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Ear to the Ground

Supreme Court Backs Gun Owners

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Posted on Jun 26, 2008
commons.wikimedia.org

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Washington, D.C., overreached with its handgun ban and must allow residents to keep guns in their homes. While it is considered a major pronouncement on the Second Amendment, it will take time, lawsuits and possibly even more rulings from the high court before the decision’s full impact is known.


New York Times:

The Supreme Court’s historic decision on the right to bear arms on Thursday was a sweeping pronouncement of constitutional principles that will nonetheless have little practical impact in most of the country, legal experts said.

Most state and city gun restrictions appear to be allowed under the ruling, which appears to permit licensing laws, bans on possession by felons or the mentally ill, and prohibitions against carrying concealed weapons or guns in schools or government buildings. Justice Antonin Scalia said that list was not exhaustive.

“Dangerous” weapons can also be banned, although the term was not defined.

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By Mei Li, June 28, 2008 at 9:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Criminals secure their guns from those who got them from legal sources.

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By Levon, June 27, 2008 at 10:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

to the scotus there is no industry too insidious to limit;
well there is this- that most of the children killed by accidental gun deaths will be those parents that favor the right wing interpretation of the second, so much for the words “well-regulated” and “militia”.
be careful what you ask for.. as the saying goes.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, June 27, 2008 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

After the likes of Thomas and Roberts are dead and gone and the court swings left, this will no doubt come up again and then the outcome will be different. 

What sense does it make for right or wrong to be determined by nine votes and then to be right or wrong only as long as the court remains as it was when the vote was taken?  I think it’s absurd

That, itself, makes a mockery of our government.

There’s as much idiotic about forefathers’ thinking as there was reasonable.

As soon as voting by computers is perfected, I’m for straight democracy and town meeting. To hell with representation.

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By Conservative Yankee, June 27, 2008 at 7:59 am Link to this comment
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By Kiwi, June 27 at 1:26 am

“... removing large numbers of firearms from a community can be associated with a sudden and on-going decline in mass shootings, and accelerating declines in total firearm-related deaths, firearm homicides and firearm suicides”

basic freedom includes, first and foremost, the choice to continue living or die. If a person has no control over this basic right of “self-determination” they have no freedoms at all.

The 16,869 deaths from suicide (2001) are the lion’s share of gun deaths. I would assume that if these folks didn’t have guns, we would be talking about banning tall buildings, bridges, and perscription medication (by far the greatest vehicle for suicide.)

We already have a whiny loud group of folks watching out for our best intrests, banning smoking, just about everywhere, mandating seatbelts. What’s next, telling us when it’s time to go potty?

I’m sick to death of nannies!

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By Paul_GA, June 27, 2008 at 6:34 am Link to this comment

Kiwi, as I see it, Aussies and other peoples from British-style environments are used to paternalistic governments ordering them around and telling them that not having certain things (like a right to keep and bear arms) are for their own good. We Americans are not; we fiercely resent it. Thus, a substantial number of us insist on an individual right to keep and bear arms. I know I do. Over my kitchen doorway as I write, I can look up and see a rifle, ready to go as quickly as I can take the safety off and load a round. I live in a rural area, far from any law-enforcement aid; I am my own first and last line of defense. When you write of the supposed joys of being disarmed, you’re writing Greek to me, my friend.

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By Conservative Yankee, June 27, 2008 at 5:44 am Link to this comment
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By P. T., June 26 at 6:25 pm #

“The Second Amendment was not about freedom—just the opposite.  It was about slavery.  Southerners feared a slave revolt.”

...and yesterday the Supreme Court guaranteed the “slaves” the right to keep and bare arms.  So now it IS about freedom.

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By Kiwi, June 27, 2008 at 2:26 am Link to this comment

MORE GUNS = MORE DEATH
There seems a large number of Americans keen to kill or see killed other Americans

Gun Death Decline Doubles Since Arms Destruction
Thursday, 14 December 2006, 9:04 am
Press Release: University of Sydney

Decline in Gun Deaths Doubled Since Australia Destroyed 700,000 Firearms

The risk of dying by gunshot in Australia has dropped twice as fast since the 1996 Port Arthur gun buyback, says a new study published today in the international research journal, Injury Prevention.

“Not only were Australia’s post-Port Arthur gun laws followed by a decade in which the crime they were designed to reduce hasn’t happened again, but we also saw a life-saving bonus: the decline in overall gun deaths accelerated to twice the rate seen before the new gun laws,” says study lead author, professor Simon Chapman.

“From 1996 to 2003, the total number of gun deaths each year fell from 521 to 289, suggesting that the removal of more than 700,000 guns was associated with a faster declining rate of gun suicide and gun homicide,” said adjunct associate professor Philip Alpers, also from the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney. “This was a milestone public health and safety issue, driven by an overwhelming swing in public opinion, and promptly delivered by governments.”

After 112 people were shot dead in 11 mass shootings* in a decade, Australia collected and destroyed categories of firearms designed to kill many people quickly. In his immediate reaction to the Port Arthur massacre, John Howard said of semi-automatic rifles and shotguns: “There is no legitimate interest served in my view by the free availability in this country of weapons of this kind… That is why we have proposed a comprehensive package of reforms designed to implement tougher, more effective and uniform gun laws.” As study co-author Philip Alpers points out: “The new legislation’s first declared aim was to reduce the risk of similar gun massacres. In the 10½ years since the gun buy-back announcement, no mass shootings have occurred in Australia.”
“On top of that, and despite the new gun laws not being designed to reduce gun suicide, domestic shootings, and the much less common ‘stranger danger’ individual gun homicides, firearm fatalities in the three largest categories – total firearm deaths, firearm homicides and firearm suicides – all at least doubled their previous rates of decline following the revised firearm legislation.”
While the rates per 100,000 of total firearm deaths, firearm suicides and firearm homicides were already reducing by an average of 3% each year until 1996, these average rates of decline doubled to 6% each year (total gun death), and more than doubled to 7.4% (gun suicide) and 7.5% each year (gun homicide) following the introduction of new gun laws.

By 2002/03, Australia’s rate of 0.27 firearm-related homicides per 100,000 population had dropped to one-fifteenth that of the United States.

The authors conclude that “The Australian example provides evidence that removing large numbers of firearms from a community can be associated with a sudden and on-going decline in mass shootings, and accelerating declines in total firearm-related deaths, firearm homicides and firearm suicides.”

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By Paul_GA, June 27, 2008 at 12:00 am Link to this comment

And people on the frontiers feared Indian raids, P.T., just like folks nowadays fear home invasions by criminal scumbags. But that’s neither here nor there. The antis have no recourse left now but to try and repeal the 2nd Amendment. It ain’t over till it’s over, as Yogi Berra would say.

Rest assured, though, that we pro-2nd-Amendment folks will fight tooth and nail to keep the 2nd. This was a big victory for us, even if the full implications of it are hard to see right now.

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By BlueEagle, June 26, 2008 at 10:40 pm Link to this comment

On the local level, gun control only controls law abiding citizens. Criminals, by definition, do not obey laws. Therefore, any law written does not apply to them and, hence, is useless when trying to deter crime. Registration, licensing, permits, ballistic imprints, and ammo tagging do not apply to criminals. A well armed population is the only thing that will deter crime and results in a polite society.

The empirical evidence backs up this conclusion as we can see that many of the gun shootings happen in gun free zones, such as schools. In Britain, since gun ownership became illegal, the crime rates have increased dramatically. The criminals now know that they can take advantage of an unarmed populous. The country to watch now is Australia, which just disarmed its population. We’ll have to wait and see what happens with their crime rates, but I would suspect that crime, especially armed assault, will increase.

This is the problem/reaction/solution method of increasing constraints on the population. The government creates a problem (more crime) by taking away guns. The populous looks to government for a solution, and asks the government to protect them. The government then, heroically and under false pretenses, takes personal liberties away, by introducing restrictions such as a National ID card, increased surveillance, etc., to “fix” the problem. The cycle continues and through gradualism more and more liberties are stripped away. This Supreme Court decision is a declaration that the people have the right to fight back and do not have to lie down and become victims.

On the national level, the founders wrote the Second Amendment for a reason. They just fought a war against a government that abused it’s people. Their #1 priority was to prevent a dictatorship from coming into power either through arms or control of capital. The power should be in the hands of the people, and arms are the last stand when it comes to power and control.

As the Good Doctor says:

“The gun control debate generally ignores the historical and philosophical underpinnings of the Second amendment. The Second amendment is not about hunting deer or keeping a pistol in your nightstand. It is not about protecting oneself against common criminals. It is about preventing tyranny. The Founders knew that unarmed citizens would never be able to overthrow a tyrannical government as they did. They envisioned government as a servant, not a master, of the American people. The muskets they used against the British Army were the assault rifles of that time. It is practical, rather than alarmist, to understand that unarmed citizens cannot be secure in their freedoms.”

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By P. T., June 26, 2008 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment

The Second Amendment was not about freedom—just the opposite.  It was about slavery.  Southerners feared a slave revolt.

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