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Fri Apr 13, 2012, 03:39 AM

Virginia Tech anniversary creates difficult moment on gun control for lawmakers

By Mike Lillis - 04/12/12 05:00 AM ET

A confluence of events related to gun violence — including the fifth anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre — is creating an uncomfortable situation for congressional leaders when they return to Washington from their long spring vacation.

A large group of shooting victims has challenged a handful of leaders in both parties to meet on Capitol Hill next week to discuss ways to keep firearms out of dangerous hands — an uneasy topic for many members who will be forced to balance their sensitivity for the victims with their support for gun rights and the powerful gun lobby.

The victims are citing a long list of current events — the Virginia Tech anniversary, the February shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin and last week's fatal rampage at a religious college in Oakland, to name a few — to pressure lawmakers to confront a question that's been all but ignored by this Congress: Does current law do enough to keep firearms from those who might illegally use them against others?

--------

The offices of both Senate leaders — Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — for instance, could not say if the two gun-rights supporters will meet with the shooting victims. Pressed on the issue, both offices clammed up.

More: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/221095-virginia-tech-anniversary-creates-uncomfortable-moment-on-gun-control-for-lawmakers


Gotta love that turn of phrase; no one is forced to do anything. Our elected officials sole goal should be to uphold the Constitution of the United States and not to balance politics. The reality here is clear: the Constitution states that public safety/general welfare are of public interest and that there is a right to keep and bear arms within the context of "a well-regulated Militia." That our public debate has been reduced to balancing "sensitivity for the victims" with a special interest group and their economic allies is shameful. Can anyone tell me why we haven't done better in this country? Can anyone tell me why we cannot do better in this country? Can anyone tell me why we shouldn't do better in this country? I'm all ears, but what I see here is nothing but a failure to uphold the Constitution and a betrayal of the American people. Maybe our elected officials should do more to force themselves to do their jobs...

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Reply Virginia Tech anniversary creates difficult moment on gun control for lawmakers (Original post)
ellisonz Apr 2012 OP
sarisataka Apr 2012 #1
ellisonz Apr 2012 #7
rl6214 Apr 2012 #19
ellisonz Apr 2012 #21
PavePusher Apr 2012 #26
ellisonz Apr 2012 #29
PavePusher Apr 2012 #34
ellisonz Apr 2012 #35
sarisataka Apr 2012 #41
PavePusher Apr 2012 #49
sarisataka Apr 2012 #42
sarisataka Apr 2012 #27
GreenStormCloud Apr 2012 #2
mvccd1000 Apr 2012 #3
ellisonz Apr 2012 #6
spin Apr 2012 #11
ellisonz Apr 2012 #18
rrneck Apr 2012 #4
ellisonz Apr 2012 #5
rrneck Apr 2012 #8
ellisonz Apr 2012 #10
rrneck Apr 2012 #14
ellisonz Apr 2012 #17
rrneck Apr 2012 #20
ellisonz Apr 2012 #30
rrneck Apr 2012 #32
ellisonz Apr 2012 #33
rrneck Apr 2012 #36
beevul Apr 2012 #43
rrneck Apr 2012 #46
ellisonz Apr 2012 #44
rrneck Apr 2012 #47
Atypical Liberal Apr 2012 #15
GreenStormCloud Apr 2012 #9
Atypical Liberal Apr 2012 #13
Atypical Liberal Apr 2012 #12
ellisonz Apr 2012 #16
Atypical Liberal Apr 2012 #22
ellisonz Apr 2012 #23
Atypical Liberal Apr 2012 #24
rrneck Apr 2012 #25
ellisonz Apr 2012 #31
Atypical Liberal Apr 2012 #37
ellisonz Apr 2012 #38
Atypical Liberal Apr 2012 #39
ellisonz Apr 2012 #40
Atypical Liberal Apr 2012 #48
ileus Apr 2012 #28
krispos42 Apr 2012 #45

Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 06:40 AM

1. Interesting, and I was with you until the first 'left turn'

Last edited Fri Apr 13, 2012, 04:44 PM - Edit history (1)


You see "within the context of "a well-regulated Militia.""; I see "the right of the people".

But rather than that poor horse- public safety. I recently rediscovered this counter point to waste keystrokes and bandwidth on :

Times Online (UK) Sept 8th 2007
Authored by Richard Munday - editor and co-author of Guns & Violence: the Debate Before Lord Cullen

Despite the recent spate of shootings on our streets, we pride ourselves on our strict gun laws. Every time an American gunman goes on a killing spree, we shake our heads in righteous disbelief at our poor benighted colonial cousins. Why is it, even after the Virginia Tech massacre, that Americans still resist calls for more gun controls?

<snip>

Gun controls disarm only the law-abiding, and leave predators with a freer hand. Nearly two and a half million people now fall victim to crimes of violence in Britain every year, more than four every minute: crimes that may devastate lives. It is perhaps a privilege of those who have never had to confront violence to disparage the power to resist.

http://www.maltashootingsports.com/shootingtalk/index.php?topic=2634.msg19620

I agree that lawmakers are not forced to do anything, but we tell then what we want and they should do it.

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Response to sarisataka (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 11:51 AM

7. ...

"Do not copy-and-paste entire articles onto this discussion forum. When referencing copyrighted work, post a short excerpt with a link back to the original."

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=copyright

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 02:51 PM

19. That's all you've got?

 

No actual comment on the article itself?

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Response to rl6214 (Reply #19)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 03:06 PM

21. It's a flawed article...

Prohibitedlawed pretenses with flawed analysis and a flawed presentation of statistics. In short, it is just the sort of right-wing rubbish you would expect from a right-winger like Richard Munday.

Here is proof this guy is a massive imbecile with an agenda:

The firearms massacres that have periodically caused shock and horror around the world have been dwarfed by the Mumbai shootings, in which a handful of gunmen left some 500 people killed or wounded.

For anybody who still believed in it, the Mumbai shootings exposed the myth of “gun control”. India had some of the strictest firearms laws in the world, going back to the Indian Arms Act of 1878, by which Britain had sought to prevent a recurrence of the Indian Mutiny.

The guns used in last week’s Bombay massacre were all “prohibited weapons” under Indian law, just as they are in Britain. In this country we have seen the irrelevance of such bans (handgun crime, for instance, doubled here within five years of the prohibition of legal pistol ownership), but the largely drug-related nature of most extreme violence here has left most of us with a sheltered awareness of the threat. We have not yet faced a determined and broad-based attack.

The Mumbai massacre also exposed the myth that arming the police force guarantees security. Sebastian D’Souza, a picture editor on the Mumbai Mirror who took some of the dramatic pictures of the assault on the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway station, was angered to find India’s armed police taking cover and apparently failing to engage the gunmen.


What a foolishly inflammatory and stupidly reasoned argument. Would you care to defend such tomfoolery?

Also, this isn't Free Republic, we respect copyright law as best as can be discerned. I reasoned the poster could use a heads-up.

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #21)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 03:53 PM

26. I don't see anything in thaty excerpt that he was incorrect about.

 

Could you specify?

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #26)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 07:00 PM

29. The entire premise that an external terror attack reflects on internal gun control laws!

for such bad logic.

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #29)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 08:24 PM

34. How so? Why would a terrorist not focus on poorly defended targets?

 

They do not, as a general rule, attack where one is strong, or could likely offer fierce resistance. That's sort of a trademark of terrorists...

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #34)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 08:30 PM

35. So you're saying that if the hotel guests were better armed?

That this would have been stopped? By this logic, 9/11 shows the failure of the US military to defend the United States!

The gun control policies of India had very little to do with the effectiveness of the Mumbai attacks - they were very well armed. I followed that fucker to the smallest detail. It would not have mattered - it was by surprise and they were very heavily armed and well-trained.

The above post is rubbish and in no substantive way addresses the facts or the OP in a meaningful fashion.

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #35)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 03:15 AM

41. It wouldn't have hurt to have more guns...

But I agree, that armed civilians would have had a negligible effect. Extremely few would have the training for a situation like Mumbai and even they would not have been properly armed.

A few feel-good stories about Pyrrhic last stands would likely have occurred but overall no noticeable effect.


Arguably 9/11 is partly a military failure but much more on the intelligence community. Like Pearl Harbor, no one could connect the data they had because they could not realistically conceive of such an event until after it happened.

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #35)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 09:52 PM

49. Do you think the Mumbai attack would have had better, equal or worse results (from the perspective

 

of the local citizenry) if the Citizens had been armed in percentages similar to the U.S.? I think it may have been stopped faster, certainly slowed. I really can't see how it could have been worse.

I don't see how your top portion relates to what I said at all.

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #21)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 03:18 AM

42. A massive imbecile but...

are his statistics accurate?

That does not mean a 1:1 correlation to GC but would definitely need analysis for how much can be attributed to GC.

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 04:46 PM

27. Better?

It was an old article I had saved... Took a bit, to find a current link, since my original link was dead.

Apologies, no plagiarism intended

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 07:08 AM

2. Lawmakers are working - on guns rights.

In just the last few days several state pro-gun bills have been signed into law and numerous others are advancing in various state legislatures. They are responding to public demand as expressed at the election booths by electing pro-gun candidates.

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 07:39 AM

3. Interesting...

A quick google search reveals that between 70 and 100 million Americans own guns, depending on whose statistics you believe. Discounting the population under 21, that would suggest that nearly 1/2 of all American adults own firearms.

How did 1/2 of the population suddenly become a "special interest group?"

I do agree, though; our elected officials should do more to force themselves to do their jobs: uphold the constitution.

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Response to mvccd1000 (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 11:50 AM

6. You're presuming all of those people agree with the "gun rights" agenda...

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 01:16 PM

11. Such people may not agree on all the items in the "gun rights" agenda ...

but it is obvious that since they are gun owners, they are not totally opposed to all gun rights.

Suppose you ran a poll among only gun owners and asked questions such as, "Should a citizen be allowed to use a firearm to stop an intruder in his home who intends to inflict serious injury or death? Should a citizen be allowed to use a legally concealed firearm on the street in order to stop an attacker who intends to inflict serious injury or death? Should a citizen have a duty to retreat in such situations?

An extremely high percentage of the gun owners would answer, "Yes" to the first two questions and, "No" to the last. An overwhelming majority would support the use of deadly force to protect a home, but a significant majority would support licensed concealed carry and "Stand Your Ground" laws.

edited for coherency

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Response to spin (Reply #11)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 02:47 PM

18. All the editing in the world...

...can't make that logically coherent.

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 09:29 AM

4. Are members of a militia people? nt

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Response to rrneck (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 11:49 AM

5. Yes. But you cannot deny that the construct is made...

...and that is part and parcel of the Second Amendment (Although Antonin Scalia sure has...)

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 12:51 PM

8. The "construct" is the problem.

If militias are composed of a selection of people, and the Second Amendment guarantees the right of the people to be armed without infringement, then the right of any militia you care to name derives its right to to be armed from the people.

People exist in the real world. Militias are associations, or "constructs", which citizens have a right to create without governmental sanction. Those citizens who are unwilling or unable to do so are still consedered people, who have the right to be armed. But that's actually beside the point.

Why would we support the rights of an association, an artificial "construct", above the rights of people? How can progressives decry the concept of corporate personhood and in the same breath support another abstract association as if it had civil rights?

Nobody on this planet is better at establishing, funding and perpetuating associations than corporations. It's what they do. They already have unmatched economic power. Does it make sense to give them the right to be powerfully weaponized as well? Blackwater is a militia.

Think about it.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #8)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 12:57 PM

10. You do realize that...

...socially speaking in the context of 1787 that "the people" is a social construct too. Assuredly they do not mean as to give Black people (slave or freeman) unfettered access to bear arms. Nor are women, pirates, or Indians being conceived as being part of "the people" in that context.

When they said "well-regulated" they meant regulated as we understand it, and not equipped as is often argued here, they new exactly what they were writing, if the intent had been otherwise it would have been "supplied." Whether you like it or not, that is the word that is used and it is used with purpose.

You may not like Blackwater or its derivatives, and frankly it's just the sort of "select militia" the Founders feared, but under our laws it is legal. I would also add that you really should read the Uniform Militia Act of 1792 if you want to get into what Militia meant at the time.

Look it over.

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #10)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 01:29 PM

14. What do the terms

"people" and "corporation" mean today? Which should be empowered and which should have their power curtailed?

You can demand to have militias regulated all you want, but the people are guaranteed the right to bear arms. Period. So yes, they knew exactly What they were writing.

"...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed".

But that, again, is beside the point. About half the voting population owns guns - you know, the "people". They are real. They aren't some ideology based on a construct derived from an esoteric understanding of eighteenth century social organization. When they read the constitution they will recognize the word "people" and understand it for what it is and how the phrase in which it is used applies to them. They don't care what you think. And if you're a politician or a political party that tries to sell them on any ideology ignores their humanity they will hand you a one way bus ticket to the political wilderness and tell you to go fuck yourself.

Bet on it.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #14)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 02:44 PM

17. Partially seperate Constitutional issues...

When the Constitutional argument fails, revert to pontification, got it...

"any ideology ignores their humanity" - :



a one way bus ticket to the political wilderness and tell you to go fuck yourself.


And those who aren't busy writing out entire sections of the Constitution (see below), might tell you to go Cheney-yourself...

Don't doubt it.

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #17)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 02:54 PM

20. Oh now.

Where in the second Amendment Are the people regulated?

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Response to rrneck (Reply #20)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 07:01 PM

30. Oy Vey.

"A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state"

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #30)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 07:43 PM

32. My my

"...the right of the people (who may or may not me members of a militia) to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Where does it specify only militia members should be armed?

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Response to rrneck (Reply #32)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 08:11 PM

33. It doesn't and you're changing the claim to fit your argument...

...the claim is that it is in the context thereof, not that is an absolute statement. That is the definition of prefatory, which is the strict constructionist argument of Antonin Scalia and friends who have wholeheartedly endorsed the "individual right" claim. The extent to which they lie about the Constitution is Romneyesque.

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #33)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 08:43 PM

36. You never addressed any other

Last edited Sat Apr 14, 2012, 11:49 AM - Edit history (1)

why should you care? You can parse, dodge, weave and evade all you want but in the end the second amendment protects the people the right to bear arms whether they're in a militia or not. It's right there in plain English.

If you look back at this sub thread you will find you have been defending an interpretation of the 2A that was designed to support an ideology, not real people. When it comes to guns and all that your entire point is moot. That ship has sailed and it ain't coming back.

I'm not really interested in guns. I'm interested in how people seem to be so willing to acquire and embrace an ideology with little thought to its application in the real world. We seem to just hear something that feels good and seize it like a kid in a candy store. And then when questioned we either produce reams of esoteric rationalizations or worse, shop for them elsewhere.

None of that stuff matters; the Federalist papers, the meaning of "regulated", or "arms", the militia act of whenever, or comma placement in the 2A. All that matters is how we interpret the constitution in the context of today's reality. Its right there in the constitution and the voting public has interpreted it. Period.

If Democrats don't like the conservative cast of the supreme court they should reconsider the wisdom of generating a political ideology that hands an important issue to the Republicans on a silver platter. When Democrats gin up reams of esoteric rationalizations to support an ideology that clearly disagrees with the letter and the spirit of the constitution and the will of the public they look just like the arrogant, condescending elitists Republicans want them to be.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #36)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 03:34 AM

43. One minor nit to pick.

"the second amendment gives the people the right to bear arms whether they're in a militia or not"

I disagree. the second amendment doesnt "give" anything.

It protects that which already exists, from the whims of the will of anything less than a supermajority.


Its an important distinction.


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Response to beevul (Reply #43)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 11:29 AM

46. True that. Important indeed. nt

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Response to rrneck (Reply #36)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 04:48 AM

44. "All that matters is how we interpret the constitution in the context of today's reality."

Today's Reality:

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #44)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 11:46 AM

47. You could at least draw your own cartoons.

You're still arguing to defend partisan ideology rather than actual people. Ideology production is one of the biggest industries in this country. The tendency of people to simply buy ideas for convenience rather than actually develop one that works is how the 1% got to be the 1%.

Facile quips don't help you much.

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #10)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 01:30 PM

15. Why did the founders continue the decentralized militia system?

 

Why do you think the founders continued the decentralized militia system whereby each state controlled its own militia?

Why not a central militia controlled by the federal government?

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 12:54 PM

9. They are doing what their constituents elected them to do - protect gun rights.

You seem to have forgotten. In the 2010 election the NRA made signifigant gains. The voters elected strongly pro-gun Senators and Representatives. Just a reminder of the results:

U.S. Senate
•19 of NRA-PVF's 25 endorsed U.S. Senate candidates won. This marks a pro-gun upgrade of eight Senate seats.
•In the 111th Congress, there were 43 A-rated and 34 F-rated Senators. The 112th Congress will contain 50 A-rated (+7) and 33 F-rated Senators (-1).
•There will be 12 pro-gun Senate freshmen.

U.S. House
•Of the 282 candidates endorsed by the NRA-PVF for the U.S. House, 227 were victorious, for an 80% winning percentage. In every case but one where an NRA-PVF endorsed candidate lost, a pro-gun challenger replaced him.
•In the 111th Congress, there were 226 A-rated and 151 F-rated Representatives. The 112th Congress will contain 262 A-rated (+32) and 133 F-rated (-18) Members.
•There were pro-gun election upgrades in 27 House districts.

You can continue to believe that people want gun control but the elections tell an entirely different story. You can continue to believe that the NRA is a paper tiger but they seem to be doing quite well in getting pro-gun candidates elected.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 01:28 PM

13. And that is it in a nutshell. Being anti-gun is a death sentence in congress.

 

I for one am very happy to see gun control dropped from the Democratic party platform.

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 01:26 PM

12. Reasons why.

 

The reality here is clear: the Constitution states that public safety/general welfare are of public interest and that there is a right to keep and bear arms within the context of "a well-regulated Militia."

Of course we have had this discussion many times before.

All nine Supreme Court justices and President Obama have all agreed that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right regardless of membership in any organization such as a militia.

Also, as you know, the militias spoken of in the Constitution - decentralized, state-controlled military forces designed to counter federal military power, no longer exist.

For all practical and legal purposes, you need to face the reality that the preambulatory phrase of the second amendment does not exist.

The courts and the president have upheld that you don't have to be in a militia to keep and bear arms, and there is no militia to belong to if you wanted to.

Can anyone tell me why we haven't done better in this country? Can anyone tell me why we cannot do better in this country? Can anyone tell me why we shouldn't do better in this country?

If by "better" you mean why can't you have more gun control, the answer is simple: you are on the losing side of this issue. The public is against you, and the 40-80 million gun owners are against you and highly politically motivated. We vote and we spend to defend our rights. Your side can't vote or spend to match. Thus you lose.

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Response to Atypical Liberal (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 02:38 PM

16. "the preambulatory phrase of the second amendment does not exist."

You're telling me that the Courts just struck down an entire phrase of the United States Constitution wholesale?

(2) Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not 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. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.

- Antonin Scalia, Heller v. District of Columbia, Pp. 54–56.


Shades of Bush v. Gore - this case only applies in this occasion and in none others...

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #16)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 03:07 PM

22. Nope.

 

You're telling me that the Courts just struck down an entire phrase of the United States Constitution wholesale?

No, not at all.

The courts recognize that the point of the second amendment was primarily a deterrence to federal tyranny. As such, it is more important for the arms to be in the hands of the people, and not in the hands of a government institution.

This is undoubtedly why the amendment specifically says the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and not the right of the states, or the right of the militias.

The Courts and the President did not strike down the phrase, they simply realize that you don't need militias in order to keep the right to keep and bear arms.

The militias need the armed people, but the armed people don't need the militias.

And I ask you again:

Why did the founders continue the decentralized, state-run militia system instead of a centralized militia under the control of the federal government?



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Response to Atypical Liberal (Reply #22)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 03:08 PM

23. You wrote that...

Stand by your words!



Why did the founders continue the decentralized, state-run militia system instead of a centralized militia under the control of the federal government?


This is a much more complex historical question than you care to hazard and I do not have the time to engage in it at length. Toodles.

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #23)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 03:20 PM

24. No, that is not what I wrote. You SELECTIVELY QUOTED what I wrote.

 

What I actually wrote was:

"For all practical and legal purposes, you need to face the reality that the preambulatory phrase of the second amendment does not exist."

And that is a true statement.

For all practical and legal purposes, the preambulatory phrase of the second amendment does not exist.

The militia spoken of in that phrase no longer exists, and all nine Supreme Court justices and the President have said it doesn't matter anyway.

This is a much more complex historical question than you care to hazard and I do not have the time to engage in it at length. Toodles.

I understand completely why you are afraid to answer the question.

And it doesn't take long to address at all.

The founders continued the decentralized militia system because the purpose of the militias was to be able to eliminate or counter federal military power, because standing armies were considered "dangerous to liberty", because they would give the central government the ability to use force to oppress the people.

A centralized militia system would be counter to this idea.

Once you recognize this central truth about the function the militias were to serve, then you can understand why once those militias ceased to exist, the only reasonable default condition for the second amendment is for that ability to fall to the people.

Which, of course, is precisely why the second amendment is worded the way it is, reserving the right to the people, and not to the states or the militias spoken of in the preamble.

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Response to Atypical Liberal (Reply #24)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 03:45 PM

25. Kids. Waddyagonnado? nt

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Response to Atypical Liberal (Reply #24)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 07:02 PM

31. Didn't change the meaning one bit.

Just admit, you went a little bit to far Constitutionally speaking in that one...

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #31)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 11:13 PM

37. If it didn't change the meaning why did you omit it?

 

"For all practical and legal purposes, you need to face the reality that the preambulatory phrase of the second amendment does not exist."

This is not "telling (you) that the Courts just struck down an entire phrase of the United States Constitution wholesale?"

This is telling you that for practical and legal purposes, the preambulatory phrase of the second amendment doesn't exist.

Practically, because the militias spoken of don't exist anymore. There are no militias necessary to the security of free states anymore.

Legally, because the Supreme Court has unanimously ruled, and the President of the United States agrees, that you don't have to belong to a militia to exercise your individual right to keep and bear arms.

You'll note, by the way, that during the debate of the second amendment while it was being framed an attempt was made to include "for the common defense" after "bear arms" and that was struck down.

Now if it makes you feel better to say that this means that the SC and the President have struck down part of the Constitution, hey, knock yourself out.

But that's not my opinion.

My opinion is the SC and the President understand what the militias were meant to do and what role the people were to fulfill in those militias, and they understand that those militias are gone. And they said, "The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause." In other words, the people are intended to keep and bear arms for militia service, but not just militia service, and the right doesn't go away if there is no militia to serve in.

They also said, "The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved." Emphasis mine. In other words, the ideal being upheld was for the people, through the militias, to be able to resist oppression by the federal government. Even though the militias are gone, in order to uphold that ideal, the rest of the amendment must still apply.

Perhaps you'll find some free time this weekend to answer my question about why the founders perpetuated a decentralized military? Although the Supreme Court already gave you the answer in the paragraph immediately above.

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Response to Atypical Liberal (Reply #37)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 11:25 PM

38. I appreciate your lengthy attempt at an argument...

...but that is what you said and it didn't change the meaning. No matter how hard you try and Romney that one

2. The Supreme Court did not unanimously rule - there are 3 different opinions in Heller and there is nothing unanimous about it. Cites please!

3. POTUS is an elected office with no power to change the Constitution.

4. This still tells us nothing about the scope of the Second Amendment in regards to the restrictions that all 9 SCTOUS members agree exist.

5. You and I have had this argument before and I'll be away much of this weekend and don't need to stage it again because as you yourself acknowledge, you take "absurd" positions for the sake of hyperbole. I have no desire at this moment to debate an extremist position at length regarding the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

GO LOS ANGELES DODGERS! THINK BLUE!

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #38)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 11:36 PM

39. No matter how many times you try and put words in my mouth, it won't work.

 

But like I said, if it makes you feel better to think that the SC and the president struck down part of the Constitution, knock yourself out.

The Supreme Court did not unanimously rule - there are 3 different opinions in Heller and there is nothing unanimous about it. Cites please!

But the justices were unanimous in their opinion that the right to keep and bear arms was an individual right. You can look it up yourself.

This still tells us nothing about the scope of the Second Amendment in regards to the restrictions that all 9 SCTOUS members agree exist.

And this will no doubt be decided by future law. What we do know is that you don't have to belong to a militia to exercise your individual right to keep and bear arms and there is no such militia to join if you wanted to.

you take "absurd" positions for the sake of hyperbole.

Yup, but this is not one of them.

I have no desire at this moment to debate an extremist position at length regarding the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

You won't answer because you are afraid. You see the trap before you and you refuse to step into it. Once you admit what role the decentralized militias were to fulfill you can no longer argue what role the people were to fulfill.

And you know it. Your argument is shot. Run away to your baseball game.

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Response to Atypical Liberal (Reply #39)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 02:23 AM

40. Why do you hate freedom?

THE PRESIDENT DOESN'T STRIKE DO LAWS - READ THE CONSTITUTION

You see the trap before you and you refuse to step into it.


Sounds like I'm a smart fucking bear.

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #40)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:28 PM

48. I never said he did.

 

THE PRESIDENT DOESN'T STRIKE DO LAWS - READ THE CONSTITUTION

Presumably you meant strike down? I never said he did.

Sounds like I'm a smart fucking bear.

Sounds like you are afraid to answer the question.

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 06:45 PM

28. We haven't done better because people keep trying to limit the 2A...

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 11:04 AM

45. It might be because most further restrictions are either expensive, intrusive, or unworkable.

Mental health evaluation before buying a gun? So what's the criteria, and who sets it? In some places, "I want a gun for self-defense" is not a reason unless you routinely carry around huge amounts of cash. Should that be the standard?
And where are we going to get a million mental-health evaluations a month done on top of everything else? And who pays for it?

Outlawing lawfully concealed or open carry? And how will this stop the guy that sticks a sawed-off shotgun under an overcoat to go rob a c-store?

National mandatory registration? Yeah, until the gun is stolen... as most guns used by career criminals are. Plus the issue of the pre-existing 240 millions guns already in circulation that aren't registered.

Ammunition purchasing limits? To what, 5 rounds a day? Anything past 5 dead bodies is a mass murder, so attempting to limit ammo purchases to prevent a mass shooting requires a purchase limit so low at to be untenetable. And shotguns... up to 15 pellets per shot!

Restricting ammunition to guns you already own? Well, aside from the fact that it requires registration of your guns first, there are 3 extremely common autopistol cartridges and 3 extremely common revolver cartridges. The 9mm Luger, the .40 S&W, and the .45 ACP probably account for 80% or more of autopistol ammunition sales, and the .38 Special, the .357 Magnum, and the .45 Colt probably account for 80% or more of revolver ammunition sales. Limiting a person to purchasing "only" 9mm ammo it like limiting a person to "only" purchasing a red car.

Private-sale background checks? Not a bad idea, but beyond the scope of federal law. It would have to be done on a state-by-state basis.

Safe-storage laws? Useful only for after-the-tragedy prosecutions, unless gun owners (you know, US citizens) were subject to random, unannounced spot inspections by the police. You know, like parolees duly convicted of a crime are subject to.

Smart guns? Let the cops use the technology first. If the rank-and-file cops will put their trust in guns that have electronic lockouts and such on them, I'm interested. If they won't, though... if they will only trust a purely mechanical gun like a Glock, then I'm not interested.

Microstamping? Again, requires registration to work and won't matter to the crazed mass-shooter. And, of course, IT DOESN'T WORK from a mechanical perspective.

Barcoding individual bullets? Requires ammunition registration, and then the purchaser cannot confirm the number etched on the bullet is the same as the box label. In other words, reasonable doubt. It would also send the price of new ammunition through the roof, encouraging people to discover the wonderful hobby of... handloading their own ammunition!




If the NY Times wants to see violent crimes drop (which would by necessity include gun-grime rates) then the would advocate for drug legalization.

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