March 16, 2009

"The Heller case is a landmark decision that has not changed very much at all."

Adam Liptak wants you to know that the Supreme Court's gun rights case was pretty much nothing more than an academic exercise.


The Drill SGT said...

That was a huge strawman that he knocked down...The courts have upheld federal laws banning gun ownership by people convicted of felonies and some misdemeanors, by illegal aliens and by drug addicts. They have upheld laws banning machine guns and sawed-off shotguns. They have upheld laws making it illegal to carry guns near schools or in post offices. And they have upheld laws concerning concealed and unregistered weapons.

How many NRA members (Heller supporters all) have an issue with any of these actions?

Jack Wayne said...

No ripples? Many communities across America have changed their gun control laws. And Chicago and others are facing cases filed by the NRA.

But it is the lying, dying NYT we're discussing here.

PeteDrum said...

Do you suppose it might make it more difficult to write new laws intended to confiscate defensive firearms from law-abiding citizens.

MadisonMan said...

Many communities across America have changed their gun control laws.

Since Heller? Really? I admit to not paying attentiom, really, to this topic, but I think I would've heard something about it.

Kylos said...

Chicago suburbs Wilmette and Morton Grove overturned their bans almost instantly. I believe Evanston followed suit shortly. Chicago is of interest because it has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, of the sort that would be illegal under Heller. I doubt it's gotten much play in many media outlets, but, yes, laws have changed.

MadisonMan said...


Richard Fagin said...

Madison, you probably didn't hear about the states that passed "right to carry" laws not turning into wild west shooting galleries, either.

If it doesn't support the narrative, it doesn't exist.

Host with the Most said...

Adam Liptak wants you to know that the Supreme Court's gun rights case was pretty much nothing more than an academic exercise.

I want you to know that reading Adam Liptak and the New York Times is pretty much nothing more than an academic exercise in leftist propaganda.

One can actually become more stupid about an issue by referring only to the New York Times

Kylos said...

I just noticed that the D.C Metro Police for the purposes of listing unapproved guns now define machine guns as:

any firearm which shoots, is designed to
shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than
one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trig-

However, the D.C code still seems to contain the following nonsensical definition of a machine gun:

§ 7-2501.01.10
"Machine gun" means any firearm which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily converted or restored to shoot:
(b) Semiautomatically, more than 12 shots without manual reloading.

... which effectively eliminates almost all handguns other than revolvers, since one could ostensibly obtain or modify a large capacity magazine (no matter how impractical) for any non-revolving semi-auto pistol. Since home-defense requires the ability to repeatedly fire at an assailant, and since it can be difficult to reload a revolver, especially in the middle of an invasion at night, this restriction is not in accordance with the Heller decision, which stipulated that gun laws should not hinder an individual in the defense of their life and property.

Kylos said...

If the D.C code link doesn't work, you can manually access § 7-2501.01.10 of the D.C code by following Division 1, Title 7, subtitle J, chapter 25, unit A, subchapter 1.

al said...

They have upheld laws making it illegal to carry guns near schools or in post offices.

Say it's illegal to carry within a 1000 feet of a school. Now say you live 600 feet from a school. Your permit to carry concealed is useless when you take your dog for a walk.

Why should legal carry be forbidden in a post office? Bad things happen to good people everywhere.

As for machine guns - I don't want them banned as I want to buy one. :)

I wouldn't necessarily equate NRA members to Heller supporters. Some feel it didn't go far enough while some would give up handguns/EBRs/etc as long as they get to keep their expensive OU shotguns.

Peter V. Bella said...

It isa obvious that Liptak has not read the decision. It is painfully obvious that others cited have not read the decision.

These people should be forced into remedial reading classes.

Trooper York said...

I thought Adam Liptak was the gay kid who is going to win American Idol?

Who knew he could write so well and knew so much about the Law.

Hey maybe if he loses Idol to the red heaaded Mexican Chick, he can replace Souter in the gay seat on the Court.

I mean it is not as good as being the American Idol but it is something.

TMink said...

After reading Althouse's post I formed the question "Is the dude just saying that because he wishes it were so, or has he got a point?" So I clicked the link, saw the NYT site, and I had my answer.

It was nice, think of the time I saved in reading the article!


m00se said...

What's also painfully clear is that the gun owning public is not deriving any comfort from the Heller decision. Sales are out of sight for guns and ammunition. Shortages are hitting most stores in the US for both. Clearly there is stockpiling going on in anticipation of some sort of ban.

One of the more insteresting moves by the government is the banning of sale of used military brass (cases). These are usually purchased by the reloading manufacturers who reload them for the public market. The government recently stopped selling them in reloadable condition, meaning they crush them first. This is interesting as on the open market they government can get $2 a pound for the reloadable brass, but only $.35 a pound for the crushed cases.

In addition, there are multiple bills pending right now which mandate that all ammunition would have to be marked/serialized so that all ammunition is traceble. This is painfully reminicent of the "smart guns" laws that went no where but to make guns unaffordable and unusable.

I foresee more of these back door laws coming to light as legislators struggle to find ways ot ban guns will circumventing Heller...

former law student said...

Trooper: "Liptak" is a soft, spreadable cheese. I thought everyone knew that. Or else it's a hoity toity intellectual snob.

From reading the gun case posts at volokh, I agree with the headline, but not with Prof. A's characterization of the column, nor with Sandy Levinson's conclusion.

veni vidi vici said...

Adam ought to stick a tack in his lip if he's got nothing interesting to say.

Bruce Hayden said...

Looks to me like a lot of wishful thinking. And what they have going against them is that the trend is flowing the other way at the Supreme Court, and probably a lot of the federal appeals courts.

So, while Heller may not have made much of a difference yet, it is likely to in the future. And the odds of the High Court buying into one of their alternative incorporation doctrines is not all that great.

Your Correspondent said...

One would have thought the occasion of the Supremos reading the Constitution back to us more or less accurately would have brought dancing on both sides of the street.
Guess not.

Steven said...

Anybody have a study of how much practical effect Brown v. Board of Education had a mere nine months after the decision came down?

Kirk Parker said...

Your Correspondent,

Your presumption assumes both sides want the plain meaning of the Constitution to prevail, their personal policy preferences be damned. This is clearly not the case in general, though with some notable, honorable exceptions (the quoted Sanford Levinson being a prominent example.)

traditionalguy said...

The Word of Soros' Party for NYT press release is that there is no real Second Amendment to complain about losing when next year's Omama/Pelosi appointees start to bury it into a memory hole with a Living Tyranny interpretation on 5 to 4 votes. They plan to win!

Pastafarian said...

Actually, I'm inclined to agree with Liptak's main point: This Heller case didn't really do much, and I don't think that it will be applied in the future to protect Second Amendment rights.

Obama will tax weapons and ammunition to such a degree that they'll be unobtainable to all but a few. That's why there's a run on guns and ammo right now -- we all see this coming.

Perhaps one of the many lawyers here can explain this to me: We can't tax a church, because that would interfere with someone's First Amendment rights; but we can tax guns and ammo, without violating their Second Amendment rights. Why is that?

So Obama will first weaken the armed citizenry, by depriving them of ammo for a few years, and Heller won't be applied to stop him (how could it be, when taxation of guns and ammo is already considered kosher?). Then they'll use a school shooting as an excuse to start rounding up weapons, probably during the first half of Obama's third term.

By then, Obama will have appointed 2 or 3 hyper-partisans to SCOTUS, and Heller won't be worth a hill of beans.

I like the irony of using a school shooting as the impetus for mass confiscation -- since the only reason that school shootings happen is the fact that they're "gun-free zones", meaning that maniacs know they won't receive any return fire. Same goes for post offices and churches.

But don't mind me -- I'm just one of those paranoid knuckle-draggers who called Obama a socialist before the election. Fortunately, Althouse set me straight -- he's really a closet conservative.

Pastafarian said...

And bear in mind what might have happened had Heller gone the other way -- it would have mobilized and motivated tens of millions of gun owners just a few months before the election.

Heller made it safe for soft-headed RINOs to vote for Obama and assuage their white guilt.

If Obama accomplishes all that I think he'd like to, our descendants won't be citizens, they'll be subjects; and they'll look back at the Heller decision as the beginning of the end of individual liberty.

Happy Monday, everybody!

Elmer Stoup said...

Would appreciate Ann reminding us why she voted for Pres. Obama.

The Drill SGT said...

Elmer Stoup said...
Would appreciate Ann reminding us why she voted for Pres. Obama.

As I recall, it was some combination of:

1. He's pragmatic and won't really do the things as President that he promised in the primaries.

2. He'll change Washington and be bi-partisan. Govern from the center.

3. McCain is scary on the Economy. Obama is cool and calm.

4. Obama is hotter.