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Do you agree with Supreme Court's ruling on gun rights?

In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court decided Americans have the right to own a gun for self-defense, no matter where they live. The move casts doubt on handgun bans in the Chicago area, but also noted that some limitations on the right to bear arms could survive legal challenges. Read the full article.

By Jodi Westrick  |  June 28, 2010; 12:32 PM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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As someone who was taught how to diagram a sentence, it is crystal clear that the right to bear arms is a subsidiary clause modifying the "militia" clause. How fortunate the Supremes are to have personal bodyguards and drivers so they won't fall victim to the mess that an explosion of handguns will cause.

As Anne Landers often said in support of gun control: "it's harder to kill someone with a kitchen knife than with a gun." What a shameful decision.

Posted by: commonsense101 | June 28, 2010 1:12 PM

Of course the Second Amendment of the Constitution guarantees the right for individuals to 'bear arms'. What is amazing is that four - count 'em, FOUR - 'supremes' apparently dislike our Constitution as much as our Dear Leader does. But the Constitution has been under attack for decades, and the Bill of Rights is being tattered as well. Gotta wonder just how much longer our republic will survive.

Posted by: segeny | June 28, 2010 1:13 PM

Of course the Second Amendment of the Constitution guarantees the right for individuals to 'bear arms'. What is amazing is that four - count 'em, FOUR - 'supremes' apparently dislike our Constitution as much as our Dear Leader does. But the Constitution has been under attack for decades, and the Bill of Rights is being tattered as well. Gotta wonder just how much longer our republic will survive.

___________________________________________

This is just silly. No one is attacking the Constitution. It has been a legitimate argument for over 100 years that controling handguns in urban areas doesn't violate the 2nd amendment. There have been plenty of court cases upholding this idea. There are many good people who believe in the necessity of controlling handguns in urban settings. I think the SC made the right decision. But that doens't mean the 4 who disagree are attakcing the Constitution or trying to destroy it. Such a view which is incapbale of recognizing the value in opposing views is petty and indicative of a small mind.

Posted by: kchses1 | June 28, 2010 1:29 PM

How do you determine whether someone owns a firearm for self defense? What kinds of firearms would be approprate for one's self defense needs? Would an AK 47 fit that category? What is the percent of people who are shot in anger by somone they know rather than self defense? Does the NRA advocate any restrictions on gun ownership? If so what are they? Afterall, freedom of speech doesn't give us the right to yell fire! in a theater.

Posted by: browneri | June 28, 2010 1:40 PM

Even in the left WP it's currently 60-40 for. I would think a huffpo poll would produce something like 80-20 against.

Posted by: crumppie | June 28, 2010 1:59 PM

COMMONSENSE101 - You need to look up the definition of "militia". It hasn't changed since the founding of the country. A militia IS NOT and CANNOT be a member of a standing army or member of the National Guard and they cannot be paid by government funds. (U.S. Code 10,311 provides the definition of a citizen militia.)

The Founding Fathers made it quite clear that they expected every male citizen to be armed (and, yes, they had hand guns.) In fact, there was a debate in the first Congress that unarmed citizens, like Quakers, could not hold citizenship as a consequence of their pacifist beliefs. The wording was only changed when Benjamin Franklin objected. Adams, Jefferson, Washington, and most of the other founders, however, would have denied citizenship to any citizen that was not armed. Do some reading.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | June 28, 2010 2:02 PM

You hit the nail on the head, segeny.

Our constitution is being taken apart as is the bill of rights.
We just have to hope that the tide changes starting in November and continues in 2012.

Otherwise, we will start looking like Venezuela and Cuba within a few years.

Posted by: lhoneil | June 28, 2010 2:07 PM

I can diagram a sentence too. Not only that, I know that in the US, every citizen is in the militia.

The definition of the militia has never been the organized militia (aka State Defense Force or National Guard)

The militia has always been comprised of individual citizens. That has been true since the nations founding and remains so today.

I support the decision, but do not for one second believe that members of the Court who voted against it are undermining the Constitution or are anti-American.

While individual Americans comprise the militia, that does not mean that there can be no involvement of gov't into firearm ownership. Even in Colonial times, city dwellers were require to keep their powder secure. It was a fire prevention measure. This decision does not mean one is free to go out and buy a Sherman tank.

Sometimes I am reminded of how unique and wonderful America is. Our Founding Fathers were visionaries; and purposefully set this nation on a different course. It is an amazing nation.

Posted by: jrsnotary | June 28, 2010 2:31 PM

I'm not in anyones militia. But if you break into my house... better be armed more than I am. And that includes you, Federal Agent Popo. Shoot first, question later, and always scream self-defense. It is the american way.

That said: I can't wait to be able to carry a gun into the Supreme Court. Please tell me when I may do so, and I shall immediately and repeatedly do so.

Posted by: Greent | June 28, 2010 2:39 PM

commonsense101

Too bad that there are so few citizens with your commonsense and wisdom.

Thanks for the best comment in this series!

Posted by: lufrank1 | June 28, 2010 3:12 PM

segeny:
"What is amazing is that four - count 'em, FOUR - 'supremes' apparently dislike our Constitution as much as our Dear Leader does."

Except that Obama has said that he also believes the 2nd Amendment confers an individual right to own a gun.

Posted by: presto668 | June 28, 2010 3:21 PM

lhoneil:
"We just have to hope that the tide changes starting in November and continues in 2012."

Yes because the Republican record on constitutional rights is sooooo much better right?

Posted by: presto668 | June 28, 2010 3:23 PM

I've never owned, fired or touched a gun. But I think this was a correct decision. The freedoms guaranteed by Bill of Rights can only be restricted in very narrow and carefully defined circumstances.

An outright ban on handguns is simply incompatible with the text of the 2nd Amendment. So the SCOTUS was correct in its decision today.

However, I don't necessarily think that Scalia et al. reasoned this thing out well. They had already decided how they would rule in revenge for abortion rights, etc. In addition, conservative judges will continue to act as if the 4th and 5th Amendments don't exist, so don't expect any sensible rulings on that front.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | June 28, 2010 3:36 PM

Chicago has the strictest gun law in the country -- and the highest murder rate. Washington DC's murder rate has dropped by 25% since our ban was overturned.

Do you liberals WANT people to be murdered?

It's simple: ban guns and law-abiding citizens can't get them. Criminals can and do -- but what's worse is that the criminals don't need to fear armed citizens. So you both arm and embolden criminals with gun bans.

Posted by: diesel_skins_ | June 28, 2010 3:47 PM

segeny said: "four - count 'em, FOUR - 'supremes' apparently dislike our Constitution as much as our Dear Leader does."

Lemme see if I got this straight . . . anyone who disagrees with your view of the Constitution "dislikes" it? Although I happen to think that the Supreme Court decision goes too far, I don't accuse the Justices that I disagree with of hating the Constitution. Instead, I understand that our system is designed to be inclusive of varying views, and thus the Constitution is open to interpretion where reasonable minds, as they say, may disagree.

Unlike me, kchses1 agrees with the Court's decision. We have a difference of opinion. But we do agree on one, thing, far more fundamental than gun rights: claiming that supporting gun control "attacks" the Constitution is silly. See, we have different views on an issue, but also understand that's the way America works.

Yes, reasonable people may disagree ... but unreasonable, intolerant, inflexible people like you, segeny, who cry that everything they disagree with is un-American and that only your view is correct and acceptable -- that's who really hates the Constitution.

Posted by: tomguy1 | June 28, 2010 4:11 PM

I don't think the founding fathers wanted ordinary citizens to own cannons. There have to be some limitations to the right to bear arms. A ban on handguns does not mean all guns are banned and does not invalidate the right to bear arms.
There are many weapons that are not legal to own including many military style weapons.


Posted by: ls930 | June 28, 2010 4:20 PM

There are two questions wrapped into one here: You can disagree with the end result of the Court's decision, but still believe that the justices correctly applied the Constitution. Not everything that is Constitutional is good policy, and lots of good policies might not be Constitutional.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | June 28, 2010 4:28 PM

My brother lives in Wyoming near Yellowstone National Park. Ten days ago a bear killed a man within spitting distance of where he lives. When he takes his beloved golden retriever for a walk, he routinely sees bears and other animals. This means that he always carries a gun to protect himself and his dog. I suggest that everyone who reads these comments would do the same thing in his place.

Posted by: jeffreed | June 28, 2010 4:28 PM

browneri says: "freedom of speech doesn't give us the right to yell fire! in a theater."

Actually, it does. Freedom of speech allows you to yell "fire" in a crowded theater ... provided that there is a fire or other emergency. Just as the Constitution allows you to use a gun in self defense, so long as it's really self defense.

browneri, your analogy is way off, and actually refutes your point. Yes, it's illegal to sow panic by yelling "fire" falsely in a crowded theater, but it's also illegal to shoot someone without cause. The analogy is to the illegal use of a gun, not the mere possession of a gun.

Government isn't allowed to prevent you from EVER speaking just because of the statistically very unlikely chance that you'll yell "fire" at the wrong time. Just as government isn't allowed to prevent you from owning a gun due to the statistically very unlikely chance that you will use a lawfully-owned gun in a crime.

That's the Constitutional law. In addition, there is the practical point. Nearly all gun crime is committed by people who obtained the gun illegally. Lawful gun ownership is not associated with any significant crime. Those are the facts, folks.

We should all agree about one thing: support LONG, CERTAIN sentences for gun crime.

Posted by: rowerinva | June 28, 2010 4:36 PM

Had the authors of the second amendment believed that "the right to keep and bear arms" was restricted to active militias, the would not have written "the right of the people". They would instead have written: "the right of militia men" or "the right of the people while in milita service" or "the right of the states to maintain armed militias" or some variation thereof. Further, if they did not recognize "the right of the people" to mean individual citizens, they would then have believed that individuals did not have that right and would have clarified that.
Chicago has probably the most restrictive gun ownership laws in the country, yet one of the highest gun crime rates. Criminals ignore such laws, which impact only honest citizens, and anyone who honestly believes this SCOTUS decision will result in a "deluge of handguns" and a vast increase in gun crime-"tripling" according to an anti gun group spokesman interviewed on cable news this morning-is of the same delusionally self deceptive mindset as the people who have pronounced, state by state, that concealed carry licenses would result in blood baths, shootouts at traffic accidents, and mass carnage, none of which has happened in the forty states that now issue such licenses. Gun crimes are committed by criminals. Contrasted with Chicago, Vermont requires no license to carry a firearm either concealed or open. The only qualification is that it may not be carried with the avowed purpose of injuring someone. The incidence of gun crime is related to the incidence of criminality, not gun ownership by noncriminals

Posted by: johngjohnson | June 28, 2010 4:42 PM

ls930 wrote:
I don't think the founding fathers wanted ordinary citizens to own cannons. There have to be some limitations to the right to bear arms. A ban on handguns does not mean all guns are banned and does not invalidate the right to bear arms.
There are many weapons that are not legal to own including many military style weapons.
+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+

What you've failed to comprehend is that rifles, muskets and yes, six pound cannon were military weapons when the Second Amendment was passed.

Officers would purchase cannon for their militia companies, as the average man simply could not afford artillery.

We're starting back down the road to what the Second Amendment was about, an armed populace that could resist an oppressive government or aid in combating an invasion.

If you recall, the United States had just fought a lengthy war to get rid of what was regarded as an oppressive government, the Founding Fathers were not eager to make another one possible.

It's best that politicians be fearful of their constituents.

Posted by: rmlwj1 | June 28, 2010 4:44 PM

The correct answer is "Yes". Obviously. Thanks for playing.

Posted by: PlayByTheRules | June 28, 2010 4:56 PM

A "well-regulated militia" seems to be something the gun-nuts has overlooked. A well-regulated militia is not every gun wacko packing heat wherever they think they have to to try and prove their manhood. And the other question is why do they have this obsessive need to prove their manhood?

Posted by: gschultens | June 28, 2010 4:59 PM

So much for working for a peaceful society. The ruling is a disgrace not so much for the impact on how many guns we have, (God know we already have way too many)but for the underlying message of approval of a violent society. What on earth were they thinking about! Interesting that the Republicans decry activist judges when they have a conservative majority that does not hesitate create a new individual right.

Posted by: roberthurley | June 28, 2010 5:08 PM

How many guns are actually used for self-defense? How will a purchaser show that the gun will be used only for self-defense?

Gun-owners need to have more responsibility for their guns. Accidents need to be classified as crimes with jail-time and hefty fines. Owners need to be responsible for what happens when their guns are stolen. My neighbor's gun was stolen, when he left it in his car (unlocked!) overnight on the street.

Stupid people should not have guns!

Posted by: Virginiatransplant | June 28, 2010 5:15 PM

Once again, as they did recently with freedom of speech, the four lunatic-left extremists on SCOTUS tried to shred the US Constitution and all it stands for. This 5-4 victory for the Constitution shows that our country is hanging by a thread against the forces that oppose a constitutional democracy.

I expect hussein and the d-crat socialists in CONgress to try to overturn this ruling, as they with the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling on freedom of speech.

Posted by: TeaPartyPatriot | June 28, 2010 5:23 PM

TPP - what does owning a gun have to do with cosntitutional democracy. Do you have any idea how democracies restrict gun ownershil. I thought not

Posted by: roberthurley | June 28, 2010 5:30 PM

@Robert Hurley:

We do not have a constitutional democracy, sir, we are a republic.

Moreover, there's nothing new about the right to bear arms, what was new were the attempts by Congress and localities to remove that right.

Now, thanks to the USSC doing it's job, it's assured.

Posted by: rmlwj1 | June 28, 2010 6:27 PM

The militia and gun nuts do have a point, however misguided. I think it's scary to not have a gun with all these militia and gun nuts running loose.

Posted by: revbookburn | June 28, 2010 7:03 PM

A well-regulated militia being a necessity to a free state, the Congress shall not abridge the right of the people to bear arms--paraphrase of the 2nd ammendment.

a few concerns
a) Few people would rationally argue that the only thing between our nation and autocratic rule (actual autocracy, like Russia or China) is the threat of popular revolt. Few people would rationally argue that our democracy is so shaky that an American government would not yield to the results of an election. Thus, it is worth questioning whether a well regulated militia is now necessary to the maintenance of a free state.

It must also be noted that the government cannot protect everyone all the time, and a citizenry ought have the means to defend itself. Thus, owning a firearm to protect your family should be legal. However, the US government is under no obligation to allow its citizenry the means to commit treason.

Posted by: j762 | June 28, 2010 7:12 PM

Living in the age of Aquarius since the 1960s the courts have expanded individual "rights' to the absurd level that pornography and crotch-grabbing are ruled "freedom of expression" and same sex marriage is now considered as much right as joke. It's ironic that liberals now find themselves disappointed that the Court is being consistent here by its expansion of gun rights for the individual.

Posted by: slim2 | June 28, 2010 7:35 PM

"How fortunate the Supremes are to have personal bodyguards and drivers so they won't fall victim to the mess that an explosion of handguns will cause."

What a crock. This is the same "streets will run with blood!" BS that anti-gun idiots always spew. And every time they trot it out, it proves to be false. 20 years ago only a handful of states allowed their citizens to carry loaded handguns in public for self-protection, and almost all of them had tight restrictions on doing so. Today all but Illinois allow it, and almost all of them have only minimal requirements for doing so. Three have no requirements at all, and several others are looking to remove theirs. Gun ownership over the same period reached record levels. And all along the way we hear the same BS about impending "carnage".

Unfortunately for the antis, none of it came to pass. Over that period, violent crime, gun crime, and even gun accidents all have steadily decreased in the US, except in a few localities, which, coincidentally, are the localities that kept the tightest gun restrictions.

In DC, after the Heller decision, we heard the same BS. And the next year after they were forced to allow their citizens to own and keep loaded firearms for self-defense, they experienced the lowest murder rate the've had in 3 decades.

On the other hand, Great Britain and Australia have banned handgun ownership, and both have seen violent crime rates skyrocket, and gun crime rates that have increased by triple digits. In their worst areas gun crime is up over 600%. In London last year, in just one 6 month period, gun crime went up 40%, prompting their famously unarmed bobbies to start carrying submachine guns.

So, the only shameful thing about this decision is that 4 justices think they should have the power to overrule the Constitution and force us to be like other "civilized" countries, as they called them, like Great Britain and Australia.

Posted by: Rob29 | June 28, 2010 8:02 PM

TeaPartyPatriot said: "the four lunatic-left extremists on SCOTUS tried to shred the US Constitution and all it stands for."

Hey TeaPartyPatriot, thanks for stopping by . . . and sounding really sane and well-informed in the process. Please see my comment to segeny, above, for an explanation of the difference between "unconstitutional" and "you happen to disagree with it." You may be surprised to learn that they are not necessarily the same!

Posted by: tomguy1 | June 28, 2010 8:10 PM

TeaPartyPatriot said: "the four lunatic-left extremists on SCOTUS tried to shred the US Constitution and all it stands for."

Hey TeaPartyPatriot, thanks for stopping by . . . and sounding really sane and well-informed in the process. Please see my comment to segeny, above, for an explanation of the difference between "unconstitutional" and "you happen to disagree with it." You may be surprised to learn that they are not necessarily the same!

Posted by: tomguy1 | June 28, 2010 8:11 PM

TeaPartyPatriot said: "the four lunatic-left extremists on SCOTUS tried to shred the US Constitution and all it stands for."

Hey TeaPartyPatriot, thanks for stopping by . . . and sounding really sane and well-informed in the process. Please see my comment to segeny, above, for an explanation of the difference between "unconstitutional" and "you happen to disagree with it." You may be surprised to learn that they are not necessarily the same!

Posted by: tomguy1 | June 28, 2010 8:11 PM

So what? Everyone who wants a gun has one or two or three anyway. The USA now gets what the voters have said they wanted since 1980. Right wingers, the future is here and you have won. You want to take the country back? Take it. You have ruined it and gutted it. Now you can live in it.

Posted by: guitar1 | June 28, 2010 8:12 PM

70% v. 28% in favor of self-defense ownership. You weenie, cowardly lefties that want to sit in your gated communities and ride in armored cars and travel with armed security everywhere you go, leave YOUR guns at home. But don't hide behind your gilded, gated walls and tell the little people down here at the grass roots we can't defend ourselves from the vermin YOU lefties refuse to lock up for life or put to death. Democrats are such creeps. They align themselves with creeps and criminals at every turn in their attempt to make a stupid political talking point, sensible or not.

Posted by: JamesChristian | June 28, 2010 8:30 PM

Some actually don't get it about lawmakers and the District of Columbia. You will for sure continue to be treated whereas whats right and intelligent isn't really a factor compared to having a unique power to treat you as less a individual compared to how they would treat their state constituents. The discussions I had with DC and Baltimore area neighbors, co-workers and friends, I realized no one shared my opinion that the lawmakers was playing a game as far as DC residents and handguns. I shut up because people took for granted it was on the way to being law. Forget media and government knowledge it wasn't going to happen. I'm nothing special, but gosh how didn't even the people I talk to not know it was joke and they enjoyed the whole game. Most of us have no interest in guns, personally I always felt I can live my whole life without one, unless I feel I'm a possible victim waiting to happen. I'm not so seriously contemplating a 30-30. When serious, I'll learn the over-all as best I can. Purchase and practice for the likelyhood of never using it.

Posted by: CTaylor42 | June 28, 2010 9:14 PM

The arguments on the floor during the
debate before the vote on ratification
of The Constitution made it very clear
that the 2nd Amendment was about the
Great Body of "All Able Bodied Adults" (The "Militia" ) ( See Websters )were to be well armed and able to overthrow any would-be Dictator/King/Royalty/Plutocracy. The men and women who carried out the American Revolution demanded their right to CARRY any gun they wanted to, any time, anywhere ( Hence "Shall NOT Be Infringed )before they would ratify the New United States Constitution. You may recall that America was a Confederation of States during the Revolution. The American Veterans who forced The English Redcoats to sail home were "Absolutely Adamant" that no Tory Powertrippers were ever going to be able to disarm them, before they would agree to dissolve the Confederation and join The United States.The degree of ignorance of the actual perspectives of those who voted for the Bill of Rights is
appalling in the current general public.
Yes,Self Defense is part of Life, Liberty
and the pursuit of happiness, allright;
but, it was fear of Tyranny that motivated
these Revolutionary Fighters to demand
their newly fought-for Rights in Writing.
You may also recall that it was the Crown
Colony Gun Control Act of 1775 that
spurred George Mason to Declare to the
Virginia Assembly: "Shall we rebell now,
while we're still well armed, or wait
until The King Disarms us?". THAT was
"The True Beginning" of The American Revolution. And remember, Ben Franklin
said they wrote The Bill of Rights so
everyday tradesmen could read and
understand it, without a lawyer or
judge "interpreting" it, with their
own agenda. There are a plethora of
speeches, memoirs, letters and quotes
from the Founding Fathers that back up
everything I just wrote. And it's mere
child's play to dismiss the invalid
argument that "The Constitution is a
living document that needs to be
reinterpreted from time to time." Such
a weak Social Compact would be worthless.
Any time some Power Adict, Autocratic
Assembly or Judicial Tyrant can "modify"
your Constitution with a "New Meaning",
you can bet your your rights are just
mere privilages that can be revoked at
will. And you all remember what Jefferson
said to do to anybody who attempted to
tinker with your rights, don't you?

Posted by: iamredwolf | June 28, 2010 10:34 PM

Why is it that gun nuts who fancy themselves constitutional scholars conveniently exclude the one part of the 2nd amendment that makes sense "a well=regulated militia..." And people wonder why the US is in such low regard worldwide...

Posted by: staussfamily | June 28, 2010 10:44 PM

I am not really afraid of Tories subverting the US government these days and returning rule to the King or Queen of England. The Second Amendment in any case was only meant to restrict the federal government, not States and local governments. Why the hypocrisy about restricting States' rights on this issue?

At best, the case for private carry guns resulting in better public safety (not to mention public health) is mixed. For every 10 criminals killed by gun-carrying citizens in self-defense, there are 370 suicides by firearms, 13 accidental deaths and 46 criminal homicides (where the shooter is a bad guy). This was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a premier journal of the sort.

I favor licensing every owner and registering every gun. Let every owner show he or she is competent and safe with the gun, then let him or her own it. If you say you are safe, prove it. And I say let local governments decide about gun carry.

Posted by: DavidH3 | June 29, 2010 12:28 AM

We already HAVE the right to keep and bear arms. The Supreme Court doesn't HAVE to interpret plain English, and the Republicans already got their clause in about pre-registration with the Brady Bill after the attempt on Reagan's life by John Hinckley. Yes, this change didn't get through all the steps of legislation-making till Clinton took office, but all the legwork on the changes was completed by the diligence of Republican Mrs. Brady and her assistants. The NRA tries to conveniently PRETEND it was a Democratic effort, but fortunately, the facts of history are written in stone! The NRA is full of hops, but many ignorant people fall for their lies.

Posted by: Maerzie | June 29, 2010 12:43 AM


"Held:

1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a
firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for
traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home."

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

Posted by: screwjob16 | June 29, 2010 12:58 AM

It's very simple; the right of the people" in the 2nd ammendment means the right of individual citizens of the U.S., just the same as it does everywhere else the phrase is used in the Constitution. Such rights can only be limited in extraordinary circumstances.

Posted by: Gaffer57 | June 29, 2010 1:53 AM

It is amazing that 4 of the justices dissented. Especially after the Heller decision.

It is also amazing that so many people simply don't understand the meaning and purpose of the Second Amendment - it was done to guarantee the right of each citizen to bear arms to protect themself against their own government - not invading armies. Although one of the reasons Japan decided against invading this country was because of the amount of weapons in the hands of the citizens.

Our founding fathers and patriots had strong views about gun ownership. Patrick Henry said, "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined...The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun."

Those who believe that all weapons should be taken away should simply look at what happened in England. They voluntarily surrendered all of their weapons - and the crime rate went up. Now, just a few years later, they want their gun rights back because the police can't protect them from the criminals who have illegal guns.

Benjamin Franklin, said, "Never trust a government that doesn't trust its own citizens with guns.", while Thomas Jefferson stated, "The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes....Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."

And last, but not least,something for Justice Ginsberg and the other 3 Justices to meditate on: James Madison said, "Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms." (Federalist Paper #46)

Fear of guns is the reason that many Americans want gun control. But there are those among us who would do to us what the Romans did to the Carthaginians - take away their weapons in the name of peace and then slaughter them.

Say it ain't so.

Posted by: jafpi | June 29, 2010 2:19 AM

Years back I was held up 3 times in Milwaukee Wis. at banks I worked for. Gee, I never thought to ask the thugs if they had permits.

Self protection is a right I shall never give up with or without a law.

Posted by: eaglehawkaroundsince1937 | June 29, 2010 3:48 AM

"This was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a premier journal of the sort"

That has been discussed for decades and has been completely debunked. Google for yourself and you'll find hundreds of links that have shot this 1985 article down.

Here's a sample hit:

http://www.gunsandcrime.org/suter-fa.html

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | June 29, 2010 4:43 AM

You know, I'm really sick of people using the strawman argument of "what do people really need an AK-47 for" as their basis for supporting gun control. Just because a firearm 'looks like' a fully automatic military weapons such as the AK-47, does not mean that it is a machine gun. All of the SEMI-AUTOMATIC rifles using the AK operating system are in fact, no different than the Remington or Winchester semi-automatic hunting rifles that have been in common use in this country for nearly a century. Quit lying to the American people by making inflamatory statements that infer that 2nd Amendment supporters want everyone to have a machine gun. We want every lawabiding citizen to be able to purchase, and use the firearm of their choice for hunting, target shooting and yes, even self-defense without government throwing onerous roadblocks in their path.

Posted by: honorswar26 | June 29, 2010 6:31 AM

I'm tired of the Nanny State assumption that I need the All Knowing federal government and their Libtard supporters to keep me safe from myself. The "There will Be a Bloodbath" argument has already been disproved all over the country already but it just keeps coming up from the uninformed weenies who are too "enlightened" (read afraid) to contemplate protecting their own or their families lives with violence. They would rather trust in the local law enforcement to arrive in time to save them. Ha! good luck with that. Modern criminals are a whole new breed of violent thanks in part to government attempts at disarming the people and a general unfamiliarity and fear of firearms on the part of the populace, an attitude fostered by our liberal betters. Look where they and their policies have brought us. Personally I like the idea that if someone tries to hurt my family that I have the capability to leave them lying cold in their own sauce. Violent? Distasteful? You bet, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Please leave me to evolve at my own pace, thank you.

Posted by: rabiddog9 | June 29, 2010 7:24 AM

This is a classic example of an activist court. Time for the GOPers that whine about activist judges to shut up, because you know they're all applauding this one. This ruling can only be reached by completely ignoring an entire clause of the 2nd Amendment.

Posted by: Jayne | June 29, 2010 7:49 AM

Part of our checks and balances government, the right to keep and bear firearms is the ultimate check on tyranny of both foreign and domestic government, something the gun-control people hesitate to mention.

Posted by: samnett | June 29, 2010 7:54 AM

Actually Mr Commonsense101, the militia phrase is the supporting clause for the primary phrase regarding "the right of the people."

The test to determine which is the primary phrase is this... Can either phrase stand on it's own as a complete sentence?

Try this...

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State.

or even

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State shall not be infringed. (if you simply discard the "right of the people" phrase between the commas as "subsidiary"...)

Neither of the above versions function as a complete and coherent sentence.

However, if you drop the entire "militia phrase you get this...

The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

There you go... perfectly good sentence which makes the subject perfectly clear.

-------------

And looking at the results of the poll, it appears that your "sense" isn't as "common" as you seem to think...

Posted by: wildfyre99 | June 29, 2010 8:20 AM

I find myself in a difficult situation. I personally favor gun control.

At the same time, I am dismayed by liberal claims that the constitution does not give people a right to own guns and the claim that it does give people a right to have abortions. It is almost like they are saying, "We own the constitution, and never mind what the text says."

The constitution should be interpreted in a way which is reasonably faithful to the text and respects both sides of the political spectrum. This requires respect for both sides of the political spectrum towards the other side.

Posted by: rohit57 | June 29, 2010 8:24 AM

Absolutely! A gun in the right hand and a Bible in the left (or would it have to be the other way around? - but what if you're left handed and which would you put down to bash Obama in the "Post a Comment" section or to......?) A Huckabee dilema.

Posted by: areyousaying | June 29, 2010 8:26 AM

The second part of the second amendment, separated by a comma from the first part, clearly was intended to give 'the people' the right to bear arms in addition to allowing them to form a militia, as if it matters to a people desperate enough to have to defend their country by forming a militia to be given the right in writing.

No people who form a militia, either at the time the amendment was written or in the forseeable future, would go into battle with broom sticks and rocks when firearms were available. The right to bear arms for any fighting force is implied to all, except apparently to the colossally stupid such as liberals with a socialist agenda.

What would a liberal interpretation of the amendment envision, had the second part of the second amendment been left out by the framers? Does the militia say, "gee, we can't use firearms against an aggressor because the second amendment didn't give us the right to 'keep and bear arms', so we'll just throw our rocks at them and whack them with our broom sticks, that is if they don't shoot us with their guns first? :))) Does any sane American really believe that's why the right of the people to keep and bear arms was written into the amendment?

That's just how utterly absurd the liberal interpretation that links the second part of the amendment to its first is. Liberals got away with convincing the country since the thirties when the DC law that prevented residents from owning guns was enacted, that the 2nd part of the 2nd amendment pertained only to arming the militia authorized by the first part. Lunacy.

The right 'of the people to keep and bear arms', separated by a comma, clearly confers gun ownership rights to civilians, exclusive of militia membership.

Thank God we finally have a Supreme Court majority that is more interested in the spirit of individual freedoms bestowed on
Americans by our Bill of Rights than in the implementation of this new age crap socialism and new world order dreams of so called 'progressives', who are really regressives to the times of tyranny from monarchs and the church.

Posted by: bbwk80a1 | June 29, 2010 8:52 AM

I'm a little surprised by most of the comments so far. The SCOTUS case did not change the meaning or intent of the Second Amendment. All the discussion of militia, and crime are irrelevant to the decision itself. What happened is the Supreme Court ruled that the individual states have to recognize the second amendment just like they must recognize the first.

Back in the late 1800's there was a case commonly called the Slaughterhouse cases. It had to do with requiring butchers to be part of a state run franchise in order for the government to prevent disease spreading in the city (yes, this is a gross oversimplification, but if anyone actually reads these postings, they can always look it up.) The butcher association claimed that the government was running a monopoly, and was depriving many people their right to exercise their trade. The Supreme Court ruled that the first section of the 14 amendment actually creates two types of citizenship: one belonging to the US, and one belonging to the state in which one resides. It was then claimed that US citizens ONLY are guaranteed the rights that are dependent on the Federal Government, not the pre-existing/natural rights of man.

Most legal scholars tend to believe that this was a gross misinterpretation of the 14th amendment, but until this day it stands as law.

This now meant that none of the Bill of Rights applied to the citizens of the United States. Over the next century, most of the Bill of Rights had been "incorporated" against the states - giving all US citizens these rights, despite what state you reside.

The recent McDonald case actually tried to accomplish two things: First, to overthrow the Slaughterhouse case - and destroying 140 years of law based on it, and second, to incorporate the second amendment - either by overturning the Slaughterhouse case, or through the "due process" clause in the 14th amendment.

Unfortunately, (in my opinion) the Supreme Court has made a terrible decision in not overturning the Slaughterhouse case. Incorporation of the second amendment was almost certain - considering that the right is specifically enumerated, and eight of the 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights were incorporated against the states.

This will only provoke more cases, and although it is a big victory for ALL Americans, the media is reporting it as a victory for gun enthusiasts. This is simply not the case. Laws will change, but the Supreme Court has specifically said that this in no way prevents gun control laws. So whatever your viewpoint, this decision does not change the interpretation of the second amendment (that was briefly ruled upon in the Heller case about two years ago.)

I hope this clears things up a little.

p.s.

On a different note: how can 4 justices completely disagree about this issue? It's because the issue had to do with the METHOD of incorporation, not about guns.

Posted by: smileinthedark | June 29, 2010 9:15 AM


There is no need to play the leftists' "only the militia can have guns" game, nor argue what is the meaning of the word militia, nor to parse sentences with them.

The Supreme Court made it abundantly clear using crisp, modern language that the Second Amendment protects an individual right, that has nothing to do with militia membership. Quote:


"Held:

1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home."

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

Posted by: screwjob16 | June 29, 2010 9:26 AM

Only Republicans should be able to own firearms. Democrats should be expected to wait for the police to show up and protect them. Hollywood stars should never be allowed to have drivers licenses or be permitted to drink alcohol.

Posted by: richard36 | June 29, 2010 10:02 AM

I think that people should understand that the Constitution and the individual rights of the people should be subjected to the strict scrutney test. regardless, I do not think anyone should give up their right to self defense or to be armed until and when the police forces in this country can go around without weapons. Obviously the vast majority of folks realise the responsibility falls upon the individual, if a person committs a crime they should pay the penalty under law. Too many in our country blame everything but the individual when these clown goe out and commit crimes. The poor old guy in Chicago should be able to arm him self with whatever he needs to be safe in his home and neighborhood, although I think he would be better off with a shotgun rather than a handgun or semi automatic rifle it is his choice and his life and property.

Posted by: Ronn_Greek | June 29, 2010 10:32 AM

"I don't think the founding fathers wanted ordinary citizens to own cannons"

Cannons, and all arms, were in private ownership in both colonial times and afterwards. We often see cannons when we visit private private homes under historic preservation. We often see cannons in pictures of privately owned ships.

Posted by: Don19 | June 29, 2010 10:39 AM

Gun control nuts ought to at least pretend to have some intellectual honesty. If you think we shouldn't have a right to keep and bear arms, then propose an amendment to the constitution that repeals the second amendment. That would be the proper and legal way to go about it. To pretend the constitution doesn't say what it says or mean what it means is to subvert rule of law itself and destroy the very legitimacy of the government.

Posted by: _BSH | June 29, 2010 10:57 AM

HERE COMES THE WILD WILD WEST!

Posted by: chedar888 | June 29, 2010 11:53 AM

You don’t need to “diagram a sentence” in order to understand the Second Amendment. We have the written record of the Constitutional Convention at which the Bill of Rights was drafted. Reading the remarks of the delegates, there is no question but that the intent was to ensure the right of the people to keep and bear arms not only for self defense from criminals but as the last line of defense against a tyrannical government.

The fact that four Justices chose to ignore the clear intent of the Founders is an outrage and just goes to show how far away from a Constitutional Republic we have wandered.

In reality, we have no longer have any God-given rights in this country, only the privileges that the ruling class of oligarchs will allow us.

Posted by: PauvrePapillon | June 29, 2010 12:15 PM

I realize I am just one person however i do believe all honest citizens of this country should be able to defend themselves. Back on October 28, 2007 my son was carjacked, murdered and it took us 3 months to find his remains. If he had had a gun, maybe we wouldn't of had to search for his remains. I now carry a gun on me at all times. I have made the rest of my children do the same since they cannot carry a police man/women with them everywhere. Police get to a scene 90% of the time after a crime has been comitted. I want a fighting chance for survival. So until all the monster's walking around are locked up and the key thrown away, I will continue to carry a 45.

Posted by: drichard2 | June 29, 2010 3:57 PM

Whew! Some of the tea-baggers protest a bit too much over "God" given rights and the right to bear arms...

The second amendment hasn't changed.

There will always be criminals.

There will always be the right to own gun(s), and there will always be a tiny segment of the population that will feel more manlier for it.


Posted by: Badger21 | June 29, 2010 4:47 PM

What's next, machine guns?

As a federal appeals court judge in 1996, Samuel Alito argued that the federal ban on possessing machine guns was unconstitutional.

Posted by: fooie | June 29, 2010 6:02 PM

"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."

OK wingnuts, if the 2nd amendment is meant to apply to individuals who want to demonstrate how crazy they are in public by carrying deadly arms, why does it refer to the necessity of the security of a free state and a well regulated militia, both phrases suggesting it was meant to apply to a collective organization run by the government?

Posted by: doolindalton1 | June 29, 2010 6:33 PM

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