« Putting the Wolf on Trial | Main | On Dear Days Gone By »

March 19, 2008

This page has been moved to http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/gun-nut

If your browser doesn’t redirect you to the new location, please visit The Gun Nut at its new location: www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/gun-nut.

Our Supreme Moment

This week the Supreme decides whether we can have guns or not. For the first time since 1934, the Highest Court is going to rule on whether Article II of the Bill of Rights allows individuals to keep and bear arms, or whether only well-regulated militias can keep and bear them, or whether only Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) can keep and bear them.

The case itself is a challenge to Washington D.C.'s draconian gun control law, which can best be described as a raging failure. Congresspersons, high-level government functionaries, Supreme Court Justices, and ranking media figures do not get held up or murdered an awful lot. Ordinary people in D.C., however, have good reason to fear.

The D.C. law is being challenged as unconstitutional. If the Supremes find it so, we are told, we can all rush out and buy MP-5s. If they find for the District of Columbia, we are warned that assorted jackbooted thugs will immediately begin kicking in doors, frightening old people into heart attacks, stomping on kittens and puppies, and taking every gun they can lay their hands on, legal or not.

Except, that we are talking about THE LAW here, and nothing about THE LAW is ever clear, simple, and unambiguous. However it finds, the Supreme Court will then have to delineate some kind of guidelines on how far the individual's right extends, and on how far the government may go in enforcing controls on guns. This is where the real nut-cutting will take place.

If our side wins (whatever a "win" is), that does not mean we can assume that the long nightmare is over. Sarah Brady, et al, will never quit and never go away.

But if the DC law prevails, I would not rush out in the dark of night to bury my firearms. The Feds have equipment that can overfly a chunk of real estate and find a hairpin buried 50 feet deep. Or so I am told.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Our Supreme Moment:


Mike Diehl

I gotta solution for that. Strew alot of hairpins all over the place. Problem solved.

Old Bull

I can only hope that if some sort of all encompassing ban is put before the court or congress, someone can enlighten them and the general populace of the sheer magnitude and logistics involved in such an undertaking. How many millions of firearms are out there that simply do not exist. (on paper) For example, pre GCA 1968, family heirlooms, private sales or trade.
Another point that screams for attention is the firearms and related sporting industry. It's huge to say the least. Imagine the economic impact of shutting it down. That's exactly not what we need. A halt to one of the few industries still making money.
As I was watching the news and following this last night, I was doing a mental inventory of what firearms in my safe existed or not. Turns out, I sold all of mine years ago. I even have receipts..........
To be honest, I am concerned, but not in any sort of panic mode as of yet. I am really concerned for my daughters in the future. They are 13 and 18, both hunters and shooters. We actually had quite a discussion last night about all of this as it is history in the making.
Hopefully, the feds bought their satellite imaging and hairpin detectors from the same contractor as the $2000.00 toilet seat salesman from a decade ago....
Shoot Straight!

Old Bull


What's probably going to happen is that the supreme court is going to declare (probably by a fairly big majority) that the right to bear arms is an individual right, not based only on military things. However, like any right the government can have reasonable laws regarding that light. They will then declare the type of scrutiny that should be used in 2nd amendment cases....which is anyone's guess what the Court decides on that. After they declare that, I would say that any type of scrutiny they look at the law under will overturn the law. From what I heard of the arguments, it seems that the court wouldn't even find the general banning of possession of handguns as being reasonable.

After that there will be a start of a chess match between cities like Washington, DC will start passing laws that try to "ban" handguns by making people buy licenses to have them, etc. D.C. is probably not in a good position because the Appeals court they will be submitted to is a pretty conservative court, however Detroit might be better off until the new "bans" get to the supreme court.


Personally I feel that the Supreme Court will more or less uphold the present position on gun control. I am stating this based on readings that I located yesterday. However in the event that I am incorrect and a well regulated militia is necessary for gun ownership then I want to go on record as being fully in favor of keeping armed bears around my home.


I agree with shepdogwv, the court will most likely find that it is an individual right similar to free speech, but will hold that some reasonable restrictions must apply just like Justice Holmes quote that while free speech is almost sacrosanct, no one can yell "fire" in a crowded theater. Hopefully the scrutiny they use will be the least restrictive means to accomplish a reasonable purpose. I could see that level of scrutiny relaxing laws such as D.C.'s but still banning most folks owning full autos.


Out of my cold dead hands......

Mark Spisak

Hopefully the supreme court will find in gun owners favor. But a lot of folks forget the Constitution can be voided. For example if the United Nations proposes a firearms possesion ban in a resolution and our president signs on and then the U.S. Senate ratifies it. Then it becomes the law of the land? 2nd amendment or not? Nothing is safe while politicians are awake.


I think in the years to come gun owners will wish this case never came about.

From what I heard yesterday, I am afraid that the decision is ultimately going to say that some restrictions are reasonable, and that the courts are determine what is "reasonable." If this is the case, you will have courts trying to determine if one gun is reasonable and another is not and so forth. Basically everything will get FUBR really fast.

What I found really interesting was that the "strict constructionist" judges were the ones who seemed to running to the judicial interpretation tract. In the past it was always these justices who were reluctant to have courts making statutes.

Troy S.

Randy Barnett, a "friend of the court" who submitted a amicus brief to the Supremes this week on behalf of the Heller decision wrote in the WSJ today something I hadn't considered but which I also believe will be taken up by the marble bench on high.

"...both sides of the issue are making originalist arguments (meaning they can't quote precedent as the Court refused to hear this case before now)...as such, whichever side prevails will have the originalist decision that all future cases will hinge upon."

"Heller, the previous court decision is a federal case. Because the District of Columbia is a federal entity, Heller provides a clean application of the Second Amendment which, like the rest of the Bill of Rights, originally applied only to the federal government. Before a state or municipal gun law can be challenged, the Supreme Court will have to decide that the right to keep and bear arms is also protected by the 14th Amendment, which limits state powers."

DC is not a state. It is federal property. That's the clutch distinction here. The Supremes first have to weigh this issue on the geography for which it was originally filed, then will have to lay claim to whether or not the restrictions (should they decide to impart them) applies to states or only the Federal government.

Barnett goes on to say, "Heller involves a complete ban on operable firearms in the home. No state has a comparable law. And under current Supreme Court doctrine, even the First Amendment rights of speech and assembly are subject to reasonable time, place, and manner regulations. So too would be gun rights. But although the implications of striking down the D.C. gun ban are limited, a decision upholding an unqualified individual right in Heller would still be a significant victory for individual rights and constitutionalism. To shrink from enforcing a clear mandate of the Constitution...would create a new precedent that would be far more dangerous to liberty than any weapon in the hands of the citizen."

Personally, I concur 100% with that last statement.

This is too important to throw back to the states without acknowledging the personal freedoms of ALL Americans who travel to and from the national "spin zone" which is D.C. Those residents deserve the chance to defend themselves instantly to the same extent as those of us living in the 50 States.

All eyes are on Justice Roberts...

Scott in Ohio

Has the "hairpin" equipment been upgraded or is this the same gear they used to find all the WMD and SCUDS overseas?


The founding fathers knew who the militia was formed of. It was the doctor, the storekeeper, the pastor, the blacksmith, the cooper etc. In otherwords it was formed of the citizens. To have them ready to fight, they needed their firearms. I for the life of me can not see what is so hard to understand about this.


Question: IF the Supreme Court ruling upholds the ban in DC because it is Federal property (per the abover Wall Street Journal article - thanks, Troy!) will this ban necessarily then extend to other federally owned and controlled land (i.e. national forests, parks, etc.)? Will this become fodder for the anti's to ban hunting on federal ground? Just wondering.

Mike Diehl

"But a lot of folks forget the Constitution can be voided. For example if the United Nations proposes a firearms possesion ban in a resolution and our president signs on and then the U.S. Senate ratifies it. Then it becomes the law of the land? 2nd amendment or not?"

Actually, while I'm no fan of the UN, I think your claim is not correct.

A Treaty has in effect the force of legistlation in the US, but legislation in the US does not have the force of the US Constitution. There's a hierarchy there.

A UN treaty that violated Americans' constitutionally guaranteed rights could be struck down by a US Federal court.


I think your right about the treaty. Also, treaties have to be ratified by the U.S. Senate. I don't know if we could survive that. There are a lot of liberals in that body.
P.S. I really hope that this issue is brought up in the debates that should occur after the conventions.

How am I gonna defend myself from a tyranical government if my guns are burried. Let us not forget that we the people are the ones who keep our elected officials in check.

Dr. Ralph

Our elected officials have not been in check for some time now. Ditto the Supreme Court. If they can discover that abortion is suddenly legal after 200 years and cameras on every light pole and roadblocks for no apparent reason are not an infringement upon our rights they can certainly describe a militia as government officials only. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave? Not anymore...

Black Rifle Addict

Can anyone image a United States without individual gun ownership? I can't, and I doubt the SC will vote against that basic right. I do, however, agree with the thought that DC is a seperate legal juristiction that may have a final impact on their decision.


I love reading that transcript of yesterday’s SC argument. Much different than what the media is grudgingly reporting.

Looks like the justices are on our side. Very powerful arguments about "The" right to bear and keep arms and the fact that the Militia at the time was really ordinary citizens; not a national guard. This is a huge win for us.

I forgot about the English Bill of Rights 1698. It was really an act to keep the English in control and the Scots, Irish and Catholics marginalized. That Act was what started immigration to the Colonies. Significant such a sensitive issue was brought up so often yesterday. Many of the gun restrictions, such as New York’s, smack so much of the English 1698 Bill of Rights.

I got the feeling all the justices were quite amused at the collective right vs. individual right position on the 2A. The justices also seemed quite disturbed DC and other similar bans and restrictions puts the common citizen at so much open risk in the Home.

I'm surprised the anti-gunner and gov't supremacists factions pushed so hard and far so on this issue. If access, possession, and ownership of firearms that are "common to the people" are reaffirmed a "civil right" there's a new complexion for the courts and legislatures to consider from here on end.


Here's a link to a Supreme Court blog with analysis of the oral arguments:


Clay Cooper

I have asked this question to those and not a single idiot can get it right! What Government agency is responsible for your personal safety?????

Answer: That Government Agency doesn’t exist!
Unless you have Government body guards!!
After the King riot in California, a Government official said that neither the State of California nor any other Government office is responsible for an individual’s safety! Also, when you call 911, the dispatcher will decide to send a unit to your location provided if a law has been broken. No law broken, no dispatch! And it is also based on the availability of the officer or officers available to take the call!
That’s right, your own your own!

Walt Smith

Can you imagine the look on the faces of the workers of a goverment agency if told they had to go door to door and disarm the people of the united states of their firearms??

Jim in Mo.

There seems to be an underlying theme here. LAWYERS!
They made the rules. Judges came from the same womb and will protect.


Clay, if you call the cops and tell them your life is in peril, they will dispatch a unit. The doubletalk you encountered means that no law enforcement agency is legally liable for criminal activity in its jurisdiction. In other words, that you got mugged is not in and of itself proof that the police, sheriff's dept., etc. incompetently or negligently performed their job (protecting you), and you would have no grounds to sue them solely on that basis.

Defining the 2nd Amendment as pertaining to individuals' rights is big time good news for us. It will mean we are as entitled to the means to protect ourselves as we are to think what we want, vote, worship, or own property. And it will nail down the basic proposition that citizens, PEOPLE, are responsible for a safe, orderly society, rather than throwing it all at a handful of underpaid coppers, overpaid lawyers, and politically motivated judges. Great blog.

Lester in FL

There are to many of us that would not give up are guns for a anti ruling to be accepted. Laws that would have us give up or even confiscate guns would not only make criminals out of law abiding people but may even start a rebellion.


This occured to me recently. What would our founding fathers say? I firmly believe it would be-TO ARMS!-. Take this country back from the lawyers, politicians, and the beurocrats(sic) and give it back to the people to which it belongs. That is why the second ammendment was written.

Our Blogs