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Another victory for gun owners nationwide...

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by StealthChaser13, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Monocrom

    Monocrom Loaded Pockets

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    I'll trade you all our Manhattanites for a bag full of moldy grain . . . You can even keep the bag.
     
  2. concho

    concho Loaded Pockets

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    It is kinda cool that this decision came 1 day after the two year anniversary of the Heller decision.
     
  3. Narcosynthesis

    Narcosynthesis Loaded Pockets

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    Nope, I live in the UK, so I think I may be the winner here...

    :censored: it
     
  4. Monocrom

    Monocrom Loaded Pockets

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    Yup, I fold.

    Congrats on beating me??
     
  5. Twitchy

    Twitchy Loaded Pockets

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    I think that this discussion about the right to bear arms has turned into a childish fight that has lost all perspective of the core issue. The problem is not the legal ownership of firearms, the problem is the illegal ownership of firearms that are used in crimes and legislative measures that should be employed to curtail illegal ownership, which may require more stringent regulation of legal ownership.

    In particular I refer to pistols which have only one purpose, and that is to kill in close proximity, primarily humans - hunters who need to ensure that game is dead notwithstanding (e.g. hunting wild boar - apparently they can be too stubborn to realise that they're dead). Pistols in the hands of private individuals needs to be regulated. By this I mean that there needs to a minimum standard that an individual needs to meet before they should be allowed to buy a gun - just handing a gun to an individual because they can prove they are over 18 is ridiculous. What if they have gang ties? Previous convictions for armed assault? History of mental illness with homocidal tendencies? What if this crazed individual lives down the road from you, works at your partners office, or is enrolled at your childs university? Having free access to firearms is just plain stupidity and is in part responsible for the huge number of firearm abuses that constantly occur.

    Before you chastise me, consider this - in New Zealand we have a very high firearm ownership rate (although only 26.8% of NZ'ers have at least one gun - often more than one - vs. 90% of those in the US, this puts us in the top 15 gun owners in the world), but we have an immensely low incidence of homicide by firearm; in NZ only 0.18 people per 100,000 are murdered by firearms, vs. 2.97 in the US. To put this into perspective, the overall murder rate in NZ is 1.36 per 100,000 vs 4.55 per 100,000 in the US, which means that only 13.2% of homocides in NZ annually are from guns vs 65.27% in the US.

    The difference (somewhat over simplified) is largely from the low rate of pistol ownership - it is difficult to obtain permission to own a gun (need to be psychologically stable, prove that you have considerable understanding of firearm safety and somewhere to lock them to reduce the likelyhood of theft), and virtually impossible to obtain the right to pistol ownership unless you are in a very special position. The same holds true for many other countries such as Germany (I know this through personal involvement, this is not rhetoric).

    It is in my opinion clear that pistol ownership in the wrong hands is the problem. Unfortunately this recent decision will be used as a blanket permission for ownership and will only exacerbate the firearms problem. Fortunately this means that it will be easier for the average Joe to now buy a gun in order to defend themselves from a threat such as a robber, a rapist, illegal aliens, cheating spouse, federal officials, a trespassing school-child etc. etc.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_gun_ownership
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence
     
  6. Gryffin
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Gryffin Loaded Pockets

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    Um, there is a minimum standard: you have to be a law abiding citizen.

    Even in states with the most liberal carry laws, you can't buy a gun without a Federal background check, and the mentally ill and convicted felons are universally forbidden to possess firearms. Many states also require some sort of safety and proficiency testing, which I actually think is a good idea, so long as it's done fairly. What more do you want?

    It goes back to one of the fundamental precepts of our legal system: you are innocent until proven guilty. Forbidding law-abiding citizens from exercising their Constitutional rights because you think they might commit a crime is diametrically opposed to that ideal.


    The problem is, who gets to define "wrong hands"? Chicago took the easy way out: All hands are "wrong hands".

    What if they'd done that to the First Amendment? Since some muslims extremists might be terrorists, should you close down all churches, synagogues, temples and mosques, and forbid prayer, even in private? Should you stamp out "hate speech" by shutting down all radio stations, newspapers and printing presses? Should you ban all assemblies of more than two people?


    Robber? Rapist? Um, that's exactly what the Second Amendment is for: no free citizen should have to rely on some government entity to secure their own safety.

    As for "illegal aliens, cheating spouse, federal officials, a trespassing school-child etc. etc", the law is very clear on what constitutes legal self-defense. If you think the Second Amendment gives anyone the right to shoot children, then you're either woefully misinformed or just disingenuous. It's statements like yours that make it so difficult to discuss the issue rationally.
     
  7. Twitchy

    Twitchy Loaded Pockets

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    Then why does the US have such a massive problem with firearm homicides? I agree that the data is correlational, but with the numbers I have mentioned, I find it hard to believe that loosening gun laws (effectively what this decision has done by as it will be applied by lobby groups to ensure acces to short-arms) is a step in the right direction to reducing the number of innocent individuals who are gunned down is it not?
     
  8. Gryffin
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Gryffin Loaded Pockets

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    Whether you find it hard to believe or not, that's how it works. By your logic, the areas of the US with the strictest gun control laws should have the lowest levels of violence, but the exact opposite is true. In fact, those states that changed their laws to allow concealed carry have seen violence levels drop across the board, while cities like Chicago and Washington DC that outrighted banned handguns have turned into virtual warzones.

    So explain to me how denying me the right to protect myself and my family is supposed to make me safer again?


    To be honest, I can't tell you definitively why Americans are so fond of killing each other. But correlation ≠ causality, and our gun laws sure aren't the reason; on the contrary, the need for private means of self-defense is a symptom of the problem, not the cause.
     
  9. Rawls

    Rawls Loaded Pockets

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    The opinion itself is really quite interesting. Heller v. District of Columbia held that the 2nd Amendment applied to the federal government and was an individual right. This case said that the 2nd Amendment applies to the states as well. What a lot of folks don't know or understand is that the Bill of Rights only explicitly applies to the federal government (there was no concern of out of control state government at the time it was passed and written). Only the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments explicitly cover the states (because they were designed to address state government policies--i.e. slavery). I am glad that the Supreme Court got it right, but there is no question that an explicit reading of the Bill of Rights should have resulted in a decision the other way, because again, the Bill of Rights only explicitly applies to the federal government. Fortunately, the justices or five of them, read the document more broadly and were not strict constructionists.

    The 2nd Amendment was not for protection against rapers and robbers. The local police were for that, even when the Amendment was drafted. It was for protection against the federal government. It was to allow for armed local forces to exist, much in the way they did when the colonists revolted against Britain. That was its purpose. See how closely its purpose mirrors the 3rd Amendment (no quartering or housing troops in private homes)?
     
  10. Gryffin
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Gryffin Loaded Pockets

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    U.S. Constitution, Article VI:
    Basically, Federal law "trumps" State law. I can't imagine a reading that would interpret "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof" as not including the Bill Rights, and the courts have long interpreted this pretty strictly where the Bill of Rights is involved. So, yeah, SCOTUS did get it right, and for the right reason.
     
  11. Rawls

    Rawls Loaded Pockets

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    Basically, Federal law "trumps" State law. I can't imagine a reading that would interpret "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof" as not including the Bill Rights, and the courts have long interpreted this pretty strictly where the Bill of Rights is involved. So, yeah, SCOTUS did get it right, and for the right reason.

    This is entirely wrong.

    The clause you cited, the Supremacy Clause, deals only with areas in which federal law preempts state law. It does not deal with individual rights, which is the focus of the Bill of Rights. The Supremacy Clause essentially says that if the federal government, i.e. Congress, passes a law the law applies nationwide (except for a few very narrow exceptions, cases where the Commerce Clause does not cover the Congressional action). It does not talk about what rights are guaranteed to people. The 9th and 10th Amendments to the Bill of Rights leave certain powers to the states and the people respectively. There is no dispute among legal scholars--the Bill of Rights was originally intended to only apply to the federal government. Through the years the Court has held that due process requires that certain parts of the Bill of Rights apply to the states as well, the process of incorporation. This is not explicitly in the text of either the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. Furthermore, there is still no clear test for determining when a right in the Bill of Rights is incorporated to the states. The Court, quite easily, could have said that the 2nd Amendment does not incorporate state governments. There is nothing preventing them from doing that. In fact there is nothing requiring incorporation of the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights because the process of incorporation is a judicially created construct. I think it is a good one, but make no mistake--this case was a close one and the outcome could have been different. Fortunately it wasn't, but it could have been. And as for the strict constructionists...well they could have ruined it for all of us. See here for more on the incorporation of the Bill of Rights.
     
  12. Gryffin
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Gryffin Loaded Pockets

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    Well, I'm not a Constitutional lawyer, and you're obviously more well read on the legal details than I am, so I'll defer to you.

    But I'm having a hard time believing that the Supremacy Clause could allow one state to decide that their citizens didn't have the right to, say, free speech. I was pretty sure that's the reason for the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process and Equal Protection clauses.
     
  13. Twitchy

    Twitchy Loaded Pockets

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    I never said that you should be denied that right - I just said that it needs to be regulated. Your claim that strict gun laws should result in an overall drop "across the board" is based on the false assumption that every region has equally effective legislation. This is often not the case as much legislation is nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction from politicians to remain popular or regain lost popularity and has a net result that this legislation only has the effect of addressing perceived symptoms and not the cause.

    I would suggest that it would be more effective to limit who can buy guns (i.e. the sane and gun-safety educated) nationwide - from my understanding this is not the case and some states have more lax sales restrictions potentially making them a legal source for firearms to be used in illegal activities in other states. You can forbid your child to eat sweets in your home before dinner - this is easy to regulate because you are the sole source of sweets. But you will have a harder time preventing them from getting sweets at a friends place and stashing them in their room. Unless you form an agreement with the parents of your childs' friend to enforce similar rules, then it is plausible that your kid will gorge themselves on peanut butter cups that they got from their friend instead of the beef and broccoli you worked hard to provide.

    Once we have an effective baseline for regulation of LEGAL ownership it therefore gives the judicial system the ability to effectively deal with ILLEGAL ownership - the clearer and better defined rules are the easier it is to prosecute to a heavier extent when someone deviates from these norms.


    I specifically mentioned that the statistics quoted were correlational, but one cannot deny that having such a massive gun owership rate must have an effect - in a fit of rage we often reach for whatever is at hand to use as an expression of our anger, be it a newspaper, a dinner plate or the TV remote. As this rage over-rides the pre-frontal cortex in its decision making role resulting in an action without consideration of the long term consequences (which is why angry reactions are often so excessive) could it not be plausible that the ready access to a firearm results in an argument ending in death where, if the only weapon in my waist band were were my hands, it would end only in a broken nose?
     
  14. Rawls

    Rawls Loaded Pockets

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    Believe it or not it is true. The Supremacy Clause applies to congressional actions, not the Bill of Rights. There is no dispute as to that. The Bill of Rights explicitly precludes Congress, i.e. the federal government, from making laws that abridge the rights found in the Bill of Rights. It says nothing about the state governments from doing so.

    As a matter of fact, to disprove your example, for a while in the 1890s the Court ruled that the First and Second Amendments did not apply to the States. This was in a case called U.S. v. Cruikshank.

    The reality is that while Heller was decided on very strong grounds, this new case, based on incorporation to the States is not as solid. They ruled explicitly in the 1890s that the Second Amendment was not incorporated and now they reversed themselves. Unlike Heller, which is firmly rooted in the text of the Amendment itself (thank you Antonin Scalia) this opinion is based on a judicial construction--selective incorporation--and thus is not as a stable.

    I mention this because if the strict constructionists would have won the day, the opinion as well as the incorporation of ALL of the Bill of Rights would have gone the other way. No one REALLY wants a strict constructionist court. They only want one when it suits their cause.
     
  15. Sidetracker

    Sidetracker Loaded Pockets

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    While this is great news, I wonder if the people of Chicago will really be better off as far as being able to own a handgun for self defense. I'm afraid Dailey and his minions will just make it so hard to get and use a gun that it won't be much different.
     
  16. fugazi22

    fugazi22 Loaded Pockets

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    Already done. Check the news.
     
  17. HOMELAND SECURITY HAM

    HOMELAND SECURITY HAM Loaded Pockets

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    ****Basically, Federal law "trumps" State law****

    If only it was this simple! It is actually the opsite! HUH?

    I will use NEW YORK FOR AN EXAMPLE

    Federal law, the constitution, the second ammendment SIMPLE "THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS"

    *****NOW STATE LAW***** YOU NEED A PERMIT. INFRINGED {I THINK SO}

    ******NOW LOCAL LAW****** New York State - City of New York Guess what? New York City says that your New York State permit is no good there, you need a New York City permit, and have fun getting one!

    **********OK SO CITY (LOCAL) [PERMIT] SUPERSIDES STATE (STATE) [PERMIT] SUPERCEEDES FEDERAL[NO PERMIT]

    LETS HEAR IT FOR STATES LIKE NEW HAMPSHIRE WHERE THE MOTTO [JUST LOOK AT THEIR LICENSE PLATES] SAYS "LIVE FREE OR DIE"!!!!! CARRY CONCEALED WITHOUT A PERMIT THEY GO BY FEDERAL LAW!!!!
     
  18. Rawls

    Rawls Loaded Pockets

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    Federal law does trump state law. The Supremacy Clause says so. There is no argument here. Your examples all misconstrue both the Bill of Rights and the operation of Supremacy Clause.

    First, AGAIN, the Supremacy Clause applies only to federal statutes. So for example if the federal government passed laws regarding mimimum wage (as they have) states cannot go below that minimum wage. They can allow for a higher minimum wage, but they cannot offer a lower one. That is one way in which the Supremacy Clause works. The other is called preemption. In preemption the federal law "pushes out" all state laws. For example, in dealing with child support between the states there is a law called the Full Faith and Credit in Child Support Act. This act sets the ground rules for ALL interstate child support issues. No state can make a law that contradicts in any way this law. They can make laws that support the operation of the FFCCSA, but nothing different.

    The Bill of Rights, however, are NOT acts of federal legislation. They are rights distributed according to the scheme set up in the Bill of Rights. The first 8 are rights that attach to or are given to people, individuals against the government. The 9th and the 10th Amendments deal with how unmentioned rights are to be distributed.

    However, every right, EVERY SINGLE ONE, in the Bill of Rights is subject to some limitations. The 1st Amendment Right to Free Speech does not protect, for example, real child pornography, hate or incitement speech, or slander (against private people, public officials have special lesser rights against slanderers). So too with the 2nd Amendment. The federal government can, and has, placed limitations on the right to bear arms, as the Constitution permits. There is no inviolable right in the Constitution. None. The rule of the Executive is limited by the other two branches, and so on. The powers of each branch are specifically laid out. This limitation on rights within the Bill of Rights extends to the states as well. States can pass laws that limit rights. How much limitation is another question entirely, but no right is unchecked.

    Requiring a permit has been routinely, regularly, and for many years been seen as a legitimate limitation on the right to bear arms. No court, no judge, no one with any legal training and a sober view of reality would disagree with that reading precedent and constitutional law. No right is limitless. What you interpret has an infringement has never been seen as such by the law. Not in 1798, 1898 or 1998.

    I am a lawyer in New Hampshire and New Hampshire, like every state, has limitations on guns as well. Felons, for example, cannot get a gun license. These limitations are perfectly legal, perfectly in line with the Constitution, and with legal precedent.
     
  19. Lord Bear

    Lord Bear Loaded Pockets

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    Suicides by gun are frequently included in the "firearm homicides" count. (By the way it's usually not called "firearms homicides" in most of the reports/studies I've seen. However many do use misleading language that would technically allow suicides/accidents in the "count".) Perhaps the "real numbers" are inflated in this fashion to incite emotional responses.
    One thing is definite. It is extremely difficult to get an accurate count. Due to criteria, methodology and even bias, the numbers do not agree from the various reports and studies. *Heavysigh*
     
  20. StealthChaser13

    StealthChaser13 Loaded Pockets

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