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View Full Version : For all you Pa gun owners, beware !!!!



Jeffrey Cohen
04-15-2007, 10:27 AM
Until recently our state government avoided any confrontation with many of Pennsylvania's gun owners because rifles and shotguns were not generally the focus of gun-control legislation.

Well, welcome to the fight, boys and girls. You're in it now. Read state House Bill 760, the proposed Firearms Registration Act.



Here are the highlights: All firearms manufactured after 1898 are subject to this law. All firearms subject to this law must be registered. All firearms must be registered at $10 each, annually. All registrants will be fingerprinted. All registrants must have a passport-style photo ID.






THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



HOUSE BILL

No. 760 Session of 2007

captdougofky
04-15-2007, 11:13 AM
Thanks Jeff

Keeping everyone in the loop on this kind of BS. I hope you got your 6th gun for the Battery at Fort Dix. If I didn't live so far away I'd bring mine. Keep up the good work.

Always
Doug Thomas
Lyons Battery
Kentucky

bob 125th nysvi
04-15-2007, 12:45 PM
to the stake with the blasphermer but .......

As a law abiding gun owner I have absolutely no problem with having to have any (or all) of my guns registered with state officials and with carrying an id for them.

I'll go a step further. All guns should be test fired and the bullet kept on file to help solve any future crimes which maybe committed with the guns.

And just before the regular comments come flowing in:

The second amendment is not a carte blanch gun amendment it is a militia amendment.

You can not defend yourself from government oppression with your guns. One RA infantry battalion with a rotation in Iraq could mop the floor with the whole lot of us in under an hour, no matter how we were armed.

And if your that concerned about your rights GET OUT AND VOTE (which statistically less than 50% of us are doing).

31stWisconsin
04-15-2007, 01:00 PM
First, this ought to be moved to the Whine Cellar. It is an important discussion but have little to do with reenacting.

This is what I have heard from people who live in P.A. or know alot about it:

This has little chance of passing. The anti-gun lobby in the Philly area doesn't represent the rest of the state. (also HB 55 which is an "assault weapon ban") This is just like the federal house bill which as it looks right now has a good chance of dieing in committee. Even if it does pass, consider this:

H.B. 760 would be in direct violation of the Firearms Owners' Protection Act of 1986, which explicity prohibits the creation of any registration system with regard to firearms.

Now, Bob, get your head out of the sand. Thoughts like yours is what give the anti's "ammunition"(pardon the pun). Registration is the first step to confiscation, the overall goal of the Brady bunch and the like. Ask the Canadians how their national firearm registration is working out. All it is is a money suck. Why should I have to pay for my guns? Gun ownership is NOT a privilege, it is a RIGHT. Do we have to pay for right to free speech? When you go to church are you required to pay a federal fee allowing you to do so? Do the police require a monthly fund so they don't search your house without a warrant? NO! Why? These are rights, guaranteed to us in the United States Constitution.

Now you are saying "But, But, the 2nd is not about individual ownership!"

"The right of the people, to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Now, good sir, give me a definition of "people." I can't wait to hear your response. If the founding fathers wanted the arms to go ONLY to the militia, don't you think they would have replaced people with militia? Don't you?

You see, the bit about militia is stating the reasoning for the second. The reasoning being the people must be able resist a tyrannical government. Then you come out and say no insurgency can successfully resist a government and military such as ours. I could give lots of theoretical situations, but I don't have to. I have a working example: Iraq.

I'm sure your argument is the same thing the British Parliament said back in 1775. Look how that worked out!

Rob
04-15-2007, 01:10 PM
Will the bad guys register their weapons? Somehow, I doubt it.

http://www.mcall.com/sports/outdoors/all-bergcolumn0410apr10,0,1735275.column?coll=all-sportsoutdoors-hed

wilber6150
04-15-2007, 01:36 PM
Hmmm,
the designers of the constitution probably hadn't seen automatic weapons on the horizon, when they wrote that....:rolleyes:

tompritchett
04-15-2007, 02:57 PM
First, this ought to be moved to the Whine Cellar. It is an important discussion but have little to do with reenacting.

As per your request.

31stWisconsin
04-15-2007, 03:23 PM
Hmmm,
the designers of the constitution probably hadn't seen automatic weapons on the horizon, when they wrote that....:rolleyes:

The designers of the constitution probably hadn't seen the internet on the horizon, when they wrote that...time we start cracking down on it!

Jeffrey Cohen
04-15-2007, 03:47 PM
This bill wants you to pay $10 per year each year to register your guns. Are you willing to do that? If you forget to pay lookout!
Automatic wepons have been regulated since the 1930's

toptimlrd
04-15-2007, 04:09 PM
The designers of the constitution probably hadn't seen the internet on the horizon, when they wrote that...time we start cracking down on it!


Nor did they see TV, radio, Imus, Hip Hop, rap, etc. Perhaps we should review the 1st amendment too.

Why can't we just prosecute the laws as they are. It is already illegal for most of the people who use guns in crime to own them anyway. Felons can not own weapons, teenagers can not own handguns (most criminals unfortunately start as teens and younger these days). I have to agree that ANY law requiring fees and registration is only going to curtail the ownership by law abiding citizens; the criminal part simply won't care. Great Britan has long outlawed most guns yet they still have criminals using guns.

Also if our own military EVER turns against us civilians we are in SERIOUS trouble and only have ourselves to blame.

I for one do own guns, have several available to me, some are at the ready, and I will use one if necessary. I do not hide behind sporting use myself as I rarely hunt (although I do own one hunting rifle and one .22) the rest of my firearms are either for my hobby, basic target shooting, and self defense; the last being the biggest reason I have them. Every member of my family knows how to load and fire each of them safely and understands the gravity of what these weapons are for. I agree that the militia clause was a modifyer on the basic right of ownership. Personally I have no problem with automatic weapons or large caliber weapons in law abiding hands. How many times have we heard about gang shootouts and robberies with automatic weapons even though these are "regulated"? I have to jump through hoops to own an automatic weapon BECAUSE I believe in the rule of law yet some piece of scum with enough drug money in his pocket can have one in a matter of minutes. I do believe in very thourough background checks and in keeping weapons out of the hands of criminals. Personally I would like to see any crime committed with a firearm carry an automatic penalty of life imrisonment with no chance of parol for first offenders, we would quickly see crime drop and no I don't care how crowded prisons become or how bad life behind bars becomes. I have no sympathy for violent criminals and repeat offenders.

31stWisconsin
04-15-2007, 04:23 PM
A study just released by the FBI analyzed crimes committed with firearms. Out of a selection of 40 cases, ONE firearms was legally bought. That's 39 firearms where all the laws in the world couldn't stop.

bill watson
04-15-2007, 04:36 PM
The reason people don't understand the militia/private ownership connection is because people don't understand how the militia functioned.

In the years leading up to the revolution, when the militia was called out for a limited, short-term local reason, each man was expected to bring his own weapon. If the call-out was to muster in as a part of a colonial ("Royal") enterprise against the French or whatever, the private weapons were replaced with military weapons, standardizing the ammunition requirements and allowing use of bayonets.

There's no conflict. Merely lack of information about how things customarily worked. And customarily, there was an expectation that men were supposed to supply their own weapons for limited call-outs. To do that, logically, they had to own weapons. Ergo, etc.

Meanwhile, remember, hundreds of bills get introduced in most state legislatures each session, and most fail to generate support. Pennsylvania, a state where a concealed carry permit is a matter of two character witnesses and $17, isn't going to support this, which is indeed coming out of Philly where cultural standards have sunk so low murder is increasingly commonplace.

Jeffrey Cohen
04-15-2007, 05:35 PM
The whine cellar implies that I am whining about something. Warning fellow reencators about somthing that can hurt our hobby {Watch them ammend the bill to include any firearm black powder or modern made after 1898} is not whining, and shame on thoses who think it is.

toptimlrd
04-15-2007, 05:42 PM
The whine cellar implies that I am whining about something. Warning fellow reencators about somthing that can hurt our hobby {Watch them ammend the bill to include any firearm black powder or modern made after 1898} is not whining, and shame on thoses who think it is.

Jeffrey,

Don't read too much into the Whine part of the forum. I think it really was just a turn of phrase that was rather humerous. It really is designed for any discussion that is off topic from the main forums IMHO.

reb64
04-15-2007, 07:13 PM
well you get what you deserve.

dclarry
04-15-2007, 10:21 PM
Now you are saying "But, But, the 2nd is not about individual ownership!"

"The right of the people, to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."



How the 2nd Ammendment is to be read/interpreted is really the crux of the issue.

As a resident of the District, I have read this thread with much interest, considering how DC's own strict gun law (banning handguns outright and any self-defense with a firearm) was just repealed in court (albeit not the Supreme Court). That doesn't mean we can all go out and buy handguns tomorrow, as the law stands while the appeals play out, but it means the discussion of how to read the 2nd will surely make it to the Supreme Court soon. And finally, I might add. I don't care about the outcome so much as I care about a good reading of the Constitution.

It's not that I care all that much about DC's hand gun ban and long arm registration, it's that it's time to rule on the 2nd once and for all. And it is the 2nd Ammendment after all, and was considered second only to the First ammendment regarding free speech. It was important to the framers, and it's important now to get the arguments in front of the Court.

I personally weigh in on the side of individual ownership, and so did the district court which overturned DC's law. In fact, one reason DC lost the case was that they framed their defense of their particularly severe law using the 2nd, instead of as an exception to the 2nd. They could have taken a tack where the basic right is recognized , but special circumstances should allow the District to suspend that right. But they didn't, and lost.

It will come down to a battle between the "militia reading" and the "individual ownership" reading of the 2nd, and the Court will likely rule in the next year or so. All the crime statistics, assault rifle arguments, etc., mean nothing in a Constitutional debate. Did the framers intend to preserve an individual's right to own firearms, or only the right of states to form militias?

IMHO, the argument will go to the individual right to own arms. The two prevailing judges in the DC case wrote a lengthy argument on this, and they are the second major court to rule favorably on the individual right to bear arms. The Supreme Court will consider this heavily, and there is no strong historical argument for the militia reading. The Bill of Rights is about 'the People', although most of the Constitution is about the States. It doesn't mean gun regulation will be declared un-Constitutional, only the outright ban of individual gun ownership, as in DC.

Now, as an exercise in semantics, consider this hypothetical Constitutional ammendment:

"A well-organized library necessary to the literacy of a free state, the right of the People to keep and read books shall not be infringed."

Well, can we own books as individuals? Or do we have to check them out at the library?

reb64
04-15-2007, 11:03 PM
[QUOTE=dclarry]How the 2nd Ammendment is to be read/interpreted is really the crux of the issue.

As a resident of the District, I have read this thread with much interest, considering how DC's own strict gun law (banning handguns outright and any self-defense with a firearm) was just repealed in court

What nut or nuts passed the restrictive law? thats the blame, oust them and get some new guys or gals. but given the demographics it sassured to be more dems. Id move. try kansas, you can drive here with a rifle in your window and a 45 in your pocket.

tompritchett
04-15-2007, 11:06 PM
It really is designed for any discussion that is off topic from the main forums IMHO.

Correct that is one of its purposes. And that is why it was moved down to here.

dclarry
04-16-2007, 09:43 AM
What nut or nuts passed the restrictive law? thats the blame, oust them and get some new guys or gals. but given the demographics it sassured to be more dems. Id move. try kansas, you can drive here with a rifle in your window and a 45 in your pocket.

Reb64, I am sure you would not be surprised to find that the registered voters in the District are over 90% Democrat. It is not possible to vote anybody out of office here. Hey, even Marion Barry is back on the city council. However, I am not trying to paint this Constitutional question in any way as a Democrat versus Republican issue. The group who backed the challenge to the DC gun law did so becuase they had strong objections to the law on fundemental Constitutional grounds, not over party issues. The man who bankrolled the challenge doesn't even own a gun, he just finds the law offensive.

This issue transcends party lines, but the DC government is so one-sidely a 'party machine' that no true bilateral dialogue takes place. This is true across the board in DC, and it is no surprise that such a law could pass without strong opposition, even one that is pretty clearly eminently challengable on Constitutional grounds. If you are interested in the DC gun law challenge, there's a short local news piece at http://www.wtopnews.com/?nid=25&sid=1083473 .

There's a saying that when a group of like-minded individuals gather to express a group opinion (say, write a party platform, debate a law, etc), the resulting group opinion will tend toward the extreme of the group members' views. People are naturally afraid to express contrary opinions even to an extreme view in a group of friends/colleagues, especailly if they are leaning toward that view at least in some way. This plays out all the time, without any party bias. A balanced DC city council, concerned about gun proliferation, may have passed a rational regulatory law. A DC city council made up almost to a person of Democrats passes a handgun ban and bars self defense. To be fair, an all-Republican city council would likely pass some other extreme legislation. So it goes.

bob 125th nysvi
04-16-2007, 01:58 PM
Now, Bob, get your head out of the sand. Thoughts like yours is what give the anti's "ammunition"(pardon the pun). Registration is the first step to confiscation, the overall goal of the Brady bunch and the like. Ask the Canadians how their national firearm registration is working out. All it is is a money suck. Why should I have to pay for my guns? Gun ownership is NOT a privilege, it is a RIGHT. Do we have to pay for right to free speech? When you go to church are you required to pay a federal fee allowing you to do so? Do the police require a monthly fund so they don't search your house without a warrant? NO! Why? These are rights, guaranteed to us in the United States Constitution.!

"Rights" are not and never have been an absolute. That's why the Constitution was made amendable and was amended right from the get go (the first 10).

I would point out to you that some "rights" no longer exist include the one to own slaves.

That the "right" of an adult to alcohol once didn't exist and that women didn't have the "right" to vote. In fact many people were once excluded from the "right" to vote.

If you want to protect your "rights" your most powerful one is the "right" to vote. Exercise it.

And the if they can register my gun they can confiscate it is a specious argument as it has never happened in the USA. You don''t seem to be afraid they could confiscate your car because it is registered.


Now you are saying "But, But, the 2nd is not about individual ownership!"

"The right of the people, to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Now, good sir, give me a definition of "people." I can't wait to hear your response. If the founding fathers wanted the arms to go ONLY to the militia, don't you think they would have replaced people with militia? Don't you?!

Sigh, it is truly amazing how many people raise that argument who would badly fail both a course on American History and Constitutional law.

In the beginning there was NO American armed forces, the founding fathers wanted it that way. They saw a standing military controlled by the central government as a threat to liberty, understandable since the British Army had been used as a weapon against the 'citizens' (whom by the way many of today's 'citizens' would not qualify under the founding father's definition).

The founding fathers quickly learned the error of their ways when they found foreign powers preying on our ships (Quasi War). Local non-governmental militias opposing the collection of taxes (The Whiskey Rebellion) and having the natives get a little too uppity (the defeats of Harman and St. Clair).

After a few bad experiences they organized a regular military to be supplement by a "well ordered militia" under the control of the local government. The Wisconsin National Guard qualifies as a "well-ordered militia", Tim's Country Boys wouldn't.


I could give lots of theoretical situations, but I don't have to. I have a working example: Iraq.

That is far to deep a subject to go into except to say insurgence is not working and you really should read something other than the NY Times to get a more balanced perspective on the war. Maybe talk to a few vets coming back, not the ones looking for media coverage but the ones coming back to their lives, they paint a whole different picture than CNN is painting.

And historically, I will point out to you that American GIs were still being attacked in Germany in 1947 by what today we'd call pro-nazi terrorists. Two years after we came within inches of blasting their civilization back a couple of centuries but we prevaled and nazi's no longer are a signifcant political force in Germany.

While the expediture of even one life is something to be avoided, again I'd point out to you that we have conquered and then mostly pacified a country of 25 million people with one of the ten largest armies in the world and then started to establish a (for the region) relatively democratic government.

All for the cost of a couple of days hard fighting in Europe 1944-45.

And that MORE people (several times over) have been murdered in the USA in the same time period than US/Allied troops have been killed by the insurgency.

Just as the Bull Runs, Fredericksburg, Chancelorsville, and a host of others were a chimera of the possibility of a CSA victory, so to is today's car bombing in Bagdhad to the possibility of a succesful insurgency.

But it is an argument that will have to await 20 years of history before it becomes clear who won and who lost.

bob 125th nysvi
04-16-2007, 02:02 PM
Why can't we just prosecute the laws as they are. It is already illegal for most of the people who use guns in crime to own them anyway. Felons can not own weapons, teenagers can not own handguns (most criminals unfortunately start as teens and younger these days). I have to agree that ANY law requiring fees and registration is only going to curtail the ownership by law abiding citizens; the criminal part simply won't care. Great Britan has long outlawed most guns yet they still have criminals using guns.

but that is far to simple for a politician to think of.

Actualy if anyone was SERIOUS about legislating guns they'd actually legislate the production of ammo. There is about a 400 year supply of guns in this country and a four year supply (at current consumptuion rates) of ammo.

So if I wanted to prevent you from using your gun, I'd prevent the production and sale of ammo.

dclarry
04-16-2007, 02:37 PM
..download the 75-page opinion of the majority in the US District Court which overturned DC's restrictive gun law. Very good, if ponderous, argument on the 'individual' versus 'militia' reading of the 2nd.

http://pacer.cadc.uscourts.gov/docs/common/opinions/200703/04-7041a.pdf

I will look to find the dissenting opinion and post it here.

VA Soldier
04-16-2007, 02:48 PM
Amendment II

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.

Now I know I will catch a lot of flack on this, but let us look at the 2nd amendment from an symnatics side for a moment.

the phrase "being necessary to the security of a free State" is an appositive, in other words, it is not necessary for the sentance, just something the founding fathers felt sounded good and wanted to put in there.

so if we take it out, it would read like this

A well regulated Milita, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Now that doesn't sound right, so lets correct it in proper English.

A well regulated Militia and the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

And becomes the key phrase, so using English skills, it can be seen that the founding fathers meant for there to be a well regulated Militia, and for people to be able to keep and bear arms.

This amendment was probably a result of the British moving to seize the guns of private citizens right before and during the American Revolution. The actions of the British prompted a lot of the first 10 amendments. And they will remain rights unless an amendment is pass that repeals a former amendment.

D Jackson

tompritchett
04-16-2007, 03:46 PM
And they will remain rights unless an amendment is pass that repeals a former amendment.

An excellent point of constitutional law that many politicans tend to gloss over.

Now, to open up the debate, can a Constitutional Amendment be unconstitutional for infringing on other constitutional rights not explicitly being repealed by that or earlier amendments?

Bummer
04-16-2007, 03:53 PM
Why don't we outlaw CRIME rather than tools?
I believe it was George Wallace, just after he was shot and put into a wheelchair, who respond to the posing of yet another gun regulation..."The guy who shot me violated 27 different gun laws, what difference would it make if he violated 28 or 29?"
As for the Militia clause; when the Constitution was written in the 18th century, the common militia was composed of 'every ablebodied man'--not the uniformed troops who were 'state troops', like what we reenact, and what the Natl Guard is today. Neither is what 'the militia' was back then.
Speaking of defense; another quote I like is from the western author Bret Harte: "A man may spend most of his life never needing a gun...but when he does, he needs it in a **** of a hurry!"
So you might better have one around ahead of time.
I am one of the few you will know who has actually had to call on a gun in civilian peace time...both times I thank the gods above that I had a gun! As a result of those two harrowing times (many years apart) anyone would have one heck of a time convincing me (and my wife) that we shouldn't freely keep and bear arms.

Spence~

first_sgt_8thky
04-16-2007, 09:16 PM
that people can't wake up about stuff like this. A very good example of why gun control don't work happened today. I'm sure somewhere there was a sign or it reads on a rule book at Va Tech, "Firearms not allowed on school grounds." That really stoped that nut today didn't it? All it did was make sure that anyone else there didn't have a way to defend themselves.
It's like I told a clerk at a gas station the other day. That "no guns" sign on the door is just going to get you robbed and hurt. A good guy like me will turn around and go back to the car and put the gun up. A crook is going to say, "great, no one in here will have a gun, but me."
Thank God I live in KY, where we can still pack our guns on our hips in public if we wish. Plus more states honor our concealed permit (30) than any other state.
Another thing. Want a new civil war? Try to take guns away. I know people who have more in their homes than are in the local armory.
Plus, God be with the families of the poor people in VA. We are thinking of you all.
1st Sgt Shannon

31stWisconsin
04-16-2007, 09:46 PM
Bob,

Yes, rights are defined by what the law books say, the law is the constitution, I don't know where you're going with this.

I fear not my car getting confiscated because there is no large lobby group wanting to ban guns or presidential candidates who want to ban semi-autos.

Now, you say the founding fathers meet the National Guard when they meant militia. This implies that the militia and the people are the same thing. By the way, you decided not to answer my question, that is, a definition of the word people. According to you, the militia and the people are the same thing.

Is the National Guard a militia? Come on, who are you trying to kid? They are paid and equipped by the national government. Can a guardsman bring his weapon home for the week? No, because it is a GOVERNMENT issued weapon belong to a GOVERNMENT organization. The 2nd says the people have a right to "keep arms," as in keep arms at home. Arms belonging to the government in service for the country are NOT the property of the "people."

I think most Guardsmen would be insulted to be considered militia. I asked by roommate, you is in the Guard, and he disagrees with you Bob. He defines a militia as something lower than the guard.

What? My roommate is in the Guard? I am a contracted cadet? I thought I got all my information from the Leftist New York Times! You are looking too far into my comment about Iraq. You said that a group of citizens would not stand a chance against an Infantry Battalion. I gave an example where a group of citizens was giving a vastly greater force quite a hard time of it. The point is not who is winning, I think we are and only future will tell, the point is that an insurgency can resist a larger force.

toptimlrd
04-16-2007, 11:12 PM
I think it is also important to understand that for ANY ammendment in the constitution to be overturned it takes a super majority of the legisators as well as the states. The odds of that happening on such a polarizing topic is statistically negligible.

I agree with most that the 2nd ammendment was written for the common citizen and not a formal militia unit. When the founding fathers put together the Constitution we had just overthrown an oppressive government through the average citizen and their personally owned firearms. No the founding fathers had no clue about what types of weapons would be developed in the future but I think they would have wanted the citizens to have access to the same type of firepower as the government. Now I am not suggesting we should ever take up arms against our own government but it would be comforting to have the knowledge that we could IF it would become necessary. Remember that one of the first things any dictator usually does is ban weapons in the interest of "public safety", it's a lot easier to rule when you have the automatic weapon and they have a pen knife. Just food for thought.

Rob Weaver
04-17-2007, 06:27 AM
Amendment II

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.

Now I know I will catch a lot of flack on this, but let us look at the 2nd amendment from an symnatics side for a moment.

the phrase "being necessary to the security of a free State" is an appositive, in other words, it is not necessary for the sentance, just something the founding fathers felt sounded good and wanted to put in there.

so if we take it out, it would read like this

A well regulated Milita, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Now that doesn't sound right, so lets correct it in proper English.

A well regulated Militia and the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

And becomes the key phrase, so using English skills, it can be seen that the founding fathers meant for there to be a well regulated Militia, and for people to be able to keep and bear arms.

This amendment was probably a result of the British moving to seize the guns of private citizens right before and during the American Revolution. The actions of the British prompted a lot of the first 10 amendments. And they will remain rights unless an amendment is pass that repeals a former amendment.

D Jackson

Very nice grammatical analysis here, to which I would only add one thing. The phrase, "being necessary to the security of a free state," is not appositive and unnecessary, but epexigetical, meaning explanitory, and very much necessary. It explains the relationship between a well-regulated militia and the state as a whole. I absolutely agree that it is in response to the British practice of seizing stores of powder and weapons during the early 1770's. This being one of the "Bill of Rights" amendments, it is not repealable. In the aftermath of yesterday's tragedy, we who are gun owners must brace ourselves for the inevitable renewed round of gun control ranting. Remember the sage words of Senator Padme Amidala: "So this is how liberty dies, amid thunderous applause."

Pete K
04-17-2007, 08:55 AM
Let's really delve into our civics class here... the Amendments were to added to the Articles as additional refinements of the standing Constitution. George Mason was the force behind keeping them as seperate documents. If you line them up you see how the Amendments are part of the Articles: Amendments 1,2, 3 deal with limits on the Legislature (Art. I). 4,5, limit the Executive branch(Art II). 6,7, 8 limit the Courts(Art III). And 9 and 10 deal with Art. IV.

Isn't learning fun?

dclarry
04-17-2007, 10:31 AM
Let's really delve into our civics class here...

Isn't learning fun?

Well, I made it through the US Court of Appeals decision (Parker vs. DC) declaring DC's restictive gun law un-Constutional since it violtaes the 2nd Ammendment. The dissent is also included in the same documant that is in the link previously posted. It's 75 pages of legal talk which, if edited for human consumption, would make a great 20-page paper.

Civics class members, I suggest you read this document, it discusses all the points brought up in this forum.

The summary of the judgement on the 2nd is this (direct quote):

"To summarize, we conclude that the Second Amendment
protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. That right
existed prior to the formation of the new government under the
Constitution and was premised on the private use of arms for
activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being
understood as resistance to either private lawlessness or the
depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat from
abroad). In addition, the right to keep and bear arms had the
important and salutary civic purpose of helping to preserve the
citizen militia. The civic purpose was also a political expedient
for the Federalists in the First Congress as it served, in part, to
placate their Antifederalist opponents. The individual right
facilitated militia service by ensuring that citizens would not be
barred from keeping the arms they would need when called forth
for militia duty. Despite the importance of the Second
Amendment’s civic purpose, however, the activities it protects
are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual’s
enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued or
intermittent enrollment in the militia."

I can try and write up a short point/counterpoint version of the various arguments the judges used to come with the above summary, if there is interest.

Rob
04-17-2007, 01:55 PM
"When will we learn that being defenseless is a bad defense?" asked Larry Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners of America.

"All the school shootings that have ended abruptly in the last ten years were stopped because a law-abiding citizen -- a potential victim -- had a gun," Pratt said.

"The latest school shooting demands an immediate end to the gun-free zone law which leaves the nation's schools at the mercy of madmen. It is irresponsibly dangerous to tell citizens that they may not have guns at schools. The Virginia Tech shooting shows that killers have no concern about a gun ban when murder is in their hearts.

"Not far from Virginia Tech, a killer was stopped at the Appalachian School of Law when two students were able to go off campus to their vehicles and get their guns which they used to subdue the killer. Sadly, not even that awkward defense was available at Virginia Tech.

"Isn't it interesting that Utah and Oregon are the only two states that allows faculty to carry guns on campus? And isn't it interesting that you haven't read about any school or university shootings in Utah or Oregon? Why not? Because criminals don't like having their victims shoot back at them," Pratt said. "That's why the American people want an end to this ineffective gun ban."

Pollsters have found that 85% of Americans would find it appropriate for a principal or teacher to use "a gun at school to defend the lives of students" to stop a school massacre (Research 2000 poll).

The words of Virginia Tech spokesman, Larry Hincker, should be haunting him in the wake of the massacre at his school. Last year, a bill was killed in the Virginia legislature to enable those with concealed weapons permits to carry their guns at schools. Hincker said that "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus."

bob 125th nysvi
04-17-2007, 02:10 PM
An excellent point of constitutional law that many politicans tend to gloss over.

Now, to open up the debate, can a Constitutional Amendment be unconstitutional for infringing on other constitutional rights not explicitly being repealed by that or earlier amendments?

I'd have to say no and that the Supreme Court would have to develop case law to determine which "right" had presidence.

Could you cite an example?

For example the amendment that ended slavery could have been seen as an infringement on the private property protections built into the consitution. That is what most of the pre-war pro-slavery rulings were based on. That slaves were private property protected by the consitution.

If true then the anti-slave amendment "modified" those rights to exclude slaves.

bob 125th nysvi
04-17-2007, 02:14 PM
Amendment II

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.

Now I know I will catch a lot of flack on this, but let us look at the 2nd amendment from an symnatics side for a moment.

the phrase "being necessary to the security of a free State" is an appositive, in other words, it is not necessary for the sentance, just something the founding fathers felt sounded good and wanted to put in there.

so if we take it out, it would read like this

A well regulated Milita, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Now that doesn't sound right, so lets correct it in proper English.

A well regulated Militia and the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

And becomes the key phrase, so using English skills, it can be seen that the founding fathers meant for there to be a well regulated Militia, and for people to be able to keep and bear arms.

This amendment was probably a result of the British moving to seize the guns of private citizens right before and during the American Revolution. The actions of the British prompted a lot of the first 10 amendments. And they will remain rights unless an amendment is pass that repeals a former amendment.

D Jackson

with you on this one. The founding fathers were a far brighter group of men than the densions of this board.

I would say they were very VERY careful in their choice of words and that nothing is in there for reasons of symantics.

And if we were to try to symantically remove or mdoify what is in there we could modify almost any right we chose to.

bob 125th nysvi
04-17-2007, 02:36 PM
Bob,

Yes, rights are defined by what the law books say, the law is the constitution, I don't know where you're going with this.

I fear not my car getting confiscated because there is no large lobby group wanting to ban guns or presidential candidates who want to ban semi-autos.

Now, you say the founding fathers meet the National Guard when they meant militia. This implies that the militia and the people are the same thing. By the way, you decided not to answer my question, that is, a definition of the word people. According to you, the militia and the people are the same thing.

Is the National Guard a militia? Come on, who are you trying to kid? They are paid and equipped by the national government. Can a guardsman bring his weapon home for the week? No, because it is a GOVERNMENT issued weapon belong to a GOVERNMENT organization. The 2nd says the people have a right to "keep arms," as in keep arms at home. Arms belonging to the government in service for the country are NOT the property of the "people."

I think most Guardsmen would be insulted to be considered militia. I asked by roommate, you is in the Guard, and he disagrees with you Bob. He defines a militia as something lower than the guard.

What? My roommate is in the Guard? I am a contracted cadet? I thought I got all my information from the Leftist New York Times! You are looking too far into my comment about Iraq. You said that a group of citizens would not stand a chance against an Infantry Battalion. I gave an example where a group of citizens was giving a vastly greater force quite a hard time of it. The point is not who is winning, I think we are and only future will tell, the point is that an insurgency can resist a larger force.

does not and never did refer to individuals operating on an individual level appling or discarding laws on a personal level as they saw fit.

It refers to a collective group of individuals equal in the right to vote and thus influence the political decisions being made.

Part of the collective deal is to agree to peacefully live with decisions we disagree with while working on changing them.

If you read the collective works of the founding fathers in some cases they FEARED the people as being too stupid to make this work as collective group and that is why they initially limited the right to vote to certain groups. Groups that had a vested interest in a peaceful transition from one political place to another.

And yes the National Guard is the LEGITIMATE decendant of the Colonial Era Militias.

In all cases the militias recognized by the government were extensions of the local governing bodies and even in places were a government was not formally organized militias were put together by groups of citizens in a (relatively) democratic way. Individuals were individually armed because it was both necessary to the life they lived and there was no government funding until turned out (by government decree). Between the war of 1812 and teh CW governement realized that individual arming was not appropriate and that organized militias were armed and equipped out of centralied, government funded arsenals where weapons and equipment were stored. the exception to this being where the frontier still existed and the presence of givernment was mostly non-existant. But then let me point out that the RA army was MOSTLY deployed along the frontier to deal with problems that arose.

As government expanded and evolved even non-governmental militias (say like the Green Mountain boys) disbanded and were abosrbed into the local government militias as local governments were more formally established.

When the Militias of western PA banded together to resist paying a whiskey tax the FOUNDING FATHERS organized recognized govermental militias to PUT DOWN the rebellion.

Obviously in the eyes of the Founding Fathers, the anti-tax militias were illegal as too what they were doing and were ordered to disband as 'unlawful'. Which luckly they did.

Despite the propaganda put out by a variety of sources the Founding Fathers flirted with 'individualism' (The Articles of Confederation) and then realized that 'collectivism' (The US Constitution) was they way to go.

The Constitution protects individualism but only with in the bounds of the 'collective'.

Ergo, the people are not individuals but a collective of individuals with a common goal and a PEACEFUL means of settling their differences.

Since the National Guard is organized, financed and controlled by the people's representation of their political will (read local government) then YES the National Guard is the legitimate successors to the Colonial Militia and the ONLY one.

dclarry
04-17-2007, 03:11 PM
Since the National Guard is organized, financed and controlled by the people's representation of their political will (read local government) then YES the National Guard is the legitimate successors to the Colonial Militia and the ONLY one.

This point is directly refuted in the Parker vs. District of Columbia March 9, 2007 decision. The majority judges rule that while the National Guard is, indeed, a valid militia, it is not the militia. They write that the term militia as used by the framers was meant in a popular sense, and was defined by Congress in the Militia Act of 1792. This same Congress included many actual framers of the Constitution, so the Militia Act should represent a contemporaneous concept of a militia. They Parker vs. DC decision goes on to say (I paraphrase here) that the National Guard is a select militia of semi-professional soldiers, and does not represent the entire popular militia as considered by the framers. They continue and say that the militia clause is prefatory, and does not effect the operative clause, i.e. "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The prefatory clause sets a framework for the operative clause and had political value at the time, but does not limit it.

31stWisconsin
04-17-2007, 03:32 PM
Since the National Guard is organized, financed and controlled by the people's representation of their political will (read local government) then YES the National Guard is the legitimate successors to the Colonial Militia and the ONLY one.

Last time I checked, the city of Madison did not pay the stipend of my roommate's scholarship. Last time I check, he was not "organized" in the state of Wisconsin, he received all his training out of state or at Fort. McCoy which is FEDERAL property. And the commander-in-chief is the President, yet another federal organization, and the chain of commander below that spans the nation.

I'm having trouble how this is the local independent militia the founding fathers were talking about. Organized, financed, and controlled by the local government it's not.

dclarry
04-17-2007, 04:27 PM
Last time I checked, the city of Madison did not pay the stipend of my roommate's scholarship. Last time I check, he was not "organized" in the state of Wisconsin, he received all his training out of state or at Fort. McCoy which is FEDERAL property. And the commander-in-chief is the President, yet another federal organization, and the chain of commander below that spans the nation.

I'm having trouble how this is the local independent militia the founding fathers were talking about. Organized, financed, and controlled by the local government it's not.

Yeah, it's me again. I sit at a PC all day, so bear with me and pity me.

The Parker vs. DC decision dissent goes into the status of the Distirct of Columbia National Guard in great detail. I quote:


As do the States, the District maintains a “militia” of
“[e]very able-bodied male citizen . . . of the age 18 years and
under the age of 45 years ” residing in the District, D.C. Code §
49-401, which includes an “organized” division that is “designated the National Guard of the District of Columbia,”
D.C. Code § 49-406. Nevertheless, the District is again unique
in that its militia “is essentially a component of the federal
government.”

Hardly the definition of a local militia. Note, however, this talking about the District itself only.

The DC lawyers made the case that since DC has an organized militia already, which was supplied by the Federal Government, individual firearm ownership was unnecessary and, in fact, a total firearm ban was within the District's legal power. (!!!)

As stated, the majority judges disagreed with the District's "strained" reading of the 2nd, and went with the more expansive definition of the militia mentioned earlier.

jthlmnn
04-17-2007, 06:57 PM
For a brief and readable synopsis of the legal foundations of state militias-National Guard units and their legal uses, I suggest going to the Army National Guard website.


http://www.arng.army.mil/constitution.aspx

signalcorpsman
04-17-2007, 09:16 PM
I am currently apart of the State Guard in Virginia. We are technically the organized militia. I am transferring from the state guard (virginia defense force) to the National Guard next month. We use the Natl Guard armories and work closely with the units there. The National Guard armory is under state control not the federal government.

The Governor is our commander in chief, and we are unnarmed unless specifically ordered by the honorable Tim Kaine. The Governor, under law can also call up the unorganized militia in case of a massive emergency.

We help out with natural disasters, possible terror attacks in the DC region (since our battalions armories are all within 45 minutes) took part in several bird flu practice innoculations with the Sheriff and police departments and the red cross. We have also help with crowd control, and other MP duties. We are military assistance to civilian authority. One of our most useful duties, is to shut down 95 North so all lanes go south in case of a terrorist attack in DC, and the Highland Brigade in the Chesapeake does the same for 64 in case of a hurricane in the area. We are continually being integrated with the National Guard, and as most Natl Guard units are now at half strength due to deployments the Governor is looking for state guard (especially since its all volunteer- unless on state active duty) to step up and take their in state duties.

Our division is considered a cadre unit, and we wear only the Virginia flag on our uniforms. Theyre are alot of prior service personnel who serve in the units because it is an all volunteer force, but no risk in going overseas, or they are not fit. We fall under the Department of Military Affairs in Virginia, under General Robert Newman who commands the Virginia National Guard and the Virginia Defense Force.

As many as 29 other states have these type of organizations. You can check out www.sgaus.org the State Guard Association of the United States and the Virginia Defense Force's homepage. http://www.virginiadefenseforce.org/

Sorry if this post is too long, if anybody has any questions ill try to answer them to the best of my ability, but I am no lawyer (but aspire to be) and no Constitutional scholar-

Tom McDonald

dclarry
04-17-2007, 10:57 PM
Thank you Tom and John for your posts on the National Guard and State Guard. I wish DC had a similar 'District Guard', sounds like a darn fine organization.

I checked out the Army National Guard website listed, http://www.arng.army.mil/constitution.aspx. It is excellent. I quote here it's content on the Guard and the 2nd Ammendment:


The Second Amendment qualified Article I, Section 10 by insuring that the federal government could not disarm the state militias. One part of the Bill of Rights, insisted on by the anti-federalists, states, "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."

What the US Appeals Court ruling Parker vs. DC says is that such a statement, while correct, is incomplete. The 2nd says more than that, according to the Appeals court. Yes, the 2nd Ammendment indeed insures that the Feds cannot disarm state militias, but it also confirms the pre-existing right for individuals to keep and bear arms.

On page 36 of the decision, we read:


Again, we point out that if the competent drafters of the Second Amendment had meant the right to be limited to the protection of state militias, it is hard to imagine that they would have chosen the language they did. We therefore take it as an expression of the drafters’ view that the people possessed a natural right to keep and bear arms, and that the preservation of the militia was the right’s most salient political benefit—and thus the most appropriate to express in a political document.

The decision discusses that the original concept of the drafters for a militia was best expressed in the Militia Act of the First Congress, which was more like today's Selective Service Act whereby


. . . each and every free able-bodied
white male citizen of the respective states, resident
therein, who is or shall be of the age of eighteen years,
and under the age of forty-five years (except as is
herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively
be enrolled in the militia,

'Enrollment' meant giving your name to the local militia captain. Congress went on to write rules for organizing the militia, but these pre-supposed the existance of a de facto militia. The District's argument that the National Guard is the only militia is dismissed as too narrow, since the militia existed prior to being organized into formal units, as the quote below states.


Contrary to the District’s view, there was no
organizational condition precedent to the existence of the
“Militia.” Congress went on in the second Militia Act to
prescribe a number of rules for organizing the militia. But the
militia itself was the raw material from which an organized
fighting force was to be created.

The decision discusses that the militia includes both organized and unorganized elements, and to define the militia as only the National Guard, is too restrictive. Such an interpretation would, in fact, not include units like the State Guard so well described in the previous post. The National Guard and State Guard are, in the judges' opinion, both examples of select militias and do not not make up the militia in its entirety as envisioned by the framers.

This discussion, while very interesting, is irrelevant to the operative clause of the 2nd, which expresses an individual right (in the majority judges opinion). Again, we read in the recent decision:


The Amendment does not protect “the right of militiamen to keep and bear arms,” but rather “the right of the people.” The operative clause, properly read, protects the ownership and use of weaponry beyond that needed to preserve the state militias.


Please forgive these long, dry posts, but I find Constitutional law issues interesting. Note that this US Appeals Court ruling will likely be brought to the Supreme Court for appeal, which will make for very interesting court watching.

toptimlrd
04-17-2007, 11:14 PM
Lawrence,

Apologise not, it is refreshing to read such well thought out and researched responses with appropriate citations to boot. Sure beats the usual knee jerk posts.

tompritchett
04-18-2007, 12:41 AM
For example the amendment that ended slavery could have been seen as an infringement on the private property protections built into the consitution. That is what most of the pre-war pro-slavery rulings were based on. That slaves were private property protected by the consitution.

But in that case, the 13th Amendment was specifically declaring that humans could no longer be considered property and thus former slave owners in fact would have no rights to something that can Constitutionally could no longer be considered property.

As for an example - the conflict between the 1rst Amendment Separation of Church and State versus a constitutional amendment declaring what churches can consider to be a valid marraige between consenting adults. Regardless of what one feels about same-sex unions, having a constitutional amendment that actually overturns unions that some denominations have recognized as valid marraiges raises very interesting constitutional questions.

tompritchett
04-18-2007, 12:59 AM
For a brief and readable synopsis of the legal foundations of state militias-National Guard units and their legal uses, I suggest going to the Army National Guard website.


http://www.arng.army.mil/constitution.aspx

Having served in the National Guard for six years and in two different states during the late 70's and early 80's, I can definitely tell you that the National Guard definitely traces its roots back to the Minutemen militia. For those of you that checked out the above link, you might have noticed the statue in the top righthand corner. It is a Minutemen, the unofficial symbol of what the National Guard is all about and something we were d*mn proud of when I was in.

tompritchett
04-18-2007, 01:06 AM
I agree with most that the 2nd ammendment was written for the common citizen and not a formal militia unit. When the founding fathers put together the Constitution we had just overthrown an oppressive government through the average citizen and their personally owned firearms. No the founding fathers had no clue about what types of weapons would be developed in the future but I think they would have wanted the citizens to have access to the same type of firepower as the government. Now I am not suggesting we should ever take up arms against our own government but it would be comforting to have the knowledge that we could IF it would become necessary. Remember that one of the first things any dictator usually does is ban weapons in the interest of "public safety", it's a lot easier to rule when you have the automatic weapon and they have a pen knife. Just food for thought.

In this case, I would have to agree with Robert in that at least some of the Founding Fathers, such as Jefferson, may have intended for the common citizen to have access to any firearm available to the military just in case the people once again had to throw off the shackles of a tyrannical government. The development of such a government was a very major concern of theirs and is the reason why the whole system of checks and balances was built into the Constitution. It deliberately makes government less efficient because a less efficient government is much less likely to become a tyrannical government.

toptimlrd
04-18-2007, 07:53 AM
In this case, I would have to agree with Robert in that at least some of the Founding Fathers, such as Jefferson, may have intended for the common citizen to have access to any firearm available to the military just in case the people once again had to throw off the shackles of a tyrannical government. The development of such a government was a very major concern of theirs and is the reason why the whole system of checks and balances was built into the Constitution. It deliberately makes government less efficient because a less efficient government is much less likely to become a tyrannical government.


Tom,

As everyone knows the checks and balances in the Constitution is why no one branch of government has any more power than the other (just don't tell Justice Ginsburg). The armed citizenry to me is the fourth check and balance for when all else fails. Fortunately our government has never swung too far right or left to require such a check but once again it is there just in case.

dclarry
04-18-2007, 08:12 AM
Having served in the National Guard for six years and in two different states during the late 70's and early 80's, I can definitely tell you that the National Guard definitely traces its roots back to the Minutemen militia. For those of you that checked out the above link, you might have noticed the statue in the top righthand corner. It is a Minutemen, the unofficial symbol of what the National Guard is all about and something we were d*mn proud of when I was in.

There is no question, and no doubt is raised, that the National Guard traces its roots back to the Colonial militia, and that the National Guard is a lineal descendent of the Minutemen, for which all Guradsmen should be rightly proud. All that is being said is that the term 'militia' as used in the 2nd Ammendment is not limited to the National Guard.

tompritchett
04-18-2007, 10:06 AM
As everyone knows the checks and balances in the Constitution is why no one branch of government has any more power than the other (just don't tell Justice Ginsburg).

Actually, I could argue that while most intellectually know about the checks and balances of government, some truly do not understand the full implications of what that means. For example, President Nixon was notorious for his frustration at the checks that Congress placed upon his power as an executive, and this administration on several ocassions has shown tendencies to try to perform end-runs around checks from the other two branchs - in some cases using executive orders, recess appointments, and the issuing of regulatory re-interpretations to directly contradict the expressed will of the Congress. Several times involving environmental issue the Supreme Court has had to actually step in and invalidate such steps because the administration's actions were in direct contradiction of the written text of the Congressional acts the adminstration was "re-interpreting".

Oh, BTW in regards to our conversation several months back on the potential of portions of the Patriot Act regulations being used against someone strictly because of political dissent and not any actual security threat, I have found just such a case which I was able to confirm with the individual involved. Unfortunately the information is on my other computer but I can post if you are interested.

tompritchett
04-18-2007, 10:16 AM
There is no question, and no doubt is raised, that the National Guard traces its roots back to the Colonial militia, and that the National Guard is a lineal descendent of the Minutemen, for which all Guradsmen should be rightly proud. All that is being said is that the term 'militia' as used in the 2nd Ammendment is not limited to the National Guard.

Actually much earlier in the thread there was considerable doubt raised about the National Guard being part of the militia by 31stWisconsin. Allow me to quote one of his earlier posts.

Is the National Guard a militia? Come on, who are you trying to kid? They are paid and equipped by the national government. Can a guardsman bring his weapon home for the week? No, because it is a GOVERNMENT issued weapon belong to a GOVERNMENT organization. The 2nd says the people have a right to "keep arms," as in keep arms at home. Arms belonging to the government in service for the country are NOT the property of the "people."

I think most Guardsmen would be insulted to be considered militia. I asked by roommate, you is in the Guard, and he disagrees with you Bob. He defines a militia as something lower than the guard.

Apparently, Tim your roommate needs to have a serious talk to the more senior members of his unit about the traditions of the National Guard. I would also suggest that he consider enrolling in the National Guard Association since it is readily apparent from his statement that he is not a member.

dclarry
04-18-2007, 10:44 AM
Actually much earlier in the thread there was considerable doubt raised about the National Guard being part of the militia by 31stWisconsin. Allow me to quote one of his earlier posts.


Roger that, Tom. No doubt was raised by me, anyways. Sorry.

tompritchett
04-18-2007, 11:14 AM
No doubt was raised by me, anyways. Sorry.

No problem. I can understand the confusion from where my post appeared in the tree, but I had wanted to repond to Tim's post when I initially read it and jhtlmnn's post with the link gave me the opportunity to comment on the Minuteman statue.

sbl
04-18-2007, 11:25 AM
Could we say that if the VT shooter had been required to be part of a "well regulated militia" it would have been clear that he wasn't to be trusted with even his legally purchased weapons?

tompritchett
04-18-2007, 03:47 PM
Could we say that if the VT shooter had been required to be part of a "well regulated militia" it would have been clear that he wasn't to be trusted with even his legally purchased weapons?

Current gun regulations do have provisions that prevent people with known tendencies for violence or with known mental health problems from purchasing firearms but often do not necessarily address ownership of guns purchased prior to the restriction becoming applicable. However, I am not sure the shooter would have been prevented from purchasing a new firearm as the mental health system was just starting to document his mental health problems and I do not believe that any of the triggers that prevent purchasing a firearm had yet been tripped. I am afraid this one would have slipped through the cracks in the existing system regardless.

sbl
04-18-2007, 04:56 PM
Thomas,

I understand that his problems went back a ways at VT. When he bought his weapons legally will soon be public to compare his issues with the dates of purchase.

I should have written that in the "Ideal", his (anyone's) enrollment in a militia, responsible and accountable to his community, would soon reveal whether he was to be trusted with weapons at all.

I hate to see that this horror may not bring us together, but only cause irresponsible feuding over responsible gun ownership.

tompritchett
04-18-2007, 06:04 PM
I should have written that in the "Ideal", his (anyone's) enrollment in a militia, responsible and accountable to his community, would soon reveal whether he was to be trusted with weapons at all.

I hate to see that this horror may not bring us together, but only cause irresponsible feuding over responsible gun ownership.

Two points, I believe that one may be a member of the organized militia, the National Guard, even though legally one can not purchase a weapon because of some of the no-purchase triggers, such as ever having a restraining order issued (usually due to spouts w/ ex-spouses). It has been so long since I was a member, I am not sure what would disqualify someone from purchasing a firearm versus disqualifying the same individual from either initially enlisting or re-upping. in the Guard. Remember, Guardsmen do not bring their weapons home, unlike a country such as Switzerland.

Second, and my major initial point. From what I have read, the warning flags about the mental health of this shooter were just starting to go up. Most states only look for a history of hospitalization as an indicator of mental instability and, as far as I know, this never happened for this individual. Typically hospitalizations are reserved for those suffering from such severe depression that the authorities view him as an immediate threat to himself or to others. Unfortunately, I do not believe that any of the mental health officials at the University were ready to make such a strong determination based upon the limited information they had on him at the time. Yes, they were definitely concerned and were looking into the situation further, but had yet reached the point of having him voluntarily or involuntarily committed for further evaluation and subsequent stabilization on medications. It takes such an actual commitment before the mental health disqualifiers kick in on gun purchases.

This is not a pro- or anti-gun registration argument. I am just pointing out that the circumstances of this tragedy were such that not even the most restrictive gun control laws currently on the books probably would not have prevented this individual from owning and/or purchasing firearms up until the point he shot the first victim.

rebelyell62
04-18-2007, 07:12 PM
to the stake with the blasphermer but .......

As a law abiding gun owner I have absolutely no problem with having to have any (or all) of my guns registered with state officials and with carrying an id for them.

I'll go a step further. All guns should be test fired and the bullet kept on file to help solve any future crimes which maybe committed with the guns.

And just before the regular comments come flowing in:

The second amendment is not a carte blanch gun amendment it is a militia amendment.

You can not defend yourself from government oppression with your guns. One RA infantry battalion with a rotation in Iraq could mop the floor with the whole lot of us in under an hour, no matter how we were armed.

And if your that concerned about your rights GET OUT AND VOTE (which statistically less than 50% of us are doing).


Spoken like a true New Yorker!

Registration my foot ! It's a means to an end. We will follow in the steps of our "European" friends England.

Should we register knives, base ball bats?

I have an idea!!!! Why don't our L.E. friends begin enforceing one or two of the 25,000 gun laws on the books already. Or if someone is found guilty of a capital offence, sentence them to die, no appeals, yes that includes "troubled" teens as well, in say 20 days from the sentence.

Laws are not the answer. accountability for your actions is !!!

Wendell Brown

first_sgt_8thky
04-18-2007, 10:00 PM
Laws are not the answer. accountability for your actions is !!!

Well said my friend. Guns have only been around for what? 500 or 600 years. Let's say that every gun in the world was taken away and destroyed. Do you think that people wouldn't hurt or kill people? What did they do for the thousands of years before guns? Knives? Bows? Rocks? Bare Hands?

We were thrown out of Paradise a long time. People need to wake up and realize that you can not legislate Paradise on Earth.

1st Sgt Shannon

sbl
04-19-2007, 05:26 AM
[QUOTE=first_sgt_8thky]Laws are not the answer. accountability for your actions is !!!

Well said my friend. Guns have only been around for what? 500 or 600 years. Let's say that every gun in the world was taken away and destroyed. Do you think that people wouldn't hurt or kill people? What did they do for the thousands of years before guns? Knives? Bows? Rocks? Bare Hands?

1st Sgt Shannon,

Your point doesn't cover innocent by-standers and others down range.

sbl
04-19-2007, 05:28 AM
Thomas,

Thank you for the reply.

toptimlrd
04-19-2007, 08:48 AM
[QUOTE=first_sgt_8thky]Laws are not the answer. accountability for your actions is !!!

Well said my friend. Guns have only been around for what? 500 or 600 years. Let's say that every gun in the world was taken away and destroyed. Do you think that people wouldn't hurt or kill people? What did they do for the thousands of years before guns? Knives? Bows? Rocks? Bare Hands?

1st Sgt Shannon,

Your point doesn't cover innocent by-standers and others down range.


How often does an innocent bystander get hit by a stray bullet from a law abiding citizen? (Jeapordy music playing) answer: VERY rarely. Most innocent bystanders are hit in random acts of violence by people who by definition do not obey the law hence the term criminals. No law on the books is going to change that. More gun laws only takes weapons out of the hands of law abiders like you and me and stacks the odds in favor of the criminal element. How long have automatic weapons been banned? Since the 30s if memory serves me right but the street gangs certaintly don't seem to have problems acquiring them. Heres a revolutionary thought, stop the plea bargaining, time off for "good behavior" (if you had good behavior you wouldn't be behind bars in the first place), make prisons an absolute hole, and make people serve every second of their sentence get rid of parole......you get sentened to 60 years you don't get out until all 60 years are served. Nope I have no sympathy for violent criminals period.

Perhaps we should also outlaw pen knives, box cutters, diesel fuel, and ammonia nitrate fertilizer; these items killed far more people at one time than any automatic firearm could have.

sbl
04-19-2007, 09:18 AM
toptimlrd,

Hand weapons don't hit bystanders. Most people don't drive around in Ryder Truck. I'm mad too but let's not get into fantasyland.

tompritchett
04-19-2007, 09:54 AM
Second, and my major initial point. From what I have read, the warning flags about the mental health of this shooter were just starting to go up. Most states only look for a history of hospitalization as an indicator of mental instability and, as far as I know, this never happened for this individual. Typically hospitalizations are reserved for those suffering from such severe depression that the authorities view him as an immediate threat to himself or to others. Unfortunately, I do not believe that any of the mental health officials at the University were ready to make such a strong determination based upon the limited information they had on him at the time. Yes, they were definitely concerned and were looking into the situation further, but had yet reached the point of having him voluntarily or involuntarily committed for further evaluation and subsequent stabilization on medications. It takes such an actual commitment before the mental health disqualifiers kick in on gun purchases.

Scott, based upon todays articles it looks like my second point may no longer be valid as originally stated. It does appear that there was a commitment for evaluation purposes after which Cho was released for out-patient treatment. I am not sure where Va laws stand on such commitments affecting the right to purchase guns. However, even the law had restricted his ability to purchase firearms I am not sure the restriction it is truly enforcable. Typically the check is performed by the seller merely asking the buyer about any hospitalizations as I am not aware of any centralized database that could be checked. If Cho lied about his mental health, there would be no way for anyone to confirm or refute his statements because the medical privacy laws prevent any of his medical data being released to anyone else without his direct authorization or an actual warrant.

If anything, this episode has exposed a major deffeciency in most existing gun control laws when it comes to the issue of people with mental health problems. Unlike with people with criminal records, there is no effect way to perform a reliable background check for potential mental health problems if that person choses to lie about his past history. Unfortunately, the creation of such a computerized, searchable database could open up a whole series of other problems - most of which would have nothing to do with gun control.

sbl
04-19-2007, 10:52 AM
"Unfortunately, the creation of such a computerized, searchable database could open up a whole series of other problems - most of which would have nothing to do with gun control."

...cause it's happening now.

Malingerer
04-19-2007, 11:30 AM
It does seem just the teensyist bit inconsistent that many of the conservatives on our forum who wail and gnash their teeth over the loss of second amendment rights never utter a word regading the loss of other constitutional protections. To wit: habeus corpus, search and seziure, right to counsel, etc.. . If you want to see the consitution remain unadulterated fine, just make sure you're not being too provincial in your outlook. Yes, there are limitations to our access to 'arms' - you can't own a working automatic weapon without a special permit (oh the horror) and (gasp) you can't own a nuclear weapon (despite the fact that the constitution says the right of the people to bear 'arms' shall not be infringed), biological, or even chemical weapons (stupid eliteist liberals). Where oh where will all this radical infringement end? In the meantime, the dept of home;and security can simply 'dissapear' you without access to lawyer, jury, or the right to hear the evidence against you - and yet hardly a word from my peers on the right.
Regards,
Peter Julius
Bryson City, NC

rebelyell62
04-19-2007, 12:15 PM
My Dear Peter,

Homeland Security was one of the "poisons" I made reference too.

IMHO nothing more than Gestapo. Papers Please

Mr. Imus paid dearly for exercising his 1st amendment rights. Yet a "comedian" can stand onstage and use racial epithets in his routine, and it's just funnier than h#$@ !! Double standard??Where is the outrage ????

An offensive remark is just that, no matter what color or ethnicity the mouth.

For the record. I , in no way am a proponent of racist, elitist ideals. I judge a man one at a time FOR HIS CHARACTER. If I disagree with you, or you me, that's OK. We shall agree to disagree, like mature adults.

But Damit, don't take away my right to say and do as I please, as long as no harm comes to anyone.

Wendell Brown
8th KY CSA
9th KY, Citizen Gaurd ,The Orphan Brigade

Malingerer
04-19-2007, 12:25 PM
Wendell,
How are elitest and racist linked? I grew up thinking 'elite' was a good thing - like 'elite forces' or 'elite students'. I was raised in a household that instilled in us a sense of regard for high achievment - a desire to become one of the elite. I think I must be missing something here.
Regards,
Peter Julius
Bryson City, NC

sbl
04-19-2007, 01:03 PM
Peter,

I want to see a copy of "The Declaration of War" before troops can quarter in MY house! The Brits made a mess around here in the 1770s and left blackball and pipeclay stains all over. Don't get me started on the brickdust and hair powder.

sbl
04-19-2007, 01:06 PM
Peter,

Sometimes it's rich elites vs talented elites.

Malingerer
04-19-2007, 01:09 PM
That's OK Scott, Prince Harry and his buds can bunk with me next time they're campaigning in the Carolinas. Should be a piece of cake for them now that the gov'ment has rounded up all the committee of safety firelocks.

Rob
04-19-2007, 01:20 PM
It does seem just the teensyist bit inconsistent that many of the conservatives on our forum who wail and gnash their teeth over the loss of second amendment rights never utter a word regading the loss of other constitutional protections.

Don't confuse real conservatives with globalists who call themselves conservatives. Some of these guys are truly wolves in sheeps' clothing. And that left-right political spectrum which you were taught in tenth-grade social studies class has no basis in reality.

Personally, I'll take the Constitution and Bill of Rights as written, without picking and choosing which parts to keep and which to discard.

Malingerer
04-19-2007, 01:44 PM
Don't confuse real conservatives with globalists who call themselves conservatives. Some of these guys are truly wolves in sheeps' clothing. And that left-right political spectrum which you were taught in tenth-grade social studies class has no basis in reality.

Personally, I'll take the Constitution and Bill of Rights as written, without picking and choosing which parts to keep and which to discard.
Rob,
Bear in mind that I'm the product of a Mississippi public education (Mississippi, where our motto has always been thank God for Alabama), so I must confess I'm not sure what you mean by 'globalists'. And I only wish I'd had a tenth grade civics class that had addressed the notion of a left-right spectrum.
Regards,

dclarry
04-19-2007, 01:50 PM
It does seem just the teensyist bit inconsistent that many of the conservatives on our forum who wail and gnash their teeth over the loss of second amendment rights never utter a word regading the loss of other constitutional protections.

Peter, you make a good point. I would put forth that the reason most of the members of this forum, whether on the Right or Left, will expostulate seemingly forever (like me) on the 2nd Ammendment is that this forum's members all have an interest in firearms of some kind, and in military history. Also, many of us are gun owners outside of our reenacting life. I know I am stating the obvious here, but I think the 2nd touches on those interests. Also, the Parker vs. DC case is local news for me, so I have been particularly interested in 2nd Ammendment questions, and have definitely given other issues only glancing interest. Not a good thing, by any means.

Also, I think the infringement on free speech, personal privacy, etc, has been relatively stealthy so far and has not been personalized by our members, including me. And, I do not think there are big Constitutional questions hanging out there right now. As soon as there is a big court challenge to some provision of the new security laws, I think you will see more debate here.

toptimlrd
04-19-2007, 08:30 PM
toptimlrd,

Hand weapons don't hit bystanders. Most people don't drive around in Ryder Truck. I'm mad too but let's not get into fantasyland.

Fine then let's put it this way... I can hit my target.

And no but the planes that those box cutters were used to hijack sure did. What about that college kid who rented a vehicle just so he could mow down other students in the name of Allah. What if just one of those students or professors had been armed at VA Tech? We would probably be hearing a different story now. Can we stop talking about tools as if they are a living thing? There are more than enough gun law on the books we need no more and probably a few of the ones on the books could go also.

toptimlrd
04-19-2007, 08:39 PM
Somehow I missed Peter's post on the inconsistencies of rights being taken away. I'm not sure what he is driving at. We need to remember that the protections guaranteed by the constitution are given to citizens only and are normally extended to our visitors as well. If he is referring to the treatment of the terrorists in custody they are not citizens and are not protected under our Constitution. Now if the Patriot Act is what he is referring to it also does not apply to US citizens unless there is reasonable suspicon they are supporting our enemies which is a crime unto itself.

Malingerer
04-20-2007, 07:36 AM
Robert,
I sincerely appologize for my lack of clarity. My point was that the Bill of Rights includes a few more items than the right to bear arms and it would be nice to see conservative defenders of constitutional law give as much attention to Attorney General Gonzalez's pronouncement that habeus corpus is not 'specificly guaranteed in the constitution'. According to these guys you or I can be picked up on the mereist hint of suspicion and detained without access to an attorney or even the right to hear the evidence against you. Now don't get me wrong, I love owning and firing guns and I own a bunch of them - but its hard for me to get my panties in a wad over the fact that I can't own a machine gun when the current 'conservative' administration is quietly stripping away my right of due process.
And while we're at it, I wish someone would tell me just where we should draw the line on weapons ownership. The constitution is pretty clear that the right of the people to keep and bear 'arms' shall not be infringed. So, just so we're clear, does 'arms' include your right to have nukes, chemweapons, and bioweapons? Just how much destructive power should I have at my fingertips?

toptimlrd
04-20-2007, 08:26 AM
Robert,
I sincerely appologize for my lack of clarity. My point was that the Bill of Rights includes a few more items than the right to bear arms and it would be nice to see conservative defenders of constitutional law give as much attention to Attorney General Gonzalez's pronouncement that habeus corpus is not 'specificly guaranteed in the constitution'. According to these guys you or I can be picked up on the mereist hint of suspicion and detained without access to an attorney or even the right to hear the evidence against you. Now don't get me wrong, I love owning and firing guns and I own a bunch of them - but its hard for me to get my panties in a wad over the fact that I can't own a machine gun when the current 'conservative' administration is quietly stripping away my right of due process.
And while we're at it, I wish someone would tell me just where we should draw the line on weapons ownership. The constitution is pretty clear that the right of the people to keep and bear 'arms' shall not be infringed. So, just so we're clear, does 'arms' include your right to have nukes, chemweapons, and bioweapons? Just how much destructive power should I have at my fingertips?

Peter,

I was unaware Gonzolas stated as such but in that I agree with you, Habaeus Corpus mst be extended to the citizenship until that point where the citizen has shown through due process to be supporting an enemy of the United States in which case they shold be looked upon as spying for the enemy, so I disagree with Hamdi v. Rumsfeld. I did some research on the current state of Habeus Corpus and here is what I found:

The November 13, 2001 Presidential Military Order gave the President of the United States the power to detain a non-citizen suspected of connection to terrorists or terrorism as an unlawful combatant. As such, it was asserted that a person could be held indefinitely without charges being filed against him or her, without a court hearing, and without entitlement to a legal consultant. Many legal and constitutional scholars contended that these provisions were in direct opposition to habeas corpus, and the United States Bill of Rights.

In Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004), the Supreme Court reaffirmed the right of United States citizens to seek writs of habeas corpus even when declared enemy combatants.

In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 548 U.S. ___ (2006), Salim Ahmed Hamdan petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus, challenging that the military commissions set up by the Bush administration to try detainees at Guantánamo Bay “violate both the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the four Geneva Conventions.” In a 5-3 ruling, the Supreme Court rejected Congress's attempts to strip the courts of jurisdiction over habeas corpus appeals by detainees at Guantánamo Bay. Congress had previously passed the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2006 which stated in Section 1005(e), “Procedures for Status Review of Detainees Outside the United States”:

“(1) Except as provided in section 1005 of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, no court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the Department of Defense at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
“(2) The jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on any claims with respect to an alien under this paragraph shall be limited to the consideration of whether the status determination … was consistent with the standards and procedures specified by the Secretary of Defense for Combatant Status Review Tribunals (including the requirement that the conclusion of the Tribunal be supported by a preponderance of the evidence and allowing a rebuttable presumption in favor of the Government's evidence), and to the extent the Constitution and laws of the United States are applicable, whether the use of such standards and procedures to make the determination is consistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States.”
On 29 September 2006, the House and Senate approved the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA), a bill that would suspend habeas corpus for any alien determined to be an “unlawful enemy combatant" engaged in hostilities or having supported hostilities against the United States”[2][3] by a vote of 65–34. (This was the result on the bill to approve the military trials for detainees; an amendment to remove the suspension of habeas corpus failed 48–51.[4]) President Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 into law on October 17, 2006.

With the MCA's passage, the law altered the language from “alien detained … at Guantánamo Bay”:

“Except as provided in section 1005 of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, no court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the United States who has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination.” §1005(e)(1), 119 Stat. 2742.
On 20 February 2007, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld this provision of the MCA in a 2-1 decision of the Case Boumediene v. Bush. The Supreme Court let the Circuit Court's decision stand by refusing to hear the detainees' appeal.

Under the MCA, the law restricts habeas appeals for only those aliens detained as "enemy combatants," or awaiting such determination. Left unchanged is the provision that, after such determination is made, it is subject to appeal in U.S. Court, including a review of whether the evidence warrants the determination. If the status is upheld, then their imprisonment is deemed lawful; if not, then the government can change the prisoner's status to something else, at which point the habeas restrictions no longer apply


I think what's important is that the suspension of habaeous corpus is only directed at non-citizens which is correct. aI hope to what Attourney General Gonzalas was referring and may have mispoke is that Habeus Corpus may be suspended in the case of rebellion or invasion for the public safety per Article one section nine which is why Lincoln suspended them during our favorite time period. So the suspension is provided for in the Constitution as well and it could be argued that anyone supporting the enemy could be seen as invading, not sure I agree totally with that asessment but I can understand it.

As to allowed weapons, we have to remember that artillery was around at the time of the sining of the Constitution but they did not outlaw the citizenry from owning artillery (fortunately for us). I think the Constitution is pretty clear myself. Of course we are taking this to the extreme of nukes and bio weapons but those would be covered under hazardous materials laws. Even as legal weapons owners we are still restricted to how much black powder we have on hand and I would have to have special licensing and training to be able to purchase the "ammunition" for such WMDs.

Malingerer
04-20-2007, 08:47 AM
Peter,

I was unaware Gonzolas stated as such but in that I agree with you, Habaeus Corpus mst be extended to the citizenship until that point where the citizen has shown through due process to be supporting an enemy of the United States in which case they shold be looked upon as spying for the enemy, so I disagree with Hamdi v. Rumsfeld. I did some research on the current state of Habeus Corpus and here is what I found:

The November 13, 2001 Presidential Military Order gave the President of the United States the power to detain a non-citizen suspected of connection to terrorists or terrorism as an unlawful combatant. As such, it was asserted that a person could be held indefinitely without charges being filed against him or her, without a court hearing, and without entitlement to a legal consultant. Many legal and constitutional scholars contended that these provisions were in direct opposition to habeas corpus, and the United States Bill of Rights.

In Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004), the Supreme Court reaffirmed the right of United States citizens to seek writs of habeas corpus even when declared enemy combatants.

In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 548 U.S. ___ (2006), Salim Ahmed Hamdan petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus, challenging that the military commissions set up by the Bush administration to try detainees at Guantánamo Bay “violate both the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the four Geneva Conventions.” In a 5-3 ruling, the Supreme Court rejected Congress's attempts to strip the courts of jurisdiction over habeas corpus appeals by detainees at Guantánamo Bay. Congress had previously passed the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2006 which stated in Section 1005(e), “Procedures for Status Review of Detainees Outside the United States”:

“(1) Except as provided in section 1005 of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, no court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the Department of Defense at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
“(2) The jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on any claims with respect to an alien under this paragraph shall be limited to the consideration of whether the status determination … was consistent with the standards and procedures specified by the Secretary of Defense for Combatant Status Review Tribunals (including the requirement that the conclusion of the Tribunal be supported by a preponderance of the evidence and allowing a rebuttable presumption in favor of the Government's evidence), and to the extent the Constitution and laws of the United States are applicable, whether the use of such standards and procedures to make the determination is consistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States.”
On 29 September 2006, the House and Senate approved the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA), a bill that would suspend habeas corpus for any alien determined to be an “unlawful enemy combatant" engaged in hostilities or having supported hostilities against the United States”[2][3] by a vote of 65–34. (This was the result on the bill to approve the military trials for detainees; an amendment to remove the suspension of habeas corpus failed 48–51.[4]) President Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 into law on October 17, 2006.

With the MCA's passage, the law altered the language from “alien detained … at Guantánamo Bay”:

“Except as provided in section 1005 of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, no court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the United States who has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination.” §1005(e)(1), 119 Stat. 2742.
On 20 February 2007, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld this provision of the MCA in a 2-1 decision of the Case Boumediene v. Bush. The Supreme Court let the Circuit Court's decision stand by refusing to hear the detainees' appeal.

Under the MCA, the law restricts habeas appeals for only those aliens detained as "enemy combatants," or awaiting such determination. Left unchanged is the provision that, after such determination is made, it is subject to appeal in U.S. Court, including a review of whether the evidence warrants the determination. If the status is upheld, then their imprisonment is deemed lawful; if not, then the government can change the prisoner's status to something else, at which point the habeas restrictions no longer apply


I think what's important is that the suspension of habaeous corpus is only directed at non-citizens which is correct. aI hope to what Attourney General Gonzalas was referring and may have mispoke is that Habeus Corpus may be suspended in the case of rebellion or invasion for the public safety per Article one section nine which is why Lincoln suspended them during our favorite time period. So the suspension is provided for in the Constitution as well and it could be argued that anyone supporting the enemy could be seen as invading, not sure I agree totally with that asessment but I can understand it.

As to allowed weapons, we have to remember that artillery was around at the time of the sining of the Constitution but they did not outlaw the citizenry from owning artillery (fortunately for us). I think the Constitution is pretty clear myself. Of course we are taking this to the extreme of nukes and bio weapons but those would be covered under hazardous materials laws. Even as legal weapons owners we are still restricted to how much black powder we have on hand and I would have to have special licensing and training to be able to purchase the "ammunition" for such WMDs.
Robert,
Thanks very much for the research regarding habeus corpus. As to arms ownership - yes there are laws preventing us from owning nukes, etc., that's not what my question was. What I was asking was, where should the limits be drawn? The Constitution most certainly does not limit the types of arms we can own so that automaticly means we the people can choose for ourselves where those limitations should lie. So again, just where should those limits be? Just how much damage should we be able to inflict?
Regards,

dclarry
04-20-2007, 10:43 AM
Robert,
Thanks very much for the research regarding habeus corpus. As to arms ownership - yes there are laws preventing us from owning nukes, etc., that's not what my question was. What I was asking was, where should the limits be drawn? The Constitution most certainly does not limit the types of arms we can own so that automaticly means we the people can choose for ourselves where those limitations should lie. So again, just where should those limits be? Just how much damage should we be able to inflict?


The definition of 'arms' as used in the 2nd and in various state constitutions has come up in Supreme Court decisions before, and is reviewed in the US Appeals C Court decision on Parker vs. DC. The Supreme Court looked at the 2nd in US vs. Miller in 1939. The SC did not rule on the collective versus individual right to keep and bear arms, so it set no precedent for Parker vs DC. The SC did make a ruling on what 'arms' may be kept. The miller case dealt with two arrested transporting a sawed-off shotgun from Oklahoma to Arkansas in contravention of the National Firearms Act. The defendents challenged their indictment on 2nd Ammednment grounds. The case made it to the SC. The SC did not rule on the US attorney's proposal that these men had no connection with a 'militia', so had no real recourse to protection under the 2nd, which is why no precedent was set for Parker. However, the SC did rule on the definition of arms, using language consistant with the drafters/First Congress Milita Acts.

Quoting the review of Miller in Parker:


The government had argued that even those courts that had
adopted an individual right theory of the Second Amendment
had held that the term “Arms,” as used in both the Federal and
various state constitutions, referred “only to those weapons
which are ordinarily used for military or public defense purposes
and does not relate to those weapons which are commonly used
by criminals.

The government then proceeded to quote at length from a
Tennessee state court case interpreting “Arms” in the Tennessee
Bill of Rights to mean weapons “such as are usually employed
in civilized warfare, and that constitute the ordinary military
equipment.” Id. (quoting Aymette v. State, 20 Tenn. (1 Hum.)
154, 157 (1840)). The government’s weapons-based argument
provided the Miller Court with an alternative means to uphold
the National Firearms Act even if the Court disagreed with the
government’s collective right argument.

The recent Parker decisiion, which states that the 2nd preserves an individual right to keep and bear arms, talks about 'arms' in its own right.


The term “Arms” was quite indefinite, but it
would have been peculiar, to say the least, if it were designed to
ensure that people had an individual right to keep weapons
capable of mass destruction—e.g., cannons. Thus the Miller
Court limited the term “Arms”—interpreting it in a manner
consistent with the Amendment’s underlying civic purpose.
Only “Arms” whose “use or possession . . . has some reasonable
relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated
militia,” would qualify for protection.

While the bit about 'cannons' is bothersome for an artillery reenactor, the bit about WMD is comforting.

The Militia Act tells that:


When called up by either the state or the
federal government, “these men were expected to appear
bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common
use at the time.


This statement has been used to support the generally held belief that the 2nd refers at least to the lineal descendents of the flintlock muskets and pistols of drafter's era , today's modern rifles and pistols. Where that leaves modern assault rifles, I don't know.

I would guess that machine guns, etc. will remain banned or severely limited. There will be challenges, for sure, but there are existing precedents on gun regulation that maintain regulation's Constitutionality.

Malingerer
04-20-2007, 11:22 AM
Lawrence,
That was an awe inspiring and extremely helpful post. So it seems that most of us are willing to accept some limitations on what sort of weapons we can own - the debate is over the details of where those limitations should lie. Thanks again for one of the best posts I've seen on this subject.
Regards,

dclarry
04-20-2007, 12:42 PM
That was an awe inspiring and extremely helpful post.


Thanks for the slap on the back, Peter. I do not think I have ever inspired awe before in anyone.

I caught up with reading the previous posts, and was awe struck myself at Robert's research on habeas corpus. A very well-done piece.

bob 125th nysvi
04-20-2007, 02:42 PM
[QUOTE=toptimlrd]What if just one of those students or professors had been armed at VA Tech?QUOTE]

about more dead and injured due to the cross fire of people who had guns and couldn't use them.

Having one is no proof of being able to use it.

What is it they used to say about western gunfights, it wasn't the first shot it was the first aimed shot that counted and many of America's greatest "gunmen" were bushwackers and backshooters or ran their records up against non-starters.

But to carry my argument forward, since some people want no restrictions on guns that means you can not for example even require a rudimentory safety/usage instruction course before you get one. That would be a restriction on your "right".

Therefore many people could have guns, think they should be playing John Wayne, yet have no idea how to. The only thing then we'd be thankful for is that most of them couldn't HIT what they aimed at.

But woe to the bystander.

I own guns but many of the 'gun lobby' arguments make no more sense than the 'anit-gun' lobbies arguments.

Example I know people who bought guns to 'defend their family and home' and they pull out a shiny silver .44 magnum automatic.

The ultimate home defense weapon is a shotgun, point in the general direction and shoot, you're aim doesn't have to be that good and in close quarters your chances of hitting your target are very good.

The second best is a revolver because if you have a misfire you just pull the trigger again and up comes another round.

An automatic is the worst soltuion because it requires cool nerves, a steady aim and the prayer that you don't have a misfire.

These guys didn't buy a home defense weapon they bought a second bigger p@n^$.

You really want him waving around his gun everytime he feels 'threatened'?

bob 125th nysvi
04-20-2007, 02:47 PM
Last time I checked, the city of Madison did not pay the stipend of my roommate's scholarship. Last time I check, he was not "organized" in the state of Wisconsin, he received all his training out of state or at Fort. McCoy which is FEDERAL property. And the commander-in-chief is the President, yet another federal organization, and the chain of commander below that spans the nation.

I'm having trouble how this is the local independent militia the founding fathers were talking about. Organized, financed, and controlled by the local government it's not.

Controlled by the Governor unless Nationalized by Presidential decree.

The bargain the states cut (thanks to the CW for one) is that the Federal government provides the funding for the right to call up the Guard.

It's a slight of hand, they can keep taxes lower at a state level by passing the burden onto the feds.

bob 125th nysvi
04-20-2007, 02:59 PM
As for an example - the conflict between the 1rst Amendment Separation of Church and State versus a constitutional amendment declaring what churches can consider to be a valid marraige between consenting adults. Regardless of what one feels about same-sex unions, having a constitutional amendment that actually overturns unions that some denominations have recognized as valid marraiges raises very interesting constitutional questions.

An amendent like you discuss is not really about religion it is only about what the STATE will recognize as a valid marriage. And that is well within the power of the State as discussed here.

For example there are sects of the Mormon Religion (not the "Church") which consider polygamy valid. Yet no government in the land defends polygamy and it has never been successfully defend under the 1st Amendement as an infringement on religious freedom.

Same-sex marriages would fall into the same category. A religion may consider them valid but the State does not have to. Conversely the State might consider them valid, yet no religion would have to accept them.

So the Constitution COULD be amended to define what the State is willing to define as a legal marriage. But it could not, for example, force Roman Catholic Priests to perform same sex marriages in a RC Church.

bob 125th nysvi
04-20-2007, 03:12 PM
Spoken like a true New Yorker!

Registration my foot ! It's a means to an end. We will follow in the steps of our "European" friends England.

Should we register knives, base ball bats?

I have an idea!!!! Why don't our L.E. friends begin enforceing one or two of the 25,000 gun laws on the books already. Or if someone is found guilty of a capital offence, sentence them to die, no appeals, yes that includes "troubled" teens as well, in say 20 days from the sentence.

Laws are not the answer. accountability for your actions is !!!

Wendell Brown

are the rules by which a society agrees to function and therefore are necessary and the answer.

Accountability for your actions is very much the issue but the LAWS are what decide whether or not you're accountable and for what.

The Emperor of Roman could kill anyone he wished. Why because there was no law to prevent him. George Bush does not have the same power because there are laws that say he can't.

Personal accountability to the laws already on the books is neither a "left" or "right" or "european" issue.

You can not have accountability with out defining what you can and can not do and that is what laws do.

Someday they may want to register baseball bats. That will be up to the voters of that day. If they fail to follow through in their responsibility to vote and get laws they don't like then they are in effect 'accountable' because they didn't exercise their right to vote.

Sitting on your duff on election day is they same as saying to those who go to the polls, 'you make the decision for me'. Can't blame them for making decisions you don't like after all you gave them permission to make them.

How's that for accountability?

You, me and everyone else on this board may vote religiously but it is obvious as more and more restrictive guns laws are passed that one of two things is happening. 'Pro-gun' advocates are in the minority or the majority of them don't vote (Nixon's silent majority). Either way they lose in an election

bob 125th nysvi
04-20-2007, 03:15 PM
Peter,

I want to see a copy of "The Declaration of War" before troops can quarter in MY house! The Brits made a mess around here in the 1770s and left blackball and pipeclay stains all over. Don't get me started on the brickdust and hair powder.

sell them their worth money. Get yours before the government takes that 'right' away too!

tompritchett
04-20-2007, 05:18 PM
Same-sex marriages would fall into the same category. A religion may consider them valid but the State does not have to. Conversely the State might consider them valid, yet no religion would have to accept them.

The only problem is that while many would not have a problem with civil unions (except an idiot judge in Mass who felt the term itself was discrimatory) when it comes to joint property rights, inheritances and such (the legal reason behind states recognizing marraiges), all the arguments for such a constitutional amendment are related to the sanctimony of the religious institution of marraige. I have yet to see an argument against same sex unions that was not related to religious objections. If you have seen one, please pass it on.

tompritchett
04-20-2007, 05:31 PM
I was unaware Gonzolas stated as such
...


I think what's important is that the suspension of habaeous corpus is only directed at non-citizens which is correct. aI hope to what Attourney General Gonzalas was referring and may have mispoke is that Habeus Corpus may be suspended in the case of rebellion or invasion for the public safety per Article one section nine

Well he did and he did so while being questioned by Sen. Specter during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Needless to say Sen. Specter asked him if he had spoken correctly and Gonzales re-iterated the point that there is no individual right to Habeus Corpus for U.S. citizens as defined in the Constitution. When asked by Sen. Specter for specifics, Gonzales became very vague and hypothetical.


is that Habeus Corpus may be suspended in the case of rebellion or invasion for the public safety per Article one section nine which is why Lincoln suspended them during our favorite time period.

Let us also remember that, in a law suit brought by a citizen from Maryland, the Supreme Court of the time invalidated all suspensions issued by Lincoln that occurred prior to Congress convening and specifically authorizing the suspension. The opinion was clear that even in times of war and emergencies, only Congress has the constitutional authority to suspend the Writ of Habeus Corpus and then under extreme cases.

bob 125th nysvi
04-20-2007, 06:30 PM
The only problem is that while many would not have a problem with civil unions (except an idiot judge in Mass who felt the term itself was discrimatory) when it comes to joint property rights, inheritances and such (the legal reason behind states recognizing marraiges), all the arguments for such a constitutional amendment are related to the sanctimony of the religious institution of marraige. I have yet to see an argument against same sex unions that was not related to religious objections. If you have seen one, please pass it on.

I haven't either, which is why I don't think any of the proposed amendments would fly, because they are religiously based.

They are great propaganda but in reality the constitution can only address secular issues so they'd have to be very careful about how it was worded.

I reality a civil "marriage" is an economic union and economic rights is what should be addressed.

As an RC I know that you can not get "divorced" in the Church you can only get an annulment. Divorce is a civil/legal term not a religious term.

Marriage is BOTH a civil and religious term. But the constitution can only affect the civil issues.

rebelyell62
04-20-2007, 08:52 PM
Wendell,
How are elitest and racist linked? I grew up thinking 'elite' was a good thing - like 'elite forces' or 'elite students'. I was raised in a household that instilled in us a sense of regard for high achievment - a desire to become one of the elite. I think I must be missing something here.
Regards,
Peter Julius
Bryson City, NC

Peter,
Perhaps I should have said supremacist. However, when I said elitest, folks like Ms. Feinstein, Mr's. Kennedy, Shumer, etc. came to mind. People who feel the "common citizen" doesn't have the right to defend themselves.
We are not capable of grasping the notion of responsibility. Let us ( Government) take care of you.

FTR I can probably shoot at least as well as most veteran L.E.O's.
How often do you all here of "gun battles" between criminals and cops, where 20-30 shots are exchanged with few if any hits?

And I do agree that there are gun owners who perceive their latest and greatest .50 cal. hand cannon as an awesome home defence piece, and yes as a phallic symbol too.LOOK AT MY BIG GUN. They are usually the folks you hear about who shoot their thumb off cleaning their baby.

I'll take my 5 shot .38 special stoked with 125 gr.+ p j.h.p's or my compact 1911 with 230 gr. hardball . Slow and steady will win the race.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone, you too yanks :-)
Wendell Brown
The Orphan Brigade

toptimlrd
04-20-2007, 09:47 PM
Thanks for the slap on the back, Peter. I do not think I have ever inspired awe before in anyone.

I caught up with reading the previous posts, and was awe struck myself at Robert's research on habeas corpus. A very well-done piece.


Wish I could claim the credit, it just took a couple of hits on Google to find that. Research really isn't hard is one just tries. Too bad so many people seem alergic to it.

toptimlrd
04-20-2007, 09:59 PM
[QUOTE=toptimlrd]What if just one of those students or professors had been armed at VA Tech?QUOTE]

about more dead and injured due to the cross fire of people who had guns and couldn't use them.

Having one is no proof of being able to use it.

What is it they used to say about western gunfights, it wasn't the first shot it was the first aimed shot that counted and many of America's greatest "gunmen" were bushwackers and backshooters or ran their records up against non-starters.

But to carry my argument forward, since some people want no restrictions on guns that means you can not for example even require a rudimentory safety/usage instruction course before you get one. That would be a restriction on your "right".

Therefore many people could have guns, think they should be playing John Wayne, yet have no idea how to. The only thing then we'd be thankful for is that most of them couldn't HIT what they aimed at.

But woe to the bystander.

I own guns but many of the 'gun lobby' arguments make no more sense than the 'anit-gun' lobbies arguments.

Example I know people who bought guns to 'defend their family and home' and they pull out a shiny silver .44 magnum automatic.

The ultimate home defense weapon is a shotgun, point in the general direction and shoot, you're aim doesn't have to be that good and in close quarters your chances of hitting your target are very good.

The second best is a revolver because if you have a misfire you just pull the trigger again and up comes another round.

An automatic is the worst soltuion because it requires cool nerves, a steady aim and the prayer that you don't have a misfire.

These guys didn't buy a home defense weapon they bought a second bigger p@n^$.

You really want him waving around his gun everytime he feels 'threatened'?

Bob,

Let me clarify my position a bit better.

I totally agree, we don't let someone drive without supposedly demonstrating a certain level of competence behind the wheel. I have no problem with licensing someone to carry and making them demonstrate they can safely handle said firearm. Like a drunk driver, anyone who violates that training can and should have their license revoked. Now they should stil be allowed to have said firearm in the home. If you have your drivers license revoked you are not prohibited from owning a car only from driving it on public streets. Likewise if your firearms carry permit is revoked you can still own a gun but can not cary it in public. I am a full believer in firearm training and many moons ago taught firearm safety (and still do along with a currently certified NRA instructor).

I hope that helps you understand my perspective a bit better. And I do say that if someone else at that school had a permit then we would likely be hearing a different story. Even if one or two unfortunately got caught in the crossfire, we still would not have over 30 families mounring today.

This reminds me of a story told by Charleton Heston during the LA riots. It regarded a friend of his calling him:

Friend: CHuck, you have some ....um....guns don't you?

Heston: Yes, why?

Friend: Well it's getting a little crazy around here and I'm scared. I can't buy a firearm because of the waiting period.

Heston: If I recall correctly you lobbied for that law.

Friend: Could you loan me one of yours?

Heston: DO you know how to use one?

Friend: COuldn't you show me?

Heston: I could possibly show you how to use a shotgun but you really should have proper training. This will all be over soon so stay put and lock everything.

This is the essence of even the NRA that they want freedom to own and bear arms but with proper training.

BTW, I am not a current member of the NRA.

toptimlrd
04-20-2007, 10:03 PM
...


Well he did and he did so while being questioned by Sen. Specter during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Needless to say Sen. Specter asked him if he had spoken correctly and Gonzales re-iterated the point that there is no individual right to Habeus Corpus for U.S. citizens as defined in the Constitution. When asked by Sen. Specter for specifics, Gonzales became very vague and hypothetical.



Let us also remember that, in a law suit brought by a citizen from Maryland, the Supreme Court of the time invalidated all suspensions issued by Lincoln that occurred prior to Congress convening and specifically authorizing the suspension. The opinion was clear that even in times of war and emergencies, only Congress has the constitutional authority to suspend the Writ of Habeus Corpus and then under extreme cases.

Tom,

We don't disagree on the principle I think. Right now the argument seems to be to give Habeus Corpus to non-citizens (i.e. Guantanimo). We do give many of our guaranted rights to those who are not citizens but are here in this country but it is not required we do so. This is one thing that puts us above most other countries is our sense of law and fairness. In a combat situation and in espionage situations the rules are and must be a bit different.

bob 125th nysvi
04-20-2007, 10:18 PM
And I think you misinterpeted the decision that the Appelet Court Made.

To Wit:

The Court ruled very narrowly in overturning the lower Court ruling. The DC law D.C. Code § 7-2502.02 essentially required the Appellants to make their guns unusable:

"Appellants, six residents of the District, challenge D.C. Code § 7-2502.02(a)(4), which generally bars the registration of handguns (with an exception for retired D.C. police officers); D.C. Code § 22-4504, which prohibits carrying a pistol without a license, insofar as that provision would prevent a registrant
from moving a gun from one room to another within his or her home; and D.C. Code § 7-2507.02, requiring that all lawfully owned firearms be kept unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device. "

Furthermore:

"the appellants claim a right to possess what they describe as “functional firearms,” by which they mean ones that could be “readily accessible to be used effectively when necessary” for self-defense in the home. They are not asserting a right to carry such weapons outside their homes. Nor are they
challenging the District’s authority per se to require the registration of firearms."

Continuing:

"At oral argument, counsel for the District maintained that we should not view this as a licensing case for standing purposes because D.C.’s firearm registration system amounts to a complete prohibition on handgun ownership. ......... The District does not completely prohibit handgun registration."

And:

"In any event, Heller has invoked his rights under the Second Amendment to challenge the statutory classifications used to bar his ownership of a handgun under D.C. law, and the formal process of application and denial, however routine, makes the injury to Heller’s alleged constitutional interest concrete and particular. He is not asserting that his injury is only a threatened prosecution, nor is he claiming only a general right to handgun
ownership; he is asserting a right to a registration certificate, the denial of which is his distinct injury."

and the killer is:

"The District claims that the Second Amendment “protects private possession of weapons only in connection with performance of civic duties as part of a well-regulated citizens militia organized for the security of a
free state.” Individuals may be able to enforce the Second Amendment right, but only if the law in question “will impair their participation in common defense and law enforcement when called to serve in the militia.”

And that is where the lower court went wrong on the second amendment.

They agreed with the DC that the "people" ONLY had a right to arms in conjunction with service in a "well-regulated militia".

So the Parker V DC decision is not a blanket ruling that the people have an unrestricted right to bear arms but it is stating that government can not ban ownership of arms unless such arms are owned in conjunction with militia service.

bob 125th nysvi
04-20-2007, 10:23 PM
I think we both agree that the government in the interest of the public as a whole has the authority to restrict gun ownership in some form or another (be by type or licensing requirements or demonstration of a minimum knowledge level).

The question debated by us in the middle gorund (and we are in the middle) is what level of restriction is appropriate.

On the far ends of the debate are two groups.

One claiming unrestricted access to whatever weapon they want (short of heavy artillery and WMD) and the other claiming that the government has the right to deny ALL arms to everyone.

Both of them attempt to use the 2nd amendment to support their position.

toptimlrd
04-20-2007, 10:56 PM
I think we both agree that the government in the interest of the public as a whole has the authority to restrict gun ownership in some form or another (be by type or licensing requirements or demonstration of a minimum knowledge level).

The question debated by us in the middle gorund (and we are in the middle) is what level of restriction is appropriate.

On the far ends of the debate are two groups.

One claiming unrestricted access to whatever weapon they want (short of heavy artillery and WMD) and the other claiming that the government has the right to deny ALL arms to everyone.

Both of them attempt to use the 2nd amendment to support their position.


Not so much restrict OWNERSHIP (with the exception of the mentally incompetent and people who have been convicted of felonies), but in who may be allowed to carry said firearm into a public gathering place. Like a car nobody can be denied the right to purchase or own a car but they can be restricted from operating it off of private property.

You have the right to own anything you want but you may not have a right to operate it in aways which endanger the public. Maybe I'm a bit strange but this is a distinct differernce in my eyes. Quite frankly if I want to own a fully operational anti aircraft gun I should be able to, if I operate it in a manner that is unsafe to anyone I should be arrested as endangering the public safety. Likewise I can think of a number of WWII reenactors who would love a fully operational WWII tank but would we allow it. Many have asked where do we draw the line. I say we draw the line at personal accountability, if you misuse a weapon and cause harm through that misuse it should be a felony.

tompritchett
04-20-2007, 11:36 PM
We don't disagree on the principle I think.

We do not. My concern was the fact that Gonzales under repeated questioning from Specter was implying that there might be situations in where the Writ of Hapeus Corpus might not apply to U.S. citizens without the expression suspending of such by Congress. As a strong believer in the Constitution, that concerned me, especially since he is the senior most legal official in the Executive Branch. As I have expressed in am email to Specter, one of my two senators, I am concerned whether Mr. Gonzales primary loyality lies with the Constitution and our laws as written and interpreted by the courts or with the White House and the Republican National Committee. When I took my oath of office as an officer in the military and as an employee in the U.S. EPA, I took that oath to serve as an American and not as member of any particular political party. His behavior and testimonies to date make me seriously wonder how he would have reacted had he been in Elliot Richardson's shoots when President Nixon demanded that Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox be fired for getting too close to the White House duiring the Watergate investigation.

toptimlrd
04-20-2007, 11:48 PM
We do not. My concern was the fact that Gonzales under repeated questioning from Specter was implying that there might be situations in where the Writ of Hapeus Corpus might not apply to U.S. citizens without the expression suspending of such by Congress. As a strong believer in the Constitution, that concerned me, especially since he is the senior most legal official in the Executive Branch. As I have expressed in am email to Specter, one of my two senators, I am concerned whether Mr. Gonzales primary loyality lies with the Constitution and our laws as written and interpreted by the courts or with the White House and the Republican National Committee. When I took my oath of office as an officer in the military and as an employee in the U.S. EPA, I took that oath to serve as an American and not as member of any particular political party. His behavior and testimonies to date make me seriously wonder how he would have reacted had he been in Elliot Richardson's shoots when President Nixon demanded that Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox be fired for getting too close to the White House duiring the Watergate investigation.

I must admit based on what you have told me I too am a bit concerned. I need to try and find a transcript to see exactly what context he was speaking in. Unfortunately I've been working 12+ hours a day all week and was even late hearing about the VA Tech shooting so I'm not surprised this slipped by me as it's not sensational enough for most of the media to pick up on; now had he declared he was the Father of Anna Nicholes kid it would have been "breaking news".

tompritchett
04-21-2007, 12:04 PM
I need to try and find a transcript to see exactly what context he was speaking in.

What I read was only a partial transcript centered around that particular exchange. If my memory serves me right, the exchange took place about 3 months ago, give or take a few. I will see if I can track it down also via some government and other websites that I am aware of.

tompritchett
04-21-2007, 01:25 PM
I will see if I can track it down also via some government and other websites that I am aware of.

I was able to get partial transcripts vai various newsites and have a Quicktime recording of the exchange (too big to attach but I will email it to individuals who PM w/ their email addresses). However,I was not able to find a full transcript on the various government websites that can be linked through the www.gpoaccess.html site. I am posting two extracts from articles. The first, which came from indirectly came from a LA Times article written on January 30, 2007 by David G. Savage, has a description of this exchange in the larger context of discussion.
When Gonzales went before the Judiciary Committee on Jan. 18, his written testimony objected to the bill sponsored by Leahy and Specter that would restore habeas rights to "aliens." The new law "prevents terrorists captured on the battlefield from continuing to fight us in our courts," his statement said.

That set the stage for a perplexing exchange between Specter and Gonzales.

The senator incorrectly said the Supreme Court had already ruled the Constitution protects the habeas rights of detainees at Guantanamo.

Gonzales responded by suggesting the Constitution does not protect habeas corpus at all. "The fact that the Constitution - again, there is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution. There is a prohibition against taking it away," he said.

"Now, wait a minute," Specter interrupted. "The Constitution says you can't take it away except in case of rebellion or invasion. Doesn't that mean you have the right of habeas corpus?"

Gonzales refused to concede the point. "I meant by that comment the Constitution doesn't say every individual in the United States, or every citizen, is hereby granted or assured the right to habeas."

Later in the same hearing, the attorney general softened his tone. "I believe that the right of habeas is something that's very, very important, one of our most cherished rights," he said.


The second extract comes from a San Fransico Chronicles article written by Bob Egelko on Wednesday, January 24, 2007. In it are the actual words as recorded in the written transcript.
Excerpts from the exchange between Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Jan. 17:

Gonzales: There is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution. There's a prohibition against taking it away. ...

Specter: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. The Constitution says you can't take it away except in cases of rebellion or invasion. Doesn't that mean you have the right of habeas corpus unless there's an invasion or rebellion?

Gonzales: I meant by that comment, the Constitution doesn't say every individual in the United States or every citizen is hereby granted or assured the right to habeas. Doesn't say that. It simply says the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except...

Specter: You may be treading on your interdiction and violating common sense, Mr. Attorney General.


On the video itself, you see that there is slight and minor variation in the exact words used both both of the above versions essentially capture the meat of the exchange.

wilber6150
04-21-2007, 06:34 PM
Now, that I've heard it mentioned a few times I have to ask, I know of British attempts to capture and seize stores of powder and ammo for militia; but I haven't run across any British regulations against the private ownership of guns, does anyone have any evidence for this.. In my neck of the woods, it was actually people loyal to the Crown who were forced to turn in their guns..

tompritchett
04-21-2007, 11:46 PM
Here is a link to an interesting article discussing the rise of mass shootings. Yes, gun control laws, particularly those in Australia were mentioned, but the article then discusses how, at least here in the U.S., the issue seems to be much more complicated than that.

http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/ats-ap_top12apr21,0,48520.story?coll=sns-newsnation-headlines

dclarry
04-22-2007, 09:54 PM
And I think you misinterpeted the decision that the Appelet Court Made.

And that is where the lower court went wrong on the second amendment.

They agreed with the DC that the "people" ONLY had a right to arms in conjunction with service in a "well-regulated militia".

So the Parker V DC decision is not a blanket ruling that the people have an unrestricted right to bear arms but it is stating that government can not ban ownership of arms unless such arms are owned in conjunction with militia service.

Sorry, Bob, but you are just plain wrong, no service in a militia is required for firearm ownership according to US Appeals Court for the DC Circuit, it's clearly stated in the judges summary. And no where is anything said about an 'unrestricted' right. Reasonable restrictions are Constitutional, but they have nothing to do with militia service, except that the types of arms that may be owned have in the past been defined by reference to use in the militia. The collective or milita reading of the 2nd is rejected. There is no ambiguity.

I did not make this up. It's not just me reading this decision, it was a big deal in the media when it came out, the judges have been interviewed, there have been numerous articles in the Washington Post, our local paper, the mayor has spoken about it. The Parker vs. DC decision is crystal clear: Individuals have a right to keep and bear arms, both for personal or collective defense. Reasonable restrictions on the types of arms and who may qualify for ownership are upheld.

Here's a link to a good summary, which repeats the Appeals Court decison summary, links to an mumber of other media reviews of the case, and has a link to the decision itself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parker_v._District_of_Columbia

And another link to the University of Virgina Law School website article on the decison:

http://www.law.virginia.edu/html/news/2007_spr/smith.htm

I repeat again the judges own summary of the their decision, found on page 46 of the text,


To summarize, we conclude that the Second Amendment
protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. That right
existed prior to the formation of the new government under the
Constitution and was premised on the private use of arms for
activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being
understood as resistance to either private lawlessness or the
depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat from
abroad). In addition, the right to keep and bear arms had the
important and salutary civic purpose of helping to preserve the
citizen militia. The civic purpose was also a political expedient
for the Federalists in the First Congress as it served, in part, to
placate their Antifederalist opponents. The individual right
facilitated militia service by ensuring that citizens would not be
barred from keeping the arms they would need when called forth
for militia duty. Despite the importance of the Second
Amendment’s civic purpose, however, the activities it protects
are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual’s
enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued or
intermittent enrollment in the militia.

This is as clear as it gets.

dclarry
04-23-2007, 09:53 AM
Here's an interesting interview with Dr. Robert Levy, the man behind the challenge to the DC gun laws. Dr. Levy is a member of the Supreme Court bar. This came out last week, after the VA Tech shootings.

http://www.motherjones.com/interview/2007/02/robert_levy.html

It's a very good interview (IMHO), and mostly discusses the implications if the Parker case is upheld. The implications are primarily that the discussions on gun laws will focus on proper restrictions and regulations, and not on gun bans, or the meaning of the 2nd ammendment.

Frenchie
04-24-2007, 12:28 PM
This isn't blasphemy - blasphemy is deliberate misrepresentation, but it's clear you don't know what you're talking about here. If you have the guts, type "gun control myths" into your search engine and read what you find.


to the stake with the blasphermer but .......

As a law abiding gun owner I have absolutely no problem with having to have any (or all) of my guns registered with state officials and with carrying an id for them.

I'll go a step further. All guns should be test fired and the bullet kept on file to help solve any future crimes which maybe committed with the guns.

And just before the regular comments come flowing in:

The second amendment is not a carte blanch gun amendment it is a militia amendment.

You can not defend yourself from government oppression with your guns. One RA infantry battalion with a rotation in Iraq could mop the floor with the whole lot of us in under an hour, no matter how we were armed.


And if your that concerned about your rights GET OUT AND VOTE (which statistically less than 50% of us are doing).

I am and I do.

toptimlrd
04-24-2007, 12:30 PM
This isn't blasphemy - blasphemy is deliberate misrepresentation, but it's clear you don't know what you're talking about here. If you have the guts, type "gun control myths" into your search engine and read what you find.





I am and I do.

Frenchie,

Where have you been? I haven't seen you on the boards lately.

lazyrebel2
04-24-2007, 01:13 PM
Guy, if you don't have a problem with that, then the state should take away your gun. I live in VA and went to VT, but I realize that it is the person not the weapon. The person is the one that should be punished! Don't get me started you guys up in PA better watch out or you will be like the guys in DC.

reb64
04-24-2007, 06:10 PM
This isn't blasphemy - blasphemy is deliberate misrepresentation, but it's clear you don't know what you're talking about here. If you have the guts, type "gun control myths" into your search engine and read what you find.





I am and I do.
its the dems who are responsible for these big shootings, notice they are in areas where gun laws sponsored by republicans were defeated, ie vtech campus had a vote on concealed use for students and was killed by dems.

MStuart
04-24-2007, 06:45 PM
its the dems who are responsible for these big shootings

That has got to be the most ridiculous statement I've ever read on this board. It's right up there with "the holocaust never happened".

1st ammendment rights or not, I believe I'll be taking a time out from this forum until some sanity returns.

Mark

sbl
04-24-2007, 07:54 PM
Mark,

Billy Sherman's Boys made off with his shift key.

Frenchie
04-24-2007, 08:32 PM
Frenchie,

Where have you been? I haven't seen you on the boards lately.

Oy, don't ask. Long story, which anyone who's gone through a major home renovation knows only too well.

Not as though it's taught me anything, of course. I still shoot off my mouth when I'm stressed; especially when I'm stressed.

Frenchie
04-24-2007, 08:39 PM
Guy, if you don't have a problem with that, then the state should take away your gun. I live in VA and went to VT, but I realize that it is the person not the weapon. The person is the one that should be punished! Don't get me started you guys up in PA better watch out or you will be like the guys in DC.

You're talking to Bob, right?

reb64
04-24-2007, 09:03 PM
That has got to be the most ridiculous statement I've ever read on this board. It's right up there with "the holocaust never happened".

1st ammendment rights or not, I believe I'll be taking a time out from this forum until some sanity returns.

Mark

just prior to this shooting a vote came up to llow students concealed weapons on campus. it was defeated by dems. if passed possibly some student may have ben armed and prevented mch of this. and yes the holocaust happened, so did this vote, check i out.

Frenchie
04-24-2007, 09:19 PM
Note to those who believe the anti-gunners are winning (viz, more gun control laws): In 1985, only eight states had laws that automatically granted permits to carry a concealed weapon once applicants passed a criminal background check, paid the fees and, when required, completed a training class. Today, early 2007, the total is thirty-eight and in every one of those states the rate of violent crime is decreasing. Given these facts, perhaps you should reconsider what you believe.