Gun Rights

Carrying Guns: An Issue for the Supreme Court and the Electorate

Trying to ban both open carry and concealed carry is a bit of a problem.

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Gun
Jminso679 / Dreamstime

If there is any issue that could intensify the emotions and raise the stakes in the 2016 presidential election, it's guns. That issue just got cranked up to 11. 

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the Second Amendment does not protect the right to carry a concealed firearm in public. Another appeals court has reached a somewhat different conclusion, and the question is bound eventually to demand the attention of the Supreme Court. 

On the general topic of gun rights, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump strongly differ. He got the endorsement of the National Rifle Association, and she won the support of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. 

He calls her "the most anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment candidate ever to run for office." She favors new restrictions she describes as "common-sense gun safety measures consistent with the Second Amendment." 

What makes the debate so important is that the basic meaning of the amendment is still being figured out. The Supreme Court has found it guarantees an individual right to own a gun for self-defense—as distinct from a collective right to bear arms in a state militia. But the justices have not ruled on the constitutionality of a variety of regulations. 

One of those is California's policy on carrying concealed guns in public. It allows only those with permits to do so and is stingy in giving them out. Anyone who wants a license has to convince the county sheriff she has "good cause" for it. Among the reasons that don't qualify are "self-protection and protection of family (without credible threats of violence)." 

A lawsuit challenged the constitutionality of the law. But on Thursday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld it, saying, "There is no Second Amendment right for members of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public." The odd part was its admission that the Constitution may protect the right of citizens to carry guns openly. California doesn't allow that, either, but the open-carry ban, the court said, was not challenged in this case. 

Its verdict diverges from a 2012 decision by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, which struck down Illinois' near-total ban on concealed carry. "To confine the right to be armed to the home is to divorce the Second Amendment from the right of self-defense" recognized by the Supreme Court, that court concluded. "A right to bear arms thus implies a right to carry a loaded gun outside the home." 

Sooner or later, the Supreme Court will have to decide who's right. How it would have ruled in Antonin Scalia's day was hardly certain. But its Second Amendment opinions imply that the Second Amendment prerogative to employ a gun for personal protection extends beyond one's front door. 

In 2008, the court listed various restrictions it considered permissible: "prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms." The list's omission of laws against carrying guns in public was conspicuous. 

The justices found that many 19th-century courts allowed states to forbid carrying concealed weapons—while noting that some struck down laws against carrying guns openly. But the right to "bear arms" doesn't sound as though you are entitled just to sleep with a pistol on your nightstand.

If the right to self-defense applies beyond the home, states can hardly forbid law-abiding citizens to venture out in public without the means to protect themselves. A dissenting judge in the California case reached the sensible conclusion: States may ban concealed carry or open carry but not both. 

The two landmark Second Amendment cases were decided by 5-4 votes, with Scalia in the majority. Without him, the eight remaining justices might be evenly divided on concealed-carry bans. So the next person to join the court could ultimately cast the deciding vote. 

As a general, practical rule, it may not matter much how the Supreme Court finally rules on this question. Most states enacted permissive concealed-carry laws on their own and would keep them regardless. 

But it matters in principle, and in some states—like Illinois and California—it matters in practice. To a voting public that includes nearly 13 million people with concealed-carry permits, it will certainly matter on Election Day.

© Copyright 2016 by Creators Syndicate Inc. 

NEXT: "If he murdered because he saw two men kiss, I say: find someone to kiss"

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  1. GOD I FUCKING HATE OBAMA!! ONLY HOURS INTO HIS 14TH LARGE-SCALE MASS SHOOTING AND HE’S POLITICIZING TRAGEDY AGAIN BY SAYING KOOKS AND TERRORISTS SHOULDN’T BE ABLE TO BUY GUNS?!? THE FACTS AREN’t IN YET, ASSHOLE!

    I can’t wait for Trump, who will ship Mexicans back to whatever shithole Mexicans come from. Ultimately, they’re probably responsible for all this mess having probably triggered Mr. Islamic terrorist POS into a totally understandable hissie-fit. Poor Mr. terrorist and poor picked-on right-wingers.

    1. “whatever shithole Mexicans come from”
      Im no expert, but I think that would be Mexico

      1. I am, apparently, a mexpert though

        1. Thanks for mexsplaining, Eman.

    2. Please explain what gun law would have prevented this guy from getting a gun. You really are sick if you think that blaming an inanimate object (a gun) for the slaughter while ignoring the perpetrator’s Islamic motivations and ties makes any sense at all. Go fuck yourself, filth.

      1. The shooter not only passed all the background checks, he was also the proud holder of a class-G gun licence awarded by the state of Florida after 28 hours of training and state certification.

        It’s almost as if The State is not quite the magic fucking wand of all-knowing power some people like to think it is.

        But sure. They’ll get it right next time.

        1. Funny, I must have missed the part where Obama ordered his Secret Service detail to disarm. Because I’m sure he would never be such a hypocrite.

          1. In RE: the fact that the shooter had passed the state’s tests to be a bodyguard

            1. State Sponsored Terrorist

        2. I believe they think that if they stack up enough laws and ban enough stuff that eventually they might, just maybe, make a difference in 1 out of 1000 cases (never mind how many freedoms they suppress / eliminate). So you know, “If we can stop just one ….” and other horseshit from congresscritters.

      2. Common Sense gun control in France will protect the French.

        1. Don’t forget Denmark and Belgium, two other countries that ban fully automatic assault rifles. Surely these nations will never experience a similar attempt to murder people with these weapons of war?

          1. fully automatic assault rifles

            Do you work for the Redundancy Department of Redundancy?

            1. I know it’s redundant, but did it on purpose because of the way people misuse “assault rifle”.

      3. Quit picking on american socialist! He didn’t ask for his mom to drink all that antifreeze while she was pregnant with him, you know!

        1. Antifreeze? I thought it was huffing paint thinner that did it!

          1. No, no, it was fucking multiple men in a dumpster full of used needles.

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    4. ONLY HOURS INTO HIS 14TH LARGE-SCALE MASS SHOOTING

      Maybe we should lock him up if he’s committed 14 “large-scale mass shootings”? (Are there “small-scale mass shootings”?)

      1. It’s the old Bono joke. “Well stop fuckin’ doin’ it, ya evil bastard!”

    5. There are already laws that say terrorists and crazy people can’t own guns. The laws Obama supports only affect law-abiding citizens.

      1. Oh, hey, speaking of that!

        “As regards disarming the Sioux, however desirable it may appear, I consider it neither advisable, nor practicable. I fear it will result as the theoretical enforcement of prohibition in Kansas, Iowa and Dakota; you will succeed in disarming and keeping disarmed the friendly Indians because you can, and you will not succeed with the mob element because you cannot.”

    6. Scum like you with your “multiculturalism” and your endless America hatred are the reason why these people feel like we should have to assimilate to their backwards, barbaric culture instead of the other way around.

    7. Have you actually thought your proposed solution all the way through? I rather doubt it. That’s something that grownups do, and you’re mentally a child. You just want Daddy to make it go away.

    8. american socialist, please go troll elsewhere if you have nothing substantive to say. Those who read your drivel will never get that minute of their life back.

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  3. What is there to debate? “Shall not be infringed” only has one meaning and you can look it up in a dictionary in just a few minutes. You can’t change that meaning so your only recourse if you want to infringe the right to keep and bear arms is to amend the law of the land. Until you do that any infringement is illegal, regardless of what SCOTUS or anyone else says.

    1. You obviously don’t understand the intellectual nuance which allows courts such as the 9th Circuit to find that the right to bear arms does not actually include the right to bear arms.

      1. No, they just redefined the word ‘shall’.

        1. and “right” and “not” and “infringed” and “people.”

        2. They’ll just change the definition so it only means those 2 things hanging from your shoulders. You can keep ’em and wear sleeveless shirts. Now you’re keeping and baring arms.

          Murder is already illegal. Making guns illegal just changes how the murders will happen.

          1. Murder is already illegal. Making guns illegal just changes how the murders will happen.

            Not really, plenty of people are shot at in countries that basically outlaw guns, or make them extremely hard to get. Particularly when it comes to mass murder, either by terrorists or nut-cakes (but I repeat myself.)

            Just in the sphere of “developed nations”, see:

            Norway: Some guy went through year long process to legally obtain an “assault weapon” just so he could murder more than 70 defenseless people.

            Belgium: a would-be terrorist obtained a fully automatic assault rifle, and brought it on a train.

            Denmark: Another would-be terrorist got his hands on yet another full auto rifle, and started shooting at people in a cafe in Copenhagen.

            France: Cartoonists and concert goers shot by multiple terrorists on separate occasions with.. fully automatic assault rifles.

            All these countries don’t allow their citizens to own assault rifles, only Norway allows people to own semi automatic rifles, and only after they go through a year long vetting process.

            Go outside that magical “developed” sphere, and then look at the proliferation of gun-related deaths across Central and South America, the Middle East, Africa, etc. All places that don’t technically allow gun ownership for most people.

      2. Unless the constitution literally refers to a “keep” and some ursine appendages. “Housing” is a human right confirmed!

        1. But the SC has not yet determined whether Congress actually needs to declare war on bears to collect their arms or whether the 2nd Amendment is in fact that declaration of war

    2. They are mendacious. According to them, the first clause of the Amendment completely negates the second clause despite that not making any sense logically, grammatically, or historically.

      1. If you start from the assumption that the 2A does not grant the right to do anything because guns are bad, the rest flow as naturally as diarrhea.

    3. TIMES HAVE CHANGED! THE FOUNDING FATHERS COULDN’T FORESEE AN AK-47!

      1. Wrong. The first fully automatic weapon was created during, and even sanctioned to be purchased by, the Continental Congress.
        Also, it wasn’t about the times or technology, but rather an answer to the question of in WhOSE HANDS the technology or war and defense be trusted. Just Govt authority, or too the people. Rightly, no men with guns holds some ordained right or monopoly on the tools of death. Nothing sane or safe about that.

      2. Our founding fathers actually believed that whether a musket or a .50 Cal, the citizenry should not be outgunned by the government. Because just as a well regulated militia (our armed services) is necessary to the freedom of the state, the right to keep and bear (or bare-sun’s out guns out) arms keeps said citizenry free from a potentially tyrannical government.

    4. obviously you are not a top man who went to a top law school. Because if you new who your betters were, you’d understand that these top men who went top law school have magic powers and words: dicta, holding, to find, standing. And amongst these magical powers is to observe nuance of plain language greater than mere mortal…. or those smart enough not to get the brain fucked up with law school.

  4. “bear v. To carry from one place to another; transport.”

    So, I suppose it depends on what the meaning of “infringe” is.

    1. INFRINGE
      n?fringe
      [in?frinj]
      VERB

      actively break the terms of (a law, agreement, etc.):
      “making an unauthorized copy would infringe copyright”
      synonyms: contravene ? violate ? transgress ? break ? breach ? [more]
      act so as to limit or undermine (something); encroach on:
      “his legal rights were being infringed” ? [more]
      synonyms: restrict ? limit ? curb ? check ? encroach on ? [more]

      Nope, don’t see any wiggle room there, either.

      1. “infringe v. To embellish with fringe; decorate.”

        *** pounds gavel ***

      2. Not to nitpick… put your definition of infringe does NOT include “control.” As such… controlling guns is not the same as infringing rights to said guns.

        /progtardicious linguistical nuancing

      3. Not to nitpick… put your definition of infringe does NOT include “control.” As such… controlling guns is not the same as infringing rights to said guns.

        /progtardicious linguistical nuancing

  5. Assuming a person couldn’t carry a gun without concealing or carrying it in his hand, he would be forbidden from arming with a gun ?

    1. There was some state in the 1800s which banned concealed carry, and in fact held it concealed in total if even the slightest bit was concealed by, say, a holster.

  6. It takes a really sick person to suggest that people shouldn’t have the means to defend themselves by any means possible after a large number of their countrymen just got brutally gunned down.

    1. Don’t worry, the government is there to protect you stand outside navel gazing and firing potshots until the murderer kills himself.

      1. When seconds matter, the police are only minutes away.

        1. And when they get there, they’re just going to set up a perimeter and wait, because that’s what heroes do.

          1. Now, now…

            They’ll likely shoot your dog while they’re waiting.

            Credit where due.

          2. And when they get there, they’re just going to set up a perimeter and wait, because that’s what heroes do.

            Not to pick too big a bone here but given Peelian Principles, NAP, and all that; I’d rather have them setting up a perimeter/extraction zone and solidly enforcing that first rather than ‘going hot’ at a moments notice.

            1. Why is it that they are all about kicking down doors and bumrushing perps when serving a warrant where there is relatively little urgency, but when people are actually bleeding out, they’re all cautious and by the book?

              1. Because the most important thing is that the cops go home to their families that night!

                It’s almost as if, maybe, they should have become accountants, instead.

                1. It’s almost as if, maybe, they should have become accountants, instead.

                  I think we’re talking past each other. If they’re flashbanging toddlers, then yes, send them in to an active shooter incident if only as fodder. But, *ultimately*, the alternative to them usually showing up, minutes later, and establishing a perimeter is them showing up seconds later, full breech, all the time. And I’d rather have a random group of accountants doing the former rather than a group of hired and trained killers doing the latter day-in, day-out.

      2. or stand around outside until he has killed enough people inside to make it the worst shooting ever in order to tighten gun control laws

    2. Gun free zones and morbidly obese pussy police are more than sufficient protection. Anything more would be overkill, Har Har, pardon the pun.
      /sick fuck prog

      1. When you add in Reddit’s hysterical censorship (“STOP TALKING ABOUT IT OR ELSE”) the leftist reaction was as cold as a body that waited three hours for police rescue.

        1. I am really happy with my decision to stay away from Facebook starting about six months ago.

          1. I’m sure your Farmville friends are beside themselves with worry.

            1. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

          2. Six years here… The longer you go the better it feels. Fuck Facebag.

            1. So happy I never even created an account on fb. But to be fair, very early social networks like livejournal would have inoculated anyone against that kind of silliness.

  7. Concealed AM Links!

    1. Where is the the sad cat?

      1. Hiding in your mom’s underwear drawer?

        1. That’s a strange place for a mourning lynx.

          1. I think he meant hiding in your Mom’s underwear… Which is a sad place.

    2. This is literally worse than Orlando…and that’s NOT OK

      1. There is literally no difference between whoever is supposed to post the mourning lynx and Adam Lanza.

        1. I nominate Lord H as a replacement.

        2. Are you saying that Sheldon was responsible?

  8. “The Senate’s inaction on common sense gun violence prevention makes it complicit in this public health crisis.”

    Senator Richard Blumenthal wants the Senate to *take action on public health*!

    1. Maybe some state’s attorney generals should look into a RICO case against the senate.

  9. Mourning Links.

  10. The Second Amendment was put in place to allow citizens to protect themselves from *their own government*. This is why statists of all flavors abhor it. Since, to them, we all exist to serve the State, there is no need for anyone to keep and bear arms unless the State has need for them to do so.

    1. But but but muskets !

      1. Free muskets, balls and powder for everyone!

      2. I like to remind people who suggest that the founders wouldn’t have supported private people owning assault rifles that the founders did support private people owning cannons.

        1. Multiple cannons. On their private battle ships.

    2. You know who else needed protection from their own government…

      1. Venezuelans?

      2. Everyone. Everyone ever.

      3. Soave?

      4. Edward Snowden?

        (And also, what HoD said.)

      5. Hitler?

    3. “The Second Amendment was put in place to allow citizens to protect themselves from *their own government*.

      You don’t even have the guts to post a comment under your own name, let alone attack the government with firearms.

      1. Says the guy who is also using an assumed name. If you are going to go against the government, you don’t advertise it, moron.

    4. I’ll believe that gun-rights folk believe that when they start talking about getting surface-to-air missiles, rocket launchers, grenades, and so-on.

      Until then, they don’t even meet the test of “do they take their own professed beliefs seriously”, which is necessary before I get to the “are they persuasive” test.

      To be clear, I think gun-control is a waste of time because technology has overcome the ability to control access to firearms, and that this will only become increasingly difficult. But this argument is a stupid one.

  11. “Keep and bear arms” would seem to allow for only one interpretation, but “Constitutional” is whatever a pack of lawyers highly trained in the art of persuasively arguing black is white and up is down and truth depends on what the meaning of “is” is decides it is. If you can invent a penaltax clause out of whole cloth you can sure as hell figure out a way the Constitution doesn’t actually allow anybody and everybody to run around armed in public because that’s obviously too dangerous. And nevermind that as society and culture and norms change you don’t just start deciding the Constitution no longer means what it says or means something different, you amend the Constitution in the manner provided for. Which process is difficult to do for a reason, that reason being is you damn well better have a solid mass of citizens deciding after a deliberate, thorough debate that amending the Constitution is a good idea.

    1. I just heard a quote from Lysander Spooner in which he said something like “This Constitution has either created or failed to prevent the government we now have. In either case, it is unfit to exist.”

      Hard to argue with the guy. Until we realize freedom is already ours regardless of what any group of people says… we are servants.

  12. Listen, Soave. We were willing to forgive the May 17th (Never Forget) PM Lynx debacle. If we lose our AM Lynx, we have to start resorting to other methods. I will send one naked picture of Warty to Reason’s staff every day until this is corrected.

    1. That’s cruel and unusual!

      1. Cruel and unusual is actually originally obtaining the photos.

        Never good for the photographer.

    2. Dude, making terroristic threats like that is a surefire way to get Preet up you.

      1. I had Preet up me. But I got better.

    3. Send them the Warty stuffed animal. You know what happens when you pull the string?

        1. Ah, dammit. Anyone got a kleenex and some Lava soap?

    4. After 9:30 would be late. Keep your britches on.

      1. Wait a minute, I’m supposed to be wearing pants when I browse Reason?

        1. Not if you find them binding.

    5. It might look like a topographical map of a desert region, but it is, in fact, a close-up of the weapon bays deployed across his testicles.

  13. This is probably a dumb question. Fully auto firearms are illegal in the US, right? Except for a few that already exist and were grandfathered in? I thought that was the case but am no expert. Because I saw a bunch of stuff on FB about how “we” need to ban assault rifles.

    1. Correct.

      1. So they’re already banned. I guess they want to ban scary looking semi-auto rifles, or are just very ignorant or are hoping the reader is.

    2. Fully auto firearms are illegal in the US, right?

      Wrong. Acts of congress don’t trump the constitution, and the “national firearms act” is a usurpation, not a law.

      -jcr

      1. I don’t think the NFA actually bans full auto anything, it does set up a $200 tax on purchasing them, I believe it also created a registry (though that could be in some other law.)

        However, later an amendment was added to the Firearm Owners Protection Act which I think forbids the manufacture, import and sale of machine guns to private parties, that were not already registered before sometime in 1986.

        So machine guns are not banned for private ownership, you can just only buy ones that were already in the registry prior to it being closed in 1986. Given supply and demand, they tend to be very expensive and the paperwork to be approved and pay the tax takes a while.

    3. You can purchase certain full-auto weapons. There is an extensive FBI background check (you have to send fingerprints via registered agency), pay $200 tax, 6 month waiting period. You also, have to have local sheriff sign off on it. Technically they have to unless they have a good reaso but you should be prepared to hire an attorney if he refuses which happens often. If they come to check on you later, you better still have it. That’s why legal ( ie not illegally converted) full auto weapons are NEVER used in a crime dispite mivies and tv shows.

      1. I can think of only 1 case in the last 50 years where an illegally converted firearm was used. CA bank robbery. Full auto guns are also prohibitively expensive for most people.

          1. Same rules apply for silencers. BATF website I’m sure has all the details.

            1. I completely don’t get the silencer thing. I can’t ever begin to understand the thinking behind, particularly when you consider that some countries mandate the use of sound suppressors. But then I realize that the desire is simply to curtail gun rights in whatever way can be gotten away with.

        1. You can purchase certain full-auto weapons.

          I can think of only 1 case in the last 50 years where an illegally converted firearm was used. CA bank robbery. Full auto guns are also prohibitively expensive for most people.

          The Battle of North Hollywood, right? I think everybody, gun rights advocates and gun right opponents alike, should be exceedingly familiar with that incident. It contains lots of neat paradoxes that get overlooked or converted to factoid by both sides. Specifically, the ‘straw buyer’ was actually one of the robbers and, IMO most importantly, the only two people to die that day were the perpetrators armed to the teeth with fully-automatic weapons and homemade body armor that made them relatively impervious to the loads and rounds used by police on the scene.

          Makes a lot of people that generally get labeled as ‘gun nuts’ seem woefully underprepared.

          1. Yeah, that’s the one. It’s the one the media always plays when they want to pretend that it’s a real problem.

          2. What was embarassing was that one of the robbers had no idea how to clear a stovepipe jam.

            1. Yeah, because arming yourself to the teeth only to have your plans completely undone when the cops put bullets through the tires of your getaway vehicle wasn’t embarrassing enough.

          3. and the only two people who died were the gunmen

        2. Two. one was used by a cop to kill a confidential informant. It was an illegally converted auto. The second was a doctor, no one has any idea who the shooter was, or the weapon. What is interesting is that both of these incidents happened in Ohio. And these were the only crimes committed with full auto weapons since 1934.

      2. There are sometimes people with full auto weapons at my local range. It’s more a matter of “Do you have $16k to blow on a full auto M16” than the tax and background check (which is no more “extensive” than the checks in many states to get a concealed carry permit).

        After you’ve laid down that kind of money, you don’t just let that thing out to rob convenience stores (because it’s the guns that commit the crimes, as we all know).

        Ironically, the high price of full auto weapons acts against gaining the support of many full auto owners in ending the ban on post-1986 full auto weapons. They are in possession of a resource that is in scarce supply and high demand. They do not at all want to see what happens to their investment if all of a sudden you can get a select-fire Bushmaster AR-15 for $1k at Cabelas.

      3. “That’s why legal ( ie not illegally converted) full auto weapons are NEVER used in a crime dispite mivies and tv shows.”
        I’m not sure if you were trying to make a point here or not, but doesn’t that support that sufficiently harsh gun-control laws *do* work?

  14. 8:19.

    This is no way to run a railroad.

  15. 8:19.

    This is no way to run a railroad.

  16. What makes the debate so important is that the basic meaning of the amendment is still being figured out.

    Bullshit. The amendment isn’t ambiguous. It explicitly prohibits the government from infringing our right to keep and bear arms.

    -jcr

  17. Who’s ever responsible for this, I’ll do this for you when the commentariat gets through with you.

  18. “What makes the debate so important is that the basic meaning of the amendment is still being figured out.”

    No, it fucking isnt. That is not what is happening here at all. Totalitarian lying sacks of shit are constantly tweaking their sophistry in an ongoing attempt to make people helpless. That is what is happening here.

  19. “She favors new restrictions she describes as “common-sense gun safety measures consistent with the Second Amendment.”

    Shall. Not. Be. Infringed.

    Cognitive dissonance is one hell of a drug.

    Seriously, fuck that bitch.

    1. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

      THere’s a few phases/words there that make this amendment far too vague:

      – Well Regulated: Sounds like gun control to me
      – Right of the people to keep and bear arms: Sounds like people can have guns to me.
      – Militia: Is only in the context of Militia…Perhaps the founding fathers never addressed personal individual defense?

      1. “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”

        is not ambiguous

        1. Had that been the only sentence in the entire amendment, I’d agree with you.
          But it appears to be within the context of a “well regulated Militia”. One can call that the Police.

          1. Hence why I say you are not intelligent enough to engage in a discussion with.

          2. The amendment does not create the right, it acknowledges it as already existing, cites one reason why it’s important, and forbids the government from infringing it.

            -jcr

      2. It might seem less vague if you studied it further.

        Aside from that, there is no constitutional authority for Congress to regulate guns in any way. Look in Article 1 Section 8; that’s the complete list of what they’re authorized to do. I don’t see “reasonable gun laws” anywhere in there.

        1. The phrase “Well regulated Militia” appears to give the people of the state the right to regulate the Militia.

          1. Sorry, not correct. That’s not what “well-regulated” means in this context. A well-regulated militia is well-drilled and efficient. That’s kinda hard to do if you’re forbidden to actually have a gun.

            1. Perhaps “well regulated” is what needs to be discussed.

              It sounds to me that via democracy, the people can well regulate the militia.

              But again, I don’t believe that the amendment says anything about personal individual gun ownership.

              I have a feeling what we do today, with regulation and having a national guard/police, we are doing exactly what the amendment says.

              1. No, we’re not.

                Just take a step back for a moment. The 2nd Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights. Why would a Bill of Rights, meant to protect individual liberty, include an amendment to give government the “right” to arm itself? That makes no sense.

                Have you ever read the history of the Bill of Rights? Do you have even the slightest interest in doing so?

                1. I’m familiar with the Bill of Rights, it’s history and the spirit behind it.

                  But I think for the sake of the RIGHT, MIDDLE, LEFT, we should consider taking the vagueness out of this amendment and make it clear. Me, I would be a fan that says individuals have the right to defend themselves with the current technology available. It simply doesn’t say that. This is why we are having a controversy over this.

                  1. There is no ambiguity, you lying sack of shit. The first clause is in the subjunctive mood. It doesn’t limit the second clause.

                  2. If you were actually familiar with the BoR, it’s spirit and history, you wouldn’t ask stupid questions and say retarded shit.

                    Go fuck yourself, my rights are not up for debate and if you can’t read and comprehend basic English then you should probably sit down and shut the fuck up.

              2. I have a feeling what we do today, with regulation and having a national guard/police, we are doing exactly what the amendment says.

                Up is down, black is white. Police who can’t hit the side of a barn are “well regulated” and no-knock mid-morning SWAT raids make for “a free State”. Alice Bowie, ladies and gentlemen.

              3. I have a feeling what we do today, with regulation and having a national guard/police, we are doing exactly what the amendment says.

                That is exactly what the 2nd Amendment is meant to prevent.

              4. No we are not doing what the amendment says – or what the constitution says elsewhere.

                An explicit enumerated responsibility of congress is ‘to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia’. The 2nd amendment was specifically written to prohibit congress from including any infringements on individual arms – and the latter part of the enumerated responsibility prohibits the feds from infringing on some of the ‘organizing’ stuff. But it is still a responsibility of the federal level to provide for the existence of a militia. Roughly speaking, to provide a ‘standardization’ of it – and a funding of it – so if needed in a multi-state/federal situation it can work in synch.

                Congress FAILED to perform that responsibility in the 19th century. Some states abjectly failed at organizing it – mostly for political purposes since a spoils system works much better at delivering votes and rendering others dependent. That failure by one state in particular (NY) is why the NRA was founded. So in 1903 we scrapped it all in favor of a crappier system (National Guard) that has led to all the problems that were accurately foreseen by the founders.

                Switzerland is the country that still does what we intended to do. In large part because our constitution formalized what they had been doing (John Adams studied the cantons) – and they then used our constitution for theirs.

                1. Thanks. THis was a great explanation without having to call people stupid.

              5. I don’t believe that the amendment says anything about personal individual gun ownership.

                Oh, I see… You’re an idiot.

                -jcr

          2. The people are the militia.

            Having guns in the hands of private citizens who are well trained in how to use them is necessary for the security of a free state. Therefor, the government may not take away the right of the people to own and carry around weapons.

          3. well,what DOES the Second say there?
            “A well-regulated militia,being necessary to the security of a free state”.
            Hmm,it does NOT say that militias must be “well-regulated”,it does NOT say arms must be “well-regulated”,it does not restrict arms to militias. it really does not say anything,nor imply anything.
            it says militias “are necessary to a free state”,nothing more.
            IOW,just ONE of many reasons why “the right of the People to keep AND BEAR arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.”
            Now that second part DOES say plenty,it makes specific prohibition -on government- to keep their hands off peoples arms.
            it says that people have a RIGHT to own and to CARRY arms,….naturally,in a lawful manner.

            So,WHY is this so hard for people to comprehend?

      3. Its unfortunate the founders never wrote any letters about this.

        Are you dishonest or just ignorant?

      4. Holy shit you are one stupid motherfucker.

  20. There’s no such thing as a militia anymore. It appears that America went from having State Militia’s (which was suppose to stop Federal Tyranny among other things) to having National Guards (work closely with the Feds).

    Could it be that when they wrote the amendment the relationship between the Fed and States wasn’t as solid as it is today?

    Either way,I think the 2nd amendment is vague at best and obsolete at worst.
    It should be revoked and re-defined…and In my opinion, it should allow citizens to own personal self-defense items like handguns/mace/laser guns/etc…whatever comes up.

    1. You haven’t demonstrated the capacity to think or hold an opinion another person has any reason to consider.

      1. You simply don’t agree with my opinion. Many people have similar views that I do. That’s why this issue is an issue.

        1. I do not agree with the opinion of the screeching howler monkey at the zoo either, but he doesn’t post on the Internet.

    2. One specific concern that the drafters have the 2nd Amendment had was that they did NOT want the Federal government to have a standing army. They saw a standing army as a tool of tyranny, plus it’s existence encourages its use in foreign misadventure. Far better to have the defense centered on a citizen-controlled militia.

      In any case, re-writing the 2nd Amendment wouldn’t help. There is no language you can craft that will make the Left give up on its crusade to ban private gun ownership. A re-write would only help if you were dealing with principled people, and the people we’re dealing with are the “principals not principles” crowd.

      1. The Left’s crusade on bands may be ill-guided.

        If we had a militia (police, etc.) that we could all count on to offer dense and security,I guess the “people” could regulate that only militia members should have the firearms.

        But as i mentioned, the text is rather vague and doesn’t simply say “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. It says, in complete text: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

        I personally believe that every individual should be allowed to protect themselves and should be allowed to have personal defense weapons.

        1. The first part is merely explanatory, and is based on the concern about a standing army. It makes no sense, grammatically or otherwise, to claim that the mention of militia completely negates “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Which is what you’re doing.

        2. If we had a militia (police, etc.) that we could all count on to offer dense [sic] and security

          Full-time agents of the state are not a militia. Now you’ve graduated from moron to lying fool. Congratulations, I guess.

          1. Do we have state Militias anymore ?

            1. Yes, it’s called the people of the United States. You and me.

              Many states do organize state-level military forces but the militia is not a standing force.

            2. Although you would probably make a poor militiaman given your low level of mental coherency. Opiates or benzos?

    3. “There’s no such thing as a militia anymore.”

      You’re missing the point.

      The purpose of the Militia, as discussed in the Second Amendment, was so that if a standing army of the national government tried to take over and institute martial law and a tyranny, average people would already be armed and trained in the regular use of their weapons.

      See Federalist Paper No. 29, “Concerning the Militia”.

      “To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people”

      https://www.congress.gov/ resources/display/content/ The+Federalist+Papers#TheFederalistPapers-29

      However, having a people who are well trained in the regular use of their arms, per the Second Amendment, is “necessary to the security of a free State”. Saying there’s no such thing as a militia anymore misses the point that the “militia” is average people leaving their homes to fight a tyrannical government and its highly trained army.

      P.S. Note that “well-regulated” in that quote means well trained in the regular use of their arms. It’s the difference between being “regular army” and “irregulars”, the latter of which are people who don’t know how to use their weapons effectively and are poorly armed.

    4. The militia still exists. It is defined as the body of people who are eligible to be called into service by the local/state entity. Not the resulting organization.

      Certainly we no longer do call anyone into service for either local emergencies or fighting fires or police work or rescue work or anything else. We have chosen to professionalize that and pay for that full-time professionalization through higher taxes.

      And in all honesty that is probably a major part of the problem here in the US. The other countries with high and widely-distributed gun ownership rates (Switzerland, Finland, Sweden) all have conscription as well. And that creates a lot less of the fetishizing of the gun itself with visions of some videogame application of it. Basically, Americans are now fucking deluded and immature assholes – and that manifests in what we choose to do with the guns we have as compared to those other countries.

      1. Certainly we no longer do call anyone into service for either local emergencies or fighting fires or police work or rescue work or anything else

        There are lots of volunteers doing firefighting and EMS. Many places have volunteer auxiliary police, too. What the fuck country do you live in, exactly? Because it’s not the USA.

        Americans are now fucking deluded and immature assholes – and that manifests in what we choose to do with the guns we have as compared to those other countries.

        Yeah, other countries never have this shit happen. They’re so smart and mature!

        1. Yeah, other countries never have this shit happen. They’re so smart and mature!

          Homicide rate/100,000 people in high gun ownership countries (all x US with conscription):
          US – 3.8
          Norway – 0.6
          Sweden – 0.9
          Finland – 1.6
          Switzerland – 0.5

          Yes – they are a fuckload more mature about guns than Americans are. Further, it is no coincidence that those other countries also have a much better foreign policy than we do and don’t export or impose their violent pathologies to other countries.

          1. If you look at the part of the U.S. that is demographically similar to any of those countries, the murder rate is as low or lower. None of the largest cities in those countries would make the Top 10 list of largest U.S. cities.

            And I thought we were talking about guns and mass shootings?

            1. So you’re blaming race? And no – you are wrong even if you break homicide rate down by states. New Hampshire is at 0.9%. The next lowest states are at 1.6% (Maine, Minnesota, Vermont). So pretty much everywhere our homicide rates are higher.

              I repeat – Americans are fucking immature assholes when it comes to guns. And that goes double for YOU.

              1. You know, I thought you were just an economic ignoramus, but apparently your arrogant imbecility knows no bounds.

                But yeah, you’re right. My attitude is definitely to blame for the less than one-hundredth of one percent of the population who commits murder each year. Who knew I was telepathic?

          2. is that 3.8 just gun homicides or all homicides?

            1. All ‘intentional’ homicides. Have no idea about which are ‘guns’ but these are all high gun ownership countries so I suspect the ratios wouldn’t change much.

              And honestly using these countries undermines the usual ‘guns cause homicides – see Europe – so we must ban guns’ examples. Because most of these countries are near or even lower than gun-ban European countries. ie – it ain’t the guns thats the problem.

    5. Actually, every able bodied man over 18 is technically part of the militia.

    6. AHEM. 10 U.S. Code ? 311 – Militia: composition and classes

      (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
      (b) The classes of the militia are?
      (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
      (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

  21. The State (of which SCOTUS is a oart) in Castle rock V Gonzalez says that I have no legal expectation of protection from the state. That State (of which the 9th circuit is a part) Seattle has ruled that I have no legal right to self defense.

    That, my friends, is not a legitimate government. That you have walls of Court Reporters to take pictures in front of, makes it no better legitimate.

    1. We haven’t had a legitimate government since 1933.

  22. What part of the federal government shall create NO LAW infringing on a person’s rights to keep and bear arms. This is a States issue and if the Federal government can’t follow the Constitution maybe it is time for a Constitutional Convention.

  23. if anybody else had had a gun at the bar in Orlando things may have turned out different

    1. And if no law abiding citizen for miles around had been allowed to own a gun, things may have turned out the same.

      1. FEDGOV can’t even keep track of their own guns.

        FEDGOV is “missing” several thousand of their guns,some being full-auto machine guns. that does not include US military arms losses. TSA alone is missing 100s of their guns. Then state and local law enforcement have guns stolen from their vehicles frequently. Former Orlando POLICE CHIEF Val Demings had her service handgun stolen from her unmarked SUV in 2009,and years later,it still hasn’t been recovered. OPD has “lost” 2 AR-15 kits,and had 4 machine guns stolen from vehicles.
        Post-9-11,several armed Federal employees have LEFT their loaded handguns on commercial air flights and deplaned,the guns being discovered by other passengers. One guy in Alabama stole rifles (real assault rifles,select-fire) and grenades from Anniston Army Depot.
        guns will ALWAYS be available to those who really want them.

      2. Criminals don’t follow laws, dumbass.

  24. Everyone I know has a basic distrust of lawyers so why would anyone elect one to be their representative. Remember the top 10% of lawyers go to Wall Street and major corporations. The middle 80% go to the legal system in many forms. The bottom 10% become teachers and politicians, always ready to fed at the publics expense all the while feeling so righteous and superior to the unwashed masses.

  25. I sincerely believe the US should revert back to the “Wild West” days and EVERYONE should open carry.

    http://www.Got-Anon.tk

    1. Not in town they didn’t. you never saw Tombstone?

  26. My favorite argument from gun-control freaks is that only a “militia” has the right to bear arms. Well, here’s fucking George Mason on militias:

    “I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians.” ? George Mason, co-author of the 2nd Amendment.

    And here’s George Washington, who could not tell a lie, on guns:

    “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence.”

    And here’s Thomas Jefferson:

    “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”

    And Patrick Henry:

    “Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?”

    And Hamilton:

    “The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.”

    And Washington again:

    “The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference ? they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”

    And Jefferson again:

    “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”

  27. RE: Carrying Guns: An Issue for the Supreme Court and the Electorate

    I can’t wait for the SCOTUS to strike down Heller.
    This way the evolution of disarmament of the unwashed masses will progress much more smoothly.
    Plus, the socialist turds enslaving us will have all the guns with all the other criminals.
    There’s nothing like an unarmed society to ensure the start of a socialist paradise awaiting us all.
    Won’t life be just peachy?

  28. If you are one that believes the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what is lawful and constitutional, then you have believed a lie and a myth that Jefferson warned about. The States still retain their rights to this day to defy the federal judiciary, which has become an oligarchy. We just need strong statesmen as governors and legislatures to make that stand!
    In writing to William Jarvis, Jefferson said, “You seem . . . to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.”
    The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary; an irresponsible body (for impeachment is scarcely a scare-crow) working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped.”
    freedom outpost

  29. Funny how the “right wing gun nuts” are saying the same thing as Jefferson:

    “The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
    – Thomas Jefferson, Commonplace Book (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria), 1774-1776

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  31. Did this column say anything new, interesting or insightful? If it did, I’m missing it. I guess I should consider it a good Chapman column, because he’s not saying much that’s actively idiotic.

  32. Thomas Jefferson: “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined or determined to commit crimes. Such laws only make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assassins; they serve to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” (1764 Letter and speech from T. Jefferson quoting with approval an essay by Cesare Beccari)

    John Adams: “Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion in private self defense.” (A defense of the Constitution of the US)

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