The Second Amendment Goes to Court

Civil libertarians respond to D.C. v. Heller

For the past three decades, Washington, D.C. has enforced one of America's most draconian gun control laws—a total ban on the possession of handguns, not to mention strict gun lock provisions for rifles and shotguns, that has left law-abiding citizens unable to legally defend themselves and their homes. In March, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, in which seven D.C. residents challenged the constitutionality of the ban. At the center of the case is the question of whether the Second Amendment protects an individual or collective right to keep and bear arms.

Yesterday, the Court issued its long-awaited opinion, ruling 5-4 in favor of an individual right to own guns. reason assembled a panel of 8 leading civil libertarians to help make sense of what the Court said, what it means, and what's likely to come next.

***

Alan Gura: Yesterday’s decision is a huge victory for liberty. First, we saved the Second Amendment. That much should be obvious from the opinion. Yesterday, federal courts in 47 states were telling Americans they had no Second Amendment rights. The score is now 50-0, plus the capital, in the other direction. For budding lawyers, “individual right” is now the correct answer on the Multi-State Bar Exam. The movement to end private firearm ownership in America is dead and buried. Yes, we’ve got some work to do to make sure it stays that way. It will.

The case is “narrow but broad.” Narrow, in the sense that our objective was merely to secure the individual nature of Second Amendment rights, and demonstrate—with a judgment—that the right has substance. Broad, in the sense that this simple principle can now be applied in other contexts. This is not just about flat-out gun bans in Washington, D.C. homes. All regulations that touch upon Second Amendment rights will get a well-deserved constitutional look. Instant background checks and felon-in-possession laws will survive. Laws meant to harass gun possession, while at best advancing only a hypothetical public benefit, will not. The Second Amendment is now a normal part of the Bill of Rights. It’s not realistic to expect one Second Amendment case to answer all right to arms questions for all time, just as we have no one decision telling us what a Fourth Amendment “reasonable search” in all circumstances. We may not win every case. We’ll win a good amount of them. The next step is obviously 14th Amendment incorporation. I’m looking forward to leading that fight. Learn more at www.chicagoguncase.com.

Libertarians can be impatient. Would anyone prefer the quick certainty of Kelo? Or McConnell v. FEC? It may be a tough slog to restore the Takings Clause and free political speech. Restoring the Second Amendment will take time, too. Today, with the right to keep and bear arms, we start from a position of strength.

Alan Gura argued District of Columbia v. Heller before the Supreme Court. He is a partner at Gura & Possessky.

***

Glenn Reynolds: My first thought on Heller is that many gun-rights supporters never thought they'd live to see a Supreme Court opinion to the effect that "The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home." Bob Levy, who brought the case against the advice of many gun-rights supporters, should feel very good about that.

My second thought is that this is a gift to the Obama campaign. While this won't take the gun issue off the table, it also won't energize the gun-rights crowd (which cost Al Gore the election in 2000 when he failed to carry Tennessee, largely because of his support for gun control) the way a contrary opinion would have. Obama's record of strong support for sweeping gun control would hurt him much more if gun owners felt more vulnerable.

My third thought is that whether this has much impact on the real world depends on how the next several cases proceed. In the 1990s the Supreme Court announced a major shift in Commerce Clause doctrine that offered the hope of paring back federal power considerably. But right-leaning public interest law groups didn't take up the challenge and bring carefully selected cases to advance the principle, leading it to be characterized by some (including me) as a constitutional revolution where nobody showed up. Gun-rights advocates are already talking about follow-on challenges in places like Chicago or Morton Grove. How well those are brought will have a lot to do with whether the Heller opinion is a milestone, or just a speedbump.

Glenn Reynolds is a law professor at the University of Tennessee. He blogs at Instapundit.com.

***

Randy Barnett: Justice Scalia's historic opinion will be studied for years to come, not only for its conclusion but for its method. It is the clearest, most careful interpretation of the meaning of the Constitution ever to be adopted by a majority of the Supreme Court. Its analysis of the "original public meaning" of the Second Amendment stands in sharp contrast with Justice Stevens' inquiry into "original intent" or purpose and with Justice Breyer's willingness to balance an enumerated constitutional right against what some consider a pressing need to prohibit its exercise. The differing methods of interpretation employed by the majority and the dissent also demonstrate why appointments to the Supreme Court are so important. In the future, we should be vetting Supreme Court nominees to see if they understand how Justice Scalia reasoned in Heller and if they are committed to doing the same. Now if we can only get a majority of the Supreme Court to reconsider its previous decisions—or "precedents"—that are inconsistent with the original public meaning of the text.

Randy Barnett is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory at Georgetown University Law Center and author of Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Right Wing Shill||

    Anybody up for trusting our liberties to "liberaltarian" appointed judges?

  • Other Matt||

    No.

    Again, I want to stress that people are pretty cavalier in their use of the phrase "Machine Gun". I'm sure they intend it as defined in the NFA, but they're not illegal and one can, in fact, possess them in most states. Further, DC defines a machine gun as a fully auto or burst (more than one round per trigger pull), but also as semi auto if it can fire more than 12 rounds without reloading, or can be easily modified to do so (meaning, swap to a higher capacity magazine and even a Glock 29 can hold 33 rounds).

    There is a lot of work to do, but at least this "collective right" crap is out the door.

  • Other Matt||

    No=in response to Anybody up for trusting our liberties to "liberaltarian" appointed judges?, at least in regards to 2nd amend rights.

  • ||

    I disagree with what Glenn Reynolds said about this ruling taking the issue off the table and helping Obama. It may calm the gun rights people down but it will energize Obama's anti-gun supporters possibly forcing Obama into the open on this subject.

  • Other Matt||

    It may calm the gun rights people down but it will energize Obama's anti-gun supporters possibly forcing Obama into the open on this subject.

    We can only hope, but it's up there with "World Peace" and "eliminate the IRS" to have Obama actually give some substantive statement on anything.

  • ||

    I agree with Glenn Reynolds' idea that this may help Obama by taking the gun control issue off the table. People that would like to vote for him, but might not because of the gun control issue, may now feel like the Heller decision will protect us from excessive gun control and they don't have to worry about that anymore.

    On the flip side, I think it is also possible that it could hurt Obama. The decision provided a very clear picture of the ideological divide on the court. All McCain has to say is say "Look at the decision: the judges I would put on the court would support this ruling. The judges he would appoint would not."

  • ||

    The fight begins in Chicago:

    http://saf.org/viewpr-new.asp?id=270

  • Guy Montag||

    Anybody have a count yet on how many more court cases will be necessary to win before the Heller ruling can actually help anybody?

    Still have not seen anybody mention if there are any stores selling handguns in DC. I know there is a Dick's Sporting Goods there, but they stopped selling handguns in all of their stores a few months ago, IIRC.

    So, would getting the stupid federal law requiring people to purchase handguns only in their State/Territory of domocile be on the block so that DC folks can legally buy in VA and MD? Or would that be a whole different deal. Heard something about a "plan" to sell handguns in or near police stations, but not sure how real that was.

    Seems the DC (hopefully MD too) hysterical-level registration requirements should be on the block sooner than later too.

    DC seems to be all nuts about honest folks transporting firearms anyplace. Hope those wacky regs het tossed soon too. Perhaps a case of someone taking their pistol to the police station for registraion and getting arrested could knock down several at the same time?

    Baby steps, I hear, is the way we should view this. Quite a frustration.

  • Guy Montag||

    Marcvs,

    Wow, that Chicago law sounds as crazy as all the DC crap.

    If that announcement is covering what SAF is bringing, and it gets a reasonable ruling, then they should get a whole lot of nonsense knoced down in one case.

    I am having a little heartburn right now renewing my TN CCP. If I do it by mail I have to send documentation that will not be returned, like a passport (valid or expired), and have to pay a $50 "renewal fee" either by mail or if I go in person. However, I am a lot better off than folks in DC or even VA.

  • Episiarch||

    The fight begins in Chicago

    They basically filed before Scalia's ink was dry. I love it. Fuck you, Daley. No wonder you're already running scared.

    I agree with Glenn Reynolds' idea that this may help Obama by taking the gun control issue off the table.

    All McCain has to do is go "it was 5-4! That close!" and press the judicial appointments issue to get people fired up. I think it'll actually be a wash; people will feel their rights are safe now, but will become slightly alarmed again by how close it was, and this will end up not affecting turnout overall for either candidate.

  • Nigel Watt||

    The fight begins in Chicago:



    Awesome. Suck it, Daley.

  • ||

    I surprised by how little press this is getting.

    If this case had been decided in the 1980s or 90s, it would have been one of the biggest political issues in the country.

    With the Democrats pretty much abandoning the issue, and even the NRA adopting an "enforce the gun laws on the books" position, the country is much closer to a consensus than it used to be, and this decision falls right in line with that consensus.

    Mike Dukakis ran on gun control in 1988. George HW Bush ran on gun rights in 1992. Those were top-tier issues they pushed throughout their campaigns.

    Things have really changed.

  • ||

    One comment and I'm out.

    I've been listening to the 2nd amendment crowd for decades. I remain unconvinced.

    I don't think having more guns around makes for a safer environment. It seems to me that both sides wave around "studies" and "evidence" as if they conclusively and indisputably supported their side while summarily dismissing what the other side waves around. For my part, anytime I hear someone say "an armed society is a polite society" I stop paying attention.

    Regarding the 2nd amendment itself. I've been hearing people tell me and tell me that it is indisputably an individual right. They have a case but it's not as cut and dried as they think.

    More to the point, the "well regulated militia" language tells us specifically what it's intended purpose is. It has nothing to do with defending yourself in your own home. The 2nd amendment was meant to ensure the people could protect themselves from their own government. Ever since WACO, the 2nd has been nothing but an anachronism.

    OK, commence with the throwing of the rotting vegetables.

  • Guy Montag||

    Checklist:

    1. Win lottery or get way better job.

    2. Get high-speed legal team.

    3. Rent apartment in DC

    4. Attempt to register and purchase ParaOrdnance hi-cap .45 semi-auto pistol.

    5. Sue DC for violating my right to own a semi-auto pistol, for calling it a machine gun, fo making me register the darn thing to begin with and for just beeing overall jackasses.

    6. ???

    7. Conservative book deal and all profits used to create a 2nd Amendment foundation.

  • Guy Montag||

    8. Never invite Warren to Militia Happy Hour.

  • ||

    "I surprised by how little press this is getting."

    They've spent about 1/10th the time talking about this of what they did talking about Russert's death.

  • Episiarch||

    joe, you are correct that pretty much everyone (except the serious gun-banners) has moved towards a more gun-rights position, especially since we have had so many states adopting shall-issue yet crime continues to go down.

    However, the Chicago fight, and others like San Fran, are going to be bitter and full of incredibly hyperbolic rhetoric that will scream from the front pages.

  • Episiarch||

    OK, commence with the throwing of the rotting vegetables.

    Why? Your argument is stupid and has been utterly invalidated.

  • ||

    OK, commence with the throwing of the rotting vegetables.

    No. They are for my compost heap. Build your own.

  • ||

    That's being generous, JLM.

    Episiarch,

    joe, you are correct that pretty much everyone (except the serious gun-banners) has moved towards a more gun-rights position Except the NRA, who have now begun advocating for the enforcement of the laws that they once fought to defeat, while working mainly to oppose the adoption of new laws.

    "Just about everyone, except the extremists on both sides, have moved towards the middle," would be an accurate statement.

  • Nigel Watt||

    The 2nd amendment was meant to ensure the people could protect themselves from their own government. Ever since WACO, the 2nd has been nothing but an anachronism.



    The rest of your post is garden-variety idiocy, but this is bizarre. Since the government has more arms than the people now, we should just give up and throw away the right? I'm confused as to how you started with a valid point (the 2nd is meant to allow for popular revolt) and ended up with "melt 'em down".

  • ||

    Warren: Regarding the 2nd amendment itself. I've been hearing people tell me and tell me that it is indisputably an individual right. They have a case but it's not as cut and dried as they think.

    Q) Why would the Bill of Rights include 9 individual rights and 1 "collective right"? Or, do you think that the 1st amendment, etc. are also collective rights?

  • ||

    I don't think having more guns around makes for a safer environment.

    The only guns you need to worry about are guns in the hands of the criminal element. Many, many studies show that guns owned by law-abiding citizens present no real risk at all.

    Gun control laws don't effect gun ownership and use by criminals much at all, but they do suppress gun ownership by law-abiding citizens.

    Bottom line: gun control laws don't make for a safer environment. Any law that restricts a fundamental right like the right to self-defense should meet a pretty high threshold; gun control laws generally don't meet that threshold.

  • ||

    Except the NRA, who have now begun advocating for the enforcement of the laws that they once fought to defeat, while working mainly to oppose the adoption of new laws.

    There are relatively few laws on the (federal) books that the NRA opposed in their final form; NRA lobbying general takes the mainstream/pragmatic approach of trying to amend proposals to remove the most offensive features.

  • Barry Goldwater||

    "Just about everyone, except the extremists on both sides, have moved towards the middle," would be an accurate statement."

    Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.......

  • ||

    Why would the Bill of Rights include 9 individual rights and 1 "collective right"?

    The 9th and 10th define individual rights? You sure about that?

    The "insurrectioist" position of the 2nd Amendment - the right of The People to take up arms agains the government, or at least posess enough arms that the government doesn't get in the habit of pushing them around - doesn't have any collective element?

    That's just nuts. There are obviously collective right elements in the Bill of Rights.

  • Episiarch||

    "Just about everyone, except the extremists on both sides, have moved towards the middle," would be an accurate statement.

    Hmmm...no. Gun rights have almost uniformly been winning showdown after showdown for the last 15 years. Gun control has lost. And people's opinions have shifted towards the gun rights position, not to the "middle", whatever that is.

  • ||

    Extremism in the defense of liberty is still extremism.

    "But we're right" doesn't get you any closer to the mainstream, and the point I was responding to was about the effect of the ruling and the issue on American politics overall.

  • sebs||

    A tad unrelated, but how is Glenn Reynolds a libertarian??? Has this guy not been in support pretty much of every atrocity against civil liberties committed by the bushocracy? this is the instapundit bootlicker right? or is this a different GR?

  • Guy Montag||

    Yes, even in the light of this ruling categorically stating that Amendment II expresses an individual right, we still have folks trying to say it does not. Just like we did before. It does not matter how plainly it is stated as an inividual right. If the ruling were one line stating it is an individual right the same people would be arguing against it.

    I am sure someone exists who thinks Amendment I only protects the right of the press to petition the government while peaceably assembled in a house of worship while speaking freely, but I have not heard one of the collective right folks read Amendment I in that manner, yet.

    Looking forward to it.

    Note: I never thought I would hear anybody compare firearms manufacturers to homeowners in DC who fail to shovel their sidewalks in the winter either, but had to hear every blowhard in Reston, VA spout that crap while DC was tryign to sue gun makers who were prohibited from selling to DC residents AND DC residents were prohibited from buying from them.

  • ||

    Gun rights have almost uniformly been winning showdown after showdown for the last 15 years.

    Because they've limited themselves to low-hanging fruit, rolling back overreaches from the 70s and 80s (the period when gun control was kicking the NRA's ass), like the DC gun ban.

    The NRA HASN'T been arguing for the enforcement of existing gun laws as part of their platform? Really? I haven't heard too much about "jack-booted thugs" from them lately. Come to think of it, I haven't heard much of that type of language for about 15 years. Hmm...

    "The gun rights position" isn't what it was 20 years ago. "The gun rights position" that the country has been moving towards is well to the "left" of where the NRA used to be. It's this new position that the country is moving towards.

  • Skip Esqueer||

    A tad unrelated, but how is Glenn Reynolds a libertarian???

    He supports state sanctioned Gay Marriage.
    That is the litmus test for libertarians.

  • ||

    This is precious, btw:

    ...the gun rights position, not to the "middle", whatever that is.

    "The gun rights position" gets to sit there all by itself, but the term "middle" gets not only scare quotes, but a "whatever that is."

  • Episiarch||

    Please define the middle, joe. Exactly.

  • Guy Montag||

    He supports state sanctioned Gay Marriage.
    That is the litmus test for libertarians.


    Correct. Anybody who supports State sanctioned marriage of any kind can not honestly call themselves a libertarian of any kind.

  • ||

    Please define "the gun rights position," Episiarch. Exactly.

    Or, if you actually have any thoughts rather than semantics, or wish to respond to either of the examples I've given of the NRA moderating its line, that would be even better than going off into a semantic cul de sac.

    I think you can figure out all by yourself what the term "the middle" means in political discourse.

  • ||

    The 9th and 10th define individual rights? You sure about that?

    Joe: The 9th says "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people". I don't see a collective right there.

    Now the 10th amendment does reserve power to the States or the people but do you believe that the authors would give people the right to defend themselves in the 2nd amendment and then modify it the 10th?

    As to the insurrectionist position being "collectionist", I disagree. I have the indiviual "CHOICE" to join or stay on the sidelines. Tell me, is freedom of religion a "collective" choice. May a state or DC pass a law outlawing Islam or any other religion?

  • Guy Montag||

    SOFL Hockey Fan,

    I hope some day my fellow Baptists and I will be able to practice snake handling and poison drinking freely.

    As for certain of my Mormon brothers and sisters, I am sure that if they stopped going to the government for multiple State sanctioned marriages their problems would be lessened.

  • ||

    SOFL,

    Individuals have the choice to own or not to own under the 2nd, I agree. It does protect an individual right, but it protects a collective right as well.

    While the "government-cowing" element of the 2nd Amendment ultimately operates via individuals making unique choices for themselves, the effect - unlike the hunting/personal defense/sporting elements - relies upon there being a collective, a militia, a body of armed people sufficient to alter how the government might operate. The vision of how gun ownership protects rights and keeps the government in line wasn't "John can take his gun and hold off the police by himself, or go shoot a corrupt officer," but there being enough armed people in a community, and in the public at large, to throw a real wrench into oppressive government schemes.

  • ||

    SOFL,

    I'll add, you don't see language in the first like "the existence of congregations being necessary for the morals of a free state" before the freedom of religion language. The fact that the framers put in such language when discussing the RTKBA, and not for any of the other rights, means something.

    I don't think it means that there is ONLY a collective right, but it means something.

  • Episiarch||

    Or, if you actually have any thoughts rather than semantics

    joe, I know that it's Friday, you're hung over, you have no girlfriend to beat, and you are just itching to get into your favorite pastime of endless pointless cyclical argument.

    But I'm not. I was willing to (relatively) politely discuss this issue with you, but your colossal assholishness is just too much for me to overcome today.

    Go find TallDave and have a sweaty circle-jerk with him, he seems to like it just as much as you.

  • Guy Montag||

    SOFL Hockey Fan,

    I will gladly add that if the homosexual community, welcome in First Baptist Church of Montag, especially the lipstick lesbians, would stop trying to get State sanctioned "marriages" they would have fewer problems too.

    They can be married at FBCM of course and we will provide a free guide on how to find a lawyer to make a will, so that the government or the wrong relatioves do not get their stuff, forming Trusts and all sorts of other useful things that so many people have been brainwashed into thinking the government is supposed to do.

    Donations are NOT tax deductable because we refuse government permission to run a Church.

  • ||

    Waah waah waah.

    About what I expected, Episiarch. I was discussing the issue, and you decided it would be more interesting to play your word games.

  • Nigel Watt||

    Joe, do you have to disagree with somebody on every thread? It's a minor issue that y'all are pretending is important. What direction the political spectrum has moved is a matter of perspective.

  • ||

    I just didn't want to get dragged into another parsing contest. Sorry if I read that more harshly than it was intended.

  • sebs||

    you guys are pulling my leg about the gay marriage thing right? that would essentially make all democrats libertarians.

    ok, now that i typed that, i realize you were definitely pulling my leg. so, that still leaves the question open: why did they call GR a libertarian?

  • Someone Who Doesn\'t Want to L||

    sebs, I think he used to kind of be a Libertarian.

    He's one of the "9/11 changed EVERYTHING" crowd, though and has given up on civil liberties now. He's more or less a Rudy Giuliani-type, whatever you'd call that. Pro-gun (I know this wasn't one of Giuliani's issues), socially tolerant, and in favor of vast and expansive powers for the military and law enforcement.

  • sebs||

    thanks for the clarification, someone.

    i wish Reason of all publications would not label him a libertarian. it's really dissonant!

  • ||

    Please define "the gun rights position," Episiarch. Exactly.

    "The individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed -- all gun control laws shall be struck down" would be the extremist POV advocated by the Second Amendment.

    Now, what was the "middle" ground again? And is it the same for everyone, or is it a shifting compromise of invalidating some but not all of the Second Amendment?

  • ||

    I get a good impression of someone, you really need to read over a somewhat long period of time, and not just links when opponents get exercised over individual items.

    Also, there are not enough conscious libertarians around to start worrying about the un-pure.

    I am not going to try to prove that Reynolds is just as libertarian as any, but he has at least a streak of libertarianism; which is more than you can say for most.

  • SIV||

    you guys are pulling my leg about the gay marriage thing right? that would essentially make all democrats libertarians.

    If all democrats were for Gay marriage than maybe one of their national candidates would be for it too. I expect most ethnic/racial minority and lower education/earnings democrats oppose it.

    Glen Reynolds may not be "a libertarian" but he is most certainly "libertarian".

  • ||

    dang, replace "I get a good" with "To get a good"

  • sebs||

    siv and anomdebus, i certainly hear what you are saying, but isn't there some sort of rock bottom line at which you just can't be a libertarian? being a major defender of bush's civil liberties policies is in my mind the essence of anti-libertarianism.

  • ||

    You would first need to prove that he is in fact "a major defender of bush's civil liberties policies", which would require a comprehensive study of his posts.

    I am sure you could find some links that expressed opinions (for example) that under the common reading of law, the Bush administration was supported. However, that is different from him saying that is the way he would like it to be, or he thinks should be.

    In that process, you might also be ignoring other pieces where he is critical of the Bush administration.

    I am not a Reynolds scholar and do not have any interest in cataloging his positions or defending him on particulars, but I have read his site for a while and think he gets a bum rap some times.

    One thing I think I can say, something that may be misunderstood, is that he links to all sorts of stuff many times with little or no comment. I am pretty certain that he does endorse every single one of those links, though some people think he does. He does in fact link to people who disagree with him, not necessarily just to put them down.

  • Benb||

    I am not happy with this decision at all. I think the crowing in the article over Scalia's error-plagued opinion, combined with the "Rome wasn't built in a day" attitude is quite disturbing.

    My take on it is here:

    http://fyngyrz.wordpress.com/2008/06/27/2nd_amendment/

    This was not a victory. This was an accidental "lean" in the proper direction for the WRONG REASONS.

  • fyngyrz||

    I moved my blog; the new location of the linked article is here:

    http://fyngyrz.com/?p=60

  • ||

    Benb -- interesting take on the Second in your linked article.

    Assume the Supreme Court ruled the way you outlined they should. That sets off a race for someone to legally build nukes and weaponized anthrax before the relatively slow process of ratifying the Amendment you propose.

    OK with someone getting their nuke built and detonating it before ratification occurs?

    OK with members of Al-Qaeda legally building nukes in every major city, and setting each one off as soon as it's completed, while the ratification drags on?

  • Benb||

    Your theory is entertaining, but also ridiculous.

    You'll note that US constitutional law ends at US borders (as well as where congress begins to make law.)

    You'll also note that no one has built a nuke outside our borders and brought it here. In 60 years of opportunity, during most of which we wouldn't have even had a clue if someone had done so until it actually went off. It's just not that easy to build such a weapon. Materials are a problem, design is a problem, assembly is a problem, transport is a problem.

    Furthermore, the whole point of that construction of the amendment was that no sane person would object to it; passage would be a doddle. It is the right way to go. It is the ONLY right way to go.

    But let me address your thesis directly: Yes, I am OK with those possibilities.

    If we give up liberty through fear, we've given up the thing in life that is most worth having. If we allow the government to do anything it wants, regardless of its constituting authority, we have bought ourselves a dictatorship. It may be benign - today - in that it doesn't do a lot to annoy you personally, but tomorrow it may be run by a different set of people, people who, by your own choice, you have decided can do anything they like, because you made the constitution moot. They may do some things you object to, but you'll have no grounds -- it was you who said they didn't need to be bound by the constitution.

    I can't line up with your position.

  • ||

    I was looking forward to a reasoned analysis and instead got what amounted to a libertarian circle-jerk. As someone who considers himself libertarian-leaning, I have long been ambivalent to the notion that the 2nd Amendment allows an individual right to own guns where the terms "people" (as opposed to person) "militia" and "well-regulated" appear in its text. No amount of asserting otherwise changes these facts, be it by libertarians or Scalia. To do so is just Lochnerizing by other means.

  • ||

    So, you call this thing "reason", and instead of "reasoning" you get "propaganda".

    I guess it's a bit like that tiny difference between "news" and "opinion".

    Well, I guess instead of talking to people with another opinion and discussing said, most likely, differing opinion, it is easier to flock together with people who think alike and to pat each other on the shoulder for having the "correct" opinion.

    Makes people feel better.

  • منتدى العرب||

    Thank you

  • دردشة العراق||

    thnx u man

  • عراقنا||

    Thanks

  • دردشه عراقية||

    Thanks

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