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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:14 pm 
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This is rather big. And it comes just before a liberal president can tip the balance against this interpretation of the 2nd amendment.

- Bill

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LAW | JUNE 28, 2010, 12:27 P.M. ET

High Court Rules in Favor of Gun Rights

By NATHAN KOPPEL

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court ruled for the first time that gun possession is fundamental to American freedom, giving federal judges the power to strike down state and local weapons laws for violating the Second Amendment.

In a 5-4 ruling, the court held that the Second Amendment's right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right that binds states.

"Self defense is a basic right, recognized by many legal systems from ancient times to the present day," wrote Justice Samuel Alito. He was joined in reaching the result by Chief Justice John Roberts and justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

In 2008, the Supreme Court struck down a handgun ban in the District of Columbia, a federal enclave. Justice Alito's opinion said that ruling "unmistakably" required the court likewise to overturn laws in Chicago and its suburb of Oak Park, Ill., that limited handgun possession.

Justice Thomas agreed with the majority on the result but wrote a concurrence offering different constitutional logic for viewing the right to bear arms as a fundamental right.

As it did in 2008, the court's majority cautioned that the right to keep and bear arms is not "a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose."

Justice Alito wrote that despite "doomsday proclamations," the ruling "does not imperil every law regulating firearms."

The Supreme Court's ruling is likely to lead to years of litigation across the country as lower courts decide how far the right to bear arms extends and which restrictions are unconstitutional. Justice John Paul Stevens, in dissent, said the 2008 ruling has already triggered a "tsunami of legal uncertainty." He predicted more "confusion, upheaval and burden on the states."

The legal question before the court had much to do with questions of constitutional history. Before the Civil War, courts held that the Bill of Rights applied only to the federal government. After the Union victory, the Reconstruction amendments were adopted to elevate individual rights over state powers and cement the federal role in enforcing them.

The Supreme Court has subsequently held that many constitutional rights considered fundamental to American principles of liberty override state laws. However, more technical provisions—such as the Fifth Amendment requirement that grand juries approve criminal indictments—apply only to the federal government and don't necessarily bind states.

Monday's ruling elevates the Second Amendment right to bear arms to the status of a fundamental right that states can't abridge.
On the Docket

"It is clear that the Framers and ratifiers of the Fourteenth Amendment counted the right to keep and bear arms among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty," wrote Justice Alito.

Justice Stephen Breyer, in a dissent joined by justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, said the majority ruling misinterpreted history. "[N]othing in 18th-, 19th-, 20th-, or 21st-century history shows a consensus that the right to private armed self-defense…is 'deeply rooted in this nation's history or tradition' or is otherwise 'fundamental,' " Justice Breyer wrote.

Justice Stevens, who served his last day at the court Monday, dissented separately.

"Recognizing a new liberty right is a momentous step," he wrote. He said he would have proceeded more cautiously and given more leeway to local governments. "[T]his is a quintessential area in which federalism ought to be allowed to flourish without this court's meddling," he wrote.
- WSJ


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:20 pm 
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Leave it Ginsburg, Bryer and Sotomayor to argue against the black letter meaning of the Constitution, to parse the term "fundamental" and essentially assert that an undefined "consensus" is now a requirement

Did/do we as a nation have such "consensus" on everything else?
Is undefined, imprecise "consensus" now the fundemental concern for the Supreme Court.

It will be interesting to see if the 3 folks in black robes keep the "consensus" standard for things near and dear to them on later issues.

I'd also like to see some support for exactly how they feel that history has been "misrepresented." The more so since I see such claims as being "misrepresentations" in and of themselves.

Stevens dissent was interesting

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:33 pm 
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Justice Stephen Breyer, in a dissent joined by justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, said the majority ruling misinterpreted history. "[N]othing in 18th-, 19th-, 20th-, or 21st-century history shows a consensus that the right to private armed self-defense…is 'deeply rooted in this nation's history or tradition' or is otherwise 'fundamental,' " Justice Breyer wrote.

They must not read the same history I do. Being armed in the 18th and 19th century seemed pretty fundamental, traditional, deeply rooted, consensual, and just plain necessary for much of the country from everything I've seen. Regardless of debate over current necessities for arming, I don't think the dissenters' interpretation of history stands up.

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As it did in 2008, the court's majority cautioned that the right to keep and bear arms is not "a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose."

Justice Alito wrote that despite "doomsday proclamations," the ruling "does not imperil every law regulating firearms."

This is good sentiment, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the courts and what remains constitutional. I would hate to see waiting periods and background checks go away for example.

Will this have any impact on restrictions on martial arts weapons like nunchaku? Or martial arts in general?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:38 pm 
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cxt wrote:

Stevens dissent was interesting

It was indeed. I'm sad to see his voice of judicial restraint will likely be replaced by one of judicial activism.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:02 pm 
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Glenn wrote:


Will this have any impact on restrictions on martial arts weapons like nunchaku? Or martial arts in general?

Well...
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"Self defense is a basic right, recognized by many legal systems from ancient times to the present day," wrote Justice Samuel Alito.

So...

If I was one of you Massachusetts residents, I'd take that statement to court the next time the state said you couldn't defend yourself.

However...

Quote:
As it did in 2008, the court's majority cautioned that the right to keep and bear arms is not "a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose."

So yea, they just confirmed the right of states to tell you that you can't play with martial arts toys.

But you can own a handgun!! :lol:

We have that paradox in this state. I have a permit to carry a concealed firearm. But I'm not able to have a blade in my pocket that's any bigger than a basic tool. And I know better than to have nunchakus inside anything other than a gym bag in the back of my vehicle.

But aluminum baseball bat? Fair game! I need it for when I go to Bogeys Sports Park! And I'm more than willing to demonstrate I can still hit in the 80 mph cage.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:38 pm 
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Quote:
But I'm not able to have a blade in my pocket that's any bigger than a basic tool.


Canadian knife restriction: " Any knife commonly known as a "push-dagger" that is designed in such a fashion that the handleis placed perpendicular to the main cutting edge of the blade; and any other similar device but not
including the aboriginal "ulu" knife."


Image

Now that`s a knife :wink:
I have a few... multi-functional.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:42 pm 
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Glenn wrote:
... I would hate to see waiting periods and background checks go away for example.

Will this have any impact on restrictions on martial arts weapons like nunchaku? Or martial arts in general?


In the People's Republic of Massachusetts (PROMA for those who know), nunchaku, shiriken, sword-canes, switch-blades, certain types of sai, and a whole host of other things are strictly verboten. Also, in PROMA a few decades back there was a serious effort to actually license anyone with MA training above a certain level!

Quick history lesson: When this country was founded there were people who privately owned warships and were granted letters of marquee to be "privateers"... basically to be legal pirates. When this country was founded, the Founders felt that any weapon the government had should be available to "We, The People". There were absolutely zero, zilch, nada Federal restrictions on what a person could own, have, carry, use in the realm of weaponry in the United States until 1934. Prior to that, all restrictions on weaponry in the U.S. was done on a State-by-State and local basis... those laws were throughout the country and were universally passed post-(not-so)Civil War... for the reason of preventing the newly freed slaves from owning firearms! Gun Laws in the U.S. are based in racist roots and ideologies!

In 1850, a 14 year old woman could take her children, who she taught at home without government intervention/permission, in the most advanced mode of transportation of the day without having that transportation registered by the State and without having to have a State permit to operate that transportation, to the local Super-center (known as a "General Store"), go in and purchase the items of her choice, including the most modern "assault rifle" of the time (even a Gatlin gun if she could afford one) withOUT State approval or permission, buy all manner of medicinal products withOUT a State mandated permission/prescription but WITH "caveat emptor" in mind... including but not limited to such things as Laudanum, freely travel back home to her house which was homesteaded outside the purview of the State, and work the land for herself and her family... and if her family were attacked by all manner of ruffians, she and her husband who were married withOUT need of a State license, could have killed said ruffians (hopefully with the help of her family, friends and neighbors) and the local sheriff would more than likely apologize to her for the fact that she'd have to dispose of the bodies herself!

Are things better now? Certainly they are in many ways.
Did people abuse things like Laudanum and have problems? Yes, but there were people and organizations to help things improve without Government restrictions.
Was there much more freedom then that we have lost and should have back? Absolutely!
Should Government leave us the hell ALONE? The Founders believed that and the Bill of Rights was put into place because the people KNEW that Government would try to steal their freedom unless they put restrictions on the Government! It hasn't stopped the jackbooted thugs who want State control of every facet of your miserable life... so instead of trying to go "middle of the road", perhaps a better approach is: If the Government has it... We, The People should be able to have it... PERIOD.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:02 pm 
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CANDANeh wrote:


including the aboriginal "ulu" knife."


Image

Now that`s a knife :wink:
I have a few... multi-functional.

I'm pondering how to use such a "tool." It most definitely will not work with my Filipino knife fighting paradigm.

But I'm sure we could figure something out... ;)

- Bill


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 Post subject: Loose a gun go to jail
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:15 pm 
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http://www.classicalvalues.com/archives ... t_700.html

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:23 pm 
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...and get shot :lol: What a sewer of a place.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/2 ... 27773.html

Quote:
Even with the gun ban in place, shootings in Chicago have been rampant. Last weekend, at least 52 were shot and ten killed in just three days, and this weekend the gunfire continued. According to CBS, shots were fired into a group of about 30 people Sunday night--likely a crowd gathering in Uptown after the Gay Pride Parade. Two men were wounded in the incident, at least one suffered serious injuries.

CBS reports that another rash of shootings occurred between 10:45 p.m. Saturday and 4 a.m. Sunday, where at least 13 people were shot and one person was killed. Most of the incidents took place on the Northwest and Southwest sides.

From midnight to 6 a.m. on Saturday, another 13 people were shot--two fatally, the station reports.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:06 am 
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Panther wrote:
When this country was founded there were people who privately owned warships and were granted letters of marquee to be "privateers"... basically to be legal pirates.

Yes and no. Merchant ships could carry cannon for defense and their captains could receive letters of marquee to go privateering, and occassionally small privateering vessels were purposefully built under either local or federal authority, but there are two relevant factors to letters of marquee:
1) they were temporary, empowering a captain for a limited time, after which if he continued privateering then he ran the risk of being charged with piracy

2) they were ubiquitous; Britain, France, etc all issued letters of marquee at that time, with British privateers operating against American vessels during both the Revolutionary War and War of 1812...issuing letters of marquee had nothing to do with whether a government favored individuals owning firearms or not.

Keep in mind that the new nation was trying to win its independence against one of the most powerful navies in the world at the time, letters of marquee were seen as a means to that end. Privateers were an important compliment to the very limited navy we had at that time, but not meant to be continued once the war was over.
Quote:
When this country was founded, the Founders felt that any weapon the government had should be available to "We, The People".

That's a stretch. Some may have felt that way, although I have never seen that in any writings, but it likely would have been too radical for others of them, particularly the old military men.
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Should Government leave us the hell ALONE? The Founders believed that and the Bill of Rights was put into place because the people KNEW that Government would try to steal their freedom unless they put restrictions on the Government!

Don't ascribe too much uniformity to people and events back then. When the federal government created by the Articles of Confederation was deemed too weak to ensure the survival and growth of the nation, a convention was convened in Philadelphia with the goal of modifying the articles to provide a stronger federal government. This convention lasted four months and was very volatile, pitting those who favored a strong federal government against those who opposed any increase in federal authority at the expense of the states, and there was a lot of lively debate and arguing.

The "Founders" involved (some could not or would not attend) as delegates at the convention were not uniform and split along these lines as well. For example one of the plans, proposed by Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, actually would have created a strong centralized government in the British model with the loss of all state authority, but this plan received little support among the other delegates.

Ultimately instead of revising the Articles, a new document was negotiated, the Constitution, with a lot of what it lays out reflecting the polarity of the delegates. Support for it was tenuous at best among delegates and the Bill of Rights ended up being a last minute addition to win the support of those who opposed the stronger federal government the Constitution would create, enabling it to finally be approved by the convention.

Even then there was no guarantee that the Constitution would be ratified by the states and the convention leaders went about launching a major campaign to sell it to the states. In the end at the states' ratification conventions, delegates from urban and eastern/coastal areas tended to vote for it while delegates from the rural and western/interior areas tended to vote against it. It took three years for the states to ratify the Constitution.
Image
In short, the creation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights was politics at its best and really no different from the process that led to the final product of the recent health care bill.

Quote:
If the Government has it... We, The People should be able to have it... PERIOD

Well OK, but don't expect a nuclear bomb to help your homeowner insurance rates! :D

The government has debt and the people have debt, we do have some parity I suppose...

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:03 am 
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You were doing so well until you got to here, Glenn. Then it all went to hell.
Glenn wrote:

In short, the creation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights was politics at its best and really no different from the process that led to the final product of the recent health care bill.

Oh really???

Quote:
Health-care bill clears crucial vote in Senate, 60 to 40

By Shailagh Murray and Lori Montgomery
Wsahington Post Staff Writers [sic]
Monday, December 21, 2009; 12:30 PM

Landmark health-care legislation backed by President Barack Obama has passed its sternest Senate test, overcoming Republican delaying tactics on a 60-40 vote that all but assures its passage by Christmas.

The 60-40 tally, taken shortly after 1 a.m., followed 12 hours of acrimonious debate and required senators to trek to the Capitol in the aftermath of a snowstorm. The vote was the first of three procedural hurdles that Democrats must cross before a final vote on passage of the measure, now scheduled for Christmas Eve.

{snip}

Not a single Republican voted to advance the measure, including Sen. Olympia J. Snowe, the one GOP lawmaker who had backed an earlier version. The Maine moderate was lobbied heavily by Obama, but announced Sunday night in a statement that she remained "concerned" about the measure, while objecting to "the artificial and arbitrary deadline of completing the bill before Christmas."


No significant piece of legislation like this (e.g. Medicare) was passed without even a single opposition party vote.

The bill as it stands was challenged in the courts even before it was signed. Virginia was the first of many states to file suit - just before Obama put his ink to paper.

Quote:
Virginia files lawsuit against health care reform package

Cuccinelli, McDonnell say reform violates U.S. Constitution, state law
Rebecca Rubin, Cavalier Daily Associate Editor

Virginia Attorney General and University alumnus Ken Cuccinelli, with the backing of Gov. Bob McDonnell, filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging the legality of the health care legislation signed into law earlier that day by President Barack Obama.

During a public address yesterday, Cuccinelli argued that the new legislation violates the U.S. Constitution, as it exceeds powers granted to the federal government through the Commerce Clause. In addition, he said, the health care legislation contradicts the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act, which was signed by McDonnell yesterday and protects Virginia citizens from being mandated to purchase health insurance. The act also provides standing for the state to challenge the federal legislation, and Cuccinelli expressed hope that courts will rule the federal reform package as unconstitutional. Thirteen other states have filed similar lawsuits challenging the health care legislation.


It most definitely is not over yet.

- Bill


Last edited by Bill Glasheen on Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:10 am 
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'To bear arms'...what was meant by the word 'arms'?

What defined 'arms' in the old days?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:28 am 
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Bill Glasheen wrote:
You were doing so well until you got to here, Glenn. Then it all went to hell.

I seem to go there often! I tossed that comparison in with you in mind Bill :wink:
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It most definitely is not over yet.

Well it did take three years to get the Constitution ratified, so at the end of the convention it was not over yet either. But your main point is well taken, some consensus was worked out. My statement was not meant to relate the two in any specific aspects of themselves, but rather to relate the contentiousness of politicing then and now.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:39 am 
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Van Canna wrote:
'To bear arms'...what was meant by the word 'arms'?

What defined 'arms' in the old days?

I am assuming by "arms" they are meaning firearms and not bladed weapons, so strictly speaking we could say they meant muskets since that was the dominant form of individual firearms at that time. However if they specifically meant muskets why did they not say "the right to bear muskets"? They were certainly aware that weapons were likely to progress, by using a general term like "arms" it would seem they were leaving it open for inclusion of the successors of the musket.

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