Archive for June 30, 2008
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District of Columbia v. Heller has been heard by the Supreme Court and a decision has been reached:
In part: “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.”
Yes, the Supreme Court has finally issued a definitive interpretation of the 2nd Amendment and that interpretation does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to members of state militias. This is a great day to be an American, but I must say my excitement was a bit dulled when I read some of the opinions from the Supreme Court Justices themselves.
Scalia: the handgun is Americans’ preferred weapon of self-defense in part because “it can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials the police.”
I agree with his ruling, but the guy shouldn’t be using scenes from movies in his legal arguments. If something like that ever happened in real life, it’s certainly the exception rather than the rule. Even when I agree with Scalia I’m seeing some odd silliness in his opinions.
John Paul Stevens: the majority “would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons.” Such evidence “is nowhere to be found.”
Are you kidding me, Stevens? You don’t see any disconnect between a government founded by average citizens revolting against tyranny and same government later imposing strict limitations on citizens’ ability to defend themselves?
Stephen Breyer: “In my view, there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas.”
Honestly, this is why I’m still a Republican. What the heck is Breyer thinking? I’m going to ignore his specificity of “loaded handguns” right now because if that was his point he could have stopped there. He went on to say, “in crime-ridden urban areas”. Why? I think it’s a clear tip-off that the man has a completely nonsensical understanding of the situation in a “crime-ridden urban area”.
Apparently he either seems to think that people who live in these areas are all criminals, or that somehow their posession of a handgun in the house would contribute to further crime in the area. Similarly, by qualifying his statement with “in crime-ridden urban areas” he implies that he would feel less strongly if someone kept a loaded handgun at their home in a quiet suburban neighborhood.
It doesn’t seemed to have even crossed his mind that someone living in a crime-ridden urban area might actually have need to defend themselves and their home, and that if homeowners in such an area had the ability to defend themselves there might even be less crime there in the long run.
Really, it blows my mind that Breyer singled out high-crime neighborhoods as if there was some definitive link between homeowners there and the crime rate. Interpreting the second amendment is one thing, but that comment reveals to me someone who is horrifyingly insulated and out of touch.