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Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch Blast SCOTUS for Refusing to Hear Major Second Amendment Case

"I find it extremely improbable that the Framers understood the Second Amendment to protect little more than carrying a gun from the bedroom to the kitchen."

Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United StatesFred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United StatesToday the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a major case out of California that asked whether the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms includes the right to carry firearms in public. By refusing to get involved, the Court left in place a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit that denied constitutional recognition to the right to carry.

Writing in dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Neil Gorsuch, blasted the Court for its failure to act and for its "distressing trend" of treating "the Second Amendment as a disfavored right."

According to Thomas, "the Framers made a clear choice: They reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. I do not think we should stand by idly while a State denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives may depend on it." Thomas added, "even if other Members of the Court do not agree that the Second Amendment likely protects a right to public carry, the time has come for the Court to answer this important question definitively."

Thomas offered a sharply worded case for why the Court should have taken up the question. Federal circuits, he pointed out, have reached different conclusions and are therefore irrevocably split on this pressing constitutional matter. "This Court has already suggested that the Second Amendment protects the right to carry firearms in public in some fashion. As we explained in Heller, to 'bear arms' means to 'wear, bear, or carry upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.'" As Thomas observed, "I find it extremely improbable that the Framers understood the Second Amendment to protect little more than carrying a gun from the bedroom to the kitchen."

Today's case, known as Peruta v. California, centered on a state law that says that conceal-carry permits will only be issued to those persons who have demonstrated to the satisfaction of their local county sheriff that they have a "good cause" for carrying a concealed firearm in public. What counts as a "good cause?" In the words of one San Diego official, "one's personal safety is not considered good cause" in and of itself.

What this means in practice, as one earlier court ruling observed, is that "in California the only way that the typical responsible, law-abiding citizen can carry a weapon in public for the lawful purpose of self-defense is with a concealed-carry permit. And, in San Diego County, that option has been taken off the table."

Despite the strenuous protest of Justice Thomas and Justice Gorsuch, that option remains off the table thanks to the Supreme Court's inaction today.

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  • juris imprudent||

    Et tu Alito?

  • ||

    Its possible either he didn't like the case, or thought they'd lose. Either way, still frustrating.

  • juris imprudent||

    This was another wrong-way 9th decision (en banc) as Thomas noted. There shouldn't have been any question about another bench slapping.

  • Mark22||

    I think that's why some of the justices are holding back: deciding a case like this right now might set a dangerous precedent.

    If anything, I'd expect for the progressive judges to be itching to still set a precedent while they can. Holding them back with refusing to hear a case is the right tactic, because otherwise you might not be able to compromise on not hearing those cases anymore.

    Thomas and Gorsuch may be constitutionalists, but they may not be good strategists.

  • esteve7||

    Kennedy and the other frauds can't retire fast enough.

    Whenever Reason gets a case of TDS, remember what this court would look like with Hillary as president

  • Brandybuck||

    Gorsuch was a great appointment. Proving that even a stopped clock like Trump can be right twice a day. But I still don't trust him on the next few appointments. We managed to get Gorsuch simply because Trump delegated the short list to someone else. Too soon in office, no time to think about such trivial matters.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I don't know about this. Trump is no Libertarian. We knew this. He DOES seem to be fairly Conservative, fairly consistently. Even in the appointments I dislike, he is consistently Right rather than Left. And, at the moment, Right is a huge improvement of the "Ask mommy government 'may I?'" Left. I could wish they were less committed to banning marijuana, and their immigration policies make only slightly more sense than those of the Left (which seem to boil down to "Let them all in, then exploit them. Who cares how many Little People get hurt in the process?").

  • Juice||

    Gorsuch was a great appointment.

    No, it was a "could have been much worse" appointment.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I suppose you have a better list on hand?

  • Ragoftag||

    His 'list' that he will be choosing from is all 'A's, though a few are 'A-'s. I disagree with several on points, but that's me. Heck, I'm with Ginsberg on some issues! Kagan and Sotomayer are two of the worst picks ever.

  • BYODB||

    Kagan was an obvious political appointee who never should have passed muster.

  • GroundTruth||

    Scalia said differently. He passed a word up the feeding chain that, although he did not expect Oh-bumah! to nominate someone he agreed with, at least he hope that the nominee would be "someone smart", suggesting Kagan by name. ( http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/14/.....index.html)

    Political, yes; couldn't pass muster, perhaps not so.

  • Mark22||

    Progressives and Catholics agree on wanting authoritarian government based on what experts say is good for the people. They only differ on who the experts are: progressives like them to be the academic hierarchy, while Catholics want them to be their church hierarchy.

    It's people like Scalia that give conservatism a bad name. Good riddance.

  • Mark22||

    The "wise Latina" Sotomayor was another obvious political appointee. Based on her racist comments alone, she should never have been appointed.

  • Mark22||

    No, very much unlike Gorsuch, Bork, and Thomas.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Well that excuses everything!

  • chemjeff||

    Yes, we know EXACTLY how the court would have looked like with Hillary appointing leftist SJW radicals all over the place, right? Right?

    Let's see, that left-wing radical Sotomayor just voted to let churches use public money for purposes of fixing their playgrounds.

    And that other left-wing radical Kagan just voted to let the Slants use their "offensive" name as a trademark. (Sotomayor too. And the Notorious RBG.)

    So we don't really know what the court's results would have looked like if Hillary had appointed some center-left milquetoast guy like Garland to the court, or even some "radical" along the lines of Sotomayor. I am cautiously optimistic that Gorsuch's net result will end up being better than someone like Garland. But it's a big stretch that a Hillary appointment would have resulted in "leftism run amok".

  • damikesc||

    Let's see, that left-wing radical Sotomayor just voted to let churches use public money for purposes of fixing their playgrounds.

    Somebody doesn't have a clue about the case they are opining on here.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    But it's a big stretch that a Hillary appointment would have resulted in "leftism run amok".

    Bullshit.
    Bullshit.
    Bullshit.

  • esteve7||

    yeah when lefty-radical Sotomayor voted against Heller and Citizen's United, and when the lefty-wing (including Kennedy) voted for Kelo, then Yes.

    Fucking understand what you are talking about for just one second

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You are really going to flip out when public funds from Dept of Ed are going to be used en mass for kids that go to religious schools using vouchers or equivalent.

    1st Amendment:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Funny how the left's obsession with making the big Nanny-State huge will be used to spread the money to religious schools and churches that have playgrounds that non-congregation kids can use.

    Maybe someday, you lefties will agree to dismantle this huge mess we call federal government.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    No shit, until Kennedy and napping Ruth tip over the 2nd is in danger.

  • damikesc||

    As well they should. The SCOTUS ruled on Heller, states keep ignoring the ruling, and they refuse to do anything about it. Why THIS precedent is OK to ignore is lost on me, but that is the SCOTUS' game now.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    One might think that maybe the justices want Congress to settle the matter with strong federal action forcing states to uphold the 2nd Amendment by withholding transportation funds or something rather than justices having to say the 9th Circuit is wrong.

    Then I come to my senses and realize that even supposedly conservative justices like Roberts, Kennedy and Alito just do not want to protect all out 2nd Amendment guarantees because they are still pro big government.

    Kudos to Gorsuch and Thomas for publicly criticizing the SCOTUS for disfavoring the 2nd Amendment.

    Trump picked a good one with Gorsuch!

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    No. A few, a very few, States keep ignoring the ruling. Year by year more States are freeing up Gun rights by moving from "may issue" to "Shall issue", or by moving from permits to permit-less carry. The Moonbat States are in a shrinking minority.

  • ||

    Good.

    Moonbattery was on its way to becoming too violent.

  • BYODB||

    Only it's rotten core really remains, but it's a very vocal and still somewhat sizable core.

    Just as the Republican party does a shitty job representing Republicans, so too does the Democrat party fail to really represent Democrats.

    I still think the Democrats are worse, but to what extent it's hard to say on any given day.

  • p3orion||

    The difference is intent. Democrats tend to be wrong, but believe in the wrong things they support (with exceptions such as their fight against voter ID laws, which is just to protect fraudulent voting that benefits them.) On the other hand, the Republicans in Congress know what's right, but lack the balls to do it.

  • Tionico||

    California, New Jersey, Maryland, COnnecticut, Delaware, I think, New York, Massachussetts, all are Mother May I No You May Not Unless You Are Wealthy or Connected states. And nearly all of them impose such ridiculous barriers to the Mother May I Card to effectively raise the bar to entry so high few can afford it. What is is, sixteen hours of expensive "training" in Illinois? California, I believ,e also have a high training requirement. Other states that have NONE, not even a one hour sit down and shut up classroom session, have nowhere near the crime rates as the states I listed above.

  • GroundTruth||

    It's either a right, or a licensed privilege. Given that the Constitution explicitly states "the right to bear arms...", there is no logic that can be applied that restricts that right, other than by trial for abusing that right.

    And where was Roberts, Alito and Kennedy on this?

  • Hank Phillips||

    If the issue is taken off the table, it is no longer a land mine for politicians to explode on. God's Own Prohibitionists are prolly content that nothing libertarian candidates say on this will cost them votes. I'd bet that letting the Dems offer to ban electricity AND private guns will hoist them by their own canards while GO-Pissers rake in the jobs and boodle.

  • Massey||

    Is anyone supposed to know what the fuck you're talking about. Not everyone reads the dumb email forwards and moron blogs you do, so "moonbat" is pretty meaningless.

  • Ron||

    Well maybe few more justices will retire, the sooner the better

  • Mark22||

  • brokencycle||

    Don't worry, soon SCOTUS will agree that forcing people to bake cakes is okay.

  • BYODB||

    But how, without guns?!

    Oh, wait, right, the State...

  • Dillinger||

    how now to defend myself against the cake police?

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    Have your local Kindergartner 3D print you a PopTart Pistol.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    By George! A new use for my orphans! I was beginning to worry that my monocles would be worn out from all the polishing.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    And you can balance their diet with some Chicken Nugget 1911's.

  • brokencycle||

    Hey, at least you can still exercise your 2nd Amendment rights in your home. You don't always get to exercise your 4th Amendment rights in your home, so stop your whining.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Either the other members of the court's right are lazy cowards or they didn't think this case was a good one to test the right.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    IIRC, the Ninth ciruit decision is a very weird one. When the concel carry case was first decided, California allowed unloaded open carry (yes, really), and a lot of activists were doing just that. The original decision relied on being able to open carry to mean that conceal carry was not necessary.

    Then the legislature banned unloaded open carry.

    Then the Ninth upheld the now-obsolete decision on conceal carry, closing their eyes to the fact that the decision's basis was now defunct.

    IOW, business as usual. When you toss your principles, you have to devise ever more convoluted justifications and rationalizations to prevents said principles from leaking through.

  • Bubba Jones||

    It is worse than that. The en banc decision claimed to focus entirely on concealed carry and pretended that open carry was a separate question. The constitution does not guarantee concealed carry. After all, the state could instead offer open carry.

    Next time they will rule that the constitution does not guarantee open carry. After all, the state could allow concealed.

    Total sophistry and Gorsuch does a nice job of laying it out.

  • Warren||

    "the Framers made a clear choice: They reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense..."

    Nope. They reserved the right to well organized militias to bear arms for defense against their own government.
    The 2nd amendment has nothing whatsoever to do with defending yourself from rapists and muggers.

  • Zeb||

    The reason for the guarantee is largely immaterial. We are guaranteed the right to keep and bear arms, the end.

  • Tony||

    Yeah right, the end. Which arms? Is there a limit to the firepower individuals should be permitted to have in their arsenals? And various questions like that.

    Gun manufacturers use the constitution and ideological puppets as a means to inflate their sales. Without their special trap door from US law, we'd be regulating firearms like any sane society does, just as we regulate any dangerous thing.

  • Jordan||

    special trap door from US law

    You're that guy who complains about criminals getting off on "technicalities" when the government violates their due process rights. Very progressive.

  • chemjeff||

    Whether someone is going to commit harm has little to do with the instrument used to commit that harm, and has a lot to do with the state of mind of the individual in question.

    If an individual is intent on committing harm, then even if guns were banned, that individual would just use knives, cars, bombs, baseball bats, etc., to commit harm.

    If an individual is not intent on committing harm, then it doesn't matter if that person has an entire arsenal of "assault rifles".

    Banning guns in order to reduce violence is like banning money in order to reduce fraud.

  • Zeb||

    "Arms" means weapons one person can carry and use. So I don't think that the second amendment necessarily means you can own artillery, for example.

    The notion that the gun rights movement is some kind of fake "astro-turf" thing is just dumb. People actually do care about their right to be armed. It's about as grass-roots as it gets. A lot of people vote on gun related issues, because it's actually important to them, not because they got duped by the gun makers.

  • ||

    "Arms" means weapons one person can carry and use. So I don't think that the second amendment necessarily means you can own artillery, for example.

    Actually, I kinda disagree with this and, to a point support the decision-making process re: Heller and concealed carry. IMO, you can carry a shoulder-fired tactical nuke as long as it's not invisible and anybody you would use it on knows it's coming and can hold you personally responsible for any collateral damage. While I acknowledge many technological and cultural distinctions between then and now, large swaths of the Continental Navy were auctioned off to private entities for funds.

    However, I would similarly say that bearing heavy artillery and the current or nominally required regulation thereof already represents a pretty effective compromise.

  • Zeb||

    That was my best understanding of what "arms" refers to in the second amendment.

    I don't necessarily object to people owning artillery, but I'm not sure the 2A says that you can.

    In any case, I doubt we will see the SC interpret it to mean anything beyond non-automatic firearms (though autos really should be covered as they are pretty standard military arms).

  • Unreconstructed (Sans Flag)||

    Private citizens owned cannon before the Revolutionary War. I imagine the founders were well aware of that, and didn't take issue with it. Owning artillery isn't really practical, and I can imagine the liability insurance needed wouldn't be cheap either, but I don't see why the 2A doesn't apply to it.

  • DOOMco||

    Private ship "Hey, Maddison, can we have cannons on our boat to protect ourselves?"

    Maddison "why the fuck are you even asking me? Hell yes, get some big ass ones fam."

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Because "arms" at the time of the Founding meant weapons that one carried on the person for personal defense or offense.

    See Heller for a contemporary dictionary definition of arms. btw, the same definition has been used to current day even by "liberals" on the SC.

    Cannon and Stinger missiles for example are not arms. They may be weapons and you can carry Stingers but you wouldn't carry them for personal defense.

  • Some Engineer||

    It's an interesting question because the tech is so much more able to cause mass destruction now.

    I think a workable interpretation is that citizens should be able to keep and bear anything that police departments do.

    This removes the ridiculous nuke argument, and frankly if the police need automatic rifles, MRAPs, grenade launchers, and body armor then so do I.

  • BYODB||


    frankly if the police need automatic rifles, MRAPs, grenade launchers, and body armor then so do I.

    This.

    If the United States didn't have a standing army, as intended, then it would be a moot question if people should or shouldn't have those things as we would all be the army.

    Now that we do effectively have a standing army, once considered the primary threat to individual liberty in these United States, than it makes at least some sense to base this more on 'what can domestic law enforcement have' since these are ultimately the people you'd need to go to war with in a battle against one's government.

    The Government would never, say, nuke Los Angeles or Austin in some kind of domestic battle. Not as long as a human has to launch the things, anyway.

  • GroundTruth||

    interesting point, that the cops have effectively become the standing army.

    need to think about that one....

  • Glide||

    Shit, I have zero intention of buying a gun in my life and I still care about others'right to be armed. I'm not making any money from voting pro-gun, I just like freedom.

    I'm not surprised that Tony has a hard time grasping that some people have principles beyond self-interest.

  • Dillinger||

    >>>Is there a limit

    no.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Considering that the Constitution expressly authorizes Congress to issue letters of marque and reprise, the founders were taking private ownership of warships as a given.

  • Dillinger||

    dicks. i should be able to mount a .50 on my Ski Nautique

  • Dillinger||

    there should be an edit feature for when morons like myself post mistakes...

  • damikesc||

    Yeah right, the end. Which arms? Is there a limit to the firepower individuals should be permitted to have in their arsenals? And various questions like that.

    No. The really powerful weaponry tends to be insanely expensive, so unlikely to be in the hands of gang bangers.

    I also oppose obscenity laws, so I can at least claim consistency here.

    Gun manufacturers use the constitution and ideological puppets as a means to inflate their sales.

    Just like newspapers.
    Television.
    Internet services.
    Every good sold in the history of this country.

    Without their special trap door from US law

    The trap door is...?

    Car manufacturers ALSO shouldn't be held liable is a criminal decides to mow down civilians.

    I can claim consistency here, too.

    we'd be regulating firearms like any sane society does, just as we regulate any dangerous thing.

    What is the waiting period for cars?

    They kill scores of people.

  • BYODB||

    It turns out that half a ton or more of whirring machinery, steel, aluminum, and plastic hurtling into a crowd at 100mph actually manages to be more lethal than any conceivable gun that you can legally purchase outside of perhaps a semi-automatic grenade launcher. Especially when outfitted with chemicals from under your sink, Mr. Genius. American troops have found that out in the hardest way possible oversea's for, what, 8 years now? Where ya' been?

    We trust people as young as 14 or 15 to operate them, too. Wowee.

  • GroundTruth||

    We tryst people as young as 14 or 15 to operate them

    a point that my foreign colleagues were rolling their eyes at just the other evening

    I held my tongue, having found that I do do not debate well verbally.

  • ||

    No. They owned cannons back then.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    @Tony: I believe it is quite obvious to any reasonably intelligent person what is meant by "arms" in this context; your deflection to "what arms" and "arsenals" is ridiculous. As is your imbecilic reference to the 2A as a "trap door" used to inflate gun sales.

    In other words, fuck off, slaver.

  • Tionico||

    on WHAT basis do FedGov 'regulate any dangerous things"? By WHAT power? WHERE in the Constitution are FedGov assigned that task? READ Article One Section Eight... nearly every power assigned FedGov is in there. Any power NOT assigned FedGov, or prohibited to the states, remain with the states or the people. End of story. There IS no "special trap door" in US law.

    Gun manufacturers design and build things the public want to own and use. When they don't, they can't sell them, and they take a loss. Not why they are in business, to lose money. What, you think WE the PEOPLE are a much of mindless drones wallowing with the rest of the hogs in the hog waller, unable to decide what we want/need? Gun manufacturers sales are ONLY inflated when they design and build arms the people want. When they do, we buy them. In increasingly large numbers (last month set the all time record for new firearms sales). When they don't, we don't either. Remember that "smart gun" some outfit were trying to make and sell? Aside from the fact they couldn't get it to be reliable (a ten percent failure to fire rate was not acceptible) no police department would sign up for them.... a sure clue the general public would only buy them if forced to, like New Jersey tried. That company aren't doing so well, as the customers are not lining up to buy their new toy.

  • Tionico||

    In contrast, had a look at how many 1911 clones and knockoffs are entering the market in the past three years? SOMEone not only wants them, but is eagerly parting with their money to get them. And the companies who make good ones command a premium price and are hard pressed to keep up with market demand.

  • Bgoptmst||

    There is no special trap door.

    Gun manufactures are liable for material defects or negligence in the manufacture of their product like everyone else. That's why Remington (for instance) is settling their class action suit. By your litmus we
    vehicle manufactures should be held liable if they cause death even though it was due to operator error.

    The bottom line is Sandy Hook was a tragedy, but the gun manufacturer isn't responsible for the tragedy.

  • Mark22||

    Yeah right, the end. Which arms? Is there a limit to the firepower individuals should be permitted to have in their arsenals?

    Where is the enumerated power that allows government to restrict gun ownership?

    Without their special trap door from US law, we'd be regulating firearms like any sane society does, just as we regulate any dangerous thing.

    Actually, many of those "sane" societies had very liberal gun ownership rules until fairly recently. Places like Germany didn't effectively track guns until about 15 years ago. The instituted restrictive gun control as a knee jerk reaction to a mass shooting. Of course, it made no difference for homicide rates.

    The reason those "sane societies" have gun control laws is simply because they are authoritarian shitholes, not because those laws are effective. And since their populations are declining (people are running away, and reproducing is no fun), they are looking for more dopes like you they can con. You should move there, Tony, you'd like it.

    Heck, they even do things you surely find sensible, like restrict marriage to between a man and a woman, levy large taxes to support state churches, and restrict gay adoption. Really, you'll love how "sane" those places are, Tony!

  • Mark22||

    How is something that says "some right shall not be infringed" ever a grant of power to infringe?

  • AZ Gunowner||

    ALL "arms".

    So, AR15's? Yes, they are "fire"arms.

    Stinger missiles? No, they are weapons.

    Arms are weapons. Not all weapons are arms.

    It is really not that hard to determine what "arms" are protected.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Well who the F are YOU to pontificate what the 2A means?

    You spit and spew your drivel, I mean opinion, but all you really do is twist and turn in desperate attempt to avoid the clear language of the amendment.

    Before the Civil War, in Dred Scott, the Supreme Court said that "if blacks were citizens they would have the right to keep and carry arms wherever they went".

    In Cruishank (1876) the SC said that the 2A protected a right "that existed BEFORE the adoption of the Constitution" and "doesn't depend on [the 2A] for its existence", and that the 2A protects that right from Federal infringement.

    Heller discussed and endorsed Cruishank and Miller. MacDonald extended the protection beyond the Federal gov't to include state infringement.

    Per the definition of "arms" as provided in Heller AR15's clearly qualify.

    But any idiot should be able to recognize that what is protected are "arms" (CLEAR language, crystal clear).

    So the only question is the item an "arm".

    If it is - it is protected.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    No, you can't follow a train of thought. It is impossible to respond to your ramblings, but -

    "Before the Civil War, in Dred Scott, the Supreme Court said that "if blacks were citizens they would have the right to keep and carry arms wherever they went".

    Since this wasn't the holding in Dred Scott it wasn't over-ruled. It was "dicta" but it describes what the right to arms was BEFORE the Civil.

    And again in Cruishank, what the SC said about the 2A wasn't over-ruled. In fact, Cruishank has never been over-ruled, the SC just came up with the "incorporation" process to do what it torpedoed in Cruishank.

    You haven't the foggiest f-ing idea of what the 2A jurisprudence is.

    What was over-ruled in 1939? oh, the SC sending Miller back to the lower court to take evidence upon the "nature of the weapon".

    I'll give you a clue - Miller itself destroyed the militia-centric view of the 2A.

    Heller cited Cruishank and Miller as supporting their decision.

    You are simply living in another world.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    SHAMELESS CYBER-BULLY

    Looks like that cancer ate your brain, Hihntard.

    "REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!"

    (twirls away chortling)

  • Deep Lurker||

    Which arms? At a minimum, any arms used by uniformed government law-enforcement agents, and any arms used by plainclothes civilian government agents for any reason at all. So anything carried by the Secret Service to protect the President? Protected by the 2nd. Anything possessed by the FBI, or the new "militarized" local police? Protected by the 2nd. Anything borrowed from the US Army or the US Navy to fight the "War on Drugs" or that is otherwise exempted from the Posse Comitatus Act? Protected by the 2nd Amendment.

    And anything at all possessed by State governments? Protected by the 2nd - because it's unconstitutional for States to keep "Troops, or Ships of War," so anything that the State governments have MUST be the sort of "arms" protected by the 2nd Amendment.

    Also, that bit about gun manufacturers trying to inflate their sales is pure toxic waste. Calling it bullshit is an insult to bullshit.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    The "militia clause" of the 2A has ZERO, i'll repeat that ZERO, effect on what the 2A does.

    Indeed that clause is probably the only phrase in the whole Constitution that does nothing except inform.

    The clause simply expresses the anti-Federalist idea that "a militia is necessary to the security of a free state".

    However, the anti-Federalists failed in every attempt to prevent the adoption of the new Constitution which allowed the Congress to raise a standing army and neglect the militia.

    Which the Congress has done

    And the 2A doesn't change that. The 2A doesn't change the Congress' power over the militia, nor does it restore any such control to the states, both of which were anti-Federalist desires.

    It certainly doesn't prevent the Congress from raising a standing army.

    The question has always been - what exactly does the 2A besides protecting "the right of the people to keep and bear arms"?

    The problem is everybody supposes that the first clause DID something.

    Well it doesn't - other than express an idea or ideal.

    It doesn't modify, add to or detract from the main clause of the 2A.

    (cont'd)

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Unfortunately, the pro gun side (for lack of a better description) fell into the trap of trying to show why the first clause supported the second clause, ie, "it protects arms useful to the militia" (the tact that Miller took).

    But they needn't because the operative clause can and does stand alone and protects the possession of arms.

    The silly Miller construction was an attempt to justify the regulation of so-called "gangster weapons" (Tommy guns and sawed-off shotguns) and recognize the right to arms by pretending that some "arms" are different than other "arms".

    Well, Miller was BS in that regard. And unfortunately that has never been corrected, and Heller doesn't do it either.

    But regardless, "arms" are what is protected - or is what the Founders meant to protect. The well-regulated militia "clause" was a consolation prize to the anti-Federalists who lost the

  • AZ Gunowner||

    battle to prevent the keeping up of a standing army.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    It is you who babble.

    It is impossible to even discern a coherent point from your inane ramblings.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    None of that text specifically limits the owning of firearms to 18th century hunting weapons, Hihntard.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Still doesn't limit it to 18th century hunting weapons, Hihn-tard.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    "Arms".

    If it is an arm then it is protected.

    AR15's, yes they are "fire"arms.

    Stinger missiles? No, they are weapons.

    Why, because Founding era dictionaries said "arms" were weapons one carried on their person for personal defense or offence.

    Of the 2 above, which fits?

    Yeah, it is that easy.

  • ||

    "Nope"

    Its clear from the history that the "Bill of Rights" that apply to the "people" would have nothing to do with protecting the ability of the state to deal with militias.

    All you have to do is look at equivalent state constitution provision, such as PA's of 1790 "That the right of the citizens to bear arms, in defence of themselves and the state, shall not be questioned"

  • DOOMco||

    the government has the right to create a press
    The government has the right to an army
    the government has the right not to be forced to quarter agents of the government
    the government has the right to be secure in their home and effects
    the government has the right to not be a witness against itself, and to a trial of its peers

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Imagine that the Founders made one Amendment to cover the rights of people and states to form militias and keep and bear arms.

    That's why the Supreme Court not hearing the weapons carry case out of San Diego is so ridiculous. We don't need the permission of the state to keep or bear arms. There is nothing that restricts people from keeping and bearing arms in their home and public areas.

  • Tionico||

    WRONG That clause mentioning the militia is not a foundational or conditioinal clause, it is merely an explanatory one. Sort of the same as "sometimes it rains, so a solid roof is a handy thing to have available". Remove the entire preamble clause and the right to arms remains unchanged.

    Bear in mind, in that time, "militia" was simply "the whole people". In other words, if you talk about militia needing arms, you are also talking about individual people needing them. There IS no difference, functionally.

    Diagram the sentence. Then remove the "militia clause". The resultant meaning does not change.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Noooo,

    Before the Civil War, in Dred Scott, the Supreme Court said that "if blacks were citizens they would have the right to keep and carry arms wherever they went".

    In Cruishank (1876) the SC said that the 2A protected a right "that existed BEFORE the adoption of the Constitution" and "doesn't depend on [the 2A] for its existence", and that the 2A protects that right from Federal infringement.

    Notice Dred Scott - no mention of the militia.

    In Cruishank the word "militia" didn't even appear in the decision except when quoting the 2A.

    The "militia-centric" view of the 2A has always been a false view.

  • Tony||

    The 2nd Amendment is (ought to be) obsolete and only became a right to individual armed self-defense with Heller, not the founders.

  • BearOdinson||

    If it is obsolete, there is process actually spelled out in the Constitution to fix that: The Amendment process.

    And if the founders didn't mean an individual right, why on earth did they use the expression "the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed?"

    1st Amendment: "....the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" INDIVIDUAL RIGHT

    4th Amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects...." INDIVIDUAL RIGHT

    9th Amendment: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." INDIVIDUAL RIGHT (basis for Griswold v. Connecticut, Roe v. Wade, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

    10th Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." INDIVIDUAL RIGHT (US, then States separate from People.)

    Nowhere else in the Constitution is a right of the people understood to be some sort of collective right.

  • ||

    Given that state constitutions of the time phrased it as "That the right of the citizens to bear arms, in defence of themselves and the state, shall not be questioned" (PA Const of 1790), you are entirely wrong.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    "Entirely wrong" is the only thing that will be written on Tony's tombstone, assuming anyone feels like buying him one.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I think TROLL would pretty well cover the matter.

  • OldMexican Blankety Blank||

    Re: Tony,

    The 2nd Amendment is (ought to be) obsolete and only became a right to individual armed self-defense with Heller, not the founders.


    Make up your mind. Is it obsolete or you think it ought to be obsolete? Because one is a statement of fact while the other is an opinion.

    Besides your personal problems with basic logic, the fact that you would think that people were only able to own and use guns only after Helper is so far away from reality that it boggles the mind. The Constitution doesn't grant rights and neither does the Supreme Court. Rights are not rules of a game. They real things. Even the right to marry yourself is real.

  • OldMexican Blankety Blank||

    Heller.

    Damned this autocorrect.

  • DRM||

    The wording of the Second Amendment is irrelevant. If one argues the language of the Second Amendment didn't entrench the already-established Anglo-American right (quoted here from the 1689 English Bill of Rights) to "have arms for their defence", then all one is saying is the Ninth's guarantee of unenumerated rights applies.

  • Tionico||

    Tony, what planet did you just drop in from?

    That Second Article of Ammendment is no more obsolete than is the First, Fourth, Fifth, Tenth, Fourteenth.......
    The Second, as written, recognises the right to arms for all, a right that preexists the Constitutioin and the natioin to be ruled by it, and is not dependent upon that Constitution for its existence or exercise. It is a right granted by our Creator, the One who gave us life in the first place (remember, the right to LIfe, Liberty, Persuit of Happiness? If my right to LIFE is not independent of government's granting it (since it comes from the God who created me, it does not and cannot be dependent upon government) then my right to protect that life is not either. But since that life is MINE, my right, even obligation, to protect it and preserve it is also mine, and no government can limit or regulate that. Precisely what the Second maintains.

  • Mark22||

    The 2nd Amendment is (ought to be) obsolete and only became a right to individual armed self-defense with Heller, not the founders.

    You have the right to bear arms with or without the 2A because restricting gun ownership is not an enumerated power. The 2A simply spells out explicitly that government really, really doesn't have the power to interfere with this.

    If you think that the 2A is "obsolete", under what enumerated power does government have the power to restrict gun ownership?

  • Mark22||

    Neither is regulating abortion.

    Well, and whaddayaknow, SCOTUS has struck down anti-abortion laws!

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Before the Civil War, in Dred Scott, the Supreme Court said that "if blacks were citizens they would have the right to keep and carry arms wherever they went".

    In Cruishank (1876) the SC said that the 2A protected a right "that existed BEFORE the adoption of the Constitution" and "doesn't depend on [the 2A] for its existence", and that the 2A protects that right from Federal infringement.

    I don't need the 2A to have a right to arms.

    Repeal the 2A if you like, doesn't change my right.

  • Bubba Jones||

    I still think the original meaning of the 2nd was to prevent the Feds from indirectly gutting the state militias.

    This is a 14th amendment case.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yes, that and who needs weapons to make up those militias?

    Everyone who wants to. Hence, the protections for militias and keeping and bearing arms.

    The Founders clearly feared what our government has become. At least the Federalists did.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Actually it was the anti-Federalists who feared it.

    It was because of them that we have the BofR.

    Sadly that hasn't been enough to prevent the anti-Federalists fears from becoming reality.

  • tommyguns2||

    I find it odd that the Supreme Court will treat unarticulated rights found in penumbras and emanations fundamental and require a state to not create any restriction that would unduly burden that right, and then have another explicitly articulate right that is treated with substantially greater deference to the state.

    I guess the only reasonable conclusion I can draw is that there are fundamental rights, and then there are super-duper fundamental rights, and the courts are smart enough to distinguish between the two.

  • ||

    I actually agree with this decision.

    Not because I think American citizens should be deprived of their Constitutionally-enshrined rights but both SCOTUS and the State of California have made it perfectly clear that they're largely, if not entirely composed of people who aren't American citizens and don't believe in Constitutionally-enshrined rights.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    "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 don't see the word "citizen" in there. Is that one of those penumbras we're supposed to assume, like the muzzle-loaded smoothbore muskets that all the progs seem to think are implied?

  • Unreconstructed (Sans Flag)||

    You won't find "citizen" much anywhere in the rights wordings, because, IMNSHO, the founders believed that all people (OK, most people) deserved the same rights of life, liberty, etc. Also, because AFAICT, the founders didn't believe in the concept of a citizen of the United States, but rather in citizens of individual states.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    And it the Heller decision, by Scalia, gun ownership was ruled an individual right ... but only for 18th century militia arms ... essentially hunting rifles.

    Right, because ordinary citizens back then didn't own flintlock pistols, just hunting rifles. Get the fuck out of here.

    You somehow missed "militia

    By your dumbfuck logic, women nor blacks are allowed to own firearms because they weren't part of the 18th century militia.

    That sound is actual history being jammed up your ass, Hihntard.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Hihn-tard having a stroke here because actual history was jammed up his ass.

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch Blast SCOTUS for Refusing to Hear Major Second Amendment Case
    "I find it extremely improbable that the Framers understood the Second Amendment to protect little more than carrying a gun from the bedroom to the kitchen."

    1. Q: Does this Ninth Circus Court of appeal ruling involve all us unwashed masses or just California?
    "Writing in dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Neil Gorsuch, blasted the Court for its failure to act and for its "distressing trend" of treating "the Second Amendment as a disfavored right."
    2. "A disfavored right?" It makes one wonder what other "disfavored rights" are next on the list.
    3. "According to Thomas, "the Framers made a clear choice: They reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense....Thomas added, "even if other Members of the Court do not agree that the Second Amendment likely protects a right to public carry, the time has come for the Court to answer this important question definitively."
    It would be wonderful if the SCOTUS would do their job and make a ruling on this important issue. After all, isn't that why they're getting paid?
    4. In the words of one San Diego official, "one's personal safety is not considered good cause" in and of itself."
    Then WTF does constitute "a good cause." If that's the case, then all law enforcement agencies should be disarmed as well.
    Oh, wait. You can't enslave the unenlightened masses if the police are disarmed.
    Silly me.

  • ho2mx||

    Thomas argued the Supreme Court in recent years has shown extreme reluctance to hear gun cases, therefore treating the "Second Amendment as a disfavored right," going so far to point out that the Court has not heard an argument on the right to keep and bear arms since the 2010 McDonald case– a seven-year drought during which the Justices heard approximately 35 First Amendment and 25 Fourth Amendment cases.

  • ho2mx||

    Thomas argued the Supreme Court in recent years has shown extreme reluctance to hear gun cases, therefore treating the "Second Amendment as a disfavored right," going so far to point out that the Court has not heard an argument on the right to keep and bear arms since the 2010 McDonald case– a seven-year drought during which the Justices heard approximately 35 First Amendment and 25 Fourth Amendment cases.

  • Deep Lurker||

    Not only that but Thomas actually asked a question in oral argument, about why the Second Amendment right should be treated differently from the other rights guaranteed by the BoR. And he's notorious for never asking questions in oral argument.

  • Enemy of the State||

    If you have to get an OK from the state to exercise the rights government was formed to protect, the State has made them privileges...

  • OldMexican Blankety Blank||

    Re: Michael Hind,

    How does this square with the fundamental principle that no rights are absolute


    But they're absolute.

  • Orf||

    The Second Amendment means what it says. The Constitution is not a living document that can be interpreted to mean whatever some person decides it means on any given day.

  • Hank Phillips||

    So your vote for LP candidates says this too?

  • Mark22||

    So the Second Amendment does indeed protect only hunting rifles, per the clear text.

    The clear text protects the right to "bear arms", not the right to "bear hunting rifles".

    Just like"freedom of the press" protects electronic publications and not just printing presses.

  • Mark22||

    Only if you ignore the qualifying statement. Pay attention. I'll go slowly.

    I was responding to your argument that 2A only protects hunting rifles. We have disposed of that stupid argument.

    The purpose is to DEFEND the state, not the individual.

    It doesn't matter what the purpose of the 2A is because the 2A doesn't grant any rights that people didn't already have. Gun ownership would be constitutionally guaranteed even without the 2A.

    You authoritarians, both left and right, keep trying the CRAZIEST revisions.

    Taking the position that gun ownership should only be permitted for the purpose of defending the state is what makes you an authoritarian; the 2A has nothing to do with it.

  • Mark22||

    Why does it feel like I'm kicking a cripple with you?

    Because your biggest fantasy is to have power over someone, anyone. It probably has to do with your rather diminished circumstances.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    You keep quoting Heller but you ignore that they dismissed the militia clause and controlling on the 2A in any way.

    Indeed, if the purpose of the 2A were to defend the state (the sole purpose that is) then protecting the possession of arms of greater utility to the militia would make more sense than limiting it to hunting rifles.

    In the day the typical military weapon was the inferior musket. The superior Kentucky "rifle" was the (choose one) "assault-rifle" or "sniper rifle" of the day.

    No one then would have argued that only one or the other was an arm protected by the 2A.

  • Budbug||

    2nd Amendment has nothing to do with hunting, weapon choice or caliber.
    2nd Amendment is about the individual's right to defense from a tyrannical government. Period.
    The government has superior weaponry, but the people have superior numbers.

    Brandishing weapons is an individual choice. It's a choice that potentially invites confrontation, but it is a fair choice.
    People have a right to be stupid as long as their stupidity doesn't infringe on the rights of others.

  • Lawn Darts||

    "The original decision relied on being able to open carry to mean that conceal carry was not necessary."

    Yeah. Now in CA, both open and concealed are illegal. That = zero right to bear arms in most CA counties. A few counties still have rational sheriffs who "may" issue.

  • Tionico||

    and quite a few counties in California were smart enough to elect sheriffs who's practice is SHALL ISSUE. Unless you are a prohibited person, I WILL provide you with your Mother May I Card.

    What is rather amusing is the number of times, of late, where someone who is from a Shall Issue county and is lawfully carrying, happens to be accosted or assaulted in one of the May but Most Likely Will Not Issue counties.... and the perps get the last surprise of their life because their putative victim is armed, and skilled, and determined to live. And so the perps get what they've been looking for for a long time, and get to go have a long chat with the like of Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown and compare notes as to how they ended uo where they are.

  • Lawn Darts||

    "No. They owned cannons back then."

    People still own cannons. I was with some people last weekend who were letting them off in a mock battle in a public park. Um... clearly NOT in California.

  • FrankHerbert||

    not sure what part of "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED" these asshats don't understand. ANY restriction on firearms is an infringement. licenses, permits, bans, etc. the ONLY constitutional infringement viable is for an owner of a PRIVATE home or business to not allow firearms on their property.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Tell that to the court that ruled conscription as cannon fodder = voluntary servitude. When Big Brother says Slavery is Freedom, you'd better believe it!

  • Hank Phillips||

    In the Solomon Asch experiment, 75% of college students lie just to seem like the majority. Seeing a single skeptic or dissenter broke the spell and caused a healthy 16% defection toward relying on one's own judgment. If looters could see someone other than mercenaries, conscripts, jackbooted minions and asset-forfeiture robbers packing, The Emperor's New Tax might be harder to collect and the Chanceller's New Kristallnacht Law more difficult to enforce.
    Theironnerz forget that the Second Amendment also keeps antimissile defense systems safe and legal.

  • Ned Netterville||

    If you feel you need a government to protect your "right" to bear arms, than you probably will lose that right when the government decides you don't need or shouldn't have a gun. In the long run it will probably boil down to guns or government. Smart folks will choose guns. Guns don't kill people, cops with guns do that.

  • Tejicano||

    DAFUQ?

    He says that you might lose the right to own a firearm if you are depending on the government to not restrict your right to possess a firearm.. ...and your reply is to show when that government further restricted that right?

    What flavor of goober are you?

  • Tejicano||

    So, reading comprehension is something you still struggle with. Huh?

    Maybe English isn't your mother tongue?

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    And as you learned in high school, no trights are absolute, even life, goober.

    Great!! That means we can limit abortion to whatever arbitrary terms we deem fit!

    LOL.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Cancer-addled Hihn-tard stroking out here.

  • Mark22||

    What flavor of goober are you?

    Hihn isn't a goober, he's a angry senile old crank.

  • Mark22||

    Or just tell us who YOU diktat should defend constitutional rights.

    The Constitution enumerates powers, not rights; Americans have an infinity of rights that is limited by only a small finite set of enumerated powers. Restricting guns is not one of those enumerated powers.

    The 2A was added as an additional safeguard saying "don't even think of constructing arguments trying to derive the power to restrict guns from other powers".

    Even if the 2A had the restricted meaning you think, that would still not grant it the power to restrict guns.

  • Mark22||

    Fuck off slaver.

  • Ned Netterville||

    When government officials (SCOTUS) get to decide what a written Constitution means, when that Constitution was written and adopted to control and limit the government's authority, rest assured that those officials will interpret the Constitution in a way most suitable to their desires and their welfare. Controls and limits are for the ruled, not the rulers. Laws and regulations and lots of 'em to control and limit freedom are for the ruled. If you want government; you wanna be ruled.

  • LifeStrategies||

    Since hundreds of years ago guns were clumsy affairs with loose powder, the safe way to unload one meant pressing the trigger - outside. So the idea that guns were only carried indoors is ludicrous - yet another example of the gun-control lobby lies. It's very unfortunate for citizens that some of the Supreme Court have bought that erroneous idea. But since Breyer, Kennedy and Ginsburg are all past their sell-by date, with time we're getting there, ...

  • Mark22||

    Like that crazy proggie, Antonin Scalia? Educate yourself here:

    Scalia was an archconservative authoritarian Catholic prick who believed that the law meant what he wanted it to mean, but was smart enough to pretend otherwise.

    I look at you with adoring eyes, as my ideal authoritarian! God Bless.

    Sure, Narcissus.

  • Mark22||

    The authoritarian also redefines narcissism!

    Whoosh.

    give the "senile old crank" the strikeout he earned

    No need, you make a fool of yourself so well.

  • Mark22||

    even if other Members of the Court do not agree that the Second Amendment likely protects a right to public carry, the time has come for the Court to answer this important question definitively

    The time to answer that question definitively is when there are enough conservatives on the court to answer it in the correct way. Rushing cases like this through the court only risks setting a bad precedent.

    Be patient, it can't be long now.

  • Mark22||

    WHAT KIND of conservative satisfies you authoritarians?

    You tell me. You're the authoritarian arguing that people should be bear arms only in defense of the state, probably the core tenet of authoritarians anywhere.

  • Mark22||

    Why don't you actually read what you link to: even your own article shows that your interpretation is not settled law and that, if anything, courts are moving towards strengthening protections for individual gun ownership.

  • Mark22||

    YOU are the one saying it's settled law

    I never said it was "settled law". You're delusional again.

  • Mark22||

  • mysmartstuffs||

    You are really going to flip out when public funds from Dept of Ed are going to be used en mass for kids that go to religious schools using vouchers or equivalent.

    1st Amendment:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Funny how the left's obsession with making the big Nanny-State huge will be used to spread the money to religious schools and churches that have playgrounds that non-congregation kids can use.

    Maybe someday, you lefties will agree to dismantle this huge mess we call federal government.
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  • mysmartstuffs||

    How does this square with the fundamental principle that no rights are absolute, not even Life, since NO unalienable right may be denied or disparaged?

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  • AbbiB||

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  • California Right To Carry||

    Not to worry. My California Open Carry appeal is up next and the 9th circuit court of appeals will be forced to decide whether or not the Second Amendment applies past the doors to our home. A question the en banc panel in Peruta v. San Diego did not decide and a question that Justice Thomas' dissent to denial of cert said should have been decided by the en banc panel.

    Charles Nichols
    President of California Right To Carry
    http://CaliforniaRightToCarry.org

  • shane_c||

    Gorsuch and Thomas also want more tax money to go to churches and religious schools. Theyre good for some things and bad for others.

  • m.EK||

    The Amendments are what the government can NOT do!! The court can't rule on this... They simply do not have the Authority. The States did not grant them this authority!
    LAW is more fundamental than even State authority. The real question is WHAT IS LAW??? How do you define LAW? Is it, as the idiot governmental pukes would have you believe the garbage coming out of the Federal government or even the state houses? How about the crap coming from the city managers and "attorneys"?

    When are we going to grow up enough to realize that LAW is something beyond government. At most, government is supposed to provide a safe space/place for the citizenry to live within LAW.

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