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Supreme Court leaning to extension of gun owner rights

By Doug Thompson
March 3, 2010

The Supreme Court Tuesday sent out signals that it would strike down laws that ban hand guns outright but suggested some limits could remain — a partial move that will keep alive the furious debate over the “right to bear arms.”

Justices indicated a desire to extend its 2008 ruling revoking Washington, DC’s ban of handgun ownership to cover other cities.

The Washington decision only covered federal law but a new ruling would extend the right to cities that have laws banning handguns. The District of Columbia is governed by federal law.

The current case involves a Chicago law banning ownership of handguns.

But the court seems less inclined to deal with other regulations on guns and that unwillingness could open the door for more legal challenges by gun control advocates.

At issues is what the Court says are “reasonable regulations” on ownership of guns.  Justice Anthony Kennedy said states enjoy “substantial latitude and ample authority” to pass their own laws limited ownership and use of handguns.

He asks: “Why can’t we do the same things with firearms?”

Gun advocates, including the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) offer up the Second Amendment, saying the Bill of Rights gives Americans the “right to own and bear arms” and that is all that should put an end to all arguments against guns.

So the debate, and legal challenges, will continue.

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4 Responses to Supreme Court leaning to extension of gun owner rights

  1. AustinRanter (AKA Gregg)

    March 3, 2010 at 10:34 am

    When I served in the military – well, I loved my M-16. The hand version of the M-16 is a 9mm Glock, or the like. These are the type of hand weapons most used by law enforcement.

    Now law enforcement has been labeled as the bad guy who abuse criminals civil rights. So, municipal governements are increasing restricted from using lethal force to perserve the rights of criminals. Criminals love using their 9mm weapons on law enforcement as a sort of political statement that they posture through pulling the trigger to take down their local cops.

    The average John and Jane Doe who protect themselves in their own homes are often sued by criminals who terrorize and steal property and lives. Most often these criminal take civil action against their victims after they’ve been convicted and incarcerated.

    Solution:

    Get over the paranoia that a few bad cops represent the enforcement institution and considerably lessen their vulnerabilities of getting seriously malled or killed and restore reasonable lethal force policies. We live in a very dangerous world.

    Criminals who commit violent crimes such as breaking and entering a household, armed robbery, etc…loss all rights to pursue legal action against their victims if they are convicted of a charged crime where persons protection their property and/or families retaliate by using any means of lethal force necessary.

  2. AustinRanter (AKA Gregg)

    March 3, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Oooops..sorry for the grammar errors in my previous post, but you get the gist of my arguments. I forget there’s no longer an edit feature.

  3. Warren

    March 3, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    One of the fellows I know here, Alan Korwin, traveled to DC and he got in to hear the arguments. He’s a gun rights proponent who writes many of the definitive books on state gun laws for gun owners. He has been sending a string of emails on the DC experience.

    His email this morning seemed less hopeful (for gun rights proponents) than the article above suggests. He did not detect any particular preference by the judges that was discernible from the tone of their questions. Says Alan,

    This case was way more complicated than Heller.

    Both attorneys faced hostility from the bench. Chicago’s lawyer got hit from all sides with little in the way of what you might call support. But the surprise was the way Alan Gura got blasted, even by the best friend gun-rights has up there, Justice Scalia.

    Whoever or however we believed the Court might be ready to review the Privileges or Immunities clause of 14A was totally wrong. Every Justice had problems with the scope of such a decision, and poor Gura had to withstand withering assaults on his reasoning and approach.

    BOTTOM LINE — it looks like the Heller majority may hold together for this case, and the Second Amendment will be incorporated against the states, under the familiar selective incorporation of Due Process. The same 2A that controls federal activity will apply to the states, no more, no less, though that issue of degree got a lot of attention. Not that the scope of 2A is all the well defined, but there was animus to the idea that incorporation would yield a “shadow” version for the states.

    Gura may get the win, but not for any brilliant strategic planning — there was open hostility to the idea, central to his arguments, of 2A being a Privilege or Immunity of citizenship (I’ll discuss soon). The win, if there is one, may be more of a result of the bench being unprepared to treat 2A as some special bastard child the states do not have to follow, unlike the rest of the Bill of Rights that has been incorporated so far.

    —W—

  4. Arthur

    March 3, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Ok, Gregg. I get your point. Let me see if I can articulate the underlying anger you feel.

    When every politician/elect takes the oath of office, he [generic, mind you] swears to defend this country and its Constitution against all enemies. But does he have his fingers crossed when he comes to the “domestic” part of the oath?

    Movies like Dirty Harry and Cobra dealt with the sickness of the pro-violence mob that infiltrated the criminal justice system in order to pervert it from being dedicated to preserving the rights of the wrongly accused against malicious charges, and instead became a way for the guilty to escape punishment and to go about their degradation of society in general, and this country in particular.

    But forget about Dirty Harry for the moment. Now we have movies like “Shooter”. Can any sane person who follows the machinations of this country’s government doubt that there are behind-the-scenes power plays like portrayed in that movie?

    I mean, can anybody who is not a psychitic ostrich not be aware that there is something awful going on behind the scenes?

    I mean we were told Vietnam was about stopping the spread of Communism. Can anybody in his right mind still believe that?

    We were told that the powers that be were going to rid us of terrorists by bleading our treasury for a decade or more in order to root out bin lauda (or whatever the former CIA asset spells his name).

    Are we going to just believe that?

    And when the Pres. says that bin laden is no biggie, we got other fish to fry, does not anyone question if this is maybe some puppet who got his words fed from the higher ups?

    Me? Call me a patriot fanatic, but when the pro-perpetrator element screams bloody murder when Dirty Harry shoots the perp in the knee in order to find out where he hid his victim before she dies, I figure Harry has his priorities right. I would love to confront the other side face-to-face.

    But since we are dealing with corruption in society here, can anyone deny that those in the highest eschelons of law enforcement have abused their positions as well?

    If you belong to the FBI, and if you value your oath, then you will find your own ceiling in the agency, and it’s not made of glass either….