Gun rights dodge a bullet

It's disturbing that right to bear arms was defended by such a slim margin

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It hasn't been very often in recent decades that Americans could truly say we are a little freer today than we were yesterday. The trend, sadly, has been in the opposite direction.

Colleen Lawson, one of the people who sued the city of Chicago over its handgun ban, spoke during a news conference Monday in Chicago. At left is her husband, David Lawson.  KICHIRO SATO/ASSOCIATED PRESS
KICHIRO SATO/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Colleen Lawson, one of the people who sued the city of Chicago over its handgun ban, spoke during a news conference Monday in Chicago. At left is her husband, David Lawson.

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision this week that gun bans anywhere in the country are unconstitutional happily defies that trend. We really are freer today because of that ruling.

The frightening aspect of the McDonald v. Chicago ruling, however, is that it came via a perilously narrow 5-4 majority: Justices John Paul Stevens, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.

That our fundamental Second Amendment right to bear arms for our own self-defense is that much in question and hanging by that thin a thread should alarm us all -- particularly as this president continues to reload the Supreme Court with liberal true believers for at least another generation.

Mr. Obama's first Supreme Court pick, Sotomayor, has turned out to be every bit as liberal as many of us feared; there's no reason to believe current nominee Elena Kagan will be any different.

The undeniable truth is, gun bans don't work. The evidence is incontrovertible. Otherwise, the District of Columbia, with some of the strictest gun laws in the land, should have been the safest place in the country until its ban was overturned by the high court in 2008. Instead, it was among the most dangerous.

Same with Chicago: On a recent weekend, 52 people were shot, eight dead. So far this year, Chicago has witnessed over 200 homicides. Chicago-area lawmakers John Fritchey and LaShawn Ford earlier this year pleaded for National Guard troops to secure the city.

How's that gun control thing working out?

It's not rocket science. If you ban law-abiding citizens from owning guns for protection of life, limb and castle, all you have done is disarm the innocents. Criminals, by definition, don't follow the law, and will arm themselves regardless.

Believing in the power of gun bans is accepting the fairy tale that prohibitions against carrying bombs onto airliners will be followed by terrorists.

It is also quite telling that the case the high court just decided was brought by an inner-city homeowner tired of getting his home broken into and the intimidation of armed gangs.

The Chicago gun ban essentially disarmed him instead of the thugs.

That four educated, erudite U.S. Supreme Court justices can't see the legal and moral harm in that is disturbing.

Thank goodness they were outvoted.

Barely.

Comments (105)

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grouse
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grouse 06/30/10 - 12:29 am
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...a well-regulated

Unpublished

...a well-regulated militia....

CarlosC
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CarlosC 06/30/10 - 12:56 am
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"In order to form ..... shall

"In order to form ..... shall not be infringed"

KSL
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KSL 06/30/10 - 01:31 am
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Thankfully you cannot step

Thankfully you cannot step into my house without my permission and remain there if I so choose that you will not. If I have a gun and can shoot it at you successfully, so be.

TheFederalist
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TheFederalist 06/30/10 - 09:51 am
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Yes, the thin right margin

Yes, the thin right margin continues for now in the SCOTUS, but who knows for how long? We need to ditch uncle asap, so he does not have a chance to put another liberal on the court. Should that happen, I fear the Constitution will become just another antique document, with little value or relevance.

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 06/30/10 - 04:30 am
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grouse, "A well regulated

grouse,

"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."

Key words here are not, "...a well-regulated militia...." as you pointed out, but instead, "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The fact is, the Bill of Rights are ALL in respect to the PEOPLE's individual and collective RIGHTS not the government. The tired old argument that somehow the Second Ammendment is NOT an individual right just doesn't work inside spirit and letter of the Bill of Rights.

I LOVE the fact that this has been decided and was decided in the favor of RIGHTS for the people instead of giverment knows best.

Keep you hands off my guns Dummycrats and you Reichpublicans stay out of my bedroom.

Brad

P.S. The reason this was included in the Bill of Rights was to put the ultimate power to rise up against tyranny in our, the PEOPLE's, hands should we need to water the tree of freedom with a little blood. Beware of folks that don't trust you with your own rights.

Riverman1
70660
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Riverman1 06/30/10 - 05:41 am
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It seems to me that everyone

It seems to me that everyone in the military and other government organizations swears to uphold the Constitution. How the liberals on the court can play with the tenets of the Constitution is hard to understand.

By the way, the part about bearing arms means that permits shouldn't be required to carry a gun. If you are a legal citizen and haven't committed a felony where your rights have been taken away, you are automatically given the right to carry a weapon in all 50 states it appears. Maybe this conservative (5 TO 4 anyway) court will address this aspect in the future. With us living in a two state city, where the states don't recognize each other's permits, it's particularly important.

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 06/30/10 - 05:51 am
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RM1, You point out a very

RM1,

You point out a very valid point. The court should address the NATIONWIDE laws that affect the legal gun owners.

Brad

Dixieman
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Dixieman 06/30/10 - 05:52 am
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5-4 for our rights is not

5-4 for our rights is not good, folks. The margin does not get any thinner than this. Supreme Court nominations are a good reason to vote Republican.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 06/30/10 - 07:21 am
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For decades it was 5-4

For decades it was 5-4 against our rights. The liberals/progressives/communists that control the Dem party had a strangle hold on our country, our rights, our way of life. We're barely crawling out from under the smothering blanket of liberalism. It's an endless battle that America is just finding out has been going on for more than 60 years in this country. (see current administration and congress) The current movement toward conservative values and individualism is gaining momentum. Engage and stay engaged and prepare your children to be engaged, it's part of life.

Rhetor
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Rhetor 06/30/10 - 07:56 am
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Well, an interesting and

Well, an interesting and difficult problem. If we are to believe the numbers furnished by the FBI, South Carolina has a far higher murder rate (murders per 1,000 people) than New York or Illinois. Apparently many South Carolinians exercise their 2nd Amendment rights by putting down a 12-pack and then shooting their friends and family members. Probably not the best way to protect your rights. On the other hand, Obama has never moved to restrict gun rights and, in fact, has loosened various gun restrictions, so all of the paranoia about Obama being anti-gun appears to be just that, sheer paranoia.

Rhetor
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Rhetor 06/30/10 - 07:56 am
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PS, if you want to keep your

PS, if you want to keep your home safe, a gun probably won't do it. Burglars love to steal from homeowners who have guns because they steal the guns, too. Stolen guns have great resale value on the black market. A survey of burglars in prison asked what they would do to keep their own homes safe from burglars, and they said they'd get a dog. All the same, if a gun gives you a (false) sense of security and if you are one of the minority of gun owners who keeps and uses a firearm in accordance with basic safety principles, then go right ahead. This is, after all, America.

Techfan
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Techfan 06/30/10 - 08:11 am
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September 25, 1789 - Congress

September 25, 1789 - Congress submits 12 proposed constitutional amendments to the states for ratification. The first ten will be ratified and added to the Constitution in 1791 as the Bill of Rights.
September 29, 1789 - The U.S. Army is established by Congress. Totaling 1000 men, it consists of one regiment of eight infantry companies and one battalion of four artillery companies.

Sorry Brad, but the "well regulated militia" is the key line in the 2nd Amendment. The Militia Act of 1792 says,"each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years" will be in the militia. The militia was to be trained by the states (hence, well regulated) but be under the control of and to be called up by the President.

curly123053
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curly123053 06/30/10 - 08:47 am
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The 4 who voted against this

The 4 who voted against this did not vote according to the constitution and that is sad and almost criminal in my mind. Those justices are supposed to be voting for what the US Constititution says, not according to their personal feelings on the law. It is sad when the US Supreme Court is NOT following the law as written, but pandering to the emotions of misguided people. Justices Stevens, Ginsberg, Breyer, and Sotomayer are all guilty of contempt to the US Constititution and should be removed from the court of the land, but the Constitution that they hold in contempt keeps them on the bench for life.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 06/30/10 - 08:50 am
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Brad wrote: The reason this

Brad wrote:

The reason this was included in the Bill of Rights was to put the ultimate power to rise up against tyranny in our, the PEOPLE's, hands should we need to water the tree of freedom with a little blood.

Then Techfan wrote:

Sorry Brad, but the "well regulated militia" is the key line in the 2nd Amendment. . . . The militia was to be trained by the states (hence, well regulated) but be under the control of and to be called up by the President.

I agree with Brad. The founding fathers recognized that it is the nature of governments to grow more and more tyrannical. Hence, the 2nd amendment prohibited the federal government from prohibiting citizens from owning guns. These "well regulated militias" may be created by states; but state militias are not the only ones allowed. Private militias are just as Constitutional as are government militias. We may need some private militias to restore our liberty from government that has grown too powerful and has taken away our liberty. Am I the only one who thinks our federal government has taken away too much liberty?

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 06/30/10 - 08:52 am
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Curly brings up a good point.

Curly brings up a good point. The justices who voted in the minority used the argument, "Sure, the Constitution says one thing, but we want to ignore the Constitution because some people might get shot."

FaceTheMusic
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FaceTheMusic 06/30/10 - 09:16 am
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So, with all of these gun

So, with all of these gun killings, making guns more accessible will help the situation? One wonders if the AC editorial staff does any research before it writes its editorials and says "gun bans don't work." Of course they wouldn't as long as you can buy any kind of gun you want and carry it into a city which restricts guns. Canada and England have very restrictive gun laws, and the U.S. does not. Latest statistics (2004): Gun homicide rate per 100,000 people: Canada (.50), England (1.45), and U.S. (4.55). The U.S. overall gun death rate (including homicides and accidental shootings) is 10.34 per 100,000 people. Sounds like pretty good evidence to me. Pesky things, those facts. Rhetor is correct about state gun deaths. From the CDC 2007 statistics: The top five states with the HIGHEST gun death rates: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alaska, Alabama, and Nevada (these states also have some of the weakest gun restriction laws). The top five states with the LOWEST gun death rate: Hawaii, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York (these states have some of the strongest gun restriction laws).

CarlosC
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CarlosC 06/30/10 - 09:20 am
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Law-abiding citizens do not

Law-abiding citizens do not intentionally shoot other law-abiding citizens.

There you have it all explained in one simple sentence.

FaceTheMusic
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FaceTheMusic 06/30/10 - 09:24 am
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So, with all of these gun

So, with all of these gun killings, making guns more accessible will help the situation? One wonders if the AC editorial staff does any research before it writes its editorials and says "gun bans don't work." Of course they wouldn't as long as you can buy any kind of gun you want and carry it into a city which restricts guns. Canada and England have very restrictive gun laws, and the U.S. does not. Latest statistics (2004): Gun homicide rate per 100,000 people: Canada (.50), England (1.45), and U.S. (4.55). The U.S. overall gun death rate (including homicides and accidental shootings) is 10.34 per 100,000 people. Sounds like pretty good evidence to me. Pesky things, those facts. Rhetor is correct about state gun deaths. From the CDC 2007 statistics: The top five states with the HIGHEST gun death rates: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alaska, Alabama, and Nevada (these states also have some of the weakest gun restriction laws). The top five states with the LOWEST gun death rate: Hawaii, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York (these states have some of the strongest gun restriction laws).

southernguy08
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southernguy08 06/30/10 - 09:30 am
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FACETHE, tell you what, the

Unpublished

FACETHE, tell you what, the next time some slimebag cuts your phoneline and begins breaking into your place, just ask him nicely to go away. I'm sure he'll comply. Let us all know how that goes.

dichotomy
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dichotomy 06/30/10 - 09:35 am
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Whether it's "a well

Whether it's "a well regulated militia" or "the right of the people to keep and bear" doesn't really matter. Both are predicated on the the premise of the right of private gun ownership. I think the Supreme Court has now affirmed our right to keep a gun in the home to protect ourselves. Now we need a federal law or Supreme Court decision that will affirm our right to protect ourselves in the mall parking lot or in the next state when stopping at a rest area on the interstate (if you can find one that is still open). The various hodge podge of state "carry" laws, weapon in the vehicle laws, locked up in the trunk, locked up in the glove compartment, loaded, unloaded with the gun in one place and the bullets in another, are not acceptable. We need a standardized federal law governing the the carrying and transporting of guns when traveling out of state. I find it incredible that I can legally carry my weapon almost anywhere in GA but could be arrested if I drive through SC, which does not recognize a GA permit, but if I make it to NC I am legal. We need some type of federal standardization for traveling gun owners with permits.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 06/30/10 - 09:37 am
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An elderly black man in

An elderly black man in Chicago brought this law suit to the Supreme Court. This man had many break-ins & couldn't protect himself with a baseball bat... so what should he do?? Be a victim forever & maybe killed one day. If the day ever comes that we lose the right to own a gun to protect ourselves..watch out..you will see a rebellion like never B4. imho

Rhetor
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Rhetor 06/30/10 - 10:17 am
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The Supreme Court's decision

The Supreme Court's decision in favor of gun ownership was reasonable given the Constitution and prior case law, but, honestly, the day is long past when a militia (other than the National Guard, which is valuable, and which is the name that we give to the militia today) was of any real use. I'm far less worried about tyranny under our form of government with its many checks and balances than I am about a bunch of tanked-up loonies playing soldier out in the woods.

Rhetor
858
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Rhetor 06/30/10 - 10:19 am
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My father-in-law was quite

My father-in-law was quite the hunter, but he still had choice words (which I shall not repeat at this time) for the beer-filled alleged hunters who thought that his cows looked like deer.

Rhetor
858
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Rhetor 06/30/10 - 10:23 am
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"Law-abiding citizens do not

"Law-abiding citizens do not intentionally shoot other law-abiding citizens."--obviously true. However, (1) plenty of people in the CSRA have stupid gun accidents, far more than the number who shoot burglars, and (2) since the gun lobby has prevented effective background checks (anybody can buy a rifle or shotgun, and gun shows are exempt from most rules) non-law-abiding people can easily get guns. The Virginia Tech shooter bought his guns easily. What about the rights and liberties of gunshot victims? Don't they matter, too?

Chillen
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Chillen 06/30/10 - 10:31 am
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Yes, we defininitely dodged a

Yes, we defininitely dodged a bullet. 5-4 is outrageous. How can the 4 individuals justify their vote? They should be required to do so.

This is insanity and Kagan will only keep the madness going by keeping that 4-count going strong. God forbid one of the 5 should die while the community organizer is in office. I don't think our constitution could handle 3 appointments from that zero talent we call our leader.

Just today there is news about Kagan & her views - "Kagan Declines To Say Gov't Has No Power to Tell Americans What To Eat"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSoWGlyugTo

This "woman" is unfit to serve. She will not uphold our constitution. She is making that clear.

Little Lamb
40179
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Little Lamb 06/30/10 - 10:33 am
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FaceTheMusic wrote: Pesky

FaceTheMusic wrote:

Pesky things, those facts.

The U.S. constitution is a pesky thing, too. But when PBO gets to replace one of the five conservative supreme court justices with another Sotomajor or Kagan, the Constitution will at last become totally irrelevant.

Little Lamb
40179
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Little Lamb 06/30/10 - 10:37 am
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Rhetor wrote: I'm far less

Rhetor wrote:

I'm far less worried about tyranny under our form of government with its many checks and balances than I am about a bunch of tanked-up loonies playing soldier out in the woods.

Well, here is a bit more rhetoric:

Where the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Where the government fears the people, there is liberty.

JackBootedThug
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JackBootedThug 06/30/10 - 10:52 am
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To all of you folks quoting

To all of you folks quoting facts about how much safer this country would be without guns: Go get EVERY gun away from the criminal element, then we can talk about law abiding citizens giving up theirs. Until then stay out of MY gun safe. And as far as gun accidents go, apply that same logic to automobiles. Should we outlaw cars and trucks?

grouse
1585
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grouse 06/30/10 - 11:05 am
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Brad, all the words are

Unpublished

Brad, all the words are equally important, otherwise, they wouldn't be there.

reader54
65
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reader54 06/30/10 - 11:05 am
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"They who can give up

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety". Ben Franklin. It would serve us all well to remember this quote when the Gov't manipulates events to cause us to accept it's objective. Liberties that are taken are seldom returned.

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