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How Boringly Predictable...

Well, the Supreme Court has affirmed -- barely -- that the 2nd Amendment is, indeed, an individual right, and it's sent the gun-grabbers into paroxysms. (Or, as my fellow Granite Stater Bruce likes to say in his inimitable -- but profane -- way, PSH -- for "Pants-Shitting Hysteria.")

As always, I know I can count on the Boston Globe to lead the charge off the cliff in blind panic. And they came through -- not only with their own editorial take, but one from a Constitutional scholar from Harvard as well.

First up, the Glob's own words are extremely entertaining.

To arrive at this decision, the court performed a grammatical parsing that would confound the best English teacher, deciding that the first 13 words are merely "prefatory" to the "operative clause" of the one-sentence amendment, thus conveniently tossing aside the importance of "a well regulated militia" to the right to bear arms.

Someone needs to find an English teacher -- any will do, not this mythical "best" -- and explain to them that "operative clause" is a valid term. It's the part of the sentence that contains the subject and the verb -- the "meat" of the sentence. Grammatically speaking, you should be able to strip away everything else and have a perfectly constructed sentence. And the last half of the 2nd Amendment is grammatically sound.

From a grammatical viewpoint, the role of the first clause is questionable. It might, as the gun grabbers prefer to think, be a dependent clause -- one that modifies the meaning of the operative clause. Alternately, it could be an exhortatory sentiment, giving weight to the general sentiment of the latter part. Or it could be merely citing a single example as to why the latter part is so important. Taken strictly by itself, the 2nd Amendment can be legitimately interpreted in any of those ways -- without confounding anyone, let alone a trained and educated grammarian.

So be it. The 5-4 decision is not a surprise from a court that routinely bends precedent to suit its ideology.

Gee, that sounds so darned familiar...

Still, no right is absolute. Even the First Amendment, beloved of editorial writers, has limits. The right to free speech can be restricted where its full expression might cause harm: libel, obscenity, incitement to riot. Similarly, the court ruled that the Second Amendment can be restricted for reasons of public safety.

Hey, Globe: get back to me when the government starts requiring a permit before buying a printing press, restricts publishing only to those who show a "compelling need" to publish, and takes away one's right to publish for completely unrelated offenses -- all done BEFORE one exercises that right. Until then, STFU.

The important work now is to determine what constitutes "reasonable" regulation of murderous weapons.

This sums up the Globe's mentality towards violent crime: spare the killer, kill the tool. And while you're at it, kill all the other tools that look like the one the killer used.

Even the lawyer for Dick Heller, the plaintiff in the challenge to the strict handgun ban in Washington, D.C., told the court that reasonable restrictions might also include background checks, curbs on gun ownership by minors, and a ban on machine guns. We would add limits on bulk purchases, background checks on purchasers at gun shows, and a reasonable waiting period to prevent crimes of passion.

Hmm... maybe they have a good idea here. Perhaps, had background checks and waiting periods been in effect for the First Amendment, Newsweek wouldn't have published that bogus "Koran in the toilet" story that triggered riots around the world.

Some Americans may feel safer owning a gun for self-defense. But guns will still kill 80 people today in homicides, suicides, or accidents. This ruling won't change that.

And, of course, EVERY SINGLE ONE of those guns used in a homicide, suicide, or accident will be a legally registered firearm, because everyone knows that once you pass a law, then the problem just goes away.

It also neglects to mention all the guns that will be used today for sporting purposes, training and practice, or -- and this is the one that they hate to talk about -- self-defense. Nobody keeps track of how many times the mere presence of a gun in the hands of someone who has both the training and the will to use it in their own defense will disarm a situation, head off a violent confrontation.

It's amazing, how many of the same people who decry "Bush's police state" want to give all the power to the police, who are so eager to entrust their very safety 100% to the hands of the authorities -- who have absolutely no legal obligation to protect any individual, and long-standing court precedents to back them up.

How little does one value one's own freedom, one's own life, if one is willing to surrender any and all responsibility for preserving it to the government? How little respect do they have for their fellow citizens that they wish to impose that capitulation on all others? And how much do they fear and distrust their fellow citizens if they sincerely believe that the mere possession of a firearm will unleash some crazed psychopath within them?

I'd rather not live like that, thanks. In the choice between my fellow average citizens and the highly-educated, privileged, intellectual elite of the Boston Globe, I'll toss in my lot with Joe Sixpack.

And his gun collection.

Wow. Over 900 words, and that's just on the Globe editorial. I'll kick around the good professor's sentiments later.)


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Comments (42)

The Supreme Court certainly... (Below threshold)

The Supreme Court certainly made the correct decision in finding that the local D.C. gun ban law went too far and was unconstitutional. However, at the same time it must be recognized that D.C. has a serious crime problem, and that striking down the local D.C. law only makes the job of protecting elected and government offficials safe from terrorism or screwballs much more complicated if more guns are allowed on the streets of D.C.

My grandmother's own 16 year old brother was accidently killed in a hunting accident, and my sister's husband has lifelong disabilities due to serious injures caused by a rifle accident as a child. And suicides, domestic disturbances and guns stolen by burglars all become more complicated by this ruling. More police lives will be in danger as a result of more guns used in family fights. Here in Oregon, a very nice policeman, Damon Coates still struggles evertday with injuries went he was shot in the face during a domestic dispute. Police cannot be very happy about any court ruling that puts more guns on the streets.

The Supreme Court made the correct decision to strike down the overly broad D.C. gun ban, but it would be very sad if this gives a greenlight to terrorists or screwballs to endanger public officials in D.C. or increases local crime. This court decision may be the right one, but it is not without some serious consequences for public safety and security in the city.

I'm very happy not to be a gun owner. But I support the rights of those who choose to as long as they have the good mental health to properly own one without endangering themselves, their children or someone else.

To repeat, it amazes me t... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

To repeat, it amazes me that a document written in black and white can be read in so many shades of grey.

The 2nd amendment says JUST what it implies, and NO amount of spin will disavow it.

Fortunately 5 people have grasped this.

So be it. The 5-4 decisi... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

So be it. The 5-4 decision is not a surprise from a court that routinely bends precedent to suit its ideology.

It's a shame when "following the US Constitution" is considered ideology.

You've got some good lines in there, JayTea, but I really enjoyed the following:

Hey, Globe: get back to me when the government starts requiring a permit before buying a printing press, restricts publishing only to those who show a "compelling need" to publish, and takes away one's right to publish for completely unrelated offenses -- all done BEFORE one exercises that right. Until then, STFU.

So are those 5 SC Justices "bitterly clinging," as BarryO might say?

35 years ago, the Supreme C... (Below threshold)
Bob:

35 years ago, the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade found a constitutional right to an abortion, residing somewhere in the penumbras and emanations of the Bill of Rights. Since then, that right has become absolute; nearly any law that might chill a woman's exercise of her "abortion rights" is unconstitutional. Now, a bare 5-4 majority of the Court have found (in 64 pages) that "...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" means there is a right to own guns for self-defense. And even the majority went out of its way to say that this "right" is not absolute; it can be restricted (infringed?) by reasonable regulation. WOW, what a victory! Clearly articulated rights should be enforced as firmly as are discovered rights like abortion and privacy.

Why is it that the first pa... (Below threshold)
Doug:

Why is it that the first part of the sentence ("A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,") get written as "..." by pro-gun folks?

This part of the 2nd amendment is also "in black and white", but it is clearly open to interpretation. Even Jay says, "From a grammatical viewpoint, the role of the first clause is questionable." The SCOTUS has decided (this time) that this clause is just a preface (and I'm okay with that decision). However, claiming the the 2nd amendment is 100% clear is a bit far-fetched.

This is a VERY long opinion... (Below threshold)

This is a VERY long opinion, considering the length of the passage it concerns. Nevertheless, the patient reader is rewarded with one of the cruelest, most 'go suck an egg, losers' statements that I think you are likely to find in a Supreme Court opinion. The statement is in Breyer's dissent, at the very end, on page 44, buried after the exhaustive historical and linguistic exercises of Scalia and Stevens. Everyone that agrees with this SCOTUS ruling and everyone that lives in or near an area with a high crime rate needs to see this statement of Breyer (joined by all 3 of the other heartless bastards):

"In my view, there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas."

".....that striking down th... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

".....that striking down the local D.C. law only makes the job of protecting elected and government offficials safe from terrorism or screwballs much more complicated if more guns are allowed on the streets of D.C."

Where have you been for the last 30+ years? DC has had one of the highest murder rates in the nation during their so-called 'gun-ban'.

Oh yeah, ban it and the criminal element will violate every law but that one. Sure.

Problem with liberals is that they carry a hammer and every problem looks like a nail.

Paul, what about JT's analo... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Paul, what about JT's analogies? How about the people who were killed, maimed and/or threatened by Newsweek using their 1st amendment rights to publish. More lives were at risk from that. And terrorists and criminals aleady have the guns. Do you actually believe the criminals and terrorists were waiting to see if this decision would favor people who purchase weapons? You liberal have such a hard time with the second amendment. It has the same weight as the other 9 period. ww

Well, I AM an English teach... (Below threshold)

Well, I AM an English teacher, and as I explain to my students, in our language meaning is determined by syntax (word order).

I also understand (although I have not checked this out personally) that the extant contemporary copies of the Bill of Rights are NOT identical in terms of comma placement; this is not surprising as English was just beginning to become standardized in terms of capitalization, spelling and punctuation. I posted a link to the Wiki article in my url.

Bottom line: the subject of the Second Amendment is "the right"; it is modified by the prepositional and infinitive phrases "of the People to keep and bear arms"; the verb is "shall not be infringed." This is in the passive voice as opposed to the active voice of the First Amendment. Grammatically speaking, this suggests that NO LAW can be passed in ANY WAY that infringes on that right. In addition, "shall" in the third person was more than simple futurity; it was a promise that is even more proscriptive than the auxiliary verb "may."

the role of the 'militia' p... (Below threshold)

the role of the 'militia' portion of the 2nd amendment is absolutely not dispensible, and I speak here to both those that agree and disagree with ruling. It is wrongheaded to argue that the 'militia' statement was tacked on or could be ellipsed out. It is, as argued thoroughly and successfully by Scalia in the majority opinion, vitally important in the end to the rest of the amendment. The entire thrust of the amendment is protection against tyranny (something the authors were familiar with), and the protection against tyranny is the militia, and the people that make up the militia are you and your neighbor, and for you and your neighbor to be free to resist tyranny you are expected to have the freedom to have a gun to defend your freedom (within reasonable limits, as ackowledged by Scalia innumerable times in this opinion).

With no right to a gun there is no right to a militia there is no right to defend your freedom (your "free state") from a tyrannical federal government. It is imperative to remember the fact that many of the people of the time had guns for hunting. They had them for defense against indians. They already HAD guns. The 2nd amendment says you shall always have the right to keep that gun (that you already have for self-defense and to kill ducks and deer and, I dunno, turkeys and stuff I suppose) to defend yourself not just against indians, but against George Washington. Because there is no way to protect your freedom from tyranny with a gun when the tyrant has the right to take away your gun, there is simply no way to read the 2nd amendment and assume that it allows the tyrant to take the gun that you could use to defend yourself against him/her. Otherwise, what on earth is the POINT of the 2nd amendment? They only had 10 of them, did they really just throw one in for fun? Did they really think it would be OK for the government to take away people's guns that they used to secure the meat they lived on unless they were in the militia? Is hunting deer some sort of militia duty?

It just does not make sense any other way. You can argue that Scalia is interpreting it wrong, but you have to offer an alternative (unless you agree that they had a few amendments in there for no real reason except to waste ink, how about chucking the cruel and unusual part? the trial by jury part?). If your alternative is 'they are saying you can have a gun only if you're in the militia' then you have failed to address the hunting and frontier self-defense aspects of life at the time. At that point you argue what? That the militia was going to be expected to do all the hunting and defense?

So goddessoftheclassroom (c... (Below threshold)
Doug:

So goddessoftheclassroom (cool name BTW), does this mean that voter registration is illegal?

15th: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

19th: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

24th: The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

26th: The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

Love it! From the greatest ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Love it! From the greatest tongue-in-cheek blog ever:

http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/05/12/99-grammar/

So goddessoftheclassroom... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

So goddessoftheclassroom (cool name BTW), does this mean that voter registration is illegal?

Doug, I'm fairly certain you just failed English. The 2nd amendment says "Shall not be infringed." Period.

Every example you just posted reads "shall not be denied or abridged" -for stated reason.

hyperbolist,"Love ... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

hyperbolist,

"Love it!" and "From the greatest tongue-in-cheek blog ever" are not complete sentences.

Man, I hate that!

Doug:No; registrat... (Below threshold)
goddessoftheclassroom:

Doug:

No; registration does not abridge or deny the right to vote. In fact, it ensures (or at least tries to in theory)that each voter is lawfully entitled to exercise his or her franchise in the election at that polling center. It also protects each vote from being negated by an illegal vote. Perhaps one could argue that registration "infringes" on the right to vote, but the Constitution does not prohibit "infringing," only "abridging" and "denying." This is why courts overturn voter ID laws: not having an ID would deny that person the right to vote. I think that only a new amendment can get around this.

Thank you for the compliment on my nic.

hyperbolist, (#12)... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

hyperbolist, (#12)

Money quote from your link-

Don't worry, it is impossible for a white person to turn down the opportunity to proofread.

No wonder I re-re-re-read almost everything I write!

I like that web site. #42- the description of sushi is pretty good!

WildWillie, certainly NEWSW... (Below threshold)

WildWillie, certainly NEWSWEEK should have realized that such atory about the Koran could incite extremism, and I wish they would have taken a little more responsibility. But I did voice support for the Supreme Court decision yesterday because I am an orthodox believer in the Bill Of Rights.

I'm a little alarmed when some get angry when I encourage gun safety and responsible gun ownership. My own experience of owning a general title bookstore was that many goofy personalities are attracted to gun books than any other type of personality. I finally stopped selling gun books becaue too many of the persons buying those books were prone to crazy or criminal behavior. I know that this certainly does not represent most gun owners, but some didn't seem very grown up and some strike me as having a few mental health issues.

I certainly hope that a lot more gunshops don't open up in D.C. because of this new court decision. While most persons will certainly be responsible, enough problems from those who are not could result as well. Gun owners need to be on their best behavior or else Congress and other governments will find new ways around the court decision or even lawyers will sue gun stores out of business when things go wrong.

I'm done writing for today. I can't see well enough to have anything more to say on this issue.

But guns will stil... (Below threshold)
CR:
But guns will still kill 80 people today in homicides, suicides, or accidents.

Gloria Bunker made a similar comment once upon a time to which Archie responded:
"Would it make you feel any better, little goil, if they was pushed outta windahs?"

Which statement would you r... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Which statement would you rather make:

"I'm so sorry, honey. I called the police, and they say they hope they will catch the man who raped and murdered you, but there's so many cases they can't promise anything." (walks away from daughter's gravesite)

"I'm sorry you had to make that choice, honey, but now you see why I insisted you carry a gun and know how to use it. That guy will never hurt anyone again, you did what you had to do. (hugs daughter)

I guess that I will... (Below threshold)


I guess that I will write one last thing here. Obscenity is an area where government has steadily raised the penalties to absurd levels including racketeering, yet has failed to prove any harm resulting from such outrageous speech. I don't know any successful lawsuits where anyone was ever awarded money by claiming that they were harmed by a book or movie either. Government should be hard pressed to justify any efforts to suppress obscene speech unless it was forced on unwilling persons through spam emails, etc.

Ummm ... Paul ... are you <... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Ummm ... Paul ... are you really trying to persuade blog readers that words and images do not influence and persuade beliefs and actions?

Think about it.

So? does this mean I throw ... (Below threshold)
JAP:

So? does this mean I throw away My 9mm weapons collection or run out and aquire more?

DJ, I would rather make statement 2.

PaulH, (#17)I f... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

PaulH, (#17)

I finally stopped selling gun books becaue too many of the persons buying those books were prone to crazy or criminal behavior. I know that this certainly does not represent most gun owners, but some didn't seem very grown up and some strike me as having a few mental health issues.

Censorship!!!

(Just kidding.) But your implied correlation between goofy behavior and gun books and gun ownership, is, well... Goofy. Perhaps there's just more goofy people in Oregon.

I certainly hope that a lot more gunshops don't open up in D.C. because of this new court decision.

I certainly hope that a lot more gun shops DO open up in D.C. Legal gun shops are NOT the bad guys here. Do you realize the red tape it takes to own one of those stores? How much trouble and how much time is spent interacting with the BATFE?? I would wager that an overwhelming majority of gun shops are legal, law-abiding businesses, and to equate the opening of "Joe's Gun Shop" with an increase in illegal activities, crime or violence, is just an unresonable stretch of the imagination.

Paul Hooson,You do... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Paul Hooson,

You do know that there are currently NO gun shops in DC, right?

So, if ONE opens, that would be a 100% increase.

Is that too much for you?

DJ, I personally think that... (Below threshold)

DJ, I personally think that readers of blogs center around blogs that only serve to affirm values and views generally already held. I guess with 7 years of college, much of it in psychology, I speak with some informed opinion here on that.

I also merely objected to the mention of coupling any obscene speech with harmful speech such as threats or shouting fire in a crowded theatre. George Carlin was once arrested for a comedy performance in a theatre, but hardly incited violence or was part of some racketeer enterprise for using the SEVEN DIRTY WORDS routine. Patrons gladly paid money, and no one complained. Some government official simply took it onself to censor Carlin's act.

Obscene speech likely arouses disgust in most persons, but perhaps masturbation in a few others. However, neither response seems to justify the six current obscenity cases in courtrooms in the United States where defendants are facing as much as 90 years in prison for simple promotion of such absurd and outrageous speech.

I've also never seen any serious film, book or art critics who support obscenity laws, only some culturally illiterate slobs who really know nothing about film or literature. The James Dobsons and Tony Perkins who rail on about their support for censorship would appear like dirt dumb book burners against a serious film critic like a Rodger Ebert who opposes it. James Dobson would be hard pressed to intelligently discuss even one popular film out in theatres or on DVD. And forget hearing anything intelligent on any new CD album by popular artists from a James Dobson.

I ran general title bookstores before, and I have a lot of respect for authors in general, although I don't like everything said in the name of free speech myself, but I respect both the First and Second Amendments which is really my point here.

Well, it's a great 90 degree day here in Portland. I'm going out to ride my CPI sport motorbike, spend some money shopping, and talk to a few pretty girls and make the most of my day while you guys sit around your computers all day. There's a big world out there. Enjoy it and don't wall yourself up with own opinions. That's how Ted Kaczynski went off the goofy. He never checked his opinions with anyone or left his Montana digs.

Consetvachef, I've never ow... (Below threshold)

Consetvachef, I've never owned a gun shop, so I don't know about the red tape personally. I've owned three TV shops, two bookstores and one record store, and I rent out real estate that I own, but never a gun shop.

That's how Ted Kaczynski... (Below threshold)

That's how Ted Kaczynski went off the goofy. He never checked his opinions with anyone or left his Montana digs.

And, oddly enough, ended up writing a manifesto that was not very distinguishable from Al Gore's writings.

Maybe we should have locked Al Gore in a Montana cabin, and put Ted in as veep...

J.

Jay, AMEN brother. Anyone c... (Below threshold)

Jay, AMEN brother. Anyone can go off the goofy with too much work, too little play. A very nice day to you.

Paul, (#26)I've kn... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

Paul, (#26)

I've known a few that owned or worked at gun shops. The red tape is epic!

Have fun with the pretty girls.

And when you're finished, show me where James Dobson supports censorship.

Paul: "That's how Ted Ka... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Paul: "That's how Ted Kaczynski went off the goofy. He never checked his opinions with anyone or left his Montana digs."

Ummmm, again, no. It is interesting to consider that Mister Kaczynski earned his first degree from an Iny league school, and all of his degrees were from schools in "blue" states. Kaczynski was a professor at Cal-Berkely shortly before he decided that he should start killing folks with bombs in order to emphasize his political points.

So 1, he did check his opinions, but never in a Conservative locale.

And 2, Kacynski was actually very well traveled, with schools and work in Masschusetts, Michigan, and California, along with visits to his family in Illinois.

According to my copy of Web... (Below threshold)
Doug:

According to my copy of Webster's dictionary:

infringe - to break

deny - to refuse to grant or give

abridge - to shorten, lessen, or curtail

So I'm not a legal scholar and I'm definitely NOT and English major (but I did pass most of my English classes), but it seems to me that "shall not be abridged" is a stronger prohibition than "shall not be infringed". So if voter registration is okay, then gun registration should theoretically be okay too. (Assuming the State can show a need or benefit for registration.)

As a side note, I own a Smith and Wesson semi-automatic 9mm pistol and I live in a state without any gun registration laws (Florida). So I guess that makes me something of a hypocrite.

"I'm very happy not to be a... (Below threshold)
Azygos:

"I'm very happy not to be a gun owner. But I support the rights of those who choose to as long as they have the good mental health to properly own one without endangering themselves, their children or someone else."

Paul,

Do you mind if I come by and put up a big sign in your front window that says "GUN FREE HOME." I'm sure your neighbors would welcome it. I know I would. Here is a good place to start to learn some facts on legal gun ownership.

http://guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvmurd.html

Hmmmmmm-7 years of college-... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Hmmmmmm-7 years of college--must have been a slow learner.

Liberals have an irrational... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Liberals have an irrational fear of guns in the hands of law abiding citizens. Thirty three states have passed shall issue laws that allow any competent, law abiding adult citizen to obtain a permit to carry handguns (some allow both concealed and open carry) These states represent more than half the population of the US, yet there's few incidences of anyone with a permit being convicted of a crime involving a weapon.

There's at least a 50% chance (given today's polls) that Obama will be our next president. Given the Supreme Court's rather weak ruling on the second amendment, it's a good bet that the democrats will bring back the fake assault weapons ban. Thus, if you want an fake assault weapon buy it soon. Also, stock up on high capacity magazines for semi automatic rifles and pistols. They were selling for many times their original price before the fake assault weapons ban expired. If you buy extras you could probably double or triple your money assuming you'll be able to sell them as was the case under the prior fake assault weapons ban.

Azygos, rest assured that m... (Below threshold)

Azygos, rest assured that my brother and I defend ourselves if we have to. When some crooks tried to rob us one night at the house, we muscled them out of their car and handed the keys over to the police. And twice I stopped some crooks from breaking into the neighbors myself. Many crooks are kind of sissy to begin with, that's why they pull the kind of stuff they do, which is unmanly like when they steal a purse from some old lady. Many of them avoid a real challenge.

At the Division Street bookstore I ran, a mentally ill guy once threatened my customers with a machete. I stood up to him and he backed down. I'm sure glad I didn't get cut, but I had an obligation to protect my customers from harm.

I certainly don't look for trouble, but I'll respond to it if I have to. If some of you guys need a gun because you don't have the balls, then fine. But I've prevented a few incidents and never needed any gun myself, so I don't have one.

That's great Paul. And I m... (Below threshold)
Mike:

That's great Paul. And I mean that seriously, I'm glad neither you nor anyone else was hurt. Now, what does my 105 pound daughter do when said machete wielding nutjob shows up?

Calling a pistol an 'equalizer' is a slang term of sorts, or it used to be anyway. But that's just what they do. A pistol makes my daughter the equal, in terms of physical force, to some maniac who outweighs her by a hundred pounds. Barring that, she is left with hoping he's not TOO crazy, or she can outrun him, or that a good samaritan like yourself shows up.

This part of the 2nd ame... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

This part of the 2nd amendment is also "in black and white", but it is clearly open to interpretation. Even Jay says, "From a grammatical viewpoint, the role of the first clause is questionable." The SCOTUS has decided (this time) that this clause is just a preface (and I'm okay with that decision). However, claiming the the 2nd amendment is 100% clear is a bit far-fetched.

What is NOT open to interpretation is that the 2nd is written to prevent the Government from taking away the right.

See Presser v. Illinois and United States v. Cruikshank for other SCOTUS views on the 2nd. Both of them affirm that the Amendment's purpose is to restrict the Government or State, not the People.

"Love it!" and "From the... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

"Love it!" and "From the greatest tongue-in-cheek blog ever" are not complete sentences.

Well, "Love it!" is a complete sentence as the Subject ("I" if declarative, "You" if imperative) is implied. A functional sentence must at least contain a verb and an object (Japanese does this A LOT, but then Japanese can get away with both subject AND object implied in many cases).

"From the greatest tongue-in-cheek blog ever", however is a clause, and thus not a complete (or valid standalone) sentence.

So goddessoftheclassroom... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

So goddessoftheclassroom (cool name BTW), does this mean that voter registration is illegal?

Strawman. The purpose of voter registration is to confirm that LEGAL-AGE US CITIZENS are allowed to vote. That's it. Your four examples tell the government what it CANNOT use to disqualify someone to vote.

You seemed to have overlooked the "by reason of" and "on account of" parts of the paragraphs.

Voter registration does not take into account race, sex, creed, colour, religion, or sexual orientation for that matter. Age and citizenship. That's it. And those (by process of elimiation) are the only two reasons, with the exception of the 14th Amendment, section 1:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

..which allows felony disenfranchisement (of which only three states still use to bar voting by ex-felons).

I finally stopped sellin... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

I finally stopped selling gun books becaue too many of the persons buying those books were prone to crazy or criminal behavior.

Hm..were these persons subjected to a psychological exam or a background check in the store? Or they just "look" crazy. I mean, when I see a long-haired hippy, I could surmise that he is a walking bacteriological petrie dish because he "looks" unwashed.

Why is it that the first... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Why is it that the first part of the sentence ("A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,") get written as "..." by pro-gun folks?

Why not? The objective (and operating) clause still stands. "The right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." It could be written "A well-regulated nuclear reactor, being...", and although it's a silly rationale, doesn't change the functional statement that follows.

"Because I overslept, I was late for work." The fact remains that I did not arrive on time, whatever reason or justification the preface states.

Azygos, rest assured tha... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Azygos, rest assured that my brother and I defend ourselves if we have to. When some crooks tried to rob us one night at the house, we muscled them out of their car and handed the keys over to the police. And twice I stopped some crooks from breaking into the neighbors myself. Many crooks are kind of sissy to begin with, that's why they pull the kind of stuff they do, which is unmanly like when they steal a purse from some old lady. Many of them avoid a real challenge.

Many, but not ALL. There have been many reported cases of violent burglaries which ended with the deaths of the homeowners. Many old ladies have been mugged as well. It is, of course, your choice to play the odds.

At the Division Street bookstore I ran, a mentally ill guy once threatened my customers with a machete. I stood up to him and he backed down. I'm sure glad I didn't get cut, but I had an obligation to protect my customers from harm.

Yes, good thing you didn't get cut, or cut down, because you would have failed in your obligation to protect said customers.

If, however, you had shot the fucker dead (or at least injured him to the point that he could do no further harm) your obligation would have been fulfilled completely.

If some of you guys need a gun because you don't have the balls

Well, since many gun-owners are women, who literally do not have balls, that's a pretty valid reason. Otherwise, that is a petty inflamatory statement. Unlike golf, your opponent isn't going to give you a handicap because he is 260 lbs and 6'5" wielding a bat while you are 150 lbs, 5'7" wielding a sharp tongue.




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