the distraught family will love to hear why their little anglebecame another human sacrifice upon the altar of the Injustices' twisted interpretation of the 2nd Amendment.

    May a Just God cast Scalia and the other Injustices into the depths of Hell before the Supreme Court reconvenes.  AMEN.

  •  Basically I'm happy with the decision... (0+ / 0-)

    ...but of course I'll have to study the decision. That won't be fun. It might well turn out that I agree with the decision while finding the arguments completely wrong. (Like it happened in the Habeas Corpus Case...)

    •  Agree but find the argumetns wrong? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey

      If there were ever a contradiction in terms.  Oh, I think I understand your intent, in that you may find that you are in favor of the way the particular issue at hand went.  

      But process matters!  And that is what I find so abhorrent about the way so many of us view our courts.  The courts' job is to determine whether a law is in or out of bounds, not to settle the matter of what our laws should be.  I applaud the court's majority in this instance for doing precisely that.  

      When the courts do not abide by this simple rule, they remove from us OUR right to make laws and thus form the kind of society that we would like to determine for ourselves.  Furthermore, by removing yours and my right to vote on such issues, they leave those on the losing side not merely unconvinced, but without any recourse to civil discussion and persuasion of the rightness of their position.  That breeds anger and contempt in our society.  It is at the heart of how we have become such a litigious, fractious, angry citizenry.

      •  Yes, but don't forget. . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nanobubble

        . . . that the power to amend the Constitution lies with the people, via their elected representatives in Congress and the state legislatures. If the courts interpret the Constitution in a way that is sufficiently unpopular, the amendment process can still trump the courts.

        And actually, that's what ought to happen here. I believe the court has correctly interpreted the Second Amendment, and that the Second Amendment should be repealed.

        -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

        by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:07:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Knowing Scalia's kind of argument, (0+ / 0-)

        I fear I might feel reminded of what T. S. Eliot wrote:

        The last temptation is the greatest treason
        To do the right deed for the wrong reason.

        But of course you're right: procedure matters. Essentially Democracy is legitimation by procedure. And it's part of the procedure that courts check into the legality of governmental action, and into the constitutionality of legislative activity.

        Besides there is a process to change the Constitution as well. But I think it's wrong to act, and when the act is found to be illegal to change the Law, and when the changed Law is found to be unconstitutional to go for a change in the Constitution. It shows some disrespect to the institutions of Democracy, to the Law, and to the Constitution.

  •  Individual rights?! (0+ / 0-)

    What's that?

    I'm no grover norquist, but we need to shrink the power of the federal government and give it back to the individual.

    My password is: "transparency" This is a communal account. Everyone may play, few will win!

    by nanobubble on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:18:16 AM PDT

  •  So who doesn't pack heat (0+ / 0-)

    You shouldn't even pick up your mail without a shotgun by your side.  Neighbors are sneaky.

  •  Justice Stephens (5+ / 0-)

    in his dissent wrote:

    Specifically, there is no indication that
    the Framers of the Amendment intended to enshrine the
    common-law right of self-defense in the Constitution.

    I am truly sorry, but if I ever held an ounce of regard for this man's legal opinions, this declaration has eradicated it for all time.

  •  A Boon for Trauma Surgeons! (0+ / 0-)

    As a trauma surgeon, practicing in the semi-urban core of Michigan, I applaud the supreme court assuring me of a livelihood for as long as I wish to practice.
      I'll never have my job outsourced to India. Moreover, unlike automobiles, I doubt that any measure of engineering will make handguns safer.
      By the way, I charge a lot for my services, which we, as taxpayers will ultimately pay, as most victims of gun violence lack the insurance to pay for their very expensive, often lifelong treatment needs, to say nothing of lost productivity and wages.

    Again, great job. I feel like Enron

    Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life." -Steve Jobs

    by MichiganChet on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:20:34 AM PDT

    •  And in DC, there was no work for you? (0+ / 0-)

      I guess you do not see trauma from motor veichal accidents (5 times more likly than gun assault) regardless of how well they are engineered. Nearly 1/2 the "gun violence" is suicide. Most gun homicides are drug/gang related. Do the current weapons laws work on them, or do they make my wife and mother-in-law less safe?

      I support Barack Obama, and I approved this message.

      by mlandman on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:07:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Plenty of work everywhere, I just moved (0+ / 0-)

        I see lots of Motor Vehicle trauma, and lots of failed suicide attempts by firearms too. The essence of the post is that cars can be engineered to be much safer - and indeed have been, and the MVA fatality rates have been dropping steadily; much of the car accident trauma I see involves non-fatal and manageable injuries.
          I do not know the answer to your last question, and I'm sorry, but must retreat behind 'Dammit Jim, I'm only a doctor, not a public policy maker!'. My opinion is that liberal (in other words non-restricted) gun laws produce more gun violence of all stripes, and I'll be happy to reference maps which show increasing gun fatality rates associated with less restrictive firearm laws. I have no wish to be dogmatic on the point (and I have a wife and mother too whose safety is very much an issue of mine), all I say is that I do know widespread gun availability is someting that keeps us in the medical profession working at night; further, it is something that we all - including you - pay for because I ain't cheap to employ.
          BTW, I was a medical student in D.C. during the late eighties, so I am very aware of the violence issues there of which you reference.

        Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life." -Steve Jobs

        by MichiganChet on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:38:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  DC's next steps in the regulation of Guns (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nanobubble

    Well, the Supreme Court has spoken much to the dismay of sensible people across the country.

    So what it the District of Columbia government to do next?  Regulate the use and ownership of handguns to ensure the safety of its citizens.

    Along these lines the DC government should:

    1. Require a license to own a gun.
    1. Require a written test and a practical (use) test in order to get a license.  These are required to drive a car.  A gun is arguably more dangerous to own than a car.  Owners need to demonstrate knowledge and competence with their firearm.  Owners will be required to pass the practical (use) test every other year.  These tests will be administered by the DC Police.
    1. Require potential gun owners, before they take the tests, to pass a comprehensive 2-day gun safety course also given by the DC police.
    1. Require owners to renew their gun license every year, in person (no mail or internet renewals).  The license granted with only be for a specific gun.
    1. If the owner wants to change his gun to get a different gun, he needs to get a new license.  If he wants to get a second gun, he needs to get another license (Owners needs to demonstrate knowledge and competence with a specific firearm).
    1. Anyone carrying a gun must have his license on his/her person, or have the gun confiscated.
    1. Owning a gun without a license will result in the forfeiture of the right to own a gun.
    1. Convicted felons shall not be allowed to own a gun, i.e., not be granted a gun license.
    1. Persons with diagnosed mental illness shall not be allowed to own a gun.
    1. No one under the age of 21 shall be allowed to own a gun.
    1. Carrying a concealed firearm is illegal.
    1. Carrying a gun in public is illegal, except in designated areas (like a firing range).  They are allowed in the home.

    These are necessary and appropriate for DC.  They might not be appropriate for Montana, but they are not intended for Montana )or similar locales).

    •  Do you need a license to write a letter? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      notrouble

      Do you need to pass a test to vote?

      No?

      Then how could DC constitutionally impose a test on your exercise of the right to own a handgun in your home?

      "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

      by Pesto on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:30:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I believe the decision addresses this. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nanobubble

        I believe the decision says Heller's lawyer conceded at oral argument that a licensing requirement would be OK, as long as the license-issuing process was not "aribitrary and capricious."

        -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

        by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:10:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, but... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey, nanobubble

          ...I think all this means is that the Court is silent on this aspect. Heller didn't ask for relief in the form of elimination of the licensing requirement so the Court (rightfully IMHO) didn't address that issue.

          I've been skipping around in the decision so may have missed a lot of it, but it also appears that the majority opinion doesn't specify a standard of review that is appropriate but merely that the D.C. laws fail to withstand even the minimum level appropriate for enumerated rights. From the decision:

          Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition — in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family, and property is most acute — would fail constitutional muster.

    •  good luck (0+ / 0-)

      Require a written test and a practical (use) test in order to get a license.  These are required to drive a car.

      This requirement would be stricken down almost immediately with the argument, well established with case law, that driving a car is a privilege, owning a gun is an enumerated right.

      •  perhaps, or not... (0+ / 0-)

        Owning a gun may be right, but that doesn't not mean that it can not be regulated in the interest of public safety.  A gun owner that is not knowledgeable of gun safety not totally familiar with the operation of his firearm, and can not demonstrate competence with it use is a grave risk to the public.  As far as I am concerned, anyone who is not willing to demonstrate his knowledge and competency with his firearm is worthy of suspicion.  

        Owning a gun is a right, but it is also a serious responsibility -- a responsibility that the public has an interest and a right to assure.

    •  OK... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      notrouble

      1 - Ownership is a right, per SC, not true with a car
      2 - A car is much more dangerious that a gun, it just gets less press.
      1 year odds of vehicular death=1/6,197
      1 year odds of being killed by others with a gun=1/25,263
      From the National Safety Councel
      2 - (cont.) the city is broke, this is unworkable
      3 - see above
      4 - Is your drivers license limited to 1 car?
      5 - see above
      6 - we are talking about in one's home, not conceled carry. Do you propose to have one's license taped to your arm while you sleep?
      7 - It's a right
      8 - they are not allowde now, how's THAT working?
      9 - see above
      10 - OK to go to war at 18?
      11 - off topic
      12 - see above

      All in all, this is just a way to ban defensive weapons without "banning weapons".

      Brady wants your help.

      I support Barack Obama, and I approved this message.

      by mlandman on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:23:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  rights are not imutable (0+ / 0-)

        It is, as the SCOTUS has said, a right.  That does not mean you can not lose those rights.  You have the "right" to vote, but you can lose that right by being convicted of a crime.  By breaking the law, you can forfeit the right to own a gun.  Is owning a gun more important or more fundamental than the right to vote?  Hardly.  While you don't need a license to vote , a vote does not (directly) jeopardize the life of your fellow citizen.  Owning and operating a gun, carelessly, recklessly, and improperly can serious compromise the life and health of our fellow citizens.  

        I would ague, and most would agree with me, that a gun is more dangerous than a gun.  A gun is DESIGNED to kill, a car is not.  One can kill a lot more people with gun and do it more quickly and easily with a gun than a car.  It is designed very effectively for its explicit purpose.  Your statistics on odds of death are biased (statistically speaking) and I would suggest purposely deceptive.  Most people are surrounded by cars and the use of cars everyday.  They are in harm's way from a car everyday.  Very few people have the same experience with guns. Much, much fewer people actually own and use guns than use cars. The equivalent gun statistic would, perhaps more appropriately be "what is the incidence of death when a gun is used"?  Yes, a gun gets more press but rightly and appropriately so.

        Anything that potentially put the life of another at right should be licensed and regulated to assure the other that it will be owned responsibly and safely.

        Further, I would argue that no gun is simply a "defensive weapon". Their design does not prevent their use as an offensive weapon.  Any weapon owned for defensive purposes can easily be used offensively, and sadly, used accidentally.  Therefore regulation and licensing is appropriate and necessary to assure the safety of the public.

        I would actually go much further than the regulations described here.  I would strictly control and monitor the sale and PRODUCTION (and importation) of ALL firearms.  This is the only way to know where they are and who they are being sold to, and to keep them out of illegal channels.  I'm sure the gun lobby would go ballistic over that.

        Guns are dangerous.  Society has an interest in controlling and regulating them, and knowing that those that own them will own and operate them competently and responsibly.  A strict licensing requirement is a viable and realistic way to accomplish this and protect the interests of all citizens.

        •  qwert (0+ / 0-)

          Owning and operating a gun, carelessly, recklessly, and improperly can serious compromise the life and health of our fellow citizens.  

          as with a car, to a greater effect

          people are surrounded by cars and the use of cars everyday.  They are in harm's way from a car everyday.  Very few people have the same experience with guns.

          ...that they know about. That is why it is called "conceled carry". It is not seen. 6% of Floridians have a carry permit. They are around all the time.

          The equivalent gun statistic would, perhaps more appropriately be "what is the incidence of death when a gun is used"?  

          That would not be equivilent. I am not, nor would I suspect that you are, worried that we will commit suicide, and therefore we should be disarmed. The concern is someone else using a gun against you. 2/3 of all "gun violence" is suicide. To me, these can not be used in the discussion of one's risk of getting shot. I would also take off the table racing deaths.

          All in all, any one is over 4 times more likly to die from a crash than a bullet. If you do not deal drugs and are not in a gang, your odds are much worse from a crash, somethings like 16 times more likly. In fact, you are much more likly to die in a fall.

          I would strictly control and monitor the sale and PRODUCTION (and importation) of ALL firearms.  This is the only way to know where they are and who they are being sold to, and to keep them out of illegal channels.

          How does that work for drugs? Did it work in Proabition? Did it work in DC for 30 years? How about NYC and Chicago?

          Any reason to think it would work here?

          I support Barack Obama, and I approved this message.

          by mlandman on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:39:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  monitoring and regulating is NOT prohibiting (0+ / 0-)

            How does that work for drugs? Did it work in Proabition? Did it work in DC for 30 years? How about NYC and Chicago?

            Any reason to think it would work here?

            Absolutely.  It takes a significant factory and manufacturing operation to produce guns in volume.  You can produce gin in bathtubs and drugs in kitchen and serve thousands.  You can't serve thousands of guns customers with a couple people working out of their basement.  Further, prohibition was about stopping sales of alcohol.  This is NOT about stopping sales, merely monitoring and controlling sales -- knowing what is made and where it goes.  It would indeed significantly control the flow of guns.  Legitimate buyers have nothing to worry about.  It would only affect illegitimate buyers that seek to buy outside the system. Some small numbers might get made by individuals (but that probably happens now), and some would get smuggled in.  But the vast majority -- much more than now -- would be controlled, monitored and their disposition known.  Responsible gun owners should support this as it would only control irresponsible gun ownership which gives all gun ownership a bad rap.

    •  what? (0+ / 0-)

      A gun is arguably more dangerous to own than a car.

      That would be difficult to argue since the number of cars in this country is close to the same as the number of firearms - but automobile deaths are about 10 times higher.

      Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. - President Harry Truman

      by notrouble on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:38:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Guns don't kill, people do - people vs Govt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nanobubble, fizziks

    Arms control is the first refuge of omnipotent government.  When people need arms to protect themselves against other people, their government has failed them.  God created all people, Colt made them equal.

  •  Mayby SCOTUS will one day rule (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, Boisepoet

    that the 4th Amendment protects individual rights, too. Alas.

    "I wouldn't trade one stupid decision / for another five years of life." -- LCD Soundsystem

    by tomjones on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:22:16 AM PDT

  •  So since the Constitution ONLY refers to militias (0+ / 0-)

    then this ruling, clearly, falls under the definition of an "activist" Court, right?  I'm sure Bush et al will talk about that.  

    We Changed The Course! Now we must hold their feet to the fire.

    by hcc in VA on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:22:20 AM PDT

  •  Politically, McCain the big loser (3+ / 0-)

    Had the Court ruled the other way, McCain, the NRA and the GOP would have been given a major gift.

    There were two core issues over which the issue of Supreme Court control resonate with large blocs of voters: gun ownership and abortion. With the right having won on guns, that is now off the table (and the opposite decision would have allowed McCain to emphasize the importance of naming new Justices).

    That's now gone. Abortion remains.

    Advantage Obama, big time.

    This could be seen as a deciding moment in this election.

    •  Maybe not... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey, nanobubble

      ...because McCain can use this to highlight the "fragility of the court's balance" and make it a big issue.

      Had the decision been unanimous, it would have had the effect you say. However McCain will likely use this to proclaim that the SCOTUS is "one vote away from taking your guns away" so it's important to vote for him rather than the candidate who voted against confirmation of two (Alito and Roberts) of the five justices who "protected your rights".

      Also, McCain will point out (rightfully) that Heller opens the floodgates to SCOTUS decisions in the coming years that determine the degree of scrutiny that will now apply to gun control laws

      Frankly, the ads almost write themselves.

      •  Check this comment (0+ / 0-)

        from a McCain supporter who emailed Andrew Sullivan:

        I will run out and vote for John McCain this year, as I believe that Obama is a statist and bad for the country. This despite the fact that I know that my Republican party will probably get the good swift kick in the ass that it richly deserves.

        One of the reasons it will get hammered is Heller. It’s hard to get the RKBA crowd all harem-scarem about Obama’s rather obvious distaste for Second Amendment rights when the SCOTUS has taken the issue off the table. It’s done, and this will be seen in future as a nail in McCain’s coffin. Obama may disagree, but he will do so in a centrist manner that doesn’t endanger his Blue Dog allies and his prospects in Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico, and Iowa.

        McCain would have to make a much harder-hitting all-guns at all-costs push which would alienate the suburban independents (particularly women) that he needs. The burder is much higher for him now.

  •  ANY female Clintonistas thinking of voting McCain (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, The Jester

    ...This decision is the clearest indicator of how radically a couple of McCain appointments to SCOTUS could alter US jurisprudence toward a state not just before the Warren and Burger courts, but pre-New Deal as well.  While I can imagine a more progressive SCOTUS reading some qualified rights to weapons ownership, that's not the point - it's how predictably willing this decision hard-right wing justices are to sharply reshape american jurisprudence, not just in this area dear to a major GOP consituency, but across the board.

    - Environmental Law hangs by a 5-4 thread against radical views of "property rights" limitations.

    - Not just abortion, but the entire constitutional framework of a "right to privacy" likewise hangs 5-4.  Think it's just abortion?  Women may be unpleasantly surprised to find that Griswald v. Connecticutt's right to control contraception decisions hangs by only a tinier thicker thread.

    -4th Amendment protections are already severely eroded, but they may be entirely eviscerated in a way that could take decades to recover.

    -"States Rights" aka federalism could take radically more powerful form, as the court seizes the chance to whittle the federal government sharply down to size.

    -Radical curtailment of the "commerce" clause (evisceration of the basis for federal regulations across a broad front).

    -Radically restrictive reading of the 14th Amendment (equal protection)

    ...and so on.

  •  this is beyond me (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, HeyMikey, nanobubble

    on the one hand, I see Michael Moore's research with Canada where gun ownership does not necessarily lead to gun violence.

    And, as Army enlisted with a specialty as a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant, I am fully aware of not only how weapons technically work, but also the value of an armed populace facing a belligerent regime.

    But gun violence is a phenomenon the must be controlled for the health and welfare of the American populace.  And the reality is that indicriminent gun violence kills more people than any Blackwater takeover - which hasn't happened.

    I do not claim to have the answers, but I think looking at our militarized society in other areas besides gun ownership is a good place to start.

    I immigrated to a country where I know up front that I do not have gun rights and I do not feel less secure.  It's ok with me, it was my choice.

    So I really cannot say if this is good or bad according to the rules (Constitution) of the US, like I said, it is beyond me.

    "I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." - Thomas Jefferson

    by Jeffersonian Democrat on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:24:40 AM PDT

  •  Excuse me... (0+ / 0-)

    while I practice aiming my gun to the side.
    Gotta get the look down for any home invasion robbers.

  •  Does this affect state regulations? (0+ / 0-)

    IIRC, the 2nd Amendment doesn't apply to states, anymore than the others do, directly but rather the vehicle is the 14th Amendment.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:26:38 AM PDT

    •  So therefore (0+ / 0-)

      the prohibition of your state quartering militia in your home is no more enforceable than this ruling.

      •  The 14th Amendment has been interpreted (0+ / 0-)

        to prevent the state from infringing upon 'fundamental rights and liberties' or some other magic legal buzzword.  Traditionally, it's been included to include the Bill of Rights.

        Question being, in this case the 2nd Amendment is meant as a state/local check on the federal government, does it make sense for the federal judiciary to then tell states how to regulate their own firearms situation?

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:32:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  nobody knows (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geekesque

      they didn't say so in this decision. It's possible it only applies to Federal law (which includes DC, for technical reasons).

      car wreck : car insurance :: climate wreck : climate insurance

      by HarlanNY on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:30:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They don't... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pesto, HeyMikey, Geekesque, nanobubble

      address incorporation directly, because it's a D.C. case, but Goldstein, who's spent more time with the opinion than I have, suggests that it indicates that the right is viewed as incorporated.  (Wouldn't make sense if it weren't, since hard to argue that some rights aren't covered by 14th while others are, and the only judges to suggestion incorporation is wrong are Thomas and Scalia in a couple of religion cases.)

      •  In another comment, I noted that the 2nd (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pesto

        Amendment is also intended to provide a local/state bulwark against the federales.  The question becomes whether a federal judge dictating to the states how they can regulate their own militia, as it is, is faithful to the 2nd Amendment.

        It should be fascinating to see the Federalist/states rights folks tangle with the gun nuts on this one.

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:34:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Footnote 23 (0+ / 0-)

        Specifically says that the incorporation issue is open.  There are some rights in the Bill of Rights that have not been incorporated, including the right to a grand jury indictment and the right to civil jury trials.  The Supreme Court previously ruled specifically that the 2nd Amendment does not apply to the states, and Scalia raises the issue in Fn. 23 as to whether that is still good law, specifically leaving this issue undecided.  As noted, the Supreme Court has not accepted blanket incorporation, instead applying "selective incorporation" based on the determination as to whether or not a right is deemed inherent in the concept of ordered liberty.  Since we have gotten along without recognition of an individual right to bear arms for the past 200 years, I find it hard to see why this newly-discovered right should be deemed inherent in the concept of ordered liberty.

    •  I hope so (0+ / 0-)

      It would be nice to get rid of some or most of the gun lock laws in MA

      My password is: "transparency" This is a communal account. Everyone may play, few will win!

      by nanobubble on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:45:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Within Seconds of the decision, McCain... (0+ / 0-)

    issued detailed papers accusing Obama of hating gun owners while he loved them.  It looks like this is going to be a big push by the venomous codger.

    "A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having." --V

    by moondancing on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:31:01 AM PDT

  •  The key is the word "infringed" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shaviv, The Jester

    I always wonder why the word "infringed" isn't analyzed more in this. Infringe only means "to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another" according to my Webster's. This seems to indicate that "lawful" ownership of a gun is a right but "unlawful" ownership is not a right. In other words, why can't DC impose certain requirements that don't infringe upon the lawful ownership of guns. How about a handgun license that requires training, the passing of a test, maybe an eye exam, periodic renewal, etc., just like a driver's license?

    •  Agreed, but. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey, nanobubble

      What I've read about the issue says that the local authorities tasked with performing the background checks etc. involved in the approval process for a gun license are often strained by the cost and bureaucratic time requirements. Centralizing all of the bureaucracy and stuff with the Federal government would reduce that, but would give more power to the Federal government that I'm not honestly sure I want it to have (in light of the past eight years, at least).

      I've worried, then, that requiring more bureaucracy, such as eye exams or proficiency tests, would either (a) overtax local authorities involved in administering such programs, or (b) make the process significantly more expensive, and therefore out of the reach of poorer people who nonetheless wish to own firearms.

      I am reminded of a conversation I had with a gentleman I know who collects firearms, in which I suggested that arms manufacturers should be required to hold to strict quality-control parameters, ensuring that their firearms do not jam, misfire, or fire too inaccurately (e.g., having a spread of more than so and so many minutes of arc when bolted to a test stand and repeatedly fired). He suggested that while this would raise the average quality of arms available, it would also mean that the cheaper arms would be banned, requiring people who wished to own weapons but didn't have as much disposable income as he did to go without. (The fellow lives modestly and works for a Wall St. firm, so he has more disposable income than God, but I actually met him because he's an excellent cook. Irrelevant but interesting.)

      "I decided to force-feed him, but he wouldn't eat... I hated myself for making him eat, but I hated him more for not eating."

      by Shaviv on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:40:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I believe the opinion addresses licensing. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nanobubble, Shaviv

        I believe the decision says Heller's lawyer conceded at oral argument that a licensing requirement would be OK, as long as the license-issuing process was not "aribitrary and capricious."

        -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

        by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:15:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  How about THAT is how MOST of the... (0+ / 0-)

      ... rest of the Nation handles the situation. You need a photo/fingerprint LICENSE granted by the Chief of Police in MA in order to own a handgun.

      There is no huge effort to fight against this perfectly reasonable constraint, which has been just codified by Scotus as legal and reasonable.

      DC's total BAN was unlawful. More interesting is that it took 32 YEARS to get to the court for a ruling.

      Lets hope the FISA bill suit, after the Senate caves, doesn't take 32 YEARS to get to Scotus....

      so Scalia can use:

      But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.

      ...as the argument for why the FISA bill is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. ;-)

  •  I have a bit of a beef... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pesto

    [A handgun] cannot easily be redirected or wrestled away by an attacker [wrote Scalia].

    I disagree. I know of no cases in which a person wielding a long gun was disarmed and then threatened with his own weapon. I do know of a case in which a person wielding a handgun was disarmed and then threatened with his own weapon.

    Now: the person wielding the handgun, in this story, was a mugger holding up an athlete, who obeyed the order to get his wallet out and then, when the mugger lowered his weapon, attacked the mugger, took the handgun and sent the mugger running. But I don't think that negates the point merely because the person with the handgun was planning to commit a crime.

    I have heard of stories involving police fatalities, officers whose sidearms were wrested away from them and who were then killed with their own weapons. Never shotguns or rifles, although it must be said that these are not common hand weapons in most police forces.

    "I decided to force-feed him, but he wouldn't eat... I hated myself for making him eat, but I hated him more for not eating."

    by Shaviv on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:31:12 AM PDT

  •  YES! (4+ / 0-)

    This is a great ruling.

    There is something for everyone here. It establishes what everyone already know, which is that the 2nd Amendment does in fact apply to individuals just as much so as the other civil rights such as freedom of speech and the right to assemble.

    Yet 99% of existing gun laws around the country will be left intact, so there's really nothing for anti-gun people to gripe about.

  •  Watch Obama Live Now (0+ / 0-)

    Sorry couldnt wait till open thread cuz its live and all that

    http://origin.barackobama.com/...

  •  Stevens' Dissent (0+ / 0-)

    My friend is his clerk.  Gosh I hope she wrote that dissent!

    •  You mean that you would be proud if she wrote (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      notrouble

      Specifically, there is no indication that
      the Framers of the Amendment intended to enshrine the
      common-law right of self-defense in the Constitution.

      I find such a sentiment not only absurd, but shameful.

  •  I'm in law school (4+ / 0-)

    And did a research paper/oral argument on this case (for Moot Court).

    I'm very liberal, but putting my Constitutional law hat on, the Second Amendment reserves an individual right, subject to reasonable regulation. (Incidentally, Obama's opinion is nearly the same)

  •  it can be pointed at a burglar with one hand whil (0+ / 0-)

    e the other dials the police!!!! HAAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!

    OMG that's the funnies thing i've ever heard a supreme court justice say!

    What was he thinking?!!!

    Seriously though, wouldnt it be better just to give people a non lethal weapon rather than one that can strike someone dead.

    •  A nerf bat perhaps? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nanobubble

      If I need to defend my family, too bad for the bad guy. I did not invite them in, armed, and I do not want to see if the non-lethal thing (taser?) works well enough.

      Call 911, leave the phone live, and defend the family.

      I support Barack Obama, and I approved this message.

      by mlandman on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:31:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The 2nd amendment is kind of an anachronism, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, nanobubble

    in purpose and writing style, but as much as the scotus refuses to paraphrase it because it would destroy their opinion, it can be paraphrased, and it goes like this:

    People are free to keep weapons in case they are needed to defend the country.

    Nothing about dialing 911, carrying a concealed handgun, shooting burglars or robbers, undertaking violent resistance against the state, abiding the law, mental illness, prior criminal records, or any of the crap that scalia talks about. The turd is just an autocratic politician in a robe.

    If you want to use the law to regulate firearms, the 2nd amendment has to be rewritten.

  •  This is terrifying (0+ / 0-)

    God help us.

  •  Finally! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hey BB

    I've been wanting to take my 155mm howitzer for a ride down Pennsylvania Avenue for some time now.

    There are no stupid questions, but stupid people are everywhere

    by SecondComing on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:34:16 AM PDT

  •  It's conditional. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pesto

    If you read writings from that time, you'll recognize the construction of the Second Amendment is conditional.  This is borne out to some extent by the simple fact that the Founders distrusted the idea of a standing military, and did not have one for the early years of the Republic.  Therefore, "a well-regulated militia" was the instrument for defense of the nation.

    Consider, too, the construction of the other amendments in the Bill of Rights.  "Congress shall make no law..."  "No soldier shall..."  "No person shall..."  The subject and the verb appear early in the amendment, reasonably near each other.  Even when the construction is rather more complex, there is no ambiguity.   Take the Fourth:  "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..."  The grammatical subject of the Amendment is presented immediately.

    So what is the subject of this sentence, grammatically speaking?

    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.

    If we apply the construction of the other Amendments -- and the Founders did like their parallel structure -- the subject should be "a well-regulated militia."  Clearly, that is not the subject -- the sentence makes no sense if it is.  So we have the question of why the Founders in this instance only so radically departed from the form they consistently used to enumerate other rights.  That, too, suggests that they were laying down a set of conditions.

    The men who established this nation used formal language very carefully.  Even their ambiguitities were painstakingly crafted.  If they wanted gun ownership to be absolute, they would have said so in a way that would leave no room for interpretation, as they did with, say, the First or the Fourth.

    Ironically, the First and the Fourth now seem to be viewed as conditional.   Go figure...

    "The Romans brought on their own demise, but it took them centuries. Bush has finished America in a mere 7 years." -- Paul Craig Roberts

    by Roddy McCorley on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:34:23 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, but what about "infringed?" (0+ / 0-)

      "Infringed" -- the drafters could have chosen another verb -- "violated," or "abrogated," or "abolished." But they didn't. "Infringed" implies that not even the fringes of the right to bear arms shall be messed with. Leaving the core is not good enough.

      I agree with the decision. I also agree that the Second Amendment is a historical anachronism that has outlived its usefulness and should be repealed.

      -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

      by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:20:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Infringed only applies... (0+ / 0-)

        ...as long as the conditions set forth in the first part of the amendment are in place.  I maintain that the Founders put that first clause in place because that's what they considered most important.

        "The Romans brought on their own demise, but it took them centuries. Bush has finished America in a mere 7 years." -- Paul Craig Roberts

        by Roddy McCorley on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:37:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Guns Yes, Pot No. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nanobubble, Shaviv

    If people can have human-killing weapons laying around, they can be trusted to smoke a little herb.

    It's just that simple.

    Pot isn't going to kill innocent people.

    Pot isn't going to accidently go off and kill your child. Or you.

    Pot will never blow a hole through your house into somebody else's.

    Any gun owner needs to grasp the importance of freedom of choice and support relegalization.

    Why?

    Because once the Offending Weed is in close proximity to your precious gun, the Constitution is altered and your firearm becomes an illegal sort of thing.

    it doesn't matter if it's an 18th century flintlock or a 21st century Glock.

    The power of marijuana prohibition climbs over the 2nd Amendment and conspires to steal it from you.

    That ought to concern you.

    •  I, of course, do support legalization. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plutonium Page, xxdr zombiexx

      And I own several guns - every single one of them considered an "evul assault weppon" in CA and NJ.

    •  Silly xxdr... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pesto, xxdr zombiexx

      Medical marijuana will inevitably find its way into Interstate Commerce, but no-one would ever sell their firearm in contravention of restrictions in the commerce therein.

      Obama still gets my vote, but my bumper belongs to Privacy '08.

      by ben masel on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:43:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There was a diary a while back that looked at (0+ / 0-)

      the history of prohibition movements, and concluded that it was based at least in part on WASP anxiety over the habits of immigrants, and that relaxation of prohibition laws tended to coincide with the strict penalties associated with said prohibition laws being applied to WASPs. Said diarist suggested that the reason penalties for weed dropped, a few decades ago, was that white kids of well-off families had started to smoke it. I'm not sure if that was historically accurate but it was interesting.

      (As to why anybody would bother with the stuff, I don't know. I think it's a real drag, no pun intended.)

      "I decided to force-feed him, but he wouldn't eat... I hated myself for making him eat, but I hated him more for not eating."

      by Shaviv on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:44:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  People 'bother with the stuff' because (0+ / 0-)

        they know something others don't.

        And, while I am at it.... your same logic applies to alcohol - with all the trouble and deaths that it causes I don't know why anybody bothers with the stuff, I think it's a real drag.

        •  I should add that I mean recreational use. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xxdr zombiexx

          I understand there are medical uses for marijuana. Recreational use of it... is, at least in my experience, miserable. If I were a masochist I would use it more. I realize that others' experience with it may differ, but I can only think that, I can't grok that.

          I don't get people who get smashed on alcohol, either. I will freely admit that I drink, but only in small amounts. Being drunk is as miserable as being stoned on weed.

          "I decided to force-feed him, but he wouldn't eat... I hated myself for making him eat, but I hated him more for not eating."

          by Shaviv on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:59:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Some people really hate it. It's true. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Shaviv

            A lot of hard drug users despise it.

            They wanna be jacked up and pot doesn't do anything but mellow them out or make them sleepy.

            One lady some years ago claimed to actually be allergic to it - hives and such, but I think that was more of an anxiety reaction based on doing something she "knew" to be "wrong".

            I cannot tolerate drunkenness.

            And I don't like "real drugs".

            I smoke pot, drink coffee, and coca cola, which I shouldn't.

            I'm secretly very very dull.

    •  Umm . . . what about the Constitution? (0+ / 0-)

      I agree with you on policy grounds. But the Constitution doesn't say the right to smoke pot shall not be infringed.

      -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

      by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:21:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cannabis prohibitionis not about pot smoking (0+ / 0-)

        it's about "possession", which means touching.

        It is about eliminating the agricultural and industrial, medicinal and profit-making abilities of the plant.

        It has nothing to do with "pot smoking".

        Most folks are not really aware of this little fact.

        The constitution is damaged in various ways by the extreme efforts law enforcement must make to completely suppress this once-popular agricultural staple.

        The 1st, 4th, 9th and 10th Amendments are in some form or another always under siege because law enforcement wants more and more power to create the ridiculous levels of enforcement you see today. The federal government is using medical marijuana to obliterate the  10th Amendment in California and to try and overturn a state's law for federal reasons.

        It's not about pot smoking at all.

        That's bullshit.

  •  Good, that's done. (4+ / 0-)

    Now we can move on.

    I support this decision.  It protects the constitution.  It puts the Kibosh on 'any regulation will lead to complete disarmament' allowing background checks and waiting periods.  And it takes the issue off the campaign table which is a good thing.  

    I've always supported this interpretation of the 2nd amendment.  I think people should be trained in gun safety in childhood.  And a gun safety class should be required prior to purchase.  

  •  The only good thing about this opinion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pesto

    is that it exposes what a lying sack of shit Scalia is with his paeans to originalism.

    Of course, since we learned last week from the Democratic party that the Constitution is just a suggestion, anyway, I don't see anything to stand in the way of D.C. enforcing the ban.

  •  And so dies a wedge issue. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nanobubble

    Thank goodness.  Because the Court has affirmed, this means that we Dems are now free from the albatross of gun control - don't you realize that now the Republicans don't have as much of a whip to rile up their base with?  Because the 2nd is now irrevocably affirmed as an individual right, election-losing laws like the Assault Weapons Ban, bans on ammo, bans on concealed carry, are all politically DEAD because they violate the 2nd Amendment.  Like it or not, that's the result.  And this is good, because none of those things ever affected crime in the least anyway, while costing us Dems millions of votes and dozens of elected positions.

  •  Breyer's dissent. . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kevinspa, TheCatalyst

    . . . made the most sense to me.

    Gun rights is not a one-size-fits-all problem.

    I currently live in a rural area. There are some days when I do not see another person. 7 years ago a neighbor was brutally murdered.  After that, I purchased 2 firearms.

    It would take the police around 20 minutes minimum to get to my house.  This measure made me feel safer.  Thankfully, I have never discharged these firearms at anything other than targets.

    That being said, I used to live in NYC.  I would be horrified if every apartment contained 2 firearms. The population density and the prevalence of law enforcement would make that level of gun ownership both a safety nightmare and completely unnecessary.

    There is a balance to be had between individual freedom and community responsibility.

    Unfortunately, the balance is not the same in all places and Justice Scalia failed to see that.

    •  So (0+ / 0-)

      You're fear increases as the proximity of neighbors decreases?

      What does that have to do with guns. It sounds like you're just playing probabilities.

      So I guess it makes sense that you live in a rural area. Safer with less people, right?

      You could say the same thing about cars. Highways have more accidents because there are more cars.

      Does that mean people shouldn't drive too?

      Regardless of the math analysis, people should not be prohibited from exercising their individual rights to have those guns or drive those cars.

      To me, that's reasonable. And plenty of other regulatory options are still on the table.

      My password is: "transparency" This is a communal account. Everyone may play, few will win!

      by nanobubble on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:49:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not really. (0+ / 0-)

        I would phrase it as my fear of violence increases as the availability of state/municipal law enforcement decreases.

        If I had a police station around the block from me, I probably would not own any firearms.

        And the "math analysis" is why a federalist solution seems the fairest to me.

        •  Wow (0+ / 0-)

          I can't believe I said "you're" like that.

          On the police matter, sure I'd feel safer too, but I don't rely on others for the security of my home and person. I try to also take personal responsibility and obtain training and exercise the rights I am alloted to serve those ends. This includes being in good shape, martial arts, and weapons.

          Certainly a federalist solution is needed here, and that's what we have. But when states overstep their bounds in violation of the constitution, as jim crow segregation did a few decades ago, the SCOTUS steps in to ensure that those federalist solutions are in line with our constitutional law. That's what this case represents.

          My password is: "transparency" This is a communal account. Everyone may play, few will win!

          by nanobubble on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:48:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I feel safer in DC and NYC (0+ / 0-)

      because of the strengthening value of diversity compared to rural areas.

      People power = LGBTQ marital rights = OBAMA '08!

      by kevinspa on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:16:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Diversity (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nanobubble

        My area, relatively speaking, is pretty diverse.

        But, I'm not sure it has anything to do with safety.

        That being said, I live in a somewhat anomalous rural area.  It is pretty liberal and the conservatives here tend to be more of the libertarian streak as opposed to the socially conservative variety.

        •  From speaking with college professors (0+ / 0-)

          who I consider to be experts in this area; the more diverse a community, the better and safer. Not sure what area you reside but if it is diverse, then it must be a great area.

          People power = LGBTQ marital rights = OBAMA '08!

          by kevinspa on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:42:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  sounds like most of rural Arizona........... (0+ / 0-)

          " Every Thanksgiving, Bill Clinton stuffs a kitten inside a puppy inside a chimp inside a dolphin. It's like a turducken, only more evil. " balancedscales

          by buddabelly on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:17:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Breyer's dissent (0+ / 0-)

      is insane.  There's no such thing as a state right.  No collective rights are included in the constitution or bill of rights.  He's trying to rewrite the whole goddamn constitution in one shot by inserting the popular term "states' rights" (which do not exist) into constitutional law.

      See, for example, Amendment X.  States have powers, individual people have rights.

  •  Well, if that asshole Scalia is for it... (0+ / 0-)

    I'm against it.

    John McCain: Misogynistic old man who loves torture, domestic spying and dehydrated babies.

    by The Dead Man on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:37:46 AM PDT

  •  Liberals should actually read the Constitution (2+ / 6-)

    While I whole-heartedly applaud your caution that "we ought not try to pretend that the Constitution doesn't exist when it gets in the way of our policy preferences", the "unlike the other guys" quip did not serve your arguement, and simply reduces you to a sideline whiner simply sniping at policies with which you disagree.  The "other guys" clearly know there is a Constitiution.  They may have a different interpretation that deserves to be civily opposed and debated, but implying that they do not honor it tends to diminish you to a school yard bully.

  •  This is a beautifully done FP article. Wish we.. (0+ / 0-)

    ...could place recs on this level of news, information, and writing (especially the closing opinion of the author).  Thanks Adam B.

  •  People should be allowed to own handguns (0+ / 0-)

    it's in the constitution. The ban isn't effective because it just means criminals can still get guns while the rest of the people in dc can't.

  •  Well, its good to know some of the constitution (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    remains intact.

    "How often misused words generate misleading thoughts."
    ~Herbert Spencer~

    by Eidolon on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:39:28 AM PDT

  •  As a gun owner and proponent... (5+ / 0-)

    I really, really wish we could a sane discussion of this question.

    I don't think there's any doubt that gun access and ownership absolutely needs oversight and regulation; but staking out an expteme position on either end does'nt really help resolve anything.

    I can't help but notice that everyone I talk to on this has a good reason for their view- now where's the middle ground we can all agree on?

    •  Dunno what middle ground means. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      patriot spear, nanobubble

      I like to think I've been standing in the middle ground on this position for years - you know, ownership should be open to the public, subject to minor regulation (report your serial numbers, e.g., please no fully-automatic weapons, otherwise have fun) and barred to anyone with a conviction for a violent crime or an involuntary hospitalization for serious mental illness. Otherwise, well, it looks to me like whether or not you want to own a weapon should be up to you, yes? And the only thing I would ask is that if you wish to bring it into my home, you unload and clear it, which is down to property rights also.

      The problem is that, even if most people feel this way, they're drowned out by, on the one side, the people who feel that any ownership of firearms by anyone other than public servants is a terrible danger to everyone; and on the other side, the people who feel that any legislation that requires people to do anything but pay the seller, when they buy a gun, is tantamount to instituting a totalitarian dictatorship.

      "I decided to force-feed him, but he wouldn't eat... I hated myself for making him eat, but I hated him more for not eating."

      by Shaviv on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:50:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know how you feel... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shaviv

        I guess my view of the middle ground would be a consensus that rationally regulates ownership without unreasonalbe limits while recognizing the inherent danger of firearms.

        Vague I know, but it's going to take a smarter head than mine to come up with acceptable language for all.

        •  I think that's why it's mostly (0+ / 0-)

          up to the state legislatures to figure out what their gun laws are.

          In this case, folks thought their local legislature went too far, and the SCOTUS agreed.

          A total ban on handguns went too far for our current SCOTUS, and I'm more inclined to support that notion

          Hopefully the legislature will come back with some more narrowly tailored regulation that will satisfy both sides.

          You know, try better to find that middle ground.

          My password is: "transparency" This is a communal account. Everyone may play, few will win!

          by nanobubble on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:21:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  A ban on machineguns is inconsistent. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        puppet10, nanobubble

        We already have half a million machineguns and several hundred thousand howitzers, anti-tank weapons, and mortars legally owned by individual citizens in this country.  One citizen-owned machinegun has been used in a crime - by its owner a police officer.  No other legally owned heavy weapon has ever been used in any crime since they started tracking them in 1934.

        •  I really can't think of any reasonable need... (0+ / 0-)

          ...to own a fully automatic weapon outside of the military or law enforcement.

          Just my opinion.

          •  Doesn't really matter. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nanobubble

            People own them, and demonstrably they pose zero threat to public safety.  I see no reason that machineguns and other heavy weapons should be restricted further.  We should be able to buy new machineguns again, as that restriction is structurally identical to the DC ban and thus in danger of being overturned.

        •  Now, I'm not a ballistics expert... (0+ / 0-)

          I don't even shoot that well.

          My take on it has been, putting fully-automatic weapons in the hands of people who are not trained in their use poses more of a threat to the public welfare (through spraying of rounds) than weapons that fire single shots. It's just a numbers game. I'm not going to even dare to spray 'n pray with a handgun because I can't pull the trigger that fast and still keep the thing pointed at my target. Now, of course I can't do that with full auto either, but I might think I can if I knew nothing about how to handle firearms except which end was which. I'm sure people who shoot as a hobby would know, but how many people who wish to own a firearm actually do know about that?

          "I decided to force-feed him, but he wouldn't eat... I hated myself for making him eat, but I hated him more for not eating."

          by Shaviv on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 03:05:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  To me, a good middle ground (