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The Constitution & The Judicial Branch Discuss U.S. justices could decide constitutionality of gun ownership at the Political Forums; U.S. justices could decide constitutionality of gun ownership Both sides in a closely watched legal battle over the District of ...

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Old 11-11-2007, 06:46 PM
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Default U.S. justices could decide constitutionality of gun ownership

U.S. justices could decide constitutionality of gun ownership

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Both sides in a closely watched legal battle over the District of Columbia's strict gun-control law are urging the Supreme Court to hear the case. If the justices agree - a step they may announce as early as Tuesday - the Roberts court is very likely to find itself back on the front lines of the culture wars with an intensity unmatched even by the cases on abortion and race that defined the court's last term.

The question is whether the Second Amendment to the Constitution protects an individual right to "keep and bear arms." If the answer is yes, as a federal appeals court held in March, the justices must decide what such an interpretation means for a statute that bars all possession of handguns and that requires any other guns in the home to be disassembled or secured by trigger locks.

The Supreme Court has never answered the Second Amendment question directly, and it has been nearly 70 years since the court even approached it obliquely. A decision in 1939, United States v. Miller, held that a sawed-off shotgun was not one of the "arms" to which the Second Amendment referred in its single, densely written and oddly punctuated sentence: "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."

Asked during his confirmation hearing what he thought that sentence meant, Chief Justice John Roberts responded that the Miller decision had "side-stepped the issue" and had left "very open" the question of whether the amendment protects an individual right as opposed to a collective right.

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, on which the chief justice formerly sat, ruled in March by a vote of 2 to 1 that "the right in question is individual," not tied to membership in a state militia. On that basis, the court declared that the 31-year-old statute, one of the country's strictest, was unconstitutional.
Looks like some people insist that you can only defend yourself from OTHERS who have guns with feathers...:
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Old 11-11-2007, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: U.S. justices could decide constitutionality of gun ownership

I say NOT COOL! :

The reality is that the gun laws, as they are, only will affect those that abide by the law. Those that operate outside of the law will own weapons regardless.

Part of me doesn't think that it would (necessarily) be a bad idea to REQUIRE every person over the age of 21 to carry a sidearm.

People would be less reluctant to pull a gun when they know that 20 people around them have the same.
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Old 11-11-2007, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: U.S. justices could decide constitutionality of gun ownership

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Originally Posted by KnightOfSappho View Post
I say NOT COOL! :

The reality is that the gun laws, as they are, only will affect those that abide by the law. Those that operate outside of the law will own weapons regardless.

Part of me doesn't think that it would (necessarily) be a bad idea to REQUIRE every person over the age of 21 to carry a sidearm.

People would be less reluctant to pull a gun when they know that 20 people around them have the same.
Like this?...

Gun town U.S.A., revisited - success of Kennesaw, GA's gun ownership requirement law in preventing crime

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In March 1982, responding to the passage of a handgun ban in Morton Grove, Illinois, and the fawning media coverage that accompanied it, the city council of Kennesaw, Georgia, decided to make a statement of its own. With exceptions duly made for convicted felons, the disabled, and those with religious objections, the council passed (unanimously) an ordinance requiring each head of household to own and maintain a gun.

The moment the story hit the wire services, a media invasion swept into Kennesaw, a small city on the northwestern frontier of suburban Atlanta. The telephones of council members began ringing off the hook. CNN called. Today called. The then-mayor, Darvin Purdy, went on Donahue.

The press reacted predictably. The Washington Post issued a mock salute to "the brave little city of Kennesaw, Ga., soon to be pistol-packing capital of the world." In a column titled "Gun Town U.S.A.," Art Buchwald described a place where routine disagreements would be settled in Wild West shootouts. Mayor Purdy declined to talk to the Post about his own guns, claiming that "the caliber of my weapons is a personal matter." In the hands of the Post's reporter, Purdy ended up sounding like Dr. Strangelove's General Ripper, the nut bent on preserving his "precious bodily fluids."

"The national media," recalls Chief of Police Dwaine L. Wilson, "made a big shadoo out of it, [but] most of the people in this area already owned some type of firearm." Actually, the media's amazement rang hollow. The press gang expected as much from the rural South. But it is safe to say they did not expect the results.

Today Kennesaw is a burgeoning town of more than 11,000, the population having doubled since 1982. Industrial growth has transformed the former bedroom community into a bustling hub of economic activity. The town built a new wing onto city hall in 1988 and this year bought a new garbage truck and a street sweeper. Tax receipts have soared, Mayor J. O. Stephenson notes proudly, even as tax rates have fallen.

Crime just isn't much of a problem in "Gun Town U.S.A." According to state figures, Kennesaw's per-capita crime rate has remained essentially static (and low) since 1983. The most recent homicide, in 1989, was committed with a knife. The last gun homicide, in 1986, involved two young men from out of state who were staying at a local motel. "A little alcohol," Chief Wilson recalls, "had something to do with it. They were daring one another to shoot each other, so one of them did." Aside from that incident, Wilson says, there have been no problems with "anybody shooting anybody," even by accident.

Mayor Stephenson is proud of Kennesaw and its unique gun law. A businessman who runs his own pest-control firm, Stephenson does his mayoring part-time. The mayor thinks the election of Bill Clinton, "a liberal, Ivy Leaguer type," gave gun-control forces a boost. Clinton may hail from a marginally Southern state, Stephenson says, but "he don't fit the mold of most of us down thisaway." Dismissing the Brady law as "a bunch of hogwash," he says waiting periods "just don't work and [only] make it inconvenient for people like me."

Stephenson fears the slippery slope. "Next year, I'll guaran-damn-tee you that there'll be another bill broadening the number [and] kinds of guns you can't own." I ask him if Kennesaw's gun law would work in, say, New York City. "I don't know, but gun control don't work in New York City either."

A third-generation lawman who worked his way up from patrol duty, Chief Wilson looks the part with his close-cropped hair and robust build. He says people, not guns, are the fundamental problem: "People are going to find ways to kill people if that is what they want to do." The chief doubts the worth of gun buybacks, but he is interested, musing dryly that he's got "several old pieces" he could swap for a nice new pair of tennis shoes.

Over at the Shanty House Country Restaurant, manager Judy Turner flashes a smile when asked about the gun law. "We don't have a [crime] problem like they do other places," she says, because would-be crooks "all know we'll have guns."
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Old 11-11-2007, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: U.S. justices could decide constitutionality of gun ownership

Yeah. Kinda like that.

(I really don't give a F what the press bitches about if I must be honest.)
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Old 11-11-2007, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: U.S. justices could decide constitutionality of gun ownership

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Originally Posted by KnightOfSappho View Post
Yeah. Kinda like that.

(I really don't give a F what the press bitches about if I must be honest.)
Oh I do...and so should everyone...

The press has lost the ability to REPORT on what happens and has changed to DECIDING WHAT YOU SHOULD FEEL about it...

They use charged language and negative connotations against people and groups that are at odds with what THEY want, which influences the public to feel the same way...

I remember an analyst once said that if the public got the news from the press instead of the opinion of the press, political polls would jump 15% for Republicans...That sounds a little high, but the point is there...
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Old 11-11-2007, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: U.S. justices could decide constitutionality of gun ownership

again, mea culpa.

I was speaking of me as an individual. I was raised to recognize that reporting will not be objective and that one must read many sources to glean the facts.

Unfortunately, most do not take the time to really view the perspectives outside of the American media. There is little excuse for that in this day and time.

People take the easy route because they can. They can feel good saying that they are informed without looking at the whole picture.
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Old 11-11-2007, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: U.S. justices could decide constitutionality of gun ownership

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again, mea culpa.

I was speaking of me as an individual. I was raised to recognize that reporting will not be objective and that one must read many sources to glean the facts.

Unfortunately, most do not take the time to really view the perspectives outside of the American media. There is little excuse for that in this day and time.

People take the easy route because they can. They can feel good saying that they are informed without looking at the whole picture.
Exactly...

That's why people still say "Clinton was impeached because of a hummer." instead of "Clinton was impeached because he obstructed justice and lied to a Federal Grand Jury."...

Much more sensationalized and easier than to get into those "nasty little specifics"...
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:09 PM
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Default Re: U.S. justices could decide constitutionality of gun ownership

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Originally Posted by cnredd View Post
Exactly...

That's why people still say "Clinton was impeached because of a hummer." instead of "Clinton was impeached because he obstructed justice and lied to a Federal Grand Jury."...

Much more sensationalized and easier than to get into those "nasty little specifics"...
Well... I also had a much bigger issue with the fact that he committed perjury.

I was like WTF with the media coverage.

I don't care if the President screws a sheep in the roof of the White House while waving a flag as long as he does his job in the Oval office. LYING is a dealbreaker.

Clinton was not impeached because of a BJ.
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: U.S. justices could decide constitutionality of gun ownership

On requiring people to carry weapons, as long as there is an opt out, I don't have a problem with that.
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Old 11-12-2007, 04:12 PM
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Default Re: U.S. justices could decide constitutionality of gun ownership

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On requiring people to carry weapons, as long as there is an opt out, I don't have a problem with that.
I can respect that.

There are folks that object to weapons in general and they should have the ability to choose not to carry.
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