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D.C. Circuit Court Strikes Down Part of Anti-Handgun Law

http://www.cnn.com/2007/LAW/03/09/gun.ban.ruling/index.html

:\:D/ "The amendment does not protect the right of militiamen to keep and bear arms, but rather the right of the people," the majority opinion said. "If the competent drafters of the Second Amendment had meant the right to be limited to the protection of state militias, it is hard to imagine that they would have chosen the language they did." :\:D/

It will be interesting to see if the case is appealed to the Supreme Court and if so, whether the Supreme Court will review it. Personally I think the high court is long overdue on clarifying the second amendment.

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D.C. Circuit Court Strikes Down Part of Anti-Handgun Law

Of course, the risk is that the Supreme Court could take the case and rule that the Second Amendment is NOT an individual right. With the current court I think the odds of that are relatively low, but you never know. I agree that a clear ruling is overdue, but we have a lot on the table with this one.

CVC
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D.C. Circuit Court Strikes Down Part of Anti-Handgun Law

You never know how the courts will rule, but it should be a no brainer. Look at the use of people in these rights. No one argues that it is only the state that has the right to exercise religion freedom or it is only the state that is free from illegal searches so why would a reasonable and logical man assume that the 2nd amendment doesn't apply to individuals>

The key being reasonble and logical which of course we knows is altered by political agendas.

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II
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.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

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D.C. Circuit Court Strikes Down Part of Anti-Handgun Law

I agree. Why would the founding fathers refer to the state and the people in the 2nd, if the intent was to secure a right only for the state?
The bill of rights were put in place to guard against possible transgressions by the government. Let's not forget that the founding fathers were fearful of centralized power and of governement in general. So it makes no sense whatsoever that the amendment would entrust only the state governements with this right in order to defend against the federeal gov't, only to leave the people without this same right to defend themselves against transgressions by their state governements. And for this reason the 2nd speaks to both the state and the people's right. That's just my understanding of things.

However, I will say that the 2nd is now more symbolic than anything as the chances of an armed uprising are, oh about zero. The gov't has mortars and machine guns mind you. So the right to bear arms is not as essential as it was when the founders wrote the amendment. Any thoughts?

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D.C. Circuit Court Strikes Down Part of Anti-Handgun Law

u. So the right to bear arms is not as essential as it was when the founders wrote the amendment. Any thoughts?

People don't break into houses now and the PEOPLE don't need to defend themselves anymore? When the intruder breaks in and is planning to harm your family I guess you'll just wait for the government to show up and protect you. eye roll

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D.C. Circuit Court Strikes Down Part of Anti-Handgun Law

Actually the supreme court has been clear on the second amendment. In 1939 U.S. vs Miller, the court found unanimously that the second amendment only applied to "well regulated militias" which has been interpreted as the states. Miller argued that his right to own a shotgun with a barrel shorter than 18" was constitutionally protected, the court found otherwise. U.S. vs Miller is the foundation that allows "reasonable" restriction of individuals rights to bear arms. This has grown into every municipal, county, and state putting their own stamp on the definition of "reasonable".

In 1983 the court decided to not hear Quilici v. Morton Grove which upheld a ban on handgun ownership in the town of Morton Grove Illinois. This reinforced the courts position.

The current D.C. case has found opposing the supreme court position, thus it will become the law of the land so to speak in D.C. unless the supreme court decides otherwise, a unique finding. To my mind there are only three outcomes.

1.) The Supreme Court decides not to hear the case. This will leave the door open for several more challenges in other jurisdictions, since the D.C. finding directly challenges the Supreme Courts position. Eventually the Supreme Court will need to hear one of the challenges.

2.) The Supreme Court takes the case and strikes down the D.C. court. Thus reinforcing U.S. vs Miller. Net result we are right back where we are today. No more challenges for a long time.

3.) The Supreme Court takes the case and finds with the D.C. court. This would be huge since it could set some much needed guidelines for "reasonable restriction".

I think most all of us agree that arms (in the broadest sense of the word) should be regulated; however the right to bear arms is conferred by being a citizen of the federation, not of a city, county, or state. Therefore I think that all reasonable restriction should come from the federal government and the federal government only. City, county, and states do not have carte blanche to abridge the second amendment, which is exactly what has been happening for the last several decades.

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D.C. Circuit Court Strikes Down Part of Anti-Handgun Law

Actually, if you read the ruling in the Miller case, what the Supreme Court ruled on was the type of weapon that the Second Amendment applies to, not the type of person. That is, they didn't say that only those involved in a militia had a right to arms, they said that arms suitable for militia use were the type protected. I think that's a significant difference.

Regardless of what any of us think, though, the Supreme Court will do what it will do. And when they're done, that's it. Only another Supreme Court, at some future time, can over-rule them. What's more, all the logic in the world is mostly irrelevant, since Supreme Court rulings are--and always have been--as much about politics as about legal logic. So, these arguments about what the Amendment "obviously" means to those of us on this forum are a complete waste of time.

All we can do is wait, watch, and hope. I think it's time for a clear ruling from the Supreme Court, and I think this court is likely to be friendly to Second Amendment advocates. But I also think it's important for all of us to realize that we have a great deal at risk on this one.

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D.C. Circuit Court Strikes Down Part of Anti-Handgun Law

Hunter 777,
Of course there are legitimate reasons to own weapons for defense of life and property. My point is that the founding fathers envisioned the right so that one could start a revolution if need be. Bitmasher and denverd0n's posts hit on my question which is, does anyone see a real need to own guns for the purpose of forming a militia?

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D.C. Circuit Court Strikes Down Part of Anti-Handgun Law
SoloHunter wrote:
...does anyone see a real need to own guns for the purpose of forming a militia?

Yes. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

I don't think we are at the point where we need, or where the American public is ready for, a revolution. I hope it is a very, very long time before we get to that point. The fact remains, though, that being prepared for that possibility is probably the best way to insure we will never get there.

What's more, down through history, citizen militias have many times stepped up to the job of maintaining order when crises have arisen. Given the state of the world today I can readily see a situation where, for instance, a terrorist "dirty bomb" attack creates havoc in an area and makes it impossible for the usual authorities to maintain order. This is where a "well regulated militia" can serve an extremely useful purpose.

So, yes, absolutely. I see plenty of legitimate need, even in today's world, for all of us to be prepared to serve our society as part of a citizen militia.

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D.C. Circuit Court Strikes Down Part of Anti-Handgun Law
SoloHunter wrote:
Hunter 777,
does anyone see a real need to own guns for the purpose of forming a militia?

I don't see a need *****at the moment*****

But once we lose the ability to resist we've lost our freedom. All over the world there are peoples at the mercy of their governments. I REALLY don't want to be one of those people. I was away from the shooting sports for many years, but I kept my guns oiled and ready to defend against burgulars, rioters or those that have me submit by force.

Our present government may be mostly benign, but what of the next one? What if the government collapses due to some huge natural disaster? How will you defend your family? You see people on the newscasts who have several rifles and "hundreds of rounds of ammunition" and the inference is that they are latent terrorists. I see an aging boyscout who is prepared for the worst.

Think about it. What's the difference between a "militia" weapon and a hunting gun? A buckshot-loaded 12ga. is one of the most formidable weapons around and many military sniper rifles are just tuned-up Remington 700's. Aside from full-auto capability, modern hunting guns are a match for most military guns. Full-auto often just wastes a lot of ammo. A good marksman with a semi-auto Remington can easily beat someone just spraying lead.

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D.C. Circuit Court Strikes Down Part of Anti-Handgun Law

Even if the SCOTUS totally affirmed the right of individuals to keep and bear arms we will have some limitations. It won't be the wild west all over again. Even the right to free speech has limitations. You can't slander or libel, you can't yell "FIRE" in a public place (unless there actually IS a fire) you can't incite to riot. We will probably still have background checks and kids shouldn't use guns unsupervised. Felons shouldn't have access to weapons. I think these are reasonable limitations.

But limiting the right to "keep and bear" only to organized militias is an unreasonable interpretation. In revolutionary times the militia potentially consisted of all citizens.

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