Pass the ammo: Supreme Court rules for individual gun rights

Pass the ammo: Supreme Court rules for individual gun rights-attachment0

“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.”

Depending on your perspective, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is either inarguably clear in its intent, or else it’s the most god-awfully ambiguous legal statement ever penned in the nation’s 232-year history.

The debate has been thus: Does the constitutional right to bear arms reside only with a state’s “well-regulated Militia,” or does the amendment also solidly confer an individual right to gun ownership? Oddly enough, it’s an issue that’s never been broached before by the U.S. Supreme Court — until now.

In a landmark decision handed down June 26, the court issued a 5-4 decision for individual rights. At the same time, it also ruled that individual gun-ownership is not an unfettered right and that governments can exert a certain level of control. So, while Washington, D.C.‘s ban is unconstitutional, other existing gun-control laws, or those that might be passed in the future, may not be.

“It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority. “The court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

In addition to its historical significance, the ruling is striking in one other way for Western North Carolina readers: It has a local angle. The man who brought and personally funded the case, which ostensibly sought to lift the ban on handguns in Washington, D.C., is local resident Robert Levy (pictured) of Biltmore Lake. To learn more about why he backed the case, read a recent Mountain Xpress interview with Levy here.

— Hal L. Millard, staff writer

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62 thoughts on “Pass the ammo: Supreme Court rules for individual gun rights

  1. JDNC

    Gun control legislation needs to focus on criminals who obtain guns on the existing massive black market and not regular citizens who are in it for sport or home defense. Since that’s a serious challenge, legislators come up with political/emotional bills that end up non-effective or worse. If you read much at all on the topic, the founding fathers intended for the regular guy to have a gun to defend himself against a corrupt government who would use the militia to squelch political descent. Any other interpretation is revisionist.

  2. Austin

    Hand guns are for pussies(people who live in fear), gangsters, and firearm fetishists. I would much rather secure my home properly and have a strong community watch than have to think about shooting someone for breaking in. I can’t wait until the human race evolves beyond this sad token. I look forward to the day when stupid redneck grandmothers don’t have the option of leaving their guns in their purses for their grandchildren to shoot themselves. It’s proof that a lot of people aren’t responsible enough to own handguns.
    After Texas enacted it’s concealed gun law, the first person killed was killed during a road rage incident. Did that person DESERVE TO DIE? Do all those kids who accidently shoot themselves deserve to be shot or killed. There are thousands of stories of people damaged by handguns for no good reason. WHY IS AMERICA ADDICTED TO GUNS AND AMMO, WHAT IS THIS RIDICULOUS OBSESSION???? WHY ARNE’T YOU PEOPLE OFFENDED BY THE DEATHS OF SO MANY??? Don’t you realize the further you go (more weapons on the street) from reigning this in the more difficult it will be to control in the future. I mean, when any criminal can find a gun easily, then what the f**k use is gun control?
    What kind of gun would Jesus use?

  3. david

    Austin-As long as the police are armed as if they are the military, I will grudgingly support the right of citizens to have guns. Innocent people die in auto accidents every day. Should we outlaw cars? This is a divide and conquer topic that divides citizens against each other. Try to look at what you think is the other side with a less emtional bias.
    Last year’s incident with Deputy Scarborough attacking two unarmed citizens in their homes, outside of his jurisdiction is, in my opinion, proof that people should have the right to defend themselves and their property.

    I think the only effective way to keep guns away from crime is to punish gun-makers if a crime is committed with their gun. They would make DARN sure guns were sold through the proper channels if the repercussion hit their bottom line. Why are they the only ones not held responsible?

    “stupid redneck grandmothers”

    Way to promote a civil debate, Austin.

  4. travelah

    This proper court decision affirms over 200 years of Constitutional protections for the individual citizen. This was a decision in favor of YOUR rights rather than the right of the state to infringe on your Bill of Rights freedoms. Those who oppose this clear Constitutional right are the same people who would scream loud and long about other Bill of Rights provisions being taken away, such as the right to have YOUR opinion expressed in this publication or even the very existence of this publication.
    It is also important to keep in mind that liberals such as Barack Obama oppose the upholding of your Bill of Rights protections while lying out both sides of his mouth about it. Obama filled out a 1996 questionnaire supporting the elimination of your rights under the Second Amendment. He also has publicly stated being in favor of the restrictions that were tossed out today and then, while running for President and needing votes, claims the Court affirmed his position.
    If you are content with the U.S. Supreme Court preserving your Constitutional rights and privileges as a citizen of this country, you should keep in mind that the caliber of Justices that voted to destroy your rights are the very sort of anti-Constitutionalists he desires to appoint to the Court.

  5. Austin

    David, I agree with you completely that gun makers should be liable for gun deaths.
    In my opinion, the grandmother mentioned in my previous post did show a lapse in judgment which could be called stupid.
    I agree that the decision was correct. I do, however, strongly believe that concealed handgun culture is a bad thing for a culture of people who claim to follow a ‘thou shall not kill’ sort of believe, which I do fully. I don’t see more and more guns made as a good thing. I think it should be discouraged.
    5-4 is almost a tie. Could it be a paradigm shift?

  6. “5-4 is almost a tie. Could it be a paradigm shift?”

    Yes. The long-suffering paradigm of individual rights over against government tyranny is beginning to shift irrevocably.

    Comes the Revolution.

  7. This decision was very good for the constitution, yet, at the same time very frightening for lovers of the US Constitution…4 Justices voted against it.

    The whole opinion can be read by downloading the following 157 page pdf file:
    http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/07-2901.pdf
    And the SCOTUSblog is the best place on the internet, bar none, that covers all things relating to the Supreme Court.
    They discuss the case here:
    http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/court-a-constitutional-right-to-a-gun/

  8. Austin

    Travelah, Thanks for making this about Obama so that I may clarify. Everyone knows how Obama feels about guns, it’s not like he’s pandering to the gun lobby or anything. How is he lying or being deceitful?

    ABC News’ Teddy Davis and Alexa Ainsworth Report:
    When Obama has been asked on multiple occasions to weigh in on the D.C. gun case he has regularly maintained that the Second Amendment provides an individual right while at the same time saying that right is not absolute and that the Constitution does not prevent local governments from enacting what Obama calls “common sense laws.”

    Although he has been willing to describe his general views on this topic, Obama has sidestepped the question of whether the ban in the nation’s capital runs afoul of the Second Amendment.

    Asked by ABC News’ Charlie Gibson if he considers the D.C. law to be consistent with an individual’s right to bear arms at ABC’s April 16, 2008, debate in Philadelphia, Obama said, “Well, Charlie, I confess I obviously haven’t listened to the briefs and looked at all the evidence.”

    This comes after a statement in Chicago where he stated that he thought the gun ban was constitutional.
    Peoples views change as they gather new information, it’s a sign of intelligence.

  9. My concern about Obama is not necessarily his views on the matter, but the justices he would appoint. I hope that DC vs Heller becomes a litmus test for appointing new justices.

  10. William P Miller

    While I personally do not hunt or own firearms (I once did), I support the right of any law abiding non-felon citizen to own and bear arms. Thank you US Supreme Court for standing up for the US Constitution. Barack Hussein Obama is with the crowd who will try to take the guns away from the people. Vote John McCain!

  11. JDNC

    Suing gun makers for gun crime is ridiculous unless the maker illegally sold the guns. Are knife makers responsible for stabbing crimes? Car makers liable for hit and run crimes? How about parents when someone kills another with his bare hands? I could go on and on.

    Most importantly, the vast majority of gun crime is committed with guns that are already on the black market. Banning guns won’t affect those .. only law abiding citizens will turn them in. The criminals will laugh at the law. Just like they did in DC since 1976. Solve that problem instead of whining about how people behave.

  12. bobaloo

    David, I agree with you completely that gun makers should be liable for gun deaths.

    That’s a terribly slippery slope you’re climbing.

    I understand the sentiment, but think about the ramifications of blaming manufacturers for people misusing their products. Next time someone goes nuts and kills someone with a knife, should the manufacturer be sued? What about with a baseball bat? Do you sue Louisville Slugger? Hit and runs? You see where I’m going.

    My point is that taking the responsibility for societal woes away from the individual does nothing to solve problems. So long as the gun manufacturers aren’t doing anything illegal then lawsuits are unfounded. It’s just a convenient end-around.

  13. I think that once someone has paid their debt to society, they should be allowed to own firearms.

    Should they also lose another right in the Bill of Rights just because they made a mistake?

    Would you strip them of the 1st? Perhaps the 4th? Or, is the 5th more to your liking?

    Why the 2nd? That is the one right that guarantees all the others, and is the re-boot button to the United States of America, allowing us citizens the ability to scrap the whole thing and start over.

    It is my opinion that anyone who can hold and operate a firearm is qualified to own (or build) one, or as many as they can afford.

  14. david

    boboloo-I agree with your points, of course. Anytime I bring up my ‘blame the manufacturers” argument, I am usually met with fierce resistance from most of my friends, so i’ve heard the arguments, and they are quite valid.
    BUT, I would like to point out that the difference between guns and baseball bats and kitchen knives is, guns are made for one purpose: Killing. Handguns are made for killing people. I cant imagine hunting an elk with a .44. So should the manufacturers be held responsible when one of their guns is used for its specified purchase? In a crime? Acquired through illegal means?

    Why is it that the manufacturers responsibility is never part of the debate? It is only used as a ploy to limit our individual rights, never their ‘right’ to make such a dangerous product in the first place. The gun lobby is a very wealthy, powerful entity, that cares little to none for our individual, constitutionally protected rights.

    Ralph-Many other politicians have expressed the same sort of thing. Bush’s “There ought to be limits to freedom” and ‘It’s just a goddamned piece of paper’ come to mind. Do you find that ‘scary’ as well? Or is it only scary when Obama says it?

  15. travelah

    Handguns are made for the purpose of protection and for sporting. Suing the firearms manufacturer is as ridiculous as suing a burger joint for selling red meat.

  16. it is scary no matter who says it, David … the Constitution should be sacrosanct. No current politician of either party has the right or the intelligence to change it. That includes Obama, Hillary, Bush, Bill, et al.

  17. david:

    Handguns are made for sport, and for self-protection as well as killing. I have stopped two armed robberies with handguns. I was able to protect a store clerk, and several customers with my handgun. I can kill you quicker (and much more quietly) with a knife anyday of the week than with a firearm. Unless I make a silencer, that is.

    Suing the manufacturers is an end-run around the constitution to deny people the ability to purchase firearms by bullying the Manufacturers out of existence.

    If there were no manufacturers in this country, the homemade weapons movement would step in to provide the means for people to defend themselves.

    I hold that a severe restriction on the Second Amendment by itself is reason enough for an uprising.

    If someone has acquired a weapon through illegal means, there are already laws on the books for punishing the criminal, and the seller…if he/she did anything illegal.

    About the limits to freedom…do you think that someone has he freedom to shout “Fire” or “Bomb” in a crowded theater? With Freedom comes responsibility. The vast majority of firearms owners are very responsible people, and to punish them collectively is as unconstitutional as stripping them of the ability to own, use, and enjoy their weapons.

  18. Austin

    Why am I supposed to be worried about the govt. forcefully taking our property or whatever when our military can barely keep Iraq together. That country is kind of smaller than the USA. I really don’t get the ‘they’re going to come and get us argument’. If nefarious leaders (they would come from the right, not the left: see rendition and wiretapping, which was going on BEFORE 9-11) decide to use the military against us citizens it would be a rout and you all know that. The argument doesn’t wash with me. I’m not scared.
    I want to be clear that I am opposed to handgun culture but I support the right to own a gun. I think the amendment needs tweaking. Did handguns even exist when they penned it? Were they thinking of gang bangin’ ghettos and deaths from road rage and cops in unsafe traffic stops (concealed handguns), or where they only considering govt tyranny?
    Handgun culture needs to fade by giving more people more opportunities to lead fruitful lives.
    Yeah, buy as many weapons as you can afford, thats a very evolved way of using your resources.

  19. david

    Thunderpig-

    It seems to me that you are arguing with a strawman. Perhaps I am wrong. Nowhere did I claim to want to limit individuals rights to own a gun. Nowhere. You state “Suing the manufacturers is an end-run around the constitution to deny people the ability to purchase firearms by bullying the Manufacturers out of existence.” This seems to imply that the Constitution protects our right to have gun manufacturers. I dont think this is true. We have the right to arm ourselves against the government, but Smith and Wesson was not created strictly for this purpose. Make your own guns for yourself and your neighborhood. You seem to assume some things about my argument that I am just not making.

    Also, You claim that handguns are used for sport. I hunt, myself, and I have never seen anyone hunt with a handgun. Unless, by sport, you mean shooting at a target. My statement is that handguns are made to be used against people. No moral baggage included, I see nothing wrong with this, just pointing out the fact. Your examples prove this. I completely support your right to own a gun, and for the very reasons I have mentioned. I dont understand your tone, to be honest.

    You state that there are laws on the books which prevent someone from selling a gun illegally. But you and I both know these laws dont work at all. If they were effective in any way, then why are there so many illegal guns out there?

    Maybe its a false argument in the first place. Maybe we have far bigger concerns in this country and this life than firearms. Maybe it’s just a topic created by law enforecment agencies so that they can continue to militarize themselves by playing on the publics’ fear of ‘outlaws with guns”

    I know going after manufactures is a slippery slope. And, as I said, I have never met a reasonable person who would agree with me on the subject. Most my friends say the same thing you are saying, and I DO see your point, of course. But MY point is that I think it brings the debate to a more practical place. If the manufacturer is held responsible, along with the store who sold it and the person who commited the crime, I guarantee we would see a reduction of illegal guns on the market. Period. It would hurt their bottom line too much. If the Public can hold Phillip Morris responsible, and McDonalds responsible, why not Smith and Wesson?

    I think the current debate is a partisan tool, like gay marriage and abortion, to divide citizens into the pro-guns anti-guns debate. People in big cities dont understand that rural folks use guns as a functional tool. Rural folks rarely understand what it’s like to put your children to bed with the sound of gunfire in the city streets outside your window. Politicians play on this fear and misunderstanding to divide us on issues we should agree on.

    I have yet to hear an example of regulating another product that could be compared to handguns. Red Meat, the example used by travelah, is not made with the sole intent of killing a human. Handguns are. I’m sure you can come up with a better, more appropriate example then that. And, by the way, cigarette companies HAVE been held accountable for their product, as has McDonald’s for their products. So why is it such a stretch for Smith and Wesson to be held accountable where their guns end up? Do they really feel no moral responsibility?

    Its just a topic. I’m not trying to empower government to go after business, or to take away your right to arm to yourself. I am just bringing up a question I have yet to hear answered satisfactorily. Please pay attention to the topic and respond without the pre-supposed partisan assumptions that are so sadly used on these forums.

  20. Austin:
    Don’t believe the outright lies reported by the Legacy Media.

    You can read reports directly from Iraq at The Long War Journal, Michael Yon, Michael J. Totten’s websites, or any number of over an thousand milblogs. The best is The Long War Journal:
    http://www.longwarjournal.org/

    In particular this page:
    http://www.longwarjournal.org/features.php

    The data there is several orders of magnitude (x10) than you will get on any TV Station or (sorry MtnX) Newspaper.

    Sorry…Bill Clinton (lefty) started rendition.

    Pistols aere already hundreds of years old when the Revolutionary War was fought.

    The Amendment will be tweaked over my dead body.

    The Gang Banging Ghettos were created by Section 18 Housing and the Great Society of LBJ.

    I’ve been pulled over numerous times while carrying concealed…and never once used my weapon on an LEO.

    About using my Resources for purchasing (and building) weapons…that is all part of what Freedom is…

    If and when this nation collapses, you will wish to God you were a survivalist (or were real good friends with one). ;^)

  21. Austin

    In my opinion, Bill Clinton was not a lefty. This nation won’t collapse because there are too many people with love in their hearts who will hold it together. People who are up to the challenge of change. Like our future Pres said, that kind of negativity is what makes you comfortable with your guns.
    I really hope it isn’t ‘over your dead body’, but the ammend. will have to change if we are to evolve as a species and country. I’m trying to come at this with a maximum love for all beings kind of perspective which is hard to idealize when people are arming themselves and are unwilling to consider perspectives other than their own.
    Ghettos are in every almost every nation so it’s ridiculous to suggest what you did. Are section 18 and LBJ responsible for all the ghettos in the world? Do you mean to say that W/o sec18 and Lbj there wouldn’t be large neighborhoods of poor people where crime is worse? Of course there would be. That diversion is too transparent.

    “I’ve been pulled over numerous times while carrying concealed…and never once used my weapon on an LEO.” Don’t pretend to be naive, you know I was referring to the level of danger that handguns create for cops during stops. Did you see the paper this week? Cute, but you were feigning.

    EVERYBODY LAY DOWN YOUR ARMS AND LET PEOPLE JUST LIVE!! If you want to help stop crime, donate money or time to a community center or to Head Start. Big Brothers Big Sisters anyone. Do something positive. These are the kind of people I want to know and be supported by.

  22. bobaloo

    I would like to point out that the difference between guns and baseball bats and kitchen knives is, guns are made for one purpose: Killing.

    Good point, and, essentially, yes guns are made for killing. Not wanton murder, but hunting, self-defense and sport. But…
    Why is it that the manufacturers responsibility is never part of the debate? It is only used as a ploy to limit our individual rights, never their ‘right’ to make such a dangerous product in the first place.

    Because they aren’t responsible for people using their products in an illegal way.
    It is, in fact, absolutely their right to make these products. There’s nothing illegal about manufacturing them and it’s a free market.
    So civil lawsuits against an entity that’s not breaking the law in any way is the wrong tact to take. If you want to attempt to legislate the law into something more agreeable to your point of view, though, then that’s the way to go about it.

    To be clear, I fully support the 2nd Amendment, but I also completely understand most people’s objections to it.

  23. “Handguns are made for sport…”- Thunderpig

    Unless you mean shooting gophers for target practice, I can not remember the last time I ever saw a handgun used for ‘sport’.

    “Did handguns even exist when they penned it?”-Austin

    Yeah, maybe the constitution only grants us the right to have muskets. That would be rich.

    Is it my right to own, say, an RPG? Surface to air missiles?

    Just wondering?

    And, yes, to all the Thunderpigs of the world, I have grown up around guns my whole life, and own three at the moment. They are useful tools. They often feed me. Thankfully, I have never needed to use one in self-defense. But I think a lot of the gun folks I know are delusional about their effectiveness as far as their Second Ammendment purpose goes. Unless, of course, We were allowed ALL of the same weapons the military has.

  24. bobaloo-cigarette manufacturers and fast food chains have in fact been held responsible for their products. Making certain weapons manufacturers responsible for the way in which their product is used does not necessarily imply the individual has no responsibility. If a crime is committed, I think the individual who used the gun, the store the gun was acquired from, and the manufacturer who sold the store the gun should all hold a certain bit of accountability. Would there be no way to achieve this without completely bankrupting every gun manufacturer? I find that unlikely. Guns are supposed to be a highly controlled product, and yet, I could go buy an illegal one today with very little problem. The current laws in place are completely ineffective, and any conversation regarding this is met with the fiercest, partisan resistance from gun-rights fanatics who do not seem interested in the actualities of the specific cases at hand, but in only upholding some theoretical line in the sand regarding the second amendment.

    I didnt notice any sucky grammer. I guess mine is equally sucky.

    Does the Second Amendment allow me any kind of weapon at any time? Why handguns and not uzis? Why rifals and not missle launchers? That would be cool. Missle Launchers

  25. travelah

    Unless you mean shooting gophers for target practice, I can not remember the last time I ever saw a handgun used for ‘sport’.

    I know many sport shooters who use their weapons on licensed ranges, both indoor and outdoor.

    Does the Second Amendment allow me any kind of weapon at any time? Why handguns and not uzis? Why rifals and not missle launchers? That would be cool. Missle Launchers

    While I would not advocate such because the framers of the Constitution could not envision it, the intent of the 2nd amendment was to allow the equipping of the citizenry with the same armaments as any enemy army might have to defend their homes and families against. The Bill of Rights was passed as a collection of civil protections for the citizens and not to define the role of government with regard to free speech and bearing arms.

  26. bobaloo

    atruth, thanks for the reasoned response:

    cigarette manufacturers and fast food chains have in fact been held responsible for their products.

    Too true, and wrongly so. Who regulates what these industries do? The FDA and the ATF. Is there anything at all illegal in what these industries produce? Nothing what so ever.

    I think the individual who used the gun, the store the gun was acquired from, and the manufacturer who sold the store the gun should all hold a certain bit of accountability.

    Again, which party is actually breaking the law? Only the individual.

    Guns are supposed to be a highly controlled product, and yet, I could go buy an illegal one today with very little problem. The current laws in place are completely ineffective

    Guns are highly controlled, and I don’t object to waiting periods and background checks at all. But if the system of checks and balances fails, who’s to blame? Whose fault is it you can buy an illegal gun on the street? It’s those that administer the rules, not those who produce legal products.

    Does the Second Amendment allow me any kind of weapon at any time?

    Of course not, and the Heller decision defines the restrictions in a very logical way.

    I’m not, in any way, an ardent social con, I just have a very objective way at looking at responsibility. The laws are there and the individual is responsible for not breaking the law or (in the case of cigarettes and fast food) using lawful products responsibly. If one wants to change the law, work to have it changed. But don’t use wasteful and self-indulgent civil lawsuits to do so.

  27. William P Miller

    Austin said: “In my opinion, Bill Clinton was not a lefty.”

    Give that man a cigar! Yes Bill Clinton was not a lefty. He was, and is, a slick politician who just wants to hold onto power. He was smart enough to jettison Hillary’s leftwing influence on him when the republicans took over Congress and started sending up conservative legislation. But not out of sympathy for their points of view. He realized the American people would not follow him on homosexuals in the military, and national socialist medicine. He wanted to remain president. As simple as that. Bill Clinton perfectly fits the stereotype of an expedient, lying politician.

    The liberals who are in favor of “gun control” just don’t get it. In NYC, it is impossible to get a concealed carry permit. And if someone does carry, and defends himself from the criminal element there, he is treated like the perp, not the lowlife who tried to mug him. Most of these liberals have never served in the military, and do not understand what it took, and currently takes, to keep us free. Little brother countries like Canada, who have slid by under the protective arm of the USA, can afford to make firearm possession either illegal or difficult. Not us. Our constitution guarantees our right to have and bear arms.

  28. Matt Mercy

    Even the intelligensia who post on these articles seem to have no clue what the second Amendment and gun ownership is all about.

    An armed citizenry, on par with that nation’s military at any given time, is the people’s last line of defense against an oppresive and tyrannical government. Ultimately, the second Amendment is the means to defend all of our other rights.

    And might I say, that the rights outlined in the U.S. Constitution are given by God (whwoever that may be for you)…NOT the governement.

    Fortunately for the boot licking cowards out there, this SCOTUS decision is actually a severe blow to the right to keep and bear arms. It reinforces existing restrictions and opens the doors for new ones. And the power to restrict is the power to destroy.

  29. atruth:

    I have sent tens of thousands of rounds of ammo through my weapons for the sport of target practice and competing with others in various contests of marksmanship. I have weapons that cost pennies a round to shoot, and one that costs over $2 a round to shoot.

    If that ain’t a sport, I don’t know what is. Hunting is also a sport, whether one eats what he/she kills or not.

    As for whether that includes the right to own an RPG, SAM or any other weapon…you’d be surprised what some people have in their weapons caches. I support the right for anyone to purchase (or build) what ever they can afford. The more sophisticated weapons systems require expensive maintenance protocols that are beyond the reach of most people.

    I am one of those people who believe we have the right to own ANY weapon the military has, and that we should all be fully trained in their uses… tactically, strategically, and logistically. I also believe that any adult should be able to be dropped off in the woods with just the clothes on his/her back and be in good repair at the end of four weeks alone.

    The Second Amendment is about Self Reliance apart from the government. Remember…those men who penned that document just spent the past few years using weapons to overthrow a government. They meant for that act to be repeatable…and I think that be balance of armed power should always be with an armed citizenry. This should keep those who pursue power in government always aware that they only serve at our sufferance…and not a moment more.

  30. so much for proof-reading…
    in the last paragraph “…and I think that be balance of armed” should read “…and I think that the balance of armed”

    Egads.

  31. bobaloo

    I also believe that any adult should be able to be dropped off in the woods with just the clothes on his/her back and be in good repair at the end of four weeks alone.

    Heh, you’re gonna have to teach me that one, TP.

  32. tatuaje

    This debate has always been one of the hardest for me. We should have the right to bear arms to defend ourselves from our government. But, honestly,we all know that the government is so much better equipped these days. Back during the revolution 5 or 6 or 50 guys with muskets could stage one hell of an insurrection. But now? Hell, they’ll have your head in a sack and your ass on a plane to Egypt for “questioning” before you even realize you were planning to revolt. But I do agree with David that handguns are made for one thing…killing. I understand the ‘sport’ aspect of it, but it seems to me that marksmenship could be gauged using non-lethal equipment.

    And I still don’t have an answer, but I love Chris Rock’s response:

    “You don’t need no gun control. We need some bullet control. I think all bullets should cost $5,000. If a bullet cost $5,000, there’ll be no more innocent bystanders. Every time somebody gets shot it’ll be like, “Man, he must have done something. Shit, they put $50,000 worth of bullets in his ass.”

    Of course it’s good for a laugh, but in reality it just doesn’t fly. Poor people may stop killing each other, but then, once again, the rich hold all the cards.

    I think this issue, like homelessness, is much deeper than first blush. And like most social debates isn’t black & white, but has many shades of gray. Why IS it that it’s mostly poor people killing each other? Seems to me that inequalities, racial, economic, etc., tend to be the root cause of so many of our societal ills. Maybe if we dealt with those inequalities, dealt with the disease, the symptoms would begin to fade….

  33. thunderpig,

    naw, i dont consider that sport. but, more power to ya! Thats just my little opinion on the subject.

    Besides, the second amendment doesnt cover sporting, in my opinion. Target practice is great and all, but i use my guns for food and protection.

    “I think this issue, like homelessness, is much deeper than first blush. And like most social debates isn’t black & white, but has many shades of gray. Why IS it that it’s mostly poor people killing each other? Seems to me that inequalities, racial, economic, etc., tend to be the root cause of so many of our societal ills. Maybe if we dealt with those inequalities, dealt with the disease, the symptoms would begin to fade….”

    Well said, tatu…

  34. bobaloo:

    I thought everyone who grew up prior to the 80′s in this area could do that. Guess I am a product of the Appalachians and the Cold War (WW III). LOL

    tatuaje:

    Perhaps you have never studied the techniques of guerrilla warfare. Most people are not aware that warfare has undergone a paradigm shift much like the shift from Trench Warfare (WW I or 2GW) to Maneuver Warfare (WW II or 3GW). I’d say half are not even aware of the shift to Psychological Warfare (WW III or 4GW). Certainly less than 1% (or less) are aware of the shift to Perception Warfare (WW IV or 5GW).

    All I’ll say is that a very small group of determined (and focused) people can bring this nation (and it’s government down). I won’t go into specifics for security reasons, but a guerrilla group could keep the nation’s powergrid sporadic, make interstate transport risky, shut down public education, and leverage the people against the government.

    Only an idiot thinks that we can directly take on the government by force of arms, there are more ways than one to skin a cat.

    Homelessness is not as big a problem as it is made out to be. As part of my survival training I posed as a homeless person in several cities. The majority are homeless as a lifestyle choice without the encumberences of a mortgage, a job that stifles movement, and a home that is troublesome to maintain. A goodly number are homeless due to drug addictions and other poor choices. If we keep bailing these people out…they will never learn from their mistakes.

    atruth:

    If the Second Amendment doesn’t cover sporting…then sporting use can (and will) be banned without recourse to the US Constitution.

    Poor people kill each other with weapons because they think of it as an easy solution to their problems, and are not patient enough to try other methods for solving problems.

    It is sad that the US Constitution is no longer being taught the way it was when I was in school.

    We spent 9 weeks on the US Constitution and the Federalist Papers when I was in the eighth grade. The man who taught that class kindled a love in me for our founding documents that has never died.
    How many people own hard copies of the Federalist Papers these days?
    Online copies are here:
    http://www.foundingfathers.info/federalistpapers/fedi.htmhttp://www.mountainx.com/news/2008/pass_the_ammo_scotus_rules_for_individual_gun_rights
    http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fedpapers.html

    How many people have ever read the Declaration of Arms? (considered the preamble to The Declaration?)
    http://www.law.ou.edu/ushistory/arms.shtml

    I weep for the ignorance of the younger generations, at the willingness at which they seek shiny objects, and imagine themselves smarter, more progressive than our founders.

    In Washington’s Day…the justices who voted that the DC Gun Ban was constitutional would have found themselves impeached, tarred, feathered, and expelled from this nation in very short order.

    That they have not been treated so now is a travesty.

    I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue! –Barry Goldwater, 1964

  35. DR.ANTINEOCONUS

    The D.C. gun ban case has brought a number of case law precedents , such as the ability to sue a government agency preemptively when one faces imminent Grand Jury indictment, of course the sheep people have never heard of this aspect of the case, as Fox news didn’t alit it..

    The decision means nothing as it by a narrow 5-4 majority slipped by for the time being, it certainly does not preclude the massive restrictions on the second article of the bill of rights that are now imposed and will be imposed in the future.

    One interesting restriction on this right might surprise you.
    I have a patriot friend on the East coast of North Carolina, Retired Air Force colonel Donald Sullivan. Col Sullivan a true patriot, not some neuron lackey, has something in common with me; we have both defeated the State on the right to travel without licenses.

    Col Sullivan strapped a 45 on and walked into a State Court house, at which time the hired thugs charged him with a number of offences.
    To make a long story short Sullivan counter sued and the Corporate State dropped all charges, in fear that Sullivan would expose the law.
    Handgun laws in THIS STATE forbid any officer, except a Detention officer with the Sheriffs dept to carry a handgun into a North Carolina courtroom.PERIOD
    I placed a link and an article about Col Sullivan for the group.

    This is my last post as the Mountain express has chosen to moderate me because of a certain individual’s complanaints.or possibly some federal alphabet agency pressured them, as they do not want the truth out there. In any, case so much free speech. http://www.wwaytv3.com/troubleshooters_man_protests_driving_regulations/05/2008

  36. Trey

    Do you keep your coffee and juice and stuff locked up in little cans, then locked up again in your fridge…. like Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory???

  37. travelah

    Those who look to handgun bans as the solution to crime or even one of several solutions to crime should try to explain how 7,698 murders in Washington, DC from 1980 to 2006 could have possibly occurred. In 2002, Washington, DC was the worst city to be in relative to murder rates. Half of all murders are by handgun and obviously, in the hands of criminals and not law abiding persons who have handguns for protection.

    http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/dccrime.htm

  38. William P Miller

    The Catcher in the Rye. A book about child molestation. Wonderful classic, isn’t it?

    Back on thread, thanks US Supreme Court forupholding our right to bear arms. Now if only the bears had guns too,hunting would become much more interesting. -:)

  39. Gordon Smith

    William,

    I was going to stay out of this thread, but you’ve gone and insulted J.D. Salinger’s work.

    Catcher in the Rye, while probably the least of Salinger’s books, is not a book “about child molestation”. This is an ignorant and incorrect thing to say. Here’s the plot:

    The novel covers three days in the life of Holden Caulfield. He is a tall, lanky, and disturbed youth who academically flunked out of Pencey Prep. Although Holden has the potential to pass school, he decides not to apply himself. Holden is 17 when he tells the story; he was 16 when the events occurred.

    Holden’s story begins on the last day of the first semester. He is standing on the crest of a hill that overlooks the football field where the final game of the season is being played. Instead of joining the crowd, he runs across the street to the residence of Mr. Spencer, his history teacher. As Holden has been expelled, Mr. Spencer lectures him about the importance of hard work and education. Annoyed, Holden lies to get out of the discussion.

    He talks with old acquaintances at school and gets into a fight with his roommate, Stradlater, and gets very bloodied up, before leaving for New York City, electing to stay there so he doesn’t have to face his parents before school actually is supposed to get out. He gets a hotel room and goes out to two clubs, never going to sleep. He runs into his brother’s ex-girlfriend and has difficulty getting waiters to give him alcohol. As he is riding the elevator to his room, the elevator man Maurice offers him a prostitute for five dollars. Curious and lonely, Holden accepts. The prostitute, Sunny, comes up to his room, but Holden, feeling nervous, lies claiming that he has just had surgery. He asks her if she would like to just talk instead stating that he will still pay her the five dollars. When Holden does pay her, Sunny claims the price is ten. Maurice,taking advantage of Holden’s adolescence, comes up and punches him in the stomach for the other five dollars. Holden lies on the floor, in pain. After the pain reduces, Holden goes back to sleep and waits for the next day to start.

    In the morning, he makes a date with an old girlfriend, even though he claims she’s a phony. Before they go to see the show, he goes to Grand Central Station and has breakfast at a diner counter next to two nuns. They talk and he really likes them, donating ten dollars to their charity. He considers hitchhiking out west and building a cabin away from everyone he knows. At one point, he proposes to an ex-girlfriend to join him on the trip even though he does not particularly like her. She declines his offer and he gets angry, making the girl cry.

    That night he decides to return to his family’s home to secretly meet with his beloved younger sister, Phoebe. After escaping detection by his parents he visits another ex-teacher of his, Mr. Antolini, who imparts some advice before bidding him stay the night. However, Holden is awakened by Mr. Antolini patting his head, which Holden perceives as a homosexual pass at him, so he leaves and stays the night on a bench at Grand Central. The next day he decides to leave New York and journey west, only pausing to see his sister one last time.

    Phoebe brings a packed suitcase to their meeting place, insisting that she is going to leave with him. He angrily refuses, at which point she cries and refuses to speak to him. Knowing that she will follow him, Holden walks to the zoo, letting her anger dissipate. Phoebe starts talking to Holden again, and Holden promises to forget about his plan to run away and return home when they leave the zoo. He buys her a ticket for the carousel in the park and watches her ride an old horse on it. As Holden watches her ride the carousel, his own mood lifts. Soon he is nearly moved to tears with remorse, longing, and bittersweet happiness.

    At the end of his narration, Holden explains that he will be going to another school in the fall again but does not know for sure if he will start applying himself.

  40. Trey

    Ban the books…. keep the guns!!!! Yeeee-Haaaaw!!!

    Somehow, that reaction coming from you guys is not a surprise.

  41. bobaloo

    Trey,

    Catcher in the Rye was banned in many high schools, if I remember correctly, because there is some adult content.

    Although William Miller may be ignorant about the actual purpose of the book and TP shows himself to be less well read than he should be (no offense TP), I don’t think they were calling for it to be banned.

    But thanks for playing the stereotyping game! :)

  42. Trey, when reading fiction, I prefer science fiction along the lines of Asimov, Pournelle, Niven, Herbert, Forstchen, Heinlein, Brin, Benford, Clarke, etc. (too many good ones to list them all…even the lefties like Brin can write a good yarn)

    Teenage angst is not my scene. Goodness knows we read enough of it in school.

  43. “I weep for the ignorance of the younger generations, at the willingness at which they seek shiny objects, and imagine themselves smarter, more progressive than our founders.”

    Come on, man. Dont make broad, generalized accusation like that. You are obviously an informed person, and I dont see us disagreeing all that much, personally. Why cant we just present each other with ideas to ponder? Why must it disintegrate into these kinds of simplistic ‘left vs’ right’ assumption-thons??

    I like the qote “arguing on the internet is like winning the special olympics…”

  44. William P Miller

    Everyone knows “Chi-mo” is short hand for child molester. That is why the book was banned in high schools…outside of NYC and Chicago anyway. Typical liberal corruption of the youth.

  45. Trey

    Great news…. I just read on CNN.com that 55% of deaths caused by handguns are suicides.

    See…. everybody wins.

  46. William P Miller

    Trey, what a wonderful person you are. No wonder you are pro-abortion and have no problem with death.

    Responsible gun owners are relieved that the anti-American liberal anti-gun lobby has lost a big one. God bless America and the freedoms we enjoy.

  47. Matt Mercy

    William:

    The anti-gun lobby hasn’t lost. The Supreme Court decision opens the door for regulating, registering, taxing and licensing gun ownership out of existence.

    If you are in the NRA, get out. If you look below the surface, they have betrayed gun owners at every turn. Join a REAL 2nd Amendment group like Gun Owners of America or Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership.

  48. “The Catcher in the Rye. A book about child molestation. Wonderful classic, isn’t it?”

    actually, trey brought it up because in conspiracy circles, it was believed to be read, as part of some kind of brainwashing, by sirhan sirhan and lee oswold previous to their famous’ actions’.

  49. S. Frazier

    I see a couple of holes in some of the arguments above. First, i am a oncealed carry instructor. I also teach classes that are above the required skill level to get a carry permit. I want you to understand who i am, and where I am coming from. In my classes, i have never seen a “gang banger”, or ANY OTHER KIND OF THUG. I can truthfully say I have seen four or five out of about four hundred in the last year that i wqouldn’t ave wanted for a next door neighbor. And those were not due to them making me feel “unsafe”. People with carry permits aree generally very nice folks.

    Second, there have been several comments about handgun hunting, i.e. that it is not possible, or that no one hunts with a handgun, or some other such malarkey. It depends on your definition of a handgun. In NC, you may use a number of powerful revolvers to hunt, and one or two semiautos. The requirements are that it have a 6 inch barrel or more, and have adjustable sights. Small game is different, 22 rimfires and at least a 5.5″ barrel, IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY. I have shot almost all the small game i have taken in the last twenty years with a handgun, the exception being groundhogs, which are not eaten, so they are really varmints. They are customarily shot at two hundred to four or five hundred or more yards. There are handguns that can shoot that far, actually with MORE accuracy than a rifle. They are a specialty item, with barrels ten or more inches long, and generally single shot, and scoped.But they are, none the less, handguns.
    Most of my handgun hunting has been done with either my 22 target pistol, or my 6.5″ barrel 44 magnum, WHICH I CARRY CONCEALED ON A REGULAR BASIS.I have killed five times as many deer with it As i have with any and all rifles.Most deer and wild hogs are shot within 150 yards, and there is no need for a rfle under those circumstances.
    I know people who have taken deer with 9mm and 45 acp handguns, as uI have in KY, where “any centerfire handgun” is legal for deer hunting. The 45 acp is about half as powerful as a 44 mag, but it is still adequate for deer and smaller hogs.
    What about people? I have carried daily, 24 7 for ten years, and have never even had to draw a pistol on anyone. Twice I came very close, but the fact that I was not afraid of the person confronting me probably did a lot to deter them. one home invader, and a mistaken entry into a rented camping cabin while I was helpless in my bed did not cause me to draw, although the guy who stumbled into my cabin got sober real fast when i laid my hand on my 44 mag, lying beside me in my bed.
    The long and the short of it? don’t speak ill of something you are ignorant of. I am fully in favor of background checks, permits, etc. I am 100% against violent offenders possesing a firearm, unless a reasonable time has gone by, say seven years with a squeaky clean record. Anyone who leaves a loaded weapon whewre a child can access it is breaking the law in NC, and they are regularly punished, as they should be.

    I weigh 315 lbs, and am 6’1″ tall. I never studied the martial arts formally, but i have 85 hours of training on joint lock, subject control tactics, and submission holds. I hasve taken several knife fighting courses. i cashave with any of my knives. If some of you were more informed, you would be a lot more afraid of a man with a knife than you would be of a handgun.I know I sure am.

  50. Fremont

    —In the Supreme Courts 2nd Amendment Ruling of 6/28/2010, according to reports, Judge Alito, states: that in some instances the right to bear arms can be limited. It, is my opinion he is incorrect, as he seems to forget the last four words of the amendment-shall not be infringed. As a Limit of some type would be an infringement of some type. Nor is any limit implied. I would like Judge Alito to show me were in the amendment the word or words “limit, can be limited to, is limited to, etc appear.”.

    It is my belief that the 2nd Amendment is the ONLY legal law concerning our RIGHTS as individuals to keep (own) and bear (carry) arms in these United States. NO government federal, state, country, city, and NO treaty with any other government, etc. has any right to make any law concerning arms. All citizens have the NATURAL right to protect themselves, family and property from all transgressors. The Bill of Rights covers every citizen in the United States of America, no matter what US State or US Territory he or she may reside. In other words they are INDIVIDUAL Rights.

    The 2ND 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.

    First of all, we must remember that the Bill Of Rights, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, protects the rights of all citizens of the United States and its territories. And puts limits on the powers of the Federal Government and any other government in these United States. The 2nd Amendment DOES NOT give the rights to the Militia to keep and bear arms. It only states that a militia is necessary to the security of a free state. A militia is a group of citizens coming together to provide defense against an enemy or its own government that has gotten out of hand. It is not the National Guard or the Army Reserve. It clearly states RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE to KEEP AND BEAR ARMS, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED means to me any type of law that requires me to register, get a permit, forbids any type of arm, tells me that I can not carry an arm on any property (other then private property that the owner has asked me not to carry an arm on, etc.) are infringements and are unconstitutional. Which brings me to the next point that government property belongs to the citizens and its seems to me the government has no right to tell anyone they can not protect themselves by carrying arms on themselves while on government property. The 2nd Amendment of course, also covers ammunition and other items the citizen needs to use the arms. For without these items the citizen can not use his arms and therefore his rights would be infringed.

    The preamble to US Constitution states: We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. In other words the government was formed by the people for the people – not for the government. The Bill of Rights are Rights that we the people gave ourselves and the governments of this land have no right to deny them to us. One reason for the 2nd Amendment was so if, our government took these rights from us, we could take them back the same way our forefathers did. If, other ways failed to do so.

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