The Right Kind of Gun Rights

Why the D.C. case is about self defense

Yesterday, unbeknownst to itself, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a gay-rights case. To most people, admittedly, District of Columbia v. Heller is a gun-rights case. In fact, it's the most important gun-rights case in decades, one that may cast a shadow for decades to come. But to gay Americans, and other minorities often targeted with violence, Heller is about civil rights, not shooting clubs.

Nine years ago, one of the first columns I wrote for National Journal told the story of Tom G. Palmer. One night some years ago in San Jose, he found himself confronting a gang of toughs, as many as 20 of them, intent on gay-bashing him. Taunted as a "faggot," threatened with death, Palmer (and a friend) ran for their lives, only to find the gang in hot pursuit. So Palmer stopped, reached into his backpack, and produced a gun. The gang backed off.

If no gun? "There's no question in my mind," Palmer told me in 1999, "that my friend and I would have been at least very seriously beaten, and maybe killed."

Today Palmer lives in Washington, D.C., which has the most restrictive gun-control law in the country. You can't own a handgun in Washington unless it was registered before 1976 (or unless you are a retired D.C. police officer). You can own a shotgun or rifle, but it must be disassembled or locked (except while being used for lawful recreation or at a place of business; you can protect your store, in other words, but not your home). In Washington, therefore, Palmer could not legally protect himself with a gun, even if the gay-bashers had chased him right into his home.

Although gay life in America is safer today than it once was, anti-gay violence remains all too common. The FBI reports more than 7,000 anti-gay hate crimes in 2005 alone, and since 2003 at least 58 people have been murdered because of their sexual orientation. Perhaps because gay-bashings often begin in intimate settings, the home is the single most prevalent venue for anti-gay attacks. In public, of course, gay-bashers make sure that no cops are around. For that matter, sometimes the police are part of the problem, responding to gay-bashings with indifference, hostility, sometimes abuse.

Those facts are from an amicus brief that two gay groups—Pink Pistols and Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty—have filed in Heller. Pink Pistols is a shooting group, formed partly in reaction to stories like Palmer's (and partly, full disclosure, in reaction to an article I wrote urging gays to take up self-defense with guns).

"Recognition of an individual right to keep and bear arms," says the brief, "is literally a matter of life or death" for gay Americans. The Heller plaintiffs are asking the Supreme Court to strike down Washington's gun law as unconstitutional. One of those plaintiffs, not coincidentally, is an openly gay man: Tom Palmer.

At issue is the legal meaning and reach of the controversial Second Amendment, which says: "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." Oddly, the Supreme Court has not definitively ruled on the amendment's meaning. The last important precedent came down a long time ago, in 1939, and it left the issue murky.

In most of the time since then, conventional wisdom assumed that the amendment confers no right on individuals, but instead empowers the states to form militias and other armed forces. In recent years, however, that interpretation has lost ground under academic scrutiny. It has become clearer that the Founders believed just what the amendment said: The people have a right to own firearms of the sort that would have been used in militia service in those days—that is, pistols and long guns.

Why would the Founders have cared? One reason is as relevant today as ever: Guns were needed for self-defense, a prerogative the Founders regarded as fundamental to freedom. As John Locke wrote, "If any law of nature would seem to be established among all as sacred in the highest degree, ... surely this is self-preservation."

The second reason, by contrast, strikes modern Americans as archaic, if not embarrassing: States' armed populations could resist and overthrow a tyrannical central government, acting as an insurrectionary militia—much as Americans had recently done in overthrowing British rule. That may have made sense in 1790, but today the insurrectionary rationale would seem to imply a right to keep and bear surface-to-air missiles and grenade launchers, among other things.

Between a right to keep and bear nothing and a right to keep and bear surface-to-air missiles lies a whole lot of middle ground. That the Supreme Court may finally provide some guidance is thus major constitutional news. But what should the Court do?

It could make the Second Amendment a dead letter by finding that it guarantees no individual right at all. This is what the District of Columbia wants. But judicially repealing the Second Amendment would be a mistake, both as a matter of constitutional literacy and also, more important, on moral grounds. The Declaration of Independence's great litany, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," puts life first. A law that prevents people from defending their own lives, even in their own homes, denies the most basic of all human rights.

Instead, the Court could adopt the District's fallback position, which is that even if there is an individual right to gun ownership, the right is so weak that the District's gun law doesn't violate it. This would also be a mistake. If a near-total ban on handguns—even for self-defense in the home, and bolstered by a prohibition on operable long guns—does not violate the language and intent of the Second Amendment, then nothing possibly could.

What the plaintiffs in Heller want the Court to do is throw out the D.C. law as unconstitutional, without necessarily saying what other kind of law might pass muster. This keep-it-simple approach has a lot going for it. The Court would place an outer boundary on the argument over the Second Amendment, saying, in effect, "Right now we're presented with an easy case, so we'll make an easy call: The government can't indiscriminately ban guns in the home. What else the government may or may not be able to do we'll decide some other time, when those cases make their way to us."

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  • ||

    I was wondering how we could spin this to get the conservatives to agitate against it.

  • some dude||

    ...

    If you say so.

  • ||

    While the article's a bit of a stretch, it raises a good point. When looking over some of the amici briefs at the Volokh Conspiracy site a while back, I was surprised to see how many traditionally-liberal groups (specifically gay rights and women's rights groups) were supporting the plaintiff on the grounds that marginalized populations are in greater need of guns for personal protection.

  • ||

    Maybe Jonathan Rauch thinks the machine gun ban is reasonable, but a lot of us don't.

  • ||

    But, seriously, the more I think about this, the more I think it needlessly muddies the issue. With a different anecdote, this post becomes "The Supreme Court is currently debating the biggest women's rights case to emerge in a long time. The reason you haven't heard of it: You think it's actually about gun rights."

    Or "The Supreme Court is currently debating the biggest African-American rights case to emerge in a long time. The reason you haven't heard of it: You think it's actually about gun rights."

    Or "The Supreme Court is currently debating the biggest Native American Transexual Olympic Curling Team rights case to emerge in a long time. The reason you haven't heard of it: You think it's actually about gun rights."

  • Douglas Gray||

    One way to make America safer is to ban hand guns everywhere, but allow people to carry big, long barrels rifles around with them. Small hand guns are stealth weapons, ideal for those who want to kill and get away with it.

    Big, bulky, long barrelled rifles cannot be hidden so easily. Back when the Country was founded and men could carry a rifle anywhere,there were hardly any murders like now.

    Remember the Rifleman on TV? He was such a good guy! And a single father role model to boot.

  • ||

    "Think of the children!" but with gay people.

    D+

  • ||

    Jaybird,
    Exactly. Granted, I haven't read the amici so I don't know if the NAACP or NOW has endorsed the repeal of the ban but Rauch does have a very valid point. Mainstream Americans think "it will never happen to me" whereas violently oppressed groups fear that it can and will happen to them.

  • ||

    Joe,
    What?? "Think of the children" equals passing laws that ostensibly force adults to "protect" the defenseless. Repealing the gun ban allows adults, defenseless otherwise, to protect themselves if they wish. It doesn't force anyone to carry a gun, but allows those who wish to protect themselves to do so.

    Your logic: F-

  • ||

    For the record, when I am in a certain mood, I talk about "The Children" when I would otherwise use "The People".

    Perhaps Joe was doing the same thing.

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the children peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    See? It makes every political conversation just a little bit better.

    Also it helps keep in mind that whenever a politician says that we need to abridge a right for the sake of The Children, he's talking about you.

    You are The Children.

  • gunsforgoodguys||

    Douglas Gray I hope you're joking. Issuing Concealable weapon permits for citizens has virtually no downside:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concealed_carry

  • ||

    I wonder if 9 people with many combined years of law school can define the word "infringed"

  • ||

    Jaybird, in re: using this to rile conservatives.

    I was an early member and spokesperson for the Pink Pistols and there was a clear pattern of support: gay rights groups generally disliked us but the gun nuts loved the group.

    Of course, this may have been an effect of living in MA. Gun rights people would take any ally they could find while gay rights groups had less need to fish for clout.

  • ||

    """Big, bulky, long barrelled rifles cannot be hidden so easily. Back when the Country was founded and men could carry a rifle anywhere,there were hardly any murders like now."""

    I'm sure many British soldiers in that day would have disagreed. The revolution was a group murderous thugs in their eyes.

  • DannyK||

    If a gay person doesn't want a gun, can they trade it in for the right to marry?

    This is the civil-rights equivalent of grandma's christmas gift of socks and underwear -- "I know you wanted a Nintendo, but here are some Second Amendment rights instead! They'll be much more useful in the long run."

  • ||

    TrickyVic,
    RE: Infringed.

    Good luck on that but I, for one, am not holding my breath.

  • ||

    Just shoot the people who won't let you get married, Danny.

  • SIV||

    Exotic and highly destructive weapons could be restricted or banned, because no one needs a machine gun or grenade launcher for protection against ordinary crime.

    Amazing how a shotgun becomes "exotic and highly destructive" when the barrel is even slightly under 18" while rifles don't until they are under 16".Handguns get exotic and dangerous by adding a stock that makes them bigger.

    Arbitrary regulation is some of the worst kind.

  • Elemenope||

    Big, bulky, long barrelled rifles cannot be hidden so easily. Back when the Country was founded and men could carry a rifle anywhere,there were hardly any murders like now.

    Not a bad idea, but I must say, a few other things separate then from now other than the proliferation of long vs. short barrel guns.

    For example, cities were much smaller and less densely populated. Also, you shoot shoot red or brown people or Rhode Islanders without it being called murder. There was no War on Drugs. The revolver pistol was still a good way's off from being invented. etc., etc..

    So, I'd be hesitant to track differences in the homicide rate to the average barrel length of guns.

  • Paul||

    You know, in the end, I have to give the left props for consistency with the whole "valid sporting purpose" argument.

    After the 80's, it turns out the left is only interested in free speech in the entertainment realm, but little else. They're only interested in the second amendment for entertainment purposes(sport). So, fwiw, they get points for consistency.

  • Paul||

    So, I'd be hesitant to track differences in the homicide rate to the average barrel length of guns.

    Word. Once I started owning handguns, the crime rate at my house went up 0%.

  • ||

    Any American who meets the criteria can own machineguns, silencers, and sawed-off shotguns. The only problem with owning any of the machineguns are price, since the government will not allow any new machineguns to be transferred unless it was privately owned before 1986. The thing that I don't like about that is, it essentially means if you are rich and can afford 20 thousand for a machinegun, you can own it. If you meet all the criteria but aren't rich...too bad. The Second Amendment means what it says. We should be able to own any weapon, machine gun or otherwise...If we can't handle our freedom, just throw the Constitution in the trash, heil the state and get it over with.

  • New World Dan||

    but today the insurrectionary rationale would seem to imply a right to keep and bear surface-to-air missiles and grenade launchers, among other things.

    Perhaps. But the Iraqi insurgency seems to be doing pretty well primarily with IEDs and rifles. Imagine if the country as a whole was really against an American occupation. We wouldn't stand a chance. The only real option then would be to purge the existing population.

    Also, assuming the preamble is important to the meaning of the second amendment, it's important to look at what a militia meant 230 years ago. The militia basicly meant every able-bodied adult man with a gun.

  • ||

    No, Kwix. Grow up.

    Appeals to Save the Fluffy Bunnies or Think of the Children have no relationship to whether you like the underlying proposal or not.

    Grown-ups realize that politics works the same way for the guys you like that it works for the guys you don't like.

  • ||

    DannyK wins the thread! Great analogy.

    Kwix, Joe's logic always deserves a failing grade. He's being "mainstreamed."

  • Paul||

    Grown-ups realize that politics works the same way for the guys you like that it works for the guys you don't like.

    Oh joe, if only that were true...

  • ||

    Ironic!, while we have to discuss and convince our fellow Americans of their unalienable rights
    that were plainly spoken in english, the republic dies for lack of logic or any common sense.

    Wow...that Dow is going down about as fast as it went up....-300...hehehe....I guess it won't matter what rights we had when we don't even own the land we live on.

  • Paul||

    If a gay person doesn't want a gun, can they trade it in for the right to marry?

    That would be nice. For instance, I'd trade in my right to vote to get our civil liberties back.

    Oh wait...

  • ||

    The Supreme Court is currently debating the biggest gay individual rights case to emerge in a long time. The reason you haven't heard of it: You think it's actually about gun rights.

    There. Can we stop trying to ham-handedly stretch everything into Identity Politiks and actually talk ideas for once?

    There's no such thing as "gay" rights or "straight" rights; just rights...maybe this issue of rights affects one group more than another, but "[X group] rights?" Fuck that noise.

  • Paul||

    I guess it won't matter what rights we had when we don't even own the land we live on.

    You don't, you rent it from the government. And, if you're unlucky enough to find yourself on a parcel that's attractive to a well-connected developer, you can be evicted and have that property transferred directly to said developer. Offers or negotiations to buy need not take place before evicition.

  • ||

    I agree with A_R.

    I recognize the importance of baring arms for some groups, but that's not what's at stake here. If it weren't important for anyone to do, would it not still be worthy enough for the SCOTUS to rule on, and for it to be a protected right?

  • Joel||

    The second reason, by contrast, strikes modern Americans as archaic, if not embarrassing: States' armed populations could resist and overthrow a tyrannical central government, acting as an insurrectionary militia-much as Americans had recently done in overthrowing British rule. That may have made sense in 1790, but today the insurrectionary rationale would seem to imply a right to keep and bear surface-to-air missiles and grenade launchers, among other things.

    Archaic and embarrassing, he says. Jonathan, do you know what the 2A's "Well-regulated militia" was for? Wasn't for home defense against criminal break-ins.

    Also, in the 18th century it wasn't unusual for private (albeit very rich) individuals to build and operate ships with crew-served cannon, the WMD's of their time. Nary an LEO objected. I don't remember any big constitutional changes since then - just a whole lot of unconstitutional laws.

  • ||

    Exotic and highly destructive weapons could be restricted or banned, because no one needs a machine gun or grenade launcher for protection against ordinary crime.

    When the cops give up their machines guns, I'll stop asking for mine.

  • ||

    """Ironic!, while we have to discuss and convince our fellow Americans of their unalienable rights
    that were plainly spoken in english, the republic dies for lack of logic or any common sense."""

    Chuck wins the thread

    And I'll throw in, A republic of people that can't use a friggin dictionary.

  • ||

    Also, in the 18th century it wasn't unusual for private (albeit very rich) individuals to build and operate ships with crew-served cannon, the WMD's of their time.

    And right into the 19th century.

    A full-on warship back in Nelson's day was the equivalent of an aircraft carrier - unlimited range, vast destructive power. Any coastal city was at its mercy (once the shore batteries, if any, were silenced). A two-decker warship (not even the biggest) carried more firepower than brigades of infantry.

  • RyanE||

    A minor point:

    The 'self defense test' Rauch suggests would be all well and good if the 2A had much to do with self defense...except that it really doesn't. Of course, self defense is a fundamental right, but the 2A really addresses the right of the people to arm themselves, with military arms, in order to form a militia, a military organization (however informal). A militia serves to not only repulse foreign invaders, but also protect against repressesive government at home. Self defense is secondary.

    Having a 'self defense test' would allow governments to ban all (if not most) sorts of weapons. Semiauto handguns? Why? A .25 or .32 caliber revolver is perfectly adequate for home defense, isn't it? Do you need 15 shots of .45ACP to defend your home? What about that scary looking semi AKM or AR15 with a scope and bayonet lug? Nope, the plebs don't 'need' that to defend themselves either. However, certainly the 24/7 army of body guards who protect the apparatchik will, of course, all carry select-fire assault rifles denied to mere peasants like you and me.

    A 'self defense test' is an awful policy. The 2A means what it says. The people have the right to bear arms suitable to a militia, a military organization, machine guns or otherwise. Heavy weapons like artillery are exorbitantly expensive and thus extremely unlikely to be owned (much less misused) by individuals. Nuclear and biological/neurological could be banned, as they are not (or should not be) legal in warfare period. They have no actual militia or military purpose.

    My 75 cents.

  • ||

    Back when the Country was founded and men could carry a rifle anywhere,there were hardly any murders like now.



    I can has Kitty Kat?

    :)

  • ||

    After the 80's, it turns out the left is only interested in free speech in the entertainment realm, but little else. They're only interested in the second amendment for entertainment purposes(sport). So, fwiw, they get points for consistency.



    Not even. Many of the firearms that would be fantastic for some forms of competitive shooting, namely Service Rifle, USPSA and MultiGun are the very ones the left are so afraid of.

  • ||

    Gay rights are human rights. Human rights all depend on the right to self-defense.

    What I can't fathom is why any gay rights groups would be hostile to the Pink Pistols. Are they suicidal?

    -jcr

  • ||

    Those gays sure know how to cock their pistols.

  • Joel||

    What I can't fathom is why any gay rights groups would be hostile to the Pink Pistols. Are they suicidal?

    Ditto other historically-oppressed groups, like Jews. Why does it seem most liberal Jewish groups are so anti-gun? If I were a Jew I'm not sure I'd leave my house without a machine gun and RPG.

  • ||

    JCR, because the mainstream gay rights groups are part of the left/liberal coalition they toe the party line about other issues. IOW, yes they are suicidal idiots. Plus, very much given to the politics of victimhood. Unfortunate.

  • ||

    IOW, yes they are suicidal idiots.

    I suppose that nearly all of my gay friends are Libertarians, so I get a different perspective from them than the gays who cheer for Castro.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Doesn't senator Craig have a security detail?

  • ||

    Any man- gay or not- can appreciate the exquisite craftsmanship of my HK45.

  • Paul||

    Mediageek, appreciated, but my observation still stands. It's because they don't see a valid sporting purpose in said weapons.

    To the left, the only weapons which have a valid sporting purpose are guns of antiquity (to be looked at behind a glass enclosure) or single-shot weapons of oddball calibre which completely lack any of the "scary looking" accoutrements of military "assault" weapons. Said weapons must be transported between the home and the valid sporting event, unloaded, disassembled and/or locked in a clearly marked case.

  • ||

    I'll stick with the P7, thanks.

  • ||

    The P7 is also an outstanding weapon. :D

  • ||

    My main gripe about it (other than the fact that finding magazines for it are like trying to find hen's teeth) is that the cocking* mechanism isn't big enough for my hands. I wish they'd have kept the design around long enough for it to have benefited from the minor ergonomics revolution pistols went through about seven years ago.


    *Insert joke here.

  • Machine Gun Kelley||

    Maybe Jonathan Rauch thinks the machine gun ban is reasonable, but a lot of us don't.

    I do.

  • ||

    Jim Bob, I'm having trouble appreciating the HK45's craftsmanship from afar. Would you mind sending it to me for a closer look?

  • ||

    I'll see you your P7 and raise you one with a nice set of Nill grips. (Not a Jubilee, unfortunately.) Too nice to carry though.

    P2000/V2 .40 in a Del Fatti holster FTW.

    This thread is getting gay for HK.

  • ||

    I know someone with a Kimber in a .45 .
    Don't know the model, but it is a tack driver and he says it is also very easy to carry.

  • LarryA||

    I still remember reading Palmer's article when it was published. It made a big impression on me, even though I'd been in the pro-gun movement for decades by then. Sort of like when the Second Amendment Sisters and JPFO came along.

    As for the insurrectionary purpose of the Second Amendment, the Court could either repudiate it explicitly or pass over it in silence, consigning it to irrelevance.

    And if one of these days a Mike Huckabee is elected president and institutes a "Christian government" that views the GLBT community as perverted, would you call the insurrectionary purpose "irrelevant?"

    "It can't happen here." Right.

    And yes, it is just as true today as it ever was. No standing army could overcome American gun owners.

    But, seriously, the more I think about this, the more I think it needlessly muddies the issue.

    Nope. This case is at the same time a women's rights, gay rights, African-American rights, Native American rights, Jewish rights, physically-challenged rights, senior rights, Hispanic rights, and gun rights case. In short, it's about civil rights of everyone who might be picked on or targeted for crime. And everyone else. Pointing out that subsets of the people have rights doesn't invalidate the fact that the rights belong to all. (Absent the argument that only members of the group have said rights, which Jonathan didn't make.)

    One way to make America safer is to ban hand guns everywhere, but allow people to carry big, long barrels rifles around with them.

    Nope. The huge advantage of the handgun is that I can routinely carry one where I don't think I'll need it. (Anyplace I think I would need a gun, I wouldn't go.) Carrying a rifle would be inconvenient, to say the least.

    Also, particularly in an urban environment, a rifle's much greater power and range would prove more of a hazard than a self-defense handgun.

    Back when the Country was founded and men could carry a rifle anywhere, there were hardly any murders like now.

    Of course a lot of the women of that era had their little handguns concealed about their persons. As did many a gentleman. Sword canes, tomahawks, and fighting knives were popular as well.

    I was an early member and spokesperson for the Pink Pistols and there was a clear pattern of support: gay rights groups generally disliked us but the gun nuts loved the group. Of course, this may have been an effect of living in MA. Gun rights people would take any ally they could find while gay rights groups had less need to fish for clout.

    I've seen the issue from the gun owners' side, but my gay friends have reported that it's also true in Texas. I know the Pink Pistols always get invitations to the Gun Rights Policy Conference nationally and the Texas State Rifle Association conference on the state level. Perhaps gun owners, being more individualist, are more tolerant.

    If a gay person doesn't want a gun, can they trade it in for the right to marry?

    Yes. But without the gun you may not be able to keep the right to marry.

    Ditto other historically-oppressed groups, like Jews. Why does it seem most liberal Jewish groups are so anti-gun?

    Because they believe the government will protect them. I'd love to ask a liberal Jewish audience where in history they find an example of that actually happening.

    It's because they don't see a valid sporting purpose in said weapons.

    My theory is because you can demonstrate that the social value of self-defense is greater than the social cost of criminal firearm use. Therefore the anti-rights folks must invalidate that argument before they can make progress. Once the firearms debate is limited to "sporting use," that balance disappears. Then it's, "Sorry about your hobby, but we can't let your fun get in the way of preventing crime."

    I don't think most of the emotional anti-rights folks understand that, but the leaders of the movement do. See: Britain.

  • New World Sitting Bull, Geroni||

    Imagine if the country as a whole was really against an American occupation. We wouldn't stand a chance. The only real option then would be to purge the existing population.

    Word.

  • ||

    Here's a Canadian with a question: Doesn't the text of the second amendment imply that that the right of private gun ownership is to counter the possible danger of a state-run militia run amok?

  • Joel||

    Here's a Canadian with a question: Doesn't the text of the second amendment imply that that the right of private gun ownership is to counter the possible danger of a state-run militia run amok?

    In a sense, yes. A lot of the founding dads had strong things to say about the danger of a standing army beholdin' to the central government, and the 2A was supposed to be a buffer against that danger.

    Didn't work: The army they feared did develop, but it turned out not to be the biggest problem.

  • ||

    the fact that the rights belong to all.

    I would rephrase that as "each", or if you prefer, "each and every". The idea of rights belonging to "all" tends to get mangled by the pinkos into collectivism, as in "we all have the the right to fuck over a particular selfish individual."

    -jcr

  • Elemenope||

    But without the gun you may not be able to keep the right to marry.

    Now that's something worth seeing: a fairy brandishing a Kalashnikov defending his marital bliss with a hail of 7.62's at the nearest fed.

    And he'd look damn fine doing it, too.

  • ||

    I'm willing to accept the same "reasonable" limitations on the Second Amendment as we have on the first.

    I won't open fire in a crowded theater.

  • ||

    I'm willing to accept the same "reasonable" limitations on the Second Amendment as we have on the first.



    I'm not. I remember how the "secondary effects" doctrine gutted the First Amendment.

  • ||

    Since Tom Palmer and "reason" support gun "rights" it is obvious that gun rights ( like gay "rights"') is something only the Orange Mafia cosmopolitan (fake) libertarians support.

    REAL libertarians and conservatives believe that only white heterosexual males have a right to self-defense. This is a right given by GOD and is part of God's law of nature. god's law trumps the state only for white heterosexual men. Gays, blacks, and the zionists by birth do not have these imaginary "rights."

    This is obviously an attempt by rogue activist judges to create "rights" that simply do not exist for a preferred class of people.

    Gun rights is a Marxist concept advocated by socialist Black panthers, homosexuals, and other anti-American leftists.

    reason has really gone downhill since that one homo became the editor. Now it's all about leftwing homosexual agendas- married gays snorting coke and brandishing firearms.

  • ||

    As for the insurrectionary purpose of the Second Amendment, the Court could either repudiate it explicitly or pass over it in silence, consigning it to irrelevance.



    I agree the Supremes could do either of those things, but if they did they would be removing the government restriction of 2A that the framers MOST intended to impose. 2A is not about duck hunting and shooting for fun; it is mostly about allowing armed citizens to resist tyranny, and secondly about insuring the right to self defense.

  • Other Matt||

    I'm willing to accept the same "reasonable" limitations on the Second Amendment as we have on the first.

    I won't open fire in a crowded theater.


    That's fair. You judge conduct, not potential for. BTW, the 2nd does NOT recognize an unmitigate right to open fire whereever you feel like it, only that you can keep and bear arms. The act of firing is conduct. Banning firearms, whether they be handguns, rifles, machine guns, rocket launchers, etc, is regulating potential for conduct, very very different thing.

  • Other Matt||

    edit "unmitigate" to "unmitigated", hazards of getting up at 3am and heading off to work.

  • ||

    Let me see if I understand this particular writer's opinion; He believes the Supreme Court rules that to "Keep and bear arms" is indeed a right but that it should also rule that such a right is only to be exercised as permitted by the government. I don't know how many of my libertarian friends would put up with such an interpretation of any of their other cherished constitutional rights.

  • ||

    As a Jewess in the US, may I remind everyone that criminals are stopped by FIREARMS, not by talk? And that America wasn't won with a registered gun? That is why all REAL Americans put our 2nd Amendment FIRST!

  • T\'Surakmaat||

    The government has proven that it cannot protect its citizens. Why can't the citizens protect themselves?

    The right to own a gun for protection is logical.

    As for crime, make a severe mandatory sentence for any one caught with a gun in the commission of a crime, and that crime will drop. No plea bargaining, no dealing down, make it a minimum 10 year sentence.

    And release everyone from jail on marijuana charges. That will free up about 800,000 jail slots for the real criminals.

    T'Surakmaat

  • Robert||

    Ditto other historically-oppressed groups, like Jews. Why does it seem most liberal Jewish groups are so anti-gun? If I were a Jew I'm not sure I'd leave my house without a machine gun and RPG.


    JCR, because the mainstream gay rights groups are part of the left/liberal coalition they toe the party line about other issues. IOW, yes they are suicidal idiots.


    Not suicidal, not idiots, but rolling logs for support. Pro-gun sectors tend to be anti-minorities, so Jews, homos, etc., are driven leftward for support. It's a lot more rational than you think. It doesn't do much good to have guns when you're being oppressed in ways such that either guns won't help or you're hopelessly outgunned.

  • ||

    Speaking of odd minority group interests. I wonder why I never hear any big black leaders complaining about some of the issues these planned parenthood calls bring up?

    http://www.jonesreport.com/article/03_08/18plannedp_furor.html

  • not-so-crypto-racist||

    Gabe,
    Everyone knows minorities don't go to Planned Parenthood- you can't get the welfare if you get an abortion.

    Unless your talking about Jews- they'll accept a free abortion, fer sure.

  • DannyK||

    Wow, these gun threads really bring out the haters!

  • ||

    I hope that crummy law gets overturned. Jsut think, not only will the city be safer but for less than a buck for ammo, the city will only have to waste a couple hundred on a welfare funeral rather than hundreds of thousands convicting and jailing the criminal.

  • ||

    "Ditto other historically-oppressed groups, like Jews. Why does it seem most liberal Jewish groups are so anti-gun?"

    "Because they believe the government will protect them. I'd love to ask a liberal Jewish audience where in history they find an example of that actually happening."

    Hummm - Does this mean that the Jews think that because they are heavy contributors to the election of pro-Jewish, -Israel legislators that those same legislators will 'stay bought'?

    As we have seen, legislators are a fickle lot and only a Second Amendment with teeth will make a difference. What part of 'not infringed' don't you understand?

    Jews are willing to put cannon fodder in the line of fire as receptionists in Jewish Centers to act as 'canaries' but rich Jews have body guards.

  • ||

    Begin forwarded message:

    Subject: Fwd: ED SCHULTZ...NATIONAL TALK HOST...DISABLED VETERAN DENIED JUSTICE IN STURGIS, SD!

    Please look at his webpage AND PASS ON TO OTHERS:

    http://edschultz.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=63544

  • Athletic Shoes||

    very good

  • Nike Dunk Low||

    is good

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