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Ear to the Ground

SCOTUS, Guns and the Second Amendment

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Posted on Jun 28, 2010
supreme court
Flickr / dbking

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that the individual right to bear arms can’t be impinged upon by local and state governments—a decision that immediately affects Chicago and, as this New York Times editorial argues, spells trouble for the country as a whole.  —KA

The New York Times:

About 10,000 Americans died by handgun violence, according to federal statistics, in the four months that the Supreme Court debated which clause of the Constitution it would use to subvert Chicago’s entirely sensible ban on handgun ownership. The arguments that led to Monday’s decision undermining Chicago’s law were infuriatingly abstract, but the results will be all too real and bloody.

... Once again, the court’s conservative majority imposed its selective reading of American history, citing the country’s violent separation from Britain and the battles over slavery as proof that the authors of the Constitution and its later amendments considered gun ownership a fundamental right. The court’s members ignored the present-day reality of Chicago, where 258 public school students were shot last school year — 32 fatally.

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By glen10, July 1, 2010 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

THE 2ND AMENDMENT IS ONLY ONE SENTENCE. I WAS TAUGHT A SENTENCE STARTS WITH A CAPITAL LETTER AND ENDS WITH A PERIOD,? OR! AND HAS ONLY ONE MEANING. THE WORDS MILITIA AND ARMS DESCRIBE IT AS A MILITARY DOCUMENT. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DIDN’T WANT TO HAVE A STANDING ARMY, SO THEY WROTE A DOCUMENT GIVING THE STATES THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO COMMAND A MILITIA AND THAT MEMBERS COULD KEEP THEIR ARMS AT HOME ,RIFLES/CANONS ETC, BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T HAVE ARMORIES LIKE THEY DO TODAY. I BELIEVE THAT THE NATION GUARD TODAY–IS PROTECTED FROM INFRINGEMENT BY THE CONGRESS BUT THE PRESIDENT CAN FEDERALIZE IN CASE OF EMERGENCIES. THE NRA HAS CAUSED MILLIONS TO BE KILLED BECAUSE OF THE MILLIONS THEY HAVE SPENT LOBBING FOR A GUN CONTROL OR LACK OF GUN CONTROL INTERPRETATION. THE 1935 FIREARMS ACT SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE VEHICLE FOR GUN CONTROL.. IT MAKES YOU WONDER WHY THE FIGHT ON THE NRA ‘S PART. I GUESS ITS A WAY TO MAKE

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By glen10, July 1, 2010 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

THERE IS NO 2ND AMENDMENT RIGHT TO OWN A GUN AND THERE NEVER WAS [WHAT DID JEFFERSON SAY 1801-1808] 
THE SUPREME COURT COULD NOT HAVE STUDIED THE ISSUES AND COME UP WITH THE DECISION THEY DID. I HOPE THE 5 JUSTICES DIDN’T JUST MADE A POLITICAL DECISION
————————————————————————————————————————
Taking On Gun Control

“I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every
form of tyranny over the mind of man.”—Thomas Jefferson
————————————————————————————————————————
A Well-Organized and Armed Militia
“For a people who are free and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security. It is, therefore, incumbent on us at every meeting [of Congress] to revise the condition of the militia and to ask ourselves if it is prepared to repel a powerful enemy at every point of our territories exposed to invasion… Congress alone have power to produce a uniform state of preparation in this great organ of defense. The interests which they so deeply feel in their own and their country’s security will present this as among the most important objects of their deliberation.”
—Thomas Jefferson: 8th Annual Message, 1808. ME 3:482
“None but an armed nation can dispense with a standing army. To keep ours armed and disciplined is therefore at all times important.”—Thomas Jefferson, 1803.
“It is more a subject of joy [than of regret] that we have so few of the desperate characters which compose modern regular armies. But it proves more forcibly the necessity of obliging every citizen to be a soldier; this was the case with the Greeks and Romans and must be that of every free State. Where there is no oppression there can be no pauper hirelings.”—Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1813.
“A well-disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war till regulars may relieve them, I deem [one of] the essential principles of our Government, and consequently [one of] those which ought to shape its administration.”
—Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural, 1801.
“[The] governor [is] constitutionally the commander of the militia of the State, that is to say, of every man in it able to bear arms.”—Thomas Jefferson to A. L. C. Destutt de Tracy, 1811.
“Uncertain as we must ever be of the particular point in our circumference where an enemy may choose to invade us, the only force which can be ready at every point and competent to oppose them, is the body of neighboring citizens as formed into a militia. On these, collected from the parts most convenient, in numbers proportioned to the invading foe, it is best to rely, not only to meet the first attack, but if it threatens to be permanent, to maintain the defence until regulars may be engaged to relieve them.”
—Thomas Jefferson: 1st Annual Message, 1801. ME 3:334
THERE IS NO 2ND AMENDMENT RIGHT TO OWN A GUN AND THERE NEVER WAS

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By CaptRon, June 30, 2010 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment

Keep all your guns, if you are responsible and don’t mind owning up to the responsibility by properly registering and protecting them from children. I also invite all you constitution genius’ who think you are oppressed to proudly put that handgun in a holster and proudly display it openly on your belt or shoulder holster but openly display it. I then invite you to walk down a street in New York or Chicago or L.A. or many large cities. Think of what would/could happen and the result whether you pull that firearm or not. Most often an innocent person would be hurt or killed and all you were doing was protecting yourself by law (not really since it wasn’t protection of residence or family). The Wild Wild West is everywhere folks, and you aren’t that good, nor do I want you to put my family or anybody else’s in harms way. Far fetched you say? This is what is being demonstrated around our country. The right to carry and display arms with ammo. How does one know what side of the law you are on, you look just like the bad guys to me?. It can be worked out for you to own and keep your weapons, but you must realize that control is necessary.

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By call me roy, June 29, 2010 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

“A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”
George Washington

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By call me roy, June 29, 2010 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

The Australian Experience
Since gun owners in Australia were forced by new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be
destroyed by their own Government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million
dollars. The first year results are now in:
1) Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent.
2) Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent.
3) Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!
4) In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent.
Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not, and criminals still possess their guns!
5) While Australian figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery
with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since criminals now are
guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.
6) There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the ELDERLY. Australian
politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort, and expense was expended in successfully ridding Australian society of guns. The Australian experience and the other historical facts above prove it.
7) You won’t see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information.
The story of the Katrina disaster area survivors disagrees. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, gangs, thieves, looters and vandals overran New Orleans, as well as the other affected areas. To defend themselves, the residents banded together to form militia groups. The police and national guard went in, with orders to disarm everyone. They entered the homes of local residents at gunpoint, demanding the weapons. Sadly, these people surrendered their weapons, and were then left defenseless as the police and national guard went away. Once they were gone, the gangs and looters came back. The disarmed people were unable to defend themselves. Many were robbed. Some were killed.

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By call me roy, June 29, 2010 at 8:32 pm Link to this comment

A brief look into history should enlighten the “Progressives” in our fair land. In the early 1900’s there are several historical instances of leaders that insisted on the disarmament of their people. Their names should be familiar to you: Vladimir Lenin, Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler. All of these men enforced disarmament on their people. All of them are known as some of the most sinister men in history. Notably, Hitler could never have achieved as much as he did without civilian disarmament. He disarmed his people, used the Hitler Youth program to brainwash the young, and “cleansed” his nation, as well as conquered territories of the “undesirables,” whom he referred to as “untermensch” or subhuman. The unarmed civilians were an easy target for his armies, and the SS was used to intimidate and control other Germans and prevent dissension. In retrospect, people lament the atrocities that happened under Hitler, but the German people then never saw it coming. They had been seduced by a charismatic leader, who convinced (and when necessary coerced) them to give up their weapons. The Nazi reign of terror began with false news reports on the Jews, Bohemians and Gypsies who were said to be arming themselves to overthrow the “New World Order” and Hitler demanded that all good people register their guns so that they wouldn’t fall into the hands of “terrorists and madmen”. Right wing fanatics of the “Old Order” who protested firearms registration were arrested by the S.S. and put in jail for “fomenting hatred against the Government of the German people”. Then the Reichstag (government building) was blown up and Hitler ram-rodded an “Emergency Anti-Terrorist Act” through Parliament that gave the Gestapo extraordinary powers. The leader then declared that for the well-being of the German people, all private firearms were to be confiscated by the Gestapo and the Wermotten (federal law enforcement and military). When several local ministers spoke out against these atrocities, they were imprisoned and never seen again. In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated’ people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

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By call me roy, June 29, 2010 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment

August 24, 2009 / Richmond Times Dispatch
Long time Anti-Gun Advocate State Senator R.C. Soles, 74, shot one of two intruders at his home just outside Tabor City, N.C. about 5 p.m. Sunday, the prosecutor for the politician’s home county said. The State Bureau of Investigation and Columbus County Sheriff’s Department are investigating the shooting, Gore said. Soles, who was not arrested, declined to discuss the incident Sunday evening. The Senator, who has made a career of being against gun ownership for the general public, didn’t hesitate to defend himself with his own gun when he believed he was in immediate danger and he was the victim. It has prompted some to ask if the Senator believes his life and personal safety is more valuable than yours or mine. But this is to be expected from those who believe they can run our lives, raise our kids, and protect our families better than we can.

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By PatrickHenry, June 29, 2010 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

Upholding the 2nd amendment of the constitution is hardly flattering, I wonder how those localities got away with circumventing it.

We are only one New York power failure or Katrina away from making believers out of the gun banners.

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By CaptRon, June 29, 2010 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

re: numbnuts

And you do resemble this moniker if you expect all to believe your comment is the norm. People, families, friends are not being attacked in their homes anywhere near the incidents in the streets. In the streets, most don’t know what’s coming when there is shooting, and what does happen is the innocents are killed or injured. When is the last time you needed to DEFEND your residence(home) with a gun? Defending with a gun is done by the military. Has any country come to your house lately in order to harm you? By law, you would then have the right to bear arms. How many children and schools come under armed attack from snipers or others with a vendetta of some sort, killing unarmed children and adults. You seem to feel these people being attacked should have guns just in case. In the cities, it happens every day and still the innocents are being killed. It wasn’t their “beef” but bullets came from out of nowhere yet they end up being buried. People like yourself turn the issue away from control of guns by propagating loss of constitutional rights. Get real and help solve the problem instead of helping to get these people killed.

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By Tobysgirl, June 29, 2010 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

Thank you, tularosa, for your cogent comments. I am not opposed to guns, but I know those who scream loudest about THEIR right to have them are generally supporters of tyranny not opponents. I have lived in the slums (the streets of Alphabet City in New York prior to gentrification), and I was never afraid. Now I know a local teabagger who hates my guts (and whose writings strongly suggest mental instability), and I’m thinking of arming myself once again.

I won’t say what I think of the Supreme Court, just fulfilling their historic role as supporters of corporate fascism and oppression.

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By gerard, June 29, 2010 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

Another decision that will help perpetuate America’s international reputation as a gun-crazed, violence-prone nation of social idiots—and contribute to the gratuitous murders that prove that reputation to be justified.

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By tularosa, June 29, 2010 at 11:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

as a country girl with guns for fun and hunting, far be
it for me to tell someone in DC or Chicago how to run
things. why do the gun fanatics - oops i mean defenders
of the 2nd amendment - never attempt to understand any
given situation? they know damn good and well the guns
in the country are not for defense against
tyranny…what a sad joke. and they have no idea what
it feels like to live in Queens or DC or wherever young
people and children for god’s sake are carrying guns
and acting wild in the street…

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By felicity, June 29, 2010 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

I would invite those Supremes, who made the decision, to take up residence in an inner-city, any large city in America.  And after settling in, I would like him to change jobs and become a cop working the streets of that city. And then he can return to the Court where he’ll be given a chance to change his previous decision.

People who live in bubbles develop bubble thinking.  The Supreme Court at present is made up of least 5 bubbleheads.

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By Jim Yell, June 29, 2010 at 7:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From the hard riding, hard fighting days of our Frontier days, it was understood that crowds and guns were a dangerous combination and that is why the Sheriff collected the guns from the cowboys and toughs that came to town.

If not done the irresponsible and ignorant behavior of drunks and even sober jerks made the streets dangerous for women and children and old people and yes young adults too.

This current Supreme Court is one more proof of the criminality at the heart of the right wing conspiracy to destroy the country and civilization. The other examples are the economy and the oil spill, all products of the supposed Free Economy movement, no regulations leads not to freedom, but to chaos and death.

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By numbnuts, June 29, 2010 at 2:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another unsigned “editorial” from the NY Times, proudly re-spewed by
Truthdig. Anti-gunowner hysteria, especially when sniffled aloud by some
effeminate New York nerd who would be helpless if the lights went out, is
fashionable in places most at risk for criminal activity. Any man who has
ever defended his family or friends from a violent assault knows the value
of the 2nd Amendment. Any thieving low-end killer and convict laughs at
those gullible readers, those who would rather watch someone be murdered
in the street (a common thing in NY) than be man enough to become
competent with a handgun and actually do his City some good.

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