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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:56 am 
D.C. v. Heller simultaneously thwarts liberals who were under the impression that the Second Amendment was a dead letter and disappoints the NRA crowd who were aching for a sweeping decision striking down every gun law in existence. What we have is a 5-4 decision that recognizes a reasonable state interest in regulating firearms and limitations to the right to bear arms as understood in 1789, but nonetheless finds the District of Columbia's outright ban on all guns at all times to fall afoul of the Second Amendment.

Now personally I'd decide the case in precisely the same way, but then I think I'm the only one who appreciates that maybe Massachusetts and Montana have different cultures and would be best served by their own localized gun regulations (or lack thereof).

What do you think, sirs?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:24 pm 
It's an embarrassment. Especially the four (+one waffle) who prevented the ruling from being the letter-correct one.

The supreme court, when ruling on constitutional matters, should rule on the clauses that are there. Not the clauses they'd wish were there. The second amendment doesn't say anything about "reasonable interest in regulating firearms" or "firearms as understood in 1789" (which, btw, included field cannon, naval armament and unguided rockets (i.e. fireworks)).

Now, you or I might agree that the state has a reasonable interest in regulating arms in the 21st century. But as there is nothing in that document that allows it, and a few words that specifically disallow it, the proper way to advance this agenda is to convene a constitutional convention and/or propose a new amendment. Which incidentally implies a comprehensive national debate on the subject.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:06 am 
You misparse me. I referred to the (right to bear arms) as understood in 1789, not the right to bear (arms as understood in 1789). Maybe I ought to start writing in Lojban.

Now, absent existing societal guidelines and legal doctrine, you're dead right, the Second Amendment means no gun laws period. The problem is this: there are numerous kinds of illegal speech (defamation, exposing classified information, shouting "fire" in a crowded theater, etc.) that have been found consistent with the First Amendment, largely because many of them have existed since before the American Revolution. Gun laws have historically been looser, true, but there have been restrictions on their possession and use since the eighteenth century as well. So, given this context, why should the Second Amendment be treated differently from the First?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:08 pm 
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Possession VS use.

While there are certain uses of speech, the press etc that can get one in trouble, there's nothing illegal about thinking anything or writing the words or saying them, as long as you keep it to yourself or use it in a way that's obviously a parody or fictional. If not, the people who do "Robot Chicken" and "South Park" would be in jail for hundreds of charges of libel and defamation.

There should be no restrictions on possession of firearms, but if a person uses a firearm to commit a crime, throw the book at 'em.

I do agree that people who have used firearms to commit crimes should not be allowed to have them, as long as their probation or parole lasts. Once they've done their time for punishment and restitution, 100% of their abridged rights should be restored... until they commit another crime.

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