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November 27, 2007

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Supremes to Hear Second Amendment Case

Last week, it was announced that the Supreme Court would hear arguments on the constitutionality of Washington. D.C.'s handgun ban, and decide in the process whether the right to keep and bear arms refers to militias or individuals.

The case was brought before the Court because Dick Anthony Heller, an armed security guard (ironically, for the D.C. court system), was denied permission to keep his handgun at home. Under the provisions of D.C.'s law, you can't have a handgun, period, and all long guns must be kept either disassembled or have a trigger lock on them. Thus Mister Heller is a staunch defender of public safety if he carries his handgun on the job but a felon if he takes it home.

It's easy to see this case as a sort of Armageddon for the Second Amendment. If the Supreme Court decides that the Second Amendment refers to an individual's rights it will be a huge help, but Sarah Brady and friends will not close up shop in despair. If the ruling is for militias, it will present problems for us, but probably not change a great deal all by itself.
      
I've seen some speculation that this development will cause the presidential candidates of both parties to define their positions on gun control. Satan and all his legions cannot bring this about. Can you imagine Hillary Clinton saying something clear and unambiguous about anything, much less gun control?
    
Gun control has about the same bearing on public safety as the TSA's confiscating family-sized tubes of toothpaste has on airline safety; it is the illusion rather than the real thing. Washington, D.C.'s police has been, for many years, one of the lamer departments in our major cities, and it might be helpful to remember this:

On April 30, 2001, a young woman named Chandra Levy went missing in Washington, D.C. A police search of Rock Creek Park failed to locate her remains, which were discovered on May 22, 2002 by a man looking for turtles. The police explained that they had not searched that part of the park because it was too remote. No suspect was ever named. Levy's is now considered a cold case. The killer is still at large.

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Comments

If anyone is looking for the first, final, and ultimate ruling on the 2nd Amendment from the Supreme Court in 2008, think again. I’m willing to lay odds the Court will affirm the 2nd Amendment is an individual right, but will reaffirm use of the Crying-Fire-In-A-Theater argument for letting the states set some conditions and qualifications on this individual right/freedom. In the bottom line, not much will really change.

The real importance is not allowing trendy, temporal, social whims fiddle too much with the Constitution. If you can “modify” the 2nd Amendment to present whims why stop there? Why not the Fourth and Fifth? Outlawing Slavery? Obsolete, as is Women’s right to vote. WE don’t need those amendments now…..or so could be the argument.

Gotta get back to work, and do some more deer and goose hunting

Mark-1

Oops. That was me in the above post. So worked up I forgot to sign my handle.

Garrett

This is seriously offensive to me. Im sure to the rest of you too. I hope this decision is reversed. If it isnt we all are in serious trouble. I will not give up my handguns or disassemble my long guns. They forcibly have to be taken away from me. I could not be more serious!

Alamo

IT'S ON!!!!!

The leftys will crawl out of the woodwork now Dave......

Alamo

IT'S ON!!!!!

The leftys will crawl out of the woodwork now Dave......

Alamo

IT'S ON!!!!!

The leftys will crawl out of the woodwork now Dave......

Greg

Mark in the first post makes me feel alittle better. How crazy is this that its even an issue before the supreme court? SCARY #$%^&^%$$

Tommy

In light of the fact that crime rates, and violent crimes in general, are reported to have risen since the 70's in DC, when this ban was enacted, I would say it is about time for it to be overturned.

I hope this will be a victory for the small guy. The individual, law-abiding gun owner.

Benjamin Packard

AMEN!

Alamo

I apologize for the multiple posts above. Don't know what the problem was.

I for one welcome the SCOTUS decision to consider the Heller case. I believe that at the least the "militia" / "people" argument will be settled. Considering the conclusions pronounced in the most recent scholarly work on the subject, I can only see the court affirming the individual's right.

The status of the district may offer an opportunity to avoid a comprehensive ruling as some have noted, but I think it likely they will rule on the collective v. individual right issue.

Tommy

This was a story covered by CNN last week. That is where I got the crime rate bit from. They also surmised that this was just in time for the elections, and their ''experts'' did say they hoped it would pin some of the presidential candidates down on where they stood on guns.

Let's see that. Right.

WA Mtnhunter

Maybe if every law abiding citizen in D.C. carried, enough perps could be neutralized so as to cut the frequency of repeat offenders.

jstreet

I don't understand why the law in D.C. has stood this long?

The 2nd Amendment is clear, just read it.

I still think the left goes after ammo (with higher taxes and banning lead), gun ranges (with tougher zoning and environmental laws) and hunting (with higher license fees).

Even if the Supreme Court sides with gun owners the fight is just beginning.

Ralph the Rifleman

I think it's about time the Supreme Court showed some Bal*s and made a ruling on this issue once and for all. This country has far more important issues to discuss then gun ownership: Like health care,the war in Iraq, and our energy crisis!

Tommy

Does anyone know if there are similar bans anywhere else in the country? If only in DC, I would be a bit confused.

You would think they would have banned the ''long rifles'' first. I mean, what other part of the country should we be more worried about an assassination attempt?

I would guess ''long rifles'', (dissassembled of course), like that is tough to overcome, would encompass high powered hunting rifles as well as ''black rifles''.
This must have been part of the comprimise when the ban was enabled?

Tommy

Just to clarify.

I DO NOT THINK THEY SHOULD HAVE BANNED EITHER THE HANDGUN OR THE RIFLE.
I just thought they would have started with ''rifles'' in DC.

YooperJack

Tommy:
I believe there are two Chicago suburbs that have gun bans. San Francisco recently enacted some type of gun infringement a couple of years ago.

I too cannot believe that these bans have stood. There must be places where no one in certain cities hunts or shoots for a hobby.
Thank the Good Lord I live here!

Mike Strehlow

The sad thing about gun laws is that they do work. In fact, they work great... on law abiding people. In most big cities in the US, law abiding citizens are almost totally disarmed. That's why an angry head case can walk into a McDonald's or a New York subway car and kill everybody in it; as most people are law abiding, nobody he meets will be armed.

But here is a truth it took me years to see; that only law abiding people are disarmed is fine with the gun banners. They don't want criminals' guns; they want them all. These tend to be the same people who pass out condoms in elementary school, while seeking legislation criminalizing Americans who don't chew their food twenty times before swallowing. They just don't see that taking guns away undoes all of Col. Colt's efforts to make us all equal.

Funny thing is, their ignorant, upside-down vote counts just as much as mine does. So they get politicians elected, who get laws passed. Make your vote count next November.

jack

While this is an important case, the question before the SCOTUS seems very narrow in scope, namely:

"The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted limited to the following question: Whether the following provisions, D.C. Code §§ 7-2502.02(a)(4), 22-4504(a), and 7-2507.02, violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes?"

It seems the court may only decide upon the rights of the citizens of the District of Columbia (which is NOT a state, and whose laws and rules, while passed by a Mayor and Council, are subject to oversight by the US Congress.) I would not put a lot of hope and expectation on this one with regards to an absolute and final decision on the 2nd amendment. But, the SCOTUS has never failed to surprise in the past.

Argument will be heard in March of 2008, decision issued in the summer.

Tommy

OK. I will agree, gun laws hurt the law abiding folks. But the rest of the above post borders on lunacy.

"In most big cities in the US, law abiding citizens are almost totally disarmed"
Do what?

"They don't want criminals' guns; they want them all."
I think the word "all" would encompass the criminal' guns as well. And insinuating that a group of people want the law-abiding peopleto be harmed is, well, a bit paranoid.

"These tend to be the same people who pass out condoms in elementary school, while seeking legislation criminalizing Americans who don't chew their food twenty times before swallowing."
I think you are exagerating? Grossly?


WTF?

SilverArrow

This is a case of "Be careful of what you wish for!" if there ever was one! For both sides. For those posting above with "Undoubtably ..." I can't see any clear path to "undoubtably" with this court. The conservative side has it's big government advocates as does the liberal side. On the other hand we are not waiting for a possible Clinton, Obama, Guliani, Edwards Etc appointed Justice to be seated, to me that is good news.
Skokie IL has had a gun ban since the 1970's and Chicago itself would not be considered a 2A friendly town either, San Francisco has bans as do many other cities in one way or other. Ironically The Court declined to hear an appeal of a ruling against Kennesaw GA when it passed a law Requiring all eligible heads of household to own at least one firearm.
Hope against hope and let's see how this plays out!
SA

Alamo

Tommy-

Mike S. is exactly right. Our largest cities tend to have the most restrictive gun laws; prohibitions of ownnership or almost certainly the right to carry. Effectively this leaves the honest citizen defenseless whereas the common felon who has demonstrated a willingness to do violence has no qualms about arming himself.

I'm sure the politicians who advocate confiscation will be happy to accept the arms of criminals who might turn them in. But felons make up roughly 1.5% of the poulation. The vast majority of firearms are owned by law abiding citizens, so in practice, who do gun control or confiscation efforts actually affect? Do you believe that the politicos are too stupid to realize this salient fact? No? Then their only true purpose is to ultimately disarm the law abiding citizens of this country.

Think about it....

Tommy

Alamo,

I agree with you that the ultimate goal would be to disarm us. I understand the ins and outs of taking guns away from families, while the crooks keep them. I realize the crooks won't give them back. But consider this.

If we agree that there are those that want to do such evil; that want to do things in such unsavory and unethical ways. Let us put aside party affiliations and do something about it. I realize Mike S. was being very sarcastic, and I share his disgust at the obvious points of disarming us - the law-abiding public, but we have to agree that if this is true, if there are circlesat work that wish their to be great harm to bring about their agendas; we need real action.

Oil up them guns boys. This could get good - soon.

Tommy

Alamo,

And thank you for the honest, tempered response. I allow that you are a very intelligent man, and your words will do much more good with the tact you just demonstrated.

We need your voice.

So lets agree to disagree when we must, and debate hard when we must. Our common goals are much the same.

I would also point out, that if your numbers are correct about the felons only making up 1.5% of the population; we need a better argument for keeping our guns. I mean, if we proud Americans can't stop 1.5% of any population with or without guns...

Just 2 cts from a guy that loves his guns and his deer hunting and wants the best arguments put forth.

Alamo

I will and do make common cause with folks whom I may disagree with on other issues. Millions of Democrats are gun owners, hunters and shooters. What frustrates me is that many (including some who post here) would rather air their other political grievances than try and influence the national platform of the Democratic Party that invariably features a draconian gun contol plank.
I was encouraged that some of the gains in legislative seats made by Dems were won by pro-gun candidates; Heath Shuler, Jim Webb and others. But until rank and file Dems reassert their influence and let the national party know that gun control is a non-starter, I will consider the Democratic Party an enemy of the Second Amendment.




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