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I just finished reading all 157 pages of the DC v. Heller (PDF 1.2MB), including the Scalia opinion and the dissents by Stevens and Breyer, and I have to tell everyone: the feud between an MSNBC anchor and a blogger--as much as I respect both of them--does not add up to a hill of beans compared to the startling degree to which this 2nd Amendment case has undermined the basic concept on which our democracy is founded:  

citizenship

I don't normally write smack-down diaries telling everyone to wake the heck up and stop throwing pies, but this is one of those moments where it is necessary.

DC v. Heller is not just a bad ruling.  It puts the court's imprimatur on a concept of citizenship that is fundamentally counter to the principles on which this country was founded.  It, is, a, nightmare.

"Weapons In Case Of Confrontation"
For those who do not realize it, all rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution flow from the 1st Amendment which is about 'freedom of expression.'  As the Constitution is the basis of our system of government, the Bill of Rights is the core description of what it means to be a citizen.

Right one:  freedom of expression--speech, assembly, and so forth.  Without that right guaranteed by the 1st Amendment, there is no need to continue the conversation because citizens are not free unless they have those rights.   No free citizens, no free society, no Democracy.  Hence, when the Framers created the Bill of Rights, they put the most important right on which the entire system depended first--not second, not third,  not tenth, but first.

I make this point, which may seem obvious to most, because if you listen to those who supposedly argue in favor of an 'individual rights' interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, they argue a very different vision.  What they argue is that the most fundamental right of our entire Constitution is not the 1st Amendment, but the 2nd Amendment.  Without the 2nd Amendment's guarantee of individuals the use guns to defend themselves in case of confrontation, there is no free society and nothing else in the Constitution--no other rights--have any meaning.

Let me repeat that.  

The Bill of Rights puts freedom of speech first and the right of the people to bear arms second. The NRA and its advocates reverse that mode, insisting that the right to bear arms is the first fundamental right in the American system, and everything else is second.

In that argument are the seeds of a fundamental change in what it means to be an American citizen--what it means to be a free person.  On the one hand, we have a vision of the world where one is free by virtue of the right to express oneself.  On the other hand, we have a vision of the world where one is free by virtue of the right to shoot a potential attacker.

The Framers of the Constitution set up a system that defined freedom in one way, not the other.  The DC v. Heller majority opinion reversed that.

According to the court, we now live in a world where the freedom to use a gun in moments of confrontation--albeit with some limits--is a fundamental right above all else.

No Evidence...of Common Law Right of Self Defense
According to Justice Stevens in the first dissenting opinion:

The Second Amendment was adopted to protect the right of the people of each of the several States to maintain a well-regulated militia.  It was a response to concerns raised during the ratification of the Constitution that the power of Congress to disarm the state militias and create a national standing army posed an intolerable threat to the sovereignty of the several States.  Neither the text of the Amendment nor the arguments advanced by its proponents evidenced the slightest interest in limiting any legislature’s authority to regulate private civilian uses of firearms.  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 start with this quote from the dissent because without it one is lost in this discussion even before it gets started.

The majority opinion in DC v. Heller (Scalia) argued that the Framers of the constitution were fundamentally concerned with making sure that the right of the people to protect themselves from the government was not taken away.  Scalia's claim is identical to the oft-repeated myth by right-wing pundits and NRA advocates that the Framers of the Constitution were wholly concerned about a tyrannical federal government rising up to destroy the citizens of the new Republic and, therefore, created a right to make sure that all citizens could have guns to protect themselves.

Nonsense, says Stevens.  No evidence for this argument.  What Stevens does not add, but which I will, is how closely this idea of government attacking citizens matches the paranoid, right-wing view of government as the enemy of the people advanced by post-1960s movement conservatism.  

The concern of the Framers, according to Stevens and others, was to make sure that the Federal government was not allowed to effectively take up a threatening position vis-a-vis the states--part of a much larger conversation about how to create a federal system in productive tension with the member states, rather than a federal system that effectively caused the states to die out, and therefore threatened the ability of the new republic to endure. The right of self-defense with guns in moments of confrontation is not in the 2nd Amendment, but is in common law.  

That is not to say that the right to own, carry, and use guns is unconstitutional--nor to argue that use of guns should be prohibited.  Quite the contrary.  It is simply stating that the right of individuals to use arms in cases of confrontation holds no place in the core understandings of government, freedom, and citizenship as established in our founding Constitution.  

"Scalia's Revolution: Citizenship is Based on the Right to Engage in Armed Confrontation with Other Citizens"
Now, without making any claim to be a Con-Law scholar, reading the DC v. Heller ruling makes it very clear that Justice Scalia's opinion has set in motion a kind of revolution--a fundamental shift towards a definition of citizenship based on the right to engage in armed confrontation with other citizens.  

What Scalia tries to do--and succeeds, because his opinion is the court's ruling--is rewrite the very meaning of constitution by relocating it back to a time of religious war in England.  Scalia argues that the main concern driving the Framers of the constitution was to make sure that citizens would not be attacked by their government the way that Protestants had been attacked in 17c England over a hundred years prior to the Framer's convention.

Again, let me repeat that to make sure everyone got it.

According to an opinion of Justice Scalia of the Supreme Court of the United States, the overriding concern of the Framers of our 18c Constitution was that citizens of the new republic would be oppressed in the way that subjects of 17c England were oppressed by the King.  So, supposedly, the Framers enshrined the right of these new citizens to use guns in moments of confrontation to make sure that did not happen:

Between the Restoration and the Glorious Revolution, the Stuart Kings Charles II and James II succeeded in using select militias loyal to them to suppress political dissidents, in part by disarming their opponents...Under the auspices of the 1671 Game Act, for example, the Catholic James II had ordered general disarmaments of regions home to his Protestant enemies....These experiences caused Englishmen to be extremely wary of concentrated military forces run by the state and to be jealous of their arms.  They accordingly obtained an assurance from William and Mary, in the Declaration of Right (which was codified as the English Bill of Rights), that Protestants would never be disarmed: "That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defense suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law."...And, of course, what the Stuarts had tried to do to their political enemies, George III had tried to do to the colonists.  In the tumultuous decades of the 1760’s and 1770’s, the Crown began to disarm the inhabitants of the most
rebellious areas.  That provoked polemical reactions by Americans invoking their rights as Englishmen to keep arms.  A New York article of April 1769 said that "[i]t is a natural right which the people have reserved to themselves, confirmed by the Bill of Rights, to keep arms for their own defence."

Scalia is arguing much more than the definition of 'right to bear arms' as put down in the 2nd Amendment.  He is arguing that fundamental meaning of citizenship in The Constitution is a reaction against the oppression of Protestants by 17c English monarchy!  If we accept this definition, we are left with the flawed and violent idea of a American citizenship--with an idea of citizenship grounded in the idea that a tyranny begins with government taking away the guns of citizens.  In essence, Scalia is replacing the idea of a fundamental right on which American citizenship is based--booting freedom of expression to second or even fifth place, and pushing to the head of the line a supposed right to bear arms in cases of confrontation.

No Such Right--Until Yesterday
Let me be the first to welcome you to a new America!

Did you feel that cold wind on your neck?   That was the definition of American citizenship changing and being replaced with a violent notion that America is rooted in unfettered vigilantism--that citizens are not free unless that have the means the right to shoot someone in a confrontation.

It is a startling change, sudden, and bearing vast consequences for every person in this country.

Justice Breyer, writing in the second dissent, said it best:

Far more important are the unfortunate consequences that today’s decision is likely to spawn.  Not least of these, as I have said, is the fact that the decision threatens to throw into doubt the constitutionality of gun laws throughout the United States.  I can find no sound legal basis for launching the courts on so formidable and potentially dangerous a mission.  In my view, there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas.

Anyone living in a city knows exactly what Breyer is warning:  a domestic arms race in America's urban centers and endless challenges to any and all concealed-carry or castle laws currently on the books.

DC v. Heller suggests--suggests--that there should be common-sense limits on the use of machine guns, automatic assault weapons, and other such guns beyond the pale of 'normal' use in cases of confrontation.  But those exceptions will not last long.

The real achievement of Scalia's ruling is to put the court's official seal on a new definition of citizenship that the NRA and the right-wing in this country has been desperately trying to codify for half a century:  that the meaning of citizenship is based on the right to shoot another person in a moment of confrontation.

Presidential election bet damned.  If the courts do not return this country to a definition of citizenship based on the freedoms of the 1st Amendment--as the Framers of the Constitution intended--we are all in a heap of trouble.  

Update [2008-6-27 15:19:16 by Jeffrey Feldman]:
OK...some feedback to a few recurrent criticisms in the comments (some put nicely, some not) is deserved, so let me see what I can do.

On Numbering of Rights:
The point about my overstatement vis-a-vis numbering indicating priority has been heard. Fair critique.  It is an overstatement, but I'll keep it as is so folks can make sense of the push back in the comments.

Essentially, I do hold that the 1st is the foundation of the rest because the Framers were enlightenment thinkers who thought in terms of first principles. So the first is the most important, in my reading of the Constitution.  And I also think the second was important because it addressed the overriding concern of the Framers as to the ability of a new system of states and a centralized Republic to endure without working against each other.  Not sure how far down the list I would go in terms of priorities...so my argument about numbers gets weaker as we move down the list.

Individual Rights vs. Use
Both Breyer and Stevens argue that the problem with Scalia's ruling is precisely that it seeks to limit discussion of guns to a Constitutional question of individual rights when the issue that had hitherto been extended by the courts to the full question of use.  That's the big issue.  Stevens and Breyer dissent both to Scalia's method and its implications--the originalist approach which seeks only to talk about individual rights vs. the slew of earlier rulings in which the court talked about use. Whether or not one believes in individual rights is not the end of the issue, according to the dissents.  The issue is use.  

Definition of Citizenship
I do believe that the Bill of Rights, which pertains to the fundamental rights afforded to people in this country, defines a basic concept of the citizen within the U.S. system of government.  Without these rights, we cannot have 'the people,' etc.  That does not mean that the rights are limited only to citizens--they also extend to residents.  

In conversations with NRA activists, one of the first things they will say is that the basis for our entire Constitutional system is the 2nd Amendment--that 'without the right to protect oneself with a gun, none of the other rights matter because you've been killed.' That is the definition of the basis of the system that Scalia renders legit and which I take issue with.

For those who reject that there is any redefining of citizenship going on in Scalia's opinion,  I would simply ask that you consider where your definition of citizenship does come from and: is there a base level set of rights beyond which that citizenship begins to dissipate.   If this diary leads to that conversation, that is a good thing, whether or not people agree with my reading of DC v. Heller and its significance.

One last point: On the shock value of the title. Fair enough that some disagree with the hyperbole. Obviously, one cannot know if something has been ruined. But I do believe this ruling is fundamentally damaging to the core concepts at the heart of our system of government.  And the shock I've heard in the voices of DC residents in response to this ruling has led me to believe I am not alone.

Originally posted to Jeffrey Feldman on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:06 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Support Antonin Scalia (28+ / 0-)

    Because you want people to make sh-t up about what the founders meant.

    "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

    by skywaker9 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:07:48 AM PDT

    •  Justice Kennedy will be Replaced (4+ / 0-)

      President Obama will shift the vote from 5-4 to 4-5 when Justice Kennedy steps down

    •  Scalia ruined the country on 12/9/00 (124+ / 0-)

      When he spearheaded the issuance of the stay of the FL count.  As in Heller, he had 5 votes on his side, while Stevens, who wrote an opinion opposing the stay, only had 4.

      W/o the stay, the FL count would've gone forward, it would've shown Gore pulling ahead by 12/10, and it wouldn't have been possible for Scalia and 4 others to hijack the election on 12/12.  It's been all downhill for this Republic ever since.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:00:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  exactly. (6+ / 0-)

        Please consider helping retire Gilda Reed(D-LA-01)'s campaign debt by contributing here. Thanks!

        by NeuvoLiberal on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:26:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  actually it was Kennedy who did that spearheading (13+ / 0-)

        according to the long Oct 2004 Vanity Fair article "The Path to Florida" link which goes into how the decision was made based on interviews with outraged court clerks.

        Hawkish on impeachment.

        by clyde on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:26:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I don't know (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cathy Willey, dolphin777

        that, under this scenario, there was a chance the Supreme Court would eventually have gotten involved anyway.

        W/o the stay, the FL count would've gone forward, it would've shown Gore pulling ahead by 12/10, and it wouldn't have been possible for Scalia and 4 others to hijack the election on 12/12.  It's been all downhill for this Republic ever since.

        Remember, the Flordia legislature was already stepping in and was going to appoint a set of electors for Bush based on the language in the Constitution saying that the electors are appointed in the manner the legislature directs.   So, even if Gore had pulled ahead in the recount, there would have been two sets of electors. That either would have gone to the (Republican controlled) House or to the Supreme Court.  

        •  The Florida legislature (4+ / 0-)

          at least had the right and responsibility to determine Florida's vote.  The Supreme Court did not.

          We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. -- William Faulkner --

          by Silverbird on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:10:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My point is that (0+ / 0-)

            you can't say that, if the Supreme Court had not stopped the recount on Saturday, Gore would have been president.  Most likely, the Florida legislature would have gone forward with Bush electors and the (Repub) House of Representatives would have accepted those.  It is also possible that a dispute over which set of electors (those approved by the Flordia Legislature v. those approved by the Florida Supreme Court after the recount) to seat could have ended up in the Supreme Court anyway, with the same outcome.  

            •  All true, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Josiah Bartlett

              but if Florida had followed the election laws, Bush would have won without that cloud of stealing the election over his head in 2000.  He would have been a legitimate president under those circumstances.  Not so with the Supreme Court fixing things for the Republicans and essentially appointing him.

              We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. -- William Faulkner --

              by Silverbird on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:23:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  tut, tut (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wader, NYFM, dolphin777

        "poor" little Scalia says that whole bruhaha was GORE's fault!

        •  It's called Bush vs. Gore for a reason (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          martini, NonnyO, dolphin777, Neon Mama

          Bush took Gore to court. NOT vice versa.

          •  Gore took Bush to FL courts (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            martini, dolphin777

            which were sort of pro-Democratic.

            Bush took Gore to federal courts which turned pro-GOP, roughyl speaking, due to the 12 years Reagan-Bush stretch (longer than the 8 year Clinton-Gore stretch).

            Please consider helping retire Gilda Reed(D-LA-01)'s campaign debt by contributing here. Thanks!

            by NeuvoLiberal on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:36:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No way. Read the timeline (5+ / 0-)

              The first legal action outside normal procedure was by Bush

              November 9, 2000
              •  Gore's team requests a hand count of presidential ballots in four Florida counties (allowed under Florida Election Code 102.166),  

              November 11, 2000  
               •  The Bush camp seeks a federal injunction to stop hand recounts of ballots in several Florida counties because of alleged equal protection and other constitutional violations.

              USElections Atlas 2000 Timeline

              •  your timeline (6+ / 0-)

                or the one here that I usually link to have plenty of FL courts and the FL supreme court involved in the process.

                Baker's team apparently had the hunch that eventually the FL legal system will get all the votes counted (and Gore would then end up on top). That's why they started moving in the federal system which was pro-Republican.

                Please consider helping retire Gilda Reed(D-LA-01)'s campaign debt by contributing here. Thanks!

                by NeuvoLiberal on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:53:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  NeuvoLiberal is right (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wader, NYFM, martini, dolphin777, limpidglass

                there were two separate tracks of litigation.  Bush instituted litigation in the federal court system because they believed that the Florida Supreme Court, which was dominated by Dems, would be biased against them.  The went to federal district court, which is completely separate from the state system.  Bush filed that first.

                Then, as a separate matter, Gore filed in the state court system to, among other things, contest the election.  That was the trial in Florida State Court before Judge Saul Sanders -- that was Gore's case.  That ended up at the top of the state (not federal) system.  

                Under certain instances, a case that was litigated in the State system can go from the State Supreme Court directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.  That's what happened in Bush v. Gore.  It was Gore v. so-and so (Harris, I think, for Katherine Harris) in front of Judge Sauls, and in front of the Florida Supreme Court.  Then, Bush, as the loser in front of the Florida Supreme Court asked to go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.  In those cases, the party that is asking for U.S. Supreme Court review -- Bush -- has his name go first.  Thus, the case of Gore v. Harris in the Flordia Supreme Court changes its name to Bush v. Gore when Bush takes it to the U.S. Supreme Court.  

                •  But Gore was just trying to get votes counted (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sxp151, martini, dolphin777

                  and doing it all through normal channels.  Contesting an election is not unusual action.
                  Bush was doing everything possible to stop Gore from pursuing basically standard procedures.
                  Gore wanted to count votes, Bush did not.
                  This simple fact was in the end validated by the Florida judge who had determined that the only fair way to count was to examine all ballots, including all "under" votes and all "over" votes.

                  •  Sure. However, the point was (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    martini, MelloY

                    that the case that ended up in front of the U.S. Supreme Court was originally filed by Gore.  That's the only point I was making.  That case had three adjudications along its "track." Round 1 -- before Judge Sauls -- Bush won.  Round 2 -- Gore appeals that to the the Florida Supreme Court -- Gore wins.  Round 3 -- Bush appeals that to the U.S. Supreme Court -- Bush wins.

                    Of course, if the Supreme Court had decided not to hear the case at that time, the Florida Legislature would have appointed Bush electors (Constitution says electors are appointed in a manner as the Legislature directs).  The Legislature was in the process of doing that when the U.S. Supreme Court on that Saturday stopped the recount and announced they would hear the case.  There would have been two set of electors, one from the Florida Legislature for Bush and one from the Florida Supreme Court for Gore.  The constitution says that goes to the House (that kind of thing has happened before), which, controlled by Repubs, would have seated Bush electors anyway.  

                    •  Assuming that the vote in the Supreme Court had (0+ / 0-)

                      been 5-4 to allow the recount to continue and the recount showed that Gore won Florida,believe me,there is no way in hell that the electors named by the Florida legislature would have been accepted.

                      Its true the Constitution allows the legislature to determine how electors are chosen in the first instance but once a state says that the electors are to be chosen by popular vote of the people,they cannot change the method because they don't like the outcome of the election. By the same 5-4 vote or possible with more votes,the same Supreme Court which would have allowed the recount,would have ruled in favor of the seating of the elected Gore electors.

                      •  Perhaps I am a bit (0+ / 0-)

                        more cynical.  I think that there is no way that the Repubs in the Florida state legislature would have accepted a Gore victory in a recount.  The Repubs thought the recount was just as illegitimate as the Dems thought the Supreme Court decision was.  The Legislature absolutely would have appointed Bush electors -- Feeney had already announced that they were going to.  The process had already begun.  The Legislature had already committed.  See here.  In addition, in 1892 in McPherson v. Baker, the U.S. Supreme Court expressly said that, even when the legislature turned the selection of electors over to the people in a vote, it could take that right back at any time: "[T]here is no doubt of the right of the legislature to resume the power at any time, for it can neither be taken away nor abdicated" (quoting S. Res. No. 395, 43d Cong., 1st Sess.).  So, under Supreme Court precedent, there was pretty good argument that the Florida Legislature absolutely could appoint the electors.  Based on Rehnquist's concurrence in Bush v. Gore, it was pretty clear, too, that if the Legislature had done that, the U.S. Supreme Court (those five memembers) would have upheld the Legislature:

                        "3 U.S.C. § 5 informs our application of Art. II, §1, cl. 2, to the Florida statutory scheme, which, as the Florida Supreme Court acknowledged, took that statute into account. Section 5 provides that the State's selection of electors "shall be conclusive, and shall govern in the counting of the electoral votes" if the electors are chosen under laws enacted prior to election day, and if the selection process is completed six days prior to the meeting of the electoral college. As we noted in Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Bd., ante, at 6.

                        "Since §5 contains a principle of federal law that would assure finality of the State's determination if made pursuant to a state law in effect before the election, a legislative wish to take advantage of the ‘safe harbor' would counsel against any construction of the Election Code that Congress might deem to be a change in the law."

                        If we are to respect the legislature's Article II powers, therefore, we must ensure that postelection state-court actions do not frustrate the legislative desire to attain the "safe harbor" provided by §5."

                        I'm not sure of the basis of your opinion that those five members "would have ruled in favor of seating the Gore electors."  First, Under the precedent set in 1876 (Hayes-Tilden election) the House resolves the conflict, and that would have gone Repub.  Second, there is no reason to think the five members on the U.S. Supreme Court would have validated the electors selected under the holding of the Florida Supreme Court rather than the Flordia Legislature.  Remember, the Repubs were absolutely convinced that the Florida Supreme Court opinions were every bit as political as the Dems believed the U.S. Supreme Court decision to be.  The only difference is that, after the Florida Supreme Court decision, the Repubs still had two options -- the Legislature and the U.S. Supreme Court.  After the U.S. Supreme Court decision, the Dems really didn't have any more options.  

        •  Scalia has become arrogant and dangerous (9+ / 0-)

          He seems to prefer the days when the trains ran on time in his ancestral homeland.  KO was right to nail him for WPIW last night.

          Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

          by RFK Lives on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:30:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  His comment about "dialing the phone" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ferallike

            It went something like this,
            The homeowner can have a gun in one hand [against an intruder] while dialing the phone with the other.

            Who dials phones anymore?

            He is an arrogant anachronism.

            This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

            by Agathena on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 04:56:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is perhaps the dumbest (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Stoy, Litvak36

              criticism of Scalia I've yet read on DKos. And, considering the amount of criticism he justifiably gets around here, that's saying a lot.

              Manipulating your phone to place a call is still called "dialing", even though no phones have dials anymore.

              --Shannon

              •  I also posted a link to his interview (0+ / 0-)

                on Charlie Rose.

                Gun fanatics should listen to their hero.

                This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

                by Agathena on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 06:54:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Scalia is not my hero. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Shadan7, Litvak36, NearlyNormal

                  I happen to think his reasoning was correct in this case.

                  That doesn't mean I don't think he's a jackass.

                  --Shannon

                  •  If you think a comment is dumb, (0+ / 0-)

                    why waste your precious time responding.

                    You could be out doing some target practice. I feel safer knowing that the gun fanatics at least have good aim.

                    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

                    by Agathena on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 07:04:54 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Because the criticism was dumb. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Agathena, Litvak36

                      There are plenty of things to criticize Antonin Scalia for. I do a fair amount of it myself.

                      But using the word "dial" to describe the action of placing a call on a cellular phone is not one of them. It's the word that is used.

                      If somebody criticized George Bush for using the word 'orange" to describe the color of a tangerine, I'd call that dumb, too. And I would be saying nothing positive about Georgie-boy by doing so.

                      --Shannon

                      Oh, and my time isn't precious. I'm sitting on my ass in a hotel room in Florida, 3000 miles away from my home. On a work trip. In a thunderstorm. Time is cheap for me right now.

                    •  rude to point out that your comment is dumb? (0+ / 0-)

                      Agathena:

                      I'm not talking down to you, especially because I agree that competence is the flipside of the exercise of the right, but you have two problems with your comment:

                      (1) you refer to gun "fanatics."  I'm a huge supporter of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eight Amendments.  Does that make me a "fanatic" with regard to those Amendments?  Objection - ad hominem.

                      (2) you refer to the necessity of Leftie Gunner to:

                      be out doing some target practice. I feel safer knowing that the gun fanatics at least have good aim.

                      Modern doctrine (as taught to armed civilians, police and military) is what is called (variously) as the Combat Triad (scroll down to page seven).  

                      Although nominally considered of equal importance, many will argue that Mindset leads the pack.  Being able to punch holes in a static target with big black bull’s-eyes under normal lighting has very little in common with moving targets, moving shooters, having to contend with cover, limited ammo, reloading, malfunction clearance and doing all of the above one-handed.  

                      Gun fighting is not target shooting.  Lots of cops died in the 50s, 60s and 70s because that distinction was not made until Jeff Cooper figured it out.  Very hard to quantity, but this retired Marine has saved probably hundreds, if not thousands of lives of good guys.  

                      So please, while your opinions are welcome and add value, either give it serious thought or research it before saying something nonsensical.  

                      Lastly, to the extent raw marksmanship does play a part, your average trained citizen is a vastly superior marksman (and gun fighter) than your average patrol cop, and yet I haven't heard you decry the danger posed by hundreds of thousands of Barney Fifes.  New York City alone has 36,127 officers.  .  Shall we hazard a guess how many hours of instruction each receives?  How much practice is mandated?  Do you feel unsafe in New York because of the presence of police officers?

                      Many cops aren't gun people.  They don't like practicing, and won't do so unless paid.  They don't like shooting qualification tests.  They got the job because, as often as not, the agency was hiring.  

      •  Did you hear Scalia's excuse for that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ferallike

        on the Charlie Rose show? Interview available

        http://www.charlierose.com/...

        WARNING: very sickening interview- keep finger on fast forward.

        In short, Scalia thought the world was looking at the USA and making it a laughing stock because it couldn't resolve the election quickly.

        Tsk tsk, must not have that! Instead he puts in a buffoon, a clown that the world has been laughing at for 8 years. But he's a dangerous buffoon who has the world crying as well, over his crimes.

        This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

        by Agathena on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 04:42:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for the article (23+ / 0-)

       Of course, now you've made me need to read the entire ruling, mostly because I don't think it says what you think it says ;-)

       The thing is, the first 9 Amendments were always about individual rights.

       The 10th Amendment is the first to talk of rights of non-individuals (ie: the states). Prior to this, each of the rights enumerated, and the rights held but not enumerated (Amendment 9), were the rights of the people.

       As far as your point, I'm not sure I get the excitement. How does Scalia's argument that the 2nd Amendment is an individual right, and that it includes the right to defend one's self overrule that freedom of speech is an individual right? Is there some point where he states that the 2nd Amendment is the primary right, and that this overrules all other rights? If not, how do you draw that inference?

       While I believe that Scalia (and his ilk), have a tendency to ignore the clear intention of the other rights outlined in the Bill of Rights, the arguments he makes for the 2nd Amendment can be turned back upon him when arguing for the other Rights. I tend to think that arguments for the expansion of all the enumerated rights become stronger under his own logic.

       Finally, from a purely political point of view, the timing of this ruling is fantastic. Along with abortion, this is one of the primary hot points with regard to Supreme Court nominations that light up the Right. It is now off the table.

      •  you are more polite about the reasoning (14+ / 0-)

        presented in this diary than I can be.

        It provides abysmally poor legal analysis, supported only by purely specious propositions such as the 1st Amendment is somehow first inter pares with all others having secondary precedential import.

        I seems that the diarist is an attorney, and therefore I would ask for one citation with an explanatory parenthetical that supports such a ludricous interpretation for priority weighting amongst the various Amendments, whether as intended by Founders or anywhere within the entire corpus of Constitutional jurisprudence.

        Pure bollocks, and frankly disturbingly reminiscent of the usual ideologically driven and result oriented screed that typically comes from Scalia's pen.  

        Rome is burning ... put down the fiddle.

        by ancblu on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:22:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Wrong. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alizard, Yasuragi

        Scalia's (and your) interpretation of the 2nd Amendment which reads:

        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.

        Only makes sense if you delete the all-important opening clause:

        [T]he right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

        "Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America." --Dwight Eisenhower

        by Dragon5616 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:30:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The opening clause (9+ / 0-)

          is "all-important" only if you are trying to twist the Second Amendment away from being an individual right. What appears to be a term of art for the authors, the "right of the people", is used in the First and Fourth Amendments to clearly indicate an individual right. As is noted above, all but the Ninth and Tenth Amendments appear to enumerate individual rights, and the Ninth is added on to remind us that the prior enumeration of certain rights does not mean we don't retain others. Only the Tenth Amendment refers to the rights of the states vs the federal government. If you assume the order of the amendments had any significance, an individual right to keep and bear arms is clearly present in the total context.

          -5.12, -5.23

          We are men of action; lies do not become us.

          by ER Doc on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:11:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't assume the order of amendments (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Christy1947

            means anything. But I know when you remove a conditional clause from a statement, it changes the meaning.

            It seems clear to me that what was guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment was a well-regulated armed militia, not gun ownership for any yahoo that wanted one.

            "Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America." --Dwight Eisenhower

            by Dragon5616 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 07:47:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  If you read the history, and the Constitution, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Josiah Bartlett

            you will find that Congress has the right to raise, call up, fund, discipline and otherwise deal with militia, STATE militias, at a time when there was a great fear of a standing army independent of the states and there were state militias, but what was withheld from the Federal government, but not the state governments, was the right to disarm that militia, to eliminate it, at a time when the new Federal government was just being born and the 'government' that people knew was their own state government. If you look at the history, your interpretation should have instantly raised cases in which the 'no guns inside city limits' laws in the few cities we had then would have been disallowed. It didn't happen. Why not? Because the people who had just finished enacting the Bill of Rights knew what they meant, and the individual right to keep and use firearms for their personal purposes was not what they were dealing with in this amendment.

            Drafting rules are reasonably well known. If you have three models which include the right to use firearms for personal purposes and three that don't and the result does not include the stated right to use firearms for personal purposes, the implication of that history is that the right of personal use was NOT INCLUDED in the final enactment. There is a good reason Scalia does not consider the actual drafting history of the Second Amendment because that would show this history, and why instead he cites various state provisions in the period without showing how those various state provisions were dealt with in the formulation of the actual Second Amendment - because it does not support what he wants personally.  

            The Reconstruction era references don't help you either, as in those cases, the problem was that persons who were not white were not included within the realm of the people, were first not allowed to bear arms despite their free status and then barred from militias entirely. The problem in which those references arose was that black people were not regarded as people of equal stature with white people on any basis, a change in status stoutly resisted by white Southerners at gunpoint and burning cross point. And I remind you that all those white Southerners who rode under the Klan and similar groups all  thought they were shooting people who posed a danger to their homes and hearths, and that they were all using self defense to kill and abuse others for a century. I just wonder if they are going to be coming back, wrapped in this nonsense, calling themselves militias, although all militias referred to were organized under state law, not privately compounded and privately self-authorized. Thanks to Scalia.  

      •  I had trouble following (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc, Eirene

        that inference as well.

        "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." Mark Twain

        by dotdot on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:40:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Important to add (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sasher

        that the 10th amendment doesn't use the word "right."  because STATES DON'T HAVE RIGHTS! only individuals have rights.

      •  If you think Scalia's argument was good (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Josiah Bartlett

        I have a couple of bridges to offer you.

        I have now also read the entire mess and am horrified to watch wilful judges invent a right that has never existed before and which the Founders refused to put into the Bill of Rights on straight up and down votes. The first and most important rule of interpretation of documents after reading them is to read the legislative history of how they were adopted in the form in which they were adopted, which he and his four fellow fools refuse to do, absolutely, preferring a not terribly informed pick through the Seventeenth Century history of a battle among nobles in a different nation altogether, from which the Founding Fathers were endeavoring to extract themselves and us. That history makes clear that the Founding Fathers voted down the "right" Scalia now finds was so very basic and refused to put it into the Bill of Rights at all. So our friend the judicial activist is simply correcting the stupid mistake the Founding Fathers made in not agreeing with him, apparently principally on the ground that the pistol is the most popular current weapon in the United States among gun owners.

        Nor is he even minimally respectful of prior precedent, no matter how clear. He sort of slaps it aside by bad distinctions rather than overruling it, and then goes ahead and says a whole lot of limitations on the absolute right are still legal for a reason he does not bother to explain and which would get you or me a failing grade in any law school in which Robert Bork, who also did that sort of thing, was not teaching.

        The majority opinion, five stupid judicial activists and five lousy judges there, is almost illiterate and occupied principally with insulting the dissenters without successfully refuting them. He rejects incoherently the legislative history and the entire history of militias. He assumes an individual right to bear arms in a time when there were virtually no individual rights as we know them recognized by law, during the English Civil War and its aftermath, confusing a right possessed and recognized as being possessed by gentlemen of at least  certain rank to wear swords in public with a general right of all the residents of Great Britain, who had no such rights - the same mistake made by readers of British novels about aristocratic Brits with whom they identify when those selfsame Brits would have called their readers rabble, persons without respect. The ordinary Brit could not own and carry weapons individually in that time, only the nobles. He ignores entirely the little phrase 'according to Law" which in Britain means subject to the legislative regulation of Parliament, to claim the right was genuinely individual and not subject to any regulation at all, existing save for Stuart abuses from time immemorial.  But I guess Scalia sees right wing gun nuts as nobles and he himself as well.

        The Opinion of the Court is a disgrace, another nail in the coffin of a one respectable and respected institution, now politicized by being filled with partisan hacks who understand that now that they are usually five, no scholarship, no reasoning, not even judicial courtesy are required. I wouldn't trust these five to pick up my garbage.

    •  Oh this diary is high grade twaddle! (22+ / 0-)

      The bill of rights taken AS A WHOLE are exactly set up to protect the people from tyranny!  The diarists conclusions are at best off base and at worst ideologically motived tripe.

      Justice Stevens dissent saying that the founders did not intend to continue the centuries old common law principle of self defense is really reaching... they also did not say that they did not do that in the document, nor did they say that water is wet and the sky is blue.  To argue that a person has NO right to defend themselves is of the same bullshit cloth as Dobson saying there is no separation of church and state.. it is purely ideological with no basis in reality.

      Imagine if Stevens had been the majority opinion?

      You would today have ZERO right to defend yourself ever, for any reason.

      Yeah... You guys on the anti-gun side of the aisle really want to hitch your star to that?

      •  absolute nonsense (9+ / 0-)

        Clearly, you did not read the opinion or the dissents. Because you just made up stuff about what Stevens wrote.  

        Whenever I get accused of being 'anti-gun' it reminds me of the wingnuts who accuse me of being a 'Marxist Socialist.'  

        There's absolutely no evidence in this diary or anywhere else in anything I've ever written that I am 'anti-gun.'  

        ---
        Tired of violent language from right-wing pundits? Buy my book: Outright Barbarous

        by Jeffrey Feldman on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:24:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  LOL did you read your own diary? (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stoy, au8285, alizard, gfv6800, dewley notid

          No Evidence...of Common Law Right of Self Defense
          According to Justice Stevens in the first dissenting opinion:

          The Second Amendment was adopted to protect the right of the people of each of the several States to maintain a well-regulated militia.  It was a response to concerns raised during the ratification of the Constitution that the power of Congress to disarm the state militias and create a national standing army posed an intolerable threat to the sovereignty of the several States.  Neither the text of the Amendment nor the arguments advanced by its proponents evidenced the slightest interest in limiting any legislature’s authority to regulate private civilian uses of firearms.  

          Specifically, there is no indication that the Framers of the Amendment intended to enshrine the common-law right of self-defense in the Constitution.

          Here let me add a little emphasis on that for you since it is obvious you have forgotten the contents of your own diary.

        •  of course the Founding Fathers didn't (4+ / 0-)

          put basic common law concepts like self-defense into the Constitution. It wouldn't have occurred to them that anybody would be stupid enough to attack it, and if everything that they figured was worth preserving in common law was put in the Constitution, it would have been several hundred pages.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:33:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Why are you afraid to be anti-gun JF? (0+ / 0-)

          This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

          by Agathena on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 06:58:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  This completely misinterprets the case (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ferallike, SciVo

        And what Feldman is really also trying to say.

        Aside from the 1st v. 2d amendment stuff, there are two issues that are far more key here.

        The first is to recognize the bigger picture. While  as a moderate to Independent leaning Democrat I am almost as big on FISA and basic founding principles to prevent unchecked power as Glenn (as he well knows), if there is any Democrat in the country who at least has an agument (though I don't agree with him) to avoid taking on a particularly volatile and emotionally misleading subcompoment of the right wing rhetoric that has defined the debate in the last ten years on this issue, it would be Obama.  

        McCain is stil to the right of Obama on the larger big/authoritative/intrusive govenment issue here. And, as Glenn has well documented, his campaign has several zealous followers of the radical notion that the magic words" national security," unilaterally uttered by the President (openly or, even worse, clandestinely), automatically suspend both the rule of law and the Constitution. And this is something which goes against the heart of what this country was founded on. And which uses what countries the world over have, naively, well intentioned, or purposefully, used to circumvent the idea of checks and balances on power -- that is, "defense of the realm" -- and made countries very different than what for over 200 years we have been.

        On other issues, McCain is (similarly?) far to the right of Obama, and, again, the type of appointments he will likely make to his cabinet -- as evidenced by his campaign staff -- is also very relevant.

        Even more importantly, our Federal Court system matters. It is one third of our govermment, and it ultimately, in interpreting the laws which make us a society and civilazation, defines who we are as much as any other branch of government.

        The media does not cover it much, but there has been almost eight years of rather lopsidely right to extremely far right appointments (and on the Supremce Court, Scalia and Thomas were already far right wing conservative). The notion that the Court consists of "four liberals, one centrist, and four consevatives," is pure fancy, uttered by the Right, repeated by the media, and even some liberal Democratic media commentators.

        This matters. Idealism is great. On here I have exhibited a lot of it, constantly writing about FISA, usually being ignored, and often writing about the need for Democrats to communicate to a broader cross section of Americans, and not just to those who already have the exact same mindset; this often ignored, as well, or vehemently argued with (I'll skip those links, but further down the comment chain that is linked to is a stunning discussion).  

        But seeing the bigger picture is important. I think the FISA compromise -- allowing our government to engage in any broad based spying with no specific but only general arguments, and with no real oversight of how and to what extent, is an extremely negative development for a free and independent society.

        Yet if Obama has made a strategic decision in this very specifc regard to not take on the far right rhetoric -- which Democrats have allowed the Right to define the debate with-- I disagree, but I understand it. If Obama actually supports the compromise, I disagree far more strongly; but given what he has to offer as a candidate, in contrast to McCain's fairly rampant shift to the right and far right on underlying, fundamental issues and processes of government, this does not change what should be the focus of Democrats. Let alone by Liberals, who are to the left of me, and may or may not even think the FISA issue is as important as I do (two arguments that would suggest even greater support for Obama.)

        In pointing out one particular Supreme Court case which Feldman obviously has a strong view on, amongst many recent 5-4 decisions, Feldman is in essence making this larger point, and specifically, pointing to the issue of our Federal Court System, and Supreme Court nominees. Work on FISA, and related issues, but to lessen support of Obama because you don't like, (or are even outraged) because of it, in this broader context, would be extremely counterproductive.

        As for the second point, on the case itself, I don't think the case really comes down to whether of not someone has a right to defend thimself. One could also defend oneself with heroin laced needles, plenty of firearms -- and far worse -- that are banned, etc.  It comes down to whether a literal and broad interpretation of the meaning of the second amendment -- the only Amendment in an otherwise exceedingly sparse and concise Bill of Rights to expressly state why it is included -- is wholly preempive against all other considerations,  when that very reason that it states no longer even exists in the abstract.

        It is ironic, though, that the better rationale in theory -- defense from an overly imperial government (although I think in the modern age this is pretty stretched, to say the least) -- for whatever reason, tends in general to be supported by those who seem to cheerlead for, rather than seeks checks upon, that same governmental power.

        •  I do not see how my response to the diary (8+ / 0-)

          has anything to do with FISA or my support of Obama, but be that as it may..

          Most of the people here railing against this decision often overlook a key word in the 2nd:  PEOPLE.  In order for this to be a collective right as many wish it to be the 2nd would have to be the only amendment in the bill of rights in which that word is not used to define an individual right.

          uhmmm that seems like an extreme reach considering how precise the language is throughout.

          Also the right to keep and bear arms (which shall not be infringed the strongest defensive language in any of the amendments) is placed in the hands of the people and NOT the state.

          Why if they were worried about state sovereignty would they place that power in the hands of the great unwashed?

          Their arguments do not hold water.

          •  yes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SciVo

            But I was making two points. First, regarding the ovewhelming substance of Feldman's argument (whether he is right or wrong), I don't think that one has to believe that one has no right to defend themselves to disagree with the majority in this case, as I believe I pretty well laid out in the comment you are responding to. Regardless of what Stevens wrote, the fact is that Handguns are just one of many means to defend oneself, many of which are barred, and on which all people agree. Thus the issue is, as laid out above:

            It comes down to whether a literal and broad interpretation of the meaning of the second amendment -- the only Amendment in an otherwise exceedingly sparse and concise Bill of Rights to expressly state why it is included -- is wholly preempive against all other considerations,  when that very reason that it states no longer even exists in the abstract.

            Second, Feldman's main purpose, whether he chose the right vehicle or not, was trying to paint the larger broader differences here between the two candidates, and implications for their victory.

            I heard this repeatedly in 2000 from people, Democrats and Liberals, who during the election campaign argued that Gore and Bush were essentially the same.  I am not saying that that is the argument now, but what is happening is very relevant to what was then a very counterproductive view.  (Me saying it at the time means nothing now, but it was frustrating that Democrats were buying media parroting of right wing points, and not seeing the profound differences between the two.) It's a bigger focus thing, which Republicans seem to have in spades, while Democrats seem to often like to quibble. I am not calling FISA a quibble by any means, but if it shifts focus away when McCain on this very same issue is even more authoritarian -- let alone the other points raised above, it is a similar process.  

            Granted, Feldman got all worked up about this particular case. And it is in interesting Con Law case no dout, upon which he has a very passionate view; but I think he was making it to illustrate the larger point of the direction of our Courts. (Again, a very valid point, regardless of one's feeing on this case.)  Again, as for the actual constitutional law issue, which you did focus on (fair enough), again, I don't agree at all with the reasoning that disagreement (regardless of What Stevens wrote) is predicated on there being no right to defend oneself, or even predominantly so.  

            That said, I don't think my title line to the comment was necessarily a good one.

            •  I had a much better reply earlier (0+ / 0-)

              but the house got hit by the storm that rolled through Omaha today and took out the power.. and my windows and the tree..(I'll diary it later).  But to shorten it up:

              Feldman is incorrect in his thinking that this decision elevates the 2nd above the first.. in practical terms the second amendment has always been the point of the spear of the bill of rights (pun not intended but not shunned either).  The bill of rights as a whole is to guarantee the ability of the people in case of.. oh I don't know a rapacious unitary executive running amok or other such eventualities that would endanger the people' liberty; to have a fighting chance of halting it.

              Taking it as a whole in conjunction with the operative section of declaration of independence and mindful that the pair of them were written by a group of revolutionaries who had just expelled the legal government of the colonies... They gave you first up:  The right to talk about things including how shitty the situation IS and organize accordingly.  Second up:  The ability to resist on nearly equal terms an armed force.  And the rest of them are there to make it a stone cold bitch for the government to break up the plots.

              It also doesn't hurt that a number of the state constitutions written just after the revolution such as Vermont' IIRC and a few others enshrine the right of the people to rebel in case of usurpations of their liberty.

              So there is a pretty defensible position to be had in that the second is the "in case of emergency break glass" amendment.  It would be an even clearer position if not for the civil war which muddied the position.  

              Just noticed that this is not very short.. nor is it roughly the same as the response I had keyed up already when the power went out last time... oh well.

              The point being made by Feldman in the block quoted text is well written but baseless as well, as 26 states still maintain separate militia forces officially.  Including two such liberal bastion states as California and New York.

              These forces are in addition to the national guard contingents of each state and have been used to supplement them and assist them.  California maintains a TOE for an armored division with attached mechanized infantry brigade (or vice versa I am a bit scattered right now after the events of the day).  And does have the equipment for the unit and personnel at a light cadre strength for it.  You can also if a member purchase from Federal surplus stocks (and mind you it has been nearly 30 years since I lived there so I will be using what I remember from that time), an M-14 for $20.  Now they have probably upgraded the long gun to the M-16 by now but the point remains that they have always actively supported their militia force.

              Same goes for New York who not only maintains a TOE for four mech infantry brigades but also has a naval and Marine contingent.  All of which were deployed after 911 and answered only to the governor of New York.

              So Feldman's statement that "when that very reason that it states no longer exists in the abstract." is off, as the concept exists in the concrete.  But it is a forgivable statement as not many people actually know that there are still state militias organized, supported and armed by their states in more then half the union.  They just assume that the National guard fills that role, and in a little less then half the union they do; but that is only as long as the states in question allow them to as the defense act of 1940 that reorganized the national guard and militias of the nation allows them to have BOTH.

              Also under that act modifications were made to the civil code governing militias that broke them down into the "organized" and "unorganized" militias.

              Unorganized is as it has been since 1791 every male over the age of 16 and not over 65 in a State.  Yup every single man on here has been a member of the unorganized militia of his state since his 16th birthday an fully callable to service by the governor of his state in case of an emergency.  

              The organized militia consists of those formally inducted into the militia with uniforms who have gone through Federal training:  Yup, if you join the organized militia you have to go to Federal boot camp and receive the exact same level of training as our military.  The states may commission their own officers to lead their militias (each state still has a headquarters camp for their national guard/militia with a training center for that), whose ranks in case of federalization are recognized by the Feds.

              Hell there are still laws on the books in a whole lot of states that require, yes REQUIRE a man upon reaching the age of 16 or above to contact their states militia coordinator and find out what the states official long gun is and then purchase it.

              The laws governing the existence of militias have been on the books since the constitution.  The first of them was written and voted into being essentially by the same group of people that wrote the document.  And they have never been stricken off the books, only modified, further defined and expanded.

              Now his sweeping point about the courts moving in a particular direction is a valid one.  I will point out that I don't have a particular problem with that in some areas as the left is incorrect in their reading of the law in those areas (Steven' dissent being a prime example).  But overall it is something that is not a good thing for the liberty of us all since the right is annoyingly incapable of reading the section of the constitution that states that all rights not defined/declared/written HERE remain in the possession of the people..

              They literally in some cases think that the only rights we have are the ones in the constitution.. no.  The constitution defines what the state CAN'T do not what I CAN do.

          •  Because they weren't placing it in the hands of (0+ / 0-)

            the great unwashed. They were placing the right to have armed people to call up in the hands of the state, and officers appointed by the state to give orders to the armed men, in a way not capable of being abolished by the Federal government,  which  state was to produce a well regulated militia with those armed people. The corollary regulations which both sides cite is that well regulated militias were populated by people who signed up for the duty and were 'called up' when an emergency arose, who drilled regularly, and that each militiaman had a state- specified quantity of weaponry and ammunition which he had to have available to bring with him when called up. And the duty to go when called, until released. At which time they put the weaponry away as local law required and resumed being farmers, cobblers, etc. That's what a militia was, then. A group of armed men not constituting militia was called a mob then as well.  Or a 'gang'. Or 'rebels.' Militias were called up to fight against mobs, and Whiskey rebels and the like. Not to shoot bears or the neighbors you don't like.

            And if the purpose of allowing people to keep and bear arms is to provide troops for a well regulated militia without the state having to buy and maintain the arms or maintain the troops between callups, then the converse, when there is no more militia to be well regulated or populated with armed white male persons who can afford firearms, also applies, namely the "right" itself, no longer called forth to support its  stated purpose, vanishes, not grows to gargantuan proportions to cover every single individual use to which individuals who aren't in militias and never will be and are not under any sort of external discipline, want to put firearms, since that right was protected for a specific purpose no longer capable of being carried out, because we don't have militias anymore. Now, we have state National Guards, and nobody is saying here that the duty of those who enlist in the state National Guard is to bring weapons in specified quantity with them when they enlist.

            •  the right to bear the arms was the peoples (0+ / 0-)

              the right to organize them was the states.

              And just to give you a heads up:  26 states still have militias officially you may want to hit the google and look up "state defense forces".

              California maintains a full divisional strength TOE and has a light cadre sized group of personnel for that division.  And they also maintain the tanks, artillery, and heavy vehicles FOR that unit in State armories.  This unit exists in addition to and supplemental of the national guard units in California.

              New York also have not only several brigades of infantry (and cadre strength personnel for same), but also maintains a Naval and Marine contingent.

              Hey I can understand why some of you guys take the position that you do but it is based on BS as the states still have their militias.  Actively in 26 of the 50 states currently and can be the case in all 50 if the state legislatures call them up... because the "unorganized" militia still consists of every male over the age of 16 and not older then 65 IN ALL STATES of the union just as it has been since 1791!  None of the militia reorganizing acts that have come since then have abolished that, no they have gone out of their way in a couple of cases to make sure it still exists!  Inclusive of the defense authorization acts of 1940 that organized the modern national guard and further organized the state militias.

              So you are starting from a point of not having all the facts in the matter.

              National guard units are defined as FEDERAL units on loan to a state and can be authorized by the state to have militia powers, but they are not required TO have them.  The states can and in 26 cases still maintain separate militia contingents in addition to or in place of national guard units (none actually have them instead of but they could if they wished.)

              Hell when I lived in California the states official long arm was transitioning from the M-1 Garand (which you could still purchase from federal surplus stocks at a LOW price) to the M-14 which you could pick up from surplus federal stocks for $20.  A fully automatic weapon purchased for $20!  But you had to be a member of the states organized militia to do so, which in practical terms means you had to be a veteran of the federal forces and enlisted in the state militia as all organized militia are required to go through federal boot camp and MOS training.. and the states don't want to pay for that  a whole lot in peace time.  But in case of emergency the states can and HAVE called up their unorganized militia (some as late as the 1960's).

              So, no we still have the state militia the name has only changed to defense forces.  Here is a link to the google search that I just pulled up.

              Notice that you have Alabama(called up during Katrina), Oregon, New York, Alaska, Georgia, Louisiana (they were responders during Katrina and called up by the governor), Mississippi (who also were called up during Katrina),  and a whole lot of other states...

              You also might want to check the blue pages in your phone book and see if you have "military department" listed...

        •  Remember, they're authoritarian *corporatists* (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happymisanthropy

          They're plutocrats. To them, the state exists as an instrument for the will of the wealthy. Due to the ontologically absurd shortcut of claiming that corporations are people (instead of just defining the proper legal powers of organizations), this may be intended to grant broad weapon-bearing powers to corporations.

          I also believe we must impeach Antonin Scalia for protection from his inhumanity.

          by SciVo on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 03:32:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  When TX passed Right to Carry, everyone was (6+ / 0-)

      certain there'd be blood in the streets... shoot-outs on Main street.

      Although I was not in favor of this law, the Cassandra's were wrong. So before we pull all our hair out over this, let's wait and see what happens.

      Let's see how the law handles crimes that may be committed. I believe that Texas does have a right to protect yourself and property now.

      The law is the law as decided by the SC. Let's see how it plays out.

      And, YES, we do need a Dem President to shift the court. See my signature.

      It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

      by auapplemac on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:04:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You cannot call anyone who was wrong (6+ / 0-)

        a "Cassandra". Cassandra prophesied bad things, but nobody believed her, and she was always right.

        Which is pretty much 2/3s opposite of what you said.

        A better reference would be "chicken little", who said that the sky was falling, and everybody believed her, but she was wrong.

        Sorry, it's a pet peeve of mine.

        Substantively, now that Texas has several years of shall-issue, and the results have been what they have been, has your opinion of concealed carry liberalization changed?

        BTW, though I've never lived in Texas, I'm pretty sure that the legality of using deadly force to protect property (only after dark, IIRC) predates the change in the concealed carry statute by about 150 years, and is, so far as I know, unique to Texas. And while I am as close to a 2nd Amendment absolutist as you're likely to find among liberals, (I view "guns" and "words" as Constitutionally interchangeable), I disagree with Texas law on this point. Deadly force should be reserved to defense against deadly force. The threat of death or serious bodily harm is the only justification I'm comfortable with.

        --Shannon

        •  I questioned my usage, thanks for the correction. (0+ / 0-)

          Was going to refer to Pandora's Box, but Cassandra won out - my mistake.

          BTW, I agree with our about use of force.

          It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

          by auapplemac on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 05:28:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Chicken(s) Little indeed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Litvak36

          There is this bizarre notion among anti-gun types that possession of a gun will transform normally law abiding citizens into trigger happy vigilantes or "Wild West" gun slingers.

          I live in Indiana which has one of the nation's oldest right to carry provisions and our violent crime is not disproportionate to states that do not allow residents to carry firearms.  DC and Chicago have had plenty of violence over the decades their laws banning (here is the important part) law abiding citizens from possessing handguns have been in place. It is not a hard concept: criminals break laws, including laws that say they cannot have guns.  Gun free zones on school grounds are only free from law abiding citizens carrying guns.

          What is the proper response from the citizen when confronted by a criminal in his/her house, when a homicidal ex-husband or ex-boyfriend or stalker violates a restraining order or a disturbed individual comes onto campus and starts shooting?  What is the acceptable thing to do while the citizen waits for the police to arrive with their guns?  In the victim's world civilization is on hold, laws have no immediate consequence or authority when you have no ability to escape, laws provide no justice while you are being raped, beaten, stabbed, robbed or shot.  If your city is flooded or a mob threatens your life and livelihood and the law has broken down, what is the lawful course of action?

          I work at a gun store. On a weekly basis I sell "assault rifles", AKs, shotguns, handguns and if a customer is inclined to fork up the dough, wait 90 days and pay the government $200 for the privilege, Class III items such as silencers, short barreled rifles and shotguns and even fully auto machine guns. I regularly talk to customers who have three, four, eight, 15, several dozens, over one hundred guns, own machine guns, silencers, "assault rifles".  My customers are not committing crimes, getting into altercations with people and popping the proverbial cap in someone's ass.  Gun crime is committed almost exclusively by men, usually young, some of them gang members, who get guns that were most likely stolen from law abiding citizens.  But don't think that if all guns were banned then there would be no guns to steal, because there are about as many guns as people in this country and you will never get them all; any more than the government could confiscate all of the can openers in this country. And like a can opener, if you can't buy one, someone will make one. Sure, it is harder, but far from impossible.  The famous Uzi was developed and built in underground Jewish arsenals.

          Guns are not evil, they do not turn people into criminals, nor are they magic, they won't protect you or your property just because you own one.  The problem with gun violence is the violence, not the gun.  Guns are merely technology.  People are the problem.

          ePluribus Media - Truth be told.

          by Stoy on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 08:06:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Different perspectives .... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      max stirner, gfv6800, SciVo

      Today I heard Ray Schoenke, president of the  American Hunters and Shooters Association, say on national radio that "the real loser here is the NRA, because it's been fighting any regulations on firearms."

      And in an editorial today, the very progressive Capital Times of Madison, Wis., sided with Sen. Russ Feingold in backing the decision. (The editorial probably was written by John Nichols, well-known defender of the Constitution and the newspaper's associate editor.) Here are some excerpts ....

      "If there was any doubt about the intent of the amendment -- despite an arcane and potentially confusing reference to a "well-regulated militia" -- the fundamental framer of the document, James Madison, removed it with his statement in the Federalist Papers: 'Americans have the right and advantage of being armed -- unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.' ....

      "The notion that law-abiding citizens can be forced to give up their guns is a fantasy promoted by those who neither understand nor respect the healthy distrust of government that has always underpinned the American experiment."

      The editorial says the Supreme Court has reaffirmed "a real right" while at the same time accepting reasonable regulation for public safety.

      It quotes Feingold, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Constitution subcommittee, who said:  "This is an important decision for millions of law-abiding gun owners. Public safety must be ensured without depriving our citizens of their constitutional rights."

      The editorial calls that "an appropriate standard. Indeed, it has been the law of the land for 220 years."

    •  There May Be An Oblique Agenda At Work Here (0+ / 0-)

      Excuse me for sounding paranoid (which has pretty much become a way of life in these supposedly UNITED STATES under the dictatorship of the present [horrendous] administration) but I would like to put something out here that many may not realize, whether it comes to pass or not - the issue of gun ownership MAY be the precursor of 'setting the American public up' prior to Martial Law being enacted.

      Imagine this scenario - you're a young enlisted soldier in our Army, martial law has been enacted and your unit has been deployed into Big City, USA.  You've been brainwashed into believeing that every civilian 'out there' is your enemy and that you must be prepared to 'shoot first and ask questions later.'  You arrive 'on station', you start your patrols and lo and behold your unit comes up against 'one of America's Last Patriots' who just happens to pointing a large handgun at you because he/she isn't about to relinguish anything more than what they've already been forced to give up (home, job, money, etc. via our corrupt government.) So what would this kid/soldier do?  His conscience is tearing at him because he's face-to-face with a fellow citizen and he really doesn't want to shoot a fellow citizen. BUT because SCOTUS 'was directed' to take up the matter of gun ownership at a time in our nation's history when to do so can only be seen as not a very good time to broach the subject, the American citizen is armed and is now a much less-objectionable target to the kid/soldier.  And BAM! the American citizen is deader than a door nail and the kid's conscience is clear.

      My point is this - behind every move governments make there is ALWAYS an ulterior motive.  If, by saying that Americans can possess firearms, did not SCOTUS just place Americans in the crosshairs of being murdered by troops that now would have every guilt-removing-reason to shoot first?

      It's a point of view worth discussing....

      •  Interesting point. (0+ / 0-)

        If I am not mistaken, sedition and rebellion inside the United States are the two things which might allow martial law. Of course, with the 'unitary presidency' and the claims that unitary president has all the rights he needs because we are at war in Iraq, it is unclear what rights Martial law might give that he does not already claim to have, since he has in a unitary presidency no obligation to explain to us what he has done and under what claim of right he has done it.

  •  with all respect to Keith and Glenn (143+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JD SoOR, Sharon, Ed in Montana, Cathy Willey, MrHinkyDink, Tulip, Superribbie, JeffLieber, Citizen Earth, Avila, Debby, billlaurelMD, Lipstick Liberal, ChurchofBruce, RFK Lives, shpilk, musicsleuth, bumblebums, sardonyx, RubDMC, mrsdbrown1, opinionated, bronte17, SamSinister, sxp151, ask, Sasha Bear, roses, sgilman, House, Jesterfox, Catte Nappe, Tillie630, kalmoth, Dood Abides, dkmich, bwintx, NapaJulie, ebbinflo, Los Diablo, paige, radarlady, greycat, Nadnerb in NC, Freakinout daily, LostInTexas, PBen, Simplify, TigerMom, Ivan Carter, dansk47, pasadena beggar, GreyHawk, Wufacta, blue jersey mom, deep, Thaddaeus Toad, bookwoman, JanL, Ekaterin, roubs, Mehitabel9, mariva, Mother Mags, martini, occams hatchet, Showman, dannyinla, trashablanca, hlee1169, iheartbooks, ferallike, OH 09 Dem, Naranjadia, watch out for snakes, kck, tecampbell, imabluemerkin, justalittlebitcrazy, CTLiberal, Andy30tx, MBNYC, fezzik, va dare, Granny Doc, Little, Pandoras Box, NonnyO, AmericanRiverCanyon, bigchin, Tamar, Cronesense, oscarsmom, DAO, threegoal, yoduuuh do or do not, edsbrooklyn, FishOutofWater, power2truth, kath25, Matt Z, jedennis, akdude6016, vbdietz, Reno Biff, cville townie, Mad Kossack, kimoconnor, dotster, pepper mint, TheLoneliestMonk, dagnabbit, wtpvideo, Guadalupe59, goshzilla, billybam, maggiejean, smellybeast, pacific ocean park, meatwad420, Toe Jam, BoiseBlue, Shhs, Rabbithead, SciVo, Daily Activist, BDsTrinity, redtex, ElizabethRegina1558, allep10, Losty, D Wreck, MizKit, myelinate, NThenUDie, lovelyivy, roadbear, Alctel, El Ochito, Mara Jade, JJC, Cammi317, Mariken

    both of whom I respect enormously.

    DC v. Heller is so much more important than the argument that is currently absorbing all attention on this blog.  Please, everyone!  Read the Stevens/Breyer dissents and the Scalia opinion and push back against this quiet revolution that happened under the guise of 'gun' rights.

    ---
    Tired of violent language from right-wing pundits? Buy my book: Outright Barbarous

    by Jeffrey Feldman on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:08:20 AM PDT

    •  difference between liberal & conservative (46+ / 0-)

      You clearly defined the difference in bold.

      In that argument are the seeds of a fundamental change in what it means to be an American citizen--what it means to be a free person.  

      On the one hand, we have a vision of the world where one is free by virtue of the right to express oneself.  On the other hand, we have a vision of the world where one is free by virtue of the right to shoot a potential attacker.

      The Framers of the Constitution set up a system that defined freedom in one way, not the other.  The DC v. Heller majority opinion reversed that.

      According to the court, we now live in a world where the freedom to use a gun in moments of confrontation--albeit with some limits--is a fundamental right above all else.

      Highly recommended.

      "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:12:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dude, quit it with the smartitude! (13+ / 0-)

      T & R'd.

      David Vitter Pleasure Pants, by Huggies, sizes 1 through adult

      by JeffLieber on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:28:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm recommending you and the diary although (6+ / 0-)

      I think your premise is pushing at the wrong angle of the real meaning of this decision.

      It's all about commerce, about making money. The Supreme Court has clearly sated States cannot restrict commerce inside their own borders, and it even mandates that details like trigger locks cannot be forced upon an industry.

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      Will seat belts be next?

      "You know what the real fight is? The real fight is the definition of what is reality." Bernie Sanders

      by shpilk on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:29:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Trigger locks (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OH 09 Dem, Eirene

        See my diary on this.  Actually, Scalia's decision says that DC can't require trigger locks on the presumption that they can't prevent someone from having immediate access to a functional gun.  To the extent that trigger locks are designed to provide access within a very short amount of time, to someone who knows how to open them, Scalia's opinion actually suggests that they would be constitutional.

        John McCain's Court will overturn Roe; don't kid yourself.

        by Seneca Doane on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:01:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am a BIG fan of Trigger locks, I have (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Seneca Doane, Yasuragi

          friends who have had to have access to their gun literally in a heart beat and had no problem with the trigger lock. I have never had a problem getting one off either. IMO every gun hand gun or long gun should have one, it is mighty cheap insurance.

          •  I've always thought (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Seneca Doane, snackdoodle

            biometrics would be good. a simple computer in the handle that reads your thumb print.

          •  As I say in the other diary (0+ / 0-)

            I think that DC could pass this ordinance again requiring trigger locks that didn't prevent use of the gun for self-defense, and it should pass muster under this decision.  Scalia should have done what DC asked him to do and construe the law to allow self-defense in the home.

            John McCain's Court will overturn Roe; don't kid yourself.

            by Seneca Doane on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:22:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  your kid won't have any problem with a gun lock (0+ / 0-)

            either. definatelt not anti gun here but if you youtube "picking gun lock" you'll come up with a zillion instructional videos on how to open them. i have personally tried them and can affirm that it is quite simple. most all locks can be opened very easily by the way.

            gun safe you say?

            yep, gotta love those gun locks...

            impeach-it does the body good impeachment-it isn't just for blow jobs anymore impeachment-i can say no more i expect no less

            by playtonjr on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 06:13:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I believe the purpose for gun locks is to (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              playtonjr

              intended to prevent children from getting a hold of guns kept available for adults to defend their homes.
              Gun Violence statistics

              Children and Gun Violence
              In a single year, 3,012 children and teens were killed by gunfire in the United States, according to the latest national data released in 2002. That is one child every three hours; eight children every day; and more than 50 children every week. And every year, at least 4 to 5 times as many kids and teens suffer from non-fatal firearm injuries. (Children's Defense Fund and National Center for Health Statistics)

              America and Gun Violence
              American children are more at risk from firearms than the children of any other industrialized nation. In one year, firearms killed no children in Japan, 19 in Great Britain, 57 in Germany, 109 in France, 153 in Canada, and 5,285 in the United States. (Centers for Disease Control)

              School Safety

              Between 1994 and 1999, there were 220 school associated violent events resulting in 253 deaths -  74.5% of these involved firearms. Handguns caused almost 60% of these deaths. (Journal of American Medical Association, December 2001)
               In 1998-99 academic year, 3,523 students were expelled for bringing a firearm to school.This is a decrease from the 5,724 students expelled in 1996-97 for bringing a firearm to school. (U.S. Department of Education, October 2000)
               Nearly 8% of adolescents in urban junior and senior high schools miss at least one day of school each month because they are afraid to attend. (National Mental Health & Education Center for Children & Families, National Association of School Psychologists 1998)

              The National School Boards Association estimates that more than 135,000 guns are brought into U.S. schools each day. (NSBA, 1993)

              Children and Gun Violence

              America is losing too many children to gun violence. Between 1979 and 2001, gunfire killed 90,000 children and teens in America. (Children's Defense Fund and National Center for Health Statistics)
               In one year, more children and teens died from gunfire than from cancer, pneumonia, influenza, asthma, and HIV/AIDS combined. (Children's Defense Fund)
               The rate of firearm deaths among kids under age 15 is almost 12 times higher in the United States than in 25 other industrialized countries combined. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

              Now of course, a teen can pick a lock, but younger children cannot. And since young children imitate adult behaviors and witness gun violence on television/video games etc., a trigger lock could prevent many of the above deaths.

              But this discussion if far from the intended point of the diarest's intent. I don't believe he meant for his diary to be an issue about guns but rather about the intent of Scalia's opinion and it's rebuttles by:
              Stevens

              there is no indication that the Framers of the Amendment intended to enshrine the common-law right of self-defense in the Constitution.

              Steven's maintains that it is not up to the Federal courts to decide what is particular to common law which is decided at the county or state level. Common law is decided only for a specific jurisdiction and is restricted to the decisions made at the highest appellate court within that jurisdiction. Laws derived at the state/ county  level are likely to be more appropriate to the will of the people within a specific state or county jurisdiction. In essence, Stevens was saying that the decision of the lower courts should stand.

              Justice Bryer said

              Far more important are the unfortunate consequences that today’s decision is likely to spawn.  Not least of these, as I have said, is the fact that the decision threatens to throw into doubt the constitutionality of gun laws throughout the United States.

              Breyer's opinion is that this decision will likely make all state laws regarding gun ownership unconstitutional. If that happens then the judicial power over gun ownership with be very concentrated and concentrated power is very dangerous.

              Scalia, in effect just usurped power from the states with his decision. He just Federalized gun laws and took the power away from the states to decide their own gun laws. And by doing so, with his record and that of the majority of the other jurists as proven by this ruling, gun ownership could extend beyond self protection to vigilantism. Scalia, by his own language, just gave an armed citizen the dangerous right to use his gun to settle confrontation. This was not the original intent to allow citizens to arm themselves to preserve their freedoms and life and property.

              The beatings will continue until morale improves.

              by ferallike on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 12:32:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  while i agree with you i was pointing out to some (0+ / 0-)

                one makng an earlier comment that these gun locks are not all they are cracked up to be. you wouldbe wrong to assume that younger kids cannot pick locks on guns or even a gun safe or the door lock leading to a room containing guns. i did't sort those videos by age but there are many kids that can do just what is shown in those videos.

                these videos are all kids picking locks, two of them gun locks.

                impeach-it does the body good impeachment-it isn't just for blow jobs anymore impeachment-i can say no more i expect no less

                by playtonjr on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 04:29:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  any kid who can crack a Sargent & Greenleaf (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  playtonjr

                  combination lock deserves a free ride to MIT for a mechanical engineering degree.  

                  And they're pretty much the industry standard on gun safes.  

                  •  any, i repeat, any lock can be picked, i don't (0+ / 0-)

                    care who made it. if unable to be opened without a key locksmiths would look stupid. i used to remodel closed down banks that were converted for use by a well known stck brokerage firm. all had their safes intact. in many case we had to call in locksmiths to "crack" them. i was amazed at how fast some of them could open the big diebolds with electronic locks. one we did in schomberg (sp) illinois was the latest and greatest, the kid they sent out had it open in 38 minutes, we timed him in action.
                      most gun safes i see sold in places that sell gun safes do not use the sargent/greenleaf. fact is most gun safes have pin tumbler cylinder locks. i doubt the average gun owner will fork over the cost for one of those bad boys.

                    impeach-it does the body good impeachment-it isn't just for blow jobs anymore impeachment-i can say no more i expect no less

                    by playtonjr on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 05:43:16 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  oh, and by the way.... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Aristodemus

                    there are youtube videos of sargent/greenleafs being picked but wisely, the person posting them diabled the urls. no shit, check it out...

                    impeach-it does the body good impeachment-it isn't just for blow jobs anymore impeachment-i can say no more i expect no less

                    by playtonjr on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 05:48:18 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  time to build a better mousetrap, apparently (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      playtonjr

                      there are youtube videos of sargent/greenleafs being picked but wisely, the person posting them diabled the urls. no shit, check it out...

                      No shit?  Gimme a few hints how to find the video.  I was under the impression the only way past a mechanical S&G (not an electronic) was brute force.  But, if there's something better, I'll buy it.  

                      I think it is immoral to do less than everything you can (afford) to do to prevent the theft of weapons.  

                      Point of fact (although I have to check the manual), I believe my safe comes with a $25K insurance policy from the manufacturer.  I am not disagreeing with you, but this is a very large manufacturer and if it was so easy to pick the lock I would expect them to be reticent about such guarantees.  

                      •  a better mouse trap will always run into a smart- (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Aristodemus

                        er mouse apparently. i first started looking into this whole lock picking thing after watching a story on the news regarding something they call a "bump key". i am by no means a locksmith but i do install doors and of course, the locks to go on them. seeing the story on the news worried me because bump keying looked too easy, (they had a small kid demonstrating) and it can be done to ANY, yes, ANY typical and even no so typical lock- regardless of the manifacturers claims of security.
                        upon personally investigating "bump keys" i realized that with a simple search on google or youtube that there are literally tens of thousands of instructional videos on how to open ANY lock, safe, you name it you'll find it.
                          i posted them in these diaries regarding guns in hopes maybe someone would look and take heed that just assuming guns are safe in their houehold from their kids is not necessarily true, not as some sort of anti gun sentiment. i applaud you for paying attention, Aristo, sadly you were the only one that did.
                          i can't remember now how i found the Sargent/Greenleaf video last night, the best "pickers" disable the embed urls on youtube anyway, but here are a few to give you pause.

                        and there are a multitude of websites such as this where any answer tp any question regarding locks can be had: http://ezpicking.com/...
                                   http://www.scribd.com/...

                        http://www.lockpicking101.com/

                           

                        impeach-it does the body good impeachment-it isn't just for blow jobs anymore impeachment-i can say no more i expect no less

                        by playtonjr on Sun Jun 29, 2008 at 06:17:49 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  never did like those hotel "safes" (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          playtonjr

                          Outstanding, playtonjr, outstanding.  You get your case of beer for that one.  Thank you for starting the research thread, as I'll pick (no pun) it up and further my education.  

                          Now add this.

                          The efficacy of cracking a safe containing lethal weapons -- and particularly defense against such attack -- raises additional moral and legal questions.  Keeping in mind that a safe is usually rated in terms of "time," i.e., crack time, cut time etc., if there are cracking techniques significantly faster than the cut time, is it moral and/or legal to have a secondary defense inside the safe that would dose the unauthorized entrant with chemical agents?  Lethal agents?  

                          I'm not sure the old spring-gun rules would apply anymore, especially to the extent some of our colleagues believe a firearm is just a violent crime waiting to happen.  In such cases the theft of lethal weapons would justify a lethal defense.  If they’re correct, that is.  

                          But you raise excellent points with which I wish to become familiar, so that I might administer a more thorough ball-breaking when I next speak to an S&G representative.  

                          But this also raises an interesting First/Second Amendment tension.  Firearms are weapons that may be used either lawfully or unlawfully.  Many of our colleagues have argued analogies about the First Amendment.  Let's ignore the issue of whether the Framers could anticipate the internet or other mass media.  Would it be constitutional to criminalize the instantaneous and indiscriminate distribution of instructional material that may be used lawfully (by professional locksmiths or hobbyist lock-pickers) or unlawfully (by anyone intending to circumvent a lock to commit a B&E, burglary or theft)?  

                          I think because the answer as to the First Amendment is clearly "NO" that the answer to the equivalent question, applied to the Second Amendment, is an equally emphatic "NO."  

                          As has been repeated many, many times in the past days, freedom isn't particularly safe.  

                          But you and I were discussing collateral technical matters (but fascinating, especially to the teenage larcon (not modern usage, but still kosher) in me), and again, you get a big Two Thumbs Up for delivering the goods.  Bravo, dude.  

                          •  well arista, i can already tell you this much, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Aristodemus

                            most states have laws covering "boobytrapping", they call them differently state to state but it falls under the same laws as bomb making with intent. while i agree that it is tempting it is not only against state laws but if said device uses even the smallest explosive to activate it, it would fall under BTAF law making it a federal offense.
                              when i lived in phoenix years ago a guy who oned a body shop had gotten broken into 8-9 times in a single month. he was a ex military demolitions expert and had enough and had a solution for it. he set coffee cans up full of ball bearings and a little c-4. as luck would have it soon after a ATF agent walked in, knew what he was looking at and off to jail the guy went. my first thought was what if it had worked, how would you explain what had happened?
                              occasionally you here of marijuana grow houses and now, meth labs as well, booby trapped. they end up charged for those booby traps.
                              i checked Florida law on spring guns as well as PCP's before buying one. they are not considered a firearm primarily due to lack of powder as a propellant. it wa when i started in looking at what to buy when i realized that some come with silencers, particularly those out of the UK. i looked up fedral law pertaining to silencers on airguns and had to call the ATF a number of times for clarification- a silencer permanently affixed by the manufacture is legal.
                              that to me is bizarre, i mean you would have to jump through a lot of hoops to obtain a silencer for a firearm, special licencing, taxes, ect, but it does not apply to an airgun? WTF? it may sound strange the need to put one on an air gun, most folks aren't versed on air guns and think they are like bb guns of the daisy red rider era. anything traveling at about 1,100 ft per second makes a loud crack as it surpasses the speed of sound. so there is a use for them, personally i don't have one as i don't see the need for it. it just blows my mind that if i want one i can legally have one but you as a firearm cannot.
                              as for the air guns of this day and age, well, they aren't red riders! i have 2 big bores, one being a .44 and the other a .50. the .50 slings a 225 gr. wad of shit at a force of 500 ft lbs. how is that any less deadly tham any firearm on the market?
                              as i was reading through the fed gun laws i also ran into one regarding corporations buying full auto, silencers, anti tank, ect weapons something they call SOT or Special Occupational Taxpayer. i asked a FFL friend of mine about that, talk about a loophole from hell. it basically says that a coporation can bypass the waiting period, the fingerprinting and all of that crap and move right onto buying crap that you and i could never own. what is more scarey, an individual buying a gun or a corporation buying 10,000 H&K MP7's? this is how firms like Blackwater, Dyn-corp, Triple canopy and the like obtain the weapons they use. you probably saw the recent story of Camden County, N.C. and the AK's Blackwater provided.
                               so yeah, it's this culmination of bullshit regarding gun laws that i have found just in researching my right to own air guns i feel needs pointed out. the gun lovers are too ecstatic to even talk to about all of the other diparities that they are unaware of, the minute i mention any of it i am suddenly an anti gun whacko here. i saw the comments about how safe people thought their guns were and just wanted to point out not to get too complacent in thinking that way.
                              if we have an impeachmment party i'll buy ....

                            impeach-it does the body good impeachment-it isn't just for blow jobs anymore impeachment-i can say no more i expect no less

                            by playtonjr on Sun Jun 29, 2008 at 05:23:22 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  polarizing is more fun than rational thougt! (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            playtonjr

                            playtonjr, my newest friend:

                            the gun lovers are too ecstatic to even talk to about all of the other diparities that they are unaware of, the minute i mention any of it i am suddenly an anti gun whacko here.

                            Not with me, bro.  Your reasoning is clear, concise and focuses on the legal, moral and mechanical issues.  Birds of a feather (although I'm not so big with the mechanical aspects).  We're allowed to disagree; and we're allowed to agree.  That's what so much fun and productive.  I apologize for my firearm-owning colleagues; they tend to be twitchy about some subjects and arguably with good political precedent.  I don't donate to JPFO for various reasons (typos in fund-raising letters irk me), but many Jews I know are staunchly pro-gun.  That's just one political precedent of many.  

                            Spring guns are tricky alright.  My point was merely that our colleagues who think a firearm is just an inchoate violent crime waiting to coalesce might consider the morality (on a lethal force continuum) of an automated secondary system to incapacitate our putative bad guys.  Hundreds of years of common law have held to the contrary, for good reason.  A different set of facts, however, based the belief of such colleagues, might force them to accept a different outcome.  I'm just saying -- I've done no research and the case law on spring guns IIRC is mostly "Queen's Bench" and "King's Bench" Ye Olde Gobbledygook.  

                            I'm still looking for data on cracking S&G safe combos, and haven't found jack, although you are correct that minor tools (often illegal in and of themselves) and a modicum of instruction can allow many (most?) padlocks to be rapidly defected.  I'm still talking about a $1K S&G four-digit combo, which I've been told can only be defeated by drilling and cutting out of the safe door.  Do-able, as all devices built by man can be broken, but requires a cutting rig and a minimum of what . . . 30-45 minutes?  

                            I find this discussion most illuminating, BTW.  Let’s look forward to the impeachment party.  I’ll bring helium so we can make funny voices.  

                        •  and re your sig line on impeachment (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          playtonjr

                          if we have an impeachment party, would you like me to bring the beer or the crudités?  'Cause I'm so there.  

      •  Wrong, trigger locks (0+ / 0-)

        can be required with all gun sales.  This blocks mandatory USE of trigger locks, not mandatory PURCHASE.

    •  That has been my point with FISA... (6+ / 0-)

      it is not about the one issue...it is about the Constitution and what is and has been happening to it under this administration and Supreme Court.

    •  I recommended this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oscarsmom, goshzilla

      before I even read it.  Just for the title.  I have read it now, though.  Thanks.

      "Where there is hope there is life, where there is life there is possibility, and where there is possibility change can occur." Jesse Jackson

      by maggiejean on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:46:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well stated (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      goshzilla

      The frogurt is also cursed. -8.25, -6.51

      by Superribbie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:47:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My view (14+ / 0-)

      While I think this is a well written diary, I have a disagreement with the way you interpret the ordering of the amendments.

      To me it seems the first amendment specifically ennumerated freedoms of citizens most prone to causing controversy, and therefore most likely to be infringed upon.  By extension the second then protected said rights from the most basic type of infringement: force.  (For after all, every law is at some point enforced at the barrel of a gun.)

      Bring the WAR home

      Starve the corporate beast, buy local!

      by EthrDemon on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:04:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  interesting point (4+ / 0-)

        The Framers were fascinated by the 17c public sphere and saw the basis of American democracy as rooted in a particular kind of expression--talk.  So I do believe that the first amendment is the most important.  

        It's the swapping of the 2nd for the 1st in priority that is the hallmark of the so-called 'gun rights' arguments that I am addressing.  Your interpretation makes sense to me for rights further down the list (or laterally on the board--however one wants to see it).

        ---
        Tired of violent language from right-wing pundits? Buy my book: Outright Barbarous

        by Jeffrey Feldman on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:20:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So they saw the (12+ / 0-)

          3rd amendment as more important than the 4th, 5th and 6th?

          Cmon, good diary but I don't buy this.  Also, upholding the 2nd does not make it paramount over the 1st.

          •  it was a huge problem with England (0+ / 0-)

            and something considered insufferable by the revolutionaries...while they may not have considered it the most important, it was far more relevant in their time and inconsequential in ours.

          •  Upholding the 2nd? Huh? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ChurchofBruce, Agathena

            The Heller decision did not "uphold the 2nd Amendment"!  It struck down the D.C. regulatory scheme and invented an individual right to possess guns out of historical fiction.  If the Court would have ruled the other way yesterday, it wouldn't have taken anyone's guns away.  All it would have done was decide that the regulatory scheme that D.C. has had in place for 30 years did not violate the 2nd Amendment.

            But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false--about Hope ~BHO -6.38/-7.08

            by OH 09 Dem on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:30:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  lets just (0+ / 0-)

              say for purposes of my comment, what the constitutional effect of the ruling was is irrelevant...i was talking about the priority of the bill of rights. If you wanna zero in on an NRA memeber and go crazy, I rec not doing it at the kos...seriously, you'll have more ducks to shoot elsewhere...pun intended.

              •  I had no idea that you were an NRA member, (0+ / 0-)

                I care zero about that and I wasn't trying to zero in on anyone.  I don't care about the ordering of the Bill of Rights at all because it has nothing to do with Constitutional law or interpretation.  But the Constitutional effect of the law is what I DO care about.  I also would have you look at my UID and you'll see that you have ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT to tell me what I should or shouldn't do at DKos since I have been here for years and you are a newcomer.  I'm sorry that if me pointing out the fact that you stated an absolute inaccuracy was interpreted by you as "going crazy" but that's all on you and not on me.

                But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false--about Hope ~BHO -6.38/-7.08

                by OH 09 Dem on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 03:47:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think the point was (0+ / 0-)

                  that a screed against NRA members might not go over as well here as you might think. This place is more pro-gun than most would imagine.

                  --Shannon

                  •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

                    I am against the NRA and their platform but you point out a valid point that I had no idea how many of them were here.  I wasn't trying to rail against the NRA but, as everyone knows, the NRA affiliation makes many people sensitive on this subject.  Cheers!

                    But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false--about Hope ~BHO -6.38/-7.08

                    by OH 09 Dem on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 06:41:06 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  We should be afraid then? (0+ / 0-)

                    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

                    by Agathena on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 07:02:06 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Where in the (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Aristodemus

                      ever-loving fuck did you pull that out of what I wrote??!!??

                      OH 09 Dem... Did you find any hint of a threat in what I wrote? If you did, please tell me so that I can apologize to you.

                      --Shannon

                      •  Calm down. I hate to see an armed person (0+ / 0-)

                        lose control.

                        Here's what ya wrote sweetheart:

                        "a screed against NRA members might not go over as well.."

                        Here's what I meant:
                        We should be afraid to speak out because there might be NRA members on this site?  

                        Now take a deep breath and put the gun down.

                        This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

                        by Agathena on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 08:17:41 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Not at all. (0+ / 0-)

                          what I actually wrote, and what you likely would have seen if you were not already convinced that anyone who disagrees with you on this issue was dangerous, was that OH 9 Dem would not get the kind of overwhelming approval that you might expect for a shot at "crazy NRA members" if you bought in to the "liberal = pro-gun-control" meme. In other words, that the audience was not as one-sided as stereotypes would suggest.

                          Based on his/her response, it was well understood.

                          You, on the other hand, inferred a threat where none existed, based solely on your prejudices.

                          Nobody's trying to shut you up, or to threaten you.

                          Unless you find disagreements to be threatening, or the expression of opinions you do not share to be a suppression of your opinions, I fail to see how you can claim otherwise.

                          --Shannon

                          •  Are you projecting fear? (0+ / 0-)

                            I was being sarcastic,
                            I wrote:
                            "So, we should be afraid?"

                            It is not a fearful response.

                            I'm not afraid of gun enthusiasts although it is beyond my ken how anyone can be enthusiastic about a lethal weapon. But hey, I'm not a shrink.

                            The pro gun control figures in the USA are 49%, so I do not think that the gun lovers are in the majority in the Country - it's more like a split.

                            They may not be in the majority on this site either. But they are very verbal in protecting their weapons so it always seems that they are the majority. Just because they are "loud" doesn't mean they are in the majority or that they are RIGHT.

                            Even so there are estimated to be 250 million guns in the United States so the idea that guns need to be protected as a "right" is ludicrous.

                            i'm outta this crazy place.

                            This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

                            by Agathena on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:26:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  I interpreted your comment the way you intended (0+ / 0-)

                        no problems.  Cheers!

                        But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false--about Hope ~BHO -6.38/-7.08

                        by OH 09 Dem on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 04:02:34 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  wow (0+ / 0-)

                  I was kidding on so many levels and you proved yourself again as being very narrowly focused on only responding to what you want to see in a comment.

                  My point was here at the KOS there probably are not that many NRA members.  My main point was, however, that the ordering the Bill of Rights and its amendments has no relation to their importance.  If you dont care about that point, dont respond to me, thats all I was saying.  

                  I suggest you lighten up, first of all.. Secondly, I could care fn less about your uid and what anyone has the right to do.  I can tell you anything I want, whether you take my advice or not is up to you.  

                  Third, "upholding an amendment" is a term of art which can vary in terms of degrees.  You may think that the 2nd is a very narrow amendment and others will disagree.  I guess I couldve cosen different wording but that was not why I commented.  

        •  Jeff, I'm sorry, but this is nonsense (8+ / 0-)

          Bear in mind that the First and Second Amendments were actually the Third and Fourth of the twelve amendments initially sent to the states to be considered to become the Bill of Rights; the first two of those amendments were rejected.  You simply cannot put this much freight on the ordering of the amendments.  Seriously.

          Akhil Amar had an interesting if idiosyncratic article on this some time back; anyone know a citation to it online?

          John McCain's Court will overturn Roe; don't kid yourself.

          by Seneca Doane on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:04:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  A few suggestions for improving your diary (18+ / 0-)

      First, you need to drop your argument about the numbering of the amendments indicating their precedence. I'm not aware of any principle of statutory or Constitutional interpretation that operates in this way. We as progressives would recognize the First Amendment as more important than the Second no matter how they were placed or numbered, but that's because the maintenance of democracy has to be based on reasoning and deliberation first, with force only as a last resort. You put your finger on something important when you suggest that the most fervent advocates of a broad interpretation of the Second Amendment may have this backwards.

      However the numbering resulted, it was fortunate, but absent some commentary from the founders that I'm not aware of, that's probably about as much as you can make of it. I think it's far more revealing that they felt it necessary to put an explanatory clause -- "A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State" -- at the beginning of the Second, but they seem to have felt the need for the First was self-evident.

      Second, you need to indicate much more clearly how the Heller decision denigrates the First Amendment. I haven't read the decision yet, so I don't know what's in there. However, you haven't cited anything in particular. You seem to be saying that any expansion of the Court's interpretation of the Second Amendment diminishes the First, but that doesn't hold water.

      Third, you need to look at the comments below and realize that even among progressives, there's a wide variation in how people view the gun issue. You may have made the mistake of assuming your argument was going to be a slam dunk in this forum. It clearly is not. I share your dismay over the ruling, and would seek to call to account anyone who doesn't defend the First Amendment as vociferously as the Second. But from here on, it's clear that we have to take a more flexible, preventive, and results-oriented approach to gun violence. Continuing to base the struggle on seeking a narrow reading of the Second Amendment isn't going to work, and it will only undermine our efforts to get the First interpreted more broadly.

    •  Thanks for this but a question for you -- (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeffrey Feldman, kath25

      I admit to obsessing about Obama's statement regarding the FISA bill and have read lots of Greenwald and also Olbermann's diary today (the latter did make me feel a little better about Obama's point of view).  
      But your diary makes me realize just how important the SCOTUS decision on the DC gun ban is.  Of course, Obama wasn't so great on this either and said that he has always believed in an individual right to bear arms (distinctly different from what you're saying).  How do you feel about his comments?
      (Note:  I'm a big supporter of Obama, but am a bit concerned about what many are seeing as his move to the center -- which still means he is far to the left of McCain!).

      If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

      by Tamar on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:12:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm a supporter of Obama, too (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tamar, kath25

        and I think he's being intentionally vague.  But I don't blame him.  I seriously doubt Obama supports Scalia's views on anything.

        Here's the key:

        Stevens says that even when we say that gun ownership is an 'individual right,' that does not get us into the issue at hand:  use.

        So Obama is saying he supports the general principle, but he does not comment on the limiting factors.  It's good politics.

        IOW: Stevens and Breyer are not saying they reject the legality of individual gun rights (e.g., ownership, castle laws, etc.).  They are simply rejecting that the legal basis for gun ownership laws resides in the 2nd Amendment.  Ergo, when a gun law limits gun use or ownership, it brings precedent into play, not the Constitution.

        And I doubt Obama would want to argue that nor that he'll have to.  Election debates rarely hit that level of detail.

        ---
        Tired of violent language from right-wing pundits? Buy my book: Outright Barbarous

        by Jeffrey Feldman on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:30:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Welcome back to the Wild West (0+ / 0-)

      Scalia is taunting the left to take up arms against the government.

      Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

      Broken Elbows 'R Us

      by D Wreck on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:51:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Jeff (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dem partisan

      First, let me refer you to my diary of last night addressing some of these issues, as I make various arguments there I'd as soon not have to repeat.

      While I'm sympathetic to your overall position (including that the Greenwald-Olbermann pie fight is taking too much time), I think that your conclusions in this diary go a bit too far.  Scalia is not clearly arguing as yet that what we normally think of as "gun rights" are fundamental except for the narrow right to have a handgun available for immediate use in the home.  Much of his opinion, albeit in dicta, takes a view of the Second Amendment which flies in the face of many NRA beliefs (e.g., re registration and limits on sales transactions); it depicts gun rights overall as not fundamental and subject to strict scrutiny, even if he won't yet admit it.

      I agree that he has "found a new right" here in the sense that Roe is accused of having done, but he does not render the right to self-defense in the home as more fundamental than our First Amendment rights and I think it harms your argument to say so.

      Frankly, this decision reminds me only partly of Roe; in many ways it's more like Casey, backing away from the implications of a right even as that right is re-asserted.  You raise some useful points, but as legal analysis this is overwrought.

      So, kudos and cautions in appropriate proportion.

      John McCain's Court will overturn Roe; don't kid yourself.

      by Seneca Doane on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:59:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I need some clarification (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seneca Doane

        it depicts gun rights overall as not fundamental and subject to strict scrutiny

        What do you mean by this?  Do you think that Scalia is saying that future gun rights/regulations cases are going to be analyzed under rational basis scrutiny as long as they don't amount to an absolute inability to use the gun for personal self defense?

        But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false--about Hope ~BHO -6.38/-7.08

        by OH 09 Dem on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:36:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Look at the diary of mine that I cited (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OH 09 Dem

          where I get into this.  Scalia is committing judicial malpractice, so far as I can tell, by not hinting at what standard of review is to be used here; all he does is offer a bunch of regulations that he thinks would pass constitutional muster, specifically uphold the gun registration provision of the law, and slam Breyer's attempt to rationalize the opinion by offering a new intermediate standard of review.  (Adam B suggested in my diary that this may have been the price of keeping Kennedy's vote, versus his writing a controlling concurrence, and that seems like a good possibility.)

          I don't know what to make of that, but it sure looks to me like there would be something less than strict scrutiny outside the home -- and maybe even less than that inside the home, given that he accepted gun registration where a prior Justice no doubt would not have accepted registration of printing presses due to its effect on the fundamental right to freedom of the press.

          All we can look at is what he did and make the sense of it that he refused to do.

          John McCain's Court will overturn Roe; don't kid yourself.

          by Seneca Doane on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:19:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  well, I think what he's done (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seneca Doane, Rabbithead

        here is go back to the 17c under the guise of originalism and say that there is a fundamental basis for how the Framers conceived of citizenship in terms of rights.  He then puts at the foundation of his argument this idea that the Framers were driven by concerns over tyrannical monarchies persecuting citizens by taking away their 'right' to have a gun specifically for the use of warding off that persecution by the government itself.  In other words, the Constitution establishes the right of citizens to use guns against other citizens in confrontations.  That, I believe, had precedent in common law, but not the Constitution.

        So, in the face of that, I make the claim--and it is a claim--that Scalia is putting in place something more than just a ruling about pistols in DC. He's putting in place the foundation for an entire landscape of arguments.

        But your critique has been heard.  And appreciated.

        ---
        Tired of violent language from right-wing pundits? Buy my book: Outright Barbarous

        by Jeffrey Feldman on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:45:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If that were true, though, would Scalia (0+ / 0-)

          have specifically pointed out in the opinion that laws against carrying concealed weapons, for example, would withstand scrutiny based on the right as he envisions it?  That would seem to dramatically undercut "the right of citizens to use guns against other citizens in confrontations!"  I had the opposite impression that you did: that he is almost maniacally concerned about the power of the individual to protect the sanctity of the home, much to the exclusion of what happens outside of it.

          I agree that this wasn't a Constitutional right, but a common law right that he has now raised into the Constitutional firmament, i.e. a "discovered" right.  (The fact that opponents of Roe made the exact same argument about privacy isn't lost on me, of course.)  But depicted that way, bringing the 2nd amendment into the category of the Third and Fourth as ones that involve the protection of the home, actually has some theoretical appeal.  In fact, if I were to defend the existence of such a right, it would probably be by making a penumbral argument based on the Third, Fourth (and Ninth!) Amendments suggesting that all deal with the protection of the home, which this "right" enforces.

          I think that I may be cribbing that las paragraph from Amar, but I don't remember his paper well enough; if not, then if I had any sense I'd turn it into an article.

          John McCain's Court will overturn Roe; don't kid yourself.

          by Seneca Doane on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:13:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you!! (0+ / 0-)

      I'm so happy that some other people see this decision for what it is and for how bad it is.  The legal analysis is compellingly clear, even if many on this site have never read it and wish to only consider the political ramifications.  I was shocked at how negative a response I received in my diary yesterday.

      But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false--about Hope ~BHO -6.38/-7.08

      by OH 09 Dem on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:25:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm going to have to dissent (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shadan7, ER Doc, Angry Mouse

      I think a gutting of the protections in the 4th Amendment is more important than a wider interpretation of the 2nd Amendment than the one that is in vogue. This ruling doesn't seem that far out there compared to the crap the feds have pushing in recent history.

    •  Isn't Scalia forgetting something? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Agathena

      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.

      IIRC, when the first ten Amendments were written, we still did not have a standing military.  There was no way to furnish weapons to anyone who would have enlisted in the military.

      When my ancestors who served in the Revolutionary War enlisted, they brought the guns they owned with them.  The forms that were filled out state the length of time they enlisted (often six months or a year), and they did enlist in various local or state militias, and the commanding officers are named.  (Those discoveries made during my genealogy research over some 45 years.  When I was a kid I wasn't aware of the role of my ancestors in the Revolutionary War.)

      True, the Founding Fathers were aware of what had happened in 17th century England during the religious wars - it was one of the reasons some of them came here, in fact, to seek freedom from having a state religion imposed upon them - (I've never read that the Second Amendment was written because of what had happened in England, but the Founding Fathers lived at a time when they were more aware of what was recent past history to them), but when the Constitution was written there was still no standing army, there was no way to equip or furnish any enlisted men with guns unless the enlisted people brought their own from home.  [There wasn't even any money to provide uniforms.]

      That last paragraph is the explanation of the Second Amendment that was provided our American History class clear back in high school (over 40 years ago for me).  Were my history teachers all wrong...?

      (¯`*._(¯`*._(-IMPEACH-)_.*´¯)_.*´¯)

      by NonnyO on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:58:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  with all due respect (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shadan7

      I'm calling bullshit.

      There were other SCOTUS decisions that would worry a sane American a lot more. The decision to let Enron off the hook on the punitive damages they incurred over the Alaskan oil spill is an obvious example. The notion that SCOTUS thinks its purpose is to protect corporate offenders does concern me.

      Your . . . interesting notion that protecting gun control laws is the most important feature of the Constitution says far more about you than about SCOTUS or the Constitution.

      There are worse things that can happen to a nation than a SCOTUS suddenly deciding that individual rights are part of the Constitution. Are you wetting your pants over the decision to grant habeas corpus to Gitmo prisoners as well?

      And your hysteria has gotten something onto the Rec List which is a waste of space that could better be used on the latest ripoff or danger to the nation the Bush Administration has signed off on today.

      The nation will not fall over the Heller decision, and your apparent belief that it will probably should be addressed by a mental health professional. While I'm sorry if you were dropped on your head by a gun in your early childhood, this is no excuse to inflict your personal trauma on the rest of us.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:46:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I guess this is your tip jar (0+ / 0-)

      My tip for you is always take wooden nickels, they're collectibles.

      Your diary and your arguments deserve neither a tip nor a rec.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:50:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  BAH HUMBUG (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Angry Mouse

      The clarifying of the 2nd amendment, does nothing to harm the 1st amendment. You are overreacting and sounding like a bigtime ideologue in your diary.

      Guessing by the things you imply in the diary, you do not spend much time in rural and natural areas of our nation. If you did crawl out of the comfort of the big cites, you would realize that not ALL liberals are anti-gun. In fact many of us wanted and dreamed of a day when the federal laws on gun rights would be clarified and expanded. I am in a group of liberal friends who have been watching Heller and waiting on its outcome for a while now. We all know that Scalia is evil and doing things for the wrong reasons, but his bad reasoning still came to an acceptable conclusion to me.

      The 1st and 2nd amendment now go hand and hand, one is not above the other. I did not read anywhere in Scalia's opinion where he put the 2nd amendment above any other. I think you were just fantasizing some kind of doomsday senario alarmist drama. Get real.

      I am going to go buy a brand new gun, as soon as the NRA gets California's assault weapons bad overturned. HOW YOU LIKE ME KNOW? A great big gun, HUGE, SCARY!!! OOGA BOOGA URBAN LIBERAL CRYBABIES!

      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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 03:03:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Stevens: (0+ / 0-)

      You have the right to die quietly.

      Breyer:  States have rights.

      Bullshit to both of them.  Fucking bullshit.

  •  Thanks for bringing this to light. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JanL, dannyinla, oscarsmom

    I agreed that the KO vs. GG thing is being blown out of proportion, but that's because it reflects the divide that has emerged in the progressive movement.  It's terrible that this divide emerged, but now we have to do our best to get on the right side of it or to pressure our candidate to narrow its span.

    Who Would Jesus Torture?

    by JJC on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:11:54 AM PDT

    •  What divide how? What do you see? n.t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ivan Carter, Granny Doc

      Republicans don't have 60 votes, and it doesn't seem to bother them one bit.

      by dkmich on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:22:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think it's (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DavidW in SF, Matt Z, JJC

        a divide so much as two different but necessary elements to preserving our Constitution.  I wrote about it earlier today:

        In truth, we need both kinds of activists, the pragmatists and the purity trolls, to support our Constitution and those who uphold and protect it.  The latter are needed to place the goalposts and the former are needed to move the ball down the field and through the uprights.  Sen. Feingold could  not have done what he did without the support of the liberal blogosphere, the libertarians and the group of people who came together in the Strange Bedfellows group.  Sen. Reid could not have done what he did in delaying the bill without Sen. Feingold and other senators standing up to say the bill was unacceptable.  They are also well aware of the need to increase the number of Democratic senators this fall and I suspect they do have a plan and strategy for accomplishing both the passage of an acceptable FISA bill and the election of a Democratic President and majority in the Senate and the House as well as down-ticket Dems.

        Markos brought some sense of perspective to it in this comment on Huffpo:

        "We'll see what he does this week," said Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos. "If he's part of the capitulation or refuses to lead, then it's salient for your story. As of now, I think it's still too early to write this piece."

        I would add that the one week timeframe is a little short and that Obama's leadership may not be immediately evident to all and sundry in the netroots.  His leadership may remain behind closed doors in the Senate so that others take the heat for toeing the line with the left-wing while he focuses on what he needs to focus on ... winning the election in November.

        This battle isn't done.  In the meantime, let's not wound our own warriors.

        •  I agree, and it is the same one I see. (4+ / 0-)

          The problem is with the language.  Even you use "purity troll" (sigh) as compaired to PRAGMATIST (ugh).  It remains me of authoritarian - follow the rules!  This whole split could also be  rephrased to  quitter vs. fighter.  In any event, it would be nice if the pragmatist would quit lecturing.  

          Republicans don't have 60 votes, and it doesn't seem to bother them one bit.

          by dkmich on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:20:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Feingold isn't toeing anyone's line but his own. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shadan7, ER Doc, sasher, vbdietz

          Not even mine, and i've been talking with him about electronic privacy regularly since 1985, when I introduced him to the net.

          Obama still gets my vote, but my bumper belongs to Privacy '08.

          by ben masel on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:43:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This may be pure self reinforcing (0+ / 0-)

          self aggrandizing delusion, prevalent on political blogs.

          Sen. Feingold could  not have done what he did without the support of the liberal blogosphere,

          Feingold is correct, it seems, to take the stand that he did, but the suggestion here is that not only are Democrats in Congress in general devoid of either prinpiple or understanding, but that even more would be but for the blogosphere.

          Maybe it goes the other way.

          Perhaps the polarization and constant antagonism, and presuming that by simply reciting facts or conclusions, that the rest of the country sees things the same way, has gotten in the way of not just riling up active Democrats, but in successfully framing the larger debate.

          •  No (0+ / 0-)

            I don't think you quite understood what I meant. I  have a good friend who knows people in Code Pink and has been over at the Code Pink house during planning meetings. She is also friends with Rep. Conyers, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Woolsey and Rep. Maxine Waters.  She's told me of the specific words of encouragement that she had personally received from those representatives with regard to demonstrating and writing about ending the Iraq war.  She and I have discussed on more than one occasion how the idealists / purity trolls demonstrating in front of Congress or ranting on the blogs are as necessary to the process as those who patiently sit through the hearings and ask hard questions in 10 minute intervals. The representatives appreciate the setting of a high goal even though they know they may not reach it in a single action.

            I was not claiming that the liberal blogosphere is solely responsible for Feingold's action because, of course, that's absurd.  But the liberal blogosphere is certainly a part of the goalpost setting process and as such their actions provide support to our representatives and senators in standing firm on issues we and they regard as important.

            And that is NOT self aggrandizing delusion.  Many of the representatives and senators are perfectly aware that the media are watching daily kos.  They know that we do influence some of what gets covered in the mainstream press.  So, yes, we do help by providing political cover when we stake out goals that Dems must strive to achieve.  

            KarenDC told a story that Garrett Reppenhagen told her about meeting with Sen. John Kerry, who told him:

            Look, I’ve had 500 people here in my office this week. The other 499 were here for other reasons than the war.

            Why is this? Why are there not 500 people in each office, demanding an end to this nightmare?

            The representatives and senators need to hear from us directly whether in person or via email or fax or phone and on a weekly basis for those things we think most important.

            The idealists including those in the blogosphere are necessary to the process.  So are the pragmatists. What we all need to understand is that striving to achieve those goals is a constant effort -- not a one-time fight. The sooner members of the liberal blogosphere figure that out, the better.

            •  valid points (0+ / 0-)

              Valid points, but the fact that Feingold received support (as, obviously) he does from people who write on kos, in the manner in which communications are made on here, does not at all mean that support would otherwise be lacking; or that other forms -- that speak to a broader audience in terms of defining the national debate -- would not be similarly "inflential," let alone not far more so.

              Or, again, that but for what is the most popular political blog in America and yet stll marginalized by much of the media (for many of the reasons I very briefly alluded to), Democrats in Congress would in general be devoid of either principle or understanding.

              These notions falsely equate the fact that a lot of people care about these issues, with the broader efficacy of the chosen vehicle and metholodgy -- which I suggest above (and you can see the comment chain linked to above for examples) can often be counterproductive.

              •  media aspect (0+ / 0-)

                With respect to instances of what gets covered in the media, there may also be a presumption -- when the media is largely ignoring most valid points and repeatedly doing a poor job -- that there would not be more effective ways to make a more public case, than as is being done by the leading political site that is constantly mischaracterized by the far right (and media as well). Which mischaracterization, and playing directly into it, often causes things to simply become "liberal arguments; "or, worse, "rampantly partisan," when sometimes even the arguments themselves are overbearingly presented this way (the worse way to make such arguments), when the issues are not nearly as much so. And which is as a result often alienating many whom it should be reaching out to, and often playing directly into right wing framing, and unncessarily insulting broader target audiences.

                Kos is reasonably savvy politically, one could argue, but here is a piece by him today that does precisely that. That it is not seen as to how this insults many people who are not far right conservatives (when the exact same points could be as strongly made otherwise), is precisely the problem.  That is, preaching solely to the same mindset, and alienating others, and relying upon the popular affirmation of that exact same mindset for for belief (sometimes even contempuously) in the therefore broader viability of the way the message must be being illustrated and communicated, when this is not necessarily the case at all.

                With respect to focus on the media, here's an example:  I stand by this piece from the other day. For the same reason that if it might have greater appeal and more effect if sufficiently backed up and the case repeatedly made and supported on here and publicly, it is largely ignored on here. (And here is a similar piece regarding that very same FISA related issue, which details a focus which has largely been ignored -- and which probably has far more to do with the reason Congress either has cowered to far right rhetoric on unchecked governmental power, or itself been misled by it. See the next to last paragraph, and the link within it.)

                Consder the specific case the above cited McCain piece makes regarding McCain's increasingly rampant inconsistencies, and the media coverage of it. And yet here is Anne Applebaum (I just read a few moments ago) writing on tuesday ow "both candidates 'flip flop' on the issues nearest and dearest to them;" thereby essentially equating the two when the record is not remotely close, and helping to add to the misleading perception that, "well, they are both inconsistent." Actually, Obama was on campaign financing, and he would be close to committing campaign malpractice if he was not, and, ostensibly, on FISA.   McCain has on almost every position he has held, often repeatedly contradicting himself:  Whether to pander to a Republican party that has been hijacked by its own right wing, and/or because of a very staunch change in political thinking  - and which is a far cry from.......... )  And by the way, that is a far right that constantly projects itself onto its political opponents, and constantly calls everything :far left," and which to a large degree is played right into by Democrats. (Here's a leading and very popular liberal columnist, in a different and at least much more respectful fashion, doing somewhat so himself. Note the number of comments that piece received, also).

                So what's the response on here? "Yeah, Applebaum (or Broder, or Cohen, or whomever) is [blank]." Case closed. But case is really not closed. (This followup comment to the piece linked above is fairly relevant therein.)

                This is the media today, and to make the case that the net effect has been positive simply because the most prevalent political site in America is going to get some press (and even be tied to stories that come out), is missing the bigger picture.

              •  I think (0+ / 0-)

                you might be surprised to find out how much influence daily kos does have.  The Democratic presidential candidates that I saw last year at YearlyKos didn't show up because YearlyKos/Daily Kos was a waste of their time.

                And it is not because the blog itself is so amazing but because the people who frequent it are.  They are influentials at a much higher rate than normal. I did a little independent research on behalf of a client which I think probably relates to why senators and congressional representatives take the time to post at Daily Kos.

                INFLUENTIALS

                Internet users have influence in their communities far in excess of their numbers. For the American population as a whole, only 10% of Americans qualify as influentials, or opinion leaders. [4]

                Influentials are the opinion leaders and "change agents" of society — the people who are actively engaged in creating change in their communities, workplaces, and the marketplace. Educated, and in positions of power and leadership in their work and their communities, they are the leaders who are looked to by friends and colleagues.

                Conversations that take place on the Internet are amplified and reach many non-Internet users. Reader for reader, users of political websites are more influential than readers of even the New York Times online site (www.nytimes.com).   According to the survey research firm Roper ASW, 50% of the New York Times website (www.nytimes.com) users are influentials. [5]  But according to a study by George Washington Institute of Politics, Democracy & the Internet (GW IPDI), almost 70% of people interested in political web sites are "influentials." [6]  

                The GW IPDI study notes that these percentages mean that online political people "are nearly seven times more likely than average citizens to serve as opinion leaders among their friends, relatives and colleagues, and are disproportionately likely to exert a 'multiplier effect' outward to the public at large."  [6]

                Now it appears that you think that the blogosphere could disappear tomorrow and very little would differ from today as far as the political discourse is concerned.  I think that approach fails to acknowledge that the same people who populate the blogosphere are also active outside the blogosphere and that the blogosphere is a significant part of their base of knowledge, organizational outreach and motivation.  

                You cannot arbitrarily divorce their participation in the blogosphere from their other activities and declare that it's only the other activities that make them influential.

                I did not claim that the blogosphere was solely responsible for providing support to Feingold but that the blogosphere did provide significant support to Feingold, and that support by all idealists, whether they blog or not, is what supports elected representatives in taking a stand.  Feingold is probably one of the poorer examples in this case since as ben masel pointed out above, he votes what he thinks is right even when he doesn't receive any support for it.  I didn't like some of his votes when I was his constituent but I respected him and the fact that he stood up for some clearly articulated principles.

                There is a reason that Senators like Kerry and Feingold post at Daily Kos.  They do want our support.  They do want our activity on behalf of the goals that we share with them and they judge that time spent here among the 'influentials' of Daily Kos is time well spent from schedules that are incredibly busy.  They would not take the time that they do if we did not have any influence.

                •  In your second comment (0+ / 0-)

                  you've wandered a bit off the point.  My original response was to dkmich asking about 'a divide' to which I responded with a comment that began: "I don't think it's a divide so much as two different but necessary elements to preserving our Constitution.  I wrote about it earlier today... In truth, we need both kinds of activists, the pragmatists and the purity trolls, to support our Constitution and those who uphold and protect it."

                  The point was made that idealist was a better word choice than purity troll.  I responded that I was writing in the context of the blogosphere and so chose a term with which the blogosphere is familiar. It is true that were I writing for outside the blogosphere, idealist would be a much better choice.

                  I think the real issue you're dealing with is whether the writing on blogs is for those people who frequent blogs and understand the milieu or if it's for people who do not frequent blogs and would judge the writing by different standards.

                  Blog posts can be many things that media articles are not.  They can be quick personal reactions to an event.  They can be well-researched documentation of some issue.  They can be emotionally inspiring and/or expletive-riddled rants. But it is their variety, the freedom that they give to many individuals to express themselves in whatever form they like and their critical mass in linking together in the dkos community and attracting others who lurk and read even if they don't post which provides a blogging community like daily kos with its influence.

                  Would it be helpful in extending their influence beyond the borders of the blogosphere if they conformed to certain narrow standards? Yes.  But would it be the blogosphere then or would it just be an online magazine? I think it would be the latter to its detriment.

                  About the point on the response concerning the columnists, you are equally free to post a very erudite blog post pointing out why it's wrong to lump them all together in a dismissive manner.  I agree that your post about John McCain and the media is much more effective than many a post I've seen on Daily Kos.  But, IMO, its title was its downfall as it sounded exceedingly academic and usually, academic doesn't make the rec list. Beachmom and I have had several discussions about title selection on dkos and I usually strategize with her on naming her posts which frequently end up on the rec list.  Understanding the milieu is critical in gaining attention in the crowded environment at Daily Kos.

                  In the end, the blogosphere is a place of individuals who will write as they choose.  You will never succeed in making them conform to a narrow standard of discourse.  You can however through your own writing, provide a space which does allow more thoughtful, considered discourse and encourage others to do the same by your example and by words.  Then you have to decide if you want that writing to reside side-by-side with the more rambunctious at Daily Kos so that it does capture visibility or on your own blog where fewer eyeballs will ever see it.  I tried to think of another site at which you could post diaries which conformed to a more rigid standard of writing but I couldn't think of one which doesn't also have the 'wild'n'crazy' blog posts right in there along with the thoughtful, considered posts.  

                  In the end, I think you should post your own diaries at Daily Kos and cross-post at your own blog if you wish.  In that way you contribute to the larger discourse in the blogosphere and you establish a space for yourself in which you control the standard of writing as I've done with some friends at Reality Window.

                  And now I've spent enough time on this and need to move onto things like gardening and cleaning up the kitchen.

    •  I adore both Keith and Glenn (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc

      no matter what they say about each other.  So there!!  :)

      Never give up! Never surrender!

      by oscarsmom on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:24:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A person with a gun is a citizen. (43+ / 0-)

    A person who cannot possess the means to defend their home and family is a SUBJECT.
    Never thought I'd see the day when I couldn't rec one of your diaries, Jeff.
    Just another instance of Bizarro World.

    Cobalt6 And I'd have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for those meddling kids.

    by kestrel9000 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:11:58 AM PDT

  •  What does the 2nd amendment (23+ / 0-)

    mean then if he doesn't mean that citizens can own guns?  I think the 2nd amendment is clear on its face, the government should not prohibit citizens from arming themselves.  It does not follow from that that governments cannot place commonsense limits on that right.  DC's law, unlike gun control laws around the country, was not a limit on the right to bear arms.  It was a complete and total prohibition.  

    •  Devil's advocate: (9+ / 0-)

      a well regulated militia.

      Are you part of a militia? Is it well regulated? The Constitution makes clear that these groups can have guns. Beyond that, it's not clear about anything.

      •  Devil's Devil's Advocate. (4+ / 0-)

        Your task: define militia.

        Good luck.

        •  Interesting. (12+ / 0-)

          From The Free Dictionary:

          mi·li·tia  (m-lsh) n.

          1. An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers.
          1. A military force that is not part of a regular army and is subject to call for service in an emergency.
          1. The whole body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service.

          I take your point - but the definition of militia, at least in the first two above, seems to relate to an "army" or a "military force".  I am NOT a member of an army, Guard, Corps, force, etc., inside or outside of the military proper.

          Just FYI.

        •  Interesting discussion on BBC America last (8+ / 0-)

          night about the meaning and context of militia at the time of the framing of the Constitution:

          Individuals were asked to join a militia, but since the militia did not provide weapons each citizen was required to bring one with him.  This was why they included in a protection of those weapons.

          It wasn't just about protecting one's home; in fact, it wasn't even primarily about that.  It was about protecting the country and ensuring we had adequate weaponry to do so.

          In the couple hundred years since, people have wildly didstorted that to mean a variety of things, and the American inherent sense of paranoia made people feel that unless they had guns that their government would simply eradicate them for whatever reason was handy at the time.  Now, this hasn't happened to date for a variety of factors - namely, it would be hard to explain to the rest of the world, lol, but still people believe this to be true.

          Also, the guns were generally musket-type weapons, not automatic weapons, handguns, high powered rifles with scopes, etc.  The framers of the Constitution could not, and did not, envision the extent to which man would go to eradicate another man with speed, severity and efficiency.

          But we are a bloody, violence-loving culture. And when push comes to shove, even amongs the most liberal and peace-loving Kossacks, we revert to an 'us vs. them' mentality.  As in, "I'll get them before they get me." or "I'll take as many of them with me as I can when I go."  

          I can't tell you how damaging this could become.  We already have school shootings and pass that off as the 'shooter' not the 'gun', in terms of responsibility - failing to note that we provide them neither help, nor counseling, but never seem to forget to provide them ready access to weapons.

          I will never understand the mentality that says I must forgo my right to safety so that you can maintain your right to arm yourself, but no gun owner has ever been able to explain it to me.  

          All they usually say is, 'Trust me. I won't hurt you unnecessarily', while holding their weapons.

          •  there is no "right " to saftey, according to old (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Shadan7, Agathena, Abra Crabcakeya, MelloY

            " 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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:19:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hmm...then what is all this gun (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mamamedusa

              ownership about?  Don't gun owners claim them to be to keep themselves, and their loved ones, well, safe?

              •  And, furthermore, (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mmacdDE, mamamedusa

                if they have a right to protect themselves, don't I have the right to protect myself from their means of protection?

                :)

                •  You too have the right to freedom. a messy affair (4+ / 0-)

                  but I'll take it over Myanmar any day.

                  There is a right to self defense  that isn't safty.

                  Safty is an illusion hence Franklins opinion imho.

                  " 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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:27:50 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Where is my self defense, (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mamamedusa, Aristodemus

                    if I do not carry a weapon?  By your rationale, we should all carry guns and that would lead to vigilantism, chaos and lawlessness.

                    As it is, road rage and workplace shootings are still common.  Putting a gun into the hand of every man, woman and child in America plays right into the NRA, and the mentality that the primary way to resolve threats and difference is with violence.

                    Right now, your 'freedom' to own a gun interferes with my 'freedom' to not get shot and killed, either on purpose or accidentally.

                    Your rather insufficient response is that this is 'messy' and you still haven't shown me how I can be reasonably sure that your rights aren't interfering with my rights, or if they are why I should accept and tolerate it for the greater good.

                    •  Thus the laws of the republic (6+ / 0-)

                      which define crime and offer punishment for offenses against one's fellow man.

                      Your freedom to not be shot is not interfered with until a bullet from a gun actually strikes you (or is fired at you in anger - also punishable under law). The right to swing my fist stops at the end of your nose. My freedom to swing my fist in no way compromises your right to not get hit. You cannot take away the rights of an individual because of something they may potentially do at some point in time. You might shout "fire" in a crowded theater where no fire exists. Should your right to speak freely be thus abridged?

                      Your waxing poetic for the "greater good" betrays your fundamental misunderstanding regarding our nation and its laws. Individual rights are paramount (hence the bill of rights). The "greater good" is ensured not by government but by the self-interest of the individual.

                      "Every day, the media go looking for an opportunity to paint a moon and stars over Obama's head and swoon at how they're making 'history' happen."

                      by jqmilktoast on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:23:24 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  doesn't that assume facts not in evidence? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      buddabelly

                      Right now, your 'freedom' to own a gun interferes with my 'freedom' to not get shot and killed, either on purpose or accidentally.

                      I agree it's a quandary, but aren't you assuming that: (1) the law-abiding will become lawless; and/or (2) exercise of rights by the law-abiding will enhance criminal behavior by prior criminals?  

                      Haven't crime rates in CCW states remained fairly static before and after becoming "shall issue?"  The blood will not run in the streets, and the righteous will not smite the wicked with any regularity.  

          •  Ideally, those two things are not incompatible. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mamamedusa

            There ought to be a way to both own guns, and not have school shooting.  The key to that would be control and responsible gun ownership.  The problem seems to be that the NRA lobby has convinced far too many people that any law that limits the right to bear arms is a threat to that right. It is an approach to that right that makes no sense to me.

            •  Bingo! Any law modifying or ameliorating or (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ChurchofBruce, mamamedusa, bperk

              even qualifying someones 'right to bear arms' is immediately suspect as being intended to strip them of said right, and while I don't disagree with gun ownership on principle I do think it should be qualified and limited.

              And well-regulated.  

              The problem is, people are so anxious to make money selling guns to whomever that they don't think about long term repercussions.  To them, it's just another transaction.

              I think that's a dangerous mentality to have.

              •  The problem, though, from the point of view (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Shadan7, Abra Crabcakeya

                of the NRA is that the type of people who wish to regulate guns to prevent criminal activity can never be satisfied, because removing guns from the hands of law-abiding citizens has never been shown to decrease criminal activity. When the regulation of one type of weapon doesn't prevent the next tragedy, they want laws banning other types, to the point where now, in both the UK and Japan, there has been discussion of banning knives.
                    The NRA wants to prevent the US from starting on this sort of "slippery slope", so it has repeatedly taken what appear to many to be extreme positions, in order to stop the cycle before it starts. They regard what might be seen as a reasonable compromise to be the first in an impending series of capitulations.
                    Now that the SCOTUS has formally recognised an individual right in the Second Amendment, providing some sort of solid floor beyond which the anti-gun folks cannot go, there might be room for that sort of reasonable compromise.

                -5.12, -5.23

                We are men of action; lies do not become us.

                by ER Doc on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:41:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Well at the time there was a brewing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xysea

            conflict between the Federalists and the Anti-federalists from what I read.

            The Federalists wanting a strong overseeing federal government and fearing states breaking from the union, while Anti-federalists feared a strong government imposing its will on the states, mostly it was about northern states v southern states I believe.

            That begs the question then, could the Civil War have been averted had the amendment been written to prohibit states from forming their own militias?

            Hmmm.

            Then can it be argued that the 2nd Amendment made the Civil War possible and with it the death of hundreds of thousands?

            Seems like the bloodiest of all rights.

          •  Even if the law abiding (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ER Doc

            citizens relinquish there guns, there will still be many more black market guns in criminal hands. Banning guns isn't necessarily a solution.

            "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." Mark Twain

            by dotdot on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:53:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  People don't kill people, guns kills people? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Abra Crabcakeya

            We already have school shootings and pass that off as the 'shooter' not the 'gun', in terms of responsibility

            Is that not what you're saying with the above?

            I will never understand the mentality that says I must forgo my right to safety so that you can maintain your right to arm yourself,

            Whereas your mentality says that I must forgo my right to safety (via self-defense) because it's incompatible with your view of what constitutes safety.

            •  Which is why I am willing to compromise- (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mamamedusa

              I recognize that fact - whereas you are not, and do not.

              Therein lies the difference between us.

              RE: School shootings, easy access to guns is part of the problem.  Admittedly, by several professional groups in society.  If we make it harder to obtain weapons, we can help keep this from happening.  (No, it's not the only thing, but it would go a long way.)

              It's not just school shootings, but also the number of children each year who shoot themselves with their parents' guns.

              I don't want to repeal the 2nd amendment, people.  I just don't see the reason for semi-automatic and automatic weapons.  They weren't what the Founding Fathers envisioned when they wrote the 2nd Amendment and they could have no way of knowing we'd develop ways to kill fellow humans with such efficiency, ruthlessness and speed.

              As I said elsewhere, a rigid interpretation of the 2nd Amendment is fine with me.  We'll dissolve the army and the police force, we can use citizens to form militias to protect the US and property, and you're entitled to the shotgun or musket of your choice.

              :)

              •  Did the Founding Fathers envision (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Shadan7

                radio and TV when they talked about the freedom of the press in the First Amendment? But we still think TV pundits have First Amendment rights. There is no mention of telephones or the Internet in the Fourth Amendment, but we can still complain that the Bush administration is violating our rights with illegal wiretapping and e-mail sweeps.
                    The Constitution has routinely been assumed to apply to the logical offspring of technological progress beyond what existed at the end of the Eighteenth Century. The logical offshoots of the flintlock pistols, muskets, and rifles of that day are the semi-automatc pistols and high-capacity assault rifles of today. What Scalia referred to were "ordinary" weapons that people might routinely choose for self-protection, which would presumably include most of what you might find covered in any gun magazine in the supermarket rack.

                -5.12, -5.23

                We are men of action; lies do not become us.

                by ER Doc on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:54:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  The Framers weren't ignorant (0+ / 0-)

                The framers of the Constitution could not, and did not, envision the extent to which man would go to eradicate another man with speed, severity and efficiency.

                What is your evidence that the Framers of the constitution were that ignorant of science and it's possibilities?
                What is your evidence that when drafting the Constitution, the Framers weren't planning for the future?

                It's not just school shootings, but also the number of children each year who shoot themselves with their parents' guns.

                If a gun is being kept unsafely, I don't see how the type of gun owned is going to protect against that.

      •  Where would the militia get a gun. (10+ / 0-)

        We all know what a militia during the Revolution was. It was ordinary citizens coming with their guns to the fight. Who has the guns if not the citizens that make up the militia?

        Remember, the Grand Canyon was an incremental project.

        by Common Cents on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:33:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's exactly right (7+ / 0-)

          The Founding Fathers wanted to make sure citizens were armed to put a check on the government.

          •  Ummm (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ChurchofBruce, martini, dotdot

            There is little support for that.  The founders wanted to make sure the citizens were armed because it did not have a standing army, it just won independence from an imperialist power which maintained a colony sharing 1000 miles of border with the new nation, and there remained a danger from hostile Native American tribes, bears, etc.

            The frogurt is also cursed. -8.25, -6.51

            by Superribbie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:56:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Good line of thinking. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dotdot

              We do have to think in light of present conditions. I think the founders were against a standing military and would likely support individual arms as a check to a standing army.

              There also remains the point, that a militia would have to bring their own arms. There also remains dangers today while it isn' bears or Native American tribes.

              Evolution is an incremental project.

              by Common Cents on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:59:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Fair enough (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Common Cents

                but we do have both a standing army and a modern police force to deal with those dangers (who can contract directly for all the arms they need), so the premise on which the grant of the right in the 2d Amendment is based has changed.  In fact, if you focus on the use of the term "regulated" preceding militia, you could argue that the police and army are the regulated militia to which the amendment applies and the right to bear arms is restricted to members of those organizations.

                The frogurt is also cursed. -8.25, -6.51

                by Superribbie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:08:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Immediate threats to property and person matter. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  martini, dotdot

                  Yes, but immediate dangers to home and property can't be responded to by the standing army or the modern police force. It seems unlikely that we can paint the amendment in such a light as to strip individuals of the ability to protect their property and person.

                  Given the illegal arms trade that allows great immediate threats to individuals it would seem impossible to me to provide a reading of the 2nd amendment in modern times that could strip individuals of the right to own a registered handgun for protection.

                  Evolution is an incremental project.

                  by Common Cents on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:12:09 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Premise? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  martini, happymisanthropy

                  so the premise on which the grant of the right in the 2d Amendment is based has changed.

                  So what if the premise changed? How does that change what the founders intended? What if in a high unlikely situation the police force and standing army get disbanded or go bankrupt?

                  The founders left an Amendment process to change the constitution. If any part of the constitution is outdated, change it through the amendment process.

                •  But... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Shadan7, dotdot, bperk

                   As far as the framers were concerned, a standing army was a far too powerful tool in the hand of the Executive.

                   The idea of the majority of able-bodied citizens being part of the militia, and that each citizen should also be armed, served two purposes. The first was to defend the country from enemies outside. The second was to defend ourselves from the possible tyranny of an overreaching government.

                   We may not agree with the need for this, and we may hope that such a thing might never come to pass -- but if you read the writings of the founders, there was a clear distaste for the tendency of government to overreach, and the ownership of arms (and mind you, arms equivalent with the best available) was a deterrent to tyranny.

                   

              •  My understanding. (0+ / 0-)

                There was a huge debate over whether or not to even have a bill of rights.  Opponents believe enumerating any would imply that only those named are reserved to the people.  Hence the 9th Amendment.  And the debate over the second amendment was about mitigating Hamilton's standing army.  Jefferson's vision was an America not unlike Switzerland, where every able-bodied citizen is packin heat.  So in the end we got a standing army AND an guarantee that the feds couldn't disarm the states.  I see no individual right there, but I also can't believe the founders would have envisioned a country where guns were banned, either.  But had Jefferson prevailed in his fight there would be 12 amendments, the 11th against monopolies and 12th against standing armies.  Or vice versa.  Too bad.

                In the end though, this is a troubling ruling because it does seem to elevate gun ownership rights to a sacrosanct position and makes us revolutionaries first and citizens second.

                McCain/Jindal '08: An old priest and a young priest.

                by Thaddaeus Toad on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:14:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I really don't understand that (0+ / 0-)

                  connection.

                  In the end though, this is a troubling ruling because it does seem to elevate gun ownership rights to a sacrosanct position and makes us revolutionaries first and citizens second.

                  Another diary claims the same and I still dont' get it. Do you mind just explaining how you've come to this conclusion?

                  "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." Mark Twain

                  by dotdot on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:01:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Superribbie

              So, because we have an army, the idea that citizens must arm themselves to protect the government gets a little more thin and insubstantial.

              Hey, my daddy had a 4/10 shotgun to kill snakes and I've no problem with those who choose to hunt for their own food with a bow and arrow or a shotgun.

              I do have huge issues with people owning mini-arsenals and automatic weapons designed to kill their neighbors.

              •  I doubt you know anyone with (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rockhound, happymisanthropy

                automatic weapons.  They are extremely hard to obtain, require a federal license and must have been in the country before 1986.

                The only legal automatic weapon used in a felony in many many years was by a cop.

                The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

                by deathsinger on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:28:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Are you trying to imply there is not (0+ / 0-)

                  the ability to purchase and own these weapons?

                  Because you'd be incorrect, and I do know people who own them.

                  •  The federal ban expired in 2004. n/t (0+ / 0-)
                  •  Federal Ban Expires in 2004 - (0+ / 0-)

                    Here's a link.  

                    http://www.usatoday.com/...

                    •  Are you admitting that you do not (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Shadan7, buddabelly, dewley notid

                      know what an automatic weapon is?

                      The 1994 ban was not on automatic weapons, it was on semi-automatic "assault" weapons.  Automatic weapons manufactured after 1986 are BANNED.  That law dates to 1968.

                      The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

                      by deathsinger on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:50:55 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Did you read the other link? (0+ / 0-)

                        I didn't think so.  Again, the knee-jerk reaction when it comes to guns...::sigh::

                        •  look you're wrong.the ban was on semi auto (4+ / 0-)

                          "assault weapons". The firearms control act of 1934 first established the controls on fully auto weapons and all manufactured since 1986 are completely banned.

                          A person can purchase a already registered full auto weapon if the pass an intense BATF background check.

                          " 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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:59:13 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  But it's possible to own an automatic weapons (0+ / 0-)

                            which puts them circulating out there, amongst all other weapons, which makes them a threat.

                            Not an imagined threat, a real threat.  So, that brings me around to my original comment before we parsed out 'automatic weapons', and that is I find people who own them, and mini-arsenals, to be not a little bit frightening.

                            That is not to say I object to gun ownership at all; I do not.  I think if you want to own a shotgun to go hunting with (bow and arrow seems more sporting, but I digress), fine by me.  You want to shoot poisonous water snakes on your front porch?  Fine.

                            But you do not need automatic weapons to do those sorts of things, and I stand by that assessment.

                          •  such a threat that a registered automatic (5+ / 0-)

                            has been used once in a crime since the law was enacted.

                            Keep your fear to yourself and far from our rights.

                            Your argument and the bush FISA argument are similar in their desire for supposed safty over freedom.

                            Life isn't safe. At least as Americans we have the right to attempt to defend ourselves.

                            I'll take my chances in the constitutional structure we have.

                            Also you have a choice. You can attempt to amend the Constitution to repeal the Second. Won't go far but that is your right.

                            " 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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:09:17 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't buy your contention it's only (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Agathena

                            happened once.  Facts and statistics, please.

                            I will not keep my fear to myself; as I recall, this is a country with the freedom of speech.  And I will exercise that right whether you like or not, care for it or not and I won't be silenced by you, not even under the threat and intimidation of guns.

                            Cos' you're a real, big macho guy, right?  That gun represents more than self-protection, I'd say.

                            Not to mention, a hothead such as yourself probably shouldn't own a gun, eh?  That's what two step rules are for...

                            All I can say is I hope you have a license, legal gun ownership, keep your guns locked up and away from your children and that you have the mental sense not to use a gun on someone when you haven't thought it through.

                            The problem is, they're never called for in situations where you have to 'think it through...'

                          •  you display all the symptoms of a fictional (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Shadan7, ER Doc

                            diagnosis, Hoplophobia. An irrational fear of weapons.

                            Don't carry unless in the bush, no need. I live 40+ minutes from a cop, 40 minutes from the border and have livestock so yes my weapon is a tool of self defense and defense of my stock.

                            Really not what I or anyone else would consider Macho, or a hothead but as you feel free to diagnose so will I. Hoplophobe.

                            Oh be scared out here in the wild wild west. We have the Right to open carry and concealed (with permit) and the Right to protect ourselves and our livestock. Yet D.C. with the most restrictive gun ban in the nation leads us all in firearms violence, hmmmmm.

                            " 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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:41:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Where's your proof it's only been one? (0+ / 0-)

                            Still don't have it, do you?

                            I don't have a fear of weapons; I grew up with shotguns in the house.  But I also grew up with people who taught me guns are the last answer, not the first reply.

                            I learned how to shoot guns, this is the deep south I'm in, after all.  I owned a .22 and a .38 before I had my daughter.  I got rid of them because a cop friend of mine said my daughter is more harm herself with it, than I am to shoot a criminal.  And that came from a cop, for Pete's sake.

                            There isn't only one way to look at the issue, but you're insisting that there is.  Again, that's why I framed the remarks I did, the way I did.

                            You're doing the exact same thing to me, that you're decrying was done you to.  You decided, before we began, you knew how I felt about guns, what my experience was with guns and that what I really wanted was to strip you of guns.

                            But that isn't it at all.  I don't think we should have automatic or semi automatic weapons available for sale to the general public.  Period.  They aren't necessary for home protection.  You yourself said the use of them is rare; that means there clearly isn't a need to do so.

                            Thank you for proving my argument for me.

                          •  You can think anything you wan't, that doesn't (0+ / 0-)

                            mean it's right.

                            Luckily this is now decided.

                            " 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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:58:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  For now. (0+ / 0-)

                            But reasonable limits?  I intend to work for a ban on semi-automatic and automatic weapons.

                            You can have your shotgun, and your musket, if you like.  Since, we're going all 'old Colonial interpretation of the Constitution' and all...

                            If you want a rigid interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, then you get to keep only the weapons that were in existence in the time of that Amendment.

                            Sounds fair.

                            :)

                          •  about the same as a ban on internet political (3+ / 0-)

                            speech as obviously the First could only apply to the technology of the time.

                            It's obvious from this conversation you know little about the items you wish to ban.

                            A semi auto and a automatic are very different beasts in their destructive power due to the rate of fire.

                            Semi 1 trigger pull 1 bullet. Auto shoots rapidly till magazine is empty.

                            Auto has been heavily regulated since 1934.

                            The decision yesterday changed nothing in regards to regulation of automatic weapons.

                            How is reading "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" to mean what it says a "rigid interpretation"?

                            " 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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:23:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Again ::sigh:: (0+ / 0-)

                            every time this topic comes up there is this repetitive discussion about how the right is not to be 'infringed' upon.

                            And again, I say to you, women didn't have the vote then. Blacks were property.  We amended those things, in the interest of a progressive society.

                            So, yes, to decide that this is the one right that can never be reviewed, amended, updated, modernized, qualified, changed or considered for such strikes me as a rigid interpretation of the 2nd amendment.

                            And I even said you were entitled to it.  But if you want to frame it only in the way the Founding Father's did, then it's specious (at best) for you to try to apply it to modern weaponry in modern times.  The Founding Fathers had no concept of such weapons as semi-automatic and automatic. Feel free to have it uninfringed upon; but also feel free to exercise it in the spirit it was intended, with muskets and militias, no army, no police force and citizens operating in that capacity, under regulation, of course.  I believe the amendment says 'well-regulated.'

                            It's disingenuous, at best, to say that you're going to take a rigid, no amendment stance on it, and then take only part of the amendment that suits your wants and/or needs.

                            So, feel free to grab a musket and stand a post...

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                            The concept of a universal militia, consisting of all free white men bearing their own arms, originated in England.[8][9][10] The requirement that subjects bear arms and serve military duty,[11][12][13][14] dates back to at least the 12th century when King Henry II obligated all freemen to bear arms for public defense (see Assize of Arms). At that time, it was customary for a soldier to purchase, maintain, keep, and bring his own armor and weapon for military service. This was of such importance that Crown officials gave periodic inspections to guarantee a properly armed militia. King Henry III required every subject between the ages of fifteen and fifty (including non-land owning subjects) to own a weapon other than a knife. The reason for such a requirement was that in the absence of a regular army and police force (which was not established until 1829), it was the duty of every man to keep watch and ward at night to capture and confront suspicious persons. Every subject had an obligation to protect the king’s peace and assist in the suppression of riots.[15] This remained relatively unchanged until 1671, when Parliament created a statute that drastically raised the property qualifications needed to possess firearms. In essence, this statute disarmed all but the very wealthy. In 1686, King James II banned without exception the Protestants' ability to possess firearms, even while Protestants constituted over 95% of the English subjects. Not until 1689, with the rise of William of Orange, was this reversed by the English Declaration of Rights which declared that "Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their defence suitable to their Conditions, and as allowed by Law".

                            Hell, even the English reversed their position on this; most Western Europeans have some sort of understanding regarding limited gun ownership (except for Switzerland, they're actually more fanatical than the US, oddly enough)

                            Semi-automatic weapons:

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                            Why in the blue blazes would anyone need a 'light machine gun' for home personal use???

                            http://www.sinergylarp.com/...

                            Aren't you referring to single shot pistols?

                          •  From your link (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Shadan7, ER Doc

                            An assault rifle is a selective fire rifle or carbine firing ammunition with muzzle energies intermediate between those typical of pistol and high-powered rifle ammunition.

                            Selective fire is controlled under the firearms act of 1934 IE illegal without major hoops and BATF approval. Selective fire means capable of full auto, single shot, or burst usually three round. with a switch to change from mode to mode. I don't need one, Who said I did?

                            And the second link makes no sense.  Rules for a game? That by the way aren't even accurate to real ballistics as the third sentence shows.

                               

                             The following list is a selection of weapons that may be available as phys-reps, in either airsoft, replica or toy form, to the players of the SINergy live-roleplaying game. Weapon damage is classified mainly according to the size of the ammunition that that weapon would fire in reality, and not to the size of the gun. For example, the Colt 9mm SMG, a carbine version of the M16 Assault rifle fires 9mm ammunition, the same as an average pistol and therefore, when fired in single shot mode, would do the same damage, whereas a Detonics Combat Master pistol, a relatively small handgun, fires a .45acp round, giving it much more stopping power than the Colt when fired in this way.

                            A carbine due to the longer barrel produces higher muzzle velocities hence more energy on target. The round itself is but one part of the equation.

                            " 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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:51:18 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yeah, I don't know what the second link (0+ / 0-)

                            is from.  I thought I put in another one. Oops.

                            I meant assault pistols, or PDWs.  I was asking if that is what you meant before.

                            http://www.savvysurvivor.com/...

                            That is the correct link.

                          •  Nowhere have I or anyone here said (0+ / 0-)

                            there should be no restrictions on weaponry. I have repeatedly pointed out how this decision did nothing to void those laws.

                            The PDW as you put it is an illegal weapon unless purchased and licensed before 1986.

                            Plus they are imho worthless as a weapon as they tend to jam and are extremely inaccurate.

                             Worthless to myself anyway. If a collector wants one, and they can pass the rigid  background ck required to own such a weapon, and afford the 12-15k one of those costs now,  more power to them

                            " 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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:11:03 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Here is the instance (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Shadan7, buddabelly, ER Doc

                            On September 15th, 1988, a 13-year veteran of the Dayton, Ohio police department, Patrolman Roger Waller, then 32, used his fully automatic MAC-11 .380 caliber submachine gun to kill a police informant, 52-year-old Lawrence Hileman. Patrolman Waller pleaded guilty in 1990, and he and an accomplice were sentenced to 18 years in prison.

                            The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

                            by deathsinger on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:22:35 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  irrational fear of weapons, haha (0+ / 0-)

                            It's irrational not to fear weapons.

                            What stalwart troopers fighting to protect their weapons. How brave.

                            This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

                            by Agathena on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 06:26:56 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  facts and statistics like hen's teeth (0+ / 0-)

                            xysea said:

                            I don't buy your contention it's only happened once.  Facts and statistics, please.

                            xysea, I too was under the belief that legal fully-automatic weapons had never or very, very rarely been used in crime.  Your request for statistics intrigued me.  

                            I did a bunch of Google searches (which, you know, means the research is exhaustive and 100% accurate) and was able to find almost no material on the matter.  My conclusion: I can't prove rare use in crime, although I still believe it to be true.  You may very well be correct.  

                            What little I did find seemed to be a circle of gun sites citing (no pun) other gun sites.  Governmental sources did not indicate one way or the other.  

                            The lack of data seems to suggest the contention is correct, but that is merely a suggestion.  If it was commonplace, I would expect to find news reports.  I have been unable, however, to find any impartial source to definitively refute your belief.  

                            I would add, however, what others have probably already stated: a transferable Class III weapon is very expensive (a true M-16 runs in the $15-20K range; a M-60 or M-249 runs in the $50K-60K range) and ATF truly climbs up your ass before you get your tax stamp.  It is debatable whether cost alone would contribute to a low rate of crime with such weapons.  The ATF investigation, I think, would support that conclusion.  

                            A fully automatic weapon, however, is very impractical for most crimes, and except for belt-fed machine guns (which require a shooter and an ammo guy), they run out of ammo at an alarming rate.  I consider them interesting toys that I'll happily try out if someone is kind enough to offer (and they usually are).  

                            I will not keep my fear to myself; as I recall, this is a country with the freedom of speech.  And I will exercise that right whether you like or not, care for it or not and I won't be silenced by you, not even under the threat and intimidation of guns.

                            First Amendment issues aside, I think your fear is well founded.  We call them "weapons" because they are machines designed for fighting and are therefore dangerous.  

                            I'm sure we agree that barriers of some sort should always exist between children too young to be properly trained and weapons.  We put child locks on our drawers, cupboards and electric outlets, right?  That's a no-brainer.  

                            As for thinking through, I confess I don't completely understand your comment.  I agree that an appropriate mental sense is necessary if a firearm is to be properly used for defense.  

                            But there is a dizzying array of training available that does two things: (1) increases your skill level to the point that you needn't think about anything except evaluating the putative threat; and (2) drills you repeatedly in threat/no-threat scenarios where the hands, waistband and feet are examined over and over with the purpose of identifying a lethal threat.  All it takes is time and money.  

                            Some people are naturally cool in a crisis.  Everyone else can be trained.  

                            But the Freudian jab?  Come on -- that's below the belt (pun intended).  You and your arguments are above that.

                          •  Oh and one other thing - (0+ / 0-)

                            yeah, life isn't safe under the best of circumstances.  So, I see no need to make it any less safe, or more risky, than it is by putting mini-arsenals in peoples' homes.

                            It's amazing, when you start to look at the statistics of how many peoples' children shoot themselves because of guns in the home.  Or how many people off themselves, or shoot themselves in the foot.

                            When I worked in the hosptial, in the ER, we used to see people all the time who shot up their ankles 'cleaning their guns' and the like.

                          •  dumb people hurt themselves in lots of ways (4+ / 0-)

                            kids drown in pools as often as they accidently shoot themselves.  Safty is an illusion.

                            It is not our governments job to protect us from ourselves. The oath of office says nothing about safty.  

                            I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

                            " 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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:50:27 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But it is my duty to protect myself (0+ / 0-)

                            and my kids from you and your guns.  I didn't ask the president to do it, and I didn't ask for a constitutional amendment.

                            Again, you're the one jumping off the diving board here.  All I said is I thought automatic and semi-automatic weapons were banned; I think, and I've said this elsewhere, that there is a limit to gun ownership.  If you cannot find that limit and self-impose it, then it behooves me as a fellow citizen to help you find it.

                            And of course, the constitution says nothing about a police force, or an army, so maybe we should dissolve those as well and just arm all citizens to defende the US?

                            Yeah, right.

                          •  The founders wanted no standing army (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Shadan7, dewley notid

                            I tend to agree. We wouldn't have had the last 5-6 wars without one.

                            This decision you decry allows for reasonable limits on firearms. A ban is not a reasonable limit.

                            " 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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:00:41 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That's a matter of perspective. (0+ / 0-)

                            I would think a ban on some firearms, not all, would be a reasonable limit.  

                            You could still have shotguns for snakes and hunting, shoot, even to kill people.  You just couldn't do it with a ruthless amount of speed and efficiency.

                            As for the last 5-6 wars, I'm a bit perplexed on your standing against them.  Even I see the necessity of keeping open the idea of war; after all, just because you don't use it doesn't mean your enemies won't.

                          •  Well lets see, Vietnam , Grenada , (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Shadan7, dewley notid

                            Panama, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, I may even have missed a few of the smaller ones.

                            How many of those were justified? How many times were we, as a country,  in danger?

                            Afghanistan possibly though a law enforcement approach would probably have worked better. Kosovo for humanitarian reasons but then explain Rwanda.  The others?

                            And all could have been prosecuted, if nesc., with a called up army.

                            " 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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:29:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Read much Von Clausewitz? (0+ / 0-)

                            Wars are not soley fought on the basis of physical threat, though I'll argue and agree that they most likely should be...

                            Kosovo was a peace keeping mission, to combat genocide.  Kinda like WII and Jews in concentration camps, so sorry can't give you that one.  

                            I don't know that a 'called up army' would be properly trained to handle such conflicts...

                          •  Kosovo instead of Rwanda (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            buddabelly

                            because Europe is near established military bases.  Rwanda is a land-locked country on a continent not entirely happy with the colonial powers...

                            The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

                            by deathsinger on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:21:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  Apparently (4+ / 0-)

                    my comment about requiring a federal license zipped past you.  Yes, they can be obtained, but it is not easy, nor is it cheap.

                    The Supreme Court did not overturn any of these measures.  It did not rule on automatic weapons other than to comment on common use.

                    The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

                    by deathsinger on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:48:40 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  There is no federal gun license requirement (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      xysea

                      unless you are a gun dealer as far as I know.

                      •  you're wrong. all full auto require BATF approval (7+ / 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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:00:09 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  true , buddabelly , and the automatic weapon is (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Shadan7, buddabelly

                          not transferrable. The permits are extremely difficult, and expensive, for a person not in a supervisory position in law enforcement to get - waiting times are currently over 10 months. Discussed this today with owner of our local gun shop - 30 year law enforcement veteran and former chief of police in next town down the road.Always astonishing at the vigor with which people who knowabsolutewly nothing whatever about guns insist they shouldn't be owned by civilians. Shit , how great a job is the government in this and other countries doing with the ethical and reasonable use of firearms? Seems like governments are the entities we should be working on disarming.

                          •  Not quite accurate... (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Shadan7, buddabelly, Aristodemus

                            An automatic firearm that is legally owned (IE, on the ATF's registry and going from a licensed owner to a licensed buyer) can be legally transferred, assuming that the Federal NFA requirements and the laws of the State are complied with by both seller and buyer. Such transfers must also go through a licensed Class III dealer. NFA weapons cannot be transferred face-to-face.

                            Where the 1986 thing comes in is that Congress included an amendment to the 1986 Gun Owners Protection Act that said that no firearms manufactured after May 1, 1986 could be added to the list. So the number of legally-transferrable automatic firearms was capped as of that date. You can imagine what that's done to the prices of such firearms.

                            This provision is actually quite similar to one of the terms of DC's handgun ban, which said that if you did not have a license by a certain date, you could never have one. The critical difference is that the Federal law applies to the firearm, while the DC law applied to the person. How this distinction works in the context of the decision in Heller is something for a future case, automatic weapons were simply not at issue in this one.

                            --Shannon

                      •  Incorrect (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Shadan7, ER Doc, dewley notid

                        To become a registered owner, a complete FBI background investigation is conducted, checking for any criminal history or tendencies toward violence, and an application must be submitted to the BATF including two sets of fingerprints, a recent photo, a sworn affidavit that transfer of the NFA firearm is of "reasonable necessity," and that sale to and possession of the weapon by the applicant "would be consistent with public safety." The application form also requires the signature of a chief law enforcement officer with jurisdiction in the applicant's residence.

                        The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

                        by deathsinger on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:14:05 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Machine guns vs. assault weapons (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          deathsinger

                          is not something I was familiar with.  Sorry.

                          •  And that's precisly why the term was invented. (7+ / 0-)

                            Your confusion on this issue is not something to be ashamed of...

                            It is the intent of those who wrote the 1994 AWB.

                            It went like this:

                            1. Most people think fully automatic weapons are bad.
                            1. There are firearms that look exactly like fully automatic rifles, but are not.
                            1. we can ban them, and nobody will bitch.

                            So they created a class of firearms, "Assault weapons", meaning semi-automatic rifles that look scary, conflated them with machineguns, which was easy to do, as most don't understand the differences, and banned them in the name of "public safety."

                            --Shannon

                          •  Exactly. Best I can tell, an "assault weapon" (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Shadan7, ER Doc

                            is usually an ugly piece of shit made in China or Eastern Europe with a sheet metal receiver and with accuracy like a pistol. And almost always chambered for a low-pressure , low power caliber like 7.62x 39 mm . which you probably know is almost as much an elephant sniper round as the 112(?) year old 30-30. Or , made in USA ,or Belgium , Isreal and costs more than $1K.

                          •  I prefer the .30 WCF (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Abra Crabcakeya

                            to the 7.62x39... shoots heavier bullets better, and, well, it's Amurican, dammit!!

                            Although an SKS is a real hoot. I want one.

                            --Shannon

                            PS - Careful with the elephant references. Bell used a 7mm Mauser, and the .303 British was popular as well. Lots o' ivory was generated thereby. Not that I'd hunt them, but if I did, it sure as hell wouldn't be with either of those.

                            Fade to image of old bull picking Shannon-goo from between his toes with his tusks, a splintered Lee-Enfield lying nearby under a bush....

                          •  What, 7mm ?? Gee , You missed an opportunity (0+ / 0-)

                            to talk about his 6.5 Mannlicher -Schoenaur , really going on the edge there. Solids , of course.
                            Like those old stories ,I forget the earlier Frenchman's name , and on up through Ruark , Capstick-Hathaway ,others. Not that I'll ever see Africa , but as a kid those tales , w/color photos in Field & Stream, Outdoor Life were amazing.   Also same places I first read the word "ecology" , 40 years ago. First concern I saw in writing about places getting mesed up with filth in water , air.
                            Have you read Capstick Hathaway ? (realize , little doubt you have) BTW , have a '94 Trails End Hunter Octagonal arriving soon , not in 2535 I really wanted , but in 44 Rem mag. Speaking of Amurican.

                          •  thanks to Josh Sugarman (0+ / 0-)

                            for the "assault weapon" newspeak.  He really is sort of a left Karl Rove/evil genius.

                            I have two definitions of "assault weapon" and all are free to choose.  

                            The first is precisely as so many of you have stated: something that looks really scary.  I never tire of that picture.  Personally I think flat-black is a nice additional, but "Flat Dark Earth" is in vogue as a sandy-looking color.  

                            The second is more functionally oriented: an "assault weapon" is what you want to have if you absolutely, positively cannot avoid getting in a gun fight.  

                        •  Until they take the full-autos from Blackwater, (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Abra Crabcakeya

                          I want mine too.

                    •  Right, but your contention that I could (0+ / 0-)

                      not know anyone who owned these sorts of weapons was clearly wrong.

                      •  I never said that you (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Shadan7, ER Doc

                        could not know anyone, I said I doubted you knew anyone.

                        You then claimed that you did know people who owned these weapons.  I still doubt that since you then linked to an article in the USA Today about "assault" weapons and claimed that the ban on automatic weapons ended in 2004.

                        Legal automatic weapons are not much of threat to life in this country.  Confusing semi-automatic weapons and automatic weapons in the name of gun control is.

                        The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

                        by deathsinger on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:22:14 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Hello? (0+ / 0-)

                          Confusing a semi-automatic and an automatic never killed anyone to my knowledge...do you have facts to support this or is it just a hyperbolic statement in defense of guns?

                          Now, I've known a few people with M-16 rifles, and quite a few with semi-automatic pistols.  It's up to you to believe me or not.  I've also known people who modified their own weapons at home.

                          That's not unheard of; what you're trying to do is play down the threat so that you can have your guns without having to be held accountable and responsible.

                          Same sh*t, different day.

                          I only wish you defended the safety of your fellow citizens as rigorously as you defend yourself and your own rights.  Then, we might actually resemble something like a progressive society.

                          •  Did you those criminals in for the safety (4+ / 0-)

                            of the community?  Doubt it.

                            Now, I've known a few people with M-16 rifles, and quite a few with semi-automatic pistols.  It's up to you to believe me or not.  I've also known people who modified their own weapons at home.

                            That is a crime.  The Supreme Court did not overturn that.  Again, I doubt you know anyone with an M-16, which, again, is an automatic weapon that requires a federal license.  On the other hand I would believe that you know people with an AR-15 and they modified them, illegally.

                            That's not unheard of; what you're trying to do is play down the threat so that you can have your guns without having to be held accountable and responsible.

                            No *************, modifying a gun illegally is just that, illegal.  We don't need a new law for that, we need citizens to call the police when they encounter crime.  I know, that is a novel concept to a progressive, personal responsibility and all.  Singing "It's raining (police)men" doesn't cut it.

                            The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

                            by deathsinger on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:07:55 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I wouldn't... (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Shadan7, deathsinger, Abra Crabcakeya

                            On the other hand I would believe that you know people with an AR-15 and they modified them, illegally.

                            It's actually pretty hard to do...

                            semi-auto only ARs are designed such that modifying one for full auto is not a trivial task. Doing it in a way that will actually work reliably is damned near impossible, from what I understand.

                            And, as you mentioned, it's already against the law.

                            --Shannon

                          •  Depends on the exact model (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Shadan7

                            on how close to automatic you can make it and how easily.  Three shot burst apparently is not that hard.  We did turn in some moron back in the 1980's who modified his.  The cops just confiscated the weapon and wrote him a citation.

                            Sheriff never did sign off on that idiot's application for an MP5.

                            Back then I could barely afford the ammo for my friend's Uzi.  Today I can afford the ammo, but just can't see paying the $20K to get a legal gun.  But man, was it a thrill to shoot 30 holes in a cardboard target with a pull of the trigger (or honestly, more like 3 cause that weapon just takes off on you.)

                            The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

                            by deathsinger on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 05:41:50 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Of course, (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            deathsinger, Aristodemus

                            an SKS with a floating firing pin can slam fire just because it's dirty... and I've got a Norinco .22 pistol that will do so as well, although I've not figured the exact mechanism by which this happens. Surprised the crap out of me the first time it let off a three-round burst before I could get off the (fairly light) trigger... I'm not a religious cleaner of .22s, but that one gets the full monty every time it comes home from the range. And, no, I never tried to find out if I could empty the magazine when it was doubling. "Stupidly unsafe" comes to mind...

                            A lot of the jackasses who try to modify semi-autos for "full auto" end up shooting themselves... doing it right is not easy, and anybody with the know-how is probably going to be smart enough to know that it's illegal. Doing it mono-buttock-edly is a good way to get dead.

                            The point, of course, is that the attempt to justify the "Assault Weapons Ban" because such firearms are "easily modified for fully automatic fire" is simply bullshit. But then, I expect you already knew that. But reading gun threads on DKos will make it very clear that many well-informed (or they wouldn't be here) people do not.

                            --Shannon

                          •  REALLY hard to do now (0+ / 0-)

                            that most manufacturers will not sell any Class III parts without a copy of the tax stamp.  True, you can always start with billet steel and a CNC mill . . . .

            •  Fed. Paper No. 46, et al. (7+ / 0-)

              How about these quotes from our founding fathers?

            •  Exact reason doesn't matter (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Shadan7, ER Doc, bperk
              Regardless of where you put the commas :-) or the historical context of the Canadian colonies, etc., the Framers clearly believed that the ability of citizens to come together to form a militia was fundamental to the security of the nation.  In order to form a militia, they'd have to already own guns and know how to use them.  
              You can argue that's all obsolete now and try to amend the constitution accordingly, but I think the general principle is sound and would not support amending it.
            •  Tree of Liberty (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Shadan7, bperk

              Per Jefferson: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure."

              This suggests that he thought that future armed insurrection against our government may be necessary to ensure that we maintain liberty. An armed populace as a check against the government seems like it would be a necessary component here.

              Now, we can argue about the merits of this case in modern times fine and dandy, but I think it is a bit of revisionism to argue that an individual right to arms is way outside of the scope of the intent of the Founding Fathers.

            •  ...and slaves. (0+ / 0-)

              There is some good evidence that the Second Amendment was crafted as a concession to slave-holding representatives in the Continental Congress which feared slave insurrection, and therefore feared the "gubbmint takin away thar guns!"

              As it turns out, the widespread presence of guns makes the likelihood of loss of rights MORE prevalent, by an unlikely and counterintuitive combination of arrogance, paranoia and entitlement of those holding the guns. Guns, like computers, may just be objects, but they are objects which leverage powerfully on the psychology of mortals.

              The meek shall inherit the earth, I think is the biblical way of putting it.  

              Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

              by OregonOak on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:27:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  And that's what they said. (5+ / 0-)

            Anti-gun folks can only rely on an "interpretation" of the second amendment in a vaccum of other context.  They can't rely on the actual context of the amendment and the words of those who contributed to it.  The founders clearly intended that individual people be armed.  The "militia" clause is the justification, not the caveat.

        •  a quotation (0+ / 0-)

          The people should not fear the government, the government should fear the people -- V

        •  property rights (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Silverbird

          I can find nowhere the right to use deadly force to protect property.  Property can be replaced, human life can not.

      •  If you look at what the militia was (0+ / 0-)

        at the time the Constitution was written, it was basically any citizen with a gun. If there was an attack/emergency, every armed citizen was expected to be part of the defensive force.

        Isn't that the very definition of 'citizen soldier'? And isn't that what a militia is?

      •  See the Copyright Clause (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shadan7, buddabelly, ER Doc

        Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, known as the Copyright Clause, the Copyright and Patent Clause (or Patent and Copyright Clause), the Intellectual Property Clause and the Progressive Clause, empowers the United States Congress:

        "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

        Applications for copyrights and patents are not assessed first as to whether they individually "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" before copyrights and patents are issued.

        Read the Heller decision, as well as the lower courts' decisions where the introductory clause is addressed.  Read also the Fifth Circuit Court's U.S. v. Emerson.  You're beating a dead dog here, and with a little education, you'd understand that.

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

        by rangemaster on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:31:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Individual rights (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc

        No it doesn't. The bill of rights are individual rights. How could it be that 9 of them are individual rights but one of them is a collective right.

        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.

        The whole debate is about what those commas mean. They could mean what you said or they could mean this:

        A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State and the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

        No one really knows what those commas mean 100% however I think the Bills of Rights were meant to be individual rights so I would think the second amendment means people have the right to bear arms along with the right for states to have militias.

        •  As I said above (0+ / 0-)

          you can get individual rights out of that amendment, as long as you ignore the most vomitous comma-splice in written history :-)

          CoB, future English teacher, who gives that amendment an F-.

          You bet your ass I'm bitter. And, yes, middle-america 'values' voters, you *have* been duped. Obama's right. And I'm bitter as hell.

          by ChurchofBruce on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:53:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm registered for the draft. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shadan7

        Yes, that does make me a member of a de facto federal militia which may or may not be constitutional itself.

        However, that's the whole point.  Congress has the power to DISBAND the organized militia.  And if you look closely at the second amendment, it's written precisely to still apply even after that happens.  Scary, huh?  Like they actually knew what they were doing?

    •  "The right of the people to bear arms" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Superribbie, xysea

      The framers didn't use the word "people" as we do, to mean simply more than one person. They used it the way we would use the term "populace" -- to refer to the citizenry as a body. They also lived in a time when there was no such thing as a police force as we know it; order, when disrupted, was restored by citizen posses. It was possible, in the 18th century, for the royal government to disarm a town on the grounds of preventing rebellion, only to leave that town defenseless against, say, a Native American raid.

      "A well-regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free state" -- this is saying that the people aren't secure unless they can defend themselves against an outside threat. But this is all about the populace defending itself, the state defending itself, not individuals defending themselves. And today, we have police forces and the National Guard serving in the role that was then performed by citizen militias. The First Amendment safeguards our individual rights to freedom of conscience; the Second Amendment safeguards a collective right to security.

      "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

      by Geenius at Wrok on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:22:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What about (0+ / 0-)

      commonsense limits to privacy? You OK with that?

      Life is not about joy and happiness. It is about duty and responsibility.

      by Void Indigo on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:09:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So, because it's listed second instead of first (24+ / 0-)

    it's somehow less important? What about everything that follows those two - should we just erase them because they're apparently minor little details and no one cares about them?

    Color me puzzled.

    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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:17:24 AM PDT

    •  The 14th Amendment is really not important. n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ben masel, dallasdave
    •  Yeah - I don't get that argument either (12+ / 0-)

      The Bill of Rights is an entire document - it's not the podium at the Olympics where there's a Gold, Silver and Bronze position. Speech is important. State sovereignty is important. All that stuff is important.

      And I don't buy this diary's premise, either. The definition of a citizen hasn't changed. What has changed is that a city cannot, by simple fiat at the supervisor level, strip every resident of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

      More, the court acknowledges that this is a basic right, but not an unlimited one. I don't get the crying about this at all.

      Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

      by The Raven on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:01:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Both can be enforced (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PatsBard

      I'm not seeing why people are so ready to put any Constitutional rights so high on a pedestal that they are acquiescent to letting the other ones fall by the wayside. It's not either/or with the 1st and 2nd Amendment.

      And if you don't like this interpretation of the 2nd amendment, it's really not that far out there to read "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." as meaning saying that the right of regular people to have arms should not be infringed, with sensible limitation. You are going to really need a Constitutional amendment if you aren't happy about it.

      That might not be politically viable, but an especially narrow interpretation of the 2nd isn't really politically likely either.

  •  Actually (10+ / 0-)

    what we know today as the First Amendment was originally the Third; the first two amendments were dropped from the process during ratification, one of them later being ratified as the 27th Amendment.

    "How eager you are to be slaves." - Emperor Tiberius to the Senate of Rome, in response to their offer to pass any legislation he wished.

    by MBNYC on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:17:26 AM PDT

  •  I knew I had a good reason (15+ / 0-)

    for not reading your diaries. Your basic premise is crapola of the first magnitude. The First Amendment is not trumped by the Second Amendment as a result of this ruling.

    People have an individual, inalienable right to express themselves and to do so publicly. The individual, inalienable right to personal self-defense is affirmed by the Heller decision.

    There is no "new definition of citizenship," and your precious fucking "framing" shouldn't gull anyone into thinking there is.

    Look at Kos' diary at the top of the page as I write this, quoting Chris Bowers. You're playing to the same fear as Bowers says the conservatives play to -- "Oh, noes, the wingnuts will shoot us down on the streets and claim it was self defense."

    Stick it where the sun don't shine. I do not live in fear of the consequences of the Heller decision, and no liberal with a spine should, either.

    "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

    by Ivan on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:17:57 AM PDT

  •  Mindblowing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xysea, BlueGenes, MelloY

    It has alwsy cracked me up that the most virulent of the "I need my gun in case the government tries to tyannate me" crowd would let Dick Cheney stick his gun up their asses before they ever fight the government. It's so whack.

    And did SAcalia actually look to foreign law??? Hope he didn't do it on the internet.

  •  While I value the first amendment (15+ / 0-)

    I do not see any implicit priority based on the numbering.  In general, later amendments override earlier amendments, although since the first ten were passed at the same time that's not really the case for them.

    The importance of the first amendment is that without free speech you cannot call attention to the violations of other constitutional rights.

    •  Exactly right. (5+ / 0-)

      The prevailing constitutional theory is that the amendments in the bill of rights should be construed to carry equal weight as a matter of law because they were added to the constitution simultaneously.  Later amendments, such as the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, are thought to carry greater weight precisely because they were added later and thus should be interpreted as revisions, intended to override in the event of a conflict with and earlier language.

      This means that no matter what Scalia and his NRA buddies say, none of the first 10 amendments carry any more weight than any of the other 9.  In other words, the part of the opinion that the author is complaining about is just a bunch of dicta, and can be safely ignored as such.

      In all fairness though, Mr. Feldman admits he's not a lawyer or a con-law scholar, so he would have no reason to have known this.

    •  fair enough (0+ / 0-)

      I don't agree.  

      ---
      Tired of violent language from right-wing pundits? Buy my book: Outright Barbarous

      by Jeffrey Feldman on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:42:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are free to disagree ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KMc, martini

        but nevertheless, that is the way the constitution has traditionally been interpreted by the court.  Later amendments carry greater weight than earlier ones, and those enacted at the same time carry equal weight.  

        This is actually one of the more fundamental rules of constitutional interpretation employed by the court.  

      •  So, then, the sale of alcohol is illegal? (0+ / 0-)

        After all, it was made illegal by the 18th amendment which was repealed by the 21st.  But, if the earlier numbered amendments take priority then it clearly supercedes the 21st and thus no beer for you.

    •  No. No state religion comes first. (0+ / 0-)

      It comes first because it is the most important.

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion

      Freedom of religion and ideas is more important than the items that apply to individuals because it is more fundamental.

      "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:53:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not sure (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FishOutofWater

        While I certainly don't want a state religion, particularly a fundamentalist one, if I lived in Britain, the existance of the Church of England would be of little concern.  The laws against sedition, etc. would be of more concern.

        •  Would it bother you if you were (0+ / 0-)

          taxed to support it?

          Or, as is true in Germany, you were required by law to be a member of a Church?

          As an atheist, that would bug the shit out of me.

          --Shannon

          •  No and Maybe (0+ / 0-)

            It wouldn't particularly bother me if I were taxed to support a state church -- so long as the taxes weren't particularly high.  In a way, we are taxed to support churches here -- they are tax exempt but use services (roads etc) paid for by my taxes.

            In a complex modern society, your taxes often go for things you aren't particularly interested in supporting.  (Enjoying your Iraq war?)

            Requiring me to be a member is a bit more troubling, although I would have to ask what it actually meant.  If it just required me to have my name on their rolls, well the government requires me to sign up for all kinds of things now.

            No one can make you actually believe anything.

            •  OK, so you wouldn't mind, (0+ / 0-)

              and as you say, they can't control your thoughts... although the existence of such laws says to me that they're trying.

              What is unique about America is that, before we allowed our government to exist, we had already told it "no!" We specifically placed certain areas beyond the power of the State.

              I'm not aware of any other country, even the democratic ones, that has done this. And I think it's a good thing. Even a great thing. I'd put this idea, the reversal of the power relationship between the people and the State right up there with the wheel and the sharpened rock. An invention that permanently altered the course of human history.

              We're only 219 years into the consequences of that invention, but one thing is already clear. There's no going back.

              --Shannon

  •  You are so wrong. (20+ / 0-)

    And tactically it is a major error for liberals to support one amendment of the bill of rights and not others. The framers were clear: they wanted citizens to have guns so to protect themselves from a despotic government.

    The other uses to which these guns might be put was not specifically contemplated, but this one use WAS contemplated. Support the entire bill of rights. It is the only consistent thing to do. Obama supports the decision (with some hedging). You should too. The problem is not the guns, but the culture. Canadians have guns. They rarely  experience wholesale slaughter in their cities.

    Please don't tell me you feel sorry for Ben. Ben is a well cared for dalmatian and has not been harmed by my political views.

    by Bensdad on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:21:09 AM PDT

    •  We have to say the 2nd is an individual right. (11+ / 0-)

      It seems to me that there is no way to read the right as to militias solely. How would the militia men have weapons if they didn't own them and bring them?

      Remember, the Grand Canyon was an incremental project.

      by Common Cents on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:24:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not really about (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pdrap, Thaddaeus Toad, mamamedusa

      supporting vs not supporting the second amendment. It's about what the thing actually means. I support it like I support the rest of the bill of rights, but I think it's reasonable to conclude that we can place restrictions on gun ownership and not voilate the second amendment, particularly given the advances in firearm technology since the time when it was written.

      "Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity." -George Carlin

      by NMDad on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:27:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reasonable Restrictions Are Permissible (11+ / 0-)

        Just as reasonable restrictions can be placed on a person's right to free speech or assembly to protect the public interest.


        You can have your "Under God" back when I get my "Liberty and Justice For All" back.

        by karateexplosions on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:29:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  shall we also change freedom of speech given (0+ / 0-)

        the advances in communications technology?

        " 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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:32:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That really doesn't make any sense. n.t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dallasdave

          "Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity." -George Carlin

          by NMDad on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:38:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well you said (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rockhound, dennisl

            " I support it like I support the rest of the bill of rights, but I think it's reasonable to conclude that we can place restrictions on gun ownership and not voilate the second amendment, particularly given the advances in firearm technology since the time when it was written."

            If their can be restrictions to the type of weapon available at the writing as so many have said here over the last day, Why couldn't restrictions be placed on this very medium we type upon.

            We claim a living document, at least most of us do. If so, then modern weaponry is just as covered by the second as the internet is by the first.
            ,

            Also this decision fully allows for reasonable restrictions, flat states it. A total ban on an operable weapon is what was too much.

            " 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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:44:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think we can agree that there's a (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Superribbie, buddabelly

              big difference between firearm technology and communications technology in terms of destructive power.
              I mean, commucation can be destructive, but you need people to agree with you in order for that to work. People don't have to agree to being shot. In fact, they seldom do.

              And I pretty much agree on Scalia's final decision, though I have reservations about the reasoning.

              "Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity." -George Carlin

              by NMDad on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:52:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Not just 'reasonable' (0+ / 0-)

        Up to this point, that was the issue.

        Stevens:

        The question presented by this case is not whether the Second Amendment protects a "collective right" or an "individual right."  Surely it protects a right that can be enforced by individuals.  But a conclusion that the Second Amendment protects an individual right does not tell us anything about the scope of that right.

        ---
        Tired of violent language from right-wing pundits? Buy my book: Outright Barbarous

        by Jeffrey Feldman on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:44:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So privately owned cannon are still okay? (0+ / 0-)

        When ther Redcoats marched on Lexington, they were out to confiscate private cannon.

        Obama still gets my vote, but my bumper belongs to Privacy '08.

        by ben masel on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:10:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  you've just lied (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sxp151

      by saying that I do not support the 2nd Amendment.

      There's nothing in this diary that even comes close to claiming that I support some amendments in the Bill of Rights but not others.

      Try again...

      ---
      Tired of violent language from right-wing pundits? Buy my book: Outright Barbarous

      by Jeffrey Feldman on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:34:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hm. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        martini

        I didn't read into your comment that you don't support the 2nd amendment, but I did read into it that you consider some rights (amendments) more important than others.

        Just my $.02.

        •  The Bill of Rights is a system (0+ / 0-)

          You can't say, everybody has the right to a fair trial first because it's meaningless without launching the basis of the system.  We think in these terms, too.  That's why the biggest uproar in our society take place over 1st Amendment issues, but we have to work to get people interested in 3rd and 4th.

          These were enlightenment thinkers.  They thought in terms of first principles, then second, third...

          ---
          Tired of violent language from right-wing pundits? Buy my book: Outright Barbarous

          by Jeffrey Feldman on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:47:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Why? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Thaddaeus Toad

      Each provision is stand alone and should have enough merit without being justified only by the fact that it sits in the same document as the right to free speech and a jury trial.  Hell, that argument would have supported Prohibition.  After all, it was a Constitutional Amendment.

      The frogurt is also cursed. -8.25, -6.51

      by Superribbie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:11:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I like Feingold's framing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bensdad, dewley notid

      explaining his change of heart on the Assault Weapons Ban:
      "I've come to understand the 2nd Amendment as part of a seamless Bill of Rights.'

      at wispolitics.com lunch lecture, June 2004. No link, I was in the room.

      Obama still gets my vote, but my bumper belongs to Privacy '08.

      by ben masel on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:08:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bollocks & Sophistry (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Anton Sirius, Sui Juris, dallasdave

    Built on the slend'rist foundation imaginable.

    Which is to say, all frame and no picture.

    You've surpassed yourself.

  •  Scalia & Roberts are good Bush/Cheney judges. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Superribbie, Snarcalita

    They will never let the untidy reality of judicial precedent, established case law, and, you know, the freakin' Constitution, get in the way of the wingnuttiest possible decision on major issues.

    The right of cretinous fools to roam the streets of America packing concealed heat is obviously more important than the ability of Washington D.C. to limit the nightly carnage among its citizens. Because obviously the founding fathers wanted to facilitate cities crawling with heavily armed gang-bangers with that "well regulated militia" clause.

  •  A little hyperole about ruining the country... (13+ / 0-)

    over upholding the right of the citizens of DC to be able to register and own guns...remember this decision is limited to DC based on a complete ban on owning any guns by law abiding citizens which was not a good idea in the first place given the 2nd ammendment...

    Secondly to suggest that any of the Bill of Rights are more important than the others just because of their numbering is quite a silly statement...the authors of the Bill of Rights intended them to be equivalently important.

    Full Disclosure:  I hate guns personally, I would never own a gun, but believe the regulation of guns should be at the state and local level and not part of federal regulations because of differences between rural, urban and geographic needs to regulate gun use....

    Obama/Whoever He Chooses '08 Winning Change for America and the Democratic Party

    by dvogel001 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:22:27 AM PDT

    •  Guns are required - Voting not so necessary n.t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bperk

      Republicans don't have 60 votes, and it doesn't seem to bother them one bit.

      by dkmich on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:25:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hmmm (0+ / 0-)

      "believe the regulation of guns should be at the state and local level and not part of federal regulations because of differences between rural, urban and geographic needs to regulate gun use"

      Isn't that what DC tried to do and the majority of one wouldn't let them?

      The frogurt is also cursed. -8.25, -6.51

      by Superribbie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:00:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because they went too far... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dewley notid

        they did not regulate them they banned the ownership of them which is not allowed according to the 2nd ammendment...

        If they just did what NYC did which makes it difficult but not impossible to own a gun...this never would have gone to the SCOTUS...

        Full Disclosure:  personally I hate guns, do not own a gun and they make me get hives when I am around guns...

        Obama/Whoever He Chooses '08 Winning Change for America and the Democratic Party

        by dvogel001 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:09:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  they only banned certain types though (0+ / 0-)

          The restrictions regulating the type of weapons we're allowed to have (mainly handguns). People were still allowed to have rifles disassembled and with trigger locks. Similar to saying you can't have certain types of bombs or mass-killing guns or poison gas. All of which would be much more effective in limiting government tyranny, though I'm skeptical it would matter if it really came down to it. IMO, the real issue was not governmental tyranny here, but rather that some people want to be able to protect themselves against intruders (another long and difficult debate). There simply is no absolute in this argument, it's all relative to the balance people want to draw between public safety and individual rights to bear what firearms they want.

      •  Regulate and ban are not the same. (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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:10:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If there was not money to be made selling (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Superribbie, DC Scott

    weapons, this ruling never would have been challenged in the first place.

    It's not about guns. The part about trigger locks tells me it's about making money.

    What's next? Will the Supreme Court rule that California, Massachusetts and other States that they have no right to mandate a different set of emissions for cars?

    Oh .. they already tried that, a few years ago.

    One more Justice is all they need.

    We should be very, very concerned. If McCain is President, this ruling about guns will be a little footnote compared to the virtual Hell The Supreme Court will make of our reality.

    "You know what the real fight is? The real fight is the definition of what is reality." Bernie Sanders

    by shpilk on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:26:08 AM PDT

    •  pray tell, WTF do trigger locks have to do with (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dallasdave, Abra Crabcakeya

      money?

      Trigger lock requirements were great for the lock manufacturers and have no effect on the gun manufacturer.

      " 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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:29:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Trigger locks have to do with commerce. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LNK

        The Supreme Court has decided that it can mandate States must accept summary judgment from a Federal level.

        Certainly, the gun maker can recover the increased cost of manufacturing the trigger locks and pass this on to the consumer. It may impact sales, or it may not.

        What has failed before, a Supreme Court ruling outlawing States from having emission controls on cars, tighter restrictions on environmental issues, safety concerns for consumer products .. all of these are now clearly at risk.

        This sets up a precedent that is very dangerous, and could potentially be used by the SCOTUS to overturn State laws all over the place.

        "You know what the real fight is? The real fight is the definition of what is reality." Bernie Sanders

        by shpilk on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:35:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No the only part voided was the requirement for (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ben masel, Abra Crabcakeya

          the lock to be installed at all times period. No provision for removing the lock for self defense.

          The law can still require the sale of trigger locks, it just can't require a person to keep it installed at all times. Had there been an exception in the law for self defense Scalia would have ruled differently on that part. He makes that plain in the decision.

          " 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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:39:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  News to you ... lots of people in DC already have (21+ / 0-)

    handguns and most are the bad guys.  I am an appellate lawyer who has had 3 cases to the US Supreme Court.  I've read the opinion back and forth and I believe your diary is more than a bit overblown.  Flame me if you want, but please.

  •  I don't buy it. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    au8285, LordMike, Balam

    Scalia's history-based rationale for his decision is a flimsy piece of historical analysis meant to bolster an essentially policical decision.  I think it's more a desperate attempt to fill out his opinion with something that sounds important and erudite than it is a fundamental redefinition of citizenship.

    (I do find it interesting that Scalia, who rejects legislative history as a guide to interpreting legislation, now relies on historical events that preceded the Bill of Rights by a hundred years to validate his take on the Constitution.  Rigorous adherence to a consistent jurisprudence was never his strong suit, however--he has a history of stomping on his own professed principles whenever they run counter to his instincts.  See Bush v. Gore, for example.)

    I don't like the Heller opinion, but I don't see it as a danger to the republic.  The real consequence is that NRA-backed litigants are going to start challenging every run restriction in sight, hoping eventually to expand on Heller until anyone can have any kind of gun anywhere at any time.
     

    "...we all of us, grave or light, get our thoughts entangled in metaphors, and act fatally on the strength of them."

    by beagledad on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:26:25 AM PDT

  •  who cares (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    the country's been ruined for years and it's not going to be fixed. wait until the week after Independence day when they gut the 4th Amendment.

    seriously, America has become a really bad joke, really quickly.

  •  My thoughts on this ruling... (5+ / 0-)

    ...were summarized nearly perfectly in this blog entry on Blue Jersey:

    1. Banning handguns in urban areas would be a very good idea.
    1. The conservatives on the Court are absolutely right that such a ban is unconstitutional.

    My favorite bit of irony--Scalia in the dissenting opinion of Boumediene v Bush:

    It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed.

    I actually agree with the majority opinion here and, more surprisingly, I'm freaking shocked that I agree with 75% of the important decisions this term.

  •  Some other background (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Los Diablo, dallasdave

    Part of the motivation for the second amendment and the reference to militias may also have been in response to such incidents as Shay's rebellion.

    My own view-which I recognize may be a bad constitutional argument-is that the right to own guns provided you aren't using them for criminal purposes follows from the general right to privacy.

    I find that I don't so much disagree with the NRA as I find it odd that they spend so much time and energy in defending the right own a gun and so little time in defending other rights.

    Would that Scalia took the same view of other issues-such as roadside searches.

    •  What troubles me are the NRA extremes... (4+ / 0-)

      The guys who think that surface to air missiles and tanks are the right of every citizen.

      My guess is that the vast center of the political spectrum doesn't have a problem with common hand guns and rifles.

      Are there negative consequences to easy access to such weapons?  You bet. But as an upstream poster already said, you violate the second amendment if you try to take these weapons away.

      •  And the complete identification with (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bustacap, DC Scott

        the Republican party and all of it's agenda. If they stuck to (small) guns, they'd have a lot more credibility IMHO. As it is, they're just another pipe in the wurlitzer.

        Ah, but does the Buddha have cat nature?
        --dallasdave ca. 2008

        by dallasdave on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:59:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  NRA "full employment" SCOTUS decision. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bustacap, dennisl

          Wayne LaPierre and NRA lawyers are going to have a field day filing lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit in jurisdictions as far as the eye can see, arguing this gauge, that powder, those bullets, the other revolver, etc.  Before judges as varying as the jurisdictions in which they sit.

          This decision is not only not consistent with the understanding of the drafters of Constitution and Bill of Rights (great diary, btw), it opens an avalanche of suit after suit, state after state, city after city, hamlet after hamlet.  Floodgate of litigation indeed.  The NRA and its chosen are going to be very busy, and very prosperous, for a long time as the result.

          "Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." To Kill A Mockingbird

          by DC Scott on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:27:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Privately owned cannon in 19th Century (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dewley notid

        Abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay kept a pair, loaded with musket balls and nails, in his Lexington KY newspaper office.

        50 years later, they came in handy to run off a posse who'd come to snatch his young bride at the behest of a scandalized Judge from another County, later deemed to have no jurisdiction.

        THE RAGE OF THE AGED LION

        (Note the need for the 2nd Amendment to protect the 1st.)

        Obama still gets my vote, but my bumper belongs to Privacy '08.

        by ben masel on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:35:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have never once met a single person who (0+ / 0-)

        advocated such ; have been a hunter for over 40 years. Was in a gun shop today , visiting the owner (and former chief of police) just today. Have never read a single sentence in any NRA publication even suggesting that WMDs  be legal for private ownership. You are either misinformed , or are introducing straw men , never helpful in anyone reaching an understanding in a discussion.I've never known anyone to the best of my knowledge , who is or has ever been in a nuthead paramilitary organization; closest would be USMC , Special Forces veterans.Many of them seem twisted and violence prone , i won't hunt with them. Or fish.

  •  oh, bullshit. (11+ / 0-)

    histrionic chicken-littleism at its most feeble, despite the pretty words.

    interesting that you choose to do precisely what you basically accuse scalia of: extrapolate wildly in order to support otherwise groundless presuppositions.

    scalia's a dick, and his decision yesterday was no masterpiece of legal scholarship, but DC v. Heller was a cautious, narrowly-drawn decision that only barely affirmed individual 2nd amendment rights.

    it is not a wholesale reordering of constitutional priorities. that exists only in your own fevered imagination.

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

    by RabidNation on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:49:33 AM PDT

    •  I've got the fever (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Superribbie, Stampy51, Little

      Well...as far comments that insult me personally, that's probably one of the better.

      ---
      Tired of violent language from right-wing pundits? Buy my book: Outright Barbarous

      by Jeffrey Feldman on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:01:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Scalia is a genius (0+ / 0-)

      just this one time, because I happen to get what I want out of his terrible reasoning."

      Good luck with that.

      Also, screaming "bullshit" hardly makes your vocabulary any more impressive or your argument any more convincing.

      •  where do you see Scalia is a genius (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dennisl

        because I read

        scalia's a dick, and his decision yesterday was no masterpiece of legal scholarship, but DC v. Heller was a cautious, narrowly-drawn decision that only barely affirmed individual 2nd amendment rights

        Talk about lack of comprehension and vocabulary.

        " 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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:17:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great Op-ed from Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of (5+ / 0-)

    UC Irvine law school on Scalia, and for that matter, the conservative members of the SC.

    In essence, he says that these members rail on judicial activism except when it furthers the conservative cause.

    They don't see it that way, which is all the more appalling.

    Chermerinsky was the near victim of right-wing interference in his selection as dean of the Law School.  He almost accepted the same position at Duke before the UCI chancellor reversed himself and affirmed the offer which he accepted.

    Judicial activism by conservatives

    What then explains the court's decision to strike down the D.C. law? Conservative political ideology. The majority followed prevailing conservative political philosophy and found that the 2nd Amendment bestows on individuals a right to have guns.

    This should not be surprising. The conservative justices regularly jettison judicial restraint when it is at odds with conservative politics. They've done the same thing in cases involving affirmative action and desegregation programs.

    The irony is that the same conservative justices who were so eager Thursday to find an individual liberty under the 2nd Amendment are loath to do so when a right of a criminal defendant is at stake or when it is a matter of enforcing the religion clauses of the 1st Amendment. Thursday's decision is a powerful reminder that the conservative justices are activists when it serves their political agenda.

    •  It's a good quote (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ammo Hauler

      From what I understood in Stevens and Breyer's dissent, the problem is not just the striking of the law, but Scalia's gun ownership for self-defense within the purview of the 2nd Amendment, when it belongs in common law.   I think that's it.  It's telling that Scalia's claim to originalism involves returning to the 17c.  He talks a good 18c game, but his argument for the 'reality' of the Framer's worldview is based on his reading of the period 100 years earlier.  Cynical stuff.  And dogmatic to the extreme, as you point out.

      Personally, I think the DC law was probably ill conceived, but it's the way the lower court was overturned by Scalia that bothers me the most.

      ---
      Tired of violent language from right-wing pundits? Buy my book: Outright Barbarous

      by Jeffrey Feldman on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:06:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The case was affirmed not overturned. (0+ / 0-)

        come on Jeffery I expect better of you.

        Link to appeals court ruling that Heller affirmed
        http://pacer.cadc.uscourts.gov/...

        Warning pdf and the money quote

        In determining whether the Second Amendment’s guarantee
        is an individual one, or some sort of collective right, the most
        important word is the one the drafters chose to describe the
        holders of the right—"the people." That term is found in the
        First, Second, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments. It has
        never been doubted that these provisions were designed to
        protect the interests of individuals against government intrusion,
        interference, or usurpation. We also note that the Tenth Amendment—"The powers not delegated to the United States
        by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are
        reserved to the states respectively, or to the people"—indicates
        that the authors of the Bill of Rights were perfectly capable of
        distinguishing between "the people," on the one hand, and "the
        states," on the other. The natural reading of "the right of the
        people" in the Second Amendment would accord with usage
        elsewhere in the Bill of Rights.

        " 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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:22:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I can't say I like the arationalism on display (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ammo Hauler

      there.  Rather than take Scalia's argument on its own terms, he just posits it as a by-product of political ideology.  

      That lowers the discourse.

      •  True - it was a short write up really intending (0+ / 0-)

        to note the hypocrisy of someone like Scalia who professes to be a strict interpreter of the constitution - then makes a ruling that shows him to be quite loosey-goosey with the part about militias which qualify the right to bear arms.

    •  I've often thought (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ammo Hauler

      that Chemerinsky would make an ideal Justice himself.  He probably understands the constitution better than anyone else alive (not to give short shrift to Stevens/Breyer/Ginsburg, et al., but it's true).

  •  hyperbole (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dallasdave, dewley notid, MelloY

    "ruined" the country...

    ask any english major to deny that the commas in the second amendment indicate that the intention is to grant "the people" the right to bear arms.

    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.

    At least put the offending amendment in question into your diary for god's sake.

    i don't own guns...yet... but i like that i have the right to do so.  after my rights have been systematically taken away in my life and especially during my parents and grandparents lives, i don't want either a democratic OR a republican party taking away any more rights.

    we live in what amounts to nazi germany as it is, with habeus corpus staggering, with drug laws and surveillance laws leaving the 4th amendment staggering...

    so the discussion on the 4th is WAY more important than this SCOTUS ruling which most experts think won't make much difference with how states handle gun laws anyway since most states recognize those commas!

  •  History. Reason for 2nd Amendment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, DC Scott

    Guns. Wealthy Owners vs. Blacks and Underclass?

    Somewhere I heard/read that the original 'need' was for States to be able to replace the Federal military if the Feds couldn't get there in time ....Specific threats at the time were slave revolts and general keeping the rabble in line.

    I also recall hearing/reading that every past SCOTUS ruling about 2nd Amendment was NEVER about individual rights.

    Very interesting article from the magazine Mother Jones:
    http://www.motherjones.com/...

    SCALIA himself.

    Meanwhile, I thought Scalia ruined the country with Bush v. Gore and that his continuing public presence, his mode of thinking and feeling.....present constant dangers of further ruining the country.

    Scalia's bio with links:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Best Diary of the Year? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/2/23/03912/3990

    by LNK on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:54:13 AM PDT

    •  Any time you see Scalia on a major decision, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LNK

      watch out.  It's usually never going to be good.  

      "Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." To Kill A Mockingbird

      by DC Scott on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:28:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  well.... (0+ / 0-)

      Keep in mind that there were no "feds" at the time.  There was no standing army at the time the constitution was written.  This is why in the minds of the framers militias were so important--they were the only defense against potential invaders (i.e. the British, if they decided to try to take back the colonies by force, the French, if they ever decided to take advantage of instability in the region to expand their empire, etc.)  

      I'm sure it's true that some of the framers were also concerned with potential slave revolts or attacks from indigenous folks as well, but I find it highly doubtful that protecting racial hierarchy was the primary thing on their minds when they drafted the amendment.  More of a "bonus," I'd argue.  

  •  The truth is somewhere between the two. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl, dallasdave, MelloY

    If you believe that the concept of "unalienable rights" is illusory... then the natural follow-up is this:

    We have no rights, none at all, other than what we guarantee ourselves by force of arms against those who would take them from us. This extends from the individual's ability and willingness to protect themselves to a collective society using it's far greater available force to defend it's agreed-upon ideas of what human rights should be.

    Without the willingness and the ability to safeguard our rights against those who would deny them to us... we have no rights at all.

    And although a handgun is a small defense against the forces arrayed against our rights, it's better than nothing.

    So, from a purely practical viewpoint, he is correct. The idealist in me cringes at that thought, but it doesn't change the bitter truth of it.

    BTW, K.O.rules, GG drools. That's about the right level of discourse for this particular topic, right?

    "As God is my witness, I thought wingnuts could fly"

    by Niniane on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:55:24 AM PDT

  •  Nothing like a false dichotomy to bolster (6+ / 0-)

    an argument: "On the one hand, we have a vision of the world where one is free by virtue of the right to express oneself.  On the other hand, we have a vision of the world where one is free by virtue of the right to shoot a potential attacker."

    Call me Sybyl, I guess. I'm able to believe both simultaneously without bleeding from the ears.

    And I'm flabbergasted to learn that the Bill of Rights is a prioritized list.

    Ah, but does the Buddha have cat nature?
    --dallasdave ca. 2008

    by dallasdave on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:57:45 AM PDT

    •  there is no right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bustacap

      to bear arms in cases of confrontation with other citizens. According to Stevents, it's rooted  in common law, not enshrined in the 2nd Amendment--which pertains to a specific problem that needed to be solved in the 18c when the federal system of states was launched.

      Stevens says nothing--nor do I--about rendering the possession or use of guns illegal.  What he says is that the discussion should not be about individual rights, but about use.  Ergo, the lower court's ruling should not have been overturned because to do so is tantamount to throwing out all precedent as to how this issue has been argued by the courts.

      In the end, then, the Scalia ruling strings together historical facts, advances an ideological concept, and does so under the false cover of not being dogmatic.  What Stevens and Breyer argue is that this is not about rights, it's about judgment as to which uses are reasonable and which are not--the fundamental work of the courts.

      ---
      Tired of violent language from right-wing pundits? Buy my book: Outright Barbarous

      by Jeffrey Feldman on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:12:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're misstating the right at stake: (0+ / 0-)

        the right is no more and no less than the right to bear arms.  The purpose for those arms is left unstated, as it should be.  I don't think that the right to bear arms necessarily implies an unenumerated right to self-defense.

        So, for example, we could imagine an alternate chapeau for the second amendment declaring that guns shall be a right given that the people may have to rebel v. a tyrannical government in the future.  That wouldn't imply a right to rebel.  

        •  Not so fast ... (0+ / 0-)

          To imply, as you do, that the "militia" clause of the 2nd Amend. is anything but a rationale/purpose for the right does violence to the English language.  Though it pains me to agree even partially with Scalia, et al., I'm convinced that the 2nd bestows an individual right, though only for the express purpose of facilitating efforts by the states to maintain some form of military apparatus.  The statement that: "The purpose for those arms is left unstated..." flies in the face of the text.

          •  The motivation behind a right, which the chapeau (0+ / 0-)

            details, doesn't impact the actual scope of the right.  IMHO, of course.

            •  What's funny is that (0+ / 0-)

              most conservatives are inconsistent on this point.  They treat rights they're fond of (such as the right to bear arms) as very broad in scope, while simultaneously treating other rights (such as due process, equal protection, right to counsel, etc. etc. etc.) as if they were very narrow.  Most conservatives I know feel that the 1st and 2nd amendments are sacred, but view the 4th, 5th, 6th and 14th as just a bunch of nonsense.  

              You could argue that some progressives do the exact reverse, but I've seen much more of this type of inconsistency on the right than I have on the left.

      •  You're right about the common law-- (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bustacap

        and common law also recognizes the concept of proportionate force.

        There's also a nice point made downthread somewhere that the Constitution defines the rights we grant to the government to infringe on our liberties for the common good. Viewing the issue in this way implies that our rights don't have to be enshrined in the articles, the government's right to abridge those rights must be clearly defined.

        That being said, I think it's a local issue--NYC has a more compelling interest in constraining gun ownership than Cody WY does.

        And hey, the ruling's good for Obama--he can jujitsu the whole issue during the election by saying the supremes have decided, then try to get some rational laws in place later.

        Ah, but does the Buddha have cat nature?
        --dallasdave ca. 2008

        by dallasdave on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:33:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't quite see how you infer a hierarchy (3+ / 0-)

    of rights here.

    To me, the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights are all fundamental.  I don't see, for instance, that the right against self-incrimination is any less fundamental than the right not to be forced to house troops simply because it comes later.

    John McCain - all aboard the lobbyist express!

    by jrooth on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:58:39 AM PDT

  •  Uh, no (7+ / 0-)

    I agree with you in spirit, but...

    For those who do not realize it, all rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution flow from the 1st Amendment which is about 'freedom of expression.'

    Rights are not guaranteed by the Constitution. The Constitution starts from the basic assumption that the people have all the rights, and the government has none. The Constitution then lists all the rights the government has. Anything not listed is not within the rights of government. This is why the Bill of Rights was kind of a dangerous thing to have - ask Madison, he'll make you understand - why enumerate rights reserved to the people when they are already reserved to the people? Making a list of rights implies that any rights not on the list are up for grabs, if the government wants to restrict them. Bad. Very bad.

    So, no. To correct your statement, all rights guaranteed by the US Constitution flow from the fact that the government is never given the power to restrict them. The first ten amendments merely emphasize that, some would say to the detriment of the rights that aren't listed (i.e., the rest of them, including rights we haven't even thought of yet).

    Also, the order of amendments has no meaning. The right to bear arms and the right to free speech are given equal weight. If it was otherwise, it would be mentioned in the Constitution. The first proposed amendment, in fact, had to do with congressional apportionment, hardly an issue we would consider to take precedence over the freedoms enumerated in the first amendment.

    Gotta go - love your spirit, but learn more about the constitution - it's a fascinating subject.

    •  Thanks for pointing this out. It's (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dennisl, Balam

      about what specific personal rights we the people are willing to yield to the government.

      Ah, but does the Buddha have cat nature?
      --dallasdave ca. 2008

      by dallasdave on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:03:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I had to go to a meeting... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Balam, Angry Mouse

      ...but there was one more point I wanted to make. Social conservatives like to throw around the idea that there's no right to privacy mentioned in the Constitution. But the fact that it's not mentioned very clearly means that it's a right retained by the people.

      Tell this to your conservative pals the next time they try to call themselves a "strict constructionist". A true constructionist knows we have the right to privacy, because power is never given to the government in the Constitution to restrict it.

      •  The best illustration of the hypocrisy of (0+ / 0-)

        so-called "strict constructionists" is to look at the way they talk about the 9th amendment, the one part of the constitution that they argue vehemently should be deliberately ignored, despite the clear language of the text.  Bork went so far as to famously call it a "blot" on the constitution, and claimed that it was actually devoid of any meaning whatsoever.  It's one of the most intellectually dishonest positions I've ever encountered.  I guess they've got no choice though, because quite honestly the 9th pretty much invalidates the entire philosophical foundation of constructionism.  I've always found it strange that so few people bother to point that out.

  •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

    for reading the whole thing and for posting this for those of us who don't have the time.

    It is more important.  

  •  How'd this make the rec list...? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HarlanNY, dennisl

    The vast majority of commenters don't seem to agree with the diarist.

  •  Good diary, but I don't see a constitutional (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeffrey Feldman, Gary Norton

    right to self-defense there.  A right to bear arms, which may or may not a encompass the purpose of self-defense?  Sure.  But that's still distinguishable, and wholly distinct, from a right to self-defense.

    Re: America as paranoid vigilantes ready to kill those that take their liberty: yeah.  That fits nicely w/ our founding, doesn't it?

    •  I don't see it either (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stas61690, DC Scott

      What I believe is that states can pass laws allowing gun possession in certain cases, and they can pass laws limiting possession, defining it, describing it, etc.

      The DC law was strict, but they had a reason for it and I can see the logic of it, even if I don't agree that 100% elimination of handgun laws are generally a good idea.

      But I agree with Breyer and Stevens 100%--that the larger question here is how Scalia turns the court's way of dealing with this case on its head, setting in motion a whole potential mess.

      ---
      Tired of violent language from right-wing pundits? Buy my book: Outright Barbarous

      by Jeffrey Feldman on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:16:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  States Rights (0+ / 0-)

        Doesn't this ruling sort of mess with State's Rights issues?  It truly is a major change in interpretation of the 2nd amendment.  

        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.

        I think the next step would be to make sure that all of the people with guns be required to join the well regulated state militias.  Snark.  

        I'm an American I can handle the truth!

        by stas61690 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:52:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There's only one reason I'm not getting worked up (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DC Scott

    about this decision.  What was lost is the right of states and municipalities to completely ban hand guns.  Places like DC and Chicago now must repeal their bans.  That should be frightening.  But it's not.  For one simple reason.  Even with the ban, Chicago and DC were the LAST places you wanted to be to be free from handgun violence.  I know there are a myriad of reasons for that.  Maybe the ban made things slightly better than they would be otherwise.  (We'll find out in the next few years.)  But I just can't say that I feel less safe today that I did yesterday.  And I live in Chicago.

    "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

    by SpiderStumbled22 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:12:50 AM PDT

  •  i don't feel like i understand this diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico

    i'm reading this with an open mind, but i can't see any connection between the opinion passages you're quoting and the argument you're making.  can you bold the parts of scalia's opinion that redefine citizenship?  maybe that'd help.  

    •  A crisper forumulation (for those more accustomed (0+ / 0-)

      to analytical philosophy than continental, I'd say if I were a pompous ass) is that the necessary upshot of Scalia's opinion is that we now have a right of self-defense through lethal force.  ie, we have a constitutional right to kill invaders and assailants.

      Contra his ostensible strict constructionism, Scalia just invented a new right out of thin air.

      I don't think that's a correct reading, but it's perfectly reasonable.

      •  sure. (0+ / 0-)

        i know that's more or less what he's arguing, i just can't don't see anything in what he quoted that supports the conclusions he lays out.  i'm not saying he's definitely right or wrong, because there's no way for me to know - he's not doing nearly enough to connect the dots for us and illustrate his reasoning, at least not enough for someone such as myself who hasn't read the whole opinion and isn't a lawyer.  

  •  You make some good points, except... (10+ / 0-)

    where you say...

    What Scalia tries to do--and succeeds, because his opinion is the court's ruling--is rewrite the very meaning of constitution by relocating it back to a time of religious war in England.  Scalia argues that the main concern driving the Framers of the constitution was to make sure that citizens would not be attacked by their government the way that Protestants had been attacked in 17c England over a hundred years prior to the Framer's convention.

    That isn't a new idea, nor is it something that wasn't on the Framers minds - it was exactly what was on thier minds.

    From Madison in Federalist #46

    But ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority of the State governments, would not excite the opposition of a single State, or of a few States only. They would be signals of general alarm. Every government would espouse the common cause. A correspondence would be opened. Plans of resistance would be concerted. One spirit would animate and conduct the whole. The same combinations, in short, would result from an apprehension of the federal, as was produced by the dread of a foreign, yoke; and unless the projected innovations should be voluntarily renounced, the same appeal to a trial of force would be made in the one case as was made in the other. But what degree of madness could ever drive the federal government to such an extremity. In the contest with Great Britain, one part of the empire was employed against the other. The more numerous part invaded the rights of the less numerous part. The attempt was unjust and unwise; but it was not in speculation absolutely chimerical. But what would be the contest in the case we are supposing? Who would be the parties? A few representatives of the people would be opposed to the people themselves; or rather one set of representatives would be contending against thirteen sets of representatives, with the whole body of their common constituents on the side of the latter.

    The only refuge left for those who prophesy the downfall of the State governments is the visionary supposition that the federal government may previously accumulate a military force for the projects of ambition. The reasonings contained in these papers must have been employed to little purpose indeed, if it could be necessary now to disprove the reality of this danger. That the people and the States should, for a sufficient period of time, elect an uninterupted succession of men ready to betray both; that the traitors should, throughout this period, uniformly and systematically pursue some fixed plan for the extension of the military establishment; that the governments and the people of the States should silently and patiently behold the gathering storm, and continue to supply the materials, until it should be prepared to burst on their own heads, must appear to every one more like the incoherent dreams of a delirious jealousy, or the misjudged exaggerations of a counterfeit zeal, than like the sober apprehensions of genuine patriotism. Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. 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.

    Yes, it does seem like an incoherent fever dream to believe that a series of committed and serious citizens could possibly repel the U.S. Army - except that that is exactly what has been occuring in Iraq isn't it?

    Madison continues. (This was part of the same paragraph as above - he's pretty long-winded.)

    The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part 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. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it. Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion, that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession, than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors. Let us rather no longer insult them with the supposition that they can ever reduce themselves to the necessity of making the experiment, by a blind and tame submission to the long train of insidious measures which must precede and produce it.

    Scalia was referring in essence to this line of thinking.  I would tend to think that the 1st Amendment Remains the Primary Right, but that the 2nd Stands and exists primarily as the coarse of last resort to protect that right.

    The problem I have is that I don't see how this translates into the ability to stop a burgler.  Or the ability to end a mugging. Neither of these is an abuse of Federal Power. You still have free speech if you're been robbed - unless the burgler has IRS or ATF on his badge.

    All rights in the Constitution are individual rights, but they are not individual rights without limit (as Scalia did admit) - and in this case the limitation here is on Federal Governments ability to control gun usage - not the States.  The protection here is from the tyranny of the Fed and the Congress.  States should, for the most part, be able to do as they please, and if they want to require that gun owners register themselves as members of a local "militia" where they have to pass a background check, receive gun safety training and are required to qualify on the weapons they own before they're allow to carry them  - I'm cool with it as long as any and all records of sales and ownership are fully protected under the 4th amendment's requirement for probable cause and a warrant.

    But then we're back into the Olbermann/Greenwald argument again aren't we?  Ironic, no?

    Vyan

  •  Scalia.... (0+ / 0-)

    in a word....Ptui.
    Impeach this jackass, fire him.  
    Tell him to go on a quest to find his mind.

    I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose

    by Lilyvt on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:23:56 AM PDT

  •  I thought the ruling was a good thing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    unclejohn, smckenzie23

    I'm pro-gun and don't think that big brother should be able to dictate how we protect ourselves and our loved ones in our homes.

    So fuck yeah.

    •  Here is to hoping Obama picks Webb as VP (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      unclejohn

      Webb:

      "Since 9/11, for people who are in government, I think there has been an agreement that it has been a more dangerous time," he said. "You look at people in the executive branch, the number of people defending the president. There is not that kind of protection available for people in the legislative branch. We are required to defend ourselves. I choose to do so."

      And further:

      He repeated several times his defense of the 2nd Amendment: "I believe wherever you see places where people are allowed to carry, generally the violence goes down."

      It will be interesting to see what people say when gun violence goes down in DC.

    •  People who are upset about the right to bear arms (0+ / 0-)

      should get the second amendment repealed. Uh, good luck. ;-)

  •  R'd and Wish I (0+ / 0-)

    had more time to read this diary.. important reminder of what's at stake.

    "Cigna cannot decide who is going to live and who is going to die." -- Nataline's mother

    by Superpole on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:24:31 AM PDT

  •  I've never held a gun, I've never shot a gun (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, Catte Nappe

    I never had the desire to own a gun.  In reaction to this decision, I'm feeling like owning a gun might not be such a bad idea now that the floodgates are open to all the nutjobs.

    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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:26:30 AM PDT

    •  I learned at summer camp (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RussRocks

      It's actually lots of fun with a good instructor and a nice safe set up.  

      I have no problems with guns, per se.  My issue is with the way the Scalia ruling will establish a new set of terms and definitions that, effectively, make it illegal to have serious discussions about gun use.

      ---
      Tired of violent language from right-wing pundits? Buy my book: Outright Barbarous

      by Jeffrey Feldman on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:40:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You totally should. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Angry Mouse

      Turns out the floodgate has been open to the nutjobs already. It is pretty easy to get an illegal gun anywhere.

      Now the floodgate is also open to law abiding citizens like you. Take a class. Go to the gun range. Step up and be a citizen.

      •  Sorry, to hell with you (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LordMike, RussRocks

        I am a citizen and I don't need a fucking gun to make me one.

        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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:50:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  but don't you think (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          buddabelly

          a higher percentage of law abiding citizens having guns compared to criminals might help things? Like it has in every state where they have allowed conceal carry permits? As James Webb once said:

          He repeated several times his defense of the 2nd Amendment: "I believe wherever you see places where people are allowed to carry, generally the violence goes down."

          His statement seems to be backed up by statistics. I hope Obama pics him as his VP. And while we are on the subject, here is what Obama said about the SCOTUS ruining our country:

          "I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms.

          and:

          "The Supreme Court has now endorsed that view, and while it ruled that the D.C. gun ban went too far, Justice Scalia himself acknowledged that this right is not absolute and subject to reasonable regulations enacted by local communities to keep their streets safe. Today’s ruling, the first clear statement on this issue in 127 years, will provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country."

          All this hand wringing drives me nuts, it flies in the face of facts and it is going to hurt our chances in the Mountain West, which we need.

          •  No, I don't (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LordMike

            And I'll cite the entire EU and Canada as backup.

            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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:31:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Funny. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lettuce kucinich

              I actually live in Canada. Turns out we have a gun problem here in BC.

              Metro Vancouver has the highest rate of gun-related violent crime of any major metropolitan region in Canada, according to a new Statistics Canada study. There were 45.3 violent offences involving guns for every 100,000 people in Metro Vancouver, slightly higher than Toronto at 40.4 but far above the national average of 27.5, says the report, which is based on police-reported data from 2006

              That is from wikipedia.

            •  And I'll cite (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              smckenzie23, MelloY

              Mexico, South Africa, and Rwanda as counterexamples.

              Restrictions on private firearms ownership seem to have little relationship to public safety or rates of violence.

              Violent societies are violent. Non-violent (and largely homogenous, BTW) societies are not violent.

              Access to weapons is not an independent variable.

              --Shannon

  •  this is probably the MOST important reason (0+ / 0-)

    why it is absolutely imperative to elect a democratic president in November, no matter how flawed certain segments of the electorate may think he/she is because the most long lasting damage done to America's future will emanate from the Scalia court. it is ridiculous to call it a the roberts court. this supreme court is run by Scalia and Thomas, two fanatics determined it seems to upset every carefull loaded apple cart that has come along since FDR.

    If a republican becomes president 5/4 decisions will be history it will 7/2.

    PS: I say a republican because i am still not convinced there isn't some nefarious plot afoot. i am waiting on knowing who McCain chooses as Veep before i run full bore with my pet conspiracy theory.

  •  I call bullshit. (5+ / 0-)

    Redefined citizenship?

    Did you feel that cold wind on your neck?   That was the definition of American citizenship changing and being replaced with a violent notion that America is rooted in unfettered vigilantism--that citizens are not free unless that have the means the right to shoot someone in a confrontation.

    Do you really believe this crap? The right of law abiding citizens to protect themselves is "unfettered vigilantism?"

    In 1987, when Florida enacted such legislation, critics warned that the "Sunshine State" would become the "Gunshine State." Contrary to their predictions, homicide rates dropped faster than the national average. Further, through 1997, only one permit holder out of the over 350,000 permits issued, was convicted of homicide. (Source: Kleck, Gary Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control, p 370. Walter de Gruyter, Inc., New York, 1997.) If the rest of the country behaved as Florida's permit holders did, the U.S. would have the lowest homicide rate in the world.

    Wow. That sure is some cold wind there. The smell of unfettered vigilantism is pretty thick.

    •  I smell...uh.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sxp151

      Actually, that comment has no smell. It's a fair comment.

      The problem is not guns.  The problem is a set of court rulings that, effectively, make it unconstitutional for states to take a vested interest gun use.  Sound rulings should argue use not constitutional rights.

      Nowhere in this diary do I say that gun use will lead to vigilantism, nor do  Breyer and Stevens.  I say that the supplanting a principle of free expression for a principle of confrontation leads to a definition of citizenship similar to vigilantism.

      You can disagree of course, but it has nothing to do with Florida.

      ---
      Tired of violent language from right-wing pundits? Buy my book: Outright Barbarous

      by Jeffrey Feldman on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:45:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jeffrey: Rights aren't granted to citizens. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gary Norton, Dread972
    1.  The rights in the bill of rights apply to "persons" - not citizens. They apply to resident aliens, citizens, and even undocumented aliens.
    1. The DC law never applied to long guns, i.e., rifles, shotguns.
    1.  Frankly, this is much ado about nothing.
    1. IT'S NOT ABOUT CITIZENSHIP.

    "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

    by bobdevo on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:36:42 AM PDT

  •  I'm remaining (4+ / 0-)

    more or less officially neutral in the "gun v. no-gun debate" - I have friends on both sides, and both sides make good points, as does this diary.  

    What I find interesting (in the "May you live in interesting times" kind of way) is the flexibility of reasoning that both conservatives and liberals bring to their interpretation of the Constitution.

    Conservatives wish the most narrow focus possible on every Amendment - except the 2nd.

    Liberals wish the widest possible latitude available on every Amendment - except the 2nd.

     

    John McCain = George W. Bush - shorter, uglier and a $hitload meaner!

    by luvsathoroughbred on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:37:36 AM PDT

  •  So your right as a citizen (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc, greenchiledem

    means that you live in fear of terrorists so that you forget your Constitutional right to be secure in your possessions, allow yourself to be wiretapped, be willing to let the President deny you habeas corpus in order to carry a gun to protect yourself from fellow Americans.  Scalia-ville.

  •  I can't be the only one who noticed (3+ / 0-)

    (other than the diarist of course) that this is by far the most important thing about this decision.

    DC v. Heller suggests--suggests--that there should be common-sense limits on the use of machine guns, automatic assault weapons, and other such guns beyond the pale of 'normal' use in cases of confrontation.  But those exceptions will not last long.

    There is absolutely no reasoning as to why exactly some restrictions on this "absolute right" make sense and some don't. Do we deny felons the right to assemble or petition the government? Then why would denying felons the right to own a gun make sense? Scalia mentions that of course there could still be limits on gun ownership, but never actually writes down any useful test for local governments to use in determining constitutionality.

    It leaves us in a disturbing sort of limbo, which the NRA has already announced they will take full advantage of to eliminate as many restrictions as possible.

    And those of you who are happy about this decision because it lets you live out your "Defender Of The Family" cowboy fantasy should realize that the exact same "logic" could easily be used to overturn Roe v. Wade. The idea that something was working well for 30 years, and society would be unhappy if it were changed, is now out the window, replaced with the idea that Scalia and his five pals are the only ones with the right to decide how they live.

    Hope you enjoyed safe legal reproductive options while they lasted.

  •  So the anti-immigrant minutemen can just fire at (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    will at the border? God save us if that's the case being made here.  These people are kooks with firearms (and liker).

  •  I agree with the main point of this diary... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OpherGopher

    ...regarding what makes a US Citizen and what doesn't.

    But to extrapolate into what this means on the street in DC is ludicrous.

    Does anyone really think that there is a hoodlum in the nation's capitol that has had ANY problem whatsoever acquiring any armament s/he desires?

    Really?

    Does anyone think DC druglords are welcoming this decision or will ever even hear about it?

    The Multinationals and the Religious Right have identical goals: Profit from war, ignorance and fear...and the GOP is their Party.

    by dj angst on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:47:52 AM PDT

  •  Though Scalia is a jerk (4+ / 0-)

    I agree with the outcome on this one.

    I believe I have the right to do pretty much anything I please, if it doesn't infringe on the rights of others. That includes the right to own a gun, smoke a joint, or say what's on my mind.

    It's becoming harder and harder for me to find my equillibrium in a society where different factions are constantly trying to impose their wills on me. If I'm not fighting against theocracy, I'm fighting against beaurocracy; if not against violent anarchy, then against smothering, overreaching "protection". I just want to have my little piece of ground, pay my share of the load, and when I want the government in my life, I'll ask for it.

    My Bill of Rights would probably contain one Amendment: Don't fuck with me, and I won't fuck with you.

    And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall piss you off.

    by Executive Odor on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:48:52 AM PDT

  •  Has a diary ever been written (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    au8285

    where, after many contrary opinions were expressed, that the diarist admitted some of their carefully crafted thoughts were perhaps wrong?

    A give and take critical analysis between diarists and commentors without insults exchanged... what am I thinking?  lol... admit I'm wrong about something?

    NEVER

    (now back to your regularly scheduled ad hominem)

  •  Agree it matters, though not sure I follow (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeffrey Feldman

    The reasoning used here seems a stretch. Numbers of amendments just as easily means when they got around to it.

    But then I also disagree with the reasoning used to defend handgun ownership in this case. The DC law did not ban all guns. Did the constitution specify what kinds of guns all people should have? No, and we've used that space to limit all kinds of mass killing devices (bombs, poisonous gases, mass-killing guns like machine guns, etc) as well as where certain weapons are allowed (not on airplanes, on school grounds, etc).

    This argument really is not about the second amendment in absolute terms. There are no absolutes at this point, because not all guns have been banned and not all guns are allowed. It's the balance between public safety and individual rights of people to own any weapon they want. I think the real impetus is that some people want to be able to shoot at intruders, and ready-to-use handguns are the weapon of choice.

    I would like to know from those that supported this decision where they draw the line. What weapons are acceptable to be regulated and what aren't (handguns, bombs, nuclear weapons, poison gas, machine guns, bazookas, etc.)? What places can we allow guns and what places can we restrict them (outside your house, on the roads, schools, sporting events, airplanes, etc)? What criteria do you use to draw these lines (number of people that could be killed at once? rate of killing? usefulness against the government?).

  •  Laws are not philosophy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird, Gary Norton

    If some people in DC can have handguns in their houses, that might not be the best answer, but I doubt it's gonna be anywhere in the top 100 reasons for the downfall of America, if and when that happens.

    I am allowed to disagree philosophically with the whole constitution. And work towards a society that shares my disagreement. It is a million times easier to disagree with some fool in a black robe. So I'm not worried about the philosophy, just the actual effects. And in terms of effects, this is not the worst thing the SCOTUS has done recently, it's just trivial really.

    •  OK (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gary Norton

      Point taken.  But...

      From what I've heard in terms of DC residents reactions--they are outraged and alarmed.    So this matters very much to people that it will most directly impact.

      So maybe there's more overlap between law and analysis than one might imagine at first.

      ---
      Tired of violent language from right-wing pundits? Buy my book: Outright Barbarous

      by Jeffrey Feldman on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:03:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  some of us are, some aren't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Angry Mouse

        Just like the population.  Funny, eh?

        Seriously, I don't even know where to go with this diary.  It's as if you don't see a difference between constitutional rights and democratically driven policy choices (among many other things).  Probably best left as a draft, circulated for comments, and then rewritten after (much) more throught.

  •  I don't understand this diary at all. (5+ / 0-)

    Why does the NRA and Scalia's ruling presuppose a primacy of the 2nd Amendment over the 1st?  The NRA advocates for the 2nd, but where do they feel it is more fundamental than the 1st?  Where does Scalia?

    (I went and scoured the NRA site for info, but the closest they ever come is arguing that the 2nd is "as fundamental" or "equally important" as the 1st, which is not what you're saying.)

    And how does this impact citizenship?  The shift from common law right to constitutional right only changes the tenor of the right itself, not of the citizen.  Am I missing something?

    Look, this was a bad decision for the NRA: the Court agreed that the rest of U.S. gun laws are perfectly constitutional, and they reaffirmed it!  It's only DC that got struck down because of the absolute nature of the ban, but all those other cases that the NRA would love to see have just been given the finger.  Scalia argues that they're sensible restrictions on gun ownership.  

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:14:14 PM PDT

  •  SCOTUS Was Right On This One (6+ / 0-)

    Not all liberals make exception to the 2nd Amendment when it comes to our constitutional rights. Come out to the West and you will find plenty of us who cherish the right to keep and bear arms just as much as we treasure habeas corpus, the 1st, etc.

    So if the high court restored habeas and then later affirmed the 2nd, I'm hoping for a "trifecta" when it strikes down FISA and affirms no ex post facto law and upholds the 4th.

    •  The ex post facto clause (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MelloY

      Applies to punishments, and not to the retrospective removal of punishments. It always operates in favor of those who would be subject to criminal or civil liability. There will be no constitutional basis to challenge telecom immunity.

      The FISA program more broadly isn't going to go anywhere in court. There are serious standing issues, because no one knows for sure that their communications have been intercepted or monitored. Also, the judiciary is traditionally highly reluctant to get involved with matters of intelligence or national security policy.

      Although I'm ambivalent towards or maybe even in favor of handgun bans in dense, crime-ridden urban areas like the D.C. ordinance at issue in Heller on policy grounds, I can't support any argument that would essentially write one of the amendments out of the Constitution, no matter how much I may wish that particular amendment hadn't been included.

  •  I think you are over-reacting. (4+ / 0-)

    I read the entire majority opinion as well and did not walk away with anything close to this reading you are offering.

    Scalia's opinion of the historical factors influencing the American revolution is irrelevant, even insofar as this decision is concerned. You don't need to reach for any of that in order to come to the conclusion that when the Constitution says that rights are given to "the people" it is in fact referring to individual rights rather than rights granted to the government. I'm pretty darn sure that it ain't just the government that the First Amendment gave the right 'peaceably to assemble.'

    Who the hell cares what order the Amendments appear in? Everything in the Bill of Rights is important. They aren't ranked by relative merit. It's not a Rolling Stone top 10 list. They are numbered in order to have a way of organizing and identifying them. The most important right in the Constitution is probably whatever one you are personally exercising at the moment, or finding that someone in government is trying to take away from you.

    In all, I have to say that you are letting your imagination run a bit wild about the implications of the ruling. It's not going to change anything about your life. It merely clarifies what we all pretty much knew was the case in the first place, with the added benefit of clarifying for certain that prohibiting weapons to violent criminals and the insane is absolutely legal to do (implying that background checks are also Constitutional). There's something for everyone in this ruling.

  •  The true cost of the Decision (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    Now we've got armed militias that are banding together throughout the nation.
    Link.

    Over 230 years since the first pitched battles of the American Revolution, Thursday’s Supreme Court decision reversing laws barring well-armed state militias has served as the catalyst for the re-establishment of several groups of self-armed, haphazard groups of farmers and masons bent on fighting back against the imperial British.

    Scary.

  •  Thanks, this is really informative. (0+ / 0-)

    And a really interesting argument to think about. Agreed, I always conceived of citizenship in terms of the First, not Second amendment. (I am so out of touch with the majority of my now-home state!)

    Also, these decisions remind us about why it's so important that our party control the Supreme Court appointments over the next eight years. We can't let it slide any more to the right.

    "Not just with words, but with deeds." -- Barack Obama

    by kath25 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:28:26 PM PDT

  •  I find little to agree with. The First Amendment (5+ / 0-)

    is not preeminent. For instance, without the 4th, 5th, and 6th, the police power of the state would be unchecked and you would be exercising your free speech to four concrete walls.

    The amendments apply to people, not citizens.

    The court has stayed away from ruling directly on this case for over 200 years because it is a murky area that is easily amenable to multiple interpretations. Reading the majority and the dissents, we certainly know why.

    This decision does little. It prohibits a ban on owning handguns and requires they be immediately accessible. Beyond that, the opinion endorses most  of the gun regulations, i.e., felons, mentally ill, concealed weapons, assault weapons, guns near schools, etc. Regulation is OK, bans on handguns are not. That is the law in most parts of the country.

    This decision validates what most people have thought was their right since 1789.

    Self defense is an absolute defense against a homicide charge in most jurisdictions. Scalia, jerk though he is, didn't create any new right.

    •  So it only allows and pertains to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gary Norton

      the unlimited ownership and keeping of handguns in the home, but doesn't limit regulation of the ownership and keeping of other types of firearms in the home, or the carrying and use of any such weapons--including handguns--outside the home?

      Is it really such a restricted ruling?

      And we'll be right back...

      by kovie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:54:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The ruling is limited (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jeffrey Feldman, kovie, ER Doc, MelloY

        to the case that arose in DC. The Court held that an absolute ban on handguns violates the 2nd Amendment and the gun had to be available for immediate use.

        But the majority opinion went on at length about other types of regulations that would be permissible. I discussed it yesterday. Now since those other types of regulation were not present in this case the discussion of them is dicta, not the ruling.

        How this plays out we'll know in time. But the fact that Scalia, of all people, endorsed most existing forms of gun regulation, alleviated many of my concerns.

        •  Interesting points (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gary Norton

          And reassuring--I think. Not being a lawyer, I don't know what to make of this.

          And full disclosure, I'm not a big fan of the NRA-type view of the 2nd amendment. I'm with those who view it as anachronistic and pertaining solely to militia-related firearm ownership, not firearm ownership for personal use, and that governments have the right and obligation to limit and regulate such ownership, and usage, as needed.

          Having said that, though, I also believe that the burden of proof to justify such limitations and regulations in entirely on the government, not gun owners, and that it can't arbitrarily take away or regulate gun ownership and usage without good cause.

          I guess that what I'm saying is that I don't personally view individual gun ownership and usage, unrelated to militia activities, as having special constitutional protections, as opposed to, say, owning and using a horse, or car, or computer. People start out having the inherent right to own and use any of these as they see fit, subject to reasonable implied general limitations (i.e. you can't use them to hurt others unjustifiably), and government has the right to limit and regulate them, as justified.

          Of course, many will differ with me on this.

          And we'll be right back...

          by kovie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:21:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I tried to explain it in a way that non-lawyers (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kovie

            will understand. Guess I missed the mark.

            Anyway, I put my personal point of view to the side in looking at a decision like this and focus on the impact of the ruling. There is much breast beating that I can only attribute to people not reading or understanding the opinion.

            We will see some municipalities having to change their gun bans. And the question of trigger locks is up in the air.

            There will be much litigation in the area but that is nothing new.

            As I said in the article yesterday, the biggest impact will be political and it will be a positive for Democrats.

            •  No, you hit it (heh) (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Gary Norton, MelloY

              I was just taking the discussion beyond the scope of this ruling.

              Never having owned or even fired a real gun (BB guns don't count, of course), and having grown up in gun crime-ridden NYC in the 70's and seen what both conventional gun-wielding criminals and crazed subway-riding gun-wielding vigilantes can do, I'm not exactly a card-carrying NRA member, although I don't begrudge people who are.

              I do wonder, though, what justification the government has to limit or regulate peoples' ability to own and properly store and maintain guns in their own homes. And how do you even enforce that, without creating all sorts of civil liberties nightmares? It's peoples' taking and using guns outside their homes (or other contained private spaces like gun shops and firing ranges, or wherever hunting is allowed) that I believe needs to be limited and regulated, in a way that meets both civil rights' and the public good.

              And I don't know if this helps Dems so much as it doesn't help Repubs.

              And we'll be right back...

              by kovie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:47:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Public safety is the justification, but (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kovie

                the gun advocates argue it makes people less safe. I think the municipalities have it right. While guns don't kill, people with guns do, and it is the most common killing device in the land. Gun accidents kill many more people than homeowners defending their castles. Having said that I don't approve of outright bans like DC's.

                They are enforced secondarily. If you get stopped and there is grounds to search, if a gun is found you pay. Don't know what the penalty is. Same thing in your house. The big thing is you can't buy one in the City, which means a trip to VA.

        •  yeah, that's a reasonable view, too (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gary Norton

          Kind of like the arguments about Roe v. Wade containing within it the seeds of limiting abortion by admitting that the state has an interest in protecting the fetus after a certain point in the pregnancy.

          But Breyer makes mockery of Scalia's idea that pistols should be acceptable because they are widely in use:

          Nor is it at all clear to me how the majority decides which loaded "arms" a homeowner may keep.  The majority says that that Amendment protects those weapons "typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes."  Ante, at 53.  This definition conveniently excludes machineguns, but permits handguns, which the majority describes as "the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home."  Ante, at 57; see also ante, at 54–55.  But what sense does this approach make?  According to the majority’s reasoning, if Congress and the States lift restrictions on the possession and use of machineguns, and people buy machineguns to protect their homes, the Court will have to reverse course and find that the Second Amendment does, in fact, protect the individual self-defense-related right to possess a machinegun.  On the majority’s reasoning, if tomorrow someone invents a particularly useful, highly dangerous self-defense weapon, Congress and the States had better ban it immediately, for once it becomes popular Congress will no longer possess the constitutional authority to do so.  In essence, the majority determines what regulations are permissible by looking to see what existing regulations permit.  There is no basis for believing that the Framers intended such circular reasoning.

          Breyer seems to be suggesting that future rulings will just toss out Scalia's reasoning as to which guns are permissible and which are not and just find that, by the originalist argument, all are untouchable.

          ---
          Tired of violent language from right-wing pundits? Buy my book: Outright Barbarous

          by Jeffrey Feldman on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:34:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That is the silliest part of Scalia's opinion but (0+ / 0-)

            it works in our favor. He and the other Republican members signed on to it. It is one of the many reasons why this area is so hard. He doesn't want to say it is literally 18th century weapons that would be in the house and used in the militia, because we don't have flintlocks. But he does not want to say it is the modern equivalent of a militia weapon, because that includes assault rifles. So he comes up with his formulation in between.

            He is not going to change on that and Breyer is for sure not going to goad him into approving assault weapons so I don't think we need worry much on that score.

    •  Respectfully disagree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gary Norton

      This decision does much.

      It represents a significant erosion of our concept of "militia" in a free society. It coarsens and will limit discussions and debate by allowing that there is the "ultimate remedy" of remote violence, and codifies a lower, backwards regression into the era of tribal warfare we have struggled so hard to overcome since 1789. It reinteprets the second amendment to allow for a radical version of self-interest at the expense of societal interest, and makes it more difficult to create a peaceful society by peaceful means. It writes into the Constitution a  new view that people are inherently violent, and must be dealt with violently, individually, and without consideration of courage and resourcefulness in the face of anarchy.

      This decision comes from the Dark Ages of European law, where might made right, and the fastest draw was therefore right. We have taken a giant leap, about 1000 years, in reverse. Thank you, Libertarians, for believing so deeply in the worst angels of our nature, and bowing to your gods of fear.  

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:59:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How in the world is the militia eroded? The (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Silverbird

        national guard is the militia today and I can't see any threat to the Guard here.

        Self defense is hardly tribal warfare. It is already codified in the criminal statutes of ever state. There is nothing new here.

        •  I was unclear.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gary Norton

          I meant that the definition of a militia is eroded. Under this ruling, every man is his own militia, not for National Defense, which it can be argued was the intention of the Second Amendment, but for Personal Defense, which it has been stretched to include, by the NRA's endlessly repeating the fear and loathing of others in our own society.  

          And, since we have a Well Regulated Militia, the National Guard, what is the need of a second Not Regulated Militia, the man and woman at home? In 1789, there were not even any telephones to call for help. People had courage and resourcefulness, knew their neighbors, kept dogs in the yard, and knew how to respectfullly talk to one another and deduce intentions. We have lost much of those skills, so we rush to arm every man, woman and child, and the result will be: Somalia. Welcome to Somalia!

          Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

          by OregonOak on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:35:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The First was the Third, really... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pacific ocean park

    the "First Amendment" was the 'Third Article' of Madison's Bill of Rights, but the first two articles were never ratified...so the "firstness" of it doesn't really give it special importance.

    However, I agree to a great extent that without the right to express yourself, and assert your rights, what good are rights?  If that's what you meant.  However, the right to protect your life is also crucial, if you want to be able to express yourself.

    I don't think it's that bad a decision (it is "activism" on the conservative side).  Nor will the parade of terribles come to fruition, any more than Scalia's parade of men marrying pigs has or will come to fruition because of Lawrence.

  •  Just as Roe v Wade... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    ...was a landmark starting point in re privacy rights concerning reproductive liberty so too will DC v Heller. Legislation and court rulings will follow and society will self-correct. Sure there will be resultant tragedies, disasters, and upheavals. Just as this is one of them as a result of historic right wing power shift. That's America.

    Who knows, perhaps this is the seed of corrective constitutional amendment as to the right of the people and the states to regulate arms. Apparently that didn't need correcting until now, but that "legal fact" has changed.

    Obama; raisin' McCain in the Bush!

    by gaspi on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:34:53 PM PDT

  •  Redefinition of Militia... the Libertarian way. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeffrey Feldman, LordMike

    The Constitution, as Madison pointed out, is an Evolving, Organic document. There was no intent in producing a list of laws which were immutable, only the intent to define the law as best as could be done at the time, and leave it to future citizens to redefine it.

    The Supreme Court has redefined the Second Amendment by changing the definition of a militia. In Madison's time, everyone was in the militia, and everyone brought their own gun, if they had one. They didnt want a standing army, so that was the next best option. The phrase "well ordered" was placed in the second amendment to remind people that guns needed a measure of heirarchical control, either loose or strong, but controlled nonetheless. If one could qualify for militia service, one could own a gun for national defense.

    Now, for the first time, the Supremes have decided that guns need no "well ordered"  heirarchical control, that one does NOT need to qualify as a militiaman or woman to own a gun, and that individual "right" was written in to the original intent.

    This decision is wrong history, wrong legal reasoning and wrong policy to think that guns should be allowed to grow unchecked by legal and illegally intentioned persons in a democracy. The individual right to be scared does not justify the response of owning a gun.

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:35:13 PM PDT

  •  The Democratic platform in 2004 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc

    supported the "individual rights" interpretation of the 2nd amendment.  Obviously, the Republicans agree.  The politicians are ahead of the SCOTUS on this one.

  •  As to rights, the fifth is the most important. (0+ / 0-)

    The rights to life, liberty and property are the most fundamental.

    Freedom of speech is derived from and implied by the right to liberty.

  •  re: what does amendment 2 mean by militia (0+ / 0-)

    The populace under arms.

    Scalia's opinion seems to me to have said that a citizen has a right to have an operational firearm in his home to protect himself against an attack.  No mention have I seen on concealed carry, walking down massachusetts ave carrying a rifle, etc.

    GunVault makes a product that is child-proof (if the parent is not an idiot and reprograms the code), and can make the pistol available in an emergency.  

    Are long-bows legal in DC?  Hard to conceal.

    John McCain wants an army of 1,000,000.  Feel secure, yet?

  •  re: difference between liberal and conservative (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc

    Nonsense.  

    One has a right to defend oneself from death and immanent (look it up) bodily harm.  Not to protect property, not against strong and abusive language.  If I were to shoot someone for saying 'your wife is ugly and your children are dumb', I would be culpable.  The case is about defense in one's home.  If an assailant has gained access to one's home, and is himself armed, what do you imagine his intent might be?

    •  castle laws (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      floundericiousMI

      are already well established.  And, if I'm not mistaken, 43 states already have some version of concealed-carry laws on the books.  So those laws are already out there.

      The problem is the way this ruling redefines the system, putting in place a conception of fundamental rights that define free citizenship that runs counter to what has been given in this country.

      So, everyone who says that they favor the right to own guns is flying past the point. Individuals can own guns.  But up to this point, the court has not been able to say that states and cities have no legal recourse to regulate those rights without treading on constitutional grounds. Up to this point, the courts have encouraged citizens to actively engage in meaningful discussions about use.  Scalia's opinion throws open the door to changing that--stating that the right to bear arms in confrontation is deeply embedded in the founding principles of this country--and that it was and always will be a timeless concept.

      Stevens argues that the very case Scalia makes to establish this point is flawed--based on weak evidence--and that the right to own guns had an important, but specific meaning which has since outgrown its purpose for the most part.  Instead of resurrecting a past constitutional principle on dogmatic grounds, the courts should protect the rights of citizens to own and use guns through legal precedent and good judgment. Because that works.

      In the 30 odd years since the NRA has been pushing against that view and for this kind of ruling, they have argued that America has become more safe as a result.  All the while gun crime has increased dramatically--visible to everyone.  This ruling makes it harder to put the genie back in the bottle--exponentially harder.

      ---
      Tired of violent language from right-wing pundits? Buy my book: Outright Barbarous

      by Jeffrey Feldman on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:57:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have a right also not to be shot... (0+ / 0-)

      ...just because you don't like my dog going into your yard and you get mad.

      Doesn't the right not to get shot trump the right to shoot?

      The United States of America--the only country in the world where being educated and cultured actually *lowers* your social and political standing.

      by LordMike on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:28:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, yes. Obviously. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Abra Crabcakeya

            But I also have a right to shoot you if you are attempting to invade my home or attack me or my children.
            This Supreme Court decision did not change the laws against murder and manslaughter. It remains illegal for me to shoot you unless I can justify it under narrow explicit grounds. If it happens, I will suffer the consequences. But it is unconstitutional for you to deny me the right to possess the means to defend myself, simply because I might abuse them.

        -5.12, -5.23

        We are men of action; lies do not become us.

        by ER Doc on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 03:24:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Damn... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ER Doc, Abra Crabcakeya

          All of my writings here on this topic, and with one sentence,

          But it is unconstitutional for you to deny me the right to possess the means to defend myself, simply because I might abuse them.

          You drive the point home better than I ever have.

          You have perfectly stated the anti-gun argument. And shown it to be ludicrous.

          I raise my glass and my gun to you. But not at the same time.

          --Shannon

  •  Originalist Neocons care what the Framers thought (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RickD

    Calling this decision a "nightmare" undermines the ability of liberals to convincingly use language to explain to politically uninvolved people that right-wingers are wackos.  In actuality, we when use language like 'nightmare' to describe the right of people to keep a handgun in their home, and we use incredibly misleading statements like the "The Bill of Rights puts freedom of speech first and the right of the people to bear arms second," it undermines the ability of our movement to convince independents that we are being honest with them.

    This decision has amounted to little to nothing in reality, it was a compromise between the right-wing and Justice Kennedy in order to answer the most narrow legal question that could be answered in this case, given the law put in place by D.C.

    As has been stated, the amendments are not listed in order of importance, the framers never discussed whether it was more important to them to let people keep weapons or to have freedom of/from religion, and the first amendment is actually the third amendment listed.  But none of this even matters, because none of us Are originalists, I hope.

    If social security were privatized, if abortion were illegalized, these are good examples of times to call things a 'nightmare.'

    This is a moderate decision that was made as a compromise between Kennedy and the right, it is not a far-reaching case that will have any lasting impact.

    •  agree and disagree (0+ / 0-)

      repealing the gun ban in DC will amount to a bit more than 'little or nothing'.  But I agree with your legal analysis.

      It's hard to simultaneously think that a law is good policy but bad law, but that's where I am on the DC gun ban.

      Don't drink and blog. Think of the children.

      by RickD on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:01:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree and disagree. :) :) (0+ / 0-)

      This decision has amounted to little to nothing in reality, it was a compromise between the right-wing and Justice Kennedy in order to answer the most narrow legal question that could be answered in this case, given the law put in place by D.C.

      Scalia doesn't believe in any kind of fundamental rights.  The "compromise" is with himself, not with Kennedy.  Hell, I would have interpreted it more broadly than Nino did.

  •  Scalia doesn't believe in America (0+ / 0-)

    At least, not in the United States of America. He believes in himself and in his fellow far-right, bogeyman-fearing, misanthropic and misogynist authoritarian neofascist bedwetters, but not in some abstract and to him rediculous concept of a collective whole that is greater than the sum of its individual parts. This is classic pre-Civil War political theory, that justified slavery on the basis of "states' rights" and "property rightsd" vs. the national good.

    Funny, though, how in Lawrence v. Texas he made the exact opposite argument. In it, he argued that people do not have the right to do what they wish to do in their own bedrooms, and that government can regulate sexual behavior between consenting adults. But in Heller, he argues that people have the right to have whatever they want to have in those bedroom, and that government cannot regulate it. So you can own as many handguns, assault rifles and shotguns as you like, so long as you don't use them for "unnatural sex".

    Note that I'm not against gun ownership, so long as it's by people who meet some minimum and reasonable standards (and needs--who the hell needs an assault rifle in their home, or at least cartidges for it?), and with just as reasonable limitations placed on where you can carry and use them, and how you can use them, just like owning and driving a car, or anything that can potentially be dangerous to others. What I am against is such a broad and irresponsible granting of essentially unlimited gun ownership and usage rights to virtually anyone. Sure, he allows that reasonable limitations can be placed on this, but as a throwaway.

    I can only hope that states and cities now pass laws that manage to get around this idiotic and dangerous ruling, before it leads to yet more needless gun-caused deaths and injuries.

    And we'll be right back...

    by kovie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:49:59 PM PDT

  •  wild wild west (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    Black hell and death!  DC is the wild, wild west.  Cross the Anacostia River.  Travel up to Petworth, U Street after dark.  I must be suffering from PTSD after hearing gunshots 3 nights a week for all those years.  Never mind.

  •  Mr. Weber, Call Your Office Please (4+ / 0-)

    Scalia is arguing much more than the definition of 'right to bear arms' as put down in the 2nd Amendment.  He is arguing that fundamental meaning of citizenship in The Constitution is a reaction against the oppression of Protestants by 17c English monarchy!  If we accept this definition, we are left with the flawed and violent idea of a American citizenship--with an idea of citizenship grounded in the idea that a tyranny begins with government taking away the guns of citizens.

    Or conversely, we are led to the inescapably pragmatic conclusion that citizenship, in any meaningful and modern American sense of the word which arises from the soil of English common law, begins with subjects refusing to to allow the government to have a monopoly on the legitmate use of violence; in order to remain citizens rather than subjects, it is essential to retain not merely the theoretical right but the practical ability to commit legitimate acts of violence in defense of life, property, or rights.

    Some would complain that this view regards the entire line of political science that begins with Weber -- a line which reserves to the state an exclusive monopoly on violence -- at best an irrelevancy and at worst an apologia for European style tyranny rather than a useful theoretical underpinning for American democracy and the rights of citizens within that construct.

    The observation is correct. The error is in believing that this is a bad thing, or in believing that a democracy born out of English Common Law should be put to bed in Weber's Procrustean Bed of faux-democracy.

  •  disagree with the diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird, ER Doc, MelloY

    but recced it in the hope that the KO/GG squabble gets buried soon.  :)

    I think that there are all sorts of stories bandied about w.r.t. the Second Amendment.  I personally would read it as it was written rather than argue either that the purpose was to allow people to oppose the government or to argue that its purpose was to allow citizens to join a militia.  

    To put it another way: I think the gun culture is completely whacked in their outlook on life, but the language seems clear as to the question as to whether there is a right of citizens to own guns.

    Don't drink and blog. Think of the children.

    by RickD on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:59:23 PM PDT

  •  The snake is eating its tale... (0+ / 0-)

    in this sense. Erode civil liberties, while playing up crime as an issue, and encourage folks to be paranoid with each other. Then there is the government...many of my progressive friends are becoming paranoid about the possibilities of a fascist America to encourage each other to buy guns.

  •  Freedom in not defined one way or the other. (0+ / 0-)

    What are you talking about.  There is a list of them.  They all compliment one another.  

    We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. -- William Faulkner --

    by Silverbird on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:13:12 PM PDT

  •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

    Scalia ruined the country on December 12, 2000.

  •  Lots of people , More Progessive Than Thou, (5+ / 0-)

    deciding which constitutional rights should be taken from whom. Authoritarians in all manner of clothing.

  •  Sick and Tired of the 18th Century (4+ / 0-)

    I have been depressed about this decision, and have come to the realization of what bothered me so much about it.  Both Scalia and Stevens accept the notion that the outcome should turn on a determination of what a bunch of slave-owning 18th Century politicians thought.  It was a very striking demonstration of what an absurd way to govern a country this is.  Minimal discussion of the wisdom of legalizing the ownership of handguns in an urban area - the only thing that natters is an assessment of what the "Founding Fathers" intended.  Truly bizarre when you think about it.
    Such is the cult of the Constitution.  The 18th Century "enlightenment", which gave rise to the Constitution, was essentially an occasion for European triumphalism.  The so-called American "Revolution", which solidified the domination of Euro-Americans over other inhabitants of North America, came shortly after the conclusion of the true First World War, the Seven Years War, as the great powers of Europe fought for domination not only vis a vis each other, but with respect to non-European people throughout the world, in places like North America, India, and the Phillipines.
    The American cultural fixation with firearms comes from this era, as it spawned two key components of the American legacy: violence and racism.  When we talk of "self-defense", what did that mean for Euro-Americans in the 18th Century?  Defense against Native Americans, defense against slave rebellions.
    I get a little relief from my depression when I think of Fareed Zakaria's concept of the "rise of the rest."  Perhaps the 21st Century will see the end of the stranglehold of the Eurotrash, and we can stop being controlled by the dead hand of the 18th Century.

  •  Catfight porn (0+ / 0-)

    What's not to like?

    Good Gawd, a break from miserable reality was overdue.

    There are no stupid questions, but stupid people are everywhere

    by SecondComing on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:42:50 PM PDT

  •  It's a small point, but (0+ / 0-)

    the first amendment really did start out as the third amendment third amendment.

    "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a spineless congress?" I want my country back.

    by gilacliff on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:45:53 PM PDT

  •  The word "citizen" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeffrey Feldman, ER Doc, Angry Mouse

    is not used in the Bill of Rights.  The word "person(s)" is used 4 times.  I understand that this is a tiny nit but I believe that there is an important difference.  It's not just that some of the founders or important people of the time were or were not all "natural-born" citizens as specified in the qualifications for President.  "Citizens" are mentioned elsewhere in the Constitution (outside of qualifications for office) but only in the context of the states.  I'm not sure how that should be interpreted but the framers obviously made some kind of distinction....

    -7.62, -7.28 "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

    by luckylizard on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:56:09 PM PDT

  •  I don't respect ranking/prioritizing amendments (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pacific ocean park

    Obviously, the right TO LIFE ranks highest, REGARDLESS of what any document says.  I don't mean for a fetus, I mean for a person whose personhood is UNcontested.
    Of course, pro-lifers will say that it's obvious that a fetus is a person, that that's NOT meaningfully contested, but my point is just that that's not the issue I'm engaging here.  My point is that free speech IS MOOT IF YOU ARE DEAD.

    "You can't nice these people to death."-- John Edwards

    by ge0rge on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:11:00 PM PDT

  •  Freedom of religion is first (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeffrey Feldman

    The First Amendment spells out five basic rights. They are, in order:

    1. religion
    1. speech
    1. press
    1. assembly
    1. petition

    They wanted all of them to be under the heading of #1 but they wanted to make damn sure that the government would never be under the influence of the Church of England, the Roman Catholic Church, or any American or foreign church.

    Guns were to be secondary. There may have been an economic reason. I have heard arguments that the framers wanted to allow non-land owners to be able to make a living with their guns via the hunting or security route.

    The plural of anecdote is not data.

    by bobinson on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:14:08 PM PDT

  •  "When they kick down your front door... (7+ / 0-)

    How you gonna come? With your hands on your head, or on the trigger of your gun!" The Clash said it best

    I need a gun to shoot motherfuckers who try and Patriot Act me. The first and second amendments go hand and hand forever, until the end of time, each one supporting and lifting up the other. EOM

    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 Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:26:48 PM PDT

  •  Gore lost by a... (0+ / 0-)

    ...few votes....Kerry lost by a few votes....SCOTUS lost by one vote.

  •  If you want to prioritize the fundamental rights (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    pacific ocean park
    Hidden by:
    GlowNZ

    enumerated in one amendment above those enumerated in another, you can go fuck yourself.

    Please delete.

  •  What's wrong with supporting ALL of the Bill of (5+ / 0-)

    Rights including the Second Amendment?  The five more moderate Justices generally do alright when it comes to enforcing the 1st, 4th, 5th (protections against self incrimination and due process in Court), 6th, 8th, and 14th Amendments, which also include the prenumbral right to privacy, but they refuse to enforce the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms and they do a shitty job of protecting the 5th Amendment provisions relating to property rights.  The Right wing nutjobs do a good job protecting the rights afforded to all citizens under the 2nd Amendment and the provisions of the 5th Amendment relating to property rights, but they refuse to protect any of the other Amendments!  What the hell is wrong with the notion of enforcing each and everyone of the Bill of Rights?

    As for the silly notion that we should argue over whether the First or Second Amendment is more important, I would simply posit that they are both equally important.  They both help to insure that the government is run by and for the people and not vice versa.  Even President Bush probably realizes that if for example he refused to leave office at the end of his term and started rounding up millions of his political opponents and putting them in prisons that the armed citizens of this great nation would rise up and overthrow his ass.  

    •  I believe browneyes said (0+ / 0-)

      that it ain't no Chinese menu.  

      But there's a problem with supporting the entire Constitution and every Amendment in the Bill of Rights.  You become a Libertarian, and your very existence spirals toward futility.  

      •  I don't agree with the suggestion that supporting (0+ / 0-)

        the enitre constitution leads you to become a libertarian.  Congressional powers under Article I are pretty broad as Chief Justice John Marshall made very clear in McColluch v. Maryland, and I believe in Congress's prerogative to regulate commerce with environmental laws, labor laws, and various other regulations that protect all of us from the inherent dangers of unchecked capitalism.  I also believe that Congress has the power to levy taxes and spend money for the General Welfare.  So I don't subscribe to the Ron Paul interpretation of our Constitution.  I do however, believe that each and every one of the Bill of Rights must be cherished and protected including the 2nd Amendment and the 5th Amendment property provisions.  This doesn't mean that I don't support some forms of reasonable gun control; and it also doesn't mean that I don't support the government's right to utilize imminent domain in some cases.  However, I do think that all out bans on handguns go too far.  I also think that taking private property not for public use (i.e. a public park; a wildlife reserve; a new highway; ect. ect.) but instead for the purposes of handing that land over to another private intentity whom the government has decided deserves the land more than you is a clear violation of the 5th Amendment and is just plain scary in general!

        •  I think you got your capitalization wrong ;-) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bhouston79

          Supporting the whole Consitution doesn't make you a Libertarian, but it does make you a libertarian.  Most libertarians would agree with your points, while Libertarians would not.

          "The Universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it." Marcus Aurelius

          by Mosquito Pilot on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 05:49:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  well said, but I was mostly joking (0+ / 0-)

          bhouston79:

          We both cherish the Bill of Rights -- all of it.  And that makes us allies no matter how much we disagree on the details.  

          Neither the left nor the right, the Democratic Parry nor the Republican Party, really care about the whole nine yards when it comes to defense of the Constitution.  Each party's written platform typically claims to do so, but, for example, the Democratic Party platform has long read, more or less:

          We will protect Americans' Second Amendment right to own firearms, and we will keep
          guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists by fighting gun crime, reauthorizing the assault weapons
          ban, and closing the gun show loophole, as President Bush proposed and failed to do.

          How can the Democratic Party proudly proclaim its dedication to the defense of a Constitutional right, and in the same sentence commit to banning "assault weapons" (weapons suitable for militia use if ever there were) and closing the (new-speak term) "gun show loophole?"  It's not a loophole; it's a private sale that is either lawful or not lawful under applicable state law.  When people dislike an interpretation of law they often characterize it as a "loophole."  Others simply consider it compliance with law.  

          "Reasonable" is where people will differ, as many of our slippery slope colleagues have so colorfully illustrated by referring to rights to own tanks, anti-tank missiles, nuclear weapons and submarines.  That's bush-league argument, and I don't think it advances constructive conversation.  

          Reasonable?  I think it would be reasonable to require purchasers of firearms to attend publicly funded classes imparting meaningfully substantive knowledge and actual physical skill in the safe handling and moral/legal use of firearms.  But it has to be publicly funded, or it will be nothing more than a ridiculous boo-foo tariff like the "safety" cards I had to procure in California each time they changed the "safety" test.  Each one cost money.  Anyone here know how much?  $20?  $30?  Whatever.  A boo-foo charge.  

          Reasonable?  Make all Class III devices legal in all states.  I did not say make them available over the counter, but if you pay your tax stamp, and undergo the additional background check beyond the NICS, who should care if somebody gets a suppressor, or a short barreled rifle, or a fully automatic rifle?  And before the hoplophobes scream "they'll be stolen and used in crimes," ATF, IIRC, actually comes to your home to see if your safe meets their standards for storage of Class III devices.  

          Now, that's just the Democratic Party and the Second Amendment.  

          We don't need citation to see how the Republican Party and its courts have vitiated the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments.  Shameful.  

          I couldn't locate the GOP platform on the GOP website.  Dollars to doughnuts it says something about promoting the right of all Americans to pursue the American dream.  Dollars to doughnuts it says nearby, under the new-speak term "Defense of Family," that such right does not apply to those filthy homosexuals.  

          Libertarians have swell ideas but generally the inability to accomplish anything.  

          And please (sincerely) explain Ron Paul to me.  I'm only judging by association, but the folks I see who support him all seem a little, uh, special.  "Special" as in "rides the little bus."  

          I also think that taking private property not for public use (i.e. a public park; a wildlife reserve; a new highway; ect. ect.) but instead for the purposes of handing that land over to another private intentity whom the government has decided deserves the land more than you is a clear violation of the 5th Amendment and is just plain scary in general!

          And I too love the Lost Liberty Hotel.  Mr. Justice Souter did not win another fan with me with Kelo.  

  •  What a tragic commentary. (2+ / 0-)

    The Supreme Court upholds the fundamental concept of our individual right to arm ourselves against tyranny of the government, and the very people who have complained the loudest about the tyranny of the government think the ruling is going to ruin the country.

    Sad.  Very sad.

    •  What bullshit (0+ / 0-)

      The constituin says nothing about the right for INDIVIDUALS TO BEAR ARMS.  What it does say involved militias.  Point to the part where it specfically said that Indiviuals have the right to bear arms and I will shut up.  Anyone can interpret the constution anyway they want, just like the bible, does not make it correct.  

      http://politicz.wordpress.com/

      by GlowNZ on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 04:04:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pretty simple. (3+ / 0-)

        Are our constitutional rights individual or collective?  If they're collective, I assume that means we do not have an individual right to free speech, an individual right to freedom of religion, an individual right not to incriminate ourselves, an individual right to vote...

        On the other hand, if you think these are individual rights, then why don't you point out to me the part of the Constitution that says our rights are to be interpreted individually, except for the Second Amendment.

        Also, your comment about people interpreting the Constitution anyway they want is not exactly accurate.  Yes, you're welcome to read it and think it means whatever you want.  But, unlike the Bible, you are not allowed to practice your constitutional rights as you interpret them.  Good luck killing someone and arguing your right to do so under the First Amendment because you interpret it that way.

      •  Supreme Court just said it does. n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Angry Mouse
  •  What about the right (0+ / 0-)

    not to get shot and milled by a moron with a gun?

    http://politicz.wordpress.com/

    by GlowNZ on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 04:12:23 PM PDT

  •  We Have A Well Armed Militia... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GlowNZ

    They're over in Iraq and Afghanistan!!!!

    Oh wait. We have nothing but LIBERAL REPORTERS working in a LIBERAL MEDIA here in America!! How could I have forgotten that?

    by hopalong on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 04:19:59 PM PDT

  •  Scalia is rather selective (0+ / 0-)

    As Jeffrey points out:

    According to an opinion of Justice Scalia of the Supreme Court of the United States, the overriding concern of the Framers of our 18c Constitution was that citizens of the new republic would be oppressed in the way that subjects of 17c England were oppressed by the King.

    Too bad Scalia doesn't feel that way about, say, the Fourth Amendment.  Or (given his dissent in Boumediene) the Fifth or Eighth, or the privilege of habeas corpus, which was important enough to the Framers to be in the body of the Constitution itself, rather than in an amendment.

  •  Antonin Scalia IMO is a "brown-shirt" fascist (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aristodemus

    But what did you expect from the court that put aside the vote to put Bush in office?  Scalia is absolutely the worst sort of person to be on the court.  This is why we need anyone, anyone, anyone other than John MCsame.

  •  I was under the impression (2+ / 0-)

    that this great nation was founded on the universality of the rights of men and women to determine their own destiny, i.e., the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  You don't have to be a fucking citizen to enjoy those rights in the United States.

    Also, I am a big proponent of legal, responsible handgun ownership.  When you ban weapons you only ban them for legal ownership.  All the people out there that don't give a fuck about the law will still have handguns.  More, and better handguns.  

    Disarming "Joe America" turns every home on every block into a target for those who would take advantage of people that can't defend themselves.  I for one, refuse to put myself, or my family in such a situation where some lowlife with such high disregard for the lives of the people I love is able to dictate whether or not my family lives or dies.  

    Quite simply:  If someone enters my home with a weapon for "protection" during the commission of a crime they will be met with deadly force, and extreme prejudice.  

    If a person has the audacity to disregard the safety of my family and illegally enter my home, I will disregard their right to exist, and defend myself and my family at all costs.  

    Call me stupid, call me an enabler, call me a neocon redneck neanderthal.  I'm a lifelong Progressive, I will still be alive the next morning, and there will be one less attempted murderer on planet Earth.

    "We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the Stars and Stripes. All of us defending the United States of America." -Sen. Barack Obama

    by Obamaniac08 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 05:54:22 PM PDT

  •  We'll NEED guns for the revolution!!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Seriously, think about what Bill of Rights author James Madison wrote:
    "Americans have the right and advantage of being armed -- unlike the citizens of other countries...."
    Power to the people, it kind of sounds like he was saying.

    And Russ Feingold, the ONLY senator to vote against the original Patriot Act in 2001, said this in praising the court's gun ruling:
    "Public safety must be ensured without depriving our citizens of their constitutional rights."

    Choosing which constitutional rights deserve to be enforced is heading into dangerous territory -- unreasonable searches and seizures, cruel and unusual punishment, imprisonment without charges or trial ....

    Think about it.  

  •  Of Rights and Arms (0+ / 0-)

    I haven't had the time to read this opinion, but I'm sure that anything Scalia puts out is suspect. However, I think we have to be careful about our thinking on this issue.

    The basis of the individual right to arms is that everyone has an inherent right to protect themselves from harm. This is protected not by the Second Amendment, but by the Nineth:

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    This isn't an unqualified right any more than any other. To me, the rights are not prioritized. I don't have more of one right than another. The right to keep and bear arms (the right, in fact, to shoot someone dead) comes from the right to self defense, and its application should be proportional to the need. So, if you live in a quiet, suburban neighborhood that's well protected by police, you have less need for a gun than if you live in a dangerous urban environment where you are more likely to undergo an armed attack.

    What would help in any event is to make all neighborhoods safer, reducing the need for anyone to protect themselves with a fire arm.

    Also, this habit of trying to second-guess the founders is a bit annoying. The Constitution is a contract between the people and their government. The intent of the contract is what the people and the government agree to. This is a current thing, not a past thing. What the founders agreed to in their contract with the government is interesting and provides context, but it should never be the ultimate determinant of how we interpret the Constitution today.

    I have a right to go into court and demand that the government live up to the contract. In doing so, I'm going to look to the text of the contract as the primary evidence of what it means. That means that if it says, for example:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    then I expect that Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion or preventing me from conducting my religious practices, or abridging my freedom of speech or the right to publish or read anything that's published, or to travel and meet with others in person or virtually, or to call them up (as I did a couple of times earlier this week) and register my opinion.

    The argument, then, isn't what the founders thought the purpose of the Second Amendment was when they wrote it, it's what is our agreement with the government today on militias and arms? That has to be based on today's needs, not those in the 18th century.

    And, right now, after the Bush Administration, with the compliance of Congress, dumped habeas corpus, I'm feeling a lot more like I may need to have some arms around just in case I have to defend myself from them. It would make me a lot more comfortable if I could count on having a group of sensible politicians in Congress who would restrain the executive when it gets too rambunctious. Maybe if they stop tampering with FISA and start putting in place better procedures to protect my other constitutional rights, then I'll feel a bit less inclined to get the biggest handgun I can find to protect myself.

    A word to the wise should be sufficient.

  •  Lock and Load (0+ / 0-)

    and so it begins

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

    by Agathena on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 06:51:00 PM PDT

  •  well as a gun owner (0+ / 0-)

    i rather agree with the decision. I'm not a law scholar either but to decide that the word "people" means the same in the 2nd as it does in the other amendments seems about right to me. And no offense intended believe me, but I cannot figure out why you think one trivial element of his opinion is somehow constitutionally transformative.

  •  Some of you are as bad as Bush/Gonzales/Chertoff (0+ / 0-)

    You want to pick and choose which Constitutional Rights to believe in and which to reject.  You like the Fourth but hate the Second, so you're all ready to eat your own for not opposing FISA, but oppose gun rights just because you dont like violence. The founder's didnt like violence either, but they knew that a disarmed citzenry would be defenseless against tyranny, and things havent changed since.

    The President pays lip service to the Constitution when he agrees with it. Many of you are no different.  Civil liberties are an all-of-nothing proposition; you either believe that people have inherent rights, which the Constitution enumerates and holds inviolate, or that it is up to the men in the Department of Justice or the D.C. Council or the Virginia Statehouse to define them, making it up as they go along.

    If you dont like Guns, dont buy any. If you dont like Abortion, dont have one. If you dont believe in Gay Marriage, then Marry Someone of the Opposite Sex, for God's sake. But the Old Left and Old Right need to stop trying to foist their respective moralities on the rest of us. Real Progressives and Libertarians are through with all of that shit.

    This SCOTUS is on the button, they got it right on Habeas Corpus two weeks ago on the MCA decision and they got it right on Gun Control this week. At least Justice Kennedy thinks with a clear head, and protected us from unbridled government in both cases.

    "Extremism in the Defense of Liberty is No Vice; Moderation, in the Pursuit of Justice is No Virtue." - AuH2O

    by Press to Digitate on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 07:30:57 PM PDT

  •  I have lived my entire life with a different take (0+ / 0-)

    on where our rights 'flow' from.

    For those who do not realize it, all rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution flow from the 1st Amendment which is about 'freedom of expression.'

    I was brought up thinking that our rights aren't granted to us by our government, but that they are natural.

    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. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

    ~ Declaration of Independence

  •  From a Gun Owner (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeffrey Feldman

    Since I was 10.  Am knockin' on 45 now.

    Religious freedom is not sacrosanct (one can't smoke dope, or, say, "marry" 10 year old girls as a "sacrament".

    Speech is not sacrosanct ("Fire!" in a crowded theater; "commercial speech" has all kinds of strictures).

    Freedom of the press is not sacrosanct (libel is actionable for maliciously false publications).

    Assembly's not sacrosanct (parade permits).

    Ah . . . but we get to the Second Amendment and there we find The Untouchable One.

    The mind frigging boggles.

    Oh, but the Original Intent!  The Original Intent!  Right.  As I've mentioned elsewhere, unless one has direct evidence that the Framers had access to a time machine which they used to find out about snub-nose and rifle-barreled, mass-produced, Saturday Night Specials (uh, revolvers - a technology that didn't exist in 1791, by the way), then, o.k. go ahead and argue "Original Intent".  Otherwise, and with all due respect, such cretins should STFU re  "Original Intent."

    Well, at the end of the day, I feel like I'm in much better company - Stevens, Breyer, Ginsberg and Souter (and our diarist) than are the  gun proliferation absolutists who now embrace the likes of Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Roberts and, sadly, Kennedy (who friggin' knows better).  Oh, and a gloating W. Bush.  Nice friends some of y'all have there.  Nice friends.

    I'll end with this:

     

    ". . . Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the majority '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.'

       "He said such evidence 'is nowhere to be found.'

       "Justice Stephen Breyer wrote a separate dissent in which he said, 'In my view, there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas.'"

       (Source)

    "We in the gloam, old buddy," he said, "We definitely right in the middle of it." -Larry Brown

    by BenGoshi on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 04:04:12 AM PDT

  •  So. You Stayed at Holiday Inn Express Last Night? (0+ / 0-)

    I would urge the diarist to read this diary, currently on today's 'Diary Rescue' list:

    The Neuroscience of False Belief

    I managed to read this diary, which breathlessly and hyperbolically informs me that my country is ruined because I can still own guns, even though slogging through it was pretty difficult. I have composed this diary WITHOUT reading ahead to see what others have commented, because I do not want to be influenced by other comments, but react to the diary alone.

    It was difficult to read this diary because it was so utterly ill-informed and off-base. I felt like I was watching an ad for Holiday Inn Express, the narrator of which just performed life-saving surgery on a hippo because of where he slept last night.

    It reads like a folk interpretation based on wishful thinking and emotion, it has simply no roots in the reality of history or the law.

    First of all, what's this primacy of rights based on numbering the Bill of Rights amendments? Poppycock apparently is not just popcorn with caramel in this case. That is one of the silliest statements I have seen today, and really, at that point, it was hard to make myself keep reading, I started to just ignore this diary.

    Second major point, I want to be brief, there are two key principles of law in the United States the diarist clearly does not comprehend.

    1. English Common law underlies everything. The right of self-defense is profoundly rooted in English Common law, inextricably. The right to privacy inheres from Common Law as well. I would point out to the diarist that neither of these is specified in the Constitution. Or the Bill of Rights. So are you ready to argue there is no right to privacy as well?
    1. The Constitution is clearly written, with explicit language, that makes it clear to the most casual of readers that it was NOT INTENDED to the a document that stated all prohibitions and exceptions. That has been its strength (and at times its bane as the nation has struggled with changing times. Thus the ability to amend it, an ability which was made difficult in order to maintain its stability).

    The Constitution is a FUNDAMENTAL LAW, a set of guidelines to be interpreted and applied against law later formulated by either Congress or the States. If you want to see what happens when you write a Constitution 190 degrees opposite of this, check out my home state, Alabama, and its Constitution. It is a massive compendium of legislation, not a Constitution, trying to fine-tune things down to the municipal level. As a result, it is an almost useless document, and is literally used in law schools to teach students what a Constitution is NOT.

    The Alabama Constitution is the basic governing document of the U.S. state of Alabama. It was adopted in 1901 and is the sixth constitution that the state has had.

    At 357,157 words (using Microsoft Word's word count feature), the document is 12 times longer than the average state constitution, 40 times longer than the U.S. Constitution, and is the longest still-operative constitution anywhere in the world (the Constitution of India, the longest national constitution, comes in at approximately 117,369 words).

    About 90 percent of the document's length comes from its 798 (as of 2007) amendments. About 70 percent of those amendments cover only a single county or city, and some deal with salaries of specific officials (e.g. Amendment 480 and the Greene County probate judge). This gives Alabama a large number of constitutional officers.

    That being said, this diary is simply nonsensical. While reading it, I sense the same logic and wishful, willful misinterpretations of logic, reason, and fact, that I see in the emails from my conservative relatives down in Alabama, my home state. It reads like a screed informing me breathlessly that Obama is a Muslim, and here are the facts.

    I hate to keep posting the same ()*&_(*& comment, but it really boils down to this:

    I am simply going to copy and paste my comment in a thread from yesterday commenting on this ruling.

    --------- Repeat of my previous comments ---------

    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.

    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 Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 04:19:58 AM PDT

    •  nice try... (0+ / 0-)

      But I never said this:

      [the] country is ruined because I can still own guns

      You just made that up.  I understand why you made that up--because that's the straw man that folks reach for in these arguments--but it's still a lie.  I mean, you can find people who say that crap--but I didn't say that. Never have.  It would be strange if I did say that, because it's not what I believe.  Maybe if someone drugged me and forced me to say it, but that's unlikely. Not sure if staying at a Holiday Inn would make me say that, but I'll let you know if I ever stay at one.

      My diary?  Ah, yes...what I actually wrote.  I argue that Scalia changed the definition of citizenship by implying that the right to use guns in cases of confrontation with other citizens is the essence of the Framer's vision of our political system--which is false, without evidence, and refuted by both justices in the dissenting opinions. And over and over again in the comment thread I agree with the positions of Stevens and Breyer--that individual ownership of guns is fine, but must remain a question of common law not constitutional right.  Therefore, legal rulings pertaining to guns must focus on the issue of use, not constitutional rights and 18c 'intent.'

      ---
      Tired of violent language from right-wing pundits? Buy my book: Outright Barbarous

      by Jeffrey Feldman on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 05:52:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your Title: "Scalia Just Ruined the Country" (0+ / 0-)

        The title is yours. Not mine.

        Your dissertation is about gun ownership, and the second amendment being upheld as insuring private ownership of guns.

        The connection is simply inescapable, unavoidable, as well as, of course, inflammatory from the get go.

        As for the second amendment vs. common law on this issue, the second amendment provides MUCH firmer support and explicit recognition of this right that common law.

        Why do you suppose the framers put that amendment there, rather than leaving the issue to be framed within the common law underlying the Constitution, after all.

        Remember, after much debate and disagreement, they came up with a limited number of points that they felt needed re-enforcing in the Bill of Rights as additional statements within the Constitutional framework specifically because they finally agreed these particular items were NOT covered strongly enough by common law, were NOT implicitly guaranteed, and specifically deserved and required such recognition, and were therefore added to the Constitution.

        "We must become the change we want to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HeartlandLiberal on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 06:34:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, and as for Scalia? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MelloY

    Don't get me wrong.

    I believe Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, and Alito should either be impeached and removed form SCOTUS, or the the next president should expand the court in order to dilute the influence of four men who simply do not grasp the very Constitution they are supposed to be interpreting and defending.

    That does not mean that in this case, however, the ruling was wrong. The ruling should have been 9-0 ruling.

    It is just another sad commentary on how badly the Court can rule, and has ruled in the past. Don't forget, SCOTUS ruled at one point that it was A-OK for Whites and Blacks to live 'Separate but Equal' lives. It took a while to correct that ruling, and I would say we are not out of the woods on that one yet.

    But on the second amendment, history, the words of the Second Amendment, and the clear intent recorded in the writings of the framers and founders leave no  wiggle room.

    "We must become the change we want to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HeartlandLiberal on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 04:25:45 AM PDT

  •  Slavery (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeffrey Feldman

    We forget that (allowing) slavery was the subtext to a great deal of American political philosophy until the 1860s, and has continued to rattle in the background for another 150 years.

    Along with, of course, how to have a central government that left room for individual states.

    (Remember that up until Andy Jackson's presidency, the federal gov't couldn't even agree on its role in "internal improvements," that is, projects that were too large for single states.

    Why did the Erie Canal happen and make New York rich? Think about its route.

    For something on the 2d amendment which has the feel of plausibility -- because the guys who wrote the Constitution were nothing if not pragmatists -- see the UC Davis Law Review, an article by Carl T. Bogus, "The Hidden History of the Second Amendment."

    It's long but it's a good think.

    http://lawreview.law.ucdavis.edu/...

  •  Citizenship is the right to use your gun in the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeffrey Feldman, a gordon

    war of all against all. Their worldview is Hobbesian, the worldview that Enlightenment thinking clashed with.

    It has been alarming that in the last several years to have so many people in positions of power who fundamentally disagree with the tenets of Enlightenment thinking and want to take us backward.

    Democrats: Don't you realize that the Executive Branch is spying on *you*?

    by lecsmith on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 05:43:06 AM PDT

  •  False premise (0+ / 0-)

    For those who do not realize it, all rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution flow from the 1st Amendment

    Sorry, no--all rights flow from

    ...endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights...

    I won't argue against any individual point you make since the premise is false, but I will ask this "what does it mean to have individual rights without an individual means to enforce them?"

    "The Universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it." Marcus Aurelius

    by Mosquito Pilot on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 05:45:07 AM PDT

  •  The way things are going we (0+ / 0-)

    may well need those arms that we have the right to bear to protect ourselves from our government.

    •  there's nothing to fear from the government (0+ / 0-)

      may well need those arms that we have the right to bear to protect ourselves from our government.

      But wait a minute . . . I thought the PATRIOT Act was intended to make us safer.  

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