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 Post subject: Re: America..why won't you just ban the fucking gun?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:42 pm 
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The rise of the Second Amendment as a serious obstacle to gun control legislation is astonishingly recent.

It is a tribute less to the Founding Fathers than to the power of the contemporary gun-rights movement, which has not only exerted disproportionate influence on Congress, but also helped transform the landscape of constitutional argument.

We should be able to have a serious national discussion uninhibited by wild claims about the meaning of the Constitution.

Here's a quick way to see how rapidly things have changed.

Warren Burger was a conservative Republican, appointed chief justice by President Richard Nixon in 1969. In a speech in 1992, six years after his retirement, Burger declared that "the Second Amendment doesn't guarantee the right to have firearms at all."

In his view, the purpose of the Second Amendment was only "to ensure that the state armies' -- the militia -- would be maintained for the defense of the state."

A year before, Burger went further. On "MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour," Burger said the Second Amendment "has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud -- I repeat the word 'fraud' -- on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen."

To understand what Burger was thinking, consider the words of the Second Amendment: "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."

Fair-minded readers have to acknowledge that the text is ambiguous. Sure, it could fairly be read to support an individual right to have guns. But in light of the preamble, with its reference to a well-regulated militia, it could also be read not to confer an individual right, but to protect federalism, by ensuring that the new national government wouldn't interfere with citizen militias at the state level.

A lot of historians believe, with Burger, that some version of the latter interpretation is the right one. Until remarkably recently, almost all federal judges have agreed. It is striking that before its 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court had never held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to have guns.

For almost seven decades, the court's leading decision was U.S. vs. Miller. The 1939 case involved a ban on possession of a sawed-off shotgun. Sounding like Burger, the court unanimously said that the Second Amendment's "obvious purpose" was "to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of" the militia. Without evidence that a sawed-off shotgun was related to preservation of a well-regulated militia, the court refused to say that the Second Amendment protected the right to have such a weapon.

For decades, federal courts overwhelmingly rejected the conclusion that the Second Amendment protects an individual right. It wasn't until the 21st century that lower federal courts, filled with appointees of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, started to adopt the individual-rights position. And, of course, the Supreme Court itself adopted that view in 2008, by a 5-to-4 vote.

I am not saying that the court was wrong. The legal question is genuinely difficult, and people disagree in good faith how to solve it. What is important to see is that in the very recent past, the U.S. has lived through a Second Amendment revolution, spurred by an intensely focused and well-funded social movement with both legal and political arms.

More important still, the Supreme Court has proceeded cautiously, refusing to shut the door to all gun regulation. On the contrary, the court said, "Nothing in our opinion should 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."

To this the court added that the sorts of weapons it was protecting were those "in common use at the time" that the Second Amendment was ratified. We should respect the fact that the individual right to have guns has been established, but a lot of gun-control legislation, imaginable or proposed, would be perfectly consistent with the court's rulings.

In the political arena, opponents of gun control, armed with organization and money, have invoked the Second Amendment far more recklessly, treating it as a firm obstacle to any effort to regulate guns and bullets.

As a result, they have made it difficult for Congress, and many state legislatures, even to hold serious discussions about what sorts of regulation might save lives. Consider this disturbing statement by Stephen Halbrook, a lawyer who has represented the National Rifle Association, about the very kinds of guns used in the Connecticut tragedy: "They get a lot of coverage when there's a tragedy, but the number of people unlawfully killed with them is small."

Reasonable people can debate about what policies would actually work. That is a debate worth having. It is past time to stop using the Second Amendment itself as a loaded weapon, threatening elected representatives who ought to be doing their jobs.


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 Post subject: Re: America..why won't you just ban the fucking gun?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:04 pm 
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62strat wrote:
The rise of the Second Amendment as a serious obstacle to gun control legislation is astonishingly recent.

It is a tribute less to the Founding Fathers than to the power of the contemporary gun-rights movement, which has not only exerted disproportionate influence on Congress, but also helped transform the landscape of constitutional argument.

We should be able to have a serious national discussion uninhibited by wild claims about the meaning of the Constitution.

Here's a quick way to see how rapidly things have changed.

Warren Burger was a conservative Republican, appointed chief justice by President Richard Nixon in 1969. In a speech in 1992, six years after his retirement, Burger declared that "the Second Amendment doesn't guarantee the right to have firearms at all."

In his view, the purpose of the Second Amendment was only "to ensure that the state armies' -- the militia -- would be maintained for the defense of the state."

A year before, Burger went further. On "MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour," Burger said the Second Amendment "has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud -- I repeat the word 'fraud' -- on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen."

To understand what Burger was thinking, consider the words of the Second Amendment: "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."

Fair-minded readers have to acknowledge that the text is ambiguous. Sure, it could fairly be read to support an individual right to have guns. But in light of the preamble, with its reference to a well-regulated militia, it could also be read not to confer an individual right, but to protect federalism, by ensuring that the new national government wouldn't interfere with citizen militias at the state level.

A lot of historians believe, with Burger, that some version of the latter interpretation is the right one. Until remarkably recently, almost all federal judges have agreed. It is striking that before its 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court had never held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to have guns.

For almost seven decades, the court's leading decision was U.S. vs. Miller. The 1939 case involved a ban on possession of a sawed-off shotgun. Sounding like Burger, the court unanimously said that the Second Amendment's "obvious purpose" was "to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of" the militia. Without evidence that a sawed-off shotgun was related to preservation of a well-regulated militia, the court refused to say that the Second Amendment protected the right to have such a weapon.

For decades, federal courts overwhelmingly rejected the conclusion that the Second Amendment protects an individual right. It wasn't until the 21st century that lower federal courts, filled with appointees of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, started to adopt the individual-rights position. And, of course, the Supreme Court itself adopted that view in 2008, by a 5-to-4 vote.

I am not saying that the court was wrong. The legal question is genuinely difficult, and people disagree in good faith how to solve it. What is important to see is that in the very recent past, the U.S. has lived through a Second Amendment revolution, spurred by an intensely focused and well-funded social movement with both legal and political arms.

More important still, the Supreme Court has proceeded cautiously, refusing to shut the door to all gun regulation. On the contrary, the court said, "Nothing in our opinion should 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."

To this the court added that the sorts of weapons it was protecting were those "in common use at the time" that the Second Amendment was ratified. We should respect the fact that the individual right to have guns has been established, but a lot of gun-control legislation, imaginable or proposed, would be perfectly consistent with the court's rulings.

In the political arena, opponents of gun control, armed with organization and money, have invoked the Second Amendment far more recklessly, treating it as a firm obstacle to any effort to regulate guns and bullets.

As a result, they have made it difficult for Congress, and many state legislatures, even to hold serious discussions about what sorts of regulation might save lives. Consider this disturbing statement by Stephen Halbrook, a lawyer who has represented the National Rifle Association, about the very kinds of guns used in the Connecticut tragedy: "They get a lot of coverage when there's a tragedy, but the number of people unlawfully killed with them is small."

Reasonable people can debate about what policies would actually work. That is a debate worth having. It is past time to stop using the Second Amendment itself as a loaded weapon, threatening elected representatives who ought to be doing their jobs.


Wow, long post....how does it end?


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 Post subject: Re: America..why won't you just ban the fucking gun?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:09 pm 
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Thats it. Sorry. Opinion piece from MInneapolis paper.


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 Post subject: Re: America..why won't you just ban the fucking gun?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:14 pm 
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62strat wrote:
Thats it. Sorry. Opinion piece from MInneapolis paper.



oh...ok.


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 Post subject: Re: America..why won't you just ban the fucking gun?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:45 pm 
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Rocky Estoppel wrote:
I Hail Randy Moss wrote:

Adam Lanza has also been described by those who knew him as highly intelligent, and a spokesman for Western Connecticut State University told The Associated Press he took college classes there when he was 16, earning a 3.26 grade point average and excelling at a computer course.



So I guess this qualifies as "highly intelligent" nowadays? A 3.26 GPA and excelling at a computer course? I must be a fucking genius.


Were you 16 when you were taking the college classes?


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 Post subject: Re: America..why won't you just ban the fucking gun?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:54 pm 
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Rocky Estoppel wrote:
I Hail Randy Moss wrote:

Adam Lanza has also been described by those who knew him as highly intelligent, and a spokesman for Western Connecticut State University told The Associated Press he took college classes there when he was 16, earning a 3.26 grade point average and excelling at a computer course.



So I guess this qualifies as "highly intelligent" nowadays? A 3.26 GPA and excelling at a computer course? I must be a fucking genius.


Hey, if they can call the guy who migrates the contact list from your old iphone to your new one a genius.... But in all seriousness, high functioning autistics are often incredibly talented in areas like computer science.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/magazine/the-autism-advantage.html?hpw&_r=1&pagewanted=all&

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 Post subject: Re: America..why won't you just ban the fucking gun?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:59 pm 
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Skitch Patterson wrote:
So wait. This all boils down to "let me kill these 2 dozen or so 6 year olds, that'll show'em I'm not crazy"


Fox News is probably just trying to cover for the gun industry.

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 Post subject: Re: America..why won't you just ban the fucking gun?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:22 pm 
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broken iris wrote:
Skitch Patterson wrote:
So wait. This all boils down to "let me kill these 2 dozen or so 6 year olds, that'll show'em I'm not crazy"


Fox News is probably just trying to cover for the gun industry.


Maybe, but even if they reinstated the federal assault weapons ban, the weapon Lanza used would still be legal.


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 Post subject: Re: America..why won't you just ban the fucking gun?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:26 pm 
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shinkdew wrote:
broken iris wrote:
Skitch Patterson wrote:
So wait. This all boils down to "let me kill these 2 dozen or so 6 year olds, that'll show'em I'm not crazy"


Fox News is probably just trying to cover for the gun industry.


Maybe, but even if they reinstated the federal assault weapons ban, the weapon Lanza used would still be legal.



That just means the original ban didn't go far enough.

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 Post subject: Re: America..why won't you just ban the fucking gun?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:42 pm 
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broken iris wrote:
shinkdew wrote:
broken iris wrote:
Skitch Patterson wrote:
So wait. This all boils down to "let me kill these 2 dozen or so 6 year olds, that'll show'em I'm not crazy"


Fox News is probably just trying to cover for the gun industry.


Maybe, but even if they reinstated the federal assault weapons ban, the weapon Lanza used would still be legal.



That just means the original ban didn't go far enough.


It just means gun makers will find the loop holes in whatever law is passed.


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 Post subject: Re: America..why won't you just ban the fucking gun?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:47 pm 
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I don't think gun bans will do much if anything, but at the same time, we have to at least try to change the culture of guns in America, even if that means putting through legislation that may not work. Really, what's the harm there? What does that cost us? Who is going to be offended? Assault weapon bans may not do anything, but why do we want to live in a country that allows it? I don't get it.

The real issue is we just have a lot of people with mental illness in this country, and adding more guns into circulation is surely not going to help in that manner.

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 Post subject: Re: America..why won't you just ban the fucking gun?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:50 pm 
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pnjguy wrote:
I don't think gun bans will do much if anything, but at the same time, we have to at least try to change the culture of guns in America, even if that means putting through legislation that may not work. Really, what's the harm there? What does that cost us? Who is going to be offended? Assault weapon bans may not do anything, but why do we want to live in a country that allows it? I don't get it.

The real issue is we just have a lot of people with mental illness in this country, and adding more guns into circulation is surely not going to help in that manner.


maybe rational people want this legislation but we don't really have a seat at the table. while you wish for it, special interest groups are making it happen for themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: America..why won't you just ban the fucking gun?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:04 pm 
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nah wrote:
pnjguy wrote:
I don't think gun bans will do much if anything, but at the same time, we have to at least try to change the culture of guns in America, even if that means putting through legislation that may not work. Really, what's the harm there? What does that cost us? Who is going to be offended? Assault weapon bans may not do anything, but why do we want to live in a country that allows it? I don't get it.

The real issue is we just have a lot of people with mental illness in this country, and adding more guns into circulation is surely not going to help in that manner.


maybe rational people want this legislation but we don't really have a seat at the table. while you wish for it, special interest groups are making it happen for themselves.


I totally understand that, but legislation is already being written up with the President's backing. If the media keeps up the momentum on this, and they get something passed while its still en vogue, i can see SOMETHING get passed. This type of tragedy hits home with too many people. But i won't be surprised if the process outlasts the desire of the people. Time kills. If they want to do something, they have to do it now.

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 Post subject: Re: America..why won't you just ban the fucking gun?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:08 pm 
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Privately owned armories for assault rifles. Soldiers check their weapons in when not in a combat zone. With private citizens, the privately owned armories could be at gun club or whatever. Weapons can be checked in and out as often as you can withdraw money from a money market account and the government can do scheduled 'protocol and procedures' check ups on the armories.

I dunno, there has to be some middle ground to make the non gun owning citizens feel more comfortable while still allowing gun owners to retain their "man cards."


*shrugs*

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 Post subject: Re: America..why won't you just ban the fucking gun?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:12 pm 
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I know we're about as far away from elections as we can get, but nobody relying on a conservative voting base is going to be seen compromising on taxes AND guns simultaneously.


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 Post subject: Re: America..why won't you just ban the fucking gun?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:18 pm 
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For right now, the best we can realistically hope for is a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban and closing the gun show background check loophole.

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 Post subject: Re: America..why won't you just ban the fucking gun?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:19 pm 
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McParadigm wrote:
I know we're about as far away from elections as we can get, but nobody relying on a conservative voting base is going to be seen compromising on taxes AND guns simultaneously.



The private sector could get started now though. It's a business opportunity too, I think.

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 Post subject: Re: America..why won't you just ban the fucking gun?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:27 pm 
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Let me get this straight: the plain meaning of the 2nd Ammendment is to prevent congress from dismantling the military? In what context does that make sense, unless of course you wish for it to mean that. What other ammendments apply to collective, as opposed to individual rights?

Quote:
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.


The reason the first portion of this is usually omitted is because it just provides a justification for the second clause. In no reading of this is the second clause dependent on the first. An armed populace contributes to a well regulated militia.

Lets compare this to the first ammendment:

Quote:
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.


The same language, "the right of the people" is here too. Why would this be a collective sense in one but an individual right in aother? Based on your definition of the second ammendment, if some government select group of individuals somewhere can freely speak, utilize the press, or peaceably assemble, the first ammendment is not violated.


Moreover, this is an especially restrictive definition of 'militia'.

wikipedia wrote:
The current United States Code, Title 10 (Armed forces), section 311 (Militia: Composition and Classes), paragraph (a) states: "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."


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 Post subject: Re: America..why won't you just ban the fucking gun?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:01 pm 
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simple schoolboy wrote:
Lets compare this to the first ammendment:

Quote:
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.


The same language, "the right of the people" is here too. Why would this be a collective sense in one but an individual right in aother? Based on your definition of the second ammendment, if some government select group of individuals somewhere can freely speak, utilize the press, or peaceably assemble, the first ammendment is not violated.


This is essentially what Robert Bork believed.
Quote:
In a 1971 article in The Indiana Law Journal, he argued that the First Amendment’s protection of free speech had been wildly extrapolated beyond the intent of the United States Constitution’s framers. In a starkly narrow interpretation, he said free speech existed to perpetuate the process of self-government; therefore, he wrote, only explicitly political speech about governing was protected.

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 Post subject: Re: America..why won't you just ban the fucking gun?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:29 pm 
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4/5 wrote:
simple schoolboy wrote:
Lets compare this to the first ammendment:

Quote:
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.


The same language, "the right of the people" is here too. Why would this be a collective sense in one but an individual right in aother? Based on your definition of the second ammendment, if some government select group of individuals somewhere can freely speak, utilize the press, or peaceably assemble, the first ammendment is not violated.


This is essentially what Robert Bork believed.
Quote:
In a 1971 article in The Indiana Law Journal, he argued that the First Amendment’s protection of free speech had been wildly extrapolated beyond the intent of the United States Constitution’s framers. In a starkly narrow interpretation, he said free speech existed to perpetuate the process of self-government; therefore, he wrote, only explicitly political speech about governing was protected.


Let's just hope he was consistent.


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