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This Is Just Plain Wrong!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Have you read the reports about the Supreme Court throwing out Washington DC's handgun ban?

This is the one that gets to me:

>Justice Stephen Breyer wrote a separate dissent in which he said, "In my view, there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas."<

No untouchable constitutional rights? What's wrong with that man? Didn't anyone tell him what his job was when he put on the robe? It's to preserve and protect the constitution. Period. That's his whole job.

We're not talking about interpretation here. It's not a question of what the founding fathers meant. He's not unclear about the meaning of "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

He's saying, point blank, if we don't like what they meant, we can ignore it. "No untouchable constitutional rights guaranteed by (the Bill of Rights)."

Y'all better get posting to ChefTalk out of your system tonight, cuz tomorrow Justice Breyer will tell us there is nothing untouchable or guaranteed about free speech. And, oh, yeah, starting Saturday we all have to subscribe to the Pentecostal view, cuz there is no freedom of religeous choice after all. No right to peaceably assemble. No right to sue for redress of grievences. And all those newspapers that didn't back his nomination? They're gone, cuz there is no untouchable guarantee of free press whatsoever.

Sure, all that's in the Constitution. But, what the ****, let's just toss it all out on a whim. Justice Breyer says it's ok.

Somebody needs to take that man out behind the barn!
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #2 of 13
Lately, imo, there are so many legal issues dealt with not in good faith or in the spirit of the constitution, but rather pushing one side's agenda as far as possible. That is something I'd expect from an activist (which is not a bad thing in most cases), but not someone entrusted to uphold the constitution.

Whether I agree or disagree on this decision, imo it wasn't done properly. It's not far from corruption.
post #3 of 13
The beginning of that sentence starts with, "A well regulated militia,......"

What part of John Q Public owning hands guns or other firearms meets the requirements of a "Well regulated militia" ? How does it fit that requirement when the guns are being used by criminals?
post #4 of 13
Now I'm not sure about the side comments or what else each judge that opposed the ruling stated but the way I understood it was that it was a victory for the second amendment. So KY, why all the hubbub bub? After all even being a justice he is entitled to his personal opinion under the same Constitution

Gonna certainly ruffle some feathers with this statement but I personally agree that for defensive purposes Americans should be able to have a gun in the home. Not that we have one but we have talked about it especially given the DW's training in the Armed Forces and the days of my youth at the Fox Valley Gun Club target range. For now though we rely on ADT and the Cracker Jack response of our Local Law Enforcement but sometimes, with current events, I feel it's too bad we can't have something from what the DW was formally trained on.... Air Defense Artillery.:look:

I'm not a fan of what the Justice said but in all fairness and another feather ruffler is this. If all constitutional rights were truly " untouchable " and not as the Justice proclaims then we wouldn't have had the 21st amendment. For those that are rusty as a nail on the Constitution and those of us that enjoy our spirits, that's what gave us the right to enjoy them back after the Temperance Movement Lobbied for the 18th amendment.;) What we should all be fearful of is what the Lobbyist can and has accomplished to the detriment of the population, the country and the constitution and what pull they have and not just on our highest Court.
post #5 of 13
We Texans like our handguns, shotguns, any guns. I'm learning to shoot and carry currently. I'm 16 too, shows you how much we like our guns.

I think it is important to carry a weapon if you *a sane person* feels the need. In some places, I feel safe sleeping on the sidewalk, in others, I don't feel safe with a police escort. Safety is in the eye of the beholder.
It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
post #6 of 13
My "corruption" comment I'll take back, since OldSchool has given a persuasive argument to it. I always like to sharpen my own logic.

But I still think that guns haven't been controlled as they should be. Yes we have the right to bear arms, but not the right to arm bears. In other words, guns in the wrong hands are more destructive than helpful.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
I didn't mean for this to become an pro-gun, anti-gun argument.

The point is, once the emotionalism is removed, that argument has always centered on interpreting what was meant by the word "militia." As an 18th century reenactor who is a member of a militia force, I think I have a better idea of what that means than most. But it's irrelevent.

What bothered me was this. Justice Breyer did not say, "I disagree with Justice Scalia as to what the founding fathers meant by militia." If he did, I would disagree with his interpretation, and that would be that.

But what he said, in effect, was, "If I personally disagree with what the founding fathers meant, too bad for the Bill of Rights." In other words, what he said was that he agrees with Justice Scalia's interpretation. But because that disagrees with his personal feelings, the 2nd Amendment should not apply in this case.

In one respect he is right; the Constitution is not untouchable. But it provides for the proceedure of change. That's called an "amendment," and there are several ways of adopting one---none of which include an arbitrary pronouncement by a Supreme Court Justice.

The Bill of Rights are all amendments, as a matter of fact. And they are included specifically because of people like Justice Breyer. After the Constitution was ratified the founding fathers realized they had made one mistake. They had assumed the rights of citizenship they had fought for were universally recognized, and would automatically apply.

Realizing their error, they codified those rights, so there would be no mistaking what they are. So that people like Justice Breyer could not come along later and tell us, "no, there's nothing in the Constitution giving you the right of redress for grienvences; or the right to express your opinion; or the right to worship as you please." Or, to put a point on it, the right to own and bear arms.

>After all even being a justice he is entitled to his personal opinion under the same Constitution<

As a citizen, OldSchool, he is entitled to all the rights as anyone else. But as a Justice of the Supreme Court, per se, his job is to interpret laws against the Constitution, and, if there is any conflict, the Constitution prevails. His personal opinion, if different than what the Constitution says, should not enter the picture.

>What part of John Q Public owning hands guns or other firearms meets the requirements of a "Well regulated militia" ?<

Study your history, JBD, and you'll find that it has everything to do with that. Militia refers to the amateur citizen soldier, prepared to defend home, family and country at a moment's notice. One of the keys to this, one that all the founding fathers were aware of, is that the militia brought its own arms to the party. You cannot be prepared to defend freedom unless you have the tools to do so. And that means owning your own weapons.

Switzerland, unfortunately, is the only modern country that formally recognizes that philosophy.

>How does it fit that requirement when the guns are being used by criminals? <

You're arguing in favor of gun ownership. If criminals have no trouble getting firearms, and regular citizens do, then the citizens are, by definition, subjugated by the criminals.

However, more to the point. Check the FBI's uniform crime statistics. One of the things that glares is the radical drop in violent crime in every state that has adopted a concealed carry law. In short, even a potentially armed citizenry is a deterent to violent crime.

In an interesting twist, concealed carry laws are technically unconstitutional.

The real irony of this is that for most people a handgun is not the best home-defense choice. I used to do some heavy consulting on home defense, and, in 99 out of 100 cases, recommended against them.

But that has nothing to do with our constitutional right to own and bear arms.

>it was a victory for the second amendment<

I'd say, rather, that it was a victory for the Constitution.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #8 of 13
All I can think to say, someone greater than myself already sang them:

...Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
Suicide remarks are torn
from the Fool's gold mouthpiece
The hollow horn plays wasted words
Proves to warn
Than he not busy being born
Is busy dying.

Temptation's page flies out the door
You follow, find yourself at war
Watch waterfalls of pity roar
You feel to moan but unlike before
You discover
That you'd just be
One more person crying.

So don't fear if you hear
A foreign sound to your ear
It's alright Ma, I'm only sighing.

As some warn victory, some downfall
Private reasons great or small
Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
To make all that should be killed to crawl
While others say don't hate nothing at all
Except hatred.

...But it's alright, Ma, it's life and life only.

post #9 of 13
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.

if you notice, there is a comma after "a free State", the comma moves it onto the next point which is the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

There is no requirement for a well regulated militia to own a gun.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Taco, the whole pro/con gun issue boils down to that question.

There is just enough abigbuity in there for the antis to use it as their rationale. What they claim is that 1. Gun ownership is not an absolute right because a restrictive reason is given for it, and, 2. that reason no longer prevails (see JBD's post below, for instance, where he argues that very thing), and therefore, 3. there is no need for personal gun ownership, or at least no right to it.

That, essentially, is what's behind the dissenting vote of the other three Justices. They are saying that the right of gun ownership is not absolute, because of the above reason, and that, furthermore, home defense is best left to the professionals (i.e., the police).

While I disagree with that interpretation, I have no kick with the Justices themselves. That's their sincere interpretation of the 2nd amendment. They are, in short, doing what they get paid for.

If Justice Breyer had joined the majority dissent, or if he'd offered a minority opinion based on a different interpretation, I'd have no problem with him, either.

But that's not the case. My problem is that the minority dissent is not a question of interpretation. It's a question of arrogance. He is saying, "sure, the founding fathers said XYZ. But I know better than they do. And we should do it my way instead."

Well, if Justice Breyer wants to change the law rather than interpret it he needs to retire his robe and run for the legislature. That's where laws are made, and where the Constitution specifies it's own articles can be "touched."

One interesting aspect of all this: Even the anti-gun liberal media has focused on the majority dissent. Breyer's dissent may as well not exist, far as their concerned. Maybe it was even too much for them to stomach.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #11 of 13
KY, You have definitely made several good points. You've also made clarification in my perception reading what you just posted. I guess I was confused to what your point actually was in the topic post. Thanks for expanding things.

I had wanted to offer a perspective and one that I guess was always with-in me but didn't really surface until our move to this area last year. Unfortunately it's hard to really put it all into words without producing probably the longest post in the history of CT.

Anyhow to summarize things I'd like to say that the people of Virginia may not have the market in history cornered but I can say they certainly are not beaten out by any other area in this country. The whole state screams of and the Ghosts of that history seem to be screaming just as loud. All anyone has to do is listen.

Take a trip to Williamsburg and witness a reenactment of George Washington riding through town on his way to victory at Yorktown, walk through the Jamestown Settlement (the archaeological site not just the museum) , stand in front of a cannon on the Petersburg National Battlefield or any one of several hundred markers (both Revolutionary and Civil war) that dot the countryside form Petersburg to Washington DC. Maybe even stand in my backyard in the exact spot where the Civil war Railroad of the Petersburg-Richmond line once ran.

You honestly get a sense on how tumultuous and great a Nation we actually live in and understand how close to the actual idea of what it's all about things still are yet contrastly how far away we have strayed . My point is..... Somewhere along the way we allowed the Guberment (aka liars, crooks & thieves), the media and the upper 2% of society decide what is good for the remaining 98% and thrown aside any real understanding that the true meaning of the Constitution doesn't lay with-in the Amendments but with-in the original statement of rights ..... The Premable. That is the only part of the Constitution of the United States of America that can not be changed, amended, rewritten, over turned or eliminated.

Soap Box neatly tucked under bed, once again, until need later.

BTW you also get the real understanding of what "Standing on your soap box" means in a visit to Williamsburg!

(Funny this was the short version...... huh?)
post #12 of 13
I refrained from posting on this thread until I was able to read the ruling and the two dissents myself.
This is the only time in my adult life that I have been moved to seek out and read a Supreme Court ruling, as opposed to simply reviewing what others have said about it. The Second Amendment is just that important and the nuances of both the majority ruling and the dissents can have far reaching implications not only surrounding the right to keep and bear arms but other Constitutional rights as well.

First and foremost, KYHeirloomer is correct. The minority dissent is abhorrent. Justice Breyer resorts to “because I said so” logic. Read it and be appalled at his lack of legitimate legal logic and blatantly one sided presentation of data. He sure can quote facts and figures for gun statistics nation wide, a few pertaining to the District of Columbia, and the horrendous crime numbers in DC during the 70’s that led to the legislative ban in the first place (Which by the way, all of this is irrelevant in deciding the application of a Constitutional right. We don’t take away everyone’s right to freedom of the press if one city suddenly has 44% of its printers are pumping out libel, slander, obscenities and are inciting to riot. We put offenders in jail after the fact.). However, in his dissent he acknowledges that the crime and murder rates in DC have gone up since the handgun ban went into effect but doesn’t think those actual numbers and percentages are important to give out. In essence he likes to leave out facts he doesn’t like and list strings of facts and numbers that are legally irrelevant.

The dissent written by Justice Stevens isn’t as grotesque. But it has its problems as well. Guess what guys, under Justice Stevens’ interpretation of the Second amendment you have no right to keep, bear or even use arms for the sustenance of you and your family (and certainly not their protection) which includes KNIVES. (Fire arms are only one subset of arms. Blades, blunt objects, bow and arrows, glass jars and fuel for Molotov cocktails and anything else that might be used as a weapon would not be protected property under the Stevens’ dissent unless you belong to a state sanctioned military organization.) So, under this interpretation the government can come into your home or place of business and remove your knives (even if you do not use them as a weapon) but can’t touch your Cuisinart, because the criminalization of Cuisinarts would just be unconstitutional.

As a side note, Stevens’ opinion would allow anyone it a state militia to keep a rocket launcher in their garage. Which could give “rouge state” and entirely new meaning if Montana decided to go with a traditional definition of militia: all able bodied men between the ages of 18 and 45.

There are many other problems with Justice Stevens’ dissent, in the interest of time, I’ll leave off.

The majority opinion by Scalia was only slightly short of exhaustive. If you ever had any doubt about what our Framers could have meant the Second Amendment to cover, read it. I only wish he would have delved more into what the Framers meant by “free state” not just “state”, no other subtle distinction in the Second Amendment was left unexplored by the majority opinion.
In fact, Scalia’s opinion was one of the most well documented, logical and thoughtful arguments I have ever read on anything. Regardless of your personal opinions on the Second Amendment it should make any American proud that such is the level of scholarship and wisdom of at least one of our Supreme Court Justices. I think I might have a new hobby is reading Scalia’s opinion on anything.

In closing (I know you’re happy about that), the frightening part about this decision is that it was a narrow 5-4 ruling. That four of our Supreme Court Justices were willing to strike down a constitutional right with such a lousy argument (and one of them based on his personal opinion, not actual law) is an affront to our Republic, and make no mistake we are a Republic not a democracy.

While not a complete analysis of my views on District of Columbia v Heller, I’ll leave it at that for now.
post #13 of 13

Be Safe And Keep Others Safe..!!

Its safe that the guns should be in the hands of safe persons. No matter wo they are. It will even more safer if it is in the hands of people who doesnt have a children.
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