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scottj
07-31-2008, 12:19 PM
I'm surprised that for the mainstream media and the presidential candidates, Heller is just another part of last week's news. I was expecting a firestorm of hysterical the sky is falling coverage for weeks. I was expecting the Democrat nominee to start using this against McCain and McCain to have to back pedal on his support for the 2nd. After all, Heller completely refuted decades of legal theory about what the 2nd meant.

But really all I see is the occasional article about the NRA's follow up law suits. Is the media not as biased as I thought, or have they not caught on to the significance yet? Really the most outrageous tirades about this were from Gavin Newsom and a couple of other big city mayors.

This is alright by me though, I'm just surprised.

JeffM
07-31-2008, 12:30 PM
Their heads are in the sand. Just wait.

Just like they slowly took away our rights, we are going to be fighting tooth and nail to take them back. It will be a long road of incremental challenges to the erosion that has occurred.

Just about every law that is "invalid" due to Heller will have to be fought in court to make it stick. That is why these seemingly small challenges to SF and Chicago and even DC still are important stepping stones.

KTGunner
07-31-2008, 12:41 PM
I'm surprised that for the mainstream media and the presidential candidates, Heller is just another part of last week's news. I was expecting a firestorm of hysterical the sky is falling coverage for weeks. I was expecting the Democrat nominee to start using this against McCain and McCain to have to back pedal on his support for the 2nd. After all, Heller completely refuted decades of legal theory about what the 2nd meant.

But really all I see is the occasional article about the NRA's follow up law suits. Is the media not as biased as I thought, or have they not caught on to the significance yet? Really the most outrageous tirades about this were from Gavin Newsom and a couple of other big city mayors.

This is alright by me though, I'm just surprised.


The media is still just as biased as ever. The whole Heller decision scares everyone who is anti-gun because it proves them absolutely wrong. The media organizations are probably just scared to televise it because they would rather just sweep it under the rug than have people stop and think about how much the 2nd Amendment has been trampled on in the last 40 years.

It would be nice if the news groups gave this the attention it deserved. This is a landmark case and nobody seems to care.

hill billy
07-31-2008, 12:53 PM
To them it's not news until it forces action. When things and people start moving, they'll pick it up.

tombinghamthegreat
07-31-2008, 1:00 PM
It will be interesting to see how the media reacts to the 2nd heller case that is ongoing in DC.

berto
07-31-2008, 1:02 PM
Obama is trying to pick up votes from those bitter guys clinging to their guns. The campaigns won't heat up until after the conventions. This is the calm before the storm.

Glock22Fan
07-31-2008, 1:08 PM
I've talked with a number of casual gun owners I know, and others. Apart from the likes of us Calguns enthusiasts, I haven't yet found anyone who has even heard of Heller.

If Obama or McCloud gave a big speech about it, many people, perhaps more than you think, would say "WTF is he talking about?" Candidates have more pressing things to say.

JeffM
07-31-2008, 1:11 PM
I've talked with a number of casual gun owners I know, and others. Apart from the likes of us Calguns enthusiasts, I haven't yet found anyone who has even heard of Heller.

If Obama or McCloud gave a big speech about it, many people, perhaps more than you think, would say "WTF is he talking about?" Candidates have more pressing things to say.

Yep. The day that Heller was announced I had a s*** eating grin all day, but even my gun enthusiast buddies didn't get a word I was saying.

Most average Joe's couldn't tell you much about the 1st and 4th Amendments if you asked them, let alone the 2nd.

tiki
07-31-2008, 1:53 PM
Right now the Heller decision technically only affects D.C.
Once we get incorporation and the ruling affects every other state, I think the media will pick up on it. We are educated about the 2nd and have been following it for a while now. Most of these reporters just pick up the story about D.C. and that's all they see.

I have read a couple of times that someone has said that it doesn't mean much for the rest of the country. I don't think you have a lot of reporters thinking about the "sons of heller". I heard a lot of "yeah, D.C., so what?"

Once we get incorporation and they wake up and say "holy crap, all these laws are now unconstitutional", you will get more coverage.

I too thought we would get more coverage than we did, but, i'm pretty sure incorporation will rattle a lot of cages. :)

Theseus
07-31-2008, 1:55 PM
Yep. The day that Heller was announced I had a s*** eating grin all day, but even my gun enthusiast buddies didn't get a word I was saying.

Most average Joe's couldn't tell you much about the 1st and 4th Amendments if you asked them, let alone the 2nd.

Please, nowadays you would be hard pressed to find many people that could even point out the US on an atlas. . .

The pro-control people I have talked to think Heller was a win because the SCOTUS said there can still be reasonable restrictions and regulations in the interest of public safety. . . So in their eyes SOCTUS didn't change anything.

Fjold
07-31-2008, 2:30 PM
I'm surprised that for the mainstream media and the presidential candidates, Heller is just another part of last week's news. I was expecting a firestorm of hysterical the sky is falling coverage for weeks. I was expecting the Democrat nominee to start using this against McCain and McCain to have to back pedal on his support for the 2nd. After all, Heller completely refuted decades of legal theory about what the 2nd meant.

But really all I see is the occasional article about the NRA's follow up law suits. Is the media not as biased as I thought, or have they not caught on to the significance yet? Really the most outrageous tirades about this were from Gavin Newsom and a couple of other big city mayors.

This is alright by me though, I'm just surprised.

Only for a minority of anti-gun theorists

Number 6
07-31-2008, 3:10 PM
Keep in mind that news of a political nature has a finite life-span. There have been numerous studies done that show issues/news will run their course in a few weeks, if there are no other developments that bring the issue back into the media spotlight.

As to why the candidates have avoided this issue, two reasons. One, why would any of them want to touch this issue? Obama has the gun-control/left wing vote already, so why alienate moderate voters by spouting off gun control rhetoric? Second, it could be that gun control is a dying issue. With the Brady campaign strapped for funds, the Democrats own strategists telling them to be quiet on the issue, and the potential fallout that the Democrats could see nationally for supporting strict guns laws, there is evidence (albeit anecdotal) that gun control as an issue is waning in public support.

Also, you have to remember that those of us that peruse calguns and other gun related websites are not indicative of the larger society. Heller for us was much more important in terms of enthusiasm than it was for the vast majority of people out there.

Liberty1
07-31-2008, 6:47 PM
And most states don't have the issues we have or the hopes of 2nd A correcting them eventually. They can in most states carry open or concealed, buy ARs with pistol gips and 100 rd mags, or dabble in NFA if they have the $$$$$.

SOneThreeCoupe
07-31-2008, 11:18 PM
Heller is last week's news because of its limited scope.

Heller was and is a seriously flawed decision by seriously flawed judges.

You think it means something? It means nothing. It protects very little of our right to keep and bear arms, and it allows heavy infringement.

If you want controversy, write in to your local paper and tell them Heller wasn't enough. The antis will have fun.

Bizcuits
07-31-2008, 11:39 PM
And most states don't have the issues we have or the hopes of 2nd A correcting them eventually. They can in most states carry open or concealed, buy ARs with pistol gips and 100 rd mags, or dabble in NFA if they have the $$$$$.

Bingo.

Why would it be national news, when most of the country hasn't had their rights infringed? It's only news to people in New York, CA, DC and all the other anti RKBA cities or states.

Wait until we get another victory, you'll see another 15 minutes of pro-gun goodness, then another 15 minutes of anti-gun fear.

Wait until another school shooting and you'll get a politician screaming for tough gun control.... :rolleyes:

GuyW
08-01-2008, 10:37 AM
Your negative perspective is seriously flawed. Heller has been extensively commented upon, both by skilled Constitutional lawyers, and gun-rights activists...your perspective represents (by my estimation) less than 1% of the spectrum of views.

IMHFO, those favorable reviewers know A LOT about the subject that you don't.

Heller is last week's news because of its limited scope.

Heller was and is a seriously flawed decision by seriously flawed judges.

You think it means something? It means nothing. It protects very little of our right to keep and bear arms, and it allows heavy infringement.

If you want controversy, write in to your local paper and tell them Heller wasn't enough. The antis will have fun.

aileron
08-01-2008, 11:06 AM
Please, nowadays you would be hard pressed to find many people that could even point out the US on an atlas. . .


You make me wonder if there are people in this country that don't know what planet we are on.

scottj
08-01-2008, 12:20 PM
Good points. It will be much bigger news when some laws outside DC have been thrown out, or when there is another shooting spree outside the hood.

SOneThreeCoupe
08-01-2008, 7:12 PM
Your negative perspective is seriously flawed. Heller has been extensively commented upon, both by skilled Constitutional lawyers, and gun-rights activists...your perspective represents (by my estimation) less than 1% of the spectrum of views.

IMHFO, those favorable reviewers know A LOT about the subject that you don't.

My "negative" perspective is necessary in this political climate. You regard my perspective as "negative," and I regard it as necessarily pessimistic. One cannot become complacent in a world where being torn apart is commonplace.

I agree that a lot of the favorables know a lot about the subject that I don't, but some of them may have ulterior motives. I have no motive but freedom.

What if the government began limiting non-traditional speech? Speech that wasn't popular?

Our freedoms require constant replenishment with the sweat of the populace.

fatirishman
08-02-2008, 2:04 AM
Heller has a lot of potential, but it could also go down as a limited, narrow ruling on the facts of the case. Having said that, my intuition is that Heller is likely a big net win - with a few exceptions, the legal consensus is that there is some sort of right to own guns. Insofar as there doesn't seem to be much political support for the other side, I am inclined to think that Heller may be our friend, as gun owners - folks who would normally be our enemies can hide behind Heller, and campaign one way, knowing full well that they can pick up pro-gun votes because "we" know they cannot actually implement such a policy. (See GOP; Roe v. Wade for the evidence of this).

hoffmang
08-02-2008, 2:15 PM
Heller was exactly the scope and decision our side wanted. People here who are worried have two major issues going in their argument. First you want it all, all at once. Second you're not at all realizing how bad the state of the law was before Heller. Think about it. The Federal AW ban couldn't be challenged.

Now it wouldn't even get passed. I mean seriously! Pelosi is going to let the Dems roll back DC's recalcitrant response (http://armsandthelaw.com/archives/2008/08/pelosi_may_fold.php). If you don't think that's a sea change you have IQ issues.

-Gene

SOneThreeCoupe
08-03-2008, 1:13 PM
But is it truly acceptable, though?

The ACLU and ABA both, as far as I know, still believe 2A "does not vest a personal right." These two groups need to be on our side, and they still are not convinced.

Leonard Levy, whose book Origins of the Bill of Rights was quoted from in the Heller decision, and whose opinions they took into account, says "the right to bear arms is by no means unlimited. Public regulation may specify the kinds of weapons that are lawful and the conditions under which those weapons may be kept; but no regulation may subvert the right itself."

He also says "the leading text writer on constitutional law, Lawrence Tribe, has wrongly endorsed the Court's 1939 decision is a correct interpretation of the Second Amendment."

We need to stop being so complacent. Saying that this is exactly the scope and decision we wanted is false, because we want to take it farther.

hoffmang
08-03-2008, 2:59 PM
Thinking that the ABA is going to become a supporter of the Second Amendment overnight is like hoping for Binladen to turn himself in to a US Embassy. It's nearly the same with the ACLU. The people who write the checks that keep both of them in $$$ don't like guns. It's naive to think differently than that. The good news is that the Judiciary isn't in either group though a few are members here and there.

I mean, you don't think the KKK became pro-integration after Brown do you?

-Gene

hoffmang
08-03-2008, 3:04 PM
We need to stop being so complacent. Saying that this is exactly the scope and decision we wanted is false, because we want to take it farther.

You are naive. The Heller case set out to only go after exactly the issue it won on. The day of the decision 2 cases were filed to follow up immediately on it. I'm sorry you haven't read widely enough to understand the strategy. I'll make it as simple for you as our side is making it for the Judiciary. Judges are dumb and the best way to win is to make the simplest and clearest arguments possible on the worst facts for the other side possible.

I'll repeat. Heller won on the three and only three issues brought in that case.

1. The 2A is an individual right.
2. If 1, a handgun ban violates 1.
3. If 1, a ban on all functional firearms violates 1.

That was all our side set out to prove and ya know what? We did. That overturned nearly 50 lower federal court decisions in one fell swoop. Trying to get more immediately probably meant not getting point #1.

The civil rights movement had to settle for separate but equal for quite a while. We're going to be able to move much faster, but it still means that your attitude of entitlement isn't useful.

-Gene

SOneThreeCoupe
08-04-2008, 9:47 AM
I have no attitude of entitlement.

I am entitled. Just like you, just like any citizen of the United States. We have the right to keep and bear arms.

We shouldn't have to put up with lawsuits to bring back a right.

Gene, I support you. I donated a little bit before I left on a family vacation, and once I have a little extra I will donate again. I am simply asking why must we fight so hard for something so simple as a constitutionally protected right? Why is it that our checks and balances often leave items unchecked and powers unbalanced?

hoffmang
08-04-2008, 12:58 PM
I have no attitude of entitlement.

I am entitled. Just like you, just like any citizen of the United States. We have the right to keep and bear arms.

We shouldn't have to put up with lawsuits to bring back a right.

Gene, I support you. I donated a little bit before I left on a family vacation, and once I have a little extra I will donate again. I am simply asking why must we fight so hard for something so simple as a constitutionally protected right? Why is it that our checks and balances often leave items unchecked and powers unbalanced?

1. The majority of voters in this state doesn't like the right in question.

2. There is no right to keep and bear arms in California at the State or Federal level until after Nordyke.

You could ask the same question of how black citizens of Alabama could be treated like dirt and routinely lynched and you'll find the same answers. At least California's voters don't routinely hang gun rights supporters.

-Gene

yellowfin
08-04-2008, 1:08 PM
You could ask the same question of how black citizens of Alabama could be treated like dirt and routinely lynched and you'll find the same answers. At least California's voters don't routinely hang gun rights supporters.

-GeneHang? No. Intimidate, harass, vandalize, ostracize, and slander? You bet. And by proxy via hired muscle of the ATF and LE agencies rob, drive out of business, frivolously prosecute, and occasionally shoot. Hanging is far from the only nor the worst from of mistreatment, and what is utterly vile is that their conscience doesn't bother them in the slightest over the former.

The majority of voters outrightly don't like RKBA? Is it really THAT bad?

FEDUPWBS
08-04-2008, 1:24 PM
1. The majority of voters in this state doesn't like the right in question.


At least California's voters don't routinely hang gun rights supporters.

-Gene


Im thinking its because we have guns?

Glock22Fan
08-04-2008, 1:26 PM
The majority of voters outrightly don't like RKBA? Is it really THAT bad?

I think it might be.

Here in the rural area I live in, it's not so bad. But (most of) the people I know in the city are either negative or couldn't care less.

Meplat
08-04-2008, 3:22 PM
You are naive. The Heller

That was all our side set out to prove and ya know what? We did. That overturned nearly 50 lower federal court decisions in one fell swoop. Trying to get more immediately probably meant not getting point #1.



-Gene



But didn’t we get thrown under the buss a bit in the writing of the decision? I mean really, the type of arms in general use? The type of arms in general use at the time of the writing were in many cases more technologically advanced than the military arms of the most powerful nations in the world. Civilians in this country for the first 100 years of our history generally had access to arms superior to those in use by the standing army. If union forces in the Civil War wanted breach loaders or repeaters they had to buy their own. The arms “chosen” by the general public of this era are severely limited by what 70 years of illegal gun control have inflicted on them. The court came right out and said machine guns were not covered. They could have kept silent on a lot of things that they threw overboard to keep from disturbing the faint of heart (or maybe just Kennedy). In keeping with the racial analogy, how about a little affirmative action here?

hoffmang
08-04-2008, 3:45 PM
But didn’t we get thrown under the buss a bit in the writing of the decision? I mean really, the type of arms in general use?

The issue is the types of arms in general use at this time. Kennedy doesn't like machine guns but there is an assumption buried in there. The assumption is that he'd oppose decisions applying equal protections or due process law to the NFA. That said, we shouldn't be looking for affirmative action while we're still forced to sit at the back of the bus to hold the analogy.

We're a couple of cases away from expanding "arms" beyond handguns of all types, all rifles except FA or SBR, and all shotguns except SBSes. That said, I'm pretty happy that we likely have a strict scrutiny supported right to all of those.

This is a building process. On the day before the Heller decision we had no Federal right to possess any arm and our only protection was in property and takings.

-Gene

Librarian
08-04-2008, 4:41 PM
But (most of) the people I know in the city are either negative or couldn't care less.

"Couldn't care less" is the most common. RKBA is not a 'pocketbook issue' for most people.

Here's Rasmussen (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/issues2/articles/voters_split_on_need_for_stricter_gun_control_laws _but_oppose_city_handgun_ban) from June 2008: The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that
44% say stricter gun control laws while another 44% disagree and 12% are not sure.

Most African-American and Hispanic voters believe stricter gun control laws are needed while a plurality (47%) of White voters disagree.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of Democrats say stricter gun control laws are needed and 63% of Republicans hold the opposite view.

Among unaffiliated voters, 37% want stricter laws while 48% disagree. Overall, the desire for stricter gun control laws is little changed from last December.

However, while there is an even divide on the question of whether stricter laws are needed, only 26% believe that city governments have the right to prevent citizens from owning handguns in their city. Sixty-four percent (64%) disagree and say such a restriction is a violation of the Second Amendment. And here's Harris (http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=914) from June 2008: The Harris Poll showed wording from the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to the survey’s sample and asked whether U.S. adults think the Second Amendment supports an individual’s right to bear arms or a state’s right to form a militia, the same question the Supreme Court will be answering this month. The Poll found:

* By 41 percent to 17 percent, a two to one plurality believes that the Second Amendment supports an individual’s right to bear arms. Interestingly, almost three in ten (29%) feel the Amendment supports both and 5 percent say neither;
* Furthermore, by political party affiliation Republicans by 51 percent to 9 percent believe the Second Amendment supports individuals’ right to bear arms. Democrats also agree, though by a closer 41 percent to 22 percent margin. Independents are even more closely divided with 31 percent to 22 percent thinking that the Amendment supports and individuals’ right to bear arms.

And with regard to gun control:

* A relative majority of U.S. adults – 49 percent –favor stricter gun control with 20 percent wanting less strict gun control and 21 percent wanting no change. Since 2004 these sentiments have changed slightly with the number favoring stricter gun control going down from 52 percent. Since 1998, however, this has dropped significantly as ten years ago, 69 percent favored stricter gun control;
* By 54 percent to 18 percent a majority favors stricter laws relating to the control of hand guns and another 18 percent want no change. These opinions have not changed much since 2004 when a similar 57 percent to 18 percent also favored stricter control of handguns. Again, a decade makes a larger difference as in 1998, a 76 percent to 19 percent majority favored stricter laws relating to the control of hand guns.
Note that they don't match. :)

SOneThreeCoupe
08-04-2008, 7:15 PM
1. The majority of voters in this state doesn't like the right in question.

You could ask the same question of how black citizens of Alabama could be treated like dirt and routinely lynched and you'll find the same answers. At least California's voters don't routinely hang gun rights supporters.

-Gene

1. The Framers didn't like the Bill of Rights and would've omitted them had the Anti-federalists not raised such a stink about not having a BoR.

Just because some voters don't like the right in question doesn't mean they're right. The reason we're not a democracy and are instead a Constitutional federal republic is fear of the tyranny of the majority.

The beginning of our state declaration of rights reads:
"All people are by nature free and independent and have
inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and
liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing
and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy."

We are free and independent people simply acquiring and possessing property to enjoy and defend life and liberty and thus obtaining safety and happiness.

Why can't the state just take a page from its own Declaration of Rights? Why is it that common sense is so hard for a government to use?

I'm just trying to get people to question their government, and hopefully get riled up enough to follow through.

Meplat
08-04-2008, 7:20 PM
The issue is the types of arms in general use at this time. Kennedy doesn't like machine guns but there is an assumption buried in there. The assumption is that he'd oppose decisions applying equal protections or due process law to the NFA. That said, we shouldn't be looking for affirmative action while we're still forced to sit at the back of the bus to hold the analogy.

We're a couple of cases away from expanding "arms" beyond handguns of all types, all rifles except FA or SBR, and all shotguns except SBSes. That said, I'm pretty happy that we likely have a strict scrutiny supported right to all of those.

This is a building process. On the day before the Heller decision we had no Federal right to possess any arm and our only protection was in property and takings.

-Gene
I get your point; maybe if I were Chinese I would have the patients for this game. I have waited literally all my adult life for this decision, I can’t help but feel that we will not get the court to take a case on the NFA or any other weighty 2nd A case in my lifetime. I’m sixty and when I went to school everyone “knew” KABA was an individual right. That’s why the NFA is a “tax” law. By the time I had finished high school it had evaporated and I’ve been fighting and waiting ever sense. And now you tell me “patients”. I’m like the starving buzzard. "Patients my *ss I’m gonna kill somethin!"

hoffmang
08-04-2008, 11:15 PM
s13 and meplat,

We're fighting a war. Ya'll are basically saying one way or another that this should be easy. Well, gents then you should load up a featured AR and walk hand in hand down the street to the Capitol building to threaten violence to those who would infringe your rights.... But for some (probably quite wise) reason you don't want to do that.

So now that we realize that what we're talking about here is where on a spectrum we should be then maybe we can start realizing we're playing on the same team.

You and I both know what the documents said and what the writers meant, but that doesn't mean that the voting majority in California want to agree with you.

Do you really think that the Decleration of Independence or the 14th Amendment didn't mean that white people in the south couldn't lynch people? Yet they did.

What you both are primarily arguing boils down to *waaah, we haven't won everything yet*. 3 years ago we'd won nothing and only lost. Since then we're winning and winning will beget more winning. Heller is a foundation that we get to re-import into this state. Then we can expand it. Further and further with work and skill to choose the right fight.

If Washington had held his ground in Manhattan to see the Continental Army destroyed because it was "right" we'd be arguing about the next Prime Minister and have long lost all of our guns...

We'll get our rights back, but complaining that the last huge win just wasn't large enough does what exactly?

-Gene

N6ATF
08-04-2008, 11:25 PM
Cold War took what, 40 some odd years? Is that a good analogy? Or are we looking at The Hundred Years' War?

SOneThreeCoupe
08-05-2008, 9:38 AM
Gene,

Let me preface this by saying that we (as in you and me, I won't pretend to know meplat's intentions although my guess is that he supports you as well) are indeed on the same team.

Yes, I'm arguing with you, but understand that my intentions are not to undermine but to harden the resolve of the people reading this. Many of the members of Calguns lack the time to study the Second and its cases in depth, and therefore will regard Heller as immensely satisfying and correct. This would add a sense of ease to the fight, and we must realize that this is an uphill battle. Heller is hardly the bedrock upon which our freedom is founded.

I want nothing but an adherence to the BoR. I don't want law-abiding-gun-owners and their lobbying organizations to have to spend millions fighting for a right.

Freedom shouldn't require a battery of lawsuits.

hoffmang
08-05-2008, 1:16 PM
Cold War took what, 40 some odd years? Is that a good analogy? Or are we looking at The Hundred Years' War?

I think the good news here is that in 2018 the Second Amendment will be as robust as the first with some minor and understandable differences. Think of it as slightly less protective than the first but a lot more protective than the 4th.

-Gene

jacques
08-05-2008, 9:25 PM
It is much easier to lose your rights than it is to get them back.

They have eaten away at this for years, and continue to do so. It is an up hill battle. The mind set of the general public can change on a whim. It is these legislatures that pay no attention to the constitution and just feed the special interest groups what they want that is the biggest up hill battle. They are in self preservation mode.

If everyone saw an immediate, personal impact on their lifestyle due to 2nd ammendment violations, they would be on the streets protesting. These fools would no longer get elected. Hopefully, this may become the case, and people will realize they have been fooled. But mostly, people don't care or are ignorant.

This is one of those rights, no one really pays too much attention to until you really, really need it. Then it is gone and too late.

Jagger
08-08-2008, 4:15 AM
Justice Scalia’s Methodology Of Constitutional Interpretation Is Just An Excuse For His Judicial Activism


In the excerpt below, from the U. S. Supreme Court's opinion in the case of D. C. v. Heller, authored by Justice Scalia, the notorious judicial activist announces his intention to follow a rule of constitutional construction which dictates that the words of the Constitution should be understood in the sense of their normal and ordinary use by ordinary citizens of the founding generation.

The Second Amendment provides: “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.” In interpreting this text, we are guided by the
principle that “[t]he Constitution was written to be understood
by the voters; its words and phrases were used in
their normal and ordinary as distinguished from technical
meaning.” United States v. Sprague, 282 U. S. 716, 731
(1931); see also Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, 188 (1824).
Normal meaning may of course include an idiomatic
meaning, but it excludes secret or technical meanings that
would not have been known to ordinary citizens in the
founding generation...


Scalia is an incompetent activist. The Constitution wasn't made with the lawmakers understanding that it would be interpreted according to the normal and ordinary use of words by ordinary citizens of the founding generation.

John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, knew that there were well established common law rules of interpretation and that they applied to the U. S. Constitution.

The question now before us renders it necessary to pay particular attention to that part of the second section which extends the judicial power "to controversies between a State and citizens of another State." It is contended that this ought to be construed to reach none of these controversies excepting those in which a State may be plaintiff. The ordinary rules for construction will easily decide whether those words are to be understood in that limited sense.
--John Jay in his opinion in Chisholm v. Georgia (1793)

hoffmang
08-10-2008, 9:41 AM
Jagger,

You seem to have an agenda as you are posting the above in more than one thread. Pray tell you share your agenda with us?

Are you attempting to say that Scalia was incorrect to say that the words mean what they say and that the words relate to the salutatory effect that keeping 80-90% of the white male population armed and ready, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed?

-Gene

Jagger
08-10-2008, 10:58 AM
Are you attempting to say that Scalia was incorrect to say that the words mean what they say... He didn't say that in the Heller opinion.

hoffmang
08-10-2008, 12:24 PM
He didn't say that in the Heller opinion.

Scalia didn't use his own words. He used the words of United States v. Sprague - but he certainly chose the words.

"[t]he Constitution was written to be under-stood by the voters; its words and phrases were used in their normal and ordinary as distinguished from technical meaning."

That sure makes my rephrasing above look accurate.

-Gene

Shotgun Man
08-10-2008, 2:34 PM
Jagger,

You seem to have an agenda as you are posting the above in more than one thread. Pray tell you share your agenda with us?



Yeah, Jagger are you an anti?

I've never seen an openly avowed anti post on calguns before.

Are you for real?

Fobjoe
08-10-2008, 4:16 PM
I smell a :troll:

But then again, there's absolutely NOTHING wrong with hearing what the antis have to say.

otteray
08-10-2008, 6:12 PM
Jagger, you just may have issues with the other parts of the Bill of Rights as well?
Are they all misinterpreted by the common folk as well? Or just this one?
Please instruct me as to what it really means where the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 9th
amendments use the words (of, to, or by) "the people."
No, seriously.
I'm just a common guy who reads a statement in a newspaper, book or encyclopedia, clearly understanding the words. and I am just not seeing between the lines the legal mumbo-jumbo that you can understand so clearly.

hill billy
08-10-2008, 6:29 PM
I smell a :troll:

But then again, there's absolutely NOTHING wrong with hearing what the antis have to say.

You mean we can't shriek and yell and scream and jump up and down like the anti's did last week when they discovered the NRA has been doing to same thing they have all along?

I see it like this, our rights were taken a step at a time, the same way they will be restored. Every step forward is a step in the right direction.

Jagger
08-11-2008, 4:04 AM
[t]he Constitution was written to be under-stood by the voters; its words and phrases were used in their normal and ordinary as distinguished from technical meaning. That statement is false, dude. It's a myth, a fairy tale. It's also non binding dicta.

Jagger
08-11-2008, 4:07 AM
Yeah, Jagger are you an anti? I'm anti-judicial activism and pro-applying the well established common law rules of construction.

Jagger
08-11-2008, 4:17 AM
Jagger, you just may have issues with the other parts of the Bill of Rights as well? I strive not to allow my personal views corrupt my interpretation of the Bill of Rights.

Are they all misinterpreted by the common folk as well?
Beats me dude. However, any interpretation obtained by the application of Justice Scalia's self serving highly biased methodology of interpretation is probably wrong.

Please instruct me as to what it really means where the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 9th amendments use the words (of, to, or by) "the people."
Apply the well established common law method of interpretation existent at the time the words were adopted. It will take you to the will of the lawmakers at the time they adopted the words.

I am just not seeing between the lines the legal mumbo-jumbo that you can understand so clearly.
That's because you don't know about the well established common law method of interpretation existent at the time the Constitution was made.

jacques
08-11-2008, 6:55 AM
Can you enlighten us to this "well established common law method of interpretation " that you speak of. Since it was so well established there must be many references to it.

And besides, unless you are talking about applying British common law to the bill of rights, I would say there really wasn't much common law established at the time.

Jagger
08-11-2008, 7:29 AM
Can you enlighten us to this "well established common law method of interpretation " that you speak of.

The fairest and most rational method to interpret the will of the legislator, is by exploring his intentions at the time when the law was made, by signs the most natural and probable. And these signs are either the words, the context, the subject-matter, the effects and consequence, or the spirit and reason of the law. Let us take a short view of them all.

1. Words are generally to be understood in their usual and most known signification; not so much regarding the propriety of grammar, as their general and popular use. Thus the law mentioned by Puffendorf,[26] which forbad a layman to lay hands on a priest, was adjudged to extend to him, who had hurt a priest with a weapon. Again; terms of art, or technical terms, must be taken according to the acceptation of the learned in each art, trade, and science. So in the act of settlement, where the crown of England is limited "to the princess Sophia, and the heirs of her body, being protestants," it becomes necessary to call in the assistance of lawyers, to ascertain the precise idea of the words "heirs of her body;" which in a legal sense comprize only certain of her lineal descendants.

2. If words happen to be still dubious, we may establish their meaning from the context; with which it may be of singular use to compare a word, or a sentence, whenever they are ambiguous, equivocal, or intricate. Thus the proeme, or preamble, is often called in to help the construction of an act of parliament. Of the same nature and use is the comparison of a law with other laws, that are made by the same legislator, that have some affinity with the subject, or that expressly relate to the same point.[27]

Thus, when the law of England declares murder to be felony without benefit of clergy, we must resort to the same law of England to learn what the benefit of clergy is: and when the common law censures simoniacal contracts, it affords great light to the subject to consider what the canon law has adjudged to be simony.[28]

3. As to the subject-matter, words are always to be understood as having a regard thereto; for that is always supposed to be in the eye of the legislator, and all his expressions directed to that end. Thus, when a law of our Edward III. forbids all ecclesiastical persons to purchase provisions at Rome, it might seem to prohibit the buying of grain and other victuals; but when we consider that the statute was made to repress the usurpations of the papal see, and that the nominations to benefices by the pope were called provisions, we shall see that the restraint is intended to be laid upon such provisions only.

4. As to the effects and consequence, the rule is, that where words bear either none, or a very absurd signification, if literally understood, we must a little deviate from the received sense of them. Therefore the Bolognian law, mentioned by Puffendorf,[29] which enacted "that whoever drew blood in the streets should be punished with the utmost severity," was held after a long debate not to extend to the surgeon, who opened the vein of a person that fell down in the street with a fit.

5. But, lastly, the most universal and effectual way of discovering the true meaning of a law, when the words are dubious, is by considering the reason and spirit of it; or the cause which moved the legislator to enact it. For when this reason ceases, the law itself ought likewise to cease with it. An instance of this is given in a case put by Cicero, or whoever was the author of the treatise inscribed to Herennius.[30] There was a law, that those who in a storm forsook the ship, should forfeit all property therein; and that the ship and lading should belong entirely to those who staid in it. In a dangerous tempest all the mariners forsook the ship, except only one sick passenger, who by reason of his disease was unable to get out and escape. By chance the ship came safe to port. The sick man kept possession, and claimed the benefit of the law. Now here all the learned agree, that the sick man is not within the reason of the law; for the reason of making it was, to give encouragement to such as should venture their lives to save the vessel: but this is a merit, which he could never pretend to, who neither staid in the ship upon that account, nor contributed any thing to its preservation.[31]

Blackstone:Commentaries: Book I Part I Section II (http://www.constitution.org/tb/tb-1102.htm)[/QUOTE]

Jagger
08-11-2008, 7:37 AM
Every one of the thirteen states adopted "reception statutes" that gave legal effect to the existing body of English Common Law. Some enacted reception statutes as legislative statutes, while other states received the English common law through provisions of the state's constitution.

For example, the New York Constitution of 1777 provides that:

[S]uch parts of the common law of England, and of the statute law of England and Great Britain, and of the acts of the legislature of the colony of New York, as together did form the law of the said colony on the 19th day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, shall be and continue the law of this State, subject to such alterations and provisions as the legislature of this State shall, from time to time, make concerning the same.

Jagger
08-11-2008, 8:04 AM
The methodology of interpretation used by Justice Antonin Scalia in the Heller opinion is probably not that which the lawmakers intended for him to use. Scalia states that he will interpret the text of the Second Amendment according to the "normal and ordinary" meanings that would been given it by "ordinary citizens in the founding generation."

Anyone knowledgeable of the common law in America in the late 1700's knows that it was well established law that the goal or object of interpreting laws was "the will of the legislator", not the understanding of "ordinary citizens." (See Blackstone's commentary on the "interpretation of laws" in his famous Commentaries on the Laws of England.)

Thomas Jefferson was a lawyer and would have known what the object of interpreting a law was when the Second Amendment was made. He was preaching it in 1812 to the Governor of Virginia.

The... maxims of the bench, to seek the will of the legislator and his words only, are proper... for judicial government.

--Thomas Jefferson to James Barbour, 1812. ME 13:128

hoffmang
08-11-2008, 12:31 PM
The Constitution and Bill of Rights were not legislative enactments. They were enactments of the People binding the whole of government - a first in English and American common law and thus do not have common law antecedents.

-Gene

EastBayRidge
08-11-2008, 1:29 PM
How is Scalia's proposition in Heller (your example of his "wrong" rule of construction in another thread):

"In interpreting this text, we are guided by the principle that “[t]he Constitution was written to be understood by the voters; its words and phrases were used in their normal and ordinary as distinguished from technical
meaning.” United States v. Sprague, 282 U. S. 716, 731 (1931); see also Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, 188 (1824). Normal meaning may of course include an idiomatic meaning, but it excludes secret or technical meanings that would not have been known to ordinary citizens in the
founding generation..."

anything but consistent with Blackstone (your approved example of "rules of construction" in effect at the founding, from another thread as well):

"The fairest and most rational method to interpret the will of the legislator, is by exploring his intentions at the time when the law was made, by signs the most natural and probable. And these signs are either the words, the context, the subject-matter, the effects and consequence, or the spirit and reason of the law. Let us take a short view of them all.

1. Words are generally to be understood in their usual and most known signification; not so much regarding the propriety of grammar, as their general and popular use. Thus the law mentioned by Puffendorf,[26] which forbad a layman to lay hands on a priest, was adjudged to extend to him, who had hurt a priest with a weapon."

Jagger
08-11-2008, 2:00 PM
How is Scalia's proposition in Heller (your example of his "wrong" rule of construction in another thread):

"In interpreting this text, we are guided by the principle that “[t]he Constitution was written to be understood by the voters; its words and phrases were used in their normal and ordinary as distinguished from technical
meaning.” United States v. Sprague, 282 U. S. 716, 731 (1931); see also Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, 188 (1824). Normal meaning may of course include an idiomatic meaning, but it excludes secret or technical meanings that would not have been known to ordinary citizens in the
founding generation..."

anything but consistent with Blackstone (your approved example of "rules of construction" in effect at the founding, from another thread as well):

"The fairest and most rational method to interpret the will of the legislator, is by exploring his intentions at the time when the law was made, by signs the most natural and probable. And these signs are either the words, the context, the subject-matter, the effects and consequence, or the spirit and reason of the law. Let us take a short view of them all.

1. Words are generally to be understood in their usual and most known signification; not so much regarding the propriety of grammar, as their general and popular use. Thus the law mentioned by Puffendorf,[26] which forbad a layman to lay hands on a priest, was adjudged to extend to him, who had hurt a priest with a weapon."

First, the object or goal of the methods are different. One seeks the understanding of the ordinary citizen. The other seeks the will of the legislator.

Second, the number of rules comprising the methods are different. One has only one rule, the other has five basic rules, some of which have multiple principles.

Third, one acknowledges that there are technical words, the other doesn't.

Fourth, one allows consideration of "context", "subject matter", "effects and consequence" and "spirit and reason of the law." The other doesn't.

EastBayRidge
08-11-2008, 3:38 PM
1. Wrong. The object or goal is the same in both cases - ascertaining the meaning of the WORDS. And the rules both apply to reach that meaning are the same -"normal and ordinary", or "usual and most known".

2. The sheer number of rules makes a difference ? LOL. Good one. By that logic the Federal Register trumps the constitution, hands down.

3. Uh... did you even bother reading the rest of the Blackstone quote ?

4. So... you now want Scalia to consider "context", "subject matter", "effects and consequence" and "spirit and reason of the law", yet you're "anti judicial activism". ZOMBIE EARL WARREN WALKS THE EARTH ! AND HE'S CONFUSED !

This thread is officially :beatdeadhorse5:

GuyW
08-12-2008, 7:43 AM
Bogus blurring-of-the-issues created by our latest troll.

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were created by "the People". They were publicly posted and debated by "the People". They should be interpreted in light of the People's understanding.

Later, technical legal enactments should (probably) be interpreted in light of legislative history (if any) in case of ambiguity.

Scalia got it correct.

Go away, troll.

Jagger
08-12-2008, 11:59 AM
George Mason Applies Rules of Construction to Interpret Constitution

During the framing of the Constitution, a question arose regarding the meaning of the phrase that read, "To declare the law and punishment of piracies and felonies &c." George Mason doubted “the safety of it, considering the strict rule of construction in criminal cases.” Mason, an experienced lawmaker, understood that the Constitution was to be interpreted according to the well established common law rules of construction.

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/debates/817.htm

Jagger
08-12-2008, 12:01 PM
The object or goal is the same in both cases... You're wrong, dude. One seeks the understanding of the ordinary citizen. The other seeks the will of the legislator.

Jagger
08-12-2008, 12:10 PM
The sheer number of rules makes a difference?

Look up the meaning of "difference" in a dictionary.

did you even bother reading the rest of the Blackstone quote?
I have it memorized.

...you now want Scalia to consider "context", "subject matter", "effects and consequence" and "spirit and reason of the law", yet you're "anti judicial activism". When interpreting the Constitution, Scalia should apply the universally accepted common law rules of construction existent at the time the Constitution was made, rather than using whatever rule of construction produces the outcome he personally favors, as he did in D. C. V Heller.

Jagger
08-12-2008, 12:40 PM
The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were created by "the People".
I thought they were made by the people's elected representatives.

They were publicly posted and debated by "the People".
Where can I read these debates?

They should be interpreted in light of the People's understanding.
Where did the people write down their understanding?

Later, technical legal enactments What exactly are technical legal enactments?

Scalia got it correct. Show me where the Second Amendment says there's no right to keep and bear concealed arms.

GuyW
08-12-2008, 1:59 PM
Show me where the Second Amendment says there's no right to keep and bear concealed arms.

Concealed carry was illegal in several states at the time that the 2nd was written.

The philosphy was, honest men wore arms openly - crooks hid them to gain an advantage.

otteray
08-12-2008, 4:07 PM
Jagger, which USSC Justices stated or favorably referred to your argument in the Heller case?
I haven't been able to locate that information yet.
Is it some where obvious that I may have overlooked?

Jagger
08-12-2008, 4:19 PM
Concealed carry was illegal in several states at the time that the 2nd was written. Show us where the lawmakers ever suggested that the Constitution should be interpreted to square with state law.

PS: Please show us some evidence of the laws you're talking about.

hoffmang
08-12-2008, 8:00 PM
:troll: