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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > Supreme Court votes down D. C. gun law

Supreme Court votes down D. C. gun law
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Jun 26, 2008, 10:46 AM
 
High court strikes down gun ban - CNN.com

As it should have. The court realizes that a citizen's right to bear arms (and arm bears) is fundamental!
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Jun 26, 2008, 10:53 AM
 
It's always 5-4 somehow.
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 11:07 AM
 
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 12:03 PM
 
Too bad the lame libs couldn't join the majority. Stephen's dissent that claims Congress has an unrestrained right to infringe on the right is absurd.

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Jun 26, 2008, 12:08 PM
 
Well, it's not absurd, it's a perfectly reasonable reading of the text, but given that the court ruled on an individual right, what is lame about this is that they still believe the government has a right to infringe it.
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 01:46 PM
 
So the activist conservative judges overturned local law and legal precedent? Shocking.
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 02:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post
So the activist conservative judges overturned local law and legal precedent? Shocking.
As much as I hate to say it, I agree. Most that disagree have to be big ole pussies and use Miller to support their restrictions and bans. Personally, I'm glad they wiped their asses with the "precedent".

Time to put up, or shut up. Let the country vote on it.

Edit for clarification:
I'm not an advocate for unrestricted, Wild-F'n-West gun access to every dumbass and dipshit in the country. Just saying.. The DC gunban was RETARDED and effectively made possession of any OPERATIONAL firearm illegal.

Free Speech... so long as no one hears what you say.
( Last edited by pooka; Jun 26, 2008 at 02:19 PM. )

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Jun 26, 2008, 02:26 PM
 
I'm not a gun owner and I've never even fired one but I agree with the ruling. We need to amend the constitution if we want to take gun control to the next level.
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 02:37 PM
 
You need to amend the constitution if you want to limit arms possession at all.
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 02:44 PM
 
I agree with this ruling. There are too many guns in the U.S. for most gun control laws to do much to actually stop crime. How many lawful, registered gun owners commit murder with the guns they own? I don't know, but I'm guessing it's a pretty small number compared to unregistered or stolen guns.

I'm a pretty left-wing guy but I don't quite understand all the restrictions on guns.

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Jun 26, 2008, 02:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by Luca Rescigno View Post
I'm a pretty left-wing guy but I don't quite understand all the restrictions on guns.
Gun control laws are based on irrational fear of guns and the desire to control other people's lawful behavior.
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 02:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by peeb View Post
You need to amend the constitution if you want to limit arms possession at all.
No, you don't.
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 03:02 PM
 
Why not, BRussell? Have you read the document?
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 03:22 PM
 
Every time I read the second amendment, my head hurts:

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.
Why the hell are there so any commas? There needs to be a few more conjunctions...

I've always wondered... can a city ordinance preventing me from having a howitzer in my backyard be considered a violation of my second amendment rights? Does that mean that the no guns around schools laws are also unconstitutional?
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 03:35 PM
 
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Jun 26, 2008, 03:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post
So the conservative judges upheld the Constitution? Shocking.
fixed.
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Jun 26, 2008, 03:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post
No, you don't.
Wrong again, the SCOTUS just decided that you do.
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Jun 26, 2008, 04:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Wrong again, the SCOTUS just decided that you do.
Originally Posted by peeb View Post
Why not, BRussell? Have you read the document?
So both of you are saying that the supreme court just decided that "You need to amend the constitution if you want to limit arms possession at all?"

I'll let you both think on that a bit, perhaps read the decision or some of the commentary on it, and get back to me.
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 04:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
fixed.
It was an activist decision, and it was legislating from the bench. It was overturning local laws, and it was overturning past precedent.

This is a bad thing when we disagree with the content of the decision, and, as is evident from your "fix," it is a good thing when we agree with the decision.
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 05:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post
So both of you are saying that the supreme court just decided that "You need to amend the constitution if you want to limit arms possession at all?"
No, that is not what the court decided - that's what the constitution says. If you want to infringe on the right of the people to bear arms, you should change the constitution, it is unambiguous.
( Last edited by peeb; Jun 26, 2008 at 05:43 PM. )
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 05:38 PM
 
So I guess legal precedent > the Constitution? Tell that to the 1954 Supreme Court when they ruled on Brown vs. Board of Education.

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Jun 26, 2008, 07:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by peeb View Post
No, that is not what the court decided - that's what the constitution says. If you want to infringe on the right of the people to bear arms, you should change the constitution, it is unambiguous.
Neither from a practical standpoint nor a legal philosophy standpoint is there a way to back up your contention that "You need to amend the constitution if you want to limit arms possession at all." From a practical standpoint, the court interprets the constitution, not peeb on the internet. And the court said that all kinds of limits on arms possession are possible after this decision. From a legal philosophy standpoint, no legal philosophy suggests that a right is as absolute as you say here.
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 07:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post
Neither from a practical standpoint nor a legal philosophy standpoint is there a way to back up your contention that "You need to amend the constitution if you want to limit arms possession at all." From a practical standpoint, the court interprets the constitution, not peeb on the internet. And the court said that all kinds of limits on arms possession are possible after this decision. From a legal philosophy standpoint, no legal philosophy suggests that a right is as absolute as you say here.
Bullshit. I take it you have never studied either law or legal philosophy. Literal readings of the Constitution are rare these days because the idea that what the Constitution actually says should be taken seriously has been so degraded, but they are certainly not dead.

A plain reading of the Constitution makes it clear that infringing the right to bear arms is not allowed. If you want a Constitution that reads "the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed very much", or even "the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall be infringed a lot, but not completely" you need to amend it.

The Framers did this in the case of the third amendment, which they clearly meant to be interpreted in the way you suggest the second should be.
( Last edited by peeb; Jun 26, 2008 at 08:01 PM. )
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 08:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by peeb View Post
Bullshit. I take it you have never studied either law or legal philosophy. Literal readings of the Constitution are rare these days because the idea that what the Constitution actually says should be taken seriously has been so degraded, but they are certainly not dead.
A plain reading of the Constitution makes it clear that infringing the right to bear arms is not allowed. If you want a Constitution that reads "the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed very much", or even "the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall be infringed a lot, but not completely" you need to amend it.


You're saying that I've never studied law or legal philosophy, but you come up with this stuff?

Only in your fantasy world.

So criminals should be allowed to have guns in prison, right?
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 08:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post
So criminals should be allowed to have guns in prison, right?
My reading of the Constitution suggests that it allows the Government to suspend constitutional rights with due process. If not, then it needs to be amended. Your suggestion that if the application of the constitution produces results we don't like we should just ignore it, rather than change it, is outrageous.
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 08:14 PM
 
Does "due process" include having psychiatric problems?

What about being on private property - is prohibiting guns on planes, in stadiums, etc unconstitutional?
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 08:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by pooka View Post

Time to put up, or shut up. Let the country vote on it.
Sure, and we all need to vote on abortion rights, by county. And free speech rights too. Why don't we do that already? What a great idea!!!!!
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Jun 26, 2008, 08:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Ghoser777 View Post
Does "due process" include having psychiatric problems?

What about being on private property - is prohibiting guns on planes, in stadiums, etc unconstitutional?
Well, the constitution does not govern private property, so unless those things are federally owned, it's not an issue. But essentially, I see where you are going, and the Constitution is clear - you are not allowed to infringe. At all. If you want to, you need to amend the Constitution.
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 08:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post
It was an activist decision, and it was legislating from the bench. It was overturning local laws, and it was overturning past precedent.

This is a bad thing when we disagree with the content of the decision, and, as is evident from your "fix," it is a good thing when we agree with the decision.
The Court overturns local laws as well as federal laws, from time to time. I would suggest that's within the Court's authority.

I suppose that if you are offended that the Court would take a position opposite to a previous Court's decision (precedent) that you do not allow for the Court to correct itself? The Court's first decision on a topic must stand for all time, the Court is infallible?
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 08:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by peeb View Post
My reading of the Constitution suggests that it allows the Government to suspend constitutional rights with due process. If not, then it needs to be amended. Your suggestion that if the application of the constitution produces results we don't like we should just ignore it, rather than change it, is outrageous.
It's outrageous for me to say the truth, that you don't need a constitutional amendment to put limits on the right to bear arms? It's like I'm talking to someone from outer space.

"My reading." So in other words, when you said "You need to amend the constitution if you want to limit arms possession at all," you should have preceded that with the statement "In my opinion, the way things should be is that..."

But even then, your opinion about the way things should be in a peeb world makes no sense and is not shared by any legal philosophy. There are always going to be limitations, for starters because one right often conflicts with other rights, but also because the world is complex and you can't cover every situation in a few sentences. That's why courts exist.

And you can't suspend constitutional rights with due process. Due process is a constitutional right - to not be deprived of life or liberty, or to a fair trial, in the example we're discussing.
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 08:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by vmarks View Post
The Court overturns local laws as well as federal laws, from time to time. I would suggest that's within the Court's authority.

I suppose that if you are offended that the Court would take a position opposite to a previous Court's decision (precedent) that you do not allow for the Court to correct itself? The Court's first decision on a topic must stand for all time, the Court is infallible?
I'm not offended in the slightest. I'm just pointing out that legislating from the bench and judicial activism are concepts that, though allegedly central to conservative judicial philosophy, are in actuality just names that people use to complain about decisions they don't like.
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 08:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post
And you can't suspend constitutional rights with due process. Due process is a constitutional right - to not be deprived of life or liberty, or to a fair trial, in the example we're discussing.
Well except in your reading there is no right to those things unless the government chooses not to infringe them. After all, simply having them protected is not enough for the government to restrict them, right?
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 09:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by peeb View Post
Well except in your reading there is no right to those things unless the government chooses not to infringe them. After all, simply having them protected is not enough for the government to restrict them, right?
No, it's not just a choice. There are conflicts, and courts resolve those conflicts. There's freedom of the press, but there's also the right to a fair trial by an impartial jury. So what do you do if the press has biased a jury against a defendant? You could put a gag order on them, but that violates the freedom of the press. You could delay the trial but that violates the right to a speedy trial. You could change the venue but that violates the right to have the trial where the crime was committed. Any of the above are possible under different circumstances. But the point is, you can't say there is an absolute right for any of them without a constitutional amendment for every situation that arises. That's ridiculous and not a single legal scholar or philosophy agrees with your views.
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 10:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by finboy View Post
Sure, and we all need to vote on abortion rights, by county. And free speech rights too. Why don't we do that already? What a great idea!!!!!
Oh geeze... Forgive my asinine phrasing. What I meant was that if you want it changed, get off your fat asses and start the process to amend the ****ing constitution. Vote like-minded, asshole politicians into office so they can do your bidding.

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Jun 26, 2008, 10:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post
But the point is, you can't say there is an absolute right for any of them without a constitutional amendment for every situation that arises.

Which right or article is the 2nd Amendment in conflict with, thus requiring such adjudication?
     
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Jun 26, 2008, 10:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by peeb View Post
Well, the constitution does not govern private property, so unless those things are federally owned, it's not an issue. But essentially, I see where you are going, and the Constitution is clear - you are not allowed to infringe. At all. If you want to, you need to amend the Constitution.
As President John Adams (1797-1801) put it, "Property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty." Adding, "The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence."

I think the Constitution does govern property. The takings clause seems relevant.

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Jun 27, 2008, 02:27 AM
 
I had no idea we had so many experts in constitutional law here
     
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Jun 27, 2008, 04:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Kerrigan View Post
I had no idea we had so many experts in constitutional law here

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Jun 27, 2008, 04:45 AM
 
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Jun 27, 2008, 07:00 AM
 
Does the constitution protect my rights to own any type of arms?

I'll have a missile launcher to go.
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Jun 27, 2008, 07:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by hyteckit View Post
Does the constitution protect my rights to own any type of arms?

I'll have a missile launcher to go.
I'd guess that you are protected to have any type of weapon which could be reasonably assumed to be used for personal protection. If you can show you have credible reason to believe that your home will be attacked by missiles which the government would not be able to ensure your protection from, they couldn't stop you from getting missiles yourself.

Of course, not many courts are going to give much credibility to the claim that you need a missile launcher, howitzer or even a sub-machine gun to protect you and your families home and hearth in any reasonable way.

On another note - I think this ruling is bad for republicans. It's protection from the left, which takes away a big stick gun rights advocates have used against dems in states where gun ownership is a big part of their culture. Gore was anti-gun and several states I believe he lost partly because of it. Now democrats have protection to be more moderate concerning gun laws because there's a lot less they can do about it and they know they can just blame the SC to their liberal allies.
     
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Jun 27, 2008, 07:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
I'd guess that you are protected to have any type of weapon which could be reasonably assumed to be used for personal protection. ...

Of course, not many courts are going to give much credibility to the claim that you need a missile launcher, howitzer or even a sub-machine gun to protect you and your families home and hearth in any reasonable way.
Now this is the crux of the argument: what weapons can be reasonably used for personal protection? 50 cal rifles (which are sold to people)? Or semiautomatic modifications of military rifles?

I don't want to veer off the discussion too much, but this is arguably a crucial point.

The second one is gun registration: do you want to have a driver's license-style mandatory gun registration policy, at least for some type of weapons and/or the right to carry a weapon? Should there be laws that forbid people with a criminal record to own/purchase weapons?
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Jun 27, 2008, 08:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
I'd guess that you are protected to have any type of weapon which could be reasonably assumed to be used for personal protection.
The Constitution makes no mention of the right to bear arms being related to personal protection.

It says, and the Supreme Court confirmed, that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed upon by the Federal government.

If in 1790, I had wanted to own a few cannon and mortars, no one could have prevented me, the Constitution is clear. Today, the same is true.
If you can show you have credible reason to believe that your home will be attacked by missiles which the government would not be able to ensure your protection from, they couldn't stop you from getting missiles yourself.
I don't have to show you this. The Constitution does not grant rights. It delineates rights that Congress is specifically forbidden from infringing upon, and assigns all rights that are not specifically mentioned to the states and people.

Of course, not many courts are going to give much credibility to the claim that you need a missile launcher, howitzer or even a sub-machine gun to protect you and your families home and hearth in any reasonable way.
No court that can read the Constitution needs to give any credibility to such a claim. The right to bear arms is an individual right. Congress shall not infringe upon it. Are the weapons you named 'arms' ? I think anyone would have a difficult time suggesting that they are not.
On another note - I think this ruling is bad for republicans. It's protection from the left, which takes away a big stick gun rights advocates have used against dems in states where gun ownership is a big part of their culture. Gore was anti-gun and several states I believe he lost partly because of it. Now democrats have protection to be more moderate concerning gun laws because there's a lot less they can do about it and they know they can just blame the SC to their liberal allies.
This ruling is both good and bad for Americans. Not Republicans, not Democrats -- Americans.

The good? We now have a confirmed individual right to arm ourselves, as we always should have had.

The bad? The Supreme Court waffled, and rather than being completely decisive, left the backdoor open for many more lawsuits to come. By ruling that the right may be infringed upon by other laws. The Court stated that its decision should not be read to cast doubt on such laws as long standing prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons or the mentally ill, or in such sensitive places as schools or government buildings and the like. Thus, the Court clearly signaled that there are a variety of gun laws which are permissible under the Second Amendment.

This has two significant implications for the future. First, it will take many future lawsuits to establish precisely what sort of laws are and are not permissible under the Second Amendment. Both sides will likely find themselves fighting that battle vigorously.

Second, those laws that are, in fact, permitted under the Second Amendment will form the fertile ground upon which future political activity will rest.
     
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Jun 27, 2008, 08:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Now this is the crux of the argument: what weapons can be reasonably used for personal protection? 50 cal rifles (which are sold to people)? Or semiautomatic modifications of military rifles?
Where does the 2nd Amendment mention anything about personal protection?
I don't want to veer off the discussion too much, but this is arguably a crucial point.

The second one is gun registration: do you want to have a driver's license-style mandatory gun registration policy, at least for some type of weapons and/or the right to carry a weapon? Should there be laws that forbid people with a criminal record to own/purchase weapons?
That's up to the states, apparently. This is strange, considering that the Constitution is the highest law of the land. The only analogue I can think of is that you have to register for a parade permit if you wish to exercise free speech by marching down a street.

I expect that a registry would be accepted in law (if not accepted by 2nd Amendment proponents) on the basis that registering is not creating prior-restraint against obtaining or exercising the right to bear arms. A registry that permitted or forbid for specific arms would have to allow other arms in order to not violate the right, similar to how the Court decided in Gilmore v Gonzalez, where they said (and I'm way oversimplifying the ruling) just because the TSA rules may prevent your right to travel by air (based on choices you make at screening time), they don't prevent you from walking or using an other mode of transportation.

Expect more lawsuits.
( Last edited by vmarks; Jun 27, 2008 at 08:14 AM. )
     
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Jun 27, 2008, 11:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Which right or article is the 2nd Amendment in conflict with, thus requiring such adjudication?
I don't know, but I'm sure it could happen - it always does. But peeb's absolutist view of it is clearly in conflict with a bazillion other long-standing laws.
     
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Jun 27, 2008, 11:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by vmarks View Post
Where does the 2nd Amendment mention anything about personal protection?
You're right, it doesn't. I wanted to mention this in the first draft of my reply (mentioning the history of the 2nd Amendment), but omitted it, because stupendousman was focussing on self-protection. I agree, this is just the modern-day interpretation.

IMO the Second Amendment has become historically moot, it made sense at the time.
However, just because I don't see the necessity for a Constitutional Amendment anymore doesn't mean this would have an immediate impact on gun laws, though.
Originally Posted by vmarks View Post
That's up to the states, apparently. This is strange, considering that the Constitution is the highest law of the land.
Then I don't quite understand why the SCOTUS has rules against said city ordnance of Washington DC (which is technically not a state, but anyway).
Originally Posted by vmarks View Post
The only analogue I can think of is that you have to register for a parade permit if you wish to exercise free speech by marching down a street.
I can think of quite a few: driver's licenses (including different licenses for different types of vehicles, e. g. trucks), licenses to handle explosives, etc.

This idea of getting a license/registering guns is quite simple. You can think of quite a few ways to implement different policies: from simply registering to restricting ownership for certain people (e. g. people with a criminal record).
Originally Posted by vmarks View Post
A registry that permitted or forbid for specific arms would have to allow other arms in order to not violate the right, similar to how the Court decided in Gilmore v Gonzalez, where they said (and I'm way oversimplifying the ruling) just because the TSA rules may prevent your right to travel by air (based on choices you make at screening time), they don't prevent you from walking or using an other mode of transportation.
I agree that this is a difficult point. Would you be in favor of having to get a license (which should be easy enough to obtain, for instance)?

Regarding the second part, there are plenty of weapons that don't need to be registered (knives, I guess). I don't see the immediate necessity to be forced to allow some arms if we don't allow others. If we don't allow certain arms because, say, you're not 18, then I don't see that this grants a right to allow you some other type of weapon.
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Jun 27, 2008 at 11:42 AM. )
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Jun 27, 2008, 11:55 AM
 
vmarks, you seem to be taking the same view as peeb, that there is in the constitution (or should be - you two both seem to kind of switch back and forth between the law as it is and the law as you think it should be) an absolute right that can't be limited by any specific conditions. That's just not how it works. There is always going to be some kind of test, such as strict scrutiny, rational basis, etc., for limiting the right under more-or-less extreme conditions.

And that's not just because we've become more tolerant of limiting our rights, it's because there's no logical way for every right to be completely unlimited.
     
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Jun 27, 2008, 01:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post
vmarks, you seem to be taking the same view as peeb, that there is in the constitution (or should be - you two both seem to kind of switch back and forth between the law as it is and the law as you think it should be) an absolute right that can't be limited by any specific conditions. That's just not how it works. There is always going to be some kind of test, such as strict scrutiny, rational basis, etc., for limiting the right under more-or-less extreme conditions.

And that's not just because we've become more tolerant of limiting our rights, it's because there's no logical way for every right to be completely unlimited.
I don't know that there will always be some kind of test, strict scrutiny, rational basis or other infringement on this basic right.

I know that there has not always been such infringement.

I want you to consider:

in 1857, Dred Scott v Sandford, Chief Justice Taney noted that black citizenship was unthinkable because that would give blacks "the right to keep and carry arms wherever they went."

Add to that:

In the post-Civil War Black Codes (law) designed to limit blacks' freedom as much as possible, disarmament was a consistent component. Mississippi enacted a statute which prohibited freed blacks from owning and possessing any firearm without a license. Louisiana and Alabama followed with similar acts.

"Never Intended to be Applied to the White Population: Firearms Regulation and Racial Disparity." (Symposium on the Law of Freedom, Part 2). 70 Chicago-Kent Law Review 1307-1335 (1995).

The 14th amendment rescinded the racial aspects of these laws, but remember that gun control at its heart is a racial policy. States found other ways to try and limit gun ownership. For example, there were laws that expressly permitted carrying military firearms, but specifically prohibited inexpensive ones that blacks could afford. Is banning a 'saturday night special' really so different?
     
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Jun 27, 2008, 02:04 PM
 
How is the ban of TEC-9s or Uzis a racial policy?
     
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Jun 27, 2008, 02:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
You're right, it doesn't. I wanted to mention this in the first draft of my reply (mentioning the history of the 2nd Amendment), but omitted it, because stupendousman was focussing on self-protection. I agree, this is just the modern-day interpretation.

IMO the Second Amendment has become historically moot, it made sense at the time.
I think it's never been more relevant. But you know what? What you and I think doesn't matter much on this point:

It's a right. It is not an entitlement, or present from the government, it's a right that exists before and after government, and is so important that government is specifically forbidden from infringing upon it.
However, just because I don't see the necessity for a Constitutional Amendment anymore doesn't mean this would have an immediate impact on gun laws, though.

Then I don't quite understand why the SCOTUS has rules against said city ordnance of Washington DC (which is technically not a state, but anyway).
Well, that's what I've been saying - we're going to see more lawsuits now to determine what laws will stand and which will be newly discovered to be unconstitutional.
I can think of quite a few: driver's licenses (including different licenses for different types of vehicles, e. g. trucks), licenses to handle explosives, etc.
There is no express right to drive (although there is a discerned right of freedom to travel, which is discovered from the First Amendment's freedom of association. You can't assemble to petition government if you can't travel to assemble.)

There is no express right to handle explosives (unless you want to consider them arms, in which case, there is.)

This idea of getting a license/registering guns is quite simple. You can think of quite a few ways to implement different policies: from simply registering to restricting ownership for certain people (e. g. people with a criminal record).
I just posted how these policies stem from racist policies preceding and following the Civil War.

I agree that this is a difficult point. Would you be in favor of having to get a license (which should be easy enough to obtain, for instance)?
Currently, and unconstitutionally I believe, registration is left to the states.

In North Carolina, with the exception of Durham County, there is no requirement to register any handgun which you already own (for example, purchased in another state.)

There is no NC state law that requires you to register your firearms, or notify any public official. One county in NC requires its residents to register handguns - Durham County. This power was granted to Durham County by the State Legislature. No other counties or localities are permitted to require registration.

With the sole exception of Durham County, if you are a law-abiding citizen who lives in North Carolina you are entitled to possess the firearms you currently own without any hassle or red tape. Some county sheriffs, inundated with inquiries from people who move to NC from more restrictive areas where registration or ownership permits are required by law, have instituted voluntary notification procedures. In other words, if you have a burning desire to tell a public official about your private possessions, in some counties they will take your information and store it in a computer database.
-- Gun Ownership FAQ

What I think is that registration is unnecessary, and presents huge problems when exercising two Constitutional rights at the same time - carrying a firearm and traveling across state lines. This is a problem that hasn't been properly addressed and resolved. States that I may travel through will recognize my state's laws on driver training/licensing, my state's practices for ID card issuance, my state's policy on licensing my marriage - but they will not accept my state's policy on firearm ownership, a Constitutional right.

Regarding the second part, there are plenty of weapons that don't need to be registered (knives, I guess). I don't see the immediate necessity to be forced to allow some arms if we don't allow others. If we don't allow certain arms because, say, you're not 18, then I don't see that this grants a right to allow you some other type of weapon.
We have age limits for rights that the states are in charge of under the 9th and 10th amendments. For a right that is so essential as to be enshrined with the words "shall not be infringed" there should be no age limit, beyond perhaps the age of majority (adulthood.) I do not like that limitation, because it totally destroys responsible firearm training administered to youths, like Boy Scouts, for example.
     
 
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