Guns

Supreme Court to Take on the Second Amendment

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Big, big news on the gun rights front. As reported on the invaluable Scotusblog:

After a hiatus of 68 years, the Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to rule on the meaning of the Second Amendment….. Not since 1939 has the Court heard a case directly testing the Amendment's scope — and there is a debate about whether it actually decided anything in that earlier ruling. In a sense, the Court may well be writing on a clean slate if it, in the end, decides the ultimate question: does the Second Amendment guarantee an individual right to have a gun for private use, or does it only guarantee a collective right to have guns in an organized military force such as a state National Guard unit?

The city of Washington's appeal (District of Columbia v. Heller, 07-290) is expected to be heard in March — slightly more than a year after the D.C. Circuit Court ruled that the right is a personal one, at least to have a gun for self-defense in one's own home.

……….

Here is the way the Court phrased the granted issue:

"Whether the following provisions — D.C. Code secs. 7-2502.02(a)(4), 22-4504(a), and 7-2507.02 — violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes?"

The background of the case, which began as Parker v. District of Columbia, challenging D.C.'s wide-ranging ban on private gun ownership, is explained pretty well at this wiki page, with lots o' links.

Robert VerBruggen from our June 2005 issue on how municipal gun bans harm the people.

NEXT: Conservatives: Fear Huckabee, Not Paul

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  1. Who else thinks they will find some way to sidestep a firm interpretation?

  2. Episiarch | November 20, 2007, 1:29pm | #
    Who else thinks they will find some way to sidestep a firm interpretation?

    I suspect they will equivocate and pass a decision that treats the case in queston narrowly, without giving much of a direction to other courts as to how it applies broadly.

  3. Agreeing with the above posters. A muddled policy plays into the fed’s favor.

  4. This is not good.

    They’re going to fuck it all the way up.

  5. Hip, Hip hooray, hip, hip hooray(repeat)

    Episiarch, I wouldn’t take that bet, but there is hope by the fact they took it in the first place.
    But the real good news is that we will know where we stand. If the interpert the right way, its obviously an individual right. If they interpert the wrong way, which includes a sidestep, its war, the Libertarian militia will rise to the rescue.

    Episiarch, the more I think of it the more you are right. Here is a question that will help anybody decide how the supremes will rule.
    What interpertation will increase the demand for lawyers?
    That is it.

  6. I don’t see Kennedy being persuaded, so that’s that. It’s a shame. Gun rights is one of the areas where I suspect I would agree with even the more hardcore “Libertopians” here.

  7. the Libertarian militia will rise to the rescue

    So does that mean we’ll all be able to consider ourselves part of a state-regulated militia? (the ‘state-regulation’ arising from the court’s ruling… i.e., begging the question)

  8. Alright all of you cynics, I’m telling you: this is a good thing. They’ll get at least a 5-4 on the right interpretation. You have to imagine that Roberts wouldn’t have taken the case if he didn’t believe it would come out that way.

  9. What of our sword-bearing rights?

  10. Okay,
    Here are the kicker questions. If the court rules with a broad stroke and determines that the 2nd is indeed an individual right, will the ACLU finally support gun ownership?? If they do, will the NRA wage war upon the ACLU for donors?

  11. What of our sword-bearing rights?

    Of course we still have those as they are not mentioned in the Constitution at all!

  12. They weren’t required to take the case, and they take only a tiny percentage of the requests to overturn lower courts, so I don’t know why they would have opted to hear the case unless they intend to decide the issue. (On the other hand, they’ve done such pointless things before.)

    My guess is, the Roberts Court sees this as a chance to make a significant mark without upsetting any recent High Court precedent, and the votes will line up our way. Libertarians shouldn’t hope for much help from this Court, but in this case, I think we’ll end up smiling.

  13. If the court rules with a broad stroke and determines that the 2nd is indeed an individual right, will the ACLU finally support gun ownership??

    BAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! no

    On a serious note, how many decades after this ruling will it take the federal government to apply my second amendment concealed carry permit from Tennessee across State lines in the same way as my vehicle operator’s permit?

  14. does the Second Amendment guarantee an individual right to have a gun for private use, or does it only guarantee a collective right to have guns in an organized military force such as a state National Guard unit?

    There is no such thing as a “collective” right. Only individuals have rights. The reason: only individuals think and reason. A collective is just that: a collection of things or persons. A set.

    The Bill of Rights was framed with the argument that only individuals have rights [the States being treated in the Constitution as “individuals” with rights since it was each State’s representatives who would ratify the Constitution], so if the U.S.S.C. rules for a collective right, then there will be no reason to consider other rights as collective, per the discretion of the courts – making all rights irrelevant. Due to this obvious logical problem, my guess is that only a few (Marxist) judges will ever try to use that one to push their pro-state agenda.

  15. Libertarians shouldn’t hope for much help from this Court, but in this case, I think we’ll end up smiling.

    That would be great, but the Supreme Court’s desire to clarify this in the past has been something akin to Superman’s desire to eat a couple nuggets of green kryptonite.

    The fact that it very possibly could go the right way is promising, however.

  16. If the court rules with a broad stroke and determines that the 2nd is indeed an individual right, will the ACLU finally support gun ownership?? If they do, will the NRA wage war upon the ACLU for donors?

    If that happens I’ll support the ACLU as opposed to the NRA. The NRA only fights for their own interests, not necessarily our liberties. The NRA’s attempt to squash District of Columbia v. Heller was only one of many actions subversive to the interests of gun owners.

  17. I’m not confident about much, but I strongly believe that we’ll get the proper and historically accurate interpretation of the 2nd amendment.

    But, if course, I look at campaign finance law and read that whole “congress shall make no law…” bit and get nervous all over again.

  18. will the ACLU finally support gun ownership?? If they do, will the NRA wage war upon the ACLU for donors?

    Not entirely on topic, but IIRC the NRA was not even involved in this case when the lower courts were looking at it.

    It’s been said here before, I believe, but if the SC rules in favor of gun owners the NRA will suddenly not have a huge bogeyman to scare us all about.

    I believe also that the district of columbia only asked the SC to look at the handgun ban, not the rules regarding rifles and shotguns.

    Frankly, I’m scared.

  19. If the court rules with a broad stroke and determines that the 2nd is indeed an individual right, will the ACLU finally support gun ownership??

    The ACLU barely supports freedom of speech…barely. My guess is that they’ll simply remain quiet on the 2nd amendment if the ruling goes with the historically accurate interpretation.

  20. I predict that The Nation, The Washington Post and The New Republic will declare any decision to be a mad neocon coup that will result in slaughter in the streets.

    Cue the listed publications gun scare stories from now until after the decision is made.

  21. If the only right that the 2nd protected was that of a STATE MILITIA, a government run guard, why would it need a protection clause? The implied redundancy should point to the fact that it clearly applied to individuals.

  22. All this Supreme Court talk and no one has used “SCOTUS” yet?

    For shame…

  23. or does it only guarantee a collective right to have guns in an organized military force such as a state National Guard unit?

    How stupid do people think the founding fathers were? It’s a fuckin’ GIVEN that there would be a collective military force, there’d be no need to put such a thing in the Bill Of Rights otherwise.

    Why would the 9 other amendments in the Bill of Rights pertain to the rights of individuals but 1 would pertain to the rights of the state and not individuals?

  24. Kennedy tends to be a traditional judge in the sense that he does not have much of a constitutional philosophy but looks at the principles laid down in precedent and tries to apply them. I can’t see him looking at the precedent (like Miller) and deciding for gun rights in this case. Of course the four “liberals” on the court will rule the same way. I do think that the 4 “conservatives” will rule for gun rights (especially Scalia and Thomas).

  25. Peter,

    This whole gun grabbing thingie is a construct of the Left, or leftist thinking anyway. Logic has not yet worked on them in this debate, but that does not mean we should quit the attempt. Just don’t get too optomistic of a one line court ruling stating that individuals having the right to own arms being twisted into something incomprehensable.

  26. Sage:

    We should all be afraid, very afraid.

    With the break-neck pace of government expansion, hammering of even the most basic civil liberties, the expansion of our surveillance society, runaway police powers and nannyism from every local and state government, it would be nice to firm up the second amendment. The problem is that if the interpretation doesn’t go the correct way, the precedent is set and it’s done.

    Guy Montag:

    Cue the listed publications gun scare stories from now until after the decision is made.

    Have you noticed that they’ve already started? The last six months have seen a curious nostalgia from the MSM re: gun crime. In my view, there has been a significant uptick in the number of stories surrounding guns. Some of them even reading like near verbatim reprints from the early eighties: desperate cops, outgunned on the streets, now buying assault rifles to keep up with the hurricane force of street crime post Brady expiration.

  27. “It’s a fuckin’ GIVEN that there would be a collective military force, there’d be no need to put such a thing in the Bill Of Rights otherwise. ”
    I don’t think it is a given that the force would be Militias (as opposed to say a standing army)

  28. To me the stronger pro-gun rights argument is the word “people” to whom the right is given.

  29. First, I am glad they framed the legal question with the “not part of a state-regulated militia.” language. Though I agree with the right to bear arms, many advocates seem to think this language is superflous.

    But this isn’t a constitutional republic anymore but a stari decicis rebuplic. These crones never decide issues based on what the plain language the constitution says but on what past judges have said that the constitution says. They seem to never look to see if those decisions are correct.
    No in fact, these intellectual midgets like to keep bad case law on the books so that they can use it like in “Wickard v. Filburn” in “Raich.” When I went to law school, everyone one mocked Wickard for its utter fucking stupidity.
    This Court has already shown that it is the kind of Court that is willing to hand out Dredd Scott decisions like they were fucking candy so dont expect anyting sagacious, consice, erudite, and sure as fuck won’t comply with any formal rules of reasoning.

  30. Paul,

    the expansion of our surveillance society

    Um, that one I am not so against, out on the street of course. Especially since the burden of proof seems to be on me (as a CCW holder) that I “retreated” before having to shoot someone threatening my life. Street security cameras only help my case, I suspect.

    Have you noticed that they’ve already started? The last six months have seen a curious nostalgia from the MSM re: gun crime. In my view, there has been a significant uptick in the number of stories surrounding guns. Some of them even reading like near verbatim reprints from the early eighties: desperate cops, outgunned on the streets, now buying assault rifles to keep up with the hurricane force of street crime post Brady expiration.

    I have noticed a little of that. The flood should begin before the close of the newsrooms today.

    Mr. NG,

    I don’t think it is a given that the force would be Militias (as opposed to say a standing army)

    The standing Army and Navy were covered in Articles I & II, IIRC. Mention in Amendment II, without mention of what portions of the main document were being amended, indicates this was an unrelated issue from the Congress power to raise Armies and the Executive power to command them.

  31. Yes, one wonders if the country club Republicans would be entirely happy about regular folk being able to bear arms. Under the ancien r?gime, that was only for aristocrats.

    As for swords, my town bans the carrying a knife with a blade longer than 6 cm (ie, a Swiss-Army-Knife-type blade). And a switchblade ? Forget about it !

  32. “Why would the 9 other amendments in the Bill of Rights pertain to the rights of individuals but 1 would pertain to the rights of the state and not individuals?”

    That’s what I’ve always said, Russ.

  33. Why would the 9 other amendments in the Bill of Rights pertain to the rights of individuals but 1 would pertain to the rights of the state and not individuals?

    I have never, ever been able to get a gun-banner to answer that question. The contortions they go through to avoid addressing it–even talking in person–are amazing, and would be entertaining if they weren’t a twisted example of how little these people care about actual liberty or the Bill of Rights.

  34. I expect the Court to come down in favor of the individual rights interpretation or to at least affirm the Parker court’s disposition. The individual rights case is hardly a libertarian cause alone. Some influential liberal legal scholars are behind it as well. See http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/07/us/07firearms.html

  35. Um, that one I am not so against, out on the street of course. Especially since the burden of proof seems to be on me (as a CCW holder) that I “retreated” before having to shoot someone threatening my life. Street security cameras only help my case, I suspect.

    How about putting a camera up in your living room and your bedroom? You know, to make sure you really were threatened in the case of an in-home confrontation?

    We don’t need a surveillance society to aid with this. Besides, surveillance society goes way beyond traffic, erh, sorry, “traffic” cameras.

  36. Yes, one wonders if the country club Republicans would be entirely happy about regular folk being able to bear arms. Under the ancien r?gime, that was only for aristocrats.

    I suggest time travel in order to find those types. Ronald Reagan shoved them to the back burner in the 1980s.

    According to the hard Left, like over at Ezra Klein’s site, Republicans now live in trailers, chew tobacco and shop at the Wal*Mart with the only country club in their lives is country music. Oh, and they already have lots of guns aready.

  37. How about putting a camera up in your living room and your bedroom? You know, to make sure you really were threatened in the case of an in-home confrontation?

    Paul, I covered that before the first period that you quoted.

  38. Guy, I know you said “out on the street”, but that statement was a near willful avoidance of the concept of “expansion”. Right now, most american cities have “traffic” cameras. Wait until we have something like London– where their cameras not only can but do look into people’s houses and bedrooms.

  39. Guy, I know you said “out on the street”, but that statement was a near willful avoidance of the concept of “expansion”.

    Um, nope, it was not. It was a declairation of my limit of acceptance, in perfectly plain speech, I might add. A limit which you, the distinguished representitive of thewidenet ran right past.

  40. I don’t think it is a given that the force would be Militias (as opposed to say a standing army)… To me the stronger pro-gun rights argument is the word “people” to whom the right is given.

    Good point, note the distinction made between “the states” and “the people” in the tenth amendment.

  41. According to the hard Left, like over at Ezra Klein’s site, Republicans now live in trailers, chew tobacco[…]

    To the hard left, Republicans seem to be whatever they want them to be. They’re fat capitalists sitting on piles of money, mistreating the “help”, then at other times, they’re as you write above.

    In my experience (barring the ever shrinking numbers of blue-blood North East Repubs), your description is, alas, more accurate.

    In the Puget Sound, you walk through nice, wealthy neighborhoods with fancy houses, the driveways all have Volvos and Subarus with either a Ralph Nader or a Kucinich bumper sticker. Walk through the rural areas by a half wooded property with a mud driveway, you see a trailer on it and a pickup truck with a George Bush and a “giterdone” bumber sticker.

    I suspect that some hard left liberals cling to the wealthy republican mantle because it allows them to blame their misfortunes on “rich white men” and being buried under an avalance of money.

  42. Um, nope, it was not. It was a declairation of my limit of acceptance, in perfectly plain speech, I might add. A limit which you, the distinguished representitive of thewidenet ran right past.

    Fair enough, but I still stress my point: accept “on the street”, and within a decade you’ve got “in your bedroom”.

    And you mention my ill-updated blog– so you’ve read it. That makes…*tap*tap* two of you.

  43. Walk through the rural areas by a half wooded property with a mud driveway,

    Mud driveways are essential in assessing the health of your four wheel drive system as well as the posi-trac on a rear wheel drive vehicle!

    And you mention my ill-updated blog– so you’ve read it. That makes…*tap*tap* two of you.

    Actually, I just copied the link from your name 🙂 I promise to visit soon.

  44. Paul,

    That whole ‘Republican’ thing reminded of this, from the last time I voted for a Republican.

    Enjoy 🙂

  45. OK. So, presuming the SC upholds for individual rights, what does that mean to me, here on the West Coast?

  46. The standing Army and Navy were covered in Articles I & II, IIRC

    Actually, article I clearly implies, without explicitly stating, that we are not supposed to have a standing army:

    “To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years; ”

    The people, not the state are supposed to have the power of self defense.

  47. I really dislike the rising ubiquity of acronyms like POTUS and SCOTUS. It’s a little off the subject. But I had to say it. I had no clue what SCOTUS meant when I saw it printed just recently. It bore a phonetic resemblance to the word, “scrotum”, and that was all I needed to compound an aesthetic distaste. There’s enough of LOL’s, OMG’s, TTYL’s, etc.

    Somebody shoot me, I’m starting to sound like Bill Maher.

  48. When is the last time that a Supreme Court decision came firmly down on the side of the individual in a manner that decreased the power of the federal govt. ? Eminent domain, no. The reach of the commerce clause, no. Roe v. Wade — pro-individual maybe but definitely pro federal power.

    I have little hope in this case.

  49. Somebody shoot me, I’m starting to sound like Bill Maher.

    Gotta wait a few months as the USSC moves with the swiftness of a glacier.

  50. If the SCOTUS were to rule that infringements on the 2nd Amendment would have to pass a strict scrutiny test just like infringements on the 1st Amendment, that would just make me all kinds of thrilled.

    FWIW, I’m fairly sanguine about how this will turn out. In my estimation, the supremes tend to rule in favor of whatever will rock the boat the least.

  51. This is going to be a very interesting decision. I have spent a fair amount of time studying early-American history, and the “militia” clause of the 1st Amendment makes perfect sense in the context of its time. States required citizens to provide their own weapons for militia duty, so individual gun ownership was inseparable from the maintenance of the militia. I am wondering how Justice Scalia will apply the “original intent” doctrine in that context? I suppose he might conclude that the right to individual gun ownership has to trump the “militia” clause because the actual existence of militias is not expressly required as a precondition to the right to gun ownership. However, I don’t see how ownership of any type of weapon (machine guns, bazookas) could be restricted under that reasoning, and I doubt that even Scalia will take this to its logical conclusion. I’m guessing we end up with a pretty muddled decision that doesn’t make anyone happy.

  52. On a serious note, how many decades after this ruling will it take the federal government to apply my second amendment concealed carry permit from Tennessee across State lines in the same way as my vehicle operator’s permit?

    About four less than it took the Brontosaurus to go from ameoba to extinction.

    When is the last time that a Supreme Court decision came firmly down on the side of the individual in a manner that decreased the power of the federal govt. ?

    The government will always work to further the governmentment’s best interest. This has always been so and will continue to be so.

  53. BD,

    Eminent domain, no.

    And that was under a ‘conservative Supreme Court‘! Just you wait until the new guys get on this!

  54. I suspect they will equivocate and pass a decision that treats the case in queston narrowly, without giving much of a direction to other courts as to how it applies broadly.

    Even if the formal decision is written that way (and it surely will be), there should be lots of tasty obiter dicta in the concurrences, and howls of outrage in the dissents.

    Whoever wins.

    There is lots of room for the Court to punt here. They can easily rule that the 2A guarantees an individual right that is subject to reasonable regulation, a result that would overturn only the most restrictive fringe of gun control laws.

  55. Ron,

    I suppose he might conclude that the right to individual gun ownership has to trump the “militia” clause because the actual existence of militias is not expressly required as a precondition to the right to gun ownership. However, I don’t see how ownership of any type of weapon (machine guns, bazookas) could be restricted under that reasoning, and I doubt that even Scalia will take this to its logical conclusion.

    Actually, the feds have defined the militia and it might not be what you were told or are thinking of, i.e., all able bodied men age 16 to (60 something?) and some other stuff that ties women into it now. Also, the type of weapons were covered in another USSC case and are defined as the arms issued to a common infantryman, IIRC. If the latter part is correctly recalled by me and holds up in this case (if considered) then we get COOLER guns!

  56. “”””To me the stronger pro-gun rights argument is the word “people” to whom the right is given.””””

    Yes, and on that same note.

    4th amendment says
    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue,?”

    Why would people have a different definition in the 4th than in the 2nd? And, if they don’t know how the Constitution defines people, check the first three words of the preamble. “We the people.”

    Also, the 2nd amendment does not say “the right of the militia shall not be infringed.” If that’s what our founding fathers really wanted, that’s what it would say.

    I see it as a no brainer. It shouldn’t take 5th grade English to understand.

  57. TV,

    If 1A were read like the Left reads 2A the only place you could speak freely is in a religous service attended by press members while peaceably assembled to petition the government.

  58. I understand you all like guns, but “the founding fathers intended” is not a valid argument. They also intended that there be slavery and that the President and Senate not be voted on by the people.

    The debate should be something along the lines of:
    Do normal people really need automatic weapons, and should there be an amendment that says they don’t?

    As it is, I don’t think it should be legal to regulate ANY weapons that involve projectiles. That’s just stupid. Obviously I shouldn’t be allowed to own Missiles or a bazooka or something.

  59. When is the last time that a Supreme Court decision came firmly down on the side of the individual in a manner that decreased the power of the federal govt.

    Lemme do some thinking. I’ll have to try to remember when the last time liberals were really mad about a supreme court ruling…

  60. I forgot this point:

    The reason why “the founding fathers intended” is not valid because this is not the year 1787.

    Missiles and bazookas did not exist then. In the year 2007, if Bill Gates went crazy he could do some serious damage.

  61. Do normal people really need automatic weapons, and should there be an amendment that says they don’t?

    Automatic weapons are generally unavailable in the legal market, unless you happen to have literally thousands of dollars to spend on one, and the constitution to fill out quite a bit of paperwork and submit to background checks and signoffs from your local law enforcement people.

    Given that you obviously are not even passingly familiar with what is currently legal, you fail.

  62. That wasn’t the point of my post.

    You fail.

    The point was, as it is written, it should not be legal to stop someone from owning any time of projectile weapon (assuming “bear arm” means projectile weapons)

    The point of my post, that you failed to understand, was that that is insane. There should be something in there that clarifies where the limit is.

  63. If 1A were read like the Left reads 2A the only place you could speak freely is in a religous service attended by press members while peaceably assembled to petition the government.

    Guy wins the thread.

    Hello:

    Automatic weapons have been illegal (except by special permit) since the 30’s. I, as a card carrying libertarian, have little trouble with this. The “reasonable regulation” tag will always be a point of contention between two camps. On one hand, you’ll have people who want to own any weapons, bazooka and full-auto .50 caliber machine-gun, and on the other hand, you’ll have people who want to ban everything (only in the confines of the “urban environment”, natch to remain within the constitution) because hey, there’s no conceivable reason to own a weapon here.

    I think that everyone who applies for, and meets reasonable requirements* for a conceal carry permit should be able to carry- period. And those requirements should be reasonable, and not willfully exclusionary- such as creating rules making it impossible for anyone to get one.

    *Law abiding citizen, no felony convictions, no outstanding warrants, etc.

  64. a couple typos:
    time = type

    and:
    (assuming “right to bear arms” means “right to own projectile weaponry”)

  65. So does that mean we’ll all be able to consider ourselves part of a state-regulated militia?

    Not to nit pick, but isn’t the 2nd Amendment wording, “..a well regulated militia…”?

    So if we eat lots of fiber, does that make us “well regulated”?

  66. Do normal people really need automatic weapons, and should there be an amendment that says they don’t?

    It is not a question of “need” in the slightest. Some people say that I don’t “need” 2 vehicles. Well, too bad, just because nothing in the Constitution authorizes me 2 organic powered hybrids does not mean I can be prevented from owning them. Same with my modest shot-slinging tool collection.

    No, this is a question of the government being given the power to regulate something or if the government has been restricted from regulating it.

    In my view there should not be an amendment added that gives them that power either, but that’s just me. Circulate it around the States and let us know how they take it?

  67. What did he win?

    My point was that, as the Constitution is currently written, it is not legal to regulate automatic weapons. That infringes upon the right of perfectly fine people to “bear arms”.

    I don’t disagree with “reasonable regulation”
    I, more or less, like gun laws the way they are now. I just think that its something that should be in the Constitution along with the right to bear arms.

  68. So if we eat lots of fiber, does that make us “well regulated”?

    Sorry, that was lame!

  69. hello,

    I understand you all like guns, but “the founding fathers intended” is not a valid argument. They also intended that there be slavery and that the President and Senate not be voted on by the people.

    Slavery – changed via amendment.
    Senate vote – changed via amendment.
    Prez vote – we still have electoral college.

    I dont see how your examples shoot down FF intent. They also intended us to have an amendment process. If we would like to change 2A from their original intent, there is a process.

  70. My point was that, as the Constitution is currently written, it is not legal to regulate automatic weapons. That infringes upon the right of perfectly fine people to “bear arms”.

    I agree that it infringes, but some old USSC case I mentioned earlier defined what was meant by “arms” and, under my recollection (might be wong), full auto weapons would be allowed for private ownership just like semi-automatics.

    BTW, please put me on record as calling the NRA too soft on the machine gun issue, yes I believe we have the right to own them. Plus, I am against felons losing their right to own and carry guns after their sentence has been served (same with voting).

    Before the predictible flood of clairification straw/rhetorical/silly questions post, I am in favor of private citizens being unhindered in their ownership of ANY direct fire arms, yes, including tanks, grenade launchers, bazookas and other cool stuff.

  71. They can debate the issue all they want to and come up with whatever ruling they want to as well.

    But the bottom line is and always will be that those with the guns make the rules. Turn every law abiding gun owner into a criminal just for owning these guns all of a sudden and you will not get a group of people more than happy to hand in their guns.

    The genie is out of the bottle and there are to many guns to even think about collecting them all in a round up. If the government says it can not round up 11 million illegal aliens they don’t have a chance in hell of rounding up 200+ million guns. Well I should say as good a chance as they have at winning the WoD.

    Who exactly is going to go around to confiscate these privately owned guns if its ruled only government should be allowed to own guns? Good luck filling those positions, I can see the want ad now. Wanted: Individual stupid enough to go door to door and take away all guns from private citizens. LMAO yeah people will be lining up for that job.

    So in the end regardless of their all knowing rulings they will never get the guns and they know it. Plus I would think they must know by now after so many have fought so hard to keep gun ownership all these years we will certainly not suddenly roll over because a majority of 12 peckerheads said we have to all of a sudden.

    Come take our guns government nannies, if you have the balls. What will you do put us all in jail? Jails you have no space in as it is and then who would pay for them since you would be arresting a LOT of your working class folks.

    They can shove their gun laws up their ass. When they come for the guns the revolution will have definetley just begun.

  72. Wait, they’re going to take our guns? When did this happen?

  73. “If we would like to change 2A from their original intent, there is a process.’

    Exactly. Their intent is not sufficient to cover today’s situation. SO WE HAVE TO GO AGAINST THEIR ORIGINAL INTENT AS I SAID.
    Reading the second amendment, it says that my right to bear arms shall not be infringed. That means I can own a bazooka, correct? Does congress have the power to prevent me from owning a Bazooka? I don’t think they do. However, I don’t think I should be allowed to own a bazooka, so I think the Constitution should be amended with some sort of language that would prevent me from owning a bazooka and other weapons that I should not be allowed to own.

  74. Hello,

    Perhaps you missed it in the flurry of people misreading and disagreeing with you, but check my November 20, 2007, 4:21pm comment.

  75. shecky, don’t quit your day job 😉

  76. Hello:

    Out of curiosity, why all the hate on “automatic weapons”? What can they do that someone with a “semi-automatic” and a fast trigger-finger (or a bit of string, which apparently now also counts as an “automatic weapon”) could not?

    For a slightly more far-out question, why not be allowed to own military hardware? It’s not like it’ll suddenly become *affordable*. Besides, was not the artillery of the young Republic (the nastiest weapons of war in their day) privately owned? (Reason told me so!)

  77. Hello,

    Amend as much as you would like. But, the orginal intent argument you were trying to shoot down is with regard to an upcoming supreme court decision. We aint discussing amendments.

    Actually, Im not sure if bazookas are covered. I think bazookas may fall under artillery guns not arms. However, a shoulder launched missle (they are not bazookas) would fall under arms.

  78. IIRC, one could purchase cannon through the mail all the way up to sometime in the 1960s. Just before that ban, some guy ordered an Italian rifle trough the mail and shot up a prisident and Governor in a motorcade.

    Did the ban on mail-order to the home for cannon and rifle prevent all assasination attempts since then? I think not.

  79. GM,

    There have been no assassination attempts with cannon since the ban. 🙂

  80. I have read reasonable opinions that say that the second amendment cover personal arms not artillery pieces and the like.

    While I accept that this view would thus restict personal ownership of bazookas, RPGs etc I would also point out that it should be perfectly legal for a citizen to own the currently issued infantry rifle, which naturally would be an (gasp) automatic weapon. I suppose one could then quibble about whether 2A permits limiting the number of such weapons a citizen owns or even whether it needs to be registered in some way.

    But that is one track along which speculations on the Second Amendment could lead one.

    This is just rumination and is not intended to disagree with or detract from anything anyone else has written here.

    Guy Montag, excellent comment at 4:29pm. I agree. Well said.

  81. “””The reason why “the founding fathers intended” is not valid because this is not the year 1787.”””

    Obviously you like to pick and chose that which you approve. Things you don’t like have no standing. First, it’s not about intent, it’s the written word of the Constitution we are debating. Secondly, if your “it’s not 1787” is a valid arguement, why should we have a President, a Supreme Court, and Congress. That’s sooooooooo 1787.

    Can you imagine Hillary Clinton arguing to abolish Congress because it was created by an outdated document? Would you really agree?

  82. Hello,

    Perhaps you missed it in the flurry of people misreading and disagreeing with you, but check my November 20, 2007, 4:21pm comment.

    I didn’t know about that case.

    Either way, the SC clarifying what an arm is is sketchy in my opinion. I’d rather have it written down & voted on by the citizenry.

    Also, you’re crazy dude. 😛
    I don’t want my neighbors running around in tanks.

  83. Can you imagine Hillary Clinton arguing to abolish Congress because it was created by an outdated document?

    Yes, as soon as she is president.

    BTW, wasn’t it she who came up with all that “outdated document” phrasing for whomever she was interning for during the Watergate investigations?

  84. To be a little firmer in the statement of my opinions on the 2A.

    I think that any citizen should be able to own any firearm that is currently issued as a personal weapon to members of the armed forces.

    And I think that right should not be denied to felons who have served their sentences.

  85. Hello,

    I don’t want my neighbors running around in tanks.

    Well, I don’t want mine parking them in our underground parking garage because they will ruin the concrete, but I csrtainly don’t mind them owning tanks.

    I don’t want a lot of them running around in spandex either, but I have no right to stop them from doing it.

  86. I understand you all like guns, but “the founding fathers intended” is not a valid argument. They also intended that there be slavery and that the President and Senate not be voted on by the people.

    And indeed, the President is not (technically) elected by popular vote, and the Constitution was amended to allow Senators to be elected by popular vote. I would say your examples prove the opposite of what you think they prove.

  87. The reason why “the founding fathers intended” is not valid because this is not the year 1787.

    So what’s the cutoff for ignoring laws cuz they’re old? I’m gonna go with “two minutes” then.

  88. I don’t want a lot of them running around in spandex either, but I have no right to stop them from doing it.

    Now there’s a statement we can all get behind.

    Or, wait, maybe not. 🙂

  89. I read an interesting comparison between gun rights and gay sex. Essentially, the courts give much deference to gay sex than they do gun rights. Even though buggery is not something that the founders would have ever dreamed of protecting from government intrusion, it is protected to a higher degree than the right to bear arms, a specific enumerated right in the constitution. I do not have a problem with buggery and do not think that the government ought to be telling people what they can and can’t do with other consenting adults. But, I do have a problem with the Courts’ continued picking and choosing of what rights are worth protecting. Essentially we don’t have a Constitution anymore. What we have is a collection of protected rights the content of which is determined largely by the politically correct whims of our unelected judicial overlords.

  90. “””The reason why “the founding fathers intended” is not valid because this is not the year 1787.”””

    Obviously you like to pick and chose that which you approve. Things you don’t like have no standing. First, it’s not about intent, it’s the written word of the Constitution we are debating. Secondly, if your “it’s not 1787” is a valid arguement, why should we have a President, a Supreme Court, and Congress. That’s sooooooooo 1787.

    Can you imagine Hillary Clinton arguing to abolish Congress because it was created by an outdated document? Would you really agree?

    I would not agree with someone trying to abolish Congress themselves because it was unconstitutional. However, if someone were to try to propose an amendment saying something like “This system isn’t working to well, let’s change it to this”, and it were to pass a vote by the American people, then so be it.

    Also, are you supporting Clinton for president or something? What the hell is wrong with you? 😛

    A hypothetical situation that I am in no way trying to say should actually happen because I am sure one of you morons will try to spin it as though I am:

    If the American people wanted a parliamentary system with a different type of legislative body and voted on this and approved these changes in the form of constitutional amendments, then that’s the system that should be in place. (note: this is assuming that the government isn’t tyrannical, because in that case its supposed to be our duty to tear up the constitution and start over, correct?)

  91. “””Exactly. Their intent is not sufficient to cover today’s situation. SO WE HAVE TO GO AGAINST THEIR ORIGINAL INTENT AS I SAID.”””

    You can’t just go against the amendment. I doubt I can impress upon you how wrong that idealogy is. You can’t ingore it. There is a process that must be followed. The amendment can be repealed or modified. That is the only way.

    Perhaps you would be more comfortable with a king who can change the laws at a whim instead of a republic that requires a process to make change.

  92. OMG!OMG!OMG Can you believe what “Hello” is saying should happen! OMG!

    Shocked! Shocked I am! How in the hell could you ever get to your desired scenario???? MEIN GOTT.

    Simply cannot believe you are saying that should actually happen. I’m disgusted.

  93. “shot up a prisident and Governor in a motorcade.”

    Let us not forget JFK’s incompetence in making his own assisnation possible. It was he who ordered a convertiable and the secret service agents away so the crowd could get a better look at him.
    He was obviously more concerned with how he, JFK, appeared then the security of the President of the United States, which should have been his number one priority. But since he was a spoiled brat who never grew up it was no surpise that he only gave a shit for himself.

  94. Wanted: Individual stupid enough to go door to door and take away all guns from private citizens.

    SWAT teams have to have something to do.

  95. “””I would not agree with someone trying to abolish Congress themselves because it was unconstitutional. However, if someone were to try to propose an amendment saying something like “This system isn’t working to well, let’s change it to this”, and it were to pass a vote by the American people, then so be it.””””

    “””””””Exactly. Their intent is not sufficient to cover today’s situation. SO WE HAVE TO GO AGAINST THEIR ORIGINAL INTENT AS I SAID.””””””

    Those statments are inconsistant.

  96. “So what’s the cutoff for ignoring laws cuz they’re old? I’m gonna go with “two minutes” then.”

    didn’t say ignore, said they should be changed work in a modern setting.

    If a law created 2 minutes ago is not longer sufficient for the current situation, it should be changed.

  97. Perhaps we can eliminate this whole “bear arms”/machinegun/artiller piece argument by defining arms as those which you can “bear”. I can’t “bear” an artiller piece. I doubt there are many people who could “bear” a pod-mounted .50 caliber machine gun. Unfortunately, you can bear a bazooka or a L.A.W.S. rocket. However, I have it on good authority that L.A.W.S. rockets were pretty pathetic– only Hollywood made them out to be devastating weapons.

  98. “It is not a question of ‘need’ in the slightest.”

    On the premise of “need”, we could bloody well do without newspapers.

    Anyone who takes up the question on that principle is a fucking retard not worth another word.

  99. “Those statments are inconsistant.”

    In what way? In my opinion, the intent (and language, there IS intent with their language even if you don’t want there to be) of the founding fathers is not sufficient to handle modern technology. Therefore, we need to change the wording so it does.

    Why is that inconsistent. Why me saying “I think the constitution needs to be amended to say this because I don’t think it is sufficient as it is worded” inconsistent?

  100. You gun boys better stock up because I got a real bad feeling about how this one will turn out.

  101. “””didn’t say ignore, said they should be changed work in a modern setting.”””

    Do you agree with this? Unless the 2nd amendment is modified, the people’s right shall not be infringed.

  102. It was he who ordered a convertiable and the secret service agents away so the crowd could get a better look at him.

    Actually that had been the standard up until that time.

    There are those us old enough to remember when we had the quaint notion that the president was supposed to be accessible to “we the people”.

    Now we have an imperious monarch, protected layer upon layer and screen upon screen of security. The only contacts between “us” and our president now are through carefuly choreographed performances where only the the most superficial of issues are dealt with. Everything else is a grandiose public spectacle.

  103. “Do you agree with this? Unless the 2nd amendment is modified, the people’s right shall not be infringed.”

    I have said on this very fucking comments section several times that, as it is currently worded, no governmental institution has any right what so ever to prevent any american citizen from owning a projectile weapon! The POINT is that I think its insane that anybody be allowed to own something like a bazooka. What the hell is wrong with you? Can you read?

  104. I have a feeling this case will interpret the 2nd Amendment pretty broadly.
    Here’s a Justice Department memo:
    http://www.usdoj.gov/olc/secondamendment2.pdf
    that essentially makes an argument for interpreting it as an individual right. The bulk of it is a historical rationale, from the 18th and early 19th centuries, saying that the original reading was as an individual right.
    Given that two Bush appointees are serving right now, and at least one originalist, I wouldn’t be surprised if they sided with the administration on this one.
    (As far as I’m concerned, that’s a good thing. A right is a right and the language is pretty unambiguous.)

  105. and also that in order to fix it, the constitution should be amended.

  106. You gun boys better stock up because I got a real bad feeling about how this one will turn out.

    Stocking up has nothing to do with it. If they ban them, they ban them. There are those of us that will always own firearms, however.

  107. “””Why is that inconsistent. Why me saying “I think the constitution needs to be amended to say this because I don’t think it is sufficient as it is worded” inconsistent?”””

    That’s not what you were saying. You did say “SO WE HAVE TO GO AGAINST THEIR ORIGINAL INTENT…” To go against is not to change, it is to rebel. And who is this “we”? Maybe you didn’t really mean it the way it was written.

    If you really wanted to say that you support a constitutional amendment to change the 2nd, then that’s what you should have said the first time. That would have sounded more respectable and displayed some knowledge of how the government works too. 🙂

  108. src,
    Bush has long said it’s an individuals right. That’s is the main reason I voted for him in 2000.

  109. I had said, several times before that post, that I think that the constitution as written is not sufficient that I think we should change it.

    You are either an illiterate, someone that only reads random sentences and then tries to comment on them like he actually understands the point the other poster was trying to express, or a troll. I will allow you to pick which one.

  110. Also,

    In the very post where I said “GO AGAINST THEIR ORIGINAL INTENT”, I also said that there should be a constitutional amendment.

    again, read before you post.

  111. HELLO SAID:
    “and also that in order to fix it, the constitution should be a projectile weapon!”

    I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU WOULD SPIN THIS THAT WAY.

    AND ALL OF THOSE FILLER WORDS IN BETWEEN HAD TO BE EDITED OUT ERE YOUR REAL POINT REVEALED ITSELF!

    SHOCKING! ALSO:
    “I will allow you to pick a governmental institution because I am sure You are morons sufficient to handle modern technology”

    YOU SEE. WE CAN PIECE TOGETHER YOUR REAL THOUGHTS. YOU TRIED HIDING BEHIND SENTENCES AND STUFF. BUT YOU WERE FOUND OUT.

    AND TO THINK RICK OCASEK HAD A SONG WITH YOUR NAME IN IT.

  112. The reason why “the founding fathers intended” is not valid because this is not the year 1787.

    Then the 1st Amendment doesn’t apply to movies, the internet, or television.

  113. There’s no way the founders could have predicted Scientology, Mormonism, the Raeliens, or Bahai, either. Yet more proof that the 1st Amendment is obsolete.

  114. “Then the 1st Amendment doesn’t apply to movies, the internet, or television.”

    Really? Why not?

    Because, in my opinion, according to the law as it is written, the 2nd amendment applies to bazookas. However, I don’t think random regular people should be allowed to own bazookas, so I think the constitution should be changed to work with modern technology.

    You seem to think that I think that the constitution should be ignored.

    Why do you think my statement that the constitution should be amended because I don’t think it is sufficient to cover modern technology implies that free speech doesn’t apply to any technology made after the constitution was written?

  115. If you want to argue with me about what should be allowed, and what should not, or that there should be no amendment, fine, but please don’t be idiots. I have never once said IGNORE TEH COSNTITTOOSHUN BECAUSE I AM FROM TEH FURUTE LOLOLOL

  116. Because, in my opinion, according to the law as it is written, the 2nd amendment applies to bazookas.

    And the very minute you find that your local Gonne Shoppe will happily sell you a bazooka, then you might have a point.

    However, I don’t think random regular people should be allowed to own bazookas, so I think the constitution should be changed to work with modern technology.

    Well, then, congratulations! As has been pointed out, ordnance is not generally available to the public.

    Why do you think my statement that the constitution should be amended because I don’t think it is sufficient to cover modern technology implies that free speech doesn’t apply to any technology made after the constitution was written?

    Why would the 2nd Amendment be somehow subject to be due to advances in technology, yet the 1st is not?

    Regardless, your entire argument is really nothing more than the same standard anti-rights canard used over and over in these debates. No one associated with this case has even breached the subject of ordnance.

  117. If you want to argue with me about what should be allowed, and what should not…

    Here on planet Earth, this debate seems to revolve around whether or not residents of Washington DC should be allowed to keep a handgun for their own personal protection. Nothing about bazookas mentioned.

  118. Because, in my opinion, according to the law as it is written, the 2nd amendment applies to bazookas. However, I don’t think random regular people should be allowed to own bazookas, so I think the constitution should be changed to work with modern technology.

    That particular argument is much too nuanced for the internet.

  119. but please don’t be idiots

    CAN’T HELP IT.

  120. A correction:

    Why would the 2nd Amendment be somehow subject to be due to advances in technology, yet the 1st is not?

    Should have read “Why would the 2nd Amendment be somehow subject to modification due to advances in technology, yet the 1st is not?

  121. What a surprise, mention guns and there are 119 comments on Hit and Run. Don’t you guys think anything more important? Apparently not.

  122. Much like riding your mom, debating gun control never gets old.

  123. If you don’t think free speech laws should apply to the internet, tv, and radio, that’s your opinion. I think they are currently protected by the 1st and should continue to be.

    However, I think that the second amendment needs to be amended. 🙂

    Your argument is essentially “why should the constitution be changed to adjust to changing circumstances?” That’s exactly why we change it.

    To give an example of a theoretical future technology where maybe free speech shouldn’t apply:

    If we invent technology that allows you to talk to someone telepathically — should you be allowed to harass someone telepathically in public areas because of free speech laws?

  124. You can’t possibly be serious.

  125. About what?

    The example was obviously extreme.

    I can say the same thing about your argument that because the second amendment needs to be changed, that the first must be changed also.

  126. And here we go, descending into incoherence.

    Other than outlawing bazookas, what, exactly is your issue with how the 2nd Amendment is somehow obsolete in light of technologies that were developed in the early 1900’s?

  127. Thank you, finally.

    I think that, as written, anything that can be defined as an “arm” cannot be regulated by the government.

    I think that the law should be something like this:
    – Basically as it is now, but with an amended constitution that would allow for those laws.

    Very simple, isn’t it? I actually said something similar to this earlier. Unfortunately, people don’t read.

  128. “Unfortunately, people don’t read.”

    FOR EXAMPLE YOU AND YOUR CORRESPONDENCE COURSE “HOW TO CHARM PEOPLE”.

  129. All this needless posting, why?
    Look in the mirror, that is why. Because the face in the mirror did nothing when the first law violating a right come out.
    What now? If the supremes come out with the right opinion, ie recognizing the god given individual right to self defense, making all requirements to buy a firearm void, then all will be right.
    Fat chance, but a better chance for us.
    For if they come out with some narrow horseshit reading then it will give us an opportunity to step, out with guns, bayonets fixed and personally restore the US constitution to its orginial place, at the heart of government.
    Unfortunetly America is fo full of lazy bastards to do such a thing today. The very existence of the Democratic party proves it.

  130. .. cannons?? .. you want cannons??

    http://www.thecannonstore.com/

    .. Hobbit

  131. .. btw, I agree with TWC and a few of the other commenters that the recent track record of the Supremes doesn’t bode well for personal liberties .. I’m buying more guns .. and ammo .. lots and lots of ammo ..

    .. Hobbit

  132. For all I care, the liberals can have our 2nd amendment right … when they pry it from my COLD, DEAD HANDS!!!

  133. By the by … when Hillary establishes her regime, and sends commissars to each of the states to confiscate incandescent lightbulbs, cigarettes, violent video games, and high emission cars, we’ll want guns to protect our property from “Marx in a Miniskirt”

    P.S. I think that sounds a hell of a lot better and more appropriate than “Nixon in a Pantsuit”

  134. Stocking up has nothing to do with it.

    Ahhh, but it does. Once the Supers negate the Right to Bear Arms and the Congress acts to ban handguns, it’s going to be a heck of a lot more difficult to buy ammo for your .357 (not to mention the extra pain to buy now-illegal revolvers to put that ammo into).

    It’ll be a lot easier to hide the pre-ban pistola than to buy one in a post-ban world.

  135. Hobbit, I used to think some of my gun nut friends were deranged. I may have misjudged them.

  136. I hope y’all stocked up yesterday. It was national ammo day.

  137. I used to think some of my gun nut friends were deranged

    .. something like “extremeism in defense of liberty” comes to mind ..

    .. never thought of myself as a gun nut .. I just like shooting ..

    .. Hobbit

  138. If the second only applies to the (state) militia, does that mean TX can have it’s own tanks/planes/etc that Washington has absolutely no control over? Phrase it that way, and every liberal immediately decides it doesn’t apply to the states either.

  139. My friends know they’re gun nuts, but it still pisses them off to be called that. 🙂

    My gun nut friends could invade a small country. A large one if they joined forces.

    When I say deranged, I mean it as Val Kilmer used it in Tombstone.

    Having lots of guns and lots of ammo doesn’t seem so, well, extreme as it once did.

  140. Hello makes Edward sound interesting.

  141. “Marx in a Miniskirt”
    P.S. I think that sounds a hell of a lot better and more appropriate than “Nixon in a Pantsuit”

    I think it is interesting, when you think about it, as hard it might be, but Marx in a miniskirt and Nixon in a pantsuit are preferable to Hilary in either.

  142. Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, who as New York mayor sued the gun industry for letting criminals get guns, said in a recent interview with The Associated Press that the case “is a very, very strong description of how important personal liberties are in this country and how we have to respect them.”

    Giuliani now says the Second Amendment gives citizens the right to own handguns and is not, as he previously argued, limited to the rights of states to maintain citizen militias.

    God, what a fucking hypocrite!

  143. Hello,

    Where did you learn to wrte English? Keep practicing.

  144. The best analysis of the second amendment I have ever read:
    http://www.guncite.com/journals/reycrit.html

  145. What a surprise, mention guns and there are 119 comments on Hit and Run. Don’t you guys think anything more important? Apparently not.

    If you think guns are unimportant, perhaps you should read the daily newspaper. Some reading in history might also enlighten you.

  146. “If we invent technology that allows you to talk to someone telepathically — should you be allowed to harass someone telepathically in public areas because of free speech laws?

    That is where your trusty, 2A protected, Glock comes in: garanteed to end the telepathically projected thoughts of a harasser!

  147. What does “right of the people” mean?

    [To deny that the right protected is one enforceable by individuals] the following set of propositions must be accepted: (1) when the first Congress drafted the Bill of Rights it used “right of the people” in the first amendment to denote a right of individuals (assembly); (2) then, some sixteen words later, it used the same phrase in the second amendment to denote a right belonging exclusively to the states; (3) but then, forty-six words later, the fourth amendment’s “right of the people” had reverted to its normal individual right meaning; (4) “right of the people” was again used in the natural sense in the ninth amendment; and (5) finally, in the tenth amendment the first Congress specifically distinguished “the states” from “the people,” although it had failed to do so in the second amendment.[20]

  148. I wish I had more confidence than I do, but a court that would permit the seizure of private property for private gain using the power of eminent domain, I’m afraid, isn’t likely to do the right thing.

    -jcr

  149. 148 comments on gun control, 148 comments reminding me why the USA is one of those ‘visit once’ destinations.

  150. “the USA is one of those ‘visit once’ destinations.”

    Because lots of people talk about guns? Think of it this way: if some of these folks could invade a small country, wouldn’t you rather be in the US than be the invadee?

    I’ve never shot a gun, by the way. Even vegetarian environmental-volunteering New Yorker-reading types can read the Constitution.

  151. technomist,

    Presumably you are from one of the unarmed (the citizens are unarmed) countries. Do you feel safer because your government bans guns?

  152. 148 comments reminding me why the USA is one of those ‘visit once’ destinations.

    Glad that’s how you feel. I’d much rather meet up with the UK residents who came over to the US to shoot competitively.

  153. Now we have an imperious monarch, protected layer upon layer and screen upon screen of security. The only contacts between “us” and our president now are through carefuly choreographed performances where only the the most superficial of issues are dealt with. Everything else is a grandiose public spectacle.

    I believe that downward spiral began when my boy, Andy Jackson, had his party at the White House.

    technomist, is it car burning season yet on that French island you live on? Don’t worry, there are some new, frendly officials in power now. See? I even capitalize France now. Anyhoo, your neighbors might get to own guns again soon.

  154. Wayne, I not only feel it, I am statistically safer. We al are. Except of course for our poor soldiers who have to cope with your friendly fire every time we go to war alongside you. Seems your gun culture doesn’t improve your forces’ understanding of how to aim a weapon in the right direction when needed, which I thought was the point of the right to bear arms.

  155. Seems your gun culture doesn’t improve your forces’ understanding of how to aim a weapon in the right direction when needed, which I thought was the point of the right to bear arms.

    On occasion one of them city boys/urban urchins gets in and makes a mess of things. Google Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp and you will see what I mean.

  156. We don’t need to google to know about the deaths your forces cause. In the UK, soldiers’ coffins returning home from war are given military send-offs and we see them on our national TV. Blue on blue deaths caused by US forces are well-publicized event. The contempt your military has had for the families of our bereaved and the disregard paid for our legal processes by the US government are a national scandal you may not be aware of.

  157. Except of course for our poor soldiers who have to cope with your friendly fire every time we go to war alongside you. Seems your gun culture doesn’t improve your forces’ understanding of how to aim a weapon in the right direction when needed, which I thought was the point of the right to bear arms.

    No, the point of the right to keep and bear arms is to ensure that our citizens are able and capable of resisting tyrants, such as the English aristocracy that inspired the US constitution in the first place.

    As I recall, in 1941 the US went to war alongside you guys. I think you are the beneficiary of a fair amount of spilled American blood, however ungrateful.

  158. Guy Montag, the UK is not France. If you make flippant asides apposite, it makes them so much more amusing. The point about the car burnings in France was that they made the news, were taken seriously, and helped lead to a change of government there.

  159. Tell you what, technomist-

    You keep the ridiculous restrictions on Olympic-style competitive pistols, the Orwellian public surveillance system and all the burberry-clad yobs toting illegally imported guns and modified Brococks, and I’ll keep the right to defend myself with the most effective means at my disposal.

  160. Speaking of France, believe it or not, they have a rather active culture of shooters. Evidently CAS is a huge deal over there.

    Yet another reason to like France: Sound suppressors are easily and legally available.

  161. Wayne, I have no objections to the US being our allies and certainly appreciate the efforts made in the second world war – my father flew escorts off our aircraft carriers and protected your troops on the way over to Europe at some personal risk. But that was then, and this is now. The facts are that too many of your allies’ soldiers die due to avoidable friendly fire when they have to operate near your forces. These are generally politely described as ‘accidents’ in the confusion of war. What happens afterwards, however, is a disgrace.

  162. Technomist-

    As you may or may not have noted, the subject of this thread is the Supreme Court’s hearing of whether or not Washington DC’s gun ban infringes on a civil right.

    Not about friendly fire in a war on another continent.

  163. technomist, England is a French island (remember the Normans?) technically. One could also say Spain is a Visigothic outpost, and I could run around calling myself “rad-wulf”.

  164. Mediageek is correct. I will point out that the second amendment to the US constitution, in fact the entire US constitution, is a direct response to the rule of England.

    So, pat yourself on the back, Technomist, your ilk are as responsible for our second amendment as if they had penned it themselves. I want to extend my personal thanks to you and to England for spawning the greatest body of human-liberating law so far.

  165. “Where did you learn to wrte English? Keep practicing.”

    Well, if we are going to debate typos…

    The fact that your only argument against my point is “You made some typos” says something.

  166. 148 comments reminding me why the USA is one of those ‘visit once’ destinations.

    Because once you get here, you realize you never want to leave?

  167. Mediageek, I agree this has gone slightly off-track. I suppose that the original point was that the gun culture fostered by the right to bear arms has not achieved a body of men in your forces who are any particularly more adept at aiming weapons in a disciplined manner than if you had more restricted access to weapons and then trained your armed forces better. My understanding of the purpose of this constitutional provision was so you would have a trained body of men available in time of national emergencies, the example for which in your post revolutionary context, was to fight off a king or someone attempting to become one.

    It is, to outside observers, a remarkable fact that your forces do not in fact perform with the discipline and accuracy one would expect – I wonder whether, counter-intuitively, the gun culture has contributed to this. It certainly seems to contribute to a callousness in public life and debate which does no credit to your nation as a whole, and which has unfortunate effects when the deaths of allies are not taken with the gravity and seriousness which people here consider they should be given. Its as if life is held too cheap and violent and avoidable deaths are shrugged off as inevitable.

  168. Hello,

    From your rambles I assume your point is that the second amendment needs to be amended or repealed.

  169. RC Dean, been there, done that.

  170. I suppose that the original point was that the gun culture fostered by the right to bear arms has not achieved a body of men in your forces who are any particularly more adept at aiming weapons in a disciplined manner than if you had more restricted access to weapons and then trained your armed forces better.

    So, UK forces are more skilled with weapons and don’t sometimes accidentally experience friendly-fire incidents of their own?

  171. 2A: the right of the people to keep and bear arms

    This means either:

    interp a: –the right of the people to keep and bear any and all types of arms–

    or

    interp b: –the right of the people to keep and bear at least one type of arms (eg, a musket)–

    or

    interp c: –the right of the people to keep and bear some types of arms–

    I predict that the court will go with interp c and that there will be howls of outrage from the HnR gunnut conting.

  172. Hey you guys, quit picking on Hello. It is nice to have someone who may disagree with the majority of us on this point actually ASKING QUESTIONS and being nice and stuff, as opposed to the agent of the French Crowne who just popped up and popped off as if he was given absolute authority by some watery tart.

    Now, off to an early lunch in the food court and to spread more joy throughout the quite massive office building where I toil to defend the ungreatful from evil.

  173. Wayne, the point is that every time I look at Reason and someone mentions guns, there is a collective slavering at the mouth and the same old points are trotted out endlessly, at length and in minute detail, but never resolved. Whatever the final decisions your country takes on this, the effects of your nation’s obsession with guns on your national life and the effectiveness of your armed forces as instruments of power is of interest to, and has effects on others. Especially, as can be seen in some of the comments above, there are people who want to spread the idea that guns should be in private hands to others. I contrast this with Switzerland, where virtually every house has a gun, but this hardly ever a matter of national anguish or debate, the place has lower crime and, on the whole, discussion of these matters is measured and civilised.

  174. Now, off to an early lunch in the food court and to spread more joy throughout the quite massive office building where I toil to defend the ungreatful from evil.

    Do they even pay you, you selfless hero?

  175. DW,

    This article addresses what sorts of “arms” the 2A garantees the right to keep and bear:

    http://www.guncite.com/journals/reycrit.html

  176. I contrast this with Switzerland, where virtually every house has a gun, but this hardly ever a matter of national anguish or debate, the place has lower crime and, on the whole, discussion of these matters is measured and civilised.

    You make a good point: we are barbarians on this side of the Atlantic.

  177. technomist,

    You are right about the friendly fire incident being scandalous (and the coverup doubly so). Keep in mind that there have been numerous friendly-fire deaths where Americans accidentally killed Americans, so it’s not a nationalist thing. These things happen in war, but when they do happen they should be dealt with honestly.

    Anyway, we’re currently in the midst of trying to kick our foolish and shameful leaders out of office, our at least mitigate the amount of damage they can do. Give us time. I’m sure you’re aware that the UK and every other country on earth has had terrible people in charge at one time or another.

  178. Whatever the final decisions your country takes on this, the effects of your nation’s obsession with guns on your national life and the effectiveness of your armed forces as instruments of power is of interest to, and has effects on others.

    “Obsession with guns”? A hundred years ago, most Americans (and most British) had guns, and it wasn’t a big deal. It became a hot topic because of the people trying to ban them, not because of the people resisting that. I bet it was a big deal in Britain, too, until the banners finally overwhelmed their opposition. How’s that armed robbery rate going, by the way?

    Also, I simply don’t see the connection you’re trying to make between friendly fire incidents and American gun culture. The incident you’re talking about didn’t even involve guns, it was a US fighter jet destroying a British convoy with a missile. How does that have any relation whatsoever to US gun culture?

  179. The fact that your only argument against my point is “You made some typos” says something.

    Wait, what? Since when does a self-incinerating strawman count as a point?

  180. So, UK forces are more skilled with weapons and don’t sometimes accidentally experience friendly-fire incidents of their own?

    No. The L85 service rifle the Brits are issued is just such a jammomatic piece of crap that they never get a chance to fire them in the first place.

    😉

  181. Wayne, you are not barbarians. Its because Americans can at their best be such a civilized people that I care about whats going on there. But as soon as the word ‘gun’ gets mentioned, some kind of a mist comes down.

  182. Also, I simply don’t see the connection you’re trying to make between friendly fire incidents and American gun culture.

    The fatal assumption being that just because one has a day job where s/he carries a firearm, they are automatically a member of the gun culture.

  183. Technomist,

    I have met boatloads of Brits in Iraq. Brits are at least as warmongering a tribe as us Yanks.

    Do you not see the obvious contradiction to your gunphobia in your Swiss example?

  184. Oddly enough, even though I’m a raving gun nut, I’m not that big of a fan of the war.

  185. Mediageek. Re-read the page of comments above- the vitriol, the lack of calm reflection at the other person’s point of view, the lack of thought shown. Compare this with some of the excellent, well informed and highly articulate discussions on other topics on Reason. You live in a gun culture. Of course the connections are difficult to make.

  186. ” Re-read the page of comments above- the vitriol, the lack of calm reflection at the other person’s point of view, the lack of thought shown. ”

    The heat in this debate is driven by our government’s disregard of the law. Either we abide the constitution, or we have no constitution.

  187. DW,

    Do they even pay you, you selfless hero?

    Hero? You make me blush fine Sir! I am just a minor helper in the greatest effort of our era. I am quite happy just being able to participate.

    Yes, they do pay me a bit, certainly not the riches others in my profession are accused documented of making by our fine, always accurate, entertainment news outlets. I chalk up the difference to my good will and gladly do my part to keep costs low.

    Sadly, I am not allowed to be armed in my place of work. On the up side, I do not work in a post office nor on the wrong side of the Potomac river.

  188. technomist,

    This discussion was calm and reasoned compared to, say “Is an HoA a government” discussions.

    The only irrational person was the one who came in, made a blatantly and easily provable wrong statement, then changed their position, then got upset that people were still responding to their original post (mostly because people respond before reading all the way thru).

  189. robc,

    Are we allowed to argue with royalty?

  190. technomist, are you sure mediageek’s culture keeps him from making the connections, rather than your culture causing you to make connections that aren’t there?

  191. Technomist, you’d be speaking German if it wasn’t for whole lot of Americans with guns who, unfortunately only visited the UK once and ended up dead. So, while you speak of calm reflection and cite vitriol, you clearly exempt yourself from the standards you expect other commenters here to adhere to.

    Unlike you, I don’t paint the Brits with a broad brush, just you.

  192. Guy,

    My place of work has a 100% Concealed Carry permit rate. Everyone who works here carries, at least some of the time. I dont much anymore, but used to in our old location.

  193. Are we allowed to argue with royalty?

    nah, I skip ahead to Cromwelling them.

  194. Careful, TWC. The logical extension of what you’re saying is that we should be nice to the *gasp* French.

  195. Speaking of my last post, will the Prince of Wales one day (assuming his mother ever dies) be Charles III? Or am I missing a Charles? Is every odd number Charles beheaded? I can imagine the live feed from Charing Cross would bring in killer (hah!) ratings.

  196. Also, of course we would’ve had a much harder time with Nazi Germany if the British hadn’t held out on their own in 1940, so I don’t think either country owes the other a debt from that affair.

  197. I don’t think either country owes the other a debt from that affair.

    Not anymore, Britain eventually paid their debt off. 🙂

  198. The logical extension of what you’re saying is that we should be nice to the *gasp* French.

    I’ve been nice to the French before.

    In fact, I drank red wine with these two French Girls, sorry, French Women, on a balmy spring evening at the Montage in Laguna Beach this past May. Both were absolutely charming and it was an absolutely delightful time, for me anyway.

  199. My place of work has a 100% Concealed Carry permit rate. Everyone who works here carries, at least some of the time. I dont much anymore, but used to in our old location.

    Man, I wish our customer would let us do that!

  200. crimethink,

    We would have had a much easier time with Germany, before and after 1946, if we had never allied with the Soviets.

  201. Guy,

    One of my clients got a little weirded out when he found out I was carrying in 1 of the pockets of my laptop bag. Just a little. Asked me not to spread it around his company that I was doing it. But other than that time, its never come up. The advantage of concealing is they dont know.

  202. Technomist,
    You are right that these friendly fire incidents are a disgrace. Not knowing much about the military, I’m not sure what the main cause is, but I believe the UK is now using new devices that alert soldiers to where friendly forces are (for tanks, aircraft, personal packs, and so on.) I hope the US starts making some of those changes as well. (Also hope we end the war, but that’s a whole ‘nother discussion.)

    As for vitriol: looking around Reason, it’s definitely not confined to guns. Internet anonymity really invites people to be ruder and more flippant, and reduce genuine issues to snarky one-liners. On the other hand, I think we should be debating publicly like this. Talking about guns is a good thing.

  203. You are right that these friendly fire incidents are a disgrace. Not knowing much about the military, I’m not sure what the main cause is, but I believe the UK is now using new devices that alert soldiers to where friendly forces are (for tanks, aircraft, personal packs, and so on.) I hope the US starts making some of those changes as well. (Also hope we end the war, but that’s a whole ‘nother discussion.)

    For goodness sake, the US is ahead of the Brits and everybody else in IFF devices. I can garantee that there will be fratricide in the future despite these devices.

    Fratricide is not a US problem, it is a problem that is part of warfare.

  204. Guy,

    We would have had a much easier time with Germany, before and after 1946, if we had never allied with the Soviets.

    Should have listened to Patton. We traded the Nazis for fifty years of the Soviets, who were arguably worse (unless, of course, you were Jewish).

  205. His Lordship Technomist is correct, we should be spreading love and not vitrol.

    Anybody have the latest G. Gordon Liddy “Stacked & Packed” calendar?

  206. crimethink, (are you sure mediageek’s culture keeps him from making the connections, rather than your culture causing you to make connections that aren’t there?) No, I am not sure. But I am willing to think about it. How many other people in this site are?

    The wine commonsewer. Es besteht davon keine Moeglichkeit, ohne der spaeteres Eintreten Friede . Mein Vater wuerde lieber den Heldentod im Kreig sterben.

  207. (unless, of course, you were Jewish)

    The Soviets were no friends of the Jews. They just had a longer murder schedule.

  208. Es besteht davon keine Moeglichkeit, ohne der spaeteres Eintreten Friede . Mein Vater wuerde lieber den Heldentod im Kreig sterben.

    Now THAT was funny.

  209. I chalk up the difference to my good will and gladly do my part to keep costs low.

    Haveyoueverthoughta selling one of the homes and asking for a pay cut? That would make costs even lower and make you an even bigger hero than you are now. Sounds like a plan!

  210. You make a good point: we are barbarians on this side of the Atlantic.

    It strikes me that living in a country full of barbarians is all the more reason to own a gun.

    Re-read the page of comments above- the vitriol, the lack of calm reflection at the other person’s point of view, the lack of thought shown.

    IS completely typical of these conversations.

  211. DW,

    That would depress home prices and add fuel to the fire of the deranged goldbugs.

    Well, that and I only have one home but I do have 2 mortgages. If someone wishes to purchase one of the mortgages that would be just super! I will gladly throw in as many carbon credits as thay would like instead of equity in my modest 2nd floor single-wide.

    While we are on the subject of kindness and charity, this is at the top of my Christmas list.

  212. Guy, correctomundo. I meant the reverse, if you weren’t Jewish the Nazi’s were likely easier to deal with than the Soviets, who were equal opportunity killers.

    I had a chance to eat and drink with Alan Kors of F.I.R.E. once. Aside from being a really funny and fun guy, he is passionate about how the commies have gotten a bye from the world while the Nazis continue to be skewered daily (deservedly so).

    One quote:

    “No cause, ever, in the history of all mankind, has produced more cold-blooded tyrants, more slaughtered innocents, and more orphans than socialism with power. It surpassed, exponentially, all other systems of production in turning out the dead. The bodies are all around us. And here is the problem: No one talks about them. No one honors them. No one does penance for them. No one has committed suicide for having been an apologist for those who did this to them. No one pays for them. No one is hunted down to account for them. It is exactly what Solzhenitsyn foresaw in The Gulag Archipelago: “No, no one would have to answer. No one would be looked into.” Until that happens, there is no after socialism.”-Alan Charles Kors

  213. One more, happy Thanksgiving

    “The West accepts an epochal, monstrous, unforgivable double standard. We rehearse the crimes of Nazism almost daily, we teach them to our children as ultimate historical and moral lessons, and we bear witness to every victim. We are, with so few exceptions, almost silent on the crimes of Communism. So the bodies lie among us, unnoticed, everywhere.”-Alan Charles Kors

  214. TWC,

    We might not have this environment if the USA and England did not load their governments, schools and media full of International Socialists beginning in the 1930s.

    Right now we still have a major political Party that is indistinguishable from the Soviets in many ways. Hint: Dr. Ron Paul is not in that major Party.

    The British have openly Socialists parties, even in name. Have been coddling them for decades.

  215. The debate should be something along the lines of: Do normal people really need automatic weapons, and should there be an amendment that says they don’t?

    Not. In a free country the prejudice should always be against making law. The first question must always be “Does government need to prohibit ownership by normal people of automatic weapons?” and that must immediately be followed with “Will the prohibition effectively reduce crime?”

    The reason why “the founding fathers intended” is not valid because this is not the year 1787.

    It’s always amusing when a pundit practicing Freedom of the Press preaches that the Second Amendment cannot protect “assault rifles which didn’t exist in 1787,” into a TV camera.

    Technomist: Wayne, I not only feel it, I am statistically safer. We all are.

    London and British crime rates have been increasing for years. Recently total crime rates for London have been estimated at about seven times those of New York for a slightly smaller population and some authorities suggest these figures have been minimized. England and Wales are now accounted by some estimates as the most dangerous places for crime in the developed world.

    http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=9641

  216. and also that in order to fix it, the constitution should be amended.

    Sorry, but “in order to fix” WHAT, exactly?

    Would it help if you knew that no jurisdiction that passed a gun-control measure ever experienced a reduction in homicide rates?

    Because if you check the historical record you will find that that is the case.

    Over the long term Britain’s crime and homicide rates have been increasing from roughly the same time that they first started restricting firearm ownership.

    On the other hand in the USA the homicide rate seems to have a rough correlation with various restrictions on freedom (prohibition, WOD etc).

  217. On the other hand in the USA the homicide rate seems to have a rough correlation with various restrictions on freedom (prohibition, WOD etc).

    And the population of 16 – 25 year old males.

  218. We don’t need to google to know about the deaths your forces cause. In the UK, soldiers’ coffins returning home from war are given military send-offs and we see them on our national TV.

    Technomist. It’s precisely your lack of gun culture which may be causing this. Lemme give you a quick primer (haa! Pun intended)

    Business end: Long round thingy with hole in it.

    “Clear downrange”: A statement meaning “We be about to fire, get thee out of the way.

    We have fine examples of what happens when your dim-witted non-gun culture actually gets ahold of a big heavy metal thingy that make loud bang and much smoke.

    Let’s put it this way, if I were English (and my mom’s a british subject, so I know) I’d keep my rabbity-toothed, narrow ass away from firearms for lack of ability to handle them. It’s gotta be something in the genes over there, I swear.

  219. Ian Blair, London’s commissioner of police, stopped short of an outright apology, even as he expressed “deepest regrets” and accepted “full responsibility” for the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes, a 27-year-old Brazilian electrician who died after he was shot five times in the head by the local police at the Stockwell subway station in south London.

    I don’t know Paul, that is some damn fine gun control the Bobbys demonstrated.

  220. LarryA,

    Very interesting article… Thanks!

  221. “Wayne, I not only feel it, I am statistically safer. We al are. Except of course for our poor soldiers who have to cope with your friendly fire every time we go to war alongside you. Seems your gun culture doesn’t improve your forces’ understanding of how to aim a weapon in the right direction when needed, which I thought was the point of the right to bear arms.”

    My Dear technomist,

    Aren’t you forgetting something? Or maybe millions of somethings? The lack of private gun ownership has lead to the death of MILLIONS of people in Europe and Asia. Millions of Jews, Slavs and Asians at the hand of oppressive, violent govt. Can you imagine some govt trying that in the united states???? They would get sniped from every hedgerow, … oh, that’s right you don’t have to imagine it, we kicked your kind out of our country a couple of centuries ago with our guns. And that it is why out founders protected such ownership in the constitution. Guns protect people, and freedom.

    When you add in all those other inconvienient statitics, your argument doesn’t hold water. You are not safer. You are at risk from an tyrant foreign or domestic who might wish to kill great whopping numbers of people for what ever twisted reason.

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