In re: Supreme Court to hear 2nd amendment case

Been very slow on the posts recently, not really for a lack of subject matter, but rather time as work has been busy combined with a lot of travel over the last few weeks, including San Francisco and San Antonio, both places I’ve never been before and an unintended night in Memphis where Northwest Airlines graciously stuck me the other night enroute back from Texas.

On my trip to San Francisco I somehow found myself reading cover-to-cover the ABA Journal, the Ohio Bar Journal and some other random magazines I stuffed in my bag, but usually leave out of my queue (first item of each week is the Economist followed by some others if I get through that one).  There was a very interesting article “A Shot at the Second Amendment” (actually the mags were much better than I expected and will put them higher on my list) in the ABA Magazine on the potential for a 2nd amendment showdown, after a circuit court held the District of Columbia’s handgun ban unconstitutional.  [The article is interesting partly for the breakdown of the manner in which the NRA has worked over the years to control gun litgation and prevent others from treading on their territory.] 

The case is huge for a number of reasons (see Reuters announcement), partly the fact the court has rarely held on 2nd amendment (70 years or so since) and this case is much more clear cut then countless other gun cases that had muddy facts.  For more on it see the Scotus blog post on it here

My personal view on the subject has long been along the lines of the view that the 2nd amendment did not confer a personal right (granted the right to a state militia) and further I like to update the constitution through common-sense and the fact that guns at the time of the drafters did not give one person such a gross amount of power (they could not have envisioned Columbine or Virgina Tech massacres).  For that reason I feel that states should be allowed to craft bans on personal firearms and in fact I support handgun bans in general as I do not think anyone needs one to protect their home (buy a shotgun) and that the only reason someone needs a handgun is to kill people and to be more discrete about it.  Of course over the years holding this opinion has gotten me into countless arguments with gun fanatics and more centered individuals, but I’ve stuck to it.  If you look at countries that don’t have handguns their murder rates are lower by incredible amounts (plenty of arguments against this, but look at it sometime). 

Should be interesting, I think the oral argument is set for February.  While not a Supreme Court freak I will keep my ears up for info on this one.

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2 Responses

  1. How dare you question the wisdom of our founding fathers! If it weren’t for people like you, criminals would be shot dead every time they tried to break into a house or tried to rob a convenience store. Man, I wish things were like they were in the wild west – all the criminals were terrified because who knew if a potential victim might be packin’ heat.

  2. Senior Coffee needs to bone up on his history, especially Constitutional history.

    The Second Amendment addresses Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution;s provision giving Congress the power of arming the militia. Additionally, the federal government had an Army. The fear was of the Federal government refusing to arm the militia and favouring a standing army. Any complete read of the primary sources will verify this.

    Unfortunately, those who wish to show an “individual right” neglect to post entire quotes or even address the issue of standing armies.

    Tyranny came in the form of an out of control military, as in a standing army with a several trillion dollar budget.

    So, the real Second Amendment issue is George Bush’s invasion of Iraq, not WDC’s gun laws. And, unless you seriously are suggesting abolishing the Military in favour of a Swiss style militia, there is no individual right to keep and bear arms.

    Additionally, firearms have been regulated in this country since before the War of Independence. The Wild West actually had gun control!

    I hope that the justices will see sense, which unfortunately is lacking on the web.

    This is a breath of fresh air reading someone who obviously is legally educated and understands the issue.

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