Shooters Forum banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
5,220 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=564&ncid=564&e=35&u=/nm/20021206/ts_nm/court_california_weapons_dc_1

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A federal appeals court upheld California's assault weapons control act on Thursday, ruling that there is no constitutional right for individuals to keep and bear arms, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

The 3-0 decision, declaring that the 2nd Amendment protects only the right of states to organize and maintain militias, is at odds with the position of the Bush administration and a decision last year by a federal appeals court in New Orleans.

California adopted the nation's most sweeping assault weapons ban in 1999. It prohibits the manufacture, sale or import of weapons including grenade launchers, semiautomatic pistols with a capacity of more than 10 rounds, semiautomatic rifles that use detachable magazines and guns with barrels that can be fitted with silencers.

In February 2000, a month after the law took effect, a group of individuals who either own assault weapons or want to buy them challenged the law in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, contending that it violated the 2nd Amendment, the equal protection clause and other constitutional provisions.

U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb dismissed all of the plaintiffs' claims last year. Thursday's decision by the San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Shubb's ruling on the 2nd Amendment and one granting an exemption to the law for off-duty police officers. The appellate court overruled Shubb on another point, declaring that there was no rational basis for retired police officers to be exempt from the law.

California Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer, whose office defended the state law in court, applauded the decision, which was also praised by attorneys for gun control organizations and denounced by leading gun owner associations, the Times said.

The plaintiffs could ask the full 9th Circuit to rehear the case or could directly appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court (news - web sites), which has not ruled on the issue for more than 60 years.

The U.S. Justice Department (news - web sites) under Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft (news - web sites) has taken the position that individuals have a constitutional right to bear arms.

At issue is the meaning of the 2nd Amendment, which states: "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."
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
556 Posts
Not necessarily a bad thing. It would be good to bring it to the Supreme Court (don't know why the NRA hasn't in the past).

The background and intent of the second amendment are clear; "anti-" interpretations are very narrow and ignore the original purpose and intent of this individual Right as a check on the government -- a threat of "last resort" to tyrannic government.

(The purpose of the Bill of Rights isn't to define "rights" for militias, or any other entity, it's purpose is to define the Rights of individuals)

But, you guys all know this...
 

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
2,141 Posts
You know, I don't REALLY mean this, but sometimes I wish we could just kick California right out of the union. They have caused so much expense and loss of liberty with their stupid regulations it's unbelievable. Thank God I live in Idaho, may we never have to secede...:) ID
 

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
5,220 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Well, the part that scares me is "The 3-0 decision, declaring that the 2nd Amendment protects only the right of states to organize and maintain militias...". If this is upheld, then it could be determined that only state officers and National Guard units have the RIGHT to keep and bear arms and the rest of the citizens would be out to lunch. This is exactly what the 9th Circuit Court in California has said.

How the second amendment and the spirit that our founding fathers wrote and approved it, can be interpreted that way is beyond me.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
18 Posts
The first word I check when I see the 2nd Amendment quoted is "state." If capitalized (State) it tells me a body of governed people is being referenced; if lower case (state) it alludes to a condition (state of consciousness, state of health ---- or the security of a free condition; state of freedom.) You will see it printed either way, which tells me that different people are talking about two different 2nd Amendments. In the booklet distributed by NRA on the Constitution, lower case is used in the 2nd Amendment, while elsewhere in the Constitution, when the Nation or the States are referred to, upper case is used. Is this just self-serving, or is it a true quote from the original? I honestly don't know, but both can't be right. ........ FOOD FOR THOUGHT .......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
As someone unfortunate enough to live in the same region (sort of), I am al too aware that the 9th Circuit is a screwball court. This three justice panel rathe than the full court dodge you see here is one of their favorites used either to exclude dissent or to provide cover. The other thing you can always count on from this court is to rule defining rights to exist for groups rather than individuals.

They are clearly striking while they can before Bush's appointments to the Federal Courts can begin to take the bench now that the Senate is likely to begin approving them. With this court as egregious as it sounds this ruling is quite likely a responce in revenge for the course the national elctions took. These Justices know how insulated the Federal Judiciary is from consequences for unpopular or even clearly incorrect rulings and are more than willing to legislate from the bench. Do not underestimate how condescendingly this Court views the American People and how willing they are to abridge your rights and infringe on your way of life.

Fireplug
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
556 Posts
Yah. This looks too much like a 'test' by a unusually political court.

The funny thing is that all talk of Rights and Constitution always sounded so obsolete, remote, and unmodern (think of the word "tyrant"). Then, we had the presidential election 2 years ago which threatened a constitutional crisis and the purpose of the 2nd Amendment didn't seem so abstract and very distant.

The secondary issue (after individual right) that the National Guard ("militia") is, ultimately, under the command and control of the President counters the intent of the 2nd as a check on the government.

After the Revolution, John Adams believed that violent, armed insurrection would and should be expected to occur every 20 years or so as a necessary test and benefit to the country. He felt it would keep our democracy fresh, vital and true. There were still a lot of major unresolved social issues then that have been sorted out, but the system they set up, or at least the perspective that they had, took into account (and Adams for one, encouraged) force of arms by the people.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
548 Posts
I'm definitely support going to the Supreme Court and having this thing ruled on once and for all. The uncertainty of this issue has led to UNDERSTANDABLE extremism on both sides, and polarized our country.

I firmly believe that there is a middle ground...at set of basic, undeniable rights of citizens to own and use firearms for protection, sport and collection, that also preserves the authority of the elected representatives of those citizens to regulate firearm use to protect the public health, safety and welfare.

Given such a finding, I have no objection to registration and certification, because the taking issue will no longer loom on the horizon. The climate for a fair decision has never been better.
 

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
7,776 Posts
Hi, Loader:
The problem is: How do we stay in the middle ground? We in Canada started out with a few restrictions and registration on handguns in 1934. War time long gun registration was canceled after the war. Then a shift in the political climate bought us the Firearm Acquisition Certificates (FAC) and more handgun restrictions in 1978. The FAC was workable. You applied, the cops did a background check, and it was issued. You showed it at a gun shop, paid your money and went home with your new gun. It was good for 5 years.

The next round in 1991, Bill C17, bought in more restrictions, prohibited a number of long guns and introduced a Federal Safety Course. The Federal course was seriously flawed, and was no substitute for the Provincial Hunter Safety Courses that had been operating for decades. It closed one bad loophole, in that an FAC couldn't be revoked.

I've been instructing Firearm Safety for over 30 years, and I believe in it when its done right. The flawed Federal Course was mandatory. The Government didn't fund it, so it wasn't always available in many places and it cost $250-$400 in some provinces. That was a real disincentive to someone with 4 kids living in East Gopherhole, Alberta on a limited income. We held the cost to $25 in Saskatchewan.

The latest round in 1996 introduced the Possession Only License, which is required to continue owning legally purchased firearms and to buy ammunition. The FAC was replaced with the Possession and Acquisition License, which restricts the classes of guns you could buy. Half a million handguns went on the prohibited list. Long guns now are registered in the Billion Dollar Boondoggle.

As I see it, no restrictions are better than the creeping loss of our rights that we see now, on both sides of the border. There is one workable middle ground, I think, if it's backed up with bullet proof constitutional guarantees. First, registration must be prohibited, to prevent the confiscation of previously legal arms. Second, lifetime FACs must be available on a Shall Issue basis. They may be revoked on a felony conviction or for certifiable mental illness.

If mandatory safety training is a prerequisite for an FAC, it must be available in the public school system. In my considerable experience, twelve is the right age. That is a little too young for an unrestricted FAC, so a Minor's Permit may be issued until the applicant is 16-18. This was the system for juniors in Canada between 1978 and 1991, and it worked.

Stable, well-armed societies have remarkablely little crime. This was the case in Canada for the first three quarters of the last century.

Bye
Jack
 

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
5,220 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I agree with Jack. I do believe our rights as citizens of this country include the right to "keep and bear arms". NO compromise of this right is acceptable. Yes, as citizens of our country we have certain unspoken and inalienable rights. What I can tell from the Bill of Rights are those that are listed, even though may be self evident, our forefathers wanted no misinterpretation or misunderstanding that we were to have the citizen right of free speech, the right to keep arms, the right to vote, etc...

I really do not feel there is a "solid" middle ground. Time and time again we have seen that if these rights begin to erode, it's nearly impossible to regain them.

It really bewilders me to hear that we need a national registry for guns or that we need to be licensed. After all, that will not have a detrimental effect on crimes committed with firearms. Do we honestly believe a criminal will go and register a gun they steal or get otherwise and intend to commit a felony with?

If we do read the writings of Thomas Jefferson, Sam Adams and others, I can't interpret any other way than each citizen, not ONLY be allowed, but SHOULD, have firearms and the knowledge of their use.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
556 Posts
Don't mean to gang up on you Loader, but the 2nd is a Right of Man designed as the last resort check on government. Dornan's quote (see Mccassil's messages) is on the screws.

The 2nd is bigger and more important than hunting or protection from burglers. It's the right to protect yourself from your government. The threat is to government; if it steps out of bounds, it can and will be corrected. So, any move to restrict this Right (regardless of motivation) is a move to limit the power of the people.

There is no Right in the US to hunt nor collect nor own guns for criminal protection. These are privileges that were not significant to the Congress or Federal government and are left to the States to manage. It's important to keep this in mind when discussing the 2nd, since they are not covered by it.

The obvious folly of the CA Court's decision is that the militia (Guard) is commanded by the President. What check could the government's own troops possibly have on itself?

Sorry to be such a blowhard on this, but it is a simple (and beautiful) concept that is fuzzed by everyone from the NRA to Sarah Brady.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
548 Posts
Gentlemen -

Thanks for you patience, and the very good education. There have been times in the past when I have feared my own government, and Charlie Z's point really hit home to me. I spent the better part of 30 years working in and around Washington, for Fereral Agencies, including DOD, DOE and the state Department...never as an employee.

All I can say is that absolute power does currupt absolutely, and at times, our gov't has done things that make Enron look like a traffic violation (56 MPH in a 55 zone). In absolute honesty, I am afraid to even elaborate a little bit on this in writing, let alone on a web site.

So, I keep my head down and focus on other things, always trusting that the jusicial branch will eventually fix things when they get out of hand. This is probably a mistake.

However, is not the constitutional crisis in the California case about the judicial branch? Reasonable people interpret the 2nd Amendment as meaning different things, and it is for the judicial branch to make the interpretation. When do we, or any citizen, decide that an ultimate ruling by the Supreme Court is wrong, and take our own position to the street?

I don't have an answer. All I remember is that after the Kent State incident, the campus of George Washington University, 5 blocks from the White House, was an armed camp. Demonstrators retreated there for protection, and the National Guard was held at bay by Camus secirity officers and the DC Fire Department. They prevented a blood bath. I never want to go there again...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
All,

Perhaps, I am too close to this one to see the big picture; but my current concern is less about the eventual resolving of the issue by the "Supremes" and more about the fact that a clearly rogue court (or part of one) has ruled, setting as current law, that no individual has the right to posess arms. Yes, I have some faith that the 9th will be overturned; but what of the intervening, potentially many, years.

Charlie Z,

You make a very concise and accurate argument for why the 2nd Ammendment was specified in the Constitution, but your statement

"There is no Right in the US to hunt nor collect nor own guns for criminal protection."

is I believe incorrect. The Declaration, the Articles of Confederation, many of the Founding Father's writings, and the Constitution all repeatedly acknowledge that many rights not listed are the natural rights of man and it is a Federal duty to protect American's exercise of these rights. Our Revolution was unique in that it was not about gaining rights, but rather about preventing the abridgement of existing rights and in the Founder's view natural rights. The Bill of Rights is not a listing of Federally granted rights; but a special admonition of government in protection only of those few essential, of many, rights thought by the Founders to be in essence the last fortess of a free people for the defence of their many natural rights.

Fireplug
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
556 Posts
Fireplug, well put about emphasis of the Bill of Rights.

I'm no lawyer, but I believe that the other "pursuit of happiness" items are "privileges" of citizenship and not rights (like driving and flying licenses, etc), though. I could be wrong.

We know the 9th is obviously misinterpreting the law. While the 2nd isn't the clearest statement of a Right in today's language, the logic, fit with the rest of the Rights and supporting writings of the authors make it clear.

Since it would take 2/3s of Congress to change an Amendment, thank God they are the minority, as so strongly indicated by the last couple of elections. Of course, unfair 'interpretations' can and in this case, do occur.

Regarding "when" the use of force by the people against the Government, there is little guidance. I think Adam's would say, when an issue is so important to you that risking your life is worth it. He wasn't even picky about whether you were right or wrong, only that you believed in something so strongly.

The neat thing is that the threat is always there with the 2nd. It's the ultimate right to disagree, without it you are a subject and must obey. If all legal recourse breaks down, you can take to the streets with more physical power than just a pitchfork.

Adams wanted all to be very jealous and protective of their Rights. And given the Whiskey Rebellions, all sorts of tax battles, slavery skirmishes (before the Civil War), we took to arms against the Government pretty frequently. Probably his 20 years or so wasn't too far off. My guess is you'll know "when," if it ever arises.

PS - Loader, I spent 8 yrs as a consultant to DoS, too...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
548 Posts
Given all of this, is there anything we can do that we have not done already to preserve our 2nd Amendment rights? Do you feel that the approach taken by the NRA is adequate? Good? Where does the ACLU stand?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
282 Posts
I'm a pretty mellow type... but sometimes people have to fight for their rights. This is one that I will...Without hesitation, without discussion. It's not open for compromise, because it's not about the weapon, it's about freedom. Everyday the goverment takes away one more of my rights. This nation fought for it's freedom because an outside goverment was trying to oppress us. They gained that freedom at the ultimate cost. Their blood. Wives, sons and daughters lost their Fathers because they believed that true freedom was worth it. The time for discussion will come to an end someday. And then it will be a matter of whether or not we have the courage to say you have gone to far. The very reason the 2nd amendment was given.

We all visit other Forums, spread that article around, I'm sure it already has been. There is another on MSNBC. This is the same court that ruled on the Pledge of Allegiance...

Following California’s lead, several states and the federal government have passed similar or stricter bans.
The 9th Circuit has been known for rulings to the left of its peers.
In June, another 9th Circuit panel ruled that the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance was an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion. Reinhardt voted with the majority in that 2-1 ruling, which is on hold pending appeal.

It really comes down to whether or not you think your childrens freedom is worth it...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,168 Posts
The 9th curcuit is an affront to all sain thinking people!! What part don't they understand-" The right of the poeple to bare arms Shall(will)not be infringed" **** any second grader can tell you what that means!! and any one with any english backgroungd knows that the coma seperating the part with Militia and people make it two seperste thoughs!! Lets send those jugdes back to school so they may learn the English language!!!!

Charlie Z
I don't agree with your thinking on this subject becuase there is no interpitation of the second needed- its black and white!!! Read above. And if you think we need registration -Please go live in Canada-England-Australia we don't want you here-were freemen live! :mad:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
548 Posts
Gentlemen -

Are we not preaching to the choir? Everyone on this site will have similar views re interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. Know your enemy, and put yourself in his shoes.

We need the opposing views, and their logic, to find the weaknesses.
 

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
36,236 Posts
Guys,

A passionate topic, as we all care deeply, but let's watch the language please......
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top