D.C. Gun Ban Overturned - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-26-2008, 12:46 PM   #1
The Fly
 
CherokeeRose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: at zoo station throwing a brick through a window
Posts: 127
Local Time: 05:22 PM
D.C. Gun Ban Overturned

The Associated Press: Supreme Court rules in favor of gun ownership rights

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Americans have a constitutional right to keep guns in their homes for self-defense, the justices' first major pronouncement on gun control in U.S. history.

The court's 5-4 ruling struck down the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision went further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most firearms restrictions intact.

The court had not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its ratification in 1791. The amendment reads: "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."

The basic issue for the justices was whether the amendment protects an individual's right to own guns no matter what, or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia.

Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said that an individual right to bear arms is supported by "the historical narrative" both before and after the Second Amendment was adopted.

The Constitution does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home," Scalia said. The court also struck down Washington's requirement that firearms be equipped with trigger locks or kept disassembled, but left intact the licensing of guns.

Scalia noted that the handgun is Americans' preferred weapon of self-defense in part because "it can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials the police."

In a dissent he summarized from the bench, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the majority "would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons."

He said such evidence "is nowhere to be found."

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote a separate dissent in which he said, "In my view, there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas."

Joining Scalia were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. The other dissenters were Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter.

Gun rights supporters hailed the decision. "I consider this the opening salvo in a step-by-step process of providing relief for law-abiding Americans everywhere that have been deprived of this freedom," said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association.

The NRA will file lawsuits in San Francisco, Chicago and several of its suburbs challenging handgun restrictions there based on Thursday's outcome.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a leading gun control advocate in Congress, criticized the ruling. "I believe the people of this great country will be less safe because of it," she said.

The capital's gun law was among the nation's strictest.

Dick Anthony Heller, 66, an armed security guard, sued the District after it rejected his application to keep a handgun at his Capitol Hill home a short distance from the Supreme Court.

"I'm thrilled I am now able to defend myself and my household in my home," Heller said shortly after the opinion was announced.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in Heller's favor and struck down Washington's handgun ban, saying the Constitution guarantees Americans the right to own guns and that a total prohibition on handguns is not compatible with that right.

The issue caused a split within the Bush administration. Vice President Dick Cheney supported the appeals court ruling, but others in the administration feared it could lead to the undoing of other gun regulations, including a federal law restricting sales of machine guns. Other laws keep felons from buying guns and provide for an instant background check.

White House reaction was restrained. "We're pleased that the Supreme Court affirmed that the Second Amendment protects the right of Americans to keep and bear arms," White House spokesman Tony Fratto said.

Scalia said nothing in Thursday's ruling should "cast doubt on long-standing prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons or the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings."

In a concluding paragraph to the his 64-page opinion, Scalia said the justices in the majority "are aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country" and believe the Constitution "leaves the District of Columbia a variety of tools for combating that problem, including some measures regulating handguns."

The law adopted by Washington's city council in 1976 bars residents from owning handguns unless they had one before the law took effect. Shotguns and rifles may be kept in homes, if they are registered, kept unloaded and either disassembled or equipped with trigger locks.

Opponents of the law have said it prevents residents from defending themselves. The Washington government says no one would be prosecuted for a gun law violation in cases of self-defense.

The last Supreme Court ruling on the topic came in 1939 in U.S. v. Miller, which involved a sawed-off shotgun. Constitutional scholars disagree over what that case means but agree it did not squarely answer the question of individual versus collective rights.

Forty-four state constitutions contain some form of gun rights, which are not affected by the court's consideration of Washington's restrictions.

The case is District of Columbia v. Heller, 07-290.
__________________

CherokeeRose is offline  
Old 06-26-2008, 12:50 PM   #2
The Fly
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Lee's Summit, MO
Posts: 127
Local Time: 05:22 PM
There IS still hope for our country...
__________________

swizzlestick is offline  
Old 06-26-2008, 01:01 PM   #3
BVS
Blue Crack Supplier
 
BVS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: between my head and heart
Posts: 41,228
Local Time: 11:22 AM
Activist judges
BVS is offline  
Old 06-26-2008, 01:11 PM   #4
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 32,371
Local Time: 01:22 PM
i await two things:

1. the outcry from conservatives and originalists about "activist judges" overturning the will of the people
2. getting mugged at gunpoint

Irvine511 is online now  
Old 06-26-2008, 01:32 PM   #5
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
DrTeeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Q continuum
Posts: 4,770
Local Time: 06:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
2. getting mugged at gunpoint

But hey, now you can legally get your own gun and shoot it out with the muggers on the streets!
DrTeeth is offline  
Old 06-26-2008, 01:58 PM   #6
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
Utoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Lovetown
Posts: 8,343
Local Time: 01:22 PM
As a resident of DC, I have to say this is the stupidest decision ever.

It's also nice to know that as residents of DC, we have no one in Congress to appeal to....
__________________
Utoo is offline  
Old 06-26-2008, 02:16 PM   #7
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 32,371
Local Time: 01:22 PM
one thing i will say is that the gun laws in VA are so lax, that it's quite easy for anyone to go across the river, buy a gun, and then come back into DC and shoot people. plenty of people get murdered here every year to begin with.

however, i'm not so comforted by the fact that there might now be several gun shops on street corners in sections of SE selling saturday night specials to whomever wants one.
Irvine511 is online now  
Old 06-26-2008, 02:44 PM   #8
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
ntalwar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 4,903
Local Time: 01:22 PM
I'll withhold judgement on this one for now. DC has been known as the "murder capital" (in the 90s), even with a gun ban and has a higher murder rate than Richmond, where guns are legal. Politicians too often like to blame lax gun laws instead of addressing the more difficult issues that cause urban violence.
ntalwar is offline  
Old 06-26-2008, 03:22 PM   #9
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 32,371
Local Time: 01:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ntalwar View Post
I'll withhold judgement on this one for now. DC has been known as the "murder capital" (in the 90s), even with a gun ban and has a higher murder rate than Richmond, where guns are legal. Politicians too often like to blame lax gun laws instead of addressing the more difficult issues that cause urban violence.


while it's true that guns don't kill people, people do, guns do make it much, much easier for people to kill people. so while many causes of inner city violence may have little to do with guns, the mere presence of a gun in any situation increases the probability of a murder.
Irvine511 is online now  
Old 06-26-2008, 03:41 PM   #10
Blue Crack Addict
 
anitram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NY
Posts: 17,959
Local Time: 01:22 PM
I will preface this by saying that I think Scalia is one of the worst SCOTUS justices in modern history.

However, it is legally the correct decision in my opinion. The law had to be stricken as it was clearly overbroad. And based on how the Second Amendment has historically been interpreted (looking at the definition of "necessary" for the use of a militia), the outcome is right.

The problem is that the US judiciary treats the Constitution as a dead document (as opposed to the living tree doctrine as employed in places like the UK and Canada). Scalia alludes to it in the judgment here by stating that some people feel that the Constitution is outdated (it is), but that it is not up to the judiciary to reach that conclusion; rather, the document should be amended. So there you have it.
anitram is online now  
Old 06-26-2008, 03:44 PM   #11
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
ntalwar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 4,903
Local Time: 01:22 PM
DC will probably follow NYC's example - registration and licensing, etc. for handguns. It's supposedly very difficult to get a license there, and the ownership rate is very low.
ntalwar is offline  
Old 06-26-2008, 08:22 PM   #12
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
the iron horse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: in a glass of CheerWine
Posts: 3,266
Local Time: 01:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ntalwar View Post
I'll withhold judgement on this one for now. DC has been known as the "murder capital" (in the 90s), even with a gun ban and has a higher murder rate than Richmond, where guns are legal. Politicians too often like to blame lax gun laws instead of addressing the more difficult issues that cause urban violence.

As a Libertarian and American citizen, I am glad the U.S. Surpreme Court upheld the right granted by the Socond Amendment.

The U.S. cities with the highest crime rates are the very cities with the strictist gun laws. The "difficult issues that cause urban violence" ....well, who wants to address those issues?
the iron horse is offline  
Old 06-26-2008, 10:52 PM   #13
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
maycocksean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: The Most Important State in the Union
Posts: 4,892
Local Time: 12:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrTeeth View Post
But hey, now you can legally get your own gun and shoot it out with the muggers on the streets!




That's the fantasy anyway. . .

Just out of curiosity, how has D.C.'s record of gun violence correlated with the ban they have had on handguns. Has there been even more gun violence since those laws were enacted, has it stayed about the same,or has there been a decrease?
maycocksean is offline  
Old 06-26-2008, 10:56 PM   #14
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 03:22 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
i await two things:

1. the outcry from conservatives and originalists about "activist judges" overturning the will of the people
2. getting mugged at gunpoint

Liberty trumped security.
A_Wanderer is offline  
Old 06-26-2008, 11:22 PM   #15
The Fly
 
CherokeeRose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: at zoo station throwing a brick through a window
Posts: 127
Local Time: 05:22 PM
Interestingly enough, the crime rate Kennesaw, Georgia plummeted when the city required all its citizens (minus felons) to carry a gun.

Crime Plunges in Pro-gun Town
CherokeeRose is offline  
Old 06-26-2008, 11:37 PM   #16
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
2861U2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: watching the Cubs
Posts: 4,257
Local Time: 12:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Wanderer View Post
Liberty trumped security.
No, both prevailed.
2861U2 is offline  
Old 06-26-2008, 11:40 PM   #17
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 03:22 AM
Not in the minds of most posters here, it seems that most feel having registered firearms will be bad for public safety and think that freedom isn't worth the cost.
A_Wanderer is offline  
Old 06-27-2008, 12:01 AM   #18
The Fly
 
CherokeeRose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: at zoo station throwing a brick through a window
Posts: 127
Local Time: 05:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by maycocksean View Post




That's the fantasy anyway. . .

Just out of curiosity, how has D.C.'s record of gun violence correlated with the ban they have had on handguns. Has there been even more gun violence since those laws were enacted, has it stayed about the same,or has there been a decrease?
This is from an article from the Legal Times on September 24, 2007:

"In 12 of the years between 1980 and 1997, including all nine years from 1989 through 1997, the violent crime rate in D.C. exceeded 2,000 per 100,000, reaching a high of 2,922 in 1993, versus 1,481 in 1976 — a 97 percent increase in violent crime, 17 years after citizens were forbidden from defending themselves with firearms. Moreover, the murder rate climbed as high as 81 per 100,000 inhabitants in 1991 — triple the pre-ban levels. As of 2005, the last year for which I have data, the murder rate is still 32 percent above the 1976 level."

Seems like it hasn't worked too well...
CherokeeRose is offline  
Old 06-27-2008, 03:13 AM   #19
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
Vincent Vega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Berlin
Posts: 6,660
Local Time: 07:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by the iron horse View Post

The U.S. cities with the highest crime rates are the very cities with the strictist gun laws. The "difficult issues that cause urban violence" ....well, who wants to address those issues?
The father of his two little children?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CherokeeRose View Post
This is from an article from the Legal Times on September 24, 2007:

"In 12 of the years between 1980 and 1997, including all nine years from 1989 through 1997, the violent crime rate in D.C. exceeded 2,000 per 100,000, reaching a high of 2,922 in 1993, versus 1,481 in 1976 — a 97 percent increase in violent crime, 17 years after citizens were forbidden from defending themselves with firearms. Moreover, the murder rate climbed as high as 81 per 100,000 inhabitants in 1991 — triple the pre-ban levels. As of 2005, the last year for which I have data, the murder rate is still 32 percent above the 1976 level."

Seems like it hasn't worked too well...
Though this is a pretty one-dimensional look, where they just compare the development of the crime-rate with gun restriction laws.
Interesting would be to see some data for the socio-economic development of the D.C. to see if there are other indicators that could explain the increase in violence.
Vincent Vega is online now  
Old 06-27-2008, 03:34 AM   #20
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 03:22 AM
I think that gun rights in America are a mirror of free speech rights, those rights protect extremes of expression and perceived security far more than most other places and there can be negative effects because of that.

People point out that having guns in a household make it that much more possible for violence to occur when things get out of hand. I think that risk has to be weighed against the cost in individual freedoms. I think that those who insist that a right to gun ownership, even a right for self-protection, does not exist and the issue is very clear cut are agenda driven and wrong to a degree.

Having said that I think justifying gun ownership on the basis of self-protection is a fallacious but the freedom to own a gun is a positive liberty. A civil society that can support such freedoms without dramatic harm appeals to me. I also find the way gun culture in America is presented to the world as ignorant and narrow minded and I would want little part of it. I as an individual would be proud to enjoy gun ownership (to use in a venue such as sports shooting) as an expression of freedom, and as responsible fun (alongside blasphemy, sex and drugs), but not as some misguided vigilante style tool for self-protection.

I do not think that most people agree with me and I do not think that gun ownership is inherently positive or negative for a society, there are persuasive arguments both ways, practically all of which would have no impact on me even if I was living in a country with gun ownership. The only experience I have had around guns was going shooting for rabbits as a kid with my rural relatives only to have that stop when the (nominally conservative) government instituted harsh gun control policies because a complete nutter went on a rampage. I agree that government regulation of firearms is necessary for the functioning of the current society, I do not think that middle class people are going to be more or less prone to violence if they happen to be allowed to own a gun.
__________________

A_Wanderer is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com
×