June 26, 2008

Breaking: Collective gun right my ass!

The SCOTUS strikes down the Washington DC gun ban.

The Supreme Court tossed out a handgun ban in the nation’s capital on Thursday, holding for the first time that the Second Amendment does protect an individual right to self-defense and gun ownership.

But in its first hard look at gun rights in nearly 70 years, the court also held – in a narrow, 5-4 ruling – that the right is subject to some reasonable limitations.

"Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose," wrote Justice Antonin Scalia.

Well, no duh. It's too true no right is absolute. But I've always thought it ludicrous that people believed that the 2nd of our rights in the Bill of Rights conferred a "collective" right on an organized militia.

Also note how the 5-4 ruling is labeled as "narrow." Something you'll rarely hear/read about similarly numbered rulings when the liberal bloc prevails.

Posted by Hube at June 26, 2008 11:08 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Boo-yah, Grandma!

One comment: could the "narrow" have referred to the fact is was a "narrow" right to gun ownership. That is, it didn't overturn the ban on machine guns for example. I agree with your larger point that liberal victories are never "narrow," but in this case there is another plausible way of reading that, that it might apply to the decision, not to the vote.

Posted by: Paul Smith Jr at June 26, 2008 11:17 AM

I see your point Paul, but I doubt it.

Posted by: Hube at June 26, 2008 11:19 AM

I doubt it too, but I'm in a charitable mood right now.

Posted by: Paul Smith at June 26, 2008 11:54 AM

Paul, I always considered the ban on full auto assault rifles and such to be justified by the "well-regulated" in the 2nd Amendment.

Posted by: G Rex at June 26, 2008 03:46 PM

You're biting your own tail there. If you believe that the 2nd amendment right is 'collective' -which I read your comment to imply- then the right to keep and bear arms only attaches if you are in a militia. The purpose of a militia is to fight military style battles. In this day and age, that kinda necessitates automatic weapons. So if the right is collective, and you belong to a militia, then the right logically extends and even gives preference to automatic weapons over semi-automatic or handguns. Neither of those have the military utility of an automatic or selective fire weapon.

But now it's moot anyway, Thanks to God and Antonin Scalia.

Seems to me they struck a fair balance; now we'll have to see how all the subsidiary law shakes out.

Posted by: JR at June 26, 2008 11:35 PM

JR (assuming that was directed at me) I believe firmly that gun ownership is an individual right, and I define militia to mean every able-bodied American male (and some women) who could be formed into units in a time of crisis, much like Britain's Home Guard of WWII.

As for fully automatic weapons, when I was in the Army ('85-'90) they were phasing out the full auto M16A1 in favor of the M16A2, which only fires a 3-round burst. The doctrine shift was towards more accurate fire, rather than the indiscriminate "spray and pray" method that was prevalent in Vietnam. Infantry squads were also issued the M249 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon) which fires the same cartridge as the M16, for those cases where full on rock and roll suppressive fire is needed. Sure, full auto is fun as hell, but it's mostly for terrorists and gang bangers who can't shoot straight and don't care if they hit civilians.

Posted by: G Rex at June 27, 2008 11:28 AM

OK, sorry I misinterpreted what you wrote. And I agree wholeheartedly about full auto. 3-5 round bursts as my DI used to say rather loudly and emphatically.

Posted by: JR at June 27, 2008 04:09 PM

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