DC v. Heller is instructive here.
The Supreme Court held:
(1) The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Pp. 2–53.
(a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2–22.
(b) The prefatory clause comports with the Court’s interpretation of the operative clause. The “militia” comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved. Pp. 22–28.
(c) The Court’s interpretation is confirmed by analogous arms-bearing rights in state constitutions that preceded and immediately followed the Second Amendment. Pp. 28–30.
(d) The Second Amendment’s drafting history, while of dubious interpretive worth, reveals three state Second Amendment proposals that unequivocally referred to an individual right to bear arms. Pp. 30–32.
(e) Interpretation of the Second Amendment by scholars, courts and legislators, from immediately after its ratification through the late 19th century also supports the Court’s conclusion. Pp. 32–47.
(f) None of the Court’s precedents forecloses the Court’s interpretation. Neither United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542 , nor Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252 , refutes the individual-rights interpretation. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174 , does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes. Pp. 47–54.
(2) Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding 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. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Pp. 54–56.
(3) The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. The District’s total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition – in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family, and property is most acute – would fail constitutional muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional. Because Heller conceded at oral argument that the D. C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily and capriciously, the Court assumes that a license will satisfy his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement. Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home. Pp. 56–64.
The Opinion of the Court, delivered by Justice Scalia, was joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. and by Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr.
Thread: Another shooting...
12-17-2012, 12:42 PM #281Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
- Edmund Burke
12-17-2012, 12:55 PM #282
- Join Date
- Oct 2012
Until then I am glad to live in a state which protects me effectively from the actually existing threats, which incidentally is the same argument for the existence of a police force and army, which if we were only to treat 'root causes', would not be necessarry..
Out of interest, why do you feel it is an affront to your liberty to not be able to own a gun, but don't propose to legalize tanks or bombs? I am not just being trite - if your government ever wanted to oppress you, you would need a bit more than a few rifles to 'resist' the world's strongest army.
12-17-2012, 12:59 PM #283
12-17-2012, 01:04 PM #284
I may be kindly, I am ordinarily gentle, but in my line of business I am obliged to will terribly what I will at all.
~ Catherine the Great
7w6 ❣ sx/so ❤ physical touch ❥ sanguine 70%, choleric 30% ❦
12-17-2012, 01:20 PM #285
We are nowhere near being in a position to prevent/cure all mental illness, even if you were willing to pay for it (and you're not).
Passing legislation to restrict access to guns is a much more feasible proposition (even if total enforcement is not feasible at this time. At least the problem wouldn't be compounded generation after generation.)
The part of the equation that needs to be solved is the "will to murder".
Are you convincing yourself? Cos you're not convincing anyone else.
The New York Times has referred to Australia's gun laws as a "road map" for the US, saying that "in the 18 years before the law, Australia suffered 13 mass shootings - but not one in the 14 years after the law took full effect."
12-17-2012, 01:44 PM #286“Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”
12-17-2012, 02:28 PM #287
Came across this over at Slate and thought I'd share.
Things Can Change
A century ago, there were forms of brutal violence considered so thoroughly American that they could never be banished. Today, they no longer exist.
By Beverly Gage|Posted Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, at 9:48 AM ET
In 1985, when I was 13 years old, a woman suffering from schizophrenia brought a semiautomatic rifle to our local mall and began shooting. This was the mall where I picked out clothes from the Gap, where I sat for photos with Santa Claus as a toddler, where kids my age were just starting to hang out and flaunt their independence. The woman, 25-year-old Sylvia Seegrist, killed three people, including a 2-year-old child, and shot several others before being subdued by a man who thought she was shooting blanks. When asked why she had done it, Seegrist said, bizarrely, that “my family makes me nervous.” In other words, there was no reason at all.
As a middle-schooler, I registered the event only in the haziest terms: I knew something terrible had happened, I was glad it hadn’t happened to me, and I figured the adults would take care of the rest. Now, as an adult, what seems shocking is just how little was done. There were calls for keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, for better treatment and commitment laws, for more restrictive gun control, for greater community vigilance to identify people prone to violence. But none of it, apparently, mattered quite enough. Fourteen years after the Springfield Mall shooting came Columbine, then Virginia Tech, and now Sandy Hook Elementary.
Like millions of other heartsick people, I am inclined to despair at this list, to think that though all of this must change, it never will. But as a historian I am reminded that change often comes slowly, and with great pain and effort. A century ago, there were forms of graphic, brutal violence considered so thoroughly American that they could never be banished from the national landscape. Today they no longer exist. In the story of how these changes happened, there may be a model—or a least a bit of hope—for the present.
One example is class violence, once seen a shameful but ineradicable feature of American life. Beginning in the 1870s, the United States became infamous around the world for the brutality of its labor clashes, in which gun battles, dynamitings, and hand-to-hand combat produced what seemed to be an unending stream of senseless death. Sometimes the violence came at the hands of police: 100 strikers killed during the rail uprising of 1877, 11 children burned to death in the 1914 Ludlow Massacre. On other occasions, it came as retaliation from below. In 1910, men employed by the Bridge and Structural Iron Workers blew up the headquarters of the anti-union Los Angeles Times, killing 21 printers and laborers working inside.
Compared to today’s gun massacres, it is easy to see these earlier events as a more comprehensible form of violence, with obvious political motives and straightforward political solutions. Yet Americans at the time experienced them as a cause for national soul-searching, as well as a kind of helplessness and even despair. Muckraker Lincoln Steffens put it best, after the L.A. Times bombing. “What are we Americans going to do about conditions which are bringing up healthy, good-tempered boys … to really believe … that the only resource they have … is to use dynamite against property and life?”
The arguments that followed were fierce: Should the country enact new labor laws? Engender Christian renewal? Regulate guns and explosives? But the answers were obvious even then. Americans needed a better process, enforced by the federal government, for managing labor-employer relations. Until the 1930s, advocates simply lacked the political will and public support to make it happen.
An even more intractable debate accompanied the rise and fall of lynching, one of the most gruesome forms of violence ever to take root in the United States. Today, we tend to remember lynching as a clandestine crime, a young black man pulled from his bed in the dark of night and brutalized or hanged in the Southern woods. For most of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, though, it was a community phenomenon of almost unthinkable cruelty, in which hundreds if not thousands of people gathered to witness a victim being disemboweled, castrated, tortured, or burned, then killed in full view.
To modern sensibilities, the injustice once again seems obvious, as do the solutions: Prosecute lynchers, fight for racial justice, strengthen the rule of law, and mobilize public opinion to condemn rather than excuse outbursts of brutality. And yet it took more than 100 years for lynching to begin to disappear as a feature of American life, and even longer for Americans to fully acknowledge the depth of its horror. In the meantime, thousands of influential people, including many esteemed congressmen and senators, argued that lynching was simply a fact of life, a random act of violence about which nothing could be done. It was not until 2005 that the U.S. Senate, spearheaded by Mary Landrieu, apologized for failing to pass federal anti-lynching legislation, and for leaving hundreds of innocent people to be sacrificed to official inaction.
The parallels between past and present are not perfect, of course. Today’s violence is more random, without rational motive or political purpose. Yet these examples tell us something important about how social change happens around violence, and about what we now need to do. Ending both lynching and class violence required efforts spread over many decades. And those efforts attacked the problem at multiple levels, from the passage of new federal laws to campaigns aimed at mobilizing public opinion.
Most of all, they required a mass rejection of the argument that this is just what America is like, and that there is nothing to be done. We’ve now lived with gun massacres for two generations. That’s long enough.
12-17-2012, 02:30 PM #288
BMW's are fine.
12-17-2012, 02:49 PM #289
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
12-17-2012, 03:22 PM #290
By MacGuffin in forum Politics, History, and Current EventsReplies: 12Last Post: 08-29-2012, 08:55 AM
By MacGuffin in forum Politics, History, and Current EventsReplies: 42Last Post: 08-07-2012, 06:45 PM
By FigerPuppet in forum Politics, History, and Current EventsReplies: 210Last Post: 06-26-2012, 11:56 PM