Guns

New York Times: Gun Control OK, Slaughterhouse "Terrible"

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With the Supreme Court set to hear oral arguments this morning in the landmark gun rights case McDonald v. Chicago, America's newspapers are weighing in with unsigned editorials. Among the most notable is The New York Times, which tries to have it both ways by endorsing gun control and denouncing the 1873 Slaughterhouse decision that gutted the 14th Amendment's Privileges or Immunities Clause. At least the Times got the Slaughterhouse part right:

We disagreed strongly with the 2008 decision [District of Columbia v. Heller], which took an expansive and aggressive view of the right to bear arms. But there is an even broader issue at stake in the new case: The Supreme Court's muddled history in applying the Constitution to states and cities. It should make clear that all of the protections of the Bill of Rights apply everywhere….

To justify incorporation, the court has relied on the 14th Amendment, which was enacted after the Civil War to ensure equality for newly freed slaves. The amendment has two relevant clauses: the due process clause that requires government to act with proper respect for the law, and the privileges or immunities clause, which is more focused on protecting substantive individual rights.

The logical part of the amendment to base incorporation on is the privileges or immunities clause, but a terrible 1873 Supreme Court ruling blocked that path and the court has relied since then on the due process clause….

The Supreme Court's conservative majority has made clear that it is very concerned about the right to bear arms. There is another right, however, that should not get lost: the right of people, through their elected representatives, to adopt carefully drawn laws that protect them against other people's guns.

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  1. Wash. man electrocuted by urinating on power line

    http://www.breitbart.com/artic….._article=1

    1. Shocking.

    2. This kind of think might electrify the country into passing new safety legislation. In the future, people who do that thing will be charged.

      1. negative.

    3. I’m sure he found this re-volting, but maybe it amped him up. What’s he doing current-ly? I’ll stop pun-ishing you now….

    4. I R be P over I.

    5. “Pimentel says there will be an autopsy but burn marks indicated the way the electricity traveled through Messenger’s body.”

      Wonder what path the current took?

  2. There is another right, however, that should not get lost: the right of people, through their elected representatives, to adopt carefully drawn laws that protect them against other people’s guns.

    Guns are inanimate objects. There is no reason to be protected from them anymore than we need to be protected from a hammer. What we need to be protected from are people who want to commit crimes using guns. Fortunately, there are already laws against murder, robbery, assault, rape, etc. So basically, STFU New York Times.

    1. There’s also another law that protects us from other people’s guns – the Second Amendment!!!

    2. Not to mention that fact that the police have no statutory requirement whatsoever to actually protect you.

      http://dial911.itgo.com/

    3. Why does not the NYT call for the disarmament, let alone the disbandment, of the NYPD, given what happened to Amadou Diallo, Patrick Dorismond, and Sean Bell?

  3. There is another right, however, that should not get lost: the right of people, through their elected representatives, to adopt carefully drawn laws that protect them against other people’s guns.

    That’s a power, not a right, stupid unsigned editorialist.

    1. You just don’t care about human rights! Let’s see, there’s the right to stop people from saying bad things, the right to take away other people’s dangerous guns, the right to do whatever it takes to catch and hurt potential terrorists…

      1. …the right to not be offended by what someone else says, the right to healthcare, the right to have the government interfere with the market subsidize the “right” industries, the right to my own unicorn…

  4. There is another right, however, that should not get lost: the right of people, through their elected representatives, to adopt carefully drawn laws that protect them against other people’s guns.

    ATF is on the job.

    (fully functional AR lowers in the Airsofts)

    1. (fully functional AR lowers in the Airsofts)

      Actually, no, they aren’t- nor are they ‘machine guns’ as claimed in the article.

      1. ATF didn’t seize them for the lack of orange tips.Look at the lowers, they’ll work.

        1. No they won’t; the importer took one that hadn’t been siezed to a gunsmith and they tried. If you’re curious about it, more information can be had at Sebastian’s snowflakesinhell.com blog, where there are more links and insight.

        2. no way that would happen – the metal has got to be too weak to take that kind of ammunition.

          1. The lower does not take much stress during firing. A pot-metal lower would probably break after a while, but the upper is the part that contains all the pressure.

            This guy made one out of some plastic cutting boards he melted together: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DUmwZ_Sd2s

            He even made one from wood, which didn’t last long but it worked.

  5. There is another right, however, that should not get lost: the right of people, through their elected representatives, to adopt carefully drawn laws that protect them against other people’s guns.

    I can’t imagine the kind of mental gymnastics it takes to come up with a definition of right that means ordering people what to do. Fuck the New York Times, yo.

    1. I’m sorry you confuse mental gymnastics with ignorance.

  6. OK, this sounds pretty reasonable to me dude, I mean seriously.

    Jess
    http://www.total-anonymity.cz.tc

    1. No laughter in your heart today?

  7. “…which took an expansive and aggressive view of the right to bear arms.”

    Can anyone imagine using such strange language in relation to any other constitutional right? The Court took an aggressive view of the right to counsel in Gideon. You would never say something like that. Liberals so want the 2nd Amendment to not exist.

    1. You clearly have an exapnsive and aggressive view of the right to free speech. I’m calling the ATF right now…

      1. “”I’m calling the ATF right now…””

        Unless John is 1. Hiding in a cabin or 2. A religous leader with a stockpile of guns, they are not interested.

    2. No, I could not imagine until recently. I believe they used similiar language in decrying the Citizen’s United ruling. Really, no constitutional right is safe if under the cicumstances it does not serve the political and social wants of progressives.

  8. the right of people, through their elected representatives, to adopt carefully drawn laws

    The people don’t adopt laws. Legislatures do. Legislatures with powers that are circumscribed by the Constitution. The Constitution doesn’t balance legislative power against rights; it limits that power. You know – “shall not be infringed”, “pass no law”, that kind of thing.

    that protect them against other people’s guns.

    Idiot magical thinking. Guns are inanimate objects. Why would anyone need protection from an inanimate object? By definition, it just lays there.

    1. Dean, I guess the author should have said “that protect them against stupid drunken assholes who have guns.” But the point remains the same.

      1. Well, look, you are perfectly free to ban guns in your home, your shop, or your vehicle. Okay?

      2. Actually, toxic, once you frame the issue as protection from stupid drunken assholes who have guns, you’ve taken the guts out of the argument for gun control, because you have (correctly) identified the problem as stupid drunken assholes, not guns.

        I mean, we all want protection from stupid drunken assholes who drive cars, but no one is saying that we should ban cars, are they?

        1. “”I mean, we all want protection from stupid drunken assholes who drive cars, but no one is saying that we should ban cars, are they?””

          I say if often when debating the pro-gun control crowd. I get the “but we need cars” response. I get the funny look when I draw them a line between the 911 call, and the gun that arrives. Most anti-gun crowd are not really anti-gun, just anti-non LEOs with a gun. I enjoy pointing that out to their hypocritical ass. The anti-gun crowd feel safe knowing a gun is a phone call away.

          Most anti-gun people will backtrack their position when you start talking about guns and law enforcement.

          1. Well there are plenty of laws that are gun control that no one objects to.

            Who is upset about laws saying you can’t do fire your gun at random in city limits? That felons can’t own guns? There’s a lot of gun control that no one, even libertarians, are too upset about. So yeah, laws against drunk driving are “car control”. And if you drive drunk enough, you legal right to drive is revoked. So that’s not exactly apropos.

            1. “””Well there are plenty of laws that are gun control that no one objects to.”””

              That’s outright false. Some people object to every gun law.

            2. Who is upset about laws saying you can’t do fire your gun at random in city limits?

              There’s a pretty obvious element of risk to others there. Owning or carrying a gun does not put others at risk.

              1. actually, given that drunk driving is a victimless crime, I’m agin’ laws punishing it as well.

                1. Drunk driving is a victimless crime? Tell that to all the people killed and maimed by drunk drivers every year.

                  1. Hitting someone while drunk is different than just drunk driving. You added a new element.

                    The majority of drunk drivers make it home safe, without hurting anyone, and their car intact.

                  2. Driving while under the influence without incident from one place to another is not the same as driving while under the influence, crashing into someone, and injuring or killing them…

                    There is a very specific difference between the two and we used to *require* that the second condition be fulfilled in order for something to constitute a crime.

                    Of course, that was when everyone understood that laws and government were about punishment and not prevention.

                    1. Driving while under the influence without incident from one place to another is not the same as driving while under the influence, crashing into someone, and injuring or killing them…

                      Drunk driving constitutes reckless behavior, just like firing a machine gun from a tower without regard to whoever is below.

                    2. “”Drunk driving constitutes reckless behavior,””

                      Ah, reckless behavior, the cornerstone of the nanny state.

                  3. Drunk driving is a victim-less crime. However, crashing into someone in a completely avoidable accident definitely involves a victim. Fortunately, there already laws covering that, none of which are pushed by neo-prohibitionists and revenue sucking legislatures.

                    1. I give up. I will never remember to refresh before hitting submit.

                    2. Bullshit like saying you need to hit someone while drunk to commit a crime, the cornerstone of why people think libertarians are idiots.

                    3. And yet here you are being, demonstrating you are far, far stupider then any of us. Go home, troll.

                    4. Drunk driving is a victim-less crime. However, crashing into someone in a completely avoidable accident definitely involves a victim. Fortunately, there already laws covering that, none of which are pushed by neo-prohibitionists and revenue sucking legislatures.

                      So if a man decides to climb into the University of Texas Austin tower with a machine gun at high noon and just starts firing towards the ground while not aiming at any person in particular, it should not be a crime unless he actually strikes someone?

            3. Felons do have the right to own firearms if they have done their time, the fucking government is just violating that right, and their right to vote.

    2. “”The people don’t adopt laws. Legislatures do.””

      The author isn’t saying they do, and clearly leaves it to “through their elected representatives, to adopt carefully drawn laws”.

      Isn’t that how a republic works?

      “”The Constitution doesn’t balance legislative power against rights; it limits that power. You know – “shall not be infringed”, “pass no law”, that kind of thing.””

      I hate that I can say this, but what world are you living in? Congress, we could argue state or fed, can infringe on your right to own a gun. The Constitution does not give a felony conviction exclusion to the 2nd. The states can make you jump through hoops for a gun, and if you fail they can infringe on your ability to get one. Congress can and has pass laws with respects to speech when it comes to safety.

      “shall not be infringed” and “pass no law” are not very relevent.

      1. The Constitution does not give a felony conviction exclusion to the 2nd.

        Neither for the 5th.

      2. The author isn’t saying they do, and clearly leaves it to “through their elected representatives, to adopt carefully drawn laws”.

        No, the author is saying that “the people” adopt laws, albeit through their elected representatives. The familiar progressive trope that democracy trumps all, that the undifferentiated mass of the people approves of every law adopted “democratically”, blah, blah. Its horseshit, I say.

        “shall not be infringed” and “pass no law” are not very relevent.

        Seriously? In a discussion about whether the 2A limits legislative power, you are claiming that the language of the 2A (“shall not be infringed”) isn’t relevant?

        1. “””No, the author is saying that “the people” adopt laws, albeit through their elected representatives. The familiar progressive trope that democracy trumps all”””

          The author is describing the actions of a republic, not a democracy.

          “”Seriously? In a discussion about whether the 2A limits legislative power, you are claiming that the language of the 2A (“shall not be infringed”) isn’t relevant?””

          Discussion is the only place it is relevent. But I’m not referring to discussion, I’m referring to practical application. Our gun rights ARE infringed upon, and Congress has passed laws about speech. SCOTUS will allow them to do some when they feel it’s ok. SCOTUS doesn’t really take infringement nor pass no law serious.

        2. Huh, you were all rah-rah for democracy yesterday when the Russian state was auctioning off the government facilities paid for by the Russian people.

    3. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Guns get into people’s hands, fully loaded, and go off, killing others. This often happens after hard drugs have entered the person’s body somehow.

      This is why we needs laws against these horrible, horrible things.

  9. the right of people, through their elected representatives, to adopt carefully drawn laws that protect them against other people’s guns.

    It has already been covered, but- by this logic, why are there no laws “protecting” me from chainsaws, and automobiles, and shovels? Any of these things (virtually any thing at all) can be used to inflict lethal injuries.

    More pathetic handwringing from the self-appointed voice of nannytarianism.

    1. Well, there are laws protecting you from automobiles— safety regs, etc. And also there are licensing requirements that, in theory, keep the totally incompetent of the road. And points systems that punish people that misuse their cars.

      Point being, and I don’t want to take the NYT’s side too much here, but what he meant was “protect the public from assholes with guns.”

      This guy is arguing that the 2nd amendment should be incorporated— where he goes off the tracks is that he thinks that what the Supreme Court did was really aggressive. That is where he is being ignorant, not in the suggestion that the state can legitimately pass laws intended to protect the public from (assholes with) guns.

      1. “keep the totally incompetent of the road”

        Looks like they need more laws – there is a surfeit of totally incompetent drivers on the road.

        1. Good idea. More laws always fix the problem.

    2. Well, there are laws protecting you from automobiles— safety regs, etc. And also there are licensing requirements that, in theory, keep the totally incompetent of the road. And points systems that punish people that misuse their cars.

      Point being, and I don’t want to take the NYT’s side too much here, but what he meant was “protect the public from assholes with guns.”

      This guy is arguing that the 2nd amendment should be incorporated— where he goes off the tracks is that he thinks that what the Supreme Court did was really aggressive. That is where he is being ignorant, not in the suggestion that the state can legitimately pass laws intended to protect the public from (assholes with) guns.

  10. Just to be fair, I agree completely with this:

    It should make clear that all of the protections of the Bill of Rights apply everywhere….

    1. I do, too. Its just that the full message is that “while the Bill of Rights should be applied everywhere, it shouldn’t limit the power of the state to pass laws.”

      1. Its just that the full message is that “while the Bill of Rights should be applied everywhere, it shouldn’t limit the power of the state to pass laws when I think it’s right.”

        NYT-style.

        1. “”Its just that the full message is that “while the Bill of Rights should be applied everywhere, it shouldn’t limit the power of the state to pass laws when I think it’s right.”

          NYT-style.””

          It’s pretty much Washington DC style. Calling it NYT-style is just stupid. Most republicans, democrats behave that way.

  11. Shut the fuck up, New York Times.

    1. Give them a couple more years of hemorrhaging losses and they just might 😀

  12. Some people fail to understand that laws only affect those who follow them. They do not have magical powers that force people to obey.

    So in the case of gun laws, the criminal by definition does not follow the law and likely will be armed, while the law abiding citizen will not.
    Anyone who fails to understand that concepts is a complete and total idiot.

  13. The court takes an expansive and aggressive view of the right to a free press. We need to selectively outlaw large, propagandistic, and elitist other peoples newspapers from New York.

    1. I agree. Since we’re all about democratically adopted protections from inanimate objects, I call for laws protecting me from newspapers.

      If it will make toxic happier, we can just pass laws against newspapers produced by stupid drunken assholes. Either way, the NYT is toast.

      1. How about a law protecting you from anti-social behavior.

        “He also admitted admit that more needs to be done to rid the streets of louts, and set out plans to toughen Anti-Social Behaviour Orders.

        He said that from now on, anyone who breaches the terms of an Asbo can expect to be prosecuted.

        Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..z0h2LABzds

  14. I have not read the briefs, but is there anything in reinstating P&I that would allow a legal regime that looked like Chicago’s anyway?

    I don’t understand this Op-Ed at all.

    1. TAO, you need to back up and understand that, to a progressive, the Bill of Rights is subordinate to the democratic impulses of the day.

      So go ahead and incorporate the BOR in its entirety via the P & I clause; it won’t restrict legislative power because the legislature is democratically elected and thus should not be subject to restraint.

      1. TAO, you need to back up and understand that, to a progressive, the Bill of Rights is subordinate to the democratic impulses of the day.

        What problems do progressives have with guns?

      2. TAO, you need to back up and understand that, to a progressive, the Bill of Rights is subordinate to the democratic impulses of the day.

        What problems do progressives have with guns?

        1. Better to ask what problems do progressives have with limited government, Michael. Gun control is just one of their many vehicles for the Total State.

          1. Better to ask what problems do progressives have with limited government, Michael. Gun control is just one of their many vehicles for the Total State.

            And yet they fail to see that unlimited government could adopt very un-progressive policies, such as a nationwide ban on sodomy.

          2. Better to ask what problems do progressives have with limited government, Michael. Gun control is just one of their many vehicles for the Total State.

            And yet they fail to see that unlimited government could adopt very un-progressive policies, such as a nationwide ban on sodomy.

    2. I have not read the briefs, but is there anything in reinstating P&I that would allow a legal regime that looked like Chicago’s anyway?

      Sure, if you follow the New York Times suggestion of reinstating P&I but also rendering the 2nd Amendment a nullity.

  15. “There is another right, however, that should not get lost: the right of people, through their elected representatives, to adopt carefully drawn laws that protect them against other people’s guns.”

    I bet the New York Times doesn’t feel that way about other people’s marriages.

    1. I bet the New York Times doesn’t feel that way about other people’s marriages.

      Winner!

  16. “There is another right, however, that should not get lost: the right of people, through their elected representatives, to adopt carefully drawn laws that protect them against other people’s [free speech].”

    Will the NYT agree to carefully drawn laws that prevent the publication of unsigned editorials?

  17. I’m not going to count on carefully drawn laws for protection. I prefer to seek cover and shoot back.

    1. I know! It’s like they’ve never seen Bonanza or somethin’!

  18. The Supreme Court’s conservative majority

    ??? Kennedy counts as conservative?

    1. Anyone left of Ginsburg is considered conservative these days.

      1. I meant right, obviously. Duh-oh!

    2. People only trot out this trope of “conservative/liberal majority” when its in their best interest and its a signal that the issue isn’t the legal reasoning, but the political passion that is driving the critique.

      I follow the law for a living and I’ve seen very few opinions that were just straight out wrong. Some are just convoluted hack jobs, of course, but few are ever blatantly wrong. The law is too complex. Slaughterhouse is a rare exception.

      Had the court gone the other way on Heller, the NYTimes would never had said “the liberal majority” – even if there had been one.

  19. The Supreme Court’s conservative majority has made clear that it is very concerned about the right to free speech. There is another right, however, that should not get lost: the right of people, through their elected representatives, to adopt carefully drawn laws that protect them against other people’s offensive statements.

  20. There is another right, however, that should not get lost: the right of people, through their elected representatives, to adopt carefully drawn laws that protect them against other people’s guns.

    To pile on. This is exactly what the privileges and immunities clause is negating. It just used to be taking those rights only from blacks. The Times is just fine with it as long as you nuke everybody’s rights.

    1. The Times is just fine with it as long as you nuke everybody’s rights.

      In practice, not everybody’s rights are nuked equally.

      In the debate over same-sex “marriage” bans, you do not have politicians carving out exceptions for themselves; the bans apply equally to everyone. This is not true with gun bans.

    2. The Times is just fine with it as long as you nuke everybody’s rights.

      In practice, not everybody’s rights are nuked equally.

      In the debate over same-sex “marriage” bans, you do not have politicians carving out exceptions for themselves; the bans apply equally to everyone. This is not true with gun bans.

      1. With the 2nd, it’s not just the politicians carving out an exception for themselves, the pro-gun control crowd want an exception so others can carry a gun on their behalf and expect to get one in short order when they call 911.

        1. With the 2nd, it’s not just the politicians carving out an exception for themselves, the pro-gun control crowd want an exception so others can carry a gun on their behalf and expect to get one in short order when they call 911.

          How would the NYT editorial board react if politicians proposed a same-sex “marriage” ban with similar exceptions?

  21. Since newspapers are famously unpopular, I’d love to see the NYTimes react to a vote that would ban the NYTimes.

    The right of the people, through representatives, to enact carefully drawn laws without regards to the Constitution and all that.

  22. Progressives, hypnotized as they are with state power legitimized through majoritarianism, cannot seem to keep the Iron Law in mind:

    Me today, you tomorrow.

    1. Replace the word Progressives with Citizens and I’d be more inclined to agree. Both words have their problems. Progressives is to narrow and doesn’t include many others that are hypnotized, while citizens is a little too broad.

      I don’t think it does the arugment justice to call just the progressives on it.

      Let’s be honest, doesn’t “hypnotized as they are with state power legitimized through majoritarianism, cannot seem to keep the Iron Law in mind:” pretty much applies to the majority party.

  23. Via SCOTUSblog, it looks like we are fucked on Slaughterhouse but cool on incorporation. But this is the kind of shit that makes me seethe:

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the dissenters in Heller, then moved in to press Gura on just what “unenumerated rights” would be protected if the Court were to revive the “privileges or immunities” clause. It was a theme that would recur often thereafter, solidifying the appearance that the argument had virtually no chance of succeeding. (In fact, when Gura near the end of the argument returned to the podium for his rebuttal, his time was used up by Justices Ginsburg and Anthony M. Kennedy exploring what other rights might come into being if the Court gave new life to the “privileges or immunities” clause. He responded that he could not provide a full list, to which Justice Scalia retorted: “Doesn’ t that trouble you?” It was obvious that it troubled the Court.)

    What troubles me is that the court is troubled by the idea I might have more rights than they can enumerate.

    1. What we have on display here is Justices in search of a pretext.

      Its their job, after all, to identify the unenumerated rights as they are presented in cases to the Court. Until they say a right is protected by P & I, then from a practical/positivist perspective, it isn’t.

    2. What’s more, the Court has an easily available bright-line test to apply to this issue – the BOR. They could easily rule that the BOR applies to the states, and that unenumerated rights not protected by the BOR aren’t protected by P & I. Hell, they junked the concept of unenumerated rights once already, why can’t they do it again?

      1. Agreed on both points.

    3. Positive rights or negative rights?

    4. “Can you enumerate the unenumerated rights?” Ginsburg should be tossed from the court just for displaying her ignorance like that.

  24. “What troubles me is that the court is troubled by the idea I might have more rights than they can enumerate.”

    Perhaps, but admitting there are other unenumerated rights opens to the door to ‘rights’ as defined by a lot of political viewpoints. Rights to health care, education, affordable housing, etc.?

    1. Right, the Pandora’s Box. I tend to come down on the side of Ilya Shapiro, who argues that (a) we are already in danger of this to some extent and (b) overturning Slaughterhouse does not necessarily open that box.

  25. Imagine all the things (1) that you can do with no government around and (2) that do not infringe on the things another person can do.

    All of those are rights.

    Quite a few, aren’t there?

    That’s why they aren’t enumerated.

    For a properly functioning society and economy, you should add one more right that is not captured by that definition because it is, case-for-case, an exclusive right: the right to possess property.

    1. Unenumerated rights are rights that were generally recognized in 1789.

  26. Unenumerated rights ought not impose an economic burden on others. For example, a “right” to health care, or a home, job etc should only mean that you have a right to the opportunity to obtain same within your own means.

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