PDA

View Full Version : Shock: Anthony Kennedy Learns to Read the Constitution; Guns Rights Saved



blenderboy5
06-26-2008, 11:57 AM
Days after declaring the death penalty only applied to murderers based on "a lack of natonal consensus," (that's right between articles 1 and 2, right?) the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the second amendment. For the first time since 1791, the court decisively ruled on something that anyone with an understanding of english already knew.


WASHINGTON The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, the justices' first major pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history.

The court's 5-4 ruling struck down the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision went further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most firearms laws intact.

The court had not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its ratification in 1791. The amendment reads: "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."

Click here to read the full opinion on the Supreme Court Web Site.

The basic issue for the justices was whether the amendment protects an individual's right to own guns no matter what, or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia.

Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said that an individual right to bear arms is supported by "the historical narrative" both before and after the Second Amendment was adopted.

The Constitution does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home," Scalia said. The court also struck down Washington's requirement that firearms be equipped with trigger locks or kept disassembled, but left intact the licensing of guns.

In a dissent he summarized from the bench, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the majority "would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons."

He said such evidence "is nowhere to be found."

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote a separate dissent in which he said, "In my view, there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas."

Joining Scalia were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. The other dissenters were Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter.

Gun rights supporters hailed the decision. "I consider this the opening salvo in a step-by-step process of providing relief for law-abiding Americans everywhere that have been deprived of this freedom," said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association.

The NRA will file lawsuits in San Francisco, Chicago and several of its suburbs challenging handgun restrictions there based on Thursday's outcome.

The capital's gun law was among the nation's strictest.

Dick Anthony Heller, 66, an armed security guard, sued the District after it rejected his application to keep a handgun at his home for protection in the same Capitol Hill neighborhood as the court.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in Heller's favor and struck down Washington's handgun ban, saying the Constitution guarantees Americans the right to own guns and that a total prohibition on handguns is not compatible with that right.

The issue caused a split within the Bush administration. Vice President Dick Cheney supported the appeals court ruling, but others in the administration feared it could lead to the undoing of other gun regulations, including a federal law restricting sales of machine guns. Other laws keep felons from buying guns and provide for an instant background check.

Scalia said nothing in Thursday's ruling should "cast doubt on long-standing prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons or the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings."

In a concluding paragraph to the his 64-page opinion, Scalia said the justices in the majority "are aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country" and believe the Constitution "leaves the District of Columbia a variety of tools for combating that problem, including some measures regulating handguns."

The law adopted by Washington's city council in 1976 bars residents from owning handguns unless they had one before the law took effect. Shotguns and rifles may be kept in homes, if they are registered, kept unloaded and either disassembled or equipped with trigger locks.

Opponents of the law have said it prevents residents from defending themselves. The Washington government says no one would be prosecuted for a gun law violation in cases of self-defense.


http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,372041,00.html

Cadarn
06-28-2008, 02:14 PM
A Liberal Case for the Individual Right to Own Guns (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/07/us/07firearms.html?pagewanted=2&_r=3&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1214676603-9tYAow5ZE1TMA3wFceyk8g)

blenderboy5
06-28-2008, 08:45 PM
It doesn't take a genius to realize restriction of legal guns leads to innocent civilians dying because of being unarmed.

ari1013
06-28-2008, 10:29 PM
It doesn't take a genius to realize restriction of legal guns leads to innocent civilians dying because of being unarmed.
It also doesn't take a genius to realize that restrictions of assault weapons lowered murder rates in the US between 1994 and 2004, but that one went out the window.

I don't think there should be laws outlawing guns in general -- but certain guns really shouldn't be in the hands of civilians. And certain civilians (those who have psychological problems, criminal pasts, etc) shouldn't have access to weapons.

But for once, I do agree with Scalia on this statement:
The Constitution does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home," Scalia said.

The key words being absolute prohibition.

blenderboy5
06-28-2008, 10:45 PM
and that's what DC was. Even the ACLU couldn't be stupid enough not to see the complete restriction of guns was unconstitutional.

But how were 4 justices that stupid? That's my question.

ari1013
06-29-2008, 10:58 AM
and that's what DC was. Even the ACLU couldn't be stupid enough not to see the complete restriction of guns was unconstitutional.

But how were 4 justices that stupid? That's my question.
Do you support the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban?

papipapsmanny
06-29-2008, 11:37 PM
hmm so it was just a coincidence that a little time after this gun ban was passed DC was no longer the leading city it crime

All i know is scalia is an idiot, not for this but in general

ari1013
06-30-2008, 08:46 AM
hmm so it was just a coincidence that a little time after this gun ban was passed DC was no longer the leading city it crime

All i know is scalia is an idiot, not for this but in general
a quick look on wiki shows that DC isn't in the top 10 any longer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Washington,_D.C.

Note that the murder rate began to fall in the mid1990s (with the passage of the assault weapons ban)

Murder rates were unaffected by the handgun ban which went into effect in 1977.

That's why I can understand wanting some sort of protection at home along with passage of other forms of gun control legislation. I'm not one to ever own a gun -- I see the downsides as being stronger than the upsides, but with that said, people should be allowed to make their own decision when it comes to handguns for defense and rifles for hunting. Assault weapons are another story altogether. That ban clearly had an impact on violent crime rates in the US.

RedSoxRok34
07-03-2008, 07:14 PM
i fully support restricting access to assault weapons; in fact i'll go one further and say civilians shouldn't have them. but what if a kid at virginia tech had a gun? he/she could have saved dozens of lives by taking out cho. for every nutjob that wants to hurt innocent people, there's ten who want to protect innocent people. that means gun laws take away ten good guns for one bad gun, and the bad guy usually finds a way to get one anyway. support handgun rights.

the second amendment is clear. citizens not only have the right to defend themselves and society against criminals, they also have the duty to do so.

DenButsu
07-03-2008, 10:31 PM
Chalk one up for Harris and Klebold!

wOOt!!! :up:

gcoll
07-04-2008, 02:28 AM
Note that the murder rate began to fall in the mid1990s (with the passage of the assault weapons ban)

Is that related? I mean....were there a whole lot of murders with assault weapons that stopped? How many murderers use assault weapons?


the second amendment is clear. citizens not only have the right to defend themselves and society against criminals, they also have the duty to do so.
The "it only applies to a militia" bull ****, is what angers me most about this stuff.

It's deliberately misinterpreting a perfectly clear sentence. Why would the second amendment guarantee the STATE the right to have a militia? Why would they refer to the PEOPLE'S right to bear arms, if it is in reference to a militia? It makes no sense.

And the craziest part is, the vote was 5-4. 4 justices want to overturn the constitution.

ari1013
07-05-2008, 10:29 AM
The assault weapon ban covered a variety of weapons that were deemed military-grade. There have been reports by urban police departments that the reduction in such weaponry made it easier for the officers to begin cracking down on subversive elements on the streets. To that extent, yes there's a direct relationship. I can dig up some of the studies if you'd like. I think I posted them up on PSD back in 2004 when the ban expired.

blenderboy5
07-05-2008, 02:13 PM
This isn't about assault weapons. This is about idiotic justices not realizing that citizens are entitled to guns. Not nukes. Maybe not assault weapons. But certainly hand guns.

It's about people seeing evidence of gun related crimes rising when gun control rises, when right to carry laws save lives, etc and trying to up gun control laws.

ari1013
07-05-2008, 07:12 PM
This isn't about assault weapons. This is about idiotic justices not realizing that citizens are entitled to guns. Not nukes. Maybe not assault weapons. But certainly hand guns.

It's about people seeing evidence of gun related crimes rising when gun control rises, when right to carry laws save lives, etc and trying to up gun control laws.
I agree. I'm fine with this ruling. I'm just stating where I stand on the issue. The handgun ban didn't really affect crime rates much in either direction. But since someone might feel safter with a handgun in their home, that's completely legitimate.

On the other hand, we've seen that some laws have produced real results in crime reduction. So there's definitely a midpoint where we should all be able to come to an agreement with respect to gun rights/gun safety/gun control.