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They are going to review the DC case that struck down the law banning handguns in the city. This makes me nervous, wish they ahd just let it stand.
 

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According to the newscaster, it could have broad implications nationwide. He stated that the Supremes were going to rule on the Washington case but it would apply all over the US.

Of course, the newscaster is not always accurate about what they are reporting, but it scares me, too. There are too many liberals defining my rights.
 

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November 20, 2007

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Firearms Industry Applauds Supreme Court
Decision to Hear Second Amendment Case
NEWTOWN, Conn. -- The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) -- the trade association of the firearms industry -- applauded the decision by the United States Supreme Court to determine authoritatively whether the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides an individual right to keep and bear arms.

The U.S. Supreme Court granted a review of a decision from March by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in Parker, et al., v. District of Columbia (Circuit docket 04-7041) -- a case that upheld the striking down of the District's ban on private ownership of handguns while asserting that the Second Amendment provides an individual right to keep and bear arms. The case is now known as District of Columbia v. Heller. The mayor of Washington, D.C., Adrian M. Fenty, filed the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, setting the stage for the high court to rule. According to FBI statistics, Washington D.C., with its gun ban, ranks as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States and maintains one of the highest per-capita murder rates in the country.

"The firearms industry looks forward to the Supreme Court putting to rest the specious argument that the Second Amendment is not an individual right," said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. "This intellectually bankrupt and feeble argument has been used by gun control advocates to justify laws and regulations that deny Americans their civil right to own and lawfully use firearms for protection, hunting, sports shooting and other lawful purposes.

"The firearms and ammunition industry is unique in that our products are the means through which the Second Amendment right is realized," continued Keane. "If there were no firearms and ammunition manufacturers, than the Second Amendment becomes an illusory right."

While the Heller case will be the first time since 1939 that the Supreme Court has addressed the Second Amendment (U.S. v. Miller), the nation's leading historians, legal scholars and constitutional experts are on record as having concluded that the Second Amendment provides an individual right. Such renowned scholars as Lawrence Tribe of Harvard, Akhil Reed Amar of Yale, William Van Alstyne of Duke and Sanford Levinson of the University of Texas have been vocal in their assertion that the Second Amendment secures an individual right to keep and bear arms.

"The government has powers, not rights," added Keane. "The contention that the Second Amendment is a collective right of the government is completely without merit."

BACKGROUND:
In March, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, in striking down the District's gun ban, held in Parker, et al., v. District of Columbia that "The phrase 'the right of the people' . . . leads us to conclude that the right in question is individual." This was the second time in recent history that a federal circuit court upheld the longstanding belief that the Second Amendment was an individual right. In 2001, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in the case of U.S. v. Emerson that "All of the evidence indicates that the Second Amendment, like other parts of the Bill of Rights, applies to and protects individual Americans."

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From the Law Blog of the Wall Street Journal:

The Second Amendment Case A Q&A
The Second Amendment isn't typical Law Blog fare, but neither are turkey and stuffing. And with the day's big news the Supreme Court's decision to review a D.C. Circuit handgun law case, we decided to step into this always-controversial fray with a good Q&A.

We connected with Meir (pronounced like "mayor") Feder, head of the "issues and appeals" practice at Jones Day in New York. Meir, it turns out, was a judge last month on a moot court on this very case conducted by the Office of the Appellate Defender in NYC. (Background fyi, pretty fancy: Columbia, Harvard Law, ninth and Scotus clerkships, Wachtell, Southern District, Jones Day)

Most everyone comes to the issue of gun control with an opinion. For starters, what's yours?

Poltiically, I'm sympathetic to some sort of gun control legislation. But the traditional pro-gun-control view that the Second Amendment doesn't really create any potential problems for gun-control laws seems like it gives too little weight to the Second Amendment.

The Supreme Court hasn't directly ruled on individual rights under the Second Amendment since 1939. Why you think the Court was willing to give a look?

This is the first case that actually struck down a gun control law. Though a few prior cases have suggested that gun control laws could be vulnerable to being struck down, none had actually invalidated one. Other courts have upheld gun control laws. So when the D.C. Circuit struck down the Washington, D.C. law, that created a split. And that's what the Supreme Court does - resolve splits.

Tell us more about the D.C. Circuit decision?

The main D.C. law at issue bans handguns. The appeals court said that if a weapon banned by a law is a type of weapon that existed or is similar to something that existed or was used by militias when the Second Amendment was drafted, you can't ban it even if you allow people to keep other weapons for self defense. They took an extremely originalist view of the Second Amendment, down to an unusually specific level regarding types of firearms protected by the amendment.

So what were the hot-button issues in the moot court?

The hot-button issues were the basic issue first of whether the Second Amendment creates an individual right to arms or only applies to state militias and, second, whether if you assume that there is an individual right to arms, whether that means you have the right to bear the arms of your choice, or just the right to some kind of firearms.

How many judges were there, and how did you rule?

It was a nine-judge panel, and we decided, unanimously, to reverse. But of course it's New York City. If this had been done in Arizona it might have come out differently.

And what do you think the Supremes will do?

I think the court is going to reverse. The more difficult question is how far they'll go. I think they'll find there isn't any strict protection for particular categories of firearms. But I would be surprised if they went so far as to say that the Second Amendment doesn't protect any individual right.

Jim
 

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I have a bad feeling about this for one reason. I simply do not trust the judges of the supreme court to vote for the individual right concept over the state right concept, even if they believe that the original writers of the 2nd amendment meant for it to be an individual right.

I believe that they will see this as an opportunity for them to make their mark on history by what is essentially legislating constitutional law from the Judicial bench, whether they will admit to it or not. I pray that I am wrong.

Best regards,

Jeff

The nut list- Baker 1898 Damascus barrel double hammer gun / American Arms single shot 12 ga/ Winchester Model 12 26" IC solid rib black diamond high grade straight grip checkered stock and fore end 12ga / Winchester 1300 Black Shadow Turkey 12ga / Winchester SX2 3 ½" 12ga / Browning Gold Hunter 20ga / Stoeger 2000 Max4 camo 12ga / Beretta AL391 Urika Gold 12ga / Remington 870 Wingmaster 20ga / Springfield .410 single shot (for yet to be conceived grand babies)/ Ugartechea Model 30 12 ga/
 

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SECOND AMENDMENT: Anti-gunners wriggle & squirm when the second amendment comes up. Sometimes they clain the courts have (ALWAYS) held that it protects tha right to bear arms only while on-duty with a state militia. Sometimes they claim it protects the (Right of the States) to have a National Gaurd unit. A ridiculous idea,since states possess (POWERS) not rights.people possess (RIGHTS). The national guard was not established until (112 years). After the second amendment was ratified. It means the right of the people to bear arms.
 

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Chaco1 said:
This makes me nervous, wish they ahd just let it stand.
My thoughts exactly. If they agreed with the decision, all they needed to do was - nothing.
 

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Those who put ink to paper when the Bill of Rights was created were all wearing hand guns at the time. If you'll visit the Paul Revere house in Boston, in the back bedroom second floor there is a hand gun displayed behind a glass panel. It says something to the effect that Paul carried this on his person as "all men of his day did." Paul's "day" was right at the time the Bill of Rights was created. Clearly the signers of the Bill of Rights wanted to grant all men of good character the right to bear arms. There were no felons back then because the penal code of that day required their execution.

None of this matters however; 9 judges on the Supreme Court will make their own interpretation, some based on "current social conditions." It is interesting to note that liberals have always prided themselves in giving the widest interpretation to the language in the Bill of Rights with the exception of the 2nd ammendment.

JJ
 

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To keep an eye on the opposition to 2nd Amendment rights we supposedly enjoy, I have an email subscription to the Brady Campaign.

Yesterday I received a missive from them seeking $50,000 in contributions to fight the pro-gun activists and the NRA by filing a legal brief with the Supreme Court.

Does anybody believe they need $50K to write a legal brief which has probably already been written? They're in it for the money.

Jim
 

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The briefs have not been written. No interested or involved party would dare go to that expense without first finding out if the Court would grant cert (decide to hear the case). 50K is not an unreasonable figure for writing a SCOTUS merits brief.

AND to you naysayers on this thread, I'll say the same thing I noted on the other thread talking about this: based on 1) the Court's decision to write its own version of the issue (instead of taking one side's version or the other) and 2) how the Court worded its version of the issue, I'm inclined to think that they are going to rule in our favor--in favor of the individual right. I was a bit concerned before but I am much more confident now. The one thing that is definitely not going to happen is the opinion coming out in June. It's highly unlikely we'll see anything before next October or November. The Court is not a speed machine when it comes to turning out opinions. We still don't have one from this term and the first cases were heard in the first week of October. Last year at this point in the term there had been only one opinion issued.

Just like it takes time to get to the Supreme Court (through appellate review), it takes time to get the cert review, it takes time to write the briefs (petitioner has to file first, then respondent files after petitioner and then petitioner has a chance to file a reply brief after respondent's brief). Then of course there are all the amicus briefs, assuming the interested but not involved parties can get leave from the Court to file on behalf of the side they're interested in. And sometimes amicus parties just file their view, which does not necessarily correlate to either side. I don't think we should have any doubt about what the Brady bums want to say.

While I think the Court will rule appropriately, make no mistake that this is a fight and it's a fight with the ultimate stake for our rights and our children's rights and their children's rights and so on as to the 2d amendment. And there are going to be a lot more amicus parties than just the NRA and the Brady Bums.
 

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1) the Court's decision to write its own version of the issue (instead of taking one side's version or the other) and 2) how the Court worded its version of the issue, I'm inclined to think that they are going to rule in our favor--in favor of the individual right.
I hope you are right but lets not forget the decision that the court made making it legal for government to seize private property on the basis of improving the tax base. That was what a couple years ago? Hardly a personal rights decision and in my opinion as far from the framers intent as possible to go.

I don't trust Judges appointed for life and with no accountability to make good decisions for me. All I can say is thank God Algore didn't win and Kerry didn't win.
 

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More updates from SCOUTSblog:

Commentary: The government and gun rights
Lyle Denniston
Today, 8:37 AM
More than five years ago, on May 6, 2002, the U.S. government told the Supreme Court - for the first time - that it had changed its decades-long position on gun rights. In footnotes dropped into two documents urging the Court not to hear two Second Amendment cases, the U.S. Solicitor General (then Theodore B. Olson) formally put before the Justices the government's new support for an individual right to have guns for private use.

The footnote recalled that the government had previously argued in court filings that the Second Amendment "protects only such acts of firearm possession as are reasonably related to the preservation or efficiency of the militia." But it then added: "The current policy of the United States, however, is that the Second Amendment more broadly protects the rights of individuals, including persons who are not members of any military or engaged in active military service or training, to possess and bear their own firearms, subject to reasonable restrictions designed to prevent possession by unfit persons or to restrict the possession of firearms that are particularly suited to criminal misuse."

Attached to the brief was a copy of a November 9, 2001, memo by Attorney General John Ashcroft to all U.S. attorneys outlining the changed position. (Ashcroft in May 2001 had already made his views known in a lette to the the National Rifle Association, saying "let me state unequivocally my view that the text and the original intent of the Second Amendment clearly protects the right of individuals to keep and bear firearms….I believe it is clear that the Constitution protects the private ownership of firearms for lawful purposes.")

Those statements were included in briefs in opposition to Haney v. U.S. (docket 01-8272) and Emerson v. U.S. (01-8780). The Court denied review of both, without comment, on June 10 of that year.

Now that the Supreme Court has finally accepted for review the issue raised in those and other unsuccessful appeals, the question immediately arises whether the Justice Department will join in the new case - District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290) - granted review on Tuesday.

Read more…
D.C. Guns Press Round-Up
Eliza Presson
Today, 8:30 AM
Here's a companion piece to Jason's blog Round-Up; we've gathered together many of the news articles that cover the Court's decision to grant cert. in the D.C. Guns case and included them below.

Robert Barnes' Washington Post articlenot only offers the background of the case, but also considers what effects a Supreme Court decision might have on gun laws across the country. Linda Greenhouse's piece for the New York Times, here, includes details on the plaintiff, Dick Heller, and a look at the re-worded question that the Justices will consider. The AP's coverage, written by Mark Sherman, quotes an attorney for the DC residents, a vice president of the National Rifle Association, Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty, the president of the Brady Centerand Georgetown law professor, Randy Barnett.

NPR legal correspondent Nina Totenberg covered the news for yesterday's broadcast of All Things Considered. Listen to her piece here.

James Oliphant notes in his reportfor the Chicago Tribune that the Court's decision "left gun-rights activists euphoric," while "gun-control advocates were hardly cheered" by the news. Oliphant also puts a local spin on the news, discussing the possible effects of a Court ruling on Chicago . That city, too, has strict gun-control laws.

Read more…
DC Guns Blog Round-Up
Jason Harrow
Today, 7:54 AM
With so much commentary on the Court's decision to grant cert. in the DC Guns case yesterday (DC v. Heller), we thought we'd do a blog Round-Up here on the main scroll. As always, additional links are updated throughout the day on the far right sidebar.

The Volokh Conspiracy had a number of posts on the case yesterday from its regular bloggers. Eugene Volokh weighed in here and here (linking to papers of his in this area), Orin Kerr wonders about Justice Kennedy and the Second Amendment here, and David Kopel offers up background information here. At Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds links to several posts and the comments of two Republican Presidential candidates in this post, and this morning he posted a podcast with Cato Institute senior fellow and "moving force behind the case" Bob Levy that can be heard here. The DailyKos posted this informational entry as the news broke yesterday, which then led to over 600 comments.

Meanwhile, Redstate.com had this post advocating for an individual rights view of the Amendment. At Balkinization, Jack Balkin asks "Has the Supreme Court Helped the Democrats?" Ann Althouse responds here, however, that Balkin is "missing something." Finally, though it was written before the Court granted cert., this PrawfsBlawg post by Mike O'Shea analyzing the arguments made at the cert. stage has been cited a number of times in the last 24 hours.
 

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Chaco1 said:
They are going to review the DC case that struck down the law banning handguns in the city. This makes me nervous, wish they ahd just let it stand.
Ditto. While it would be awesome to have a definitive ruling that slapped the Brady Bunch up side the head and tell them that we have an individual right to keep and bear arms, I'm still nervous that we might get hosed on it.
 

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I guess we will get to see if the Bush apointees will really come down where the people who voted for Bush want.

Thay are also going to rule on I believe Indiana's law requiring photo ID to vote. This could really hurt Dems in Chicago, they'll have to get all those dead people drivers liscences. :)
 

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Even a "liberal" justice would have to strain to rule that the Second Amendment, part of the orginal "Bill of Rights", did not secure an individual right to own and lawfully use something that's a firearm.

What's so interesting about the DC decision is that it correctly stated the common law of England. Although we fought a bloody, long revolution against England to secure our indepence, the right to own and use firearms, or other personal weapons, was a right known to English subjects for centuries. The English prided themselves on the rights and liberties they enjoyed. They just didn't have enough rights and liberties to suit us. It's important to remember that the DC Apeals court correctly ruled that the Second Amendment didn't create a right to own and use firearms, but instead protected a right that already existed at common law, even in the country we'd just fought a war with. There isn't any way the framers of the Bill of Rights intended to curtail or limit individual freedoms by the Bill of Rights.

No right is absolute. Neither is the right to own and use firearms. It will remain subject to reasonable government restrictions on time, manner, and use. There will never be any right of an individual to own and use weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons, artillery, land mines, cluster bombs, poison gas, biological weapons, or the like. The Supreme Court isn't likely to uphold a right to own a crew served machine gun, either, although you can legally own one in a lot of states today, with the proper permits. The Second Amendment secures what was, and is, a common law right to own personal weapons only.

My guess is that a majority of the justices will uphold an individual right to keep and bear arms. Outlawing all handguns, without exception, can't pass muster, either. After that, it will be a long, twilight struggle against laws and ordinances all over the United States to sort out what reasonable restrictions the government can place on an admitted right.

The biggest threat to our firearms ownership may be yet to come. When governments are told they can pass reasonable regulations, many of them will want to tax, liscense, regulate, and control firearms until all but the wealthy will only want, and be able to afford, about the same number of guns as they have automobiles titled in their name. I own seven motor vehicles, and at least ten times that many firearms. If I had to endure the exact burdens of ownership for my guns as I do my vehicles, I'd be whittling those guns back considerably. :wink:
 

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As has been mentioned redundantly, free speech does not entitle you to yell "FIRE!" in a crowded theatre (unless the theatre is indeed on fire).

Nevertheless, the 1st Amendment continues through the internet and other media. The 2nd was so obvious, so generally accepted . . . nothing was done until 1968. The Supreme Court not hearing anything related since 1939(?).

About time the Bill of Rights was heard from again; past time.
 

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Talking about civil rights, one of the better things about this country was that we don't need to carry around our "papers". Requiring a voter to have a seperate photo ID in order to vote seems to me to be a unreasonable restriction on what everyone admits is a right, the right to vote.

Requiring a voter to register, in person at a government office before the election, seems to me to be a reasonable safeguard against voter fraud. If they want to require a photo ID, they need to take photos and issue them on their voter reqistration cards.

And, what would be so bad about a modern driver's license being a substitute for voter registration? They had to go to a government office, provide a birth certificate, and show proof of current address. They issue photo ID's.

Nobody is for voter fraud. And, nobody should be for placing a lot of hoops for a voter to jump through in order to vote, either. Just the minimum necesary to make voter fraud more difficult.

So long as the Republican attitude is that "motor voter" is something the Democrats scheme up in order to get the poor folks to vote for Democrats, the poor folks (those that bother to vote) are likely to keep voting for Democrats. The poor may be poor, but they do seem to realize who wants them to vote and who doesn't.

When it's clear we have a right to own guns, the same as we have the right to vote, who here would require a seperate photo ID in order to buy a gun? :wink:
 

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The brady group is foaming at the mouth with this one. I made the mistake of going to there site to see what they think and I realized we are becomeing a minority to the brainless idiots that can't think for themselfs. I was so mad that I wrote them this letter.

I am an average everyday law abiding citizen and thought I would let you know some things that are bothering me about your thinking.
1st and foremost this is America and if you don't want me telling you how many children you can have or how many cars you can own or what type of cars you can buy don't even start to tell me what kind of tools I can own for what ever reason, perhaps even if I just want to look at my tools that is my own buisness and it's none of your concern.
2nd Alcohol kills or ruins people's lives more than any gun has ever done. So if you aren't going to give up drinking anytime soon than I suggest trying not to be a hypocrite.
3rd Cars kill more people everyday even with strict laws and regulations. People kill others my the masses on our roads each day by not having the proper background or training and I don't see you calling for the ban on cars.
4th and last is you fail to report how many people in this country are STILL ALIVE BECAUSE OF GUNS!!
If you have any problems with what I have stated please let me know because I am very open minded and do a lot of thinking and that is why I just don't see eye to eye on this topic. Do everyone some good and solve some real problems
 
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