USSC Landmark Case will decide if we still have our Republic

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Linnea
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USSC Landmark Case will decide if we still have our Republic

Post by Linnea » 03-18-2008 11:36 AM

from CNN:

Supreme Court considers 'right to bear arms'

Landmark case on D.C. ban expected to have major ramifications

'WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court began hearing arguments Tuesday in a landmark legal battle over gun rights, taking up for the first time in decades whether Americans have the right to keep and bear arms.

In a major case over the meaning of the Second Amendment, a Washington security guard who wants to keep handguns at home for protection is challenging the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban as a violation of his constitutional rights. A federal appeals court in Washington agreed that the city cannot ban handguns.'

'A line to get into the court for the historic arguments began forming two days earlier and extended more than a block by early Tuesday.

The court has not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment in the 216 years since its ratification. The basic issue for the justices is whether the amendment protects an individual's right to own guns or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia.'

'The court's ruling, expected by the end of June, could have a far-reaching impact on gun-control laws in the United States and could become an issue in the November election.

The 27 words and three enigmatic commas of the Second Amendment have been analyzed again and again by legal scholars, but hardly at all by the Supreme Court.

The amendment reads: "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." -

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23688073/

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Post by SETIsLady » 03-18-2008 11:54 AM

I have been watching this closely. Here is a live stream of the arguments being in the Supreme Court. Its audio only so it should be easier to stream.

http://www.cnn.com/video/live/live.html?stream=stream2

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Post by Shirleypal » 03-18-2008 03:00 PM

The amendment reads: "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 keywords here is "the right of the people", seems to me people means more then just the "militia"

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Post by joequinn » 03-18-2008 03:09 PM

Hey, if they can trash the Second Amendment, then the First ain't much of problem then, huh?

And the people want it! Oh yes, they do!
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Post by ibme » 03-18-2008 06:11 PM

Right to bear arms my a$$. I have never owned a gun. My neighborhood has a really high crime rate. If you told me that it was illegal to own a gun to protect myself, I'd be angry.

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Post by IvyQ » 03-18-2008 06:32 PM

well... i just bought me my first pistol... i'm armed and i'm ready. this world isn't getting much better and i feel safer being single and living alone!

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Post by Psychicwolf » 03-18-2008 09:39 PM

It's gonna come down to where SCOTUS puts the comma.:cool:

“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 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America as passed by Congress. The above version is currently on the books.

“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 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. This version, with different capitalization and two fewer commas, was the version sent to the states that ratified the amendments.
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Post by SETIsLady » 03-19-2008 08:27 AM

Justices Agree on Right to Own Guns

A majority of the Supreme Court indicated a readiness yesterday to settle decades of constitutional debate over the meaning of the Second Amendment by declaring that it provides an individual right to own a gun for self-defense.

Such a finding could doom the District of Columbia's ban on private handgun possession, the country's toughest gun-control law, and significantly change the tone and direction of the nation's political battles over gun control.

During oral arguments that drew spectators who had waited for days to be in the courtroom, there was far more skepticism among the justices about the constitutionality of the District's ban on private handgun possession than defense of it.

Justices balanced the commands of a Constitution written more than 200 years ago with the modern-day questions presented by a gun ban that, it was argued, either prevents the law-abiding from a means of self-protection or keeps more guns off the streets of the nation's capital.

The court seemed swept up in the historic nature of its endeavor, examining a part of the Constitution that most believe has never been clearly defined. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. encouraged the lawyers to keep talking well beyond the scheduled 75 minutes.

For all the references to Lord Blackstone and the English Bill of Rights and the Framers' intent, Roberts was succinct in describing how he might view the District's arguments that its gun law is reasonable.

"What's reasonable about a total ban on possession?" he asked Washington lawyer Walter E. Dellinger III, who represented the city.

The clauses of the Second Amendment -- "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" -- have long vexed constitutional scholars. The Supreme Court's last major ruling on the subject, in 1939, stressed the militia-related aspects of the provision.

Roberts quickly signaled his disagreement. "If it is limited to state militias, why would they say 'the right of the people'?" he asked.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, often the deciding vote on the divided court, was next. "In my view," he said, "there's a general right to bear arms quite without reference to the militia either way."

Kennedy expressed, at least three times during the argument, his disbelief that the Framers had not been also concerned about the ability of "the remote settler to defend himself and his family against hostile Indian tribes and outlaws, wolves and bears and grizzlies and things like that."

Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel A. Alito Jr. also lent support to the individual interpretation. Justice Clarence Thomas was silent during the arguments, as is his custom, but has previously expressed such a view.

From the District's point of view, deciding there is an individual right would be answering only half the question. Dellinger argued that it is reasonable for the city to ban the "uniquely dangerous" handgun, which "can be taken into schools, into buses, into government office buildings, and that is the particular danger it poses in a densely populated urban area."

The D.C. law, passed in 1976 shortly after residents received the right to govern themselves, also requires that rifles and shotguns kept in private homes be unloaded and disassembled or outfitted with a trigger lock.

Those challenging the law disagree with the District's contention that it provides residents with access to a firearm for self-defense purposes. Several justices agreed.

"How could the District code provision survive under any standard of review where they totally ban the possession of the type of weapon that's most commonly used for self-defense?" Alito asked.

The more liberal justices were most sympathetic to the city. Justice John Paul Stevens repeatedly said that only two states at the time of the framing of the Constitution had individual-right guarantees, and most mentioned the need for guns to provide a "common defense."

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted that even Lord Blackstone had said gun rights were subject to law and, thus, to restrictions. Justice Stephen G. Breyer was the most aggressive in making the case that local governments may have leeway in restricting gun ownership, based on their own circumstances.

"Is it unreasonable for a city with that high crime rate to say, 'no guns here?' " Breyer asked Alan Gura, the Alexandria-based attorney for security guard Dick Anthony Heller's suit against the city. Before Gura could answer, Scalia interjected, "You want to say yes."

While Gura said it is unreasonable, he conceded that governments could ban ownership of some weapons. Machine guns could be one category, he said, and "plastic" handguns manufactured to escape detection. He said that certain individuals, such as felons, could be banned from gun ownership, and agreed that some licensing of gun ownership would pass constitutional muster.

He hesitated on a question from Stevens: "How about a state university wants to ban students having arms in the dormitory?" "It's something that might be doable, but again, that's so far from what we have here," Gura finally answered. "We have here a ban on all guns, for all people, in all homes, at all times in the nation's capital."

One of the most intriguing aspects of the case has been the position of the Bush administration. Solicitor General Paul D. Clement in a brief urged the court to accept the individual-rights view, but he also said the opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit striking down the city's law was too broad.

It held that since handguns can be defined as "arms" under the Second Amendment, they cannot be banned. Clement said such "strict scrutiny" could undermine a host of federal gun-control legislation, including restrictions on machine guns.

His suggestion that the case be sent back to lower courts for more work enraged gun rights advocates, who felt betrayed, and set off a split in the Bush administration when Vice President Cheney joined a brief rebutting the government's position.

Clement did not back down yesterday. He said it would make a "world of difference" to the viability of federal gun control if government restrictions on gun ownership did not have to meet the strictest constitutional standards.

Roberts said finding the standard by which to review all government gun regulations may not be necessary in deciding the constitutionality of the District's law.

Clement said any ruling narrower than that of the appeals court would be welcome.

The case is District of Columbia v. Heller, and will be decided before the court adjourns in late June.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 54_pf.html

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Post by SquidInk » 03-19-2008 09:34 AM

Psychicwolf wrote: It's gonna come down to where SCOTUS puts the comma.:cool:


Exactly right! However, they if they (the entire government, including SCOTUS) are determined to move the comma, WE MUST MAKE THEM DO SO IN A LEGAL MANNER, it's not within the scope of SCOTUS to move commas.

However, it hardly matters how the decisions come down. Political mechanisms alone cannot ensure liberty or justice. It is the knowledge that any invasion of liberty will always be met with hard resistance from men and women determined to repulse it - by any means possible- which is the only true safeguard we have. If the people have lost the general will to repulse such transgressions, it doesn't matter if we have the "right". If we had the will, we wouldn't be discussing the right, because all parties involved would understand that the defense of freedom (on any scale) is not dependent on legal minutia, or guns.
Last edited by SquidInk on 03-19-2008 10:29 AM, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Cherry Kelly » 03-19-2008 10:34 AM

and DC is one of the highest crime areas -- why - because "only the criminals have guns"

---
Glad I own guns and always have, always will. The right to carry as well. BUT with all gun owners - I fully believe in not just the right to own, possess or carry (especially in some places) I also believe in knowing how to use and care for your guns (rifles). Proficiency!

What good is an unloaded and unassembled gun/rifle? YES safety especially in a home with children, but by the time the person could put the gun/rifle together to arm against intruders -- too late. Funny thing - when I was growing up many homes had loaded guns and children knew better than to even touch them without a parent being there. We had kids driving their pickups to school (and cars) with loaded rifles in racks. Even had rifle clubs in schools. Didn't have any school shootings or drive bys or things like that going on....

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Post by SETIsLady » 03-19-2008 10:43 AM

I passed my concealed weapons class a couple of months back and carry on my person everytime I leave the house.

Criminals will always get the guns whether there is a law in plac or not.

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Post by Cynthia Lynn » 03-19-2008 10:55 AM

I'm with the Conservatives on this one.

A fully-armed citizenry may be our only salvation, and that's a sad commentary on the state of affairs in our country these days.

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Post by Biker » 03-19-2008 11:11 AM

SETIsLady wrote: I passed my concealed weapons class a couple of months back and carry on my person everytime I leave the house.

Criminals will always get the guns whether there is a law in plac or not.


I've been carrying since God was a boy, Miss Lady.

If you don't mind me asking, what do you carry and how?

My main carry piece is a Taurus 450 (.45 Long Colt snubbie) on my left ankle, although I sometimes carry a Glock 23 in a shoulder holster or an AMT .380 in various locations on my person.

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Post by SETIsLady » 03-19-2008 11:24 AM

Biker wrote: If you don't mind me asking, what do you carry and how?
Don't mind at all.

I carry a Smith and Wesson .38 special with a laser. My hubby carries a Custome 9 mm Beretta. Hubby just bought another Beretta, but for the life of me I can't remember what it is, when he gets home I will tell you, its a brand new model.

I carry mine in my purse. I bought a revolver holder with a clip on the outside, just like you would clip to a belt. But what I do is clip it to the pocket inside my purse, this keeps the gun upright in my purse, so I don't have to fumble for it. You know how womans purses can be..LOL

He carries his under his clothes, of course you know with the concealed weapons permit you have to conceal the gun so he wears big shirts to cover it up.

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Post by Biker » 03-19-2008 11:40 AM

SETIsLady wrote: Don't mind at all.

I carry a Smith and Wesson .38 special with a laser. My hubby carries a Customer 9 mm Beretta. Hubby just bought another Beretta, but for the life of me I can't remember what it is, when he gets home I will tell you, its a brand new model.

I carry mine in my purse. I bought a resolver holder with a clip on the outside, just like you would clip to a belt. But what I do is clip it to the pocket inside my purse, this keeps the gun upright in my purse, so I don't have to fumble for it. You know how womans purses can be..LOL

He carries his under his clothes, of course you know with the concealed weapons permit you have to conceal the gun so he wears big shirts to cover it up.


Great setup for you. That little Smith snubbie has served us well for many years. Is it a 640? I plan on getting one in stainless with a shrouded hammer. Great pocket gun.

Have you worked much with the laser?

I have no experience with them but some folks I know swear by the things.

In Idaho, a permit is not needed for 'open carry', but I do my best to keep my stuff covered anyway.

Concealed means concealed.

Biker
"Bring me my broadsword and clear understanding".

Ian Anderson

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