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Understanding the Second Amendment & The War Against It
#1
Geoffery R. Stone, an Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Chicago, wrote a fine piece on Understanding the Second Amendment; in it he suggests, what would happen if the Second Amendment would have read, "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." That sounds absolute, but it is not that simple.

Professor Stone provides his next example using the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech." That sounds absolute, too, but does the First Amendment mean that the government cannot constitutionally regulate speech?

Quote:But how can this be so? Doesn't the text mean what it says? Here's the catch: Even though it is true that "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech," we still have to define what we mean by "the freedom of speech" that Congress may not abridge. The phrase "the freedom of speech," in other words, is not self-defining. And as Justice Holmes demonstrated with his hypothetical, it does not cover an individual who falsely shouts "fire!"in a crowded theater.

But that is only the beginning, for despite the seemingly absolute language of the First Amendment, the Supreme Court has long-held that the government may regulate speech in a great many situations. In appropriate circumstances, for example, a speaker can be punished for defaming another individual, for making threats, for selling obscenity, for distributing child pornography, for inciting a murder, for "leaking" confidential information, for using a loudspeaker at night in a residential neighborhood, for handing out leaflets on a public bus, for erecting a too-large billboard, and for using naughty words on television, to cite just a few of many possible examples.

Thus, although the First Amendment seems absolute in its protection of "the freedom of speech," the Supreme Court has reasonably recognized that it does not guarantee us the right to say whatever we please, whenever we please, wherever we please, in whatever manner we please. The "freedom of speech" is subject to regulation.

The same is of course true of the Second Amendment. Even if we agree that the Second Amendment forbids the government to "infringe" the right to "keep and bear arms," that does not mean that the government cannot reasonably regulate the manufacture, sale, ownership and possession of firearms. Indeed, this is precisely what Justice Scalia said in his opinion for the Co
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#2
Professor Stone is mixing and matching "potential" and " follow-through" here. For example regulating certain speech, such as prosecuting for shouting Fire in a crowded theatre, is what constitutes "follow-through". The same should, and does, hold true with firearms.

However, what is being proposed is restriction, or removal, of the "potential" to carry out the "follow-through". And there is the complication. But lets apply that to speech, ok? If the government were going to prevent the "potential" for offensive speech, does it ensure the potential violator has his/her lips stitched together, so he/she can no longer use offensive speech? Or how about removal of vocal cords? After all, that would remove the "potential" wouldn't it? Applying this same thing to firearms, it is exactly what the Left is hell bent on doing, by not allowing responsible citizens from exercising their constitutional rights.

This learned expert is using one approach for one, and a different approach for the other. And that is not a fair comparison in my opinion.

Do you see what I mean by the two approaches, and their differences? I know I am being simplistic, but it is still understandable.
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#3
In CBS interview after, NRA Pres David Keene said Biden considering proposals to "interfere significantly" with 2nd Amendment rights.

Methinks you about to enjoy a summer of malcontent.
The true purpose of democracy is not to select the best leaders — a clearly debatable obligation — but to facilitate the prompt and peaceful removal of obviously bad ones. 
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#4
WB I don't know if that is the desired link. It is a strange page. Could you recheck your link?
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#5
We have the "federalist papers" so we don't need to speculate what the original framers meant on these issues, they told us.

The first 10 amendments were demanded by specific groups or they would not sign the constitution. "Bill of Rights" is a euphemism for them. Rights of the people, not the state. The constitution specifically assigns the state X authority and denies authority beyond X.

Those folks believed God gave all humanity X rights and protecting themselves was among those rights codified in writing in our constitution.

It doesn't take much time to research the background of the bill of rights. Maybe more than writing a silly polemic like this lawyer did.
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#6
Patrick, what has always mystified me, to no end, is the fact that a sizable minority of the citizenry actually believes the State is all knowing, all doing, and capable of all good for everyone. And also capable of doing this more fairly and efficiently. Don't they even have a hint that an entity capable of giving you everything can take away everything as well?

Take Grizz for instance. I have read his posts for years, on other places too, and he honestly believes the above. I am convinced he honestly believes this. And for the life of me I just don't understand how anyone can think this and be willing to cede his Liberties to an impersonal entity that only looks at him as a tiny portion of the picture. In fact an almost insignificant picture.

And another thing. If you look at his avatar, just below it he has inserted the following: "Nice try, but we gotcha!" To me, this is a myopic form of 'team politics' where the side is more important than the total picture. I though we were all supposed to be trying to better the system and enrich ourselves through Individual Liberty. Since when does being a Democrat, or Republican, represent being on a winning side? Why isn't he on the side of Liberty? I don't understand it.

This thing about owning firearms, and up to date ones at that, is not about hunting, or just protecting your property, or life. Its about protecting your Liberty from a tyrannical government. Why is this so difficult for so many to understand? Again, I'm mystified at the lack of wisdom with many. This should be one of the most basic tenants of intelligent thought. Without it, what good is this grand experiment called the United States?
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#7
John,

I'd argue a sizeable majority worships the state. It is not restricted to the left.

Both right and left see the state as god. They just worship separate gods and so we have this back and forth political swing.

Left sees the state as some sort of moral agent god worthy of preventing good citizens from protecting themselves(I acknowledge they think this is needed to prevent evil people from inflicting harm, I'll give them that), right thinks the same god is worthy of deciding I should be jailed for drinking a beer.

Both in their way represent the thinking of right and left in some respects. Both sides see the US state as the global king, it's just they have different ideas of what we should influence is all.

The hard left would kill to see to gay marriage, US corporatism and abortions overseas and eventually they're going to be willing to do persecute any non secular types as they did in the communist states previously, the right to enforce our past traditions on others and enhance corporatism. They just have different corporate friends whose interests they advance.
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#8
Yea, let the gov't regulate firearms, and they will regulate it so much that it makes it expensive and nearly impossible to meet the bureaucratic guidelines even though they provide the *opportunity* because, after all, you have the right to own one.....

Goal being to make it hard enough no one will want to bother without directly saying "no" or taking the right away.
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#9
(01-11-2013, 03:23 PM)Palladin Wrote: John,

I'd argue a sizeable majority worships the state. It is not restricted to the left.

Both right and left see the state as god. They just worship separate gods and so we have this back and forth political swing.

Left sees the state as some sort of moral agent god worthy of preventing good citizens from protecting themselves(I acknowledge they think this is needed to prevent evil people from inflicting harm, I'll give them that), right thinks the same god is worthy of deciding I should be jailed for drinking a beer.

Both in their way represent the thinking of right and left in some respects. Both sides see the US state as the global king, it's just they have different ideas of what we should influence is all.

The hard left would kill to see to gay marriage, US corporatism and abortions overseas and eventually they're going to be willing to do persecute any non secular types as they did in the communist states previously, the right to enforce our past traditions on others and enhance corporatism. They just have different corporate friends whose interests they advance.

Patrick, your idea of "Left" is pretty much accurate, and almost universally acknowledged. Its Collectivism, which includes Socialism, Marxism, and Fascism(Corporatism). However, your idea of "Right" is not right. The polar opposite of the left(Collectivism) is "Individualism". Its the exact opposite, and is so simple most people just miss it.

These people you are referring to as "Right" are really Centerists. Of course they are to the right of the Collectivist Left, but they are still to the left of Individualism. The ones you are referring to are Big Government Centerists, such as Junior, Senior, McCain, Graham, etc. They rely on the State for all sorts of neat things they deem acceptable. But it is Not Right Wing. Anarchists are the furtherest Right wing because they don't want any government at all. Moving just to the center of them are the Anarcho-Libertarians, with Classic Liberals/Libertarians(such as myself) even closer to the center.

I don't understand why this is so hard to understand.

Left(Collectivism) - Left Center(Statism) - Center(Federalism) - Center Right(Libertarianism) - Right(Anarchism)
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#10
Yeah, I believe this classification is accurate. So it seems we are classifying GOP elite as classical Center-Left? Appropriate.

Just as a footnote: with
Quote:Junior, Senior, McCain, Graham
McCain is questionable, the fellow is too mentally unstable to be pegged accurately.
Sodomia delenda est

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#11
oh and while we are here and totally off-topic: did you see yesterday's news about McCain's spiritual son, Timothy Dorsey?
Sodomia delenda est

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#12
(01-11-2013, 05:22 PM)mv Wrote: oh and while we are here and totally off-topic: did you see yesterday's news about McCain's spiritual son, Timothy Dorsey?

No. Is it worth a good laugh?
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#13
You be the judge.
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#14
John,

I'm not discussing "right" in theory, I mean the typical right yank. Mostly statists themselves, very few people like Goldwater or Reagan and even those 2 saw the USA as God's client nation capable of and created to rule the earth.

I know what you mean about classical liberalism/old fashioned USA conservatism like Senator Taft believed in. We don't have many of those around.
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#15
The point that I'm making in this thread is that nothing is absolute, and that the government has the power to not only regulate speech, in it's unorthodox, harmful usage, but it has the power to regulate firearms--but not get rid of them all.
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#16
(01-11-2013, 08:10 PM)Grizzly Wrote: The point that I'm making in this thread is that nothing is absolute, and that the government has the power to not only regulate speech, in it's unorthodox, harmful usage, but it has the power to regulate firearms--but not get rid of them all.

Grizz, I can only speak for myself, and I realize that there are no absolutes in anything but death and "you know what". However, we are discussing far more than even close to reasonable for what some of the Jackasses have planned. What they propose is almost all based upon knee jerk emotionalism, in order to make themselves, and their voters, feel good about their actions.

The practical solution would be to allow citizens to defend themselves against just such things as occurred at the school. Had the principal, or a teacher, been armed, this would almost certainly not have happened as it did. Making certain places gun free zones, and restricting the size of magazines, or whether or not a rifle remotely looks like a true assault weapon, is not the real answer.

Now I can see a reasonable amount of screening, but how much is too much? I happen to suffer from clinical depression, and take Prozac to equalize the serotonin levels in my brain. Am I to be denied the Liberty to own and carry a firearm because of this? Because if so, then that would rule out a huge minority of citizens, who almost all of them never even report this or take medication.


But you still haven't discussed my point about "potential" and "follow-through". If what you on the Left want out of all this, then when are you going to do the same about speech and start stitching lips together, or removing vocal chords. Hey, if you are going to use a preemptive policy on one, why not the same on the other, right?

And let me remind you,.....again, that there is one thing, and only one thing, that guarantees you all, and the Media as well, the right to free speech, and that's an armed citizenry. Take away those firearms, and for every percent of restrictions of the Second Amendment you restrict, you are jeopardizing an equal amount with those who rely on the First Amendment.

And please don't try to compare us to Euro-LaLa Land, because some of them are really living on borrowed time before the next round of turmoil produces several more tyrants, just as occurred last century. And if you scoff at that, just wait and see for yourself, as the economic system collapses around the continent. Remember, Europeans never thought they would have that happen to them, especially Germans. After all, they were so civilized. Fat good that did them didn't it?

The only thing I am not absolutely certain of is just who is going to be the Scapegoat with this one. Can't blame the Jews this time around. Perhaps the Muslims, or gypsies, or...................? Its always someone, and who knows, this time it may just be the Christians, but it will be someone.
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#17
The government does have this power literally, but, not lawfully. It conducts business outside the authority of the constitution frequently and both political extremes support this.

The United States is no different than all other states in this respect.
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#18
(01-12-2013, 02:04 PM)Palladin Wrote: The government does have this power literally, but, not lawfully. It conducts business outside the authority of the constitution frequently and both political extremes support this.

The United States is no different than all other states in this respect.

Patrick, in spite of its problems, it is still different. I can appreciate the frustration here, and I too am frustrated. But I refuse to take such a defeatist, and unrealistic, attitude.
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#19
John,

I don't blame you, but, I think our constitution is what the prevailing wind says it is.
When we still respected it's tenets, then I agree we would be different. Since FDR we ignore what we dislike and accept what we like. Whatever is the prevailing cultural wind. That devalues it completely.
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#20
Patrick, FDR didn't start this trend. It actually began with Andrew Jackson, and others followed suit. However, FDR's cousin Teddy, our first Progressive is guilty, as wasw Wilson, another Progressive. So, FDR just carried on the tradition.
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