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Posted: 12/1/2007 3:40:52 PM EDT

blog.nj.com/njv_bryan_miller/2007/11/supremes_take_on_2nd_amendment.html
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http://blog.nj.com/njv_bryan_miller/...amendment.html
Supremes take on 2nd Amendment - Yawn
Posted by Bryan Miller November 29, 2007 11:05AM
Categories: Hot Topics, Law & Order

The US Supreme Court announced the other day that it had granted cert to DC vs. Heller (lawyer talk for taking it up), a challenge to the District of Columbia's broad gun ban. This is the first time since 1939 that the Supremes have decided to rule on the meaning of the controversial 2nd Amendment.

As you might imagine, both pro-gun and gun violence prevention advocates have been scrambling to claim the high ground. Many on each side argue that a ruling in their favor will lead to a more civilized society...against them, the fires of hell (forgive my harmless hyperbole - you get the point).

For me, the announcement was a Ho Hum moment. I sincerely doubt, whatever ruling emerges from the imposing ersatz Acropolis on DC's First Street NE, the world will be shaken.

But, first, a little background - for those of you who have more to do with your time than memorize old, obsolete and unused Constitutional dicta - the 2nd 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.

As I said, Ho Hum. How seriously must I (or anyone, for that matter) take a sentence so overwhelmingly categorical, yet which has never been used to overturn any gun regulation, ordinance or law in the 200-plus years since it was adopted?

Good question (he said) - especially as dozens of state and federal courts have for decades found that the 2nd Amendment confers NO private right to gun ownership or possession, and none, until Heller, has overruled any gun regulation on 2nd Amendment grounds in over 200 years.

So, how meaningful is the 2nd Amendment after all? You guessed it - It's not.

[For my pro-gun pals, who delight at filling up the Comments section that follows each of my entries with hostile and emotional admonitions under the banner of so-called 'rational discourse' (I hope readers will take a look at some of their incestuous craziness)...chill. Whatever apoplexy this entry may cause you, it ain't worth splitting a gut over - we'll all survive, whatever. But, keep those cards and letters coming, nonetheless.]

Oh, and about relevance...fact is, the 2nd Amendment was drafted when slow loading, firing (maybe one shot a minute) and inaccurate muskets (5' tall, ramrod for loading, bullet separate from charge) were the sole firearms available to private citizens, as opposed to today's semiautomatic handguns and assault rifles, with their rapid fire and high-capacity ammunition magazines (32 bullets fired in less than 15 seconds, for instance), as well as massively destructive .50 Caliber Sniper Rifles. Does any but a pro-gun extremist believe that the Founders would countenance unfettered access by private citizens to such destructive firepower?

That brings me back to 1939, when the Supremes ruled on the 2nd Amendment. They made it patently clear that it was inextricably concerned with that "Well regulated Militia..." of yore - in today's world, the National Guard. In the Supremes' words: "In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use (of a firearm)...has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument." So, if it ain't for the National Guard, you have no right to it. A privilege, maybe, depending upon the local, state and federal laws and regulations in place. But a right, no. Sorry, guys.

But, I've digressed more than enough. Back to Ho Hum (finally!). The likelihood that the Supreme Court will go against all precedent, strong support across the country for regulation of guns and the clear public safety need for such regulation is both unimaginable and severely doubtful. There are no absolute individual rights in any case. Even as categorical an Amendment as the preceding 1st, confers none. Public safety trumps it in specific instances (you can't yell Fire! in a crowded theater). Many other examples abound.

No, I believe that, however the Supremes rule, and they may well throw out DC's gun ban as over broad, we will be left with a situation, per today, where gun violence prevention measures will continue to be enacted, defeated, upheld and possibly even overturned on individual merit and politics, rather than some absolute right for anyone, anywhere at any time to acquire any gun in any quantity. That would be craziness, indeed.


About the Author

Bryan Miller is executive director of Ceasefire NJ, one of the nation's oldest and most respected organizations devoted to reducing gun violence. Miller had a twenty-five year career in international business until his only brother was shot and killed by a man wielding a concealed and illegal assault pistol. Miller led the campaign which led to enactment in 2002 of the country's first Childproof Handgun Law.

Miller will comment on issues about the place of guns in American society, the scourge of gun violence, and ways to reduce it.


(comments link at the bottom of the page)
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 3:44:42 PM EDT
This stuff makes me mad, and I guess I just post it because misery loves company.

"Boy- there's bad people in the world- maybe if all lay down our weapons, they will stop hurting us!"
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 3:45:00 PM EDT
fruitcake from NJ
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 3:48:36 PM EDT
whats an assault pistol?
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 3:50:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GeorgiaBII:
whats an assault pistol?


Link Posted: 12/1/2007 3:50:38 PM EDT

So, if it ain't for the National Guard, you have no right to it. A privilege, maybe, depending upon the local, state and federal laws and regulations in place. But a right, no. Sorry, guys.


Guess he doesn't believe in the 9th and 10th amendments either. We would have had the right to bear arms without the 2nd Amendment because the Constitution did not reserve it for the government. His logic is why many of the framers did not support adding the Bill of Rights because they could be seen at "the" list of rights.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 3:50:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LouisianaCarry:


forgive my harmless hyperbole

assault rifles

rapid fire

high-capacity ammunition magazines

.50 Caliber Sniper Rifles

concealed and illegal assault pistol

the scourge of gun violence




Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

By the way, how does one wield a concealed pistol? I'd like to be able to pull that trick off.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 4:02:57 PM EDT

Does any but a pro-gun extremist believe that the Founders would countenance unfettered access by private citizens to such destructive firepower?


This line here is enough to make me understand without a shadow of a doubt that he has no clue who the FF's were, what they'd just lived through, what they believed in and what they were trying to accomplish when they wrote the 2nd. So while he's smart enough to be able to type it out, that's where his knowledge of history, the FF's and the 2nd amendment ends.

Why try to have intelligent discourse with someone so lacking in the primary ingredient the task requires?
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 4:05:51 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 4:08:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 4:10:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/1/2007 4:13:36 PM EDT by pale_pony]
Yep, and by that logic "Freedom of The Press" only applies to Guttenburg style manual printing presses, not modern offset presses, not television, not radio, not the internet.

assclowns


Edited to add:


About the Author

Bryan Miller is executive director of Ceasefire NJ, one of the nation's oldest and most respected organizations devoted to reducing gun violence.


Sounds to me like Bryan Miller is "whistling past the graveyard" with that last article. The anti's are scared stupid about this and it is showing.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 4:22:14 PM EDT
"old, obsolete and unused Constitutional dicta"

I wonder if he feels this way about the rest of the document.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 4:55:22 PM EDT
Notice how he never mentions the miller decision regarding a sawed off shotgun, he lumps all firearms into the same catagory.................

he wrote_
back to 1939, when the Supremes ruled on the 2nd Amendment. They made it patently clear that it was inextricably concerned with that "Well regulated Militia..." of yore - in today's world, the National Guard. In the Supremes' words: "In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use (of a firearm)...has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument." So, if it ain't for the National Guard, you have no right to it. A privilege, maybe, depending upon the local, state and federal laws and regulations in place. But a right, no. Sorry, guys.

I believe the correct wording is....
In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 5:10:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Britt-dog:
"old, obsolete and unused Constitutional dicta"

I wonder if he feels this way about the rest of the document.


Yep, he lost me right there.

There is nothing in the Constitution that is unimportant. Not used much? Sure, but in many ways that is good. Just because the 3rd isn't much threatened doesn't mean we should ignore it or get rid of it.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 5:57:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/1/2007 6:03:22 PM EDT by The_Macallan]

The internet makes it a WHOLE lot easier and faster to distribute kiddie-porn and to commit libel and conspiracy... so should we do away with that too?

The TV, radio and the internet are to "freedom of speech" and "freedom of the press" as semiautomatics and machine-guns are to "right to keep and bear arms".

It ain't the tool, it's what you do with it.

The hardware may change but our rights don't.

Get over it.

Link Posted: 12/1/2007 6:11:38 PM EDT
I was going to post a reply but others here (and there) have summed it up well:

If you equate the 2A as applying only to muskets, then your 1A has no bearing on the internet, high speed digital presses, the internet or cell phones.

Much like my argument against the libs "selective collectivism" (re the 2nd v. all other amendments), I offer "all or none".

All collective (state) rights or all individual.

Fish or cut bait.

Arguing 2A with the XD of Ceasfire is like trying to teach a pig to sing.

Of course, at the end of the day, after failing to teach the pig to sing, you can have pork chops.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 6:17:40 PM EDT
I really enjoy when non-gun people try to educate others on the details of guns. It really adds to their being taken seriously.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 6:18:43 PM EDT
The problem I'm seeing is people having unfettered access to the internet to spread disinformation.

If Vinnie Babarino can own a 707, I can own a .50 cal rifle....make it semi-auto, thanks, Bryan.....go get yer cryin' towel, yer gonna need it.
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