September 5, 2007

"Whatever right the Second Amendment guarantees, it does not require the District to stand by while its citizens die."

The District of Columbia's petitions the Supreme Court to review the case that struck down the city's ban on handguns.
"No other provision of the Bill of Rights even arguably requires a government to tolerate serious physical harm on anything like the scale of the devastation worked by handguns," the petition states....

The court ruled that the Second Amendment "protects an individual right to keep and bear arms" and that "once it is determined -- as we have done -- that handguns are 'Arms' referred to in the Second Amendment, it is not open to the District to ban them."

The court acknowledged that its decision was groundbreaking; only one other federal appeals court -- that of the 5th Circuit, based in New Orleans -- has recognized an individual's right to gun ownership, and it nevertheless upheld the federal gun-control law at issue. Nine other circuits around the country have endorsed the collective right.
Given that split, it's likely the Court will take the case.

206 comments:

1 – 200 of 206   Newer›   Newest»
Palladian said...

We're going to take things away from you for the common good!

jane said...

When the Gov can guarantee peaceable citizens that criminals or deranged strangers and loved ones won't illegally use illegal guns in illegal breaking and entering, robbery, assault and murder, then it might have a case for banning legal handguns for most everybody.

But not a good one.

jane said...

Or, consider a woman (or man) being approached by a knife-wielding hopped-up man. Would she/ he want a handgun just about now, or is their best hope that their sneakers are better performers than his?

The Drill SGT said...

Thanks. I was hoping you'd post on this one, since it was front page above the fold in the WaPo this AM.

I happen to think that the DC law goes too far and the WaPo went too far in the article as well.

I'm not a lawyer, but if the SCOTUS can find a an abortion right in the penumbra of th Constitution, I think there is a right to keep and bear arms resident in individual persons.

From English Common Law there are concepts of various elements of the armed forces. I'll use these terms:
Regular Army. what we think of today as the Army
Formed Militia. what we call today the National Guard and Army Reserve
Unformed Militia. every able bodied male about the age of 15, able to bear arms. This concept is also embodied in the civilian equivalent under posse comitatus.

In my mind the founders expected to be able to raise a militia from an armed general populous.

The DC law forbids had guns and also prevents a homeowner from using a shotgun to protect himself by putting restrictions on the storage that seem onerous to me.

enough of law. lets talk about economics and reality.

DC has had the most restrictive gun laws in the country longer than anyone else. Honest citizens can't defend themselves with guns. The only folks that have hand guns in the city are the cops and the crooks, who both have plenty of guns. The city is awash with guns even though possession of a handgun is illegal.

so how about passing much stronger laws about sentences where weapons are involved and allowing homeowners to possess and use a handgun in defense of their life and liberty?

Simon said...

I think this really puts the court's liberal bloc in a bind. No doubt they don't like the ruling below, and want to overturn it. On the other hand, they're not going to vote to grant and risk converting this case into a nationwide individual rights opinion unless they're fairly certain of having five votes. But then again, if they do have the votes to reverse, they must know that if the last major ruling the court hands down before the '08 election says that the 2d amendment doesn't protect the right to keep and bear arms, they virtually guarantee a Republican will still be nominating Supreme Court Justices for another four years.

Likewise, neither the formalist bloc or the conservative bloc are going to want to grant unless they're confident of five votes, for the precise opposite reason - they aren't going to want to risk a ruling slamming the door on the second amendment. I think the overwhelming desire on both sides is going to be to punt.

davidc. said...

It is hard for me to believe that people do not see the value in gun ownership. Somehow, a large segment of our population feels that guns make people violent. That if they remove the guns that this violence is going away. The opposite is true. Loss of gun possession and use will mean that the criminals will have an overwhelming edge on the average citizen. This has been clearly demonstrated in Australia. They banned guns and violent crime and home invasion sky rocketed. My personal view of the police and crime enforcement is that the whole concept in the modern world is a joke. I would no more trust my fate to a cop than to the criminal. As to the justice system, I have yet to figure out what they do. Criminal convection and incarceration in New Orleans is around 4 to 5% and it is clearly reflected in the number of murders and violent crimes that you see daily in the paper. If we lose our right to self defense then I predict that our citizens will begin to turn their weapons to the function that Thomas Jefferson envisioned.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"Whatever right the Second Amendment guarantees, it does not require the District to stand by while its citizens die."

Well if I could count on the State and Federal government to ensure that they will have a cop Johnny on the spot when I have a home intruder, but until then, they’ll have to pry it from my cold dead hands.

What I find most interesting with many liberals is they seem to think that in the last 7 years, the country has turned into a police state, Bush has destroyed the constitution and that our civil liberties are under siege, nevertheless, they see absolutely no problem whatsoever in making sure the only ones with guns is the government.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

No other provision of the Bill of Rights even arguably requires a government to tolerate serious physical harm on anything like the scale of the devastation worked by handguns.

I could quite easily argue that limits on unreasonable searches, due process, miranda rights, etc. lead to so many more criminals out on the streets that those rights cause at least as much harm.

Yes, getting rid of those protections would lead to innocent people losing their rights, but the same is true with taking away handguns.



Whatever right the Second Amendment guarantees, it does not require the District to stand by while its citizens die.

Liam said...

*sigh*

We're at it again.

I noticed the press sat up and noticed the statistics that over 75% of those who commit homicides and 60% of those murdered are felons. The press apparently thought this was something new, not something that had been the case for the last 20 years or so.

This of course cuts both ways. The concept of the suburban home owner defending his domicile from invading meth addicts just doesnt have much traction. This also means that most gun control laws are there to get their drafters re-elected.

However, having a right that you might not need all the time is not the same thing as not having it at all. The concept of the right is based around natural law and the right of the individual to defend themselves - should they choose to - and not have to depend on the tender mercies of your local law enforcement authorities.

Bender said...

Given that split, it's likely the Court will take the case.

That split may very well be illusionary. DC is not a state, as is the rest of the country. DC is a district of the federal government, and the consitutional rules applying there may or may not apply to the states, especially when the Constitution is expressly more restrictive of the federal government, than it is of the states. Caselaw coming out of the DC Circuit is not necessarily precedent for the rest of the country.

hdhouse said...

hoosier daddy spewed "making sure the only ones with guns is the government."

oh brother. with 200 million guns in the US and about half the households having guns i think that the government is underarmed and mismatched.

hoosier, when you read the evolution of the second amendment ..how the text changes for clarity.. well old buddy, join the militia and put your arms in a common storage area where you can get to them quick in case the federal army invades indiana.

therein is the rub. liberals like to think and read and the likes of hoosier daddy don't.

Bender said...

Let us not forget that the incident which immediately instigated the American Revolution was not "taxation without representation," it was an explicit attempt at gun control, as the British attempted to go and seize a stockpile of arms at Concord.

The purpose of the Second Amendment is to ensure the ability of the people to effect the part of the Declaration of Independence that protects the fundamental right of revolution: "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends [of securing inalienable rights], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government . . . But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

al said...

with 200 million guns in the US

Close - U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world's 875 million known firearms, according to the Small Arms Survey 2007 by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies.

That is something like 90 guns for every 100 citizens. Toss in another 10 to 50 million (my estimate) not so known firearms and the US is doing ok.

I think someone needs to act like a liberal and go and read what the founders intended rather that what he thinks the meaning of the 2nd has evolved into.

Drill Sgt is on the right track. I'd like to see the castle doctrine laws that are popping up in some states become law in all.

Jane - banning the law abiding from owning a physical item will not have any effect on crime. Criminals, by nature, don't care about the law.

Simon said...

Liam said...
"I noticed the press sat up and noticed the statistics that over 75% of those who commit homicides and 60% of those murdered are felons."

Which brings us back to the point that "Ignorance is Bliss" made above about the various evidentiary and criminal process guarantees of the Bill of Rights.

jane said...

Al, thanks, but that was my point precisely.

Hoosier Daddy said...

hdhouse saidoh brother. with 200 million guns in the US and about half the households having guns i think that the government is underarmed and mismatched.

Hey house, I know comprehension is a novel concept for you but the issue at hand is the banning of handguns as well as other firearms from private ownership. If private gun ownership is banned, logic (work with me here) follows that private firearms will be confiscated. Get it?

hoosier, when you read the evolution of the second amendment ..how the text changes for clarity.. well old buddy, join the militia and put your arms in a common storage area where you can get to them quick in case the federal army invades indiana.

You are too funny. I mean hysterical. Hey house, just an fyi, we never had a 'well regulated militia'. Ever. We had a tiny standing army and a bunch of guys with guns who showed up when called. Hardly any state had a militia that drilled on a regular basis because you really didn't join the militia. If you were of legal age, the militia joined you.

therein is the rub. liberals like to think and read and the likes of hoosier daddy don't.

Well considering you can hardly make a post without sucummbing to snarkiness or ad hominems, your reading comprehension abilities are quite suspect.

Answer me this. Do you believe that the government should have a monopoly on gun ownership?

Do you believe that I as a private citizen have a right to defend myself or is that a function left to the government?

You don't have to answer if you don't want. Don't want your mask to slip.

NSC said...

hoosier, when you read the evolution of the second amendment ..how the text changes for clarity.. well old buddy, join the militia and put your arms in a common storage area where you can get to them quick in case the federal army invades indiana

I don't recall any of the gun owners back then storing their guns in a common area. They had individual arms with them in their homes and on their sides. As someone else said before me, we never had much of a militia. Our Army was small but volunteers were many and they brought their OWN guns.

Fritz said...

hdhouse wrote: "when you read the evolution of the second amendment "

Therein lies the rub. Liberals like to use the judiciary to make up the laws as they see fit after reading what other intelligencea think. Conservatives know the Constitution was intelligent design requiring little interpretation. You see, the Second Amendment enumerated that sovereignty be held by the people, not the government. It did allow the government to prevent Iraqi style militias from sprouting up.

Crime or terrorism, the left sides with the bad guys.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

hd, have you ever asked why we have both Guard and Reserve troops? The initial use of Guard troops were to be under the command of the Governor of the state; reserve troops were always under Federal Control.

It was FDR who nationalized all of the Guard units and their equipment, ending what was the regulated State militia.

During the Revoultion some Miliia units did drill on a regular basis, but most Militia soldiers were simply added to the military roles when the army marched past- they grabbed their gun from over the fireplace and went along to fight. When the threat had moved out of their immediate area they went home.

Some guns owned by the government were kept in an armory to provide public weapons to unarmed individuals, but usually armories were only for the communal shot and powder to be used for the common defense.

It was this basis that created the second amendment.

It isn't only government interference that our arms keep us free from, but also keep us free from the criminal parts of society, something our social contract with government doesn't.

Cops aren't there to protect and serve us as an individual, but as a society; they cannot, excpt in very limited circumstances, protect the individual from the first crime. Their mission is to protect society from the subsequent crimes by the same individual.

Daryl said...

I like what Glenn Reynolds wrote: the Court does not want to take this case, because it has been so aggressive about unenumerated rights. If it reverses, it will be seen as dismissing an enumerated right. It doesn't want to be put in that position; hence, it will ignore the circuit split.

The Drill SGT said...

hdhouse,

I didn't post the other day when you asked whether you would be welcome at a NYC gathering, because I'm not in NYC, but rather DC, a suburb.

Anyway, I would welcome you to any gathering, though I think that occassionally you are rude and over the top, you aren't a complete idiot like a few of the progressive posters here.

On this issue, I think you are wrong, but reasonable people can disagree on the issue, so there is no need to become a flaming idiot.

Knowing that somebody will make a snarky comment about the GOP bumper sticker mentality versus rational educated thinking liberals, I will make a comment that certainly has been on cars that I think summarizes the libertarian position.

When possessing guns is criminalized, only the criminals will have guns

today in DC and for the last 30 years, only the criminals have guns and it doesn't slow down the murder rate one bit. The DC murder rate (2005) per 100k of pop was 35+ Go South into urban Arlington County and the number is 10+ per 100k of pop, and for Virginia overall it is 6/100k.

is why more than triple in DC? Arlington is fairly poor and fairly minority, but though VA has lots more guns, it has tougher enforcement of gun crimes.

Gedaliya said...

I think it's fair to say that in the next year or two the long gun control debate will finally end when the Supreme Court decides that gun ownership is an individual right. This ruling will shape public policy for decades to come.

I'm a life-member of the NRA, and we've been working for this end since the organization was founded. It has been a long and difficult struggle. My dad used to say that the Jews of Europe would never have been exterminated if each family owned a gun and a few rounds of ammunition. I believe this firmly.

The country has given up on gun control as a means to limit violent crime. The public mood has embraced the idea that an armed society is a polite society, and when you prevent law-abiding citizens from owning firearms, law-breaking citizens are free to prey upon them at will.

What is astonishing to me is how the elected public officials of Washington D.C. still cling to the canard that strict gun control will curb violent crime. The evidence is right in front of their faces that the opposite is true. These arrogant officials are soon to have their comeuppance, and it is a shame it's taken so many years to this to finally occur.

Michael said...

One could also compare DC's homicide rate with that of Seattle, a city of similar size. Washington state has comparatively lax gun laws (concealed carry is permitted), yet Seattle's 2005 homicide rate was about 4 per 100,000 (about 1/8 of DC's).

Simon said...

Gedaliya said...
"These arrogant officials are soon to have their comeuppance, and it is a shame it's taken so many years to this to finally occur."

As a general matter (this is a gross oversimplification, but I think it holds as far as this case goes) any case that goes to the Supreme Court with a clearly-identifiable liberal result walks in through the front door with four votes. Do you know Kennedy's opinion on the Second Amendment? Roberts'? Alito's? I can imagine that a really bad argument might lose Souter, but I think overconfidence that the court won't reverse the DC Cir might be premature.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

And when it comes to DC and liberal gun cntrol measures how can we forget to mention the liberal pundit & national columist, who's name escapes me, that shot a treaspasser in his pool a few years ago with an illegal and unregistered handgun?

Simon said...

Michael said...
"One could also compare DC's homicide rate with that of Seattle, a city of similar size. Washington state has comparatively lax gun laws (concealed carry is permitted), yet Seattle's 2005 homicide rate was about 4 per 100,000 (about 1/8 of DC's)."

In D.C., about 16.7% of families and 20.2% of the population were below the poverty line, compared to 6.9% and 1.8% respectively in Seattle (per Wikipedia). Sort of starts to come into focus, doesn't it...

Bender said...

Arlington is fairly poor and fairly minority, but though VA has lots more guns, it has tougher enforcement of gun crimes.

Virginia also has concealed-carry laws, in addition to high gun-ownership. But don't even think of using a gun (or a fake gun, like a cap pistol) in a crime -- First offense is a three-year mandatory sentence that is consecutive to all other sentences. Second and subsequent offenses are five years consecutive, even where the second offense occurs within the same overall scheme of the first offense, so if you have two separate street robberies committed one after the other, that is a mandatory eight years to serve (without parole, although you can get up to 15 percent good-time credits).

Moreover, Arlington judges and Arlington prosecutors and Arlington juries are very, very tough when there is a gun involved due to the potential for violence. Arlington juries are also predominently upper to middle class white (one reason being that much of the population are non-citizen immigrants). And despite being a Democratic county, juries are very pro-police. If you catch a gun charge and there is any evidence to support it, your best bet is to work out a plea deal, otherwise the jury or judge will likely hammer you.

Dan from Madison said...

"Whatever right the Second Amendment guarantees, it does not require the District to stand by while its citizens die".

Sadly, I had to laugh at that quote when I read it since that was exactly what the District was doing in the "good old days" of the ban. DC is the murder capital AND IT HAD A HANDGUN BAN. The handgun ban in Chicago has DONE NOTHING to curb the murder rate there.

Let the citizens defend themselves as it is painfully apparent that the criminals are simply ignoring these ridiculous laws.

Gedaliya said...

And when it comes to DC and liberal gun cntrol measures how can we forget to mention the liberal pundit & national columist, who's name escapes me, that shot a treaspasser in his pool a few years ago with an illegal and unregistered handgun?

Carl Rowan

Gedaliya said...

...but I think overconfidence that the court won't reverse the DC Cir might be premature

My heart says you're wrong, my head says you're right.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And when it comes to DC and liberal gun cntrol measures how can we forget to mention the liberal pundit & national columist, who's name escapes me, that shot a treaspasser in his pool a few years ago with an illegal and unregistered handgun?

I think you are referring to Carl Rowan. His comment was that he bought the gun cause he was afraid of the KKK (they're a huge presence in DC as you probably know) but yes, he had to settle for plugging some teenage kid.

But that is the classic liberal hypocrisy on gun control. Rosie was another who felt that no one other than police and the private security she is wealthy enough to afford should own guns. The rest of us I guess have to resort to harsh language for self defense.

jane said...

"The concept of the suburban home owner defending his domicile from invading meth addicts just doesnt have much traction."

Liam, it has traction with me. Have experienced two attempted home invasions by groups of armed men, twice. It was women they were after, not hockable stuff, but still.

I had no gun, the police took a while to show up, and then I was only saved by painted shut windows and a car driving up.

The police told me to get a gun and then shoot to kill if it ever happened, again. Only in the movies do they reliably show up in the nick of time, as you would seem to agree. Perhaps just once in a lifetime would someone need a gun for protection, but it's all about not having a criminal decide one's lifetime or that of a loved one, yes?

hdhouse said...

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country; but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.

A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms.

A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.

A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed, but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person.

A well regulated militia, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed

A well regulated militia being the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed

Michael said...

Based on our discussion here, I propose a revised 2nd amendment: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of WEALTHY INDIVIDUALS to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed"

Gedaliya said...

hdhouse...

"The right of the people..." in the first amendment (assembly) and in the fourth amendment ("to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures") has long been interpreted to refer to individuals.

Why not the second amendment?

My understanding is that part of the reasoning in the DC Circuit's ruling is based on this interpretation of the phrase "the right of the people."

Why do you assume the "right of the people" in the second amendment refers only to militias, while in other amendments you accept that it refers to individuals?

hdhouse said...

gedaliya

1. somehow People in the approved version returned as "p"eople in the published. "P" was often used as a collective noun meaning "all".

2. Madison wrote: Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops...

3. The sentence that later became the Second Amendment was to be inserted in the First Article, Section Nine, between clauses 3 and 4, following the prohibition on suspension of habeas corpus, bills of attainder, and ex post facto laws, all individual civil rights asserted by individuals as a defense against government action

Now I'm taking from common sources but the debate about gun ownership and the 2nd amendment I think ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The simple fact is the 2nd Amendment was never really adhered to based upon the liberal interpretation; that is, if you were in a well regulated militia, your right to keep and bear arms would not be infringed. As I stated earlier, well regulated militias at the time of the Revolution and thereafter just did not exist. In some of the New England states, wealthy individuals outfitted and equipped a militia regiment and in turn were ‘commissioned’ to lead said regiment, military qualifications notwithstanding. In the vast majority of cases, the militia was simply those of serving age who showed up when needed but otherwise went about their business. Hardly anyone drilled other than the regular army.

Despite what some may think, gun ownership was simply a given in America and it never really changed as time went on and in essence is part of our culture in a way it never was in Europe or Asia. I think there are some good arguments for some common sense gun control such as background checks, licensing and I even advocate mandatory gun safety training. What I vehemently object to is those who insist I have no right to a gun in order to protect myself or my family, as if that function is only reserved to the State

Cedarford said...

Factoids:

DC has not seen it's gun ban work to reduce it's traditional nation-leading murder rate. (New Orleans with it's black thugs, is now counted in the medium-sized city class, but has double DC's rate, and small communities in Mississippi are even worse....) But DC's "leaders" and DC-based Left grasp it as an article of faith, rather than seeing it was a failed strategy to disarm law-abiding residents.

The Right to Keep and Bear Arms started in England with the Glorious Revolution affirming the rights of citizens, after the Civil War.

The 14th Amendment was crafted to apply the Bill of Rights to the States rather than the "Congress shall make no law infringing on rights" original intent. This was done when Southern States began seizing property, confiscating firearms, and denying the vote to free blacks. The measure that alarmed blacks the most was not the vote or property grab since few had valuable property - it was the the gun grab - because it took away the means to defend black communities from revanchist ex-Confederates.

The first real draconian gun laws, the Sullivan Laws of NYC, were crafted by Elites fearing "degenerate races" being armed. So it was best that only the Elites and Government employees with their own power, or employees under their thumb get guns. A gun permit showed you were someone with clout - a prestige item.
DC, San Fran are no different now. Gun banner Diane Feinstein and her billionaire husband both have/had handgun permits.

The gun banners not only include safety nannies but groups that see disarming the people as necessary for progressivism and compliance with UN - NGO objectives. This introduces a dangerous element to the situation - there are groups that honestly believe that affluent minority groups, radical political elements - are best protected from the masses by a Strong Central Government that holds all the lethal power and which is committed to the "Rule of Law" over the wishes and vote of The People.
Transnationalists and UN socialists believe that small arms are a cancer because they cause instability in nations where the masses reject certain government policies, by giving people the means to resist their lawful rulers. Violent insurrection is believed by those elites to be more harmful than using peaceful protest and moral presssure to gradually moderate tyrants into more beneficial rule.
Basically, they believe Russian Civil War was worse than the Red Terror that followed it...because eventually, the Soviets "moderated" without an armed people's revolt.

Gun banners fail to understand that guns are very low tech. Anyone with a modicum of skill and access to simple tools, preferably power tools, can built a servicable handgun from junked auto parts.

And that if guns are banned and only government employees are allowed firearms that it would create an underground of ingenious Americans fighting Ruling Elite/International Law tyranny of the likes that would make Iraqi insurgents weep in envy of the devices Americans produced to enable armed resistance and restore their democracy of "We The People". Not just guns, but other weapons of warfare.

The laws of the colonies made clear by their laws regulating firearms that ownership was an individual right of each family to hunt, protect their homes, persons and property...AND...and that is AND to be required that able-bodied men bring their firearms to the collective defense of the community and state when called to do so. That gun ownership was only to be disallowed to "criminals and the mentally enfeebled".

Simon said...

Cedarford said...
"The Right to Keep and Bear Arms started in England with the Glorious Revolution affirming the rights of citizens, after the Civil War."

Actually it goes back to the Assize of Arms of 1181.

hdhouse said...

I repeat that the 2nd amendment should not be drawn into a debate about self defense. two different things. do not rely on an interpretation of the secondment that twists it into a self defense debate.

The Drill SGT said...

During the Revoultion some Miliia units did drill on a regular basis, but most Militia soldiers were simply added to the military roles when the army marched past- they grabbed their gun from over the fireplace and went along to fight. When the threat had moved out of their immediate area they went home.

a bit of trivia from the Swiss (actually 2)

Swiss Villages traditionally held their annual town meeting in the square. Each male head of household got one vote. He voted by holding up the family sword. The Swiss have a history of having both a formed and unformed Militia.

which brings us to present day. The Swiss have universal service for males between 18 and 40 something. everybody does 12-18 months in the Army and then goes into the reserves. Each Swiss reservist takes his automatic weapon and ammunition for it home with him.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I repeat that the 2nd amendment should not be drawn into a debate about self defense. two different things. do not rely on an interpretation of the secondment that twists it into a self defense debate.

Ok then lets look at what Madison said per your quote:

This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence.

Leaving aside your earlier snark about the Feds invading my beautiful state, it certainly seems that Madison at least saw it as a potential threat. So as redneck pointed out, FDR nationalized the Guard thus he usurped the 2nd Amendment's purpose if indeed, you subscribe to Madison's position.

So then do you think that the Federal Government's ability to take over the National Guard is unconstitutional based upon Madison's position?

Revenant said...

I repeat that the 2nd amendment should not be drawn into a debate about self defense. two different things. do not rely on an interpretation of the secondment that twists it into a self defense debate.

The District of Columbia raised the issue of protecting the citizens. Why aren't we allowed to respond to that?

The second amendment guarantees an individual right to own and bear firearms. In order for the government to eliminate that right it must prove an overwhelming need to do so. It is claiming that it needs to do so in order to protect the lives of its citizens -- so the fact that the citizens will be better protected if they are allowed to KEEP their guns for self-defense is a valid point to bring up.

Simon said...

Rev - that is, it must be narrowly-tailored and be in pursuance of a compelling governmental interest.

Richard Fagin said...

Ok, I don't like to sling personal attacks on here, but, hdhouse, exactly which scholarly articles can you cite to support the collective right construction of the 2d amendment, and which of those is dispositive on the issue? There are a number of articles, even by self-identified lib law professors, that reluctantly (yes, reulctantly) conclude the right to keep and bear arms is personal.

So just where do you get off sayng that libs think and read and non-libs don't? There is plenty of peer-reviewed reading material, by authors youn might otherwise approve of, that contradicts you.

If you read through Presser and Zainaldin's "Law and Jurisprudence in American History", for example, you'll find that the 14th amendment has been progressively construed as limiting power of the states, at least with respect to certain amendments the Supreme Court happens to like this week, in very much the same way as the Bill of Rights limits the power of the federal government. The "gun nuts" actually have a credible argument that even the states lack the power to deny the individual right to keep and bear arms.

Even Atty Gen. Ashcroft changed policy at the Department of Justice to reflect the individual right construction.

You happen to disagree. Fine. Explain why instead of implying hoosier or anyone else doesn't think and read.

Gedaliya said...

1. somehow People in the approved version returned as "p"eople in the published. "P" was often used as a collective noun meaning "all".

Please cite a source for this rather extraordinary statement.

Jeremy said...

To me, the obvious comparison is not to the first ammendment, but rather to the War on Drugs.

Some arguements for legalization go something like this: people are going to use drugs regardless of their legality and we waste millions a year locking up people who are not dangerous and not violent and aren't doing anybody any harm (except maybe themselves depending on the drug). Rather than prosecuting possession and use, you could just prosecute DUIs, etc. which are already illegal anyway.

Similarly, people are going to own guns regardless of their legality. Owning and using them isn't necessarily dangerous and we can just treat murder, assault, etc with a gun as aggravated. Murder, assault, robbery, etc with a gun is illegal anyways.

Analogies are never exact, but this one seems to fit pretty well.

Liam said...

Jane-

The comment was meant as a point of rhetorical "nuance". I personally support the "castle" laws, and would rather be judged by 12 than carried by eight, to quote the old saw.

Fact is that the only valid arguement for the possesion of firearms is that it's in the bill of rights. Beyond that, everything else is debating social issues that don't mean squat and, worse yet, are nearly impossible to quantify based on the performance of the anti-gun laws passed to date.

Simon said...

Gedaliya said...
"Please cite a source for this rather extraordinary statement."


Akhil Amar, for one - in both The Bill of Rights and America's Constitution: a Biography. Whether HDhouse is correct to apply this notion to the 2d amendment is open to debate, but the idea that the Constitution in places refers to the citizenry collectively as "the People" - in the preamble, in the Fourth Amendment and in the Ninth Amendment - is pretty well-established.

hdhouse said...

A well regulated militia being the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

the difference between the voted and published versions.

hdhouse said...

I would also toss in the non-legal but applicable We the People in order to form a more perfect ...in the preamble.

Not a lawyer but it seems to me from my old civics classes that it meant that the People had all the power and gave the government what authority it has and the individual states were not to supercede either the government or, more importantly, the People. My teacher used to say it put in place a "pecking order" if you will.

I'd like to hear your opinion Simon...this entire discussion seems right up your expertise.

lee david said...

House

Are you saying that the printer made a mistake, or what?

hdhouse said...

Revenant said...
"The second amendment guarantees an individual right to own and bear firearms."

I have it right in front of me. I see it in the midst of a discussion about militias and actually the debate on the wording flows from that discussion.

It doesn't say "firearms" although English precendent and modeling would make you think it would but it doesn't.

Look at the versions just before the final. Particularly: A well regulated militia being the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

So how do you effectively take away a reference to militia..which comes before "the right of the people.." phrase?

Don't you mean "The people have an absolutely right to keep and bear arms and government can't say anything about it and in case of problems then can call up their militias and arm them" is that what you propose this amendment means?

hdhouse said...

lee david. no i'm not. the "necessary to" phrase was also inserted although that was the senate version so there must have been discussions not recorded.

this entire matter had to be a hot button topic...who was it, James II who wouldn't allow protestants to own arms? ... and less than a century before. with only a few percent of the population allowed to own a gun for any reason, militia or hunting, and no police force that lesson clearly wasn't lost on the colonials who were very conscious of the potential to elect a king instead of a president.

Gedaliya said...

but the idea that the Constitution in places refers to the citizenry collectively as "the People" - in the preamble, in the Fourth Amendment and in the Ninth Amendment - is pretty well-established.

I assume you agree that the fourth amendment rights are not collective rights, but individual rights:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Again, it is my understanding that the DC Circuit's ruling that the second amendment is, in fact, an individual right is based, in part, on a scholarly interpretation of the phrase "the people," and its meaning in the context of the various other amendments to the Constitution.

Perhaps someone better versed in the opinion can confirm this as fact or show why my information is erroneous.

Gedaliya said...

Here is the Parker Decision.

The opinion discusses, extensively, the historical and legal significance of the phrase "the people." In addition, it discusses the phrase "the right to keep and bear arms."

I'll try and summarize the arguments later, after I've read the entire (75 page) opinion.

hdhouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yachira said...

All the legal analysis in these comments (serious and otherwise) is very interesting.

But there's one aspect to the gun ban movement I don't understand: why is it that gun banners who decry the deaths caused by guns do not call for the banning of alcoholic beverages? Many more deaths/year are attributed to alcohol consumption than gun homicide.

hdhouse said...

Gedalyia..

as to "individual rights"...I don't know law except what I've ghosted for lawyers who knew less. I do know history however...at least pretty well.

The original "right to bear arms" was proposed to go under article 1, the habeas section, that delineates an individual's rights vis a vis the government. It was removed from there and linked up with the militia business (not that early versions of the amendment started with right to bear arms then went to militia.

The commentary and notes indicate to me anyway that the militia issue came to the fore....in the context of arming a militia.

and last, what of women? The original context referred only to males of militia age. Hmmmm

Gedaliya said...

right to bear arms

You're forgetting a most important verb in the amendment: keep

From the Parker decision:

In contrast to the collective right theorists’ extensive efforts to tease out the meaning of “bear,” the conjoined, preceding verb "keep" has been almost entirely neglected. In that tradition, the District offers a cursory and largely dismissive analysis of the verb. The District appears to claim that “keep and bear” is a unitary term and that the individual word “keep” should be given no independent significance. This suggestion is somewhat risible in light of the District’s admonishment, earlier in its brief, that when interpreting constitutional text "every word must have its due force, and appropriate meaning;. . . no word was unnecessarily used or needlessly added."

They go on:

...the plain meaning of "keep" strikes a mortal blow to the collective right theory. Turning again to Dr. Johnson’s Dictionary, we see that the first three definitions of "keep" are "to retain; not to lose," "to have in custody," "to preserve; not to let go." Johnson, supra, at 540. We think "keep" is a straightforward term that implies ownership or possession of a functioning weapon by an individual for private use. Emerson, 270 F.3d at 231 & n.31; accord Silveira, 328 F.3d at 573-74 (Kleinfeld, J.). The term "bear arms," when viewed in isolation, might be thought ambiguous; it could have a military cast. But since "the people" and "keep" have obvious individual and private meanings, we think those words resolve any supposed ambiguity in the term "bear arms.

Gedaliya said...

and last, what of women? The original context referred only to males of militia age. Hmmmm

Good question. The Parker decision addresses this directly:

In sum, the phrase “the right of the people,” when read intratextually and in light of Supreme Court precedent, leads us to conclude that the right in question is individual. This proposition is true even though “the people” at the time of the founding was not as inclusive a concept as “the people” today. See Robert E. Shallope, To Keep and Bear Arms in the Early Republic, 16 CONST. COMMENT. 269, 280-81 (1999). To the extent that non-whites, women, and the propertyless were excluded from the protections afforded to “the people,” the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is understood to have corrected that initial constitutional shortcoming.

jane said...

Sorry to interrupt the wonderful constitutional discussion here, but

Liam,

I actually agreed with what you had to say upthread, but think that since guns/ handguns are targeted as a vexing "social issue" by many who favor banning them, gun rights supporters should keep reminding everyone that guns can keep us safe and alive. Not necessarily, but can, and that we should keep that option ever open to us as Americans.

The alternative is to succumb to social passivity or worse. We are farming out the responsibilities of our existence too much to politicized/ bureaucratized/ compromised government as it is. To me, being able to hunt and/or self-defend, being proficient with firearms are all signs of a healthy citizenry that can do for itself. The Bill of Rights argument, one way or the other, will officially carry the day, but we shouldn't just leave it at that as Americans interested in tradition and individual responsibility/ agency.

hdhouse said...

keep and bear....hmmmm

from an historical point of view "keep and bear" would be more practically used in the context as "keep (sake) and bear" or simply, to store or house the arms and then, when called, bear the arms.

there is no individual imperative in "keep" as arms could well be kept collectively (and safer too) in armories.

it is instructive that after the rev. war army was disbanded, the only "standing army" left was the one guarding west point - an armory of sorts.

legalists should be very careful before they trod down the road of contemporaneous meanings. i think i could make a compelling case that keepsake, that grew from namesake, or keeping for the benefit of or sake of, would render "keep" to mean store or house as i mentioned earlier.

Revenant said...

I have it right in front of me. I see it in the midst of a discussion about militias and actually the debate on the wording flows from that discussion.

Fine. I declare myself to be a member of Revenant's Raiders, a local San Diego militia force. There -- now I'm in a militia. Mission accomplished.

It doesn't say "firearms" although English precendent and modeling would make you think it would but it doesn't.

I know it just says "arms", but firearms are a subset of arms -- ergo people have a right to firearms, like I said.

So how do you effectively take away a reference to militia..which comes before "the right of the people.." phrase?

I don't have to take it away. It is not a limiting clause on the "right of the people".

You're reading the phrase as if it said this:

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the militia to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed".

That reading is without foundation in either English grammar or the law. The "well regulated militia" line is just an explanation of why the Founders thought the right was important. It obviously doesn't imply that the right magically ceases to exist in situations the founders didn't explicitly mention as important.

One other question: you're claiming that "the People" means "all the people". Explain how the right of "all the people" becomes a right enjoyed by NONE of the people. It is obvious that the Bill of Rights does not protect only the right of government employees to own firearms -- what would be the point in including a nonsensical "right" such as that, when the Constitution *already* gave the Congress the power to arm its employees. The Tenth Amendment guarantees the states the right to arm *their* employees. So what, exactly, was the point of the Second Amendment?

In summary, your reading of the amendment not only requires deliberate abuse of the English language, but also holds that the Founders amended that Constitution for absolutely no reason at all. And you expect us to believe this? Please.

Revenant said...

there is no individual imperative in "keep" as arms could well be kept collectively (and safer too) in armories.

There is no individual imperative in freedom of the press, either. It would be safer if the government owned and controlled all of the printing presses, since that way counterfeiting and child pornography would be impossible.

Of course, as with your claim, the question "safer for who, exactly?" comes to mind...

Gedaliya said...

legalists should be very careful before they trod down the road of contemporaneous meanings...

Very careful of what, exactly?

Hoosier Daddy said...

from an historical point of view "keep and bear" would be more practically used in the context as "keep (sake) and bear" ...i think i could make a compelling case that keepsake, that grew from namesake, or keeping for the benefit of or sake of, would render "keep" to mean store or house as i mentioned earlier.

Nice try but I think I have to throw the bullsh** flag on that one. You previously posted numerous versions of the 2nd Amendment yet at this stage, you're breaking down the historical context of the word keep. I'm betting the Founding Fathers meant 'keep' in the sense that the average Joe could keep his firearm. If not, and there was no implicit rights to keep one's personal firearm, explain why they were simply not confiscated and stored in armories when needed?

it is instructive that after the rev. war army was disbanded, the only "standing army" left was the one guarding west point - an armory of sorts.

Indeed it is, although we did have a small standing army which by the way was under the authority of the Federal Government and not the states. If the arms of a well regulated militia were 'kept' under the watchful eyes of Federal troops, it certainly doesn't jive with any rights of the people. Considering that you also posted a lengthy quote by Madison touting the benefits of said militias to safeguard against abuses of a Regular Federal army I daresay your theory doesn't pass the smell test, at least with Madison.

Then again, I find it curious that the Bill of Rights which enumerated the rights of the Individual, would contain an amendment which by your interpretation, is not a right at all but simply a function of the Federal government (maintain armies and arms.

Steven said...

A useful thing is to consider the right to arms, beyond the guarantees of the Second Amendment

The English Bill of Rights was part of the law of the former colonies at the time of the adoption of the Constitution; the key clause of that we look at here is:

"That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law."

The Ninth Amendment, of course, says,

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

establishing that existing rights are still operative. Which would therefore include the right of people to have arms for their defense.

Now, what are the limits to this right? Well, there's the matter of "suitable to their conditions"; in English law this referred to one's level of privilege -- noble, freeholder, etc. In the United States, a republic of at least officially sovereign citizens, logical equivalents might be "legally competent", "criminal", "ex-con", and "legally incompetent".

Then there's "and as allowed by law." Clearly, that cannot mean that any law restricting the right is permitted, because otherwise there would be no such right. However, it does suggest broad discretion. The logical choice, under current jurisprudence, is a rational basis test.

So, before we even consider the Second Amendment, we have found that Americans have a right to have arms for their defense, and that laws limiting this right are subject to judicial review under the rational basis standard.

Richard Fagin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard Fagin said...

The ninth amendment recites "the people" and it is difficult to construe the term as meaning anything other than individuals. Why would it be any different in the second amendment?

Simon said...

hdhouse said...
"I'd like to hear your opinion Simon...this entire discussion seems right up your expertise."

I've thought far less about the 2d amendment specifically than you might think, but I'd offer three necessarily brief points:

First. I think your structural point about the intended placement is a good point to raise, and I've raised similar points talking about the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. Still, I have - and thus do - hesitated to place too much weight on it, simply because I honestly don't know whether that information was before the state legislatures that ratified it. If that information wasn't available to the states, that relegates it to the same status as the rest of the legislative history of the bill of rights, which in turn, I regard as having the same stature as Madison's notes on the convention. I really hesitate to use such materials because "when construing the Constitution, we seek the plain meaning of its words in 1788, informed by its structure, by the common law, and by the discernible background assumptions of the society that ratified it." As Holmes put it, "We ask, not what this man meant, but what those words would mean in the mouth of a normal speaker of English, using them in the circumstances in which they were used" (and, as Holmes did not add but I must, at the time in which they were used, in this case 1791). So information that seems probative as to the understanding of the proposing Congress (and the convention), but that wasn't available to the ratifiers, is disfavored, at least, the way that I do originalism.

Second. As I mentioned above, I agree with your distinction between "people" and the People," but I'm not sure that in this case, it bears too much weight; Amar has pointed out that the Fourth Amendment also speaks in terms of "the People," because it is a right both secured to "the People" in their collective capacity but functionally asserted by "people" in their individual capacity. Like the guarantee of the trial of crimes by the jury, fourth amendment rights are collective rights that can (and perhaps must) manifest itself through assertion by individuals, and I think the same may well apply to the Second Amendment.

Third. I also very much agree with you that the question of the original meaning of the second amendment has nothing to do with whether one can use handguns for self-defense. OTOH, to some extent, I think Rev raises a valid point; assuming arguendo that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear weapons cognizable as "arms," that right will not be absolute, any more than the First Amendment is "absolute" - the free speech clause has exceptions (fighting words, fire in a crowded theater, incitement, and so forth) and qualifications (time, place and manner restrictions), free exercise is qualified by obligation to obey neutral laws (Employment Div. v. Smith, but see Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita). That being the case, again assuming that the individual rights interpretation holds up, some regulation - registration, for example - is very likely permissible, but will be reviewed under strict scrutiny, and in determining whether there is a compelling government interest, a court may well need to weigh the merits of the argument that banning or very tightly regulating handguns, specifically, serves a compelling interest and is the least restrictive means to accomplish that interest.

hdhouse said...

this is fun but i'm up against an (aghast) advertising deadline....

Gedaliya said...
"before they trod down the road of contemporaneous meanings...Very careful of what, exactly?"

contemporaneous meanings of words. remember there were few dictionaries and the best findings of usage are in contemporary texts..others using the words.

keep is a very difficult word. keepsake out of namesake is 1780-90 usage. we all kinda know what that means but not exactly.

these guys didn't write in a cave. they used words their fellows used so to be understood. they didn't care about us trying to figure it out.

there is the rub

Gedaliya said...

Revenant's excellent comment contains this sentence:

The Tenth Amendment guarantees the states the right to arm *their* employees.

The Tenth Amendment was the subject of this paragraph in Parker:

We also note that the Tenth Amendment—“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people”—indicates that the authors of the Bill of Rights were perfectly capable of distinguishing between "the people," on the one hand, and "the states," on the other. The natural reading of "the right of the people" in the Second Amendment would accord with usage elsewhere in the Bill of Rights.

hdhouse said...

thank you simon...that was wonderfully informative and lucid...i am in your debt.

please permit me to think on this for a while while i get a client on the road to advertising salvation...

but i do appreciate your instruction on this. i wish all would write so clearly and to point!

Revenant said...

HD,

It seems to me that you are trying to use an "original meaning" argument to defend the idea that the second amendment protects only the armaments of members of state-run militias.

I might be misremembering, but haven't you generally been supportive of, for example, Supreme Court holdings legalizing abortion and homosexual conduct, and restricting warrantless wiretapping and the use of abusive interrogation techniques?

The reason I ask is that an "original meaning" reading of the Constitution clearly does not find a right to abortion, a right to gay sex, the notion that eavesdropping on a conversation is a "search", or the idea that abusive interrogations (which remained common until the early 20th century) were "cruel and unusual punishment".

So are you being a fair-weather originalist here, or am I misconstruing your arguments about the second amendment?

Cedarford said...

A part of the founding of the modern state and social philosophy is that people so so rationally and surrender portions of their natural rights for the security of the state and incur financial penalty (taxes) to fund collective actions they agree to.
The natural rights they surrender, which they would enjoy in nature, absolutely include the right to self-defense.
There are totalitarian states that do deny citizens arms, but do so in attesting that they do indeed have a responsibility to protect citizens, and that includes not only punishing people that commit crimes (law enforcement) but removing people that threaten crime.
If America removes the right of self-defense by saying only government employees can defend citizens - then far more than the 2nd Amendment needs to go to make it work. In Russia and China, for example, menacing people are identified and "tried" by neighborhood Soviets for crimes of antisocial activities, hooliganism, parasitism - and the State can remove them to jobs they are ordered to take, or off to a Gulag to get rid of them from neighbors they menace.
In America, that would require changing laws. Lots of laws, to cover punishing "pre-crime", to protect now defenseless civilians - because there is no way the US government will pay for lawsuits that government failed to protect from the mugger, the rapist in your home, in the park.
Wiping out the rights of the people under the 2nd would just be the start of America becoming a very different society with very different laws..

Outside the communist way to protect disarmed citizens, you have the Latin American "death squad" system of threat elimination. And other countries that successfully protect their citizens by establishing racial purity and universal norms not possible in a diverse society. Works great in Japan, used to work great in Scandinavia before the Africans and Muslims arrived and shot up crime.

********************

Nice argument by Revenant which points out the folly of those that only anally word-parse the 2nd Amendment wording to imply the history doesn't matter, the Rest of the Constitution shouldn't be looked at, and for some strange reason - people complained that the Constitution, right after a Revolution toppling government employees - lacked a provision that only government employees had a right to arms, and the fix was to put that in the Bill of Rights for individuals and States.

One other question: you're claiming that "the People" means "all the people". Explain how the right of "all the people" becomes a right enjoyed by NONE of the people. It is obvious that the Bill of Rights does not protect only the right of government employees to own firearms -- what would be the point in including a nonsensical "right" such as that, when the Constitution *already* gave the Congress the power to arm its employees. The Tenth Amendment guarantees the states the right to arm *their* employees. So what, exactly, was the point of the Second Amendment?

In summary, your reading of the amendment not only requires deliberate abuse of the English language, but also holds that the Founders amended that Constitution for absolutely no reason at all. And you expect us to believe this? Please.

Kirk said...

Dan from Madison wins the prize for most clearly perceiving the irony in the title quote. Surely I can't be the only who read it and thought it was a quote from the plaintiff's brief?

hdhouse said...

rev...not sure because i know nothing about any of this except the history part.

my take is that the self-defense/gun ownership in the home is different than the constitutional issue of the 2nd....i'm trying to spur on the conversation to get more information and clarity for my own sake and have found the back and forth to be very useful.

your point is well noted and well received. i do believe in a living constitution but i note that the 2nd hasn't had much "action" compared to all the others and i find that curious at best.

would like to hear your thoughts on this. simon wrote beautifully about it. i am sure you will too so have at it for my information please.

i know i beat you to death at times but you do that to me. but this is sincere as i have been troubled by this discussion for years and it never resolves in my mind.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

hd, if you want to deconstruct the word 'keep', you may also want to take it back to its oldest meaning, as in a castle keep, the center section of the castle that was meant as the home of the family and the most heavily defended portion, as well as the last refuge inside the walls.

hdhouse said...

An Edjamikated Redneck

but i don't want to take it back to its "oldest meaning"..yes i read that...i want to take it back to contemporaneous usage...keepsake hence namesake seems right .... i would appreciate a better usage, really would....supply it please.

former law student said...

I love the internet, because it allows you to easily dismiss bs. According to this paper on capitalization of nouns in early Canadian English, North Americans persisted in using British capitalization rules long outmoded in the Mother Country. "Animate Nouns," like "Persons," were previously capitalized. Probably the uncapitalized "people" didn't look right to some old fart, so he replaced it with "People."
http://www.univie.ac.at/Anglistik/ang_new/online_papers/views/03_1/DOL_SGLE.PDF
Thus, during the
heyday of extended capitalization between 1660 and 1720, a writer was supposed
to capitalize the following semantic categories, which are subsets of
rule no. 2.
2a) animate nouns (Persons, Mathematicians)
2b) names of area of study or disciplines (Grammar, Science)
2c) names of concrete, physical objects (Book, Leaves)
2d) abstract nouns occur with capital initial the greater their
generality (judgement as compared to Ambition)

Too many jims said...

Simon said...
I think this really puts the court's liberal bloc in a bind. No doubt they don't like the ruling below, and want to overturn it. On the other hand, they're not going to vote to grant and risk converting this case into a nationwide individual rights opinion unless they're fairly certain of having five votes. But then again, if they do have the votes to reverse, they must know that if the last major ruling the court hands down before the '08 election says that the 2d amendment doesn't protect the right to keep and bear arms, they virtually guarantee a Republican will still be nominating Supreme Court Justices for another four years.

Likewise, neither the formalist bloc or the conservative bloc are going to want to grant unless they're confident of five votes, for the precise opposite reason - they aren't going to want to risk a ruling slamming the door on the second amendment. I think the overwhelming desire on both sides is going to be to punt.


Among the many assumptions you make in that post, the one I am most curious about is the notion that Justices make decisions about granting cert and, presumably, actual decisions based on political/electoral concerns. You expressed that in terms of the "liberal bloc".

Do you think all of the Justices take such factors into consideration or do you think that is true only of the Justices you tend to disagree with?

former law student said...

Thanks to http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/ratification/supplements/display.asp?fn=mass.supp.0995.htm
we can see that at the time of the revolution, "the people of the United States" referred to individual citizens, who, if "peaceable" could "keep their own arms."
Propositions submitted to the Convention of this State,

by the Hon. SAMUEL ADAMS, Esq.

“That the report of the Committee made on Monday last, be amended so far as to add the following to the first article therein mentioned, viz.—“And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights of Conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to arise standing armies, unless when necessary for the defence of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning in a peaceable and orderly manner, the Federal Legislature, for a redress of grievances; or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons, papers or possessions.”

1. Reprinted: New York Daily Gazette, 13 August 1789.

hdhouse said...

yes and then when all the states replied the boys entrusted to the task did their writing. ALL the colonies or most supplied text and local law and concordances... because wisconsin wrote such and such doesn't give it the gift of god, merely a voice at the last supper.

Bruce Hayden said...

The D.C. case was interesting for a lot of reasons. One was that a lot of research went into it. If the D.C.govt's Writ for Cert is any indication, the city is well out of its league, and, indeed, one of the reasons that the liberal 4 likely won't vote for Cert is that they would have to overcome the 75 pages of Circuit Court reasoning, which cites to a lot more material. Oh, and of course Reynold's point is valid that the more liberal members of the Court have found numerous unenumerated rights in the Constitution, and reversing here would require unfinding an enumerated right.

Some other reasons though that it is interesting is that the District is very different. When applying the 2nd Amdt. (or most other Bill of Rights Amdts) to the states, you have the question of how much is incorporated via the 14th. Here, you have pure (effectively) federal action, uncontaminated by 14th Amdt. incorporation.

The other thing about this case is that it is extreme. It isn't about whether someone can carry a concealed weapon on the street, but rather, what people can do in their own homes. And the D.C. laws apparently even intruded into long guns in the home.

And that is one reason that the D.C. govt's argument that they are protecting their citizens with this law is likely to fail (I would suggest buldozed by Strict Scrutiny).
So, my guestimate is that if the case gets Cert, it will be because four of the conservative members of the Court think that they have a really good chance at a fifth and will use this as a vehicle for the Individual Rights view. Oh, and then maybe Thomas can be assigned writing the decision to paint a really bright line (though, my guess is that Roberts keeps it because this is the sort of scholarship he seems to like).

There is a saying that bad cases make bad law. This is a bad case for the cumulative rights argument and a good one for the individual rights side.

We shall see.

Gedaliya said...

hdhouse...

You must agree the the Parker decision is well-reasoned and logical. You must also agree that the plaintiffs have a very good case and an excellent chance to prevail if the District of Columbia decides to appeal to the SCOTUS.

I also hope you agree that there are many excellent arguments supporting the idea that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right, and has the same force as the other individual rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights.

former law student said...

Parole evidence is admissible to help resolve ambiguous terms in contract language. Samuel Adams of Massachusetts thought "the people" meant individuals. If you argue for idiosyncratic definitions of "people" and "keep", you must show the signatories to the Constitution followed your definitions.

Simon said...

hdhouse said...
"i wish all would write so clearly and to point!"

There's nothing like a wrist injury to move a man to terse. ;)

Revenant said (to HDHouse)...
"... So are you being a fair-weather originalist here, or am I misconstruing your arguments about the second amendment?"

I'm happy to have him aboard for one of the eight. We'll work on the rest in due course. ;) There's a copy of Wechsler's Toward Neutral Principles of Constitutional Law in the mail. ;)

Too many jims said...
"[Simon, a]mong the many assumptions you make in that post, the one I am most curious about is the notion that Justices make decisions about granting cert and, presumably, actual decisions based on political/electoral concerns. You expressed that in terms of the "liberal bloc". Do you think all of the Justices take such factors into consideration or do you think that is true only of the Justices you tend to disagree with?"

I put it in terms of the liberal bloc because in this case they are the ones in the most awkward position. For the conservatives, there is no downside; the court will either decline the case (leaving intact the D.C. cir's opinion), or it'll take it and affirm, or it'll take it and reverse (thereby guaranteeing a Republican President appointing JPS' successor leading to swift overruling). I think that the justices are human beings like everyone else, and as Mr. Dooley put it, they follow the election returns. I'm sure it doesn't happen often; I'm sure it happens occaisionally, at least at the cert petition stage. The story that WHR tried his best to hold Casey over until OT92 (thus pushing the decision beyond the election) is widely-disseminated, and I have no reason to doubt it.

The Drill SGT said...

Though I don't agree with him, I'd like to point out that HD is talking in rational fashion today and isn't a total flaming idiot like Dave (TM) or a couple of other posters (Fredder comes to mind)


Thanks HD, you are invited to the DC meeting of the Althouse Bloggers

Trumpit said...

Of course, I'm in favor of gun ownership, but only for women. There are many good reasons for this. Men have higher levels of testosterone which makes them prone to aggressiveness and they're generally more dangerous. All violent crime statistics bear out the fact that men are more likely to do physical harm. Naturally, women need guns to protect themselves from rapists and physically abusive boyfriends and husbands. Guns are sexy in the hands of a woman, not so in the hands of man, at least that's what I think.

Most hunter are men, or should I say brutish, hideous, murderous bastards. You Bambi's mother hunter-killers know who you are.

I guess some will argue that my restriction on gun ownership will lead to the creation of all female police forces and military. Yes, that may be true, but then fewer unjust wars will, no doubt, be fought. A very good thing,indeed.

If I continue in this vain much longer, I suppose I will ultimately end up suggesting that all male fetuses be aborted until such time as the ugly aggressive gene is identified and destroyed by geneticists. Anyway, are men really necessary for a happy planet?

downtownlad said...

Drill Sgt is on the right track. I'd like to see the castle doctrine laws that are popping up in some states become law in all. - Al

I agree 100%. The castle laws are superb and already working wonders. Take this DISGUSTING SCUM, for example, who was killed on Monday (thank the Lord by the way):

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/04/AR2007090401486.html?nav=rss_artsandliving/entertainmentnews

If Texas didn't have the castle laws, scum like Jeffrey Albrecht would still be walking the streets.

Can't wait to see more upstanding citizens take the law into their own hands and kill vermin like Albrecht.

Personally - I'm going to have a toast tonight that creeps like him are dead.

Trumpit said...

And if you think I was waxing satirical with my post, I remind you that ALL the 9-11 terrorists were males.

Revenant said...

i note that the 2nd hasn't had much "action" compared to all the others and i find that curious at best. would like to hear your thoughts on this.

Well, Georgia tried banning private gun ownership in the early 19th century, and the law was thrown out as unconstitutional.

The first successful bans on individual firearms ownership were the Jim Crow laws banning sales of guns to blacks. Those passed Constitutional muster for the same reason the rest of the Jim Crow laws did -- because the Court, like the society it ruled over, was pathologically racist. The ban on sales to blacks was ostensibly justified as necessary to maintain order. In reality, of course, the reason the laws stood up is that American society was pathologically racist. "Keeping the black man down" was the real justification for the Jim Crow laws -- the official reasons were a patchwork of lies. Unfortunately, precedent is precedent, even if the precedent was really just a flimsily constructed lie concealing ulterior motives. Since the courts had an official, on-the-books justification for banning individual ownership of firearms, that gave anyone who wanted to ban ANYONE from having guns a big foot in the door.

Then came Prohibition, with its surge in crime -- followed by the Great Depression, the largest and worst war in human history, then a Cold War (with various smaller 'hot' wars), a surging crime rate, racial and social unrest... etc. Unsurprisingly, during this half-century of chaos that old precedent got dusted off and used to justify a series of increasingly draconian gun-control laws, all aimed at controlling unrest or crime. Their lack of effect in turn justified even worse bans.

What's worse is that by the time society settled down in the 1980s, anyone who remembered a time when the government *couldn't* grab your guns for whatever reason 51% of the population favored were basically all dead of old age. There was hardly a judge in America who'd been old enough to shave the last time the original view of the Second Amendment was in favor. Small wonder that it took a long time before fundamental challenges to gun laws started to have a chance of winning again! Social inertia is a powerful force.

Too many jims said...

For the conservatives, there is no downside; the court will either decline the case (leaving intact the D.C. cir's opinion), or it'll take it and affirm, or it'll take it and reverse (thereby guaranteeing a Republican President appointing JPS' successor leading to swift overruling).

Ok, here are are two other assumptions of yours that I glossed over before.

First, saying that it would "guarantee" a Republican president, gives far too much credit to the NRA. Yes, there are a lot of single issue voters who will let that be their sole creterion. But a lot of them already vote and they already vote heavily Republican. It also ignores that the fact that the Republican nominee (e.g. Giuliani) might not hold the individual rights view of the 2nd.

Secondly, you assume that it is a given that the "conservatives" would vote that the there is an "individual right." Might well be right but I would hardly call Bork a liberal and he doesn't hold the "individual right" view.

All that said, because the law apparently is so severe, I suspect you are right that they will find some way to "punt" it. I wouldn't be surprsied at all if Roberts could get an opinion with some of the "liberal" signing on.

Revenant said...

Can't wait to see more upstanding citizens take the law into their own hands and kill vermin like Albrecht.

Oh, I have to disagree. All good citizens know that when a violently drunken maniac is breaking down your door, the appropriate response is to call the police and patiently wait for them to arrive an hour or two later.

Dangerous "neo-cons" might argue that the property owner might have reason to fear for his health and safety, but reasonable people understand that it is better for a thousand innocent men to be beaten to death in their homes than for one guilty man to be shot by a homeowner.

downtownlad said...

The arguments on this thread are absurd, and just prove that people are ideologues.

Gun laws DO make people safer. Just compare the murder rates by handguns in the US to other countries. Or look at the top 10 worst states for murder (1993) and the murder rate per 100,000

1) Louisiana 13.0
(2) Maryland 9.5
(3) Mississippi 9.3
(4) Nevada 8.8
(5) Arizona 7.9
(6) Georgia 7.6
(7) South Carolina 7.2
(8) California 6.8
(9) Tennessee 6.8
(10) Alabama 6.6

And the 10 safest states:

1) Maine 1.2
(2) South Dakota 1.3
(3) New Hampshire 1.4
(4) Iowa 1.6
(5) Hawaii 1.7
(6) Idaho 1.8
(7) North Dakota 1.9
(8) Oregon 1.9
(9) Massachusetts 2.2
(10) Rhode Island 2.3

There's a correlation there, and anyone without an agenda could see it.

Regardless, there is a constitutional right to bear arms. The second amendment exists whether we like it or not.

So the government cannot take our guns away. But that doesn't mean that we should make up lies that guns make us safer, when it so obviously doesn't. It might mean we can defend our freedom, but I find it laughable that the people who are making that argument, are the same ones who are clamoring for George Bush to take our freedoms away (Patriot Act, removal of Habeus Corpus, etc.) in order to keep us "safe" from the terrorists. What a joke!

downtownlad said...

Revenant - In every other state, and through our entire history, the law has stated that if you can get away, you have to try that first, before just blindly killing people.

You obviously think otherwise. And because of people like YOU, that young man is dead, simply for banging on a door. Yes, and of course we all know that serial killers bang loudly on a door before going inside to kill people . . . .

The Drill SGT said...

There's a correlation there, and anyone without an agenda could see it.

I would not make the statement without being forced to do so, but when I look at the lists, I see that the safe states are those without large minority populations, or urban centers.

I see the high murder states (and I note you left DC off the list at 3 times the highest state average) as Southern and minority for the most part.

was that the obvious answer you expected?

downtownlad said...

Drill Sgt - How do you explain the fact that New York City has the lowest crime rate in the country for major cities, despite having the strictest gun control laws in the country. More importantly, they have the strongest ENFORCEMENT of gun control laws?

downtownlad said...

And yes Drill Sgt - there are lots and lots and lots of black people in New York City.

And more immigrants than any other city in the country by the way.

downtownlad said...

And a reminder - I am not arguing that gun control is constitutional. I don't think it is.

I'm just arguing that it reduces homicide rates by firearms, and the evidence is pretty clear cut on that account.

Also - why are you all gung ho about George Bush cracking down on gun ownership in Iraq. If guns make people safer, then let's just arm every Iraqi, right? Oh yeah - they already all are armed . . .

former law student said...

I was thinking only someone with an agenda would use data from 1993. Per 2005 data from deathpenaltyinfo.org, the states with the lowest murder rate are
1) North Dakota
2) Iowa
3) Vermont
4) New Hampshire
5) Maine
6) Montana
7) Hawaii
8) Oregon
9) Minnesota
10) Utah
The states with the highest murder rates are
1) Louisiana
2) Maryland
3) Nevada
4) Alabama
5) Arizona
6) New Mexico
7) South Carolina
8) Mississippi
9) Tennessee
10) California

The only conclusion I can draw is that Southerners are more violent than Northerners. Two of the most murderous states are strict gun control states (Maryland and California), but only one of the safest states is a strict gun control state (Hawaii).
Looking down the list, Virginia, a relatively lax gun control state, is quite a bit safer than its northern neighbor Maryland, and about as safe as the strict gun control Illinois. So I would say gun control had no effect on murder rate.
You can find 1995-2005 murder data by state at the website.

Gedaliya said...

Drill Sgt - How do you explain the fact that New York City has the lowest crime rate in the country for major cities, despite having the strictest gun control laws in the country.

Well, 45,000 police officers, and long prison sentences for felons. Moreover, don't kid yourself, a lot of (otherwise) law-abiding citizens are armed in their homes.

More importantly, they have the strongest ENFORCEMENT of gun control laws?

New York aggressively enforces its laws against committing crimes with guns even more enthusiastically than it enforces its gun-control laws.

Liam said...

People -

When arguing whether or not firearms laws reduce firearms deaths, try and remember the following. You need to differentiate between laws that limit the legal ownership of guns (one-gun-a-month, Morton Grove handgun bans, you can't own unattractive guns) and laws that prohibit the *illegal* ownership of guns.

The simple fact is that the more rigorously you enforce the latter, the fewer firearms deaths you will see. Agressive shakedowns of felons for weapons, enhanced sentencing for crimes commited with guns, gang crackdowns, etc all case step drops on firearms deaths vs. nearly non-existent drops associated with laws limiting lawful ownership.

Also remember that after the CDC examined the impact of the Brady laws, the most ringing endorsement they could muster was "no discernable affect on gun crime".

Not too impressive.

The Drill SGT said...

Drill Sgt - How do you explain the fact that New York City has the lowest crime rate in the country for major cities, despite having the strictest gun control laws in the country.

I don't know. before I think about it, please explain to us the There's a correlation there, and anyone without an agenda could see it.

I said Urban and minority. seems obvious to me. You came back with a diversion into why NYC was lower than the rest of the cities. before I think on that, answer your own question. what is a better correlation than urban and minority


BTW: your numbers are from 2003, not 1993, even Drill SGT's can google. Not all us vets West of the Hudson are un-edumicated.

http://www.benbest.com/lifeext/murder.html#conclude

The Drill SGT said...

like former law student says: Looking down the list, Virginia, a relatively lax gun control state, is quite a bit safer than its northern neighbor Maryland, and about as safe as the strict gun control Illinois. So I would say gun control had no effect on murder rate.

what makes NYC with strict gun laws similar to Virginia with loose gun laws is that both have relatively low murder rates and both punish gun crimes regularly and harshly.

its not the gun possession that is the issue, it's dealing with gun violence that is the deterrent.

downtownlad said...

a lot of (otherwise) law-abiding citizens are armed in their homes.

Bullshit.

Only 50,000 New Yorkers even own pistol permits. Out of 8 million people, that's puny.

http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/columns/intelligencer/9920/

downtownlad said...

Less guns = less crime from guns.

I think that's pretty obvious.

Of course, less guns = unconstitutional, so it's really a non-starter.

downtownlad said...

Oh right - I deliberately picked 1993 to skew my numbers.

How dumb are you?

The numbers since 1993, if anything, have the moved in the pro-gun control direction.

That's when New York City saw it's biggest drop.

Again, anyone without an agenda, could see that the no culture, pro-gun states (i.e. the South) have higher murder rates than the saner, Northern states that actually care about more things than guns and NASCAR.

Seven Machos said...

Downtown Lad is my favorite self-proclaimed libertarian. And by libertarian, he means, fascist with regard to everything except gayness, which should be regulated in no way by any community, ever.

downtownlad said...

Here's a good article on firearm ownership rates and its correlation to homicide rates.

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1447364

Again, I don't know why this is surprising.

If higher homicide rates is the price we need to pay for freedom, so be it. But don't lie about the facts, just because you don't like them.

downtownlad said...

Wow Seven.

Can you prove yourself any bit more of a moron?

Can you prove to everyone in this thread that you are incapable of understanding the English language?

I doubt it.

In case you missed it, I said that gun control laws are UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

Revenant said...

In every other state, and through our entire history, the law has stated that if you can get away, you have to try that firs

I'm not sure if you're lying or just stupid, but in reality our legal system didn't require that until recently. For pretty much all of American history prior to the late 20th century, if a person broke into your house you were free to shoot him.

That said, the guy lived in an apartment. Most apartments have exactly one exit, and the occupants are therefore unable to retreat from a person bashing down the one entrance to their home -- which is why the district attorney in the article you linked stated:

"In an incident like that you're well within your rights under the old law, as well as the new one, to use deadly force"

So we see that you don't even agree with the use of deadly force under the circumstances allowed by the law you claim has existed throughout our history.

I continue to be amused that you call yourself a libertarian. Chalk gun control up as yet another issue on which you disagree with every libertarian in the world.

downtownlad said...

Revenant proves himself to be a complete moron as well.

Really guys - Try finishing your high school education before posting on this board.

downtownlad said...

And sorry, but no self-respecting libertarian I know favors killing a stranger just because they are knocking loudly on your door.

However, most anti-gay bigots like Revenant and Seven, who favor killing innocent people like Matthew Shephard - they believe in legalized murder.

Revenant said...

There's a correlation there, and anyone without an agenda could see it.

Yes -- the first ten states contain a lot of blacks and hispanics, while the second ten contain few. That fact alone is sufficient to account for the difference in murder rates.

downtownlad said...

Now Revenant will start arguing that we kill blacks and hispanics, since they represent a potential threat.

Oh yeah - he already favors killing hispanics.

Revenant said...

And sorry, but no self-respecting libertarian I know favors killing a stranger just because they are knocking loudly on your door.

The reason no self-respecting libertarian you know favors the right to defend his property is probably that you don't actually know any libertarians, self-respecting or otherwise. Which is why you're ignorant enough to think that a guy like yourself, who favors military drafts and gun control laws, can call himself a "libertarian" without being laughed at.

You're a Democrat. You've got no opinions a Democrat would disagree with, except for the fact that you hate poor people and want them to die. Libertarians don't agree with that one either, by the way.

However, most anti-gay bigots like Revenant and Seven

I knew we wouldn't make it through this without your obsession with your sexuality someone entering into it.

Gahrie said...

Less guns = less crime from guns.

I think that's pretty obvious.


Try telling that to the British ......

Seven Machos said...

I recognize that I am guilty of pushing Downtown into the direction of gayness. I don't know why I do it.

But, really. Has Rev or have I ever said that that Shepard deserved his terrible fate? Are you serious, Lad, when you make these absurd charges? Or is it an attempt at humor? It never comes off as very funny, just so you know.

downtownlad said...

think that a guy like yourself, who favors military drafts and gun control laws

Keep LYING Revenant. You look like a complete fool.

Only people with a sub-100 IQ like you can equate myself saying that I oppose gun control laws (which I do), with your interpretation that I favor them.

Again - you really need to go back to high school and brush up on your reading comprehension.

Now why don't you go back to your immigrant and gay bashing that makes you so jolly.

downtownlad said...

Seven - You absolutely favored Matthew Shephard's murder.

After all - he was hitting on the assailants. And they felt threatened. Therefore he deserved to die by your logic.

That's why you oppose hate crimes legislation.

Seven Machos said...

Kill the poor!

downtownlad said...

And I never said "kill the poor".

I said it is not my responsibility to take care of them. It is their own. And if they are incapable of taking care of themselves, and die as a result of it, so be it.

Not my problem.

Revenant said...

Now Revenant will start arguing that we kill blacks and hispanics, since they represent a potential threat.

The amusing thing about that claim is, of course, that you just got done lamely attempting to argue that gun control laws were good because they prevent crime.

Libertarians understand that "it works" is not a sufficient justification for state violation of individual rights. Which is why all libertarians are opposed to gun control laws -- we recognize that *regardless* of whether they actually work or not, they violate everyone's right to self defense.

That aside, "killing all the black people" in order to lower the homicide rate would be a ridiculous thing to do even if it wasn't completely evil and wrong -- 93% of black murderers' victims are black, too.

downtownlad said...

And guess what - if this country banned and procssed foods and junk foods, I guarantee you that Americans would become healthier and lose weight.

Doesn't mean I favor those laws, because it would be a violation of freedom.

But just because I opposed that law, doesn't mean I would start making dumbass arguments that eating healthier foods would make people fatter.

I can guarantee you than Seven and Revenant would make those dumbass arguments though.

Myself - I'd be arguing against those laws on the correct basis - that the removal of freedom does not outweigh the health benefits that we'd get as a result of them.

Why can't people do the same with gun control? Oh that's right - because they are ideologues.

downtownlad said...

Libertarians understand that "it works" is not a sufficient justification for state violation of individual rights. Which is why all libertarians are opposed to gun control laws -- we recognize that *regardless* of whether they actually work or not, they violate everyone's right to self defense.

And as I stated previously, if you had actually gone to high school and improved your reading comprehension, you would understand that that was the argument I have been making all along.

downtownlad said...

From my second post tonight:

"Regardless, there is a constitutional right to bear arms. The second amendment exists whether we like it or not. So the government cannot take our guns away."

Seven Machos said...

1. I have never said that eating healthy foods makes you fatter.

2. If gun control worked in reducing crime and death instead of caused an increase in crime and death, I would be more apt to be pro-gun control.

3. Downtown -- How is it that your argument makes no sense and you can't explain yourself at all but everyone else is dumb?

downtownlad said...

I have a very high IQ. I'm not surprised that many people can't follow my logical arguments.

I live in New York City. I have seen how gun control has worked VERY effectively to reduce crime and make this city very safe.

Personally, I would love to see those laws removed. I would like to own a gun to protect my freedom against an oppressive government. And of course crime rates would go up and more people would die, but so what, it would make this city a much edgier and more interesting place to live.

downtownlad said...

There's way too many married yuppies with kids moving into this city.

They are ruining it.

Seven Machos said...

1. IQ is a primitive, classist, false way of measuring intelligence.

2. People who say I have a very high IQ usually aren't very smart.

3. People who say I have a very high IQ are insecure.

4. People who would leave the poor to rot and die are disgusting.

downtownlad said...

I'm insecure?

Well - that's the funniest comment of the night.

I went to one of the best colleges in the country and I'm extremely successful at my line of work. Does that work better for you?

If you want to take care of the sick and poor, go for it. I believe in personal responsibility. And I believe that there should be consequences when people relinquish that responsibility. Sorry if that offends you. I don't really care.

Cedarford said...

former law student said...
I was thinking only someone with an agenda would use data from 1993. Per 2005 data from deathpenaltyinfo.org, the states with the lowest murder rate are
1) North Dakota
2) Iowa
3) Vermont
4) New Hampshire
5) Maine
6) Montana
7) Hawaii
8) Oregon
9) Minnesota
10) Utah
The states with the highest murder rates are
1) Louisiana
2) Maryland
3) Nevada
4) Alabama
5) Arizona
6) New Mexico
7) South Carolina
8) Mississippi
9) Tennessee
10) California

*****************
It's pretty simple. The Whiter or more Asian a State is, the safer it is. Guns or not.

The blacker a state, the higher the odds that people of Asian, Hispanic, white descent are to feel they need guns, and thus non-blacks in "blacker states" have higher crime than in poor, but almost all white states like North Dakota.

We do see Hispanics with higher than normal crime rates, like in California, NM - but generally those states fighting blacks or hispanic gangs for turf, and who have adopted black thug life.

Jews were once higher than average on crime, then, like the Hispanics are bound to, settled in.

Blacks appear to have far higher than other race crime rates in all nations. And the blacker the state or city, the more likely whites, Asians, Hispanics are are to want weapons to defend themselves and thus the higher odds they will use the guns they may not want in a place like Vermont, if they live in Louisiana and their home has been broken into, with bad judgment or in a domestic quarrel.

The key might be how States with large black populationd like Texas, Florida, NC, and Virginia manage their black thug crime rates better than, say, New Orleans and the rest of Louisiana, or NYC before Giuliani. It appears the main way is to bust them and lock them up, kill them when required, and take no crap.

Revenant said...

Only people with a sub-100 IQ like you can equate myself saying that I oppose gun control laws (which I do), with your interpretation that I favor them.

I don't equate the two. I just correctly recognize that your claim that your oppose gun control laws is a lie. Whenever the topic of gun control comes up, you argue in favor of it. Whenever a gun is used in self defense, you attack the person who defended himself. There isn't a gun control law you've expressed unhappiness with or a repeal of gun control laws you've praised.

As we see from your post in this thread, your position is that the right to keep and bear arms is an unfortunate Constitutional legacy that we happen to be stuck with. That's the position of a Democrat who has actually read the Constitution. A Libertarian knows that we all have a fundamental HUMAN right to self-defense, no matter what a piece of paper may or may not say.

And I never said "kill the poor".

I never said you did. I said you hate them and want them to die -- a claim derived from the alarming hostility and callousness you've expressed towards the poor when the subject of helping them comes up.

downtownlad said...

Before Giuliani?

You realize that one of the ways that Giuliani cranked down on crime was tougher enforcement of the gun laws. He used computers to keep track of how guns were flowing into the city and where they were coming from (Virginia mostly).

Giuliani might be pro-war, but he hasn't historically been a friend of the NRA.

downtownlad said...

Revenant - If you're trying to make the point that I think people should try and get away before killing them vigilante style, then I plead guilty.

I actually think the poor would fend quite fine on their own. Humans are resourceful creatures. Heck - even squirrels in Central Park can manage to survive in the outdoors without a government handout. Humans should be able to do the same.

If not, well then we should just let Darwin take over.

If you want to help the poor - go for it. I'll help my family (maybe) and my friends (definitely) if they were in dire need. To everyone else, it's really not my problem.

That's why when I order a $4 latte, do I stop and think what that $4 would mean to a starving child in Africa? Nope.

Do I want more tax cuts for myself and less benefits for the poor. You betcha.

downtownlad said...

And I will add that people who want the government to help the poor are socialists.

I am not a socialist.

Revenant said...

I'm insecure?

You're the poster child for insecurity, DTL. Your amusing habit of assuming that everyone who disagrees with you wants to kill homosexuals is perhaps the best example of this.

The regular readers here are able to understand everything from evolutionary theory and quantum mechanics to the more esoteric points of English Common Law, and yet the belief that you're an incoherent twit remains nearly universal. You must be one of the smartest people in the entire history of the universe, to have befuddled such a wide range of intellects.

Revenant said...

And I will add that people who want the government to help the poor are socialists.

Sure. And those who want nobody to help the poor -- i.e., you -- are sociopaths.

Libertarians favor private charity.

Seven Machos said...

Here I am, having a fun little back-and-forth with Downtown, then Cedarford comes in with a racist rant.

Does it ever occur to you, dude, that there are socioeconomic factors greater than skin color or religion at work?

downtownlad said...

Libertarians think private charity is a CHOICE.

Libertarians would never try and dictate or moralize about what people should do with their own private money.

And you have no idea what charities I give to, nor is it any of your business.

Revenant - maybe we think you hate gay people, because you DO hate gay people.

You violate their liberty on a daily basis. You want gay people to stay in the closet, so as not to bother you. In fact, you want to bring back the sodomy laws that would IMPRISON gay people. You advocate FIRING gay people just for being gay, as DADT dictates. You want to deny LIBERTY to gay people by not letting them choose their spouse.

Etc., etc., etc. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize you are an anti-gay bigot.

Seven Machos said...

Any libertarian would agree that it's okay to allow an employer to fire employees because they are gay if that's what the employer wants to do.

downtownlad said...

And Revenant's automatic assumption that being gay makes someone insecure, is yet another example of his anti-gay bigotry.

downtownlad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seven Machos said...

You are way too wrapped up in gayness, Downtown.

Your insecurity shows blatantly through because of your perpetual desire to tell everyone how smart someone with a primitive test told you are.

downtownlad said...

Any libertarian would agree that it's okay to allow an employer to fire employees because they are gay if that's what the employer wants to do.

No libertarian would agree that it should be government policy to automatically fire someone simply because they are gay. A policy you favor by the way.

I don't favor anti-discrimination laws by the way. HOWEVER, if we're going to have anti-discrimination laws based on race, religion, military status, disability, etc., then it is absolutely bigoted to not include sexual orientation as well.

Seven Machos said...

Downtown -- What about hate crime laws for whether you are a Blood or a Crip or a Latin King?

downtownlad said...

You are way too wrapped up in gayness, Downtown.

Less than you are wrapped up in your straightness.

You're so insecure about your sexuality, that you petition the government to make gays second class citizens simply to prove how "manly" you are. That's insecure my friend.

Revenant said...

Revenant - If you're trying to make the point that I think people should try and get away before killing them vigilante style, then I plead guilty.

You also believe that people should refuse to use firearms in self-defense even when they *can't* get away -- as is evidenced from your lame criticism of the Albrecht shooting, which (as I noted) the DA agreed was justified even under the old "retreat if possible" law. In fact, you were so desperate to defend the right of thugs to freely break into houses that you described Albrecht's drunken attempt to kick down the apartment door as "a loud knock".

Of course, I suppose it is possible that you formed your argument, in your famously "so brilliant that it defies comprehension" style, without actually reading the article you were basing your complaint on, and were therefore unaware of the facts I noted above. But I find it hard to believe, in light of the revelation that you possess such a devastating level of intelligence, that you would have made such a silly mistake.

downtownlad said...

Being a blood or a crip is a choice. As is religion I might add, which makes it absurd that it is included in anti-discrimination laws.

Gedaliya said...

You realize that one of the ways that Giuliani cranked down on crime was tougher enforcement of the gun laws.

Actually, as I said before, Giuliani put felons is jail, and he put them in there longer if their crimes were committed using guns. He enforced those laws far more aggressively than he did the gun control laws.

Moreover, you claim there are only 50,000 people who have gun permits in NYC. You mean, handgun permits of course. My statement that far more people who are otherwise law-abiding own handguns in NYC, and far more than that own long guns or shotguns.

Seven Machos said...

I have never petitioned the government, ever, and I am not wrapped up in sexuality at all, except to the extent that I lust after women.

For a person who is so smart, Downtown, you sure do make a lot of false accusations and come to a lot of wrong conclusions. A dumb person could do better in terms of being right.

downtownlad said...

In the Albrecht case, they should have gone into their bedroom. Had Albrecht entered the apartment, and realized he was in the wrong one, he would have left. If he posed a real threat to their lives (which he didn't) then shoot away.

And Albrecht would still be alive had they followed that path. You're painting him to be a serial killer, which he absolutely was not.

Talk about misleading . . .

downtownlad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
downtownlad said...

My statement that far more people who are otherwise law-abiding own handguns in NYC, and far more than that own long guns or shotguns.

I doubt it. Have you ever been to New York City? I don't know one person who owns a gun.

Seven - You worked for the Bush Administration, which has fired close to 10,000 gay Americans just for being gay. That makes you complicit in those actions. And you oppose my right to marry. Nuff said.

Revenant said...

And Revenant's automatic assumption that being gay makes someone insecure, is yet another example of his anti-gay bigotry.

This must be more of that amazingly-high-IQ logic: "you claimed I am insecure, and I am gay, ergo you claimed that all gay people are insecure".

Would it be too snarky of me to point out that the DTL's belief that all criticism of him is based on his sexuality is yet another example of his insecurity?

downtownlad said...

Revenant,

The ONLY reason you despise me is because I am gay. Had I been a straight libertarian with an anti-war outlook, you would not even blink an eye.

I know this for a fact. I posted on Free Republic for well over a year and was very well received there. The instant I came out as gay, my id was banned within ten minutes.

I am not a moron. I was in the closet until quite late. I no how people perceived me, both before and after I came out.

That is why I call bullshit on the bigots who say that they do not care if I'm gay.

Gedaliya said...

Had Albrecht entered the apartment, and realized he was in the wrong one, he would have left. If he posed a real threat to their lives (which he didn't) then shoot away.

I guess superior intelligence confers upon the holder especially acute hindsight.

downtownlad said...

Hindsight Gedaliya?

He shot through the door for Christ's sake.

Sorry, but I could never fathom hearing my door shaking and just decide to randomly shoot through the door without even knowing who is behind it.

Is that how Texans think? Shoot first, think later?

Gedaliya said...

I doubt it. Have you ever been to New York City? I don't know one person who owns a gun.

Yes. I work in Manhattan, and have done so for many years. I live on Long Island. I know plenty of people who live in NYC who own guns, although most of the people I know who own guns live in Queens. In case you've forgotten, there are other boroughs in NYC.

BTW, because I said "Queens" doesn't mean I'm anti-gay.

downtownlad said...

Please provide some stats Gedaliya. I still don't believe you.

Gedaliya said...

Sorry, but I could never fathom hearing my door shaking and just decide to randomly shoot through the door without even knowing who is behind it.

You can't? Even if a crazed lunatic is trying to break it down? Now, I know I am not as intelligent as you are, but I sure can "fathom" a situation where I'd shoot through a door to stop a madman from entering my home.

downtownlad said...

Well here's an article claiming 2 million guns in New York, although that's an estimate, and it's from 1994, and Giuliani announced that he wanted to reduce that number.

I assume he was successful.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E06E5D6133DF937A25750C0A962958260

Fletch said...

dtl-

And sorry, but no self-respecting libertarian I know favors killing a stranger just because they are knocking loudly on your door.

Who made you the "god of Libertarian belief"?

You obviously don't even know any self-respecting gays!

In your world, their "gayness" means that they must march 100% in lockstep with a bitter little queen like you... (along with the other 97% of humanity)

Revenant said...

In the Albrecht case, they should have gone into their bedroom. Had Albrecht entered the apartment, and realized he was in the wrong one, he would have left.

So you are assuming:

(a): That the apartment had a bedroom and wasn't a studio (the article doesn't say),
(b): That the bedroom represented a good fallback position
(c): That a drunken maniac too blitzed to know what door he's kicking down would definitely have recognized the apartment, presumably from its furnishings, in the dark. And not, for example, tried breaking into the bedroom.

and finally

(d): That both the DA and the press missed all of these facts, leading the DA to mistakenly claim that the shooting would have been justified under the old law.

Fascinating. Evidence, please.

But of course, even if by some miracle you do manage to actually prove all of the above, the fact remains that your attempt to blame Albrecht's shooting on the castle doctrine was hogwash, because the *authorities* think that the shooting was legal under the old law, too -- and there's no evidence at all that the victims whose apartment was being broken into based the decision to shoot on the Castle law rather than on, oh, FEAR OF BEING KILLED.

Even if the Castle law wasn't on the books, and even if the DA had found that they could have retreated (which he didn't), Albrecht would still be dead. The only difference is that an innocent man would be going to jail for protecting himself and his wife from an intruder.

downtownlad said...

First off - I don't own a handgun, so I wouldn't have the option of shooting. And although I would like to have the right to own one, I'm not exactly chomping at the bit to get one. But assuming I did, I would do the following first.

1) Jump out one of the 15 windows in my apartment.

2) If somehow trapped in a room without a window, I would lock the door, turn off the lights, and go into a hiding position with my gun.

3) Upon seeing the intruder enter the room, I would identify if he was armed of not.

4) If he was not armed, I would point the gun at him, and use that leverage to other have him submit or leave the apartment. I would then call the police.

5) If he was armed, and I was trapped, and felt my life was in danger, I would shoot him.

Revenant said...

Well here's an article claiming 2 million guns in New York, although that's an estimate, and it's from 1994, and Giuliani announced that he wanted to reduce that number. I assume he was successful.

Note to self: when the value of a data point is crucial to my argument, go ahead and assume it is whichever value I need it to be. DTL would approve.

Gedaliya said...

Well here's an article claiming 2 million guns in New York, although that's an estimate, and it's from 1994, and Giuliani announced that he wanted to reduce that number.

Yes, I think he got 50,000 or so of those 2,000,000 off the streets.

Impressive.

downtownlad said...

Revenant - You're talking about a DA in Texas.

Why should I respect what a DA in Texas says?

Is this the same DA who authorized the break-in into the Lawrence household to arrest two guys for having sex.

Would you have felt ok if Lawrence had shot the cop when he walked into their room while they were having sex?

Seems like you would have thought that was hunky-dory. Not me. I don't think it's ok to kill cops, even if they happen to be anti-gay bigots.

downtownlad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fletch said...

dtl-

I went to one of the best colleges in the country and I'm extremely successful at my line of work. Does that work better for you?

Howdy! BTW, I'm Bill Gates-- "incognito"...

Does that work better for you?

Or, did I simply sound as pathetic as you did?

downtownlad said...

Bill Gates went to Harvard.

Didn't graduate, but still got in.

Bill Gates is a very smart man.

downtownlad said...

Well I've googled it and I can't find the gun ownership rate in New York City.

I have seen that permits for concealed carry in New York have dropped by 50% under Bloomberg.

And at least 70% of the illegal guns seized in New York are from out of state.

Revenant said...

The ONLY reason you despise me is because I am gay. Had I been a straight libertarian with an anti-war outlook, you would not even blink an eye.

I don't despise -- or even dislike -- any of the OTHER gay posters here, or any of my gay friends and relatives. And if you think I get along with anti-war libertarians, you're smoking crack. The pro/anti-war split in the libertarian community is deep and bitter.

The reason everyone dislikes you isn't that you're gay, DTL. It is that you, personally, are a jerk. You're paranoid, filled with a self-love that poorly conceals deep insecurities (which the psych minor in me is tempted to blame on your family hating you for being gay) and intellectually dishonest. You also keep calling yourself a libertarian despite obviously being a Democrat, which personally bugs me.

I would also fault you for falsely accusing me of being a murderous gay-basher, but I already covered that under "paranoid and insecure", above.

Maybe the problem is that you think we're using the plural "you" (as in "you homosexuals") when we say "you're paranoid and delusional". We're not. We mean "you" as in "downtownlad". You, personally, are the one with the problem. Normal gay people are fine, and probably pray that you'll shut the heck up and quit making them look bad by association.

The Drill SGT said...

DTL, your own statistics make our point

you say there are 8 million NYC residents that means 2-4 million households,

your article says:
"Although fewer than 64,000 New Yorkers have valid city firearms permits, the police estimate that up to two million guns are in circulation in the city. "

so that is 1 gun for every 2-4 households.

so NYC crime is low, lots of guns, severe penalties for gun crimes.

maybe it's not lack of guns or strict gun possession laws that lowers murders, but rather harsh gun crime penalties?

Gedaliya said...

And at least 70% of the illegal guns seized in New York are from out of state.

You mean were purchased out of state, right? Does this surprise you?
I mean, you're a smart guy. People want guns to protect themselves against criminals. It is hard to buy a gun in NYC, so some go out-of-state to purchase one. Wouldn't you expect this to be the case?

Also, let's be clear here, there are far more guns in NYC (your own figures say 2,0000,000) than there are gun permits. Most of those guns are owned by otherwise law-abiding citizens. Those people don't have their guns seized. Most of the seized guns were taken from people who were committing criminal acts, not those whose guns are used for self-defense or sport.

Bruce Hayden said...

Probably vainly trying to get the conversation away from sexual orientation...

After reading a bit of this thread, I was in the library, and found a book that indirectly pointed out a different interpretation of the term "bear arms", and indeed, probably keeping them too. It was a book on British armory, which is the branch of heraldry concerning coats of arms, etc. That definition of bearing arms now, and likely at the founding of this country, means the legal right to (bear) a certain coat of arms. Likely from a far more distant time when the coats of arms were actually functional and born in combat.

I do not expect that our founding fathers were using the term in that way, nor that they were trying to protect our rights to keep shields around the house bearing our families' coats of arms (which my ancestors who fought in the Revolution didn't have the right to anyway, since they were second and third sons of second and third sons, which is why they were here in the first place).

Not quite relevant, but still a different definition of bearing arms that was in common usage back then.

Bruce Hayden said...

Most of those guns are owned by otherwise law-abiding citizens. Those people don't have their guns seized. Most of the seized guns were taken from people who were committing criminal acts, not those whose guns are used for self-defense or sport.

Wasn't it Bernard Getz who shot some African-Americans he thought were threatening him in the subway, and ended up getting prosecuted for owning the gun? Somehwere around 1987 I think.

downtownlad said...

Drill Sgt - Your math is wrong. First, the 2 million number is probably exagerated. Second, guns are not even distributed. People who own guns are likely to own more than one gun, or many guns for that matter.

I think the gun ownership rate in York is less than 5%. Trying to google it and I can't find the stats, but I'd be surprised if it is much different than that. Sorry, but if you look at the New York demographics, redneck hunters are not a big percentage of the population.

Revenant - Your statement of "normal gays" vs. your implied "abnormal gays" is yet further proof of your anti-gay bigotry. And you don't have gay friends. Please don't take us for idiots.

downtownlad said...

Here's an article that proves my point.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/23/health/23cons.html?ex=1189224000&en=b079a8cbe07dd0aa&ei=5070

Fletch said...

dtl-

Bill Gates went to Harvard.

Didn't graduate, but still got in.

Duh!

While you did happen to mention "attending" a "bestest college" and "being successful"... you didn't ever actually say anything about "graduation" or "degrees"...

I was merely being "generous" in my 'comparison' to what I assumed was a 'similar academic profile'... :o)

Gedaliya said...

Here's an article that proves my point.

Did you read the article? It goes on to say this:

The researchers said they could not prove that the guns caused the increase in homicides

Einstein...how, exactly, does this article prove your point?

downtownlad said...

Because my point was that places that have higher gun ownership are the places that have a higher homicide rate.

I was not arguing cause and effect.

downtownlad said...

Gedaliya - Please find out the gun ownership rate in New York City.

I'm curious and I can't find it on the web.

former law student said...

I don't know. The fewer gun owners, the lower the gun homicide rate? Unless you live in DC. Or South Dakota. Or NYS. Or Wyoming. Or Illinois. Or Idaho.
State %GO GH/100,000
1. Wyoming 59.7 2.81
2. Alaska 57.8 4.70
3. South Dak 56.6 0.56
4. W Virginia 55.4 3.17
5. Mississippi 55.3 10.24
6. Idaho 55.3 2.83
7. Arkansas 55.3 6.97

1. DC 3.8 57.52
2. Hawaii 8.7 1.81
3. NJ 12.3 3.33
4. Mass 12.6 1.89
5. Rhode Isl. 12.8 1.84
6. NY 18 5.64
7. Illinois 20.2 8.90

downtownlad said...

Former law student - Can you provide handgun rates. I don't believe the 3.7% gun ownership rate in DC either.

Revenant said...

The numbers since 1993, if anything, have the moved in the pro-gun control direction. That's when New York City saw it's biggest drop.

The country as a whole saw both a drop in the crime rate and a general reduction in gun control laws during the 1990s. New York had draconian anti-gun laws for decades prior to that and the murder rate kept climbing. Crediting the gun control laws with the drop in crime makes no sense. What changed was the enforcement -- the police started going after *criminals* more vigorously, using any means available. That's what the Left gives Rudy so much grief for.

By the way, your earlier point about 70% of seized guns being from out-of-state actually undermines your argument, if you'd stop and think for a minute -- that means that New York experienced a sharp drop in crime despite the fact that most criminals were buying their guns from places with law gun control laws. How is that an example of gun control reducing crime? That's an example of crime being reduced in spite of the fact that local gun control laws failed to prevent criminals from getting guns!

It is also a bit silly to use New York as an example of how gun control works while ignoring the fact that DC has even harsher anti-gun laws and is regularly in the top five for most murders per capita. When two cities with similar gun bans end up with such wildly different results, the smart money says that the gun bans aren't a leading cause of those results.

Bruce Hayden said...

The problem with the assumption that low gun ownership equals low gun violence, and visa versa, runs into the problem of which is the causation and correlation, and, indeed, which is the cause and which is the effect.

As someone pointed out, the states with the lowest gun violence also happen to be the whitest (including Asian) states, whereas those with a lot of gun violence and gun ownership tend to have large non-Asian minority, esp. Black, populations.

And, indeed, if you look at the different areas in many of the states that have higher gun violence rates, you will likely notice that the minority areas are the ones with the higher gun violence rates.

Indeed, here in Colorado, the most dangerous areas are Denver and some of the inner suburbs. And, yes, Denver has the strictest gun laws. But even within Denver, you have safe areas and very dangerous areas, and what you find in the dangerous areas is essentially a lot of gang violence and minority on minority crime. Indeed, much of the overall violence is young minority males shooting each other (and often gang related).

Which gets me to the causation problem. Do the guns cause the violence, or does the violence cause the guns? I would suggest the later, but would accept mere correlation.

In any case, my family all live in very safe suburban locations, far from inner city violence. In my father's suburb, they use sheriff's deputies in their sheriff's SUVs as their rent-a-cops, so there is always a nice police presence there. So, no surprise, they cannot fathom why anyone would need to own a gun for self protection. None have ever been threatened with a gun, or really known anyone who was. So, no surprise that they don't own guns.

Contrast this with many high crime minority areas. There, many of the law abiding citizens own guns for their own protection. They have often faced gun violence, or at least know people who have. Indeed, one of the scarier things is to hear people talk about training their kids to hide in the bathtubs when they hear guns going off in the perennial drive bys.

So, my vote is that gun ownership among the law abiding goes up in relation to gun violence encountered, and that the gun ownership is the dependent variable, not the forcing one.

Bruce Hayden said...

Looking at it from another direction, even if we were to assume that higher gun ownership caused higher gun violence (which I think is highly debatable), there is the problem that by denying law abiding citizens guns for their own protection, you are sacrificing their individual safety for the safety of the people in general.

This to some extent parallels the community rights versus individual rights arguments we saw above and that has driven the 2nd Amdt. jurisprudence.

The first enumerated natural right listed in the Declaration of Independence is "life". It is listed first, because without it, none of the other natural rights have meaning.

So, I would argue that depriving someone of the ability to protect their own life and the lives of their loved ones, in the name of increasing the protection of lives overall is a potential deprivation of this natural right. In other words, the natural right of self defense trumps any state interest in protecting the people in general.

lee david said...

Mr. House

Thanks for your reply.
You said:
this entire matter had to be a hot button topic...who was it, James II who wouldn't allow protestants to own arms? ... and less than a century before. with only a few percent of the population allowed to own a gun for any reason, militia or hunting, and no police force that lesson clearly wasn't lost on the colonials who were very conscious of the potential to elect a king instead of a president.

Yes, it was James II. And 95% of the population were forbidden arms on the basis of their protestant religion. So you have two sources of concern rolled into one from that time. The religion question got taken care of with the first amendment and it looks like the Quakers wanted something about conscientious objection from the wording of the first drafts of the second.

The amount of reading that I have done on the period of the founding is small compared to some here but what I have done leads me to think that the fears of the possible consequences of a new form of government were in the following order, and as such drove the deliberations to the conclusions that are found in the constitution.

1. Fear of the curtailment of individual liberty of conscience.
After all, many had come to escape religious persecution in the first place. The first amendment addressed this as well as free speech and freedom of the press etc. This is also tied up with the fear of monarchy because of the aspect of the King as head of the only sanctioned church in England.

2. Fear of hereditary monarchy for many obvious reasons.

3. Fear of too strong a central government.

The states had operating legislatures and legal systems in place and the thought of being dictated to from any central government, and one much closer than England at that, gave them pause. The compromise that placed the Capitol in the DC was born of the fear that one section of the country and its economic interests would have an upper hand just because of location.

3. The fear that any central government would devolve into a monarchy with all of its attendant ills.
There was much hue and cry over even the suspicion that state protocol was acquiring the "trappings" of monarchy.

There was no model for this government other than the classical democracies of Greece and Rome and no one really knew just what to expect. The things they knew for sure were what they didn't want and knew them from hard experience.

The one thing that they did know for sure was that one of the ways to freedom from an oppressive central government was armed revolt. Given the sectional tensions between the mercantile and agricultural factions none of them were going to cede the exclusive force of arms to any central government. The one thing that would deter a tyrannical government from evolving would be an armed citizenry. I believe that the framers feared having no recourse to tyranny as much as anything and the second amendment insured that recourse. By the same token the right of the individual to keep and bear arms would be just as necessary to deter the tyranny of any one of his several states as well as the federal government.

To me, the idea that the right to keep and bear arms is not an individual right is a real stretch that would have been laughable to the signatories of the constitution who had just seen their friends and neighbors, many with their own weapons, fight and give their lives in some cases to secure release from the tyranny of the English monarch.

On the subject of the right of self defense. The colonies were already operating under English common law in which the right of self defense had long been recognized. I believe that this was so well understood that any specific mention of it would have seemed superfluous. Without this right, you can not truly be an individual at liberty. Without the right of self defense an individual is at the mercy of tyrannies small and large.

Gahrie said...

I'm willing to bet that at least 90% of the Founding Fathers owned firearms, both pistols and long guns.

There is a reason the right to own weapons was placed in the Bill of Rights. There is also a reason it was placed second, because the Founders understood that the right to bear arms guranteed the rights contained in the First Amendment.

If the right to bear arms was intended to be a collective right associated with membership in the militia, surely it would have been included in Article I Section 8 that actually deals with Congress's powers to organize, regulate and maintain the militia.

lee david said...

Yea Gharie,

There would have been documentation of the government ordering them to be locked up in armories after the ratification if it wasn't an individual right. That there is not a whisper of such a thing is telling.

hdhouse said...

lee david and gahrie..

lee, first of all, your comment above is lucid and makes great sense to me and gahrie's observation about placement into Article 1, which indeed where it was first to be placed.

however, it was to be placed in the capital P People generally section. the discussion surrounding it was that if the federal government ran amuck the state militias could arm themselves and in superior numbers to what the feds could muster thus making them individually and collectively safe from an occupying standing army....historically this also links to that provision about civilians not having to house soldiers.

let me think about this some in the morning. its late and i just got in.

Gahrie said...

If the right to bear arms was intended to allow the States to protect themselves from the Federal government, it would have been included in Article Four, or as the Tenth Amendment, coming immediately after and guranteeing the current Tenth Amendment, or have been included in the current Tenth Amendment.

Remember, the Founders argued for days over word choice and grammar. The Constution was a precise document. The placement of the Second Amendment is not an accident or chance.

hdhouse said...

Gahrie..

If you rememeber all of the bill of rights had a place in the original 8 articles. the 2nd was to be inserted in Article 1, section 9. an interesting choice.

If you note an earlier post on here of the variations of the 2nd from start to final I quite agree that there was a lot of hair splitting but don't loose track of the basis for such language, which was that a state controlled militia was the best defense against the imposition of unjust laws by force.

Fen said...

"A well-educated Congress, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed"

Nothing in there about a public library.

Fen said...

The reason everyone dislikes you isn't that you're gay, DTL. It is that you, personally, are a jerk. You're paranoid, filled with a self-love that poorly conceals deep insecurities (which the psych minor in me is tempted to blame on your family hating you for being gay) and intellectually dishonest.

Not only that, you are "militant" gay, almost a parody, and your venom on homosexual topics is destructive to the homosexual movement. I've been swayed toward homosexual rights by other gay posters on this board. You, on the other hand, represent them poorly and merely reinforce negative stereotypes of gays. Your cause would be best served if you just shut up and let more reasonable gays argue on your behalf.

hdhouse said...

Lee David said: "I believe that the framers feared having no recourse to tyranny as much as anything and the second amendment insured that recourse."

WELL SAID. I think our only point of disagreement rests in the original plan of inserting this amendment language in 1./9. in with habeas, perhaps the key right of citizens to redress...

It occurs to me that the placement intended wasn't in 1/8 where militias are but in this area where the defense of the rights of People against the central government exists.

This takes some thought.

Fen said...

Why would they commit the right to militias, when every other article in the Bill of Rights applies to the people?

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