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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Regulating guns, by Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court Justice

A lot has, and will be, said about regulating guns, especially in the light of the tragic recent shooting in Connecticut.

I have no wish to get into a debate on that subject. I do wish to inform, by repeating something written by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the Court majority, in District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the Court struck down a District ordinance prohibiting gun use, in 2008 In other words, the Court affirmed the Second Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Many commentators consider Scalia to be the most conservative member of the Court, by which I mean that he is the most reluctant to change what he believes the Constitution and amendments meant to the framers at the time adopted.

Here's part of what Scalia wrote, indicating clearly that the right to bear arms is not an absolute right, in the view of the Court:

 2. 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:  For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

I also state the obvious, namely that, for the Christian, the laws of God should override the laws of any nation, even the U. S. Constitution.

It is my understanding that U. S. Supreme Court documents are in the public domain. See here for the Wikipedia article on District of Columbia v. Heller.

Thanks for reading. Be safe, and have a Blessed Christmas.


atlibertytosay said...

I don't think that anyone argues that assault rifles are not only unnecessary for any logical purpose, but for the purposes of liberty - I think people want them.

Rights are like taxes - I think people are more worried about the trickle down than anything else.

* side note - the above commenter is a spammer, you may want to remove it.

Martin LaBar said...

I remove a few spam comments every day.

I'm not sure how to define an assault rifle, but it's obvious people want them.


JDBishop5 said...

The mere fact that people want Semiautomatic weapons is not a reason, Constitutionally speaking, to allow them. The greater community good is also to be considered. As there is no practical use for semiautomatic weapons, except killing people, we have the power and the right, collectively, to protect ourselves from having such weapons fall into the hands of criminals, idiots, and insane people. As such people are often difficult to detect, we have the right to bar ownership of semiautomatic weapons by private citizens except under the concept of requiring the weapons to be 'well regulated,' as the Second Amendment puts it. In the case of military style assault weapons, there is no Constitutional argument that will permit ordinary citizens to own and carry such fire power, unless the citizen in question does so as part of a governmental 'well regulated militia.' I am the owner of several fire arms, and have killed many large and small animals with them. I have never needed more than the small number of cartridges my weapons store. In my opinion, a person carrying such a weapon is giving evidence of being a poor marksman.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, JDBishop5. I suspect that, if it came to a Supreme Court argument, you are right. The NRA, of course, disagrees.