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SCOTUS Considering Change in National Gun Ownership Laws

Posted on Mar 2, 2010
gun sign
Flickr / taberandrew

The U.S. Supreme Court may be ready to change the scope of the Second Amendment, as five of the top court’s justices (guess which ones?) have signaled their opinions about American citizens’ rights to bear arms and appear ready to take steps that could override some local and state gun rules, with Chicago as a potential starting point.  —KA

The New York Times:

Since 1982, Chicago has outlawed handguns in the city, even for law-abiding residents who sought to keep one at home. That ordinance was challenged by several city residents who said it violated their right “to keep and bear arms” under the 2nd Amendment.

The case forced the high court to confront a simple question it had never answered: Did the 2nd Amendment limit only the federal government’s ability to regulate guns and state militias, or did it also give citizens a right to challenge state and local restrictions on guns?

All signs Tuesday were that five justices saw the right to “bear arms” as national in scope and not limited to laws passed in Washington.

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By ecw, March 8, 2010 at 6:35 am Link to this comment

The 2nd amendment clearly states “... the right of
the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be
infringed.” If our 5 literalists are really serious,
they should permit carrying guns into federal
buildings, including the Supreme Court. Any
regulation is clearly a form of infringement and now
with the proliferation of open-carry laws, SCOTUS
needs to recognize the right of a visitor to the
Supreme Court to have his hand gun along on the plane
and in the courtroom.

The only way out of this mess is a new amendment
clarifying exactly the relationship of standing army
to militia, etc.

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By nemesis2010, March 4, 2010 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment


Yes that’s right the 2nd amendment is about a well-armed militia. Where you err is in the reason for a well-armed militia.

“What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.”
-Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, I Annals of Congress at 750 (August 17, 1789)

States have armies. Armies kill citizens on behalf of the state and the ruling elite. Rep. Gerry—as well as other colonials—knew full well the brutality a society can suffer under a State’s standing army.

“When a government wishes to deprive its citizens of freedom, and reduce them to slavery, it generally makes use of a standing army”
—Luther Martin, Maryland delegate to the Constitutional Convention

The idea is clear; an armed citizenry to defend ITSELF against its government!

If a well armed militia was thought necessary when the U.S. was a republic how much more is it necessary now that it has become a fascist state?

Rightly are the simple so called.” –Christopher Hitchens

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By NABNYC, March 3, 2010 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

The Gang of Four on the Supreme Court (Roberts, Scalia, Alito and Thomas) are all Federalist Society (FS) members and/or supporters.  Despite its pretentious claims to the contrary, the FS is simply another pro-business right-wing think-tank that prepares intellectually dishonest arguments to give more power to businesses, and to eliminate individual rights. 

There is no individual right to bear arms in our constitution.  The second amendment only allows the states to have a well-armed militia for the protection of the state.

And, of course, even if the federal government was restricted in some way from prohibiting individuals to own guns, that does not mean the states or cities are so restricted.  To the contrary, the better argument would be that gun ownership, bearing, possession are all subject to the health and safety concerns of any community, and gun bearing may be completely banned if a community so decides.

There is no question that the gun manufacturers have paid mightily to bribe politicians and buy entire political parties to allow them to sell guns to whomever they want.  Their entire advertising campaign to convince Americans that gun ownership is “the” important right is absurd, particularly given modern society in which most Americans are deprived even of the ability to earn a living.

These four judges on the Supreme Court will undoubtedly ratify the NRA position:  the right of corporations to sell deadly weapons to anyone, even children, must be protected.  The rights of citizens to be safe in their own homes is of no importance.

Something else to worry about:  there is a tobacco case coming before the Supreme Court.  I’m afraid the Gang of Four must actually order us all to start smoking again.

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By nemesis2010, March 3, 2010 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

All I can say about guns is that I’ve yet to see a movie where the Nazis, Reds, or any other brand of bad guys are loading a truck up with armed Homo sapiens being hauled off to a concentration camp, gulag, or a soylent green processing plant.

There are negative consequences to everything in life, but the negatives of an unarmed and defenseless citizenry far outweigh those of a fully armed and capable one. And if you’re about to spout off about the police forces and military; can it! The police forces and military—all government agencies—are the main enemy against whom the people need to be ready to defend themselves.

The government is a parasite that kills its host. It has always been that way; deal with it!

“a great nation is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.” –W. Durant

“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” - Robert Heinlein

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By michael, March 3, 2010 at 9:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lets get this right the only thing they are thinking about overturning is the complete ban of handguns. They have already stated that resonable restrictions are OK.

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By ckerst, March 3, 2010 at 9:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

SCOTUS is not about to CHANGE anything. They are about to better define the rights of citizens to own firearms. The words “the people” mean exactly the same ting everywhere they appear in the constitution. If you read the second amendment it is pretty clear that the rights of the people are clear.

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By skulz fontaine, March 2, 2010 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment

Guns, American as ethnic cleansing and wars of naked aggression.

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