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Historic Day for Supreme Court, GUN RIGHTS

MSNBC News Services
updated 11:34 a.m. CT, Tues., March. 18, 2008
WASHINGTON - In a landmark hearing on gun ownership, the Supreme Court appeared ready Tuesday to endorse the view that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to own guns, but was less clear about whether to retain the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns.

The justices were aware of the historic nature of their undertaking, engaging in an extended 98-minute session of questions and answers that could yield the first definition of the meaning of the Second Amendment in its 216 years.

Link to Rest of Story

Chuck-n-Alaska's picture
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Historic Day for Supreme Court, GUN RIGHTS

Here is a link to the transcripts you can also go to Gun Talk and listen to the pod cast of the oral arguments.

Heller v DC

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Historic Day for Supreme Court, GUN RIGHTS

ready to and have done so are two different things

expatriate's picture
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Historic Day for Supreme Court, GUN RIGHTS

I'm holding my breath on this one. The optimist in me thinks that the court will come out with a ruling that makes right to carry the law of the land, and puts an end to handgun bans.

But I'd be greatly surprised if the court came out with a ruling that said any form of gun control is unconstitutional and not only struck down handgun bans, but also the GCA of 1934 and 1964. There is already SCOTUS precedent on the books from 1939 that ruled that sawed-off shotgun bans weren't unconstitutional because they weren't arms commonly used by a militia.

So I really doubt they'll come out with some sort of ruling that will make everything free. Doing so would allow military arms to be owned by private citizens -- not a big deal in 1789, but a big deal in today's era of fully-automatic weaponry, RPGs, etc. So I'm cynical enough to think they'll come out with some sort of ruling that'll affirm gun ownership as an individual right, but yet allow governments some limited form of regulation.

Even then it'll be a moot point. Gun banners can easily shift tactics to achieve their desires. For example, if you sue manufacturers out of business, you haven't taken away a person's right to own a firearm. Likewise, if you regulate ammunition you're not denying anyone's right to own a firearm.

Every right in the Constitution has regulation attached to it. Cities require permits for protests, even though people have a right to free assembly. You have a right to vote, but you must register and follow specified procedures. You have a right to free speech, but you can't yell "fire" in a theater.

Bottom line is that the antis will have to acknowledge your right to own a firearm - but what a pity that you can't find one anywhere or find any ammo due to commerce regulation. You have a right to any firearm on the shelf -- in a store full of empty shelves. Think about how Jim Crow worked, and you get the idea.

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Historic Day for Supreme Court, GUN RIGHTS

Well said Ex. While I'm excited and this is a historic case, most of the speculation at this stage is just guessing.

I think they will find that D.C. did infringe on the second amendment right of residents, which will blow huge holes in the anti-gun movement. However, I highly doubt they are going to completely overturn the ability of government to regulate gun ownership to some degree. The "degree" of regulation is what has been kicked around for much of the last century.

I'm hoping that the supreme court will tackle the bigger issue and define what "reasonable" gun regulation consists of. If these justices want to help the U.S., they should really hammer out this issue, which has been left vague for many decades. If they don't they will see more second amendment cases in the near or distant future.

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