Sunday, June 29, 2008

Of Guns and the 2nd Amendment; Coming Soon to a Chicago Neighborhood Near You

As you well know, the Supreme Court has recently struck down Washington D.C.'s hand gun ban. Mayor Daley of Chicago, who also has a handgun ban, flipped his shit knowing that this essentially means Chicago's hand gun ban is also unconstitutional.

Although I do personally own a gun, I am not saying that I agree with the decision. The Constitution never says a word about hand guns as hand guns weren't all that prevalent in 1791 when the 2nd Amendment was ratified. The Constitution also never mentions anything about guns, military weapons or military weapons which can fire 1200 armor piercing rounds per minute. Therefore, by Chicago and D.C. allowing their citizens to own registered shotguns, they are allowing their citizens to bear arms in my opinion as the right to free speech doesn't mean you can yell fire in a crowded theater and all of our other rights come with limits. What scares me is that apparently the Supreme Court has now determined that anything and everything which is designed to shoot and kill people is now protected under the second amendment. If you want an anti-aircraft battery in your back yard, no problem. If you want a 155mm howitzer in your front yard, the second amendment has got your back.

There is one thing I like about the decision and one thing that doesn't necessarily bother me. First, I like the fact that they acknowledge that the 2nd Amendment was written at a time where we had a very limited standing army and depended on citizens and militias to protect us against the British, French or those savage little Indians who, for no reason at all, wanted to kill us. The 2nd Amendment even starts off by saying why we were being given this freedom: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State...". Scalia had the following things to say: "Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited". "Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem," "That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct."

Clearly the Supreme Court is not saying that the 2nd Amendment is untouchable by regulation and that reasonable laws should apply, they just don't agree with bans and on a local level, neither do I. I think my girlfriend was a bit appalled when I said that I don't mind the hand gun ban being lifted. Do I think a handgun ban where you are allowed to have shotguns is unconstitutional? No, but I don't think a ban in a city which is surrounded by gun loving Indiana and Wisconsin is going to help anything. If somehow you could eliminate 90% of all handguns, all military weapons, all fully automatic weapons in this country and keep them out of the hands of road ragers, gang bangers, 4 year olds, mental patients and High School kids I would support that ban. However, when there is a gun shop in Hammond, IN which borders Chicago, those guns are going to get into Chicago and it's not going to be the law abiding citizens who are bringing them in and using them. In fact, lifting the hand gun ban doesn't mean that now every gang banger in the city is now going to be able to find a gun when he wants one...he can already do that. And guess what, the gun isn't legal and even after the ban is lifted these people aren't going to be using legal guns. Why would a gang banger wait 10 days for a registered handgun which can be traced back to him after he shoots up a school bus or public park?? He wouldn't. Gang bangers are still going to be carrying and concealing illegal weapons, lifting the ban will not change this. Now, that being said, more guns will and always will equate to more gun deaths. With the handgun ban being lifted, there will be more guns in Chicago and D.C. and more opportunities for those to be used against the families which own them but if that is a risk they are willing to take, it's not my kids who live in that house with them. There will also be more opportunities for thieves to break into you home, knowing you have a gun, so they can steal it and use that gun for illegal activities which won't get traced back to them, it will be traced back to the person who legally purchased it.

So as for local hand gun bans such as what they have in Chicago and had in D.C., I am not too worried about a wave of sweeping hand gun violence when these bans are lifted; we have that now with the ban as these two cities already have some of the highest gun murder rates in the western world. I am a little concerned over the lack of definitions as to what kind of weapons the SCOTUS thinks the vaguely written 2nd amendment applies to. But I would also like to point out that lifting this ban doesn't make anyone safer, not even the people who now can own a hand gun for self defense as owning a gun increases you and your family members chance of being killed by a gun and that gun is far more likely to be used on you or a family member than an intruder.

And this may be a bit off the subject but I would also like to point out that the general public carrying guns isn't necessarily deter someone else from going on shooting rampages such as what happened at Columbine, Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois, etc. What, do you think they are afraid of, being shot? Not likely, almost all school gunman types end up shooting themselves so they are obviously not afraid of being shot and killed so I don't see how carrying a gun is going to prevent someone from shooting up a school or fast food restaurant.

20 comments:

Patrick M said...

Okay, I'll acknowledge that you have some things right (for once) in this post and stick to correcting the record where you got it wrong.

What scares me is that apparently the Supreme Court has now determined that anything and everything which is designed to shoot and kill people is now protected under the second amendment.

I think they mentioned something about the common weapons not specifically designed for warfare. The list that followed the above quote are uncommon and designed for military use. I personally wouldn't mind the AA battery though. It'd be fun to occasionally flame someone's ass.

As for not being safer with weapons, it's an individual choice. Even if you think it's more likely that the person arming himself will get shot with his own weapon, that's a risk he assumes.

And armed people on campus may not have stopped the shooting rampages, but it would have given the people so armed the chance to do so. And that's the whole point. Also, if you were a guy wanting to rack up a big-assed body count, would you go a local gun show at the fairgrounds or a mall in December plastered with signs saying "NO GUNS ALLOWED"?

Actually, the sign in the mall should read "SHOOTING GALLERY".

What frightens me (and should frighten everyone) is that 4 of the Justices were ready to take a right enumerated in the Constitution and rule it unconstitutional.

The headline after that black day would read "1 Down, 9 To Go."

Toad734 said...

What’s unconstitutional about banning handguns if the right to bear other "arms" is secured?? It would have definitely been unconstitutional if they banned all citizens from owning guns but that wasn't the ban that was in place.

Besides, you voted for Bush, isn't his entire administration based on what rights he is going to take away to keep us safe? You can't have it both ways, either you vote republican and get some constitutional rights taken away but keep your guns or you vote democrat and forfeit your rights to have a tank but keep other individual constitutional rights.

And what do you think would happen if a shooting at a gun show occurred? Or a shooting at a school where everyone was armed? Do you think one gun owner would shoot the right maniac with a gun and that the cops, when they arrived could tell the good guys apart from the bad guys? And are you willing to trust a bunch of hungover college students to have the wit and training and determine who the threats are vs. the people pulling out their own guns after they hear the initial shots? How could you tell anyone apart? Sure, maybe, maybe, the crazy gunman would get shot by a student, thus saving a few other students lives but how many other innocents die in the ensuing chaos? The Police would then have to run ballistics on every student’s guns to determine what happened. And a gun nut, gun show full of rednecks itching to shoot their guns, I think it would be a blood bath if one of these maniacs showed up to one of those places and decided to go on a rampage.

So did your children make that choice to have a gun in the household or did you? Because they are the ones most likely to be killed by that gun, not you.

I hope they did mention something about weapons vs. military weapons but I didn't see anything about that. If they did, then that's another good step. Again, I don't necessarily have a problem with some people having a hand gun in their house. What I have a problem with is that any asshole Federal Building bombing Nazi getting a hold of military weapons and storing them in his house like he is ready for WW3. That and I also have a problem with virtually anyone except for the cops, and even some of them, carrying a gun with them everywhere they go.

Patrick M said...

First, on banning handguns, I already answered that. But there's another argument. I won't bore you with details, but first, one gun is banned, then a group of guns, then more guns, then, when they come for your gun, there's no one else left to defend your right.

I'm going to assume you're referring specifically to the Patriot Act, so let me answer why it is ok. First, it's designed specifically to target terrorism. Any abuse of it (and I'm waiting for examples) should be investigated and fixed next time it comes around for a vote. Second, it's a war measure. It has to be passed through Congress periodically. This means it can disappear easily after it outlives its usefulness. In the end though, it should be scrutinized as hard as we can, and I'm glad there are people out there who do keep it challenged.

One thing you forget in your assumption that there are plenty of incompetent people wielding weapons is that, especially with conceal and carry laws, there are expectations. These are people who have gone through some kind of training, passed some background checks, and (generally) have an understanding of their responsibilities. With these people, I would be glad and proud to have a business full of people and a reasonable assumption that at least one of my patrons was packing.

And I made the choice on guns in my house, and I have the absolute responsibility. I'll send you pics if my kids cap themselves. But don't be waiting with any anticipation.

So in the end, it comes down to the individual right. And that means that some domestic terrorist asshole (because there will always be those bastards around) will use our freedoms to break the law. Would you trade that, or any, freedom for security.

Toad734 said...

So you think these small steps in taking away your guns will lead to the banning of all guns but you don't think that them taking away our other freedoms is a gateway for them to incarcerate you for no reason and hold you indefinitely?? And you say it’s a war measure so it’s ok, I say it's a crime measure so it's ok. Why do you agree with one but not the other, they both come down to safety. And how am I supposed to cite examples? They could be searching my home right now and I wouldn't know. That's the point, you don't know. I can tell you one thing; my gun certainly isn't protecting my house right now from that or any secret search. My dogs however may be a different story but otherwise, how would I know?

And no, I didn’t say start with one gun which opens to the door to another; I said ban military weapons. Anything, other than side arms that the military uses in battle, the common redneck doesn't need. Any armor piercing ammunition or guns which fire 1000 rpm shouldn't be in the hands of someone at the mall shopping for new curtains.

The last thing I want to see is more people killed by guns.

No, I won’t trade my freedoms to prevent this terrorist because I live in the city of Chicago; I am far more likely to be killed by one of these guns you are protecting than one of those terrorists the Supreme Court is supposedly protecting. Actually I am far more likely to be killed by a wild cougar drunk driving a SUV than by a terrorist and you are even less likely than I to be killed by one of these terrorists and far more likely to be killed by one of your own guns.

Infidel753 said...

The Constitution never says a word about hand guns as hand guns weren't all that prevalent in 1791 when the 2nd Amendment was ratified. The Constitution also never mentions anything about guns, military weapons or military weapons which can fire 1200 armor piercing rounds per minute. Therefore, by Chicago and D.C. allowing their citizens to own registered shotguns, they are allowing their citizens to bear arms in my opinion

By this argument, the freedom-of-expression guarantee in the First Amendment doesn't apply to the internet or TV or radio, but only to the kind of printing technology that existed in the 18th century.

almost all school gunman types end up shooting themselves so they are obviously not afraid of being shot and killed so I don't see how carrying a gun is going to prevent someone from shooting up a school or fast food restaurant.

Most of these nuts carry out their massacres in designated "gun-free zones" like Virginia Tech, for the very good reason that they know their victims will be unarmed and helpless and easy to kill in the kind of large numbers the shooter wants. If even a few of the potential victims were armed, the would-be murderer would be killed fairly quickly, saving the lives of most of his potential victims. This actually happened in one of these shooting sprees a few months ago at (I think) a shopping center, where an armed woman was able to kill the nutcase. There was no random shooting by defenders, or cops mistaking the woman for the murderer. It solved the problem.

If I were a mugger or a rapist, I would certainly have chosen to operate somewhere like DC where I would know my victims would be unarmed (and of course no such law would stop me, a criminal, from getting a gun). I'd be much more hesitant to "work" such an area now that the ban is gone.

Patrick M said...

And you say it’s a war measure so it’s ok, I say it's a crime measure so it's ok.

Toad: Infidel covered most of the points I would have to keep flinging at you, so let me deal with the above quote.

You damn well know the difference between crime and war. Criminals are people who are part of our society who commit crimes, but possess protections guaranteed by the Constitution. War involves fighting foreigners who are attempting to destroy our country.

There are reasons certain rights are enumerated in the Constitution: They have a specific and important function in keeping our country free. To allow those to be chipped away in the name of security is a great slippery slope. But to allow those who seek our destruction to use our freedom against us is insanity.

So there has to be a balance. And that's why I'm glad there are people who will always argue the point of civil liberties. As long as we elect people who appoint judges who are clear on that line, we have no problems.

Toad734 said...

Infidel:

Obviously those gun free zones aren't patrolled very well or these guys wouldn't have gotten those guns in them. Those places aren't targets because they are gun free zones, was the University of Austin a gun free zone when Charles Whitman opened fire on that campus? These places are targets because they are full of unsuspecting targets who are often coming and going frequently and in large numbers.

And yes, your side is under the impression that the first amendment doesn't apply to the internet and TV, it’s why you can't show titties or say fuck Bush on ABC. If we can't have tits maybe you can't have machine guns. Fair is fair right? Thanks for pointing that out.

Patrick:
"War involves fighting foreigners who are attempting to destroy our country."

Or people defending their country.

So what was Timothy McVeigh, a criminal or a terrorist? Is he not a terrorist because he is Christian? White? From Michigan and had a crew cut? If that is so, Is Jose Padilla a citizen who committed a crime or a foreigner trying to destroy America?

Exactly which clear line are you referring to?

Patrick M said...

Padilla and McVeigh are both terrorists. However, as they were captured in the US, they get the Constitutional protections. The biggest difference between them is that we weren't engaged in war when McVeigh decided to blow up kids. Either way, the only punishment that works here is killing them.

If I thought it would fly, terrorists like McVeigh should be executed by explosive vests.

As for people defending their country, people like that do die in war, because war sucks. But, as history shows, we usually end up in a war eventually, whether by our action or by someone else's. In the end, it's not until years after that the whole story and the justifiability of the war is settled.

Toad734 said...

So wait, you are saying that as long as the administration can concoct a war, you have no problems giving up your rights? With them able to take your rights away and considering how much money they make off of war, I guess this means America will always find an excuse to be at war and Republicans will still be calling Democrats traitors for opposing it.

Patrick M said...

Ah, Toad, if it were only as simple as you lay out....

I don't know how you get from my last comment that I'm OK with giving up my rights for a concocted war. I'm not OK with it. ANY time any president wants to do such a thing, it's going to run into serious opposition. And if a temporary measure can't be justified in the context of a war, then you'll have me on the side of the opposition.

Now as for traitors, it's rare that I, or most decent people) will label anyone a traitor for opposition to a war. Will I say that Democrats appeared to be investing in our defeat in Iraq specifically for purely political gain? Yes. Are they traitors? No.

I've personally questioned much of this war, but I've always hoped we could leave with a win in our pocket. I think, with the news coming out of there in the last week, that we are getting really close to it.

I 'm sure that won't make you happy, because it will mean Bush will get credit rather than blame. I'll leave the conspiracy theories on that to you.

Toad734 said...

Actually, Bush has already failed. Whether or not they stop killing each other in the next 5 years is beside the point, it wasn't worth it. Rumsfeld, Bush and Cheney all thought we were going to be there for 5 months, not 5 years. "We will be greeted as liberators", "Saddam works with Al Qaeda", Saddam has WMDs", "Mission Accomplished", all failures. Sure, this war has been good for all the politically connected corporations such as Blackwater, Exxon, Halliburton, Carlyle Etc., but the strain on the rest of us and our economy that is a result of taking one of the largest oil producers in the world off the market is and will continue to be disastrous. Was Saddam bad, sure but so are about 15 other heads of states. Would the affect of Saddam selling his oil in Euros as opposed to dollars spring the rest of the oil producing states into selling their oil in Euros, rendering the dollar worthless, be worse than how inflation, fuel prices and our Iraq debt has weakened the dollar and our economy today? Who knows but I think I would trade that for 4000 troops and the billions diverted from worthwhile programs and a stable Afghanistan with Bin Ladens head on a plate. Either way, the dollar is worthless.

So, Bush has already failed in Iraq and the reality is that until they all kill each other or they become 3 different countries, you won't see a peaceful, stable, prosperous Iraq in your lifetime unless we are there in the numbers we are today, which isn't sustainable especially once Israel attacks Iran and we have to go fight their war for them.

We don't have to hope and wait for Iraq to fail; Bush has already seen to it that it has no chance of succeeding.

Patrick M said...

Thanks for the conspiracy theory. Knew you wouldn't let me down.

Toad734 said...

Are you saying that you weren't aware that Iraq started selling its oil in Euros shortly before we invaded?

Currently most oil is sold in US dollars which means you have to convert your currency in US dollars in order to buy oil. If everyone starts selling oil in Euros, such as Iraq did, and Iran is doing, it makes the dollar a useless piece of paper since we are no longer on the gold standard and we have such a large debt and no one will need to conduct business with the US to convert their petro dollars, the value of our dollar and thus the price of oil will continue to rise.

Truths not discussed on FOx News aren't conspiracy theories.

Patrick M said...

I'm not going to even dignify most of your earlier rant. To correct myself, it's more an anti-Bush rant that a pure conspiracy theory thing.

I was aware of the shift to euros. Make sense if you're an country that wants to weaken the US. But that's another reason for us to get gung ho on oil drilling.

Toad734 said...

Or on to a better technology. The oil isn't going to last. There is only about a years worth of oil in ANWR for instance. Im sorry if you don't like hearing about the failures of the guy you voted for, it doesn't meant that they aren't still failures.

Patrick M said...

Don't get me started on the list of failures, because I've already got my list. In fact, I've got my GOP Senator in the verbal crosshairs on plenty.

I know oil won't last, and I'm not talking about just ANWR. I'm talking about drilling EVERYTHING and researching new technologies. When we can finally wean off oil, we sell it to nations who aren't.

Then we can return the Middle East to the 9th century again by making oil worthless and ignore the bastards again.

Toad734 said...

Ok, now we are getting somewhere.

Patrick M said...

Been there. Glad you finally noticed.

NatetheGrate said...

Why pretend that the Second Amendment doesn't protect the right to own weapons? It obviously does, since that was a major concern of people in the days of the Revolutionary War. The question is how we are going to fashion our laws to keep civil society as safe as possible. We certainly have enough lawyers that at least a few of them will be able to figure this out.

Erudite Hussein Redneck said...

Please join me in extending best wishes to the presumptive Democratic nominee for president of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, today, on the occasion of his 47th birthday.

Thank you.

--EHR