Patterico's Pontifications

6/28/2010

Supreme Court Extends Gun Rights to States

Filed under: Judiciary,Second Amendment — DRJ @ 2:59 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

In McDonald vs City of Chicago (opinion here; oral argument transcript here), the U.S. Supreme Court today extended the Heller 2nd Amendment protections to states but allowed some restrictions on gun ownership. Chicago’s Mayor Daley plans to find the limit of those restrictions.

After Heller, will this 5-4 decision end the 2nd Amendment debate or is it just beginning? It’s clearly just beginning at the state and local levels, where governments will be asked to craft standards that satisfy the courts and citizens.

— DRJ

117 Responses to “Supreme Court Extends Gun Rights to States”

  1. Our mayor is so out – of – step with the local citizenry here it beggars belief. He refuses to admit that his own pet gun control projects have done nothing to curb violent crime in the city, yet they’ve effectively prevented law – abiding citizens from being able to protect themselves. He should be ashamed of himself, but after you watch his awesome performance at his latest press conference, you can see that he has no shame:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EJX8fIbzC4

    “If I put a gun up your butt you’ll find out how effective (gun control) is.” What an arse.

    Dmac (ab1849)

  2. I wonder, as a citizen of this wonderful city,if I can now just go out and buy a hand gun and be done with it?

    BT (74cbec)

  3. This will be a prolonged process in those cities and states that are deeply against citizen’s rights to defend themselves. I suspect Chicago will erect as many legal and financial barriers as possible to prevent citizens from exercising their 2nd Amendment rights. For example, requiring an application to possess a gun ($150 filing fee), a required gun-handling course ($750 attendance fee), proof of proficiency before a city or state examiner ($250 fee)…you get the idea.

    No doubt this issue will be revisited by the court at some future date. The resolution will be determined by whether or not the anti-gun liberals will outnumber the pro-rights conservatives on the Supreme Court. And the answer to that question might be determined in part by what happens this November.

    navyvet (206534)

  4. The ruling also effectively guts the New York Sullivan Act. The 1911 law that states that people in New York could not legally carry a concealed weapon, unless you were in law enforcement or a security guard for a VIP

    Stan25 (103775)

  5. And regarding Mayor Daley’s “gun up your butt” comment, my response would be: “No, sir. For since I possess a gun for self-defense, it will be for damn sure you won’t be putting anything up my butt.”

    And yes, he is an ass.

    navyvet (206534)

  6. To add to navyvet’s list, Daley is also considering requiring any hand gun owner to obtain liability insurance.

    BT (74cbec)

  7. At least Stevens is consistent – In Citizens United he stated the the 1st A says that “congress shall make no law ….” but then said the congress shall can restrict the freedom of speech. Today he wrote that substantive due process guarantees the rights in the constitution, but then wrote that they can pick and choose which rights to to guarantee.

    Joe (1f6721)

  8. The 4 judges have once again shown themselves not to be liberals, but to be statists, much more troubling in such a fundamental rights issue.

    RSweeney (8c99b8)

  9. Before all you good citizens of IL/Cook Co/Chicago can avail yourselves of the Rights enumerated in the 2nd Amendment, your good State will have to do something about the requirement that you first get permission from the state to exercise that right.
    More court cases to follow, but now judges will have a reason to find summarily for the plaintiffs – which they would do if they weren’t all in the pocket of the corrupt system that passes for government in IL.

    AD - RtR/OS! (7166b6)

  10. Comment by RSweeney — 6/28/2010 @ 4:13 pm

    You must not have gotten the memo:
    They are not liberals, but Progressives; which by definition are statists.

    AD - RtR/OS! (7166b6)

  11. somebody will sue on the grounds of “shall not be infringed”.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  12. The best McDonald will do in Chicago is put the city into step with the rest of Illinois. Statewide, you can have most any gun (not NFA) in your own home, or on your own land, or in your fixed place of business (even if you’re only an employee and not an owner). If you have a gun per above in violation of a local ordinance and the police find out about it because you used it in self-defense or defense of another innocent person, you cannot be prosecuted for it.

    Daley’s going senile.

    nk (db4a41)

  13. I’m happy to see that the normative view of the Second Amendment was always “correct”, but more than a bit annoyed about the fact that there was ever any doubt that an explicit right written in the Constitution was in doubt ( and only got a 5-4 decision ) while vague penumbra rights are considered so much more “fundamental”.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  14. SPWR

    Well, to be fair, the 2nd amendment only clearly applied to the FG, although I am weird in that i disagreed with Barron v. Baltimore.

    So while I 100% agree with this ruling, it was not as slam-dunk as some would say. For instance, as the different opinions show, its clear it was incorporated by some part of the 14th A, but they are pretty confused about what part. They say Due Process, but that linguistically makes almost no sense. Privileges and immunities actually makes more sense, but none of that is exactly a model of clarity.

    Its the right decision, but its not he easy one that Heller should have been.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (f97997)

  15. You are pretty much all racists. And bitter clingers.

    JD (308d62)

  16. Aaron, that’s because the court continues to refuse to overrule the obviously wrong Slaughterhouse cases.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  17. Kennedy and Alito seem to be the only ones who understand what the Second Amendment is really about. Scalia is a hunter, and Thomas and Roberts seem only to like guns intellectually.

    nk (db4a41)

  18. As for P&I, how do you have a consistent set of laws for both citizens and person? Maybe that’s rewriting the Constitution but if I’m a judge that’s the job you gave me.

    nk (db4a41)

  19. You can pass any law you want, and the courts can say whatever they want.

    Nobody’s going to tell me I can’t own guns.

    Dave Surls (9a6ba2)

  20. I think what bothers me most about this whole affair is that the 2nd Amendment is not about self defense, hunting, target shooting, or any other government approved activity. It is a clear acknowledgment that the people must be armed to protect themselves and their rights and freedoms from over reaching government. If that very government can decide what arms you may have and where you may have them then it is only a privilege and we have no rights at all that the government does not favor us with. I think we have seen both the need to have a check of our would be rulers and what happens when we give it up. I do not think the government will ever permit us the power to resist that the founders thought so essential. It is why they feel so free to show their open contempt for us as they have been doing.

    Machinist (497786)

  21. That died in the Civil War, Machinist.

    Yes, Dave, you can have all the guns you want.

    nk (db4a41)

  22. Amen, Machinist.

    JD (308d62)

  23. “That died in the Civil War, Machinist”

    Then why speak of rights and rule of law if we live under a criminal government ruling by force? Are you saying our Republic and our Constitution ended then or are you talking a legal point? Please forgive my legal ignorance.

    Machinist (497786)

  24. “Yes, Dave, you can have all the guns you want.”

    Yes, I’m aware of that. That’s because…

    …Nobody’s going to tell me I can’t own guns.

    Dave Surls (9a6ba2)

  25. Our Revolution ended then, I think. Now you go and vote. Organize. Attend political rallies. And if you lose, wait for the next election.

    And I don’t think our government is criminal. Inept and inefficient for sure, but that’s a feature not a bug.

    nk (db4a41)

  26. I live in Chicago, Dave. When I thought I needed a gun I got one.

    nk (db4a41)

  27. “Then why speak of rights and rule of law if we live under a criminal government ruling by force?”

    It’s not that big of a deal. They pass some stupid gun control law.

    You ignore it.

    It’s an o.k. system. Nobody gets hurt too badly.

    It’s not like they’re rounding up gun owners and sending them off to Democrat Death Camps.

    Dave Surls (9a6ba2)

  28. Sorry,
    *used to live in Chicago*

    nk (db4a41)

  29. Machinist – nk does not discuss law with non-lawyers. He is above doing so.

    JD (308d62)

  30. That joke’s gone old, JD.

    nk (db4a41)

  31. If you say so, nk.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  32. Were you joking when you said it, nk?

    JD (308d62)

  33. No.

    nk (db4a41)

  34. Who said a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds? I said, I own it. I changed my behavior. The ball is in your court.

    nk (db4a41)

  35. Then why do you think I was joking, nk?

    JD (308d62)

  36. “I live in Chicago, Dave. When I thought I needed a gun I got one.”

    Can’t say that I blame you.

    Dave Surls (9a6ba2)

  37. You said that to Patterico, in another thread, I thought, JD. Fine.

    nk (db4a41)

  38. I was/am rather serious. I was simply pointing out your standard to Machinist, in case he missed it.

    JD (308d62)

  39. No problem, JD.

    nk (db4a41)

  40. “#25
    Our Revolution ended then, I think. Now you go and vote. Organize. Attend political rallies. And if you lose, wait for the next election.

    And I don’t think our government is criminal. Inept and inefficient for sure, but that’s a feature not a bug.

    Comment by nk — 6/28/2010 @ 6:47 pm”

    With respect, Sir. Our government derives it’s lawful authority from the Constitution. If they no longer are constrained by it then their only authority is brute force. How is that different than any other criminal gang?

    What value does our vote have if the ruling class does not feel accountable to us unless they choose to be? How is this not like elections with one choice where the people must vote to add an appearance of legitimacy?

    Machinist (497786)

  41. I saw “The Outlaw Josey Wales” when I was twenty-four. Even then, I could not shoot a one-inch rope within five yards, let a lone a hundred.

    No revolutions for me.

    nk (db4a41)

  42. Rule by the majority is Democracy, which has possibly a worse record of failure than socialism. A Republic, a rule of law, is the only type of government that recognizes individual freedom as being above the state. Am I misinformed again?

    Machinist (497786)

  43. #41,
    If that was to me I am afraid I missed the point. I am not familiar with that movie.

    Or was this just a dismissive remark?

    Machinist (497786)

  44. Anyone who thinks the Constitution has provided for firing on the flag? Well, not exactly dismissive, but you will have a hard case to make with me.

    nk (db4a41)

  45. Have I called for “firing on the flag” or for revolution?

    Machinist (497786)

  46. I am a simple person and people need to talk to me in one syllable words. What were you saying?

    nk (db4a41)

  47. “What value does our vote have if the ruling class does not feel accountable to us unless they choose to be?”

    — Not fair to lump all of them into the same “class”. Many, for sure; but not all. But this is why SCOTUS appointments become so critical: to ensure that the checks & balances within our system of gov’t actually check & balance each other!

    Icy Texan (cc6f45)

  48. #47 Icy Texan,
    I would suggest that the courts are one of the greatest abusers of power and greatest threats. They have usurped many powers reserved for the other branches and upset the balance of power. Given their lack of accountability this is particularly dangerous.

    Machinist (497786)

  49. If some infringement is OK, then aplying similar logic to the 14th Amendment… some local slavery is OK, is it not? The decision addressed both, didn’t it?

    Let the taking of slaves commence! Will slaves have to be registered? Can more than one be purchased per month? Will there be a national registry of slaves?

    ***

    While saying the 2nd Amendment exists, they also asserted that… If you aren’t dead, in jail, or in financial ruin by trying to publicly keep and bear arms -Then today’s SCOTUS acknowledged your right to beg lawyer to help you beg a court to help you appeal to beg SCOTUS again.

    Right to lawyers? Check.
    Right of governments to restrict individual rights? Check
    Right of citizens to Keep and Bear Arms? err, ah, not so much.

    They are no longer Justices, just traitors in robes, supporting a Lawyer work-fare project which they hope to perpetuate.

    “Laws repugnant to the Constitution are null and void”
    – John Marshall, SCOTUS, Marbury vs Madison, 1803

    Governments repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.

    sofa (7a7f36)

  50. apolgies for the run on posting. it was formatted in preview…

    sofa (7a7f36)

  51. #46 NK,
    I guess you are being dismissive with this show of contempt and perhaps I deserve it, but I have not and would not call for revolution or open rebellion. Please retract that or show me where I did.

    I can think of so few such revolutions that have resulted in anything but a shift of power from one strongman or gang to another. I think the people who talk about “the people” rising up and taking back their country are just indulging a fantasy. It is too late for that. Our Republic was the best try we have seen in human history and helped lead the world to greater heights of freedom and individual dignity than has ever been achieved, but we have slipped and are going down. We have failed and it is too late to reverse it. I don’t know how long the slide down will take and I doubt I will live to see the worst of it but I fear the great military and industrial power of this country will be a force for great evil in the hands of those destined to rule it and the following darkness will be very long. Hopefully the next try will do better.

    Feel bad I can not speak in small words. My bad.

    Machinist (497786)

  52. G’night, racists.

    JD (308d62)

  53. As someone that never hesitates to slam the court for invented rights cases, like Roe v. Wade, I’m right there with you, Machinist. Thing is, what’s the point in getting discouraged? There’s always someone looking to tilt things to their advantage. So you tilt back! Vote the bums (and the bums that appointed other bums) out of office.

    Icy Texan (cc6f45)

  54. Thomas had the right idea with P&I. No need to muck around with due process.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  55. Machinist,

    Then I guess I did not understand what you were getting at.

    If I can address it sideaways …

    It seemed to me that only Kennedy understood the issue in Heller. He talked about the pioneers needing to defend themselves from Indians and outlaws. (Scalia talked about needing a .270 for deer and a twelve-gauge for ducks.)

    If you saw what I said to Dave (and I know you’ve visited my site) then you know I don’t believe that I need anybody’s permission to defend myself.

    I thought you were saying that the Second Amendment was a defense against a tyrannical government. Well, I don’t believe that. I believe it’s a defense for when government comes too late or is not around at all. I’m sorry if I misunderstood you.

    nk (db4a41)

  56. What I found astounding about the Supreme Court decision was that on something so basic there wasn’t a unanimous decision. How in the hell can 4 people whose job it is to interpret the Constitution and apply it do something like dissent on this? What the hell? It’s like a math teacher ruling that 1 + 1 isn’t two. There was no ambiguity or gray area here. The four don’t like guns, can’t stomach the idea that the “riff raff” have certain rights just like they do, and they completely violated their oath to do what THEY wanted to do. I’m disgusted and if it were possible I’d impeach the four morons forthwith. They swore an oath and they violated it. Soldiers and cops get fired and thrown in jail for doing just that yet they are somehow protected from it? What if the four said that it’s illegal to practice religion, slavery isn’t a violation of anyone’s rights, or something ridiculous like that? That’s what they just did. The Constitution specifically addressed it and these four collectively raised their middle finger to the citizens that pay them to do their job.

    Dave B (8159bb)

  57. Icy Texan,
    That is what makes activist courts so dangerous when they usurp powers from the other branches. You don’t vote on them and they have lifetime appointments. The founders thought this safe because the courts had no active power but they have taken it on themselves to change the Constitution, make laws and policy, raise taxes, and even intrude on military policy.

    Who do they answer to? How do you vote them out? And with them supporting the other branches in ignoring the Constitution, how do you restrain the political class? It is only a matter of them dealing with each other, we are just pawns in the process.

    Machinist (497786)

  58. “I don’t believe that I need anybody’s permission to defend myself.”

    “I thought you were saying that the Second Amendment was a defense against a tyrannical government.”

    nk – Not to put words in Machinist’s mouth, but I believe he is saying the Second Amendment is the written embodiment of your belief and that it and others protect against tyrannical governments who want to take away the privileges and immunities granted to us in the constitution. Your unremitting obtuseness makes it difficult to have a coherent conversation with you.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  59. That is like a 1% of the population view, daleyrocks.

    nk (db4a41)

  60. nk – Bite me.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  61. The second part of your/my statement.

    nk (db4a41)

  62. Yes, Dave, you can have all the guns you want.

    No less will do. After all, most liberal jurists and people of the left in general love (love!) the idea of a woman having all the abortions she wants. For that matter, much of the left being full of smiles over the idea that such women should have unfettered access to abortions right up to the time the fetus’s head is almost poking out of the mother’s birth canal.

    I wouldn’t be so irked at the “lefties” who are committed to the notion that inanimate objects are a major threat to society’s well-being — certainly compared with the way the left perceives the impact of deviate human behavior (“the felon’s early years were hurt by a lack of enough access to daycare, nice schools and subsidized meals!!”) — if they also made a big stink about liberal judges being appointed to the court system.

    Mark (411533)

  63. You practice patience. You vote for those you think will appoint judges that follow the COTUS. You recognize the fact that a 5-4 vote means that just one more good appointment could very well result in the rendering of good, sound decisions.

    Icy Texan (cc6f45)

  64. Come on, you guys, this was a pretty decent opinion. Ok, maybe I did not summarize it perfectly but I think I’m pretty darned close: “The police cannot be there all the time and the people need to use self-help”.

    Nothing to do with keeping and bearing arms in case our taxes go too high.

    And, sorry, daleyrocks, you are a handsome man, but my wife would never understand.

    nk (db4a41)

  65. How in the hell can 4 people whose job it is to interpret the Constitution and apply it do something like dissent on this?

    It all comes down to one thing: i-d-e-o-l-o-g-y. That’s why it’s a joke for people (such as historians) to say that appointing justices decades ago was somehow better because the process — including the way the media, politicians, presidents and the public in general — didn’t focus upon a nominee’s socio-political biases.

    The US constitution is only as good as the amount of leftism, centrism or rightism found throughout society, among our politicians, jurists (naturally), lawyers, etc. If people don’t realize or understand that, they’re fools.

    Mark (411533)

  66. I thought you were saying that the Second Amendment was a defense against a tyrannical government. Well, I don’t believe that. I believe it’s a defense for when government comes too late or is not around at all.

    nk, I strongly suggest you read this ancient series of essays in book form called the Federalist Papers. Your disbelief, should you have an open mind, will turn to belief rather quickly.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  67. “That is like a 1% of the population view, daleyrocks.”

    nk – Got any back up that there are only 1% originalists in this country?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  68. “I thought you were saying that the Second Amendment was a defense against a tyrannical government. Well, I don’t believe that.”

    That was my point, Sir. Reading the text of the Amendment and the writings of the founders I am at a loss to see how any other interpretation is possible.

    I am not calling for revolution because I don’t believe it would achieve the objective and would likely make things far worse. That does certainly not mean I will be a sheep and cooperate with the gangsters.

    The time to resist as envisioned in the 2nd Amendment has come and gone. We have allowed ourselves to be domesticated. Complacency has always been the deadliest human weakness. It has cost us our best chance so far, as has happened before.

    Machinist (497786)

  69. “And, sorry, daleyrocks, you are a handsome man, but my wife would never understand.”

    nk – Wrong thread. Gay taco thread is up top.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  70. We’re going around in circles, again, John. That ended with The Civil War. Maybe we don’t have a living Constitution but we have 500,000 dead soldiers. And thirteen more Amendments.

    nk (db4a41)

  71. I don’t get it. This was as good a decision as we could have. What did you guys want from the Supreme Court, anyway? A silenced Swedish K that you could walk to the grocery store with?

    nk (db4a41)

  72. nk: not sure what you mean by 1% of the population view. If you meant that only one percent thinks we’re a Constitutional Republic and we all have rights under that Constitution that include, but not limited to, having a right to bear arms then you couldn’t be more wrong. The Government can no infringe on YOUR right to protect yourself. Get used to it. If you don’t want to carry a gun then don’t. I don’t get. I’m a veteran cop and have been shot at. Not by law abiding citizens but criminals and I want people to be able to protect themselves. How is it that others don’t? I’m not threatened by law abiding citizens carrying weapons, in fact I’m comforted by it. I don’t get it. The same people trying to make citizens defenseless seem to be the same people that want women to be able to kill their babies with impunity. Guns potentially kill but abortions have about a 100% kill ratio. How do you square that? You want to “protect” women’s rights and health by killing a baby but you turn the other way when law abiding Americans’ health and lives are in danger?

    Dave B (8159bb)

  73. Icy Texan ,
    Unfortunately even the conservatives on the court seem to be supportive of the states power. Our problem is not Obama or Bush or McCain but the political class that has set itself up as rulers of the country. They infect all branches and support each other. It leaves little influence for the people to exert. We still can gum up the works but they are working to fix that with vote fraud and imported captive votes. The openness with which they are doing this is a measure of the contempt they hold for our power. They have largely neutered our culture and don’t think we have the stones to stand up to them. I think they are right.

    I continue to vote in order to do what I can for our next generation but I feel I am delaying the end, not restoring our country.

    Machinist (497786)

  74. Dave B,

    There’s people here who imply that I’m supposed to have a gun so I can shoot at the police and when I challenge them on it they say “Bite me”.

    I have guns. I like this decision. These guys seem to think … I don’t know what.

    nk (db4a41)

  75. Who is “John” and what is a “Swedish K “?

    Machinist (497786)

  76. “There’s people here who imply that I’m supposed to have a gun so I can shoot at the police ”

    Are we back in troll mode and making up comments by others? Who said this?

    Machinist (497786)

  77. __________________________________

    Here is a salute to the 4 “leftie” justices on the Supreme Court. I think they should be honored with an all-expenses-paid trip to Mexico, preferably one that will last for years and years. They deserve no less.


    usatoday.com, April 2009:

    MEXICO CITY — There is one gun store in Mexico. Only one. And not just anybody can shop here.

    The “Directorate for Arms and Munitions Sales,” as the store is called, is run by the Mexican army and occupies two rooms in an olive-green, heavily guarded building near the army’s headquarters. Prospective customers need a permit from the army that can take months to get. And once they buy a gun, there are reams of rules: how much ammunition they can buy each month; where they can take the gun; who they can sell it to.

    To some shoppers, the irony is clear: Mexico has some of the toughest gun-control laws in the world, yet the country’s drug cartels are armed to the teeth with illegal weapons that are smuggled over the border from the United States.

    More than 6,300 people have died in drug-related violence since 2006, and some crime has spilled into the USA.

    Mexican President Felipe Calderón says little will change as long as the United States continues to make gun purchases so easy. His government is pressuring the Obama administration to tighten rules on sales, rather than just the cross-border transport of weapons.

    Mexico’s 1917 constitution gave citizens the right to bear arms “except those expressly prohibited by law.” But after student protesters looted Mexico City gun stores during uprisings in the 1960s, the Mexican government began to clamp down on gun owners. By 1995, the government had closed the last gun stores and given the military a monopoly on gun sales.

    All privately owned guns have to be registered with the Mexican military. Owners who want to transport their firearms outside their homes need a permit that must be renewed annually.

    “I would dare say that Mexico has some of the strictest regulations about gun ownership in all the world, and we’re right next to a country … that has some of the easiest ones,” said Lt. Col. Raúl Manzano Vélez, director of the military’s civilian gun sales. “That creates a huge vacuum between the countries and feeds weapons trafficking.”

    U.S. gun-ownership groups say they doubt that harsher rules would stem Mexico’s violence. For them, Mexico is proof that gun control doesn’t work.

    “Mexico has very strict gun laws which clearly have done nothing to prevent criminals and drug cartels from obtaining firearms, and it’s left many of the honest residents of Mexico defenseless,” said Chris Cox, chief lobbyist for the National Rifle Association.

    Uh, by the way, it’s also illegal both in the US and Mexico to manufacture various type of narcotics. Yep, and that’s really had such a profound impact on the wide availability of intoxicants.

    Moreover, unlike handguns (which at least do not start out as an illegal item or are intended to be used illegally from the get-go), the process of creating narcotics, from beginning to end, is inherently corrupt, suspicious and illegal.

    Mark (411533)

  78. I remember back in my youth going to the fair and buying a concrete spike that was curled to become a finger ring. The fact that someone curled it to turn it into a finger ring does not in any way change the fact that it was made to be a concrete spike.

    nk, you stated that you will not believe the 2nd Amendment was put in place as a hedge against a tyrannical government. I showed it was. You said a later event changed all that, ignoring your claims regarding the original reason for its existence. You then returned to your stated position that you will not believe its original reason for existence was its original reason for existence.

    You are bouncing back and forth all over the place in your illogic and denial of truth in order to build your house on shifting sand. And you throw in outrageous and false accusations on top of it.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  79. The restrictions against the legal possession of firearms in Chicago has worked extremely well. One only has to look at the crime statistics in that city to see that disarming the public has indeed resulted in reduced murders, crime against the public and an overall feeling of safety in the environs. That was sarcastic.

    Nonetheless, gun ownership is a right. It’s there in the Bill of Rights. It doesn’t waver, it doesn’t hide from the political winds, it remains.

    We can all argue about whether that’s good or bad. Every state, municipality or water district can enact a law to circumvent it in the hopes that some judge will find a loophole. You can like it or you can’t. But there it is.

    And what I can’t believe is that four justices of the Supreme Court of this land have somehow found a nuance that states that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is somehow not the law of the land. Especially when the same document explicitly allows for amends by its citizens.

    I’ve never really understood the whole gun control debate which seems to be: The only solution from preventing bad people from doing bad things is to abolish a Constitutional right.

    It simply makes no sense. It has never worked.

    Ag80 (9fbddb)

  80. Sorry, John Hitchcock. I missed your comment when I looked for “John”.

    Machinist (497786)

  81. “Anyone who thinks the Constitution has provided for firing on the flag?”

    No, that would be in the DOI, the founding document of this country, our holy of holies…

    “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…”

    We can pick up our flintlocks, and abolish the government if we want to, but, personally I don’t think it would be prudent.

    Not over some asinine gun control laws, that they can’t enforce anyway.

    Dave Surls (9a6ba2)

  82. The ruling also effectively guts the New York Sullivan Act. The 1911 law that states that people in New York could not legally carry a concealed weapon, unless you were in law enforcement or a security guard for a VIP

    How would such a law survive rational basis review against an equal protection claim?

    That died in the Civil War, Machinist.

    Ask Radley Balko about how oppressive government can be.

    It all comes down to one thing: i-d-e-o-l-o-g-y. That’s why it’s a joke for people (such as historians) to say that appointing justices decades ago was somehow better because the process — including the way the media, politicians, presidents and the public in general — didn’t focus upon a nominee’s socio-political biases.

    And in fact, not only do they want to invent rights, they also want to pretend that specifically enumerated rights are not real.

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)

  83. The Second Amendment to the Constitution was written so the government of our country could never do what the British tried to do at Lexington and Concord. One of the objectives of the British forces that day was to confiscate a shipment of muskets and a battery of cannons. These were the equivalent of the most advanced military long arm of the day and a complete battalion of field artillery.

    The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting and only incidentally applies to personal self defense.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  84. Dave Surls #81 – isn’t that the point of the DOI and subsequent Constitution ? “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” – and it can be done at the Ballot Boxes without requiring recourse to explicit weaponry ? {my emphasis}

    Alasdair (205079)

  85. “…I thought you were saying that the Second Amendment was a defense against a tyrannical government. Well, I don’t believe that…”
    Comment by nk — 6/28/2010 @ 8:28 pm

    That puts you at odds with many of the Founders, including some that contributed to The Federalist Papers.

    AD - RtR/OS! (7166b6)

  86. “…illegal weapons that are smuggled over the border from the United States…”

    This one statement is, and has been demonstrated, false in so many ways that you really have to question the honesty of the hack that wrote that dispatch for USA-Today; unless of course, you can show how Korean manufactured grenades (both hand type and claymores), and FN-manufactured M-16’s and other fully automatic weapons, are being purchased in USA gunstores and then smuggled south across the border.

    AD - RtR/OS! (7166b6)

  87. Most of the US manufactured weapons used by the drug cartels were stolen from Mexican Army or police armories.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  88. I thought you were saying that the Second Amendment was a defense against a tyrannical government. Well, I don’t believe that.

    Nk, in this case you are wrong. If the 2nd Amendment isn’t a defense against tyrannical goverment, what does its opening clause mean?

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State

    It certainly isn’t talking about the police coming too late to help.

    Some chump (e84e27)

  89. I’m sorry guys, that issue has been settled in the case of Grant vs. Lee, Appromatox, 1865.

    nk (db4a41)

  90. What did you guys want from the Supreme Court

    Perhaps a unanimous decision, which of course will never happen. I think many are worried that this will only be revisited again in the near future, and the decision will be reversed.

    BTW, gotta love the direct shot at Daley and his gun policies. Sit back and watch him make an even bigger arse of himself in the coming days.

    Dmac (ab1849)

  91. We’re talking a very positive event to death, but ….

    Even if you take the most restrictive view of the Fourteenth Amendment’s prohibitions against rebellion and insurrection you cannot avoid

    in the original Constitution

    Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them ….

    nk (db4a41)

  92. I’m sorry guys, that issue has been settled in the case of Grant vs. Lee, Appromatox, 1865.

    So then the Viet Cong lost the war in Vietnam?

    Saigon did not fall one hundred ten years after the surrender at Appomatox?

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)

  93. I thought you were saying that the Second Amendment was a defense against a tyrannical government. Well, I don’t believe that.

    Do you really believe that a newly-formed government with a tyrannical foundation would allow its citizens to own firearms?

    The whole point of the 2nd Amendment is a check against tyranny–both internal and external. The Founding Fathers were a lot more realistic about human nature and understood history far better than our modern-day bureaucratic busybody oligarchs.

    Another Chris (2d8013)

  94. The American Revolution was enterpreneur middle class and new rich versus inherited aristocracy. Poor white people, negroes, and Indians not included. If you don’t want to bother to read the Constitution, I will find the references for property qualification, being a slave, or being Indian, for you.

    In any case, this is my last comment on this thread.

    nk (db4a41)

  95. The purposes of the Second Amendment have been well documented by Stephen Holbrook, Dave Hardy, Clayton Cramer. The purposes of the the 14th Amendment specifically with respect to the Second Amendment – including its extension to frustrate state oppression of freedmen, by Alstyne.

    All of which have been specifically cited in the McDonald opinion.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  96. nk has declared that his work here is done, but he asserted that the Constitution does not allow rebellion and treason. I guess I would have to ask,

    -If a President declares himself ruler in order to deal with our fiscal emergency or save the planet from CO2 warming or whatever, and some or all of the military support him, who is committing treason and rebellion, the ones who violate their oaths of office to stage a coup or the ones who resist and fight for the lawful Constitutional government?

    – Does this mean that you agree with Obama that the legislature and supreme court of Honduras were traitors in rebellion when they removed, as provided in their Constitution, the President from office when he tried to stage a coup with backing from Chavez?

    -If the 2nd Amendment is not to deal with this situation then what provision does the Constitution make for this eventuality? Did the founders really intend for the Republic to fall to the first strongman who had the support of some troops and felt the country was too stupid for self rule? What other mechanism is there in the Constitution to deal with a coup?

    Machinist (497786)

  97. A number of people have referred to the Federalist Papers but the Anti-Federalist writers were also clear that only an armed populace and local militias could check a central government with standing military forces. The founders were all aware that unarmed citizens were sheep and could do nothing but bleat when the Shepard decided to fleece them, take their children, or have a BBQ.

    Machinist (497786)

  98. Comment by nk — 6/29/2010 @ 6:56 am

    No, that only settled the question of seccession – incorrectly IMHO.
    The Civil War, or the War of Northern Agression, or whatever else you wish to call it, had nothing to do with the 2nd Amendment.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f22b48)

  99. and nk, I would direct your attention to The Declaration of Independence,
    which is most authoritative on this matter, as it is the basis for the founding of the Country,
    whilst The Constitution is just the basis for the organization of the Government.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f22b48)

  100. AD,
    I must respectfully disagree. the Declaration was our statement and justification for breaking away from England but but has nothing to say about our new government accept in principle. Our Constitution is the foundation of our government and all lawful power and authority are derived from it. This is why the Oath of Office swears to defend it from enemies both foreign and domestic and is why it is treason when politicians violate it. When they move outside their Constitutionally authorized powers they no longer wield lawful authority but rule by brute and naked force. I believe the 2nd Amendment was the mechanism provided to protect from this. Given the writings of the founders I have trouble understanding any other view. I wish nk had shared his reasons instead of dismissing us as traitors who want to shoot police and the flag.

    Machinist (497786)

  101. “That died in the Civil War, Machinist”

    “Our Revolution ended then, I think.”

    Does nk think we fought the British in the Civil War? Apart from an officer of the court advocating illegally purchasing firearms, I find this revisionist history interesting.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  102. Well, we have to agree to disagree Machinist, as The Constitution is just the blue-print for our current form of federal government –
    you might think back to that period before The Constitution when we were governed by The Articles of Confederation.
    Or, as someone once said:
    We are a People with a Government; not a Government with a Country (or words to that effect).

    AD - RtR/OS! (f22b48)

  103. AD,
    Had George Washington agreed to be King or Emperor, how would that have been incompatible with the Declaration?

    The founders were faced with coming up with a government that could function to serve the nation but would not be allowed to grow and grasp enough power to take over and rule the people as ours has. The Articles were the first attempt and failed as they were too weak. The Convention to improve the Articles resulted in our Constitution which served us well for a long time. How were either of these patterned by the Declaration? Once we won our independence, what legal authority did the Declaration have and what form of government did it call for? When was it ratified by the independent states as a legal document having any authority?

    It stands on it’s own as a Declaration of our belief that we were justified in claiming our independence and it was important in recognizing that our rights were birthrights given by God and not privileges granted by the State and revocable at the State’s whim. This is what sets our Constitution apart from all those that have copied it. It is the spirit of what our founders tried to set up. It has no authority in itself, however.

    Machinist (497786)

  104. “nk has declared that his work here is done, but he asserted that the Constitution does not allow rebellion and treason.”

    Well, he’s right about that. Can’t knock the guy for being right.

    “and it can be done at the Ballot Boxes without requiring recourse to explicit weaponry?”

    I reckon that depends on how the government feels about being altered or abolished…and, it also depends on being fortunate enough to live in a place where they have elections, of course.

    “No, that only settled the question of seccession – incorrectly IMHO.”

    Well, you’re wrong about that one AD. Much as it pains me to say it, my Southern ancestors were in the wrong and the damned Yankees were in the right.

    Rebelling against a tyrannical government that cannot or will not secure the rights of the governed is one thing; rebelling because you fear that government will not allow YOU to tyrannize other men…that’s a big no-no.

    And, that’s what the civil war was about, and the Yankees were in the right.

    Dave Surls (6f4254)

  105. Comment by Machinist — 6/29/2010 @ 6:13 pm

    To my mind, the Declaration belongs to the People, as it empowers us…
    When in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another…the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them…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 institue new Government…”.

    You see, the Declaration of Independence does not talk about what form that Government shall take,
    but that Government shall derive its powers from the Consent of the Governed; ie,
    The People are Sovereign!

    This amazing document empowers the People to choose their Government, not the other way around as had happened throughout history.
    It spelled the end to the Divine Right of Kings, or the Mandate of Heaven.
    It is uniquely American!

    AD - RtR/OS! (f22b48)

  106. Dave, my point was that the Constitution does not say that you can’t secede, and that was one of the issues.
    That the South wished to secede to protect slavery is not a very noble ideal, but I still can’t accept that secession is not to be allowed.
    After all, what is the U.S.A., a Roach-Motel?
    If we have a Right of Association, then we also have the Right of Non-Association, or Dis-Association, too.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f22b48)

  107. I’m sorry guys, that issue has been settled in the case of Grant vs. Lee, Appromatox, 1865

    Settled? No. All that means is that the government can fight back, and sometimes win. But that doesn’t settle the issue, anymore than declaring your independence actually makes you free.

    Even if you take the most restrictive view of the Fourteenth Amendment’s prohibitions against rebellion and insurrection you cannot avoid

    in the original Constitution

    Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them ….

    You do realize that the founding fathers knew they were committing treason against the English government, right?

    It is an unalienable right to fight against treason, but with that fight comes the responsibility for one’s actions.

    (Note: I am not advocating taking up arms against the government, just trying to counter your absurd position that the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with taking up arms.)

    nk: if the 2nd Amendment was not about fighting tyrannical governments, why does it contain the clause “being necessary to the security of a free State”?

    Some chump (e84e27)

  108. AD, Amen to the secession notion.

    It’s annoying that anyone who brings it up is associated with nutcases.

    This is a simple and good idea to maintain the nature of federalism. I don’t see why any constitutional ban on secession would apply anyway, since the federalism nature of that ‘contract’ was breached long, long ago anyway.

    It’s not that the states are betraying the federal government, but quite the other way around.

    Personally, I prefer we stick together, but think the concept of secession is valuable. One major solution to many of our nation’s problems, such as our partisan division, is to restore federalism as much as possible.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  109. Dustin, you’ve got me in your corner on that fight – or should I say, On your flank!

    AD - RtR/OS! (f22b48)

  110. “Dave, my point was that the Constitution does not say that you can’t secede, and that was one of the issues.”

    Sorry, the Southern states and/or people had no right to secede so that they could deny fundamental rights to those subject to their governance, and no right to break the pledge they made when they signed onto the Declaration of Independence.

    The federal Yankee government, OTOH, had an OBLIGATION to secure the rights of the people who were enslaved (which they were able to do by abolishing slavery). That’s the purpose of government. As a matter of fact, according to the founding document of this country, that’s the only purpose of government mentioned.

    You want to withdraw from the Union because the government isn’t doing it’s job and securing your rights, that’s fine. You want to secede from the Union because you’re afraid that a Republican government is going to outlaw slavery, that’s not fine.

    We agreed to this when we started this country:

    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”

    …and, the rebels refused to abide by it.

    The Yankees were in the right, the rebels were in the wrong.

    And, the issue of secession was decided correctly.

    You cannot rebel against the government because you wish to own other men, and deny them their God-given rights to freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

    Dave Surls (6f4254)

  111. So, Dave, you’re saying that a state can secede if the issue is just, is that right?

    AD - RtR/OS! (f22b48)

  112. I always opined that this issue arises philosophically with the USA celebrating July 4 as independence day and not the date of the surrender at Yorktown. (Even I who supports the idea can not remember the date.) One was a task accomplished and defended at great cost both mortal and financial, the other a grand gesture.

    Machinist – If Washington had set himself as a King it would not necessarily have violated the spirit of the Declaration. The rule of a King may be very beneficial to the people (and the rule of a legislature very tyrannical) the question would be, Does the policy and practice of the government deny the people their rights and oppress them in its operations? The major issue is the matter of succession.
    Remember the colonists, even at the time, glossed over it but the primary foe of the Americans, and their greatest oppressor, was Parliament – not the king.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  113. I’m saying that what we agreed to when we started this country was that we had a right to alter or abolish the government IF the government cannot or will not perform its function of securing our rights.

    You don’t have a right to alter or abolish because you think the government IS going to secure someone’s rights, like the government is supposed to do, which is what the rebels did in the civil war.

    What the DOI says also happens to be my personal opinion, but my opinion isn’t what’s important, what’s important is that’s what we pledged to when we started the United States of America.

    “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor”

    These aren’t just some pretty words. As Americans we pledge our lives, fortune and honor IN FRONT OF GOD to support what our Declaration says, and that applies to southern plantation owners just as it applies to all of us.

    You CANNOT secede from the United States of America in order to deny human beings what they have a right to. At least you can’t do so with any claim of legitimacy.

    That’s out.

    Dave Surls (09b67a)

  114. #112 Have Blue,

    That is the point I was trying to make, Sir. The Declaration was not the outline or foundation of our government. It was our statement that we had a right to separate from England. Our Constitution is our only document giving legitimate power to our elected officials. When they seize power not authorized in that document they have no legal claim to authority, only naked force. Resisting such a criminal seizure of power is not treason or rebellion against the country, the attempted coup is.

    It is a futile point by now. Our government has made it clear they no longer consider themselves bound by the Constitution, or rather, they feel they may alter at will on their own or ignore it when it is inconvenient and they can buy off or intimidate the other gangsters in the leadership.

    Machinist (497786)

  115. Cornwallis surrender…Oct 19, 1781.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f22b48)

  116. Dave, no one is arguing for the continuation, or re-imposition, of slavery.
    Give it a rest.
    Secession for other reasons can and should be discussed though, since secession is not specifically denied in the words of the Constitution. It was only the actions of Mr. Lincoln that denied secession as a political option vis-a-vis the relationship of the Federal Government and the Several States.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f22b48)

  117. “Give it a rest.”

    You asked me a question.

    I answered it.

    Dave Surls (09b67a)


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