Washington May Lead the Way for U.S. Supreme Court Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to make a critical decision on the Second Amendment this term. This week the court will hear the oral arguments of McDonald v. Chicago. The decision will apply to all states, but the Supreme Court of Washington State recently made a similar decision for its citizens. In mid-February, the court ruled on State v. Sieyes, stating that an individual’s right to bear arms, guaranteed by the Second Amendment, applies to states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Pacific Legal Foundation gives a wonderful summary of the case and how the Court reached its conclusion here. The Sieyes ruling only applies to the state of Washington, but hopefully this is an indication of how the U.S. Supreme Court may reach a conclusion which would protect a citizen’s liberty and freedom.


Karla Kay Edwards is Rural Policy Analyst at Cascade Policy Institute.

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  • Anonymous

    Why is a state court making an incorporation decision regarding federal law? And why didn’t Washington State just look to its own constitution to find a right to keep and bear arms?

  • Anonymous

    OK, I am a big pro-gun guy, I support individual RKBA, am an NRA patron member and a constitutional scholar. And that opinion is a lot of fluff.

    There was no need to even address the US Constitution. The Washington State Constitution is clearly at least as protective as the individual as the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution. As this was a question of state, not federal, law, the Washington Constitution is controlling absent incorporation of the 2nd Amendment, and because the Washington Constitution is equal or greater in its protection of the individual right, the holding on incorporation was superfluous and moot – mere dicta.

    Further, section III of the opinion shows that, regardless of the incorporation of the 2nd Amendment, the Washington statute does not unconstitutionally infringe on the RKBA.

    This is an example of the lack of judicial restraint running rampant in our courts.

    Good justices would have begun their analysis with section III, and found that regardless of incorporation, the statute would remain constitutional – then left the entire incorporation argument out of the opinion.

    • Gulf Coast Freedom

      It says the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, not just congress shall make no law. Pretty clear that no one in public office can infringe on this.

      http://www.mississippiconservative.com

      Joe Tegerdine will replace Gene Taylor in Congress, at least Joe is honest but I am sure Democrats do not want that either.

      http://www.joetegerdine.com

  • Rupert in Springfield

    One thing this is a good example of is the need of judges, either on the state or federal level to leave a mark of some kind.

    That’s ok. It is simple human nature, everyone wants to have some effect on the world and that appears to be the reason the Washington Supreme Court took this case.

    We go through page after page of the authors opinions on incorporation only to find the appeal rejected in a sparse judgment of several sentences having nothing to do with incorporation whatsoever.

    Why was this done? Why go through all of this wrangling on incorporation only to reject appeal because an age restriction does not constitute complete abrogation of the right, either in the state or federal constitution?

    The answer is it is simply a legal letter to the editor. The judges took the case not because they though it had any merit but because it was an opportunity to express the sense of the WA Supreme Court to the federal one.

    Will there be 2nd amendment incorporation post McDonald?

    Yes, or in a case soon thereafter. The winds of change, or rather recognition of original understanding, are quite clearly at the doorstep on this issue. Society simply cannot support a tortured erroneous reading of history to support a concept that is at odds with both original understanding, and the present day sucess of gun ownership in fostering personal safety.

    Does that mean there will be significant change post second amendment incorporation? No, and in this regard the WA case has some import. As we saw in the WA case, an outright ban would not be permissable, but anything short of that would be. Expect registration and licensing fees along with taxation of the gun owner to pay for the costs associated with crimes committed with a gun.

    Constitutions and the precedents that follow serve as a restraint on government. Indeed that is their purpose. However they in no way serve as a mean of insulating the populous from their decision to elect tyrants.

    • Anonymous

      “Expect registration and licensing fees along with taxation of the gun owner to pay for the costs associated with crimes committed with a gun.”

      Which should also be unconstitutional – just as a tax on speech or religion would be. In fact, the age restriction should be unconstitutional. You don’t lose your right to free speech because you are only 17 – and courts (state and federal) are falling over themselves looking for cases to rule that (for example) high schools can’t stop students from publishing controversial material or keep students from forming religious clubs.

      If freedom FROM religion had an age requirement, then schools could force students to pray. But they can’t.

      Once we get to incorporation, virtually every anti-gun law becomes void. About the only ones that can legitimately remain and be consistent with other abrogations of our rights are laws about felons using guns. There is a lot of precedent allowing laws that restrict the rights of convicted felons, and they should apply here as well. But taxes, licenses, permits, fees, age restrictions, time manner place restrictions – all of them are out the window.

      So next will come the “clear and present danger” argument – can’t have guns in public because it is like yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. Except that will fail a strict scrutiny test because there is ample evidence to suggest that people having guns in public does not cause crime or dangerous panic.

      • valley p

        So tanks, bazookas, machine guns, M-16s, and nuclear warheads are all in play then. Why should the government prevent me from being as well armed as they are? Its clearly unconstitutional right?

        “Except that will fail a strict scrutiny test because there is ample evidence to suggest that people having guns in public does not cause crime or dangerous panic.”

        I would guess you have never spent time in an urban neighborhood where a drug war is going on,a shootout in progress, and innocent people running for their lives or diving for cover. For example Washington DC or Chicago. I would guess the 5 “conservatives” on the court have also not spent much time in these neighborhoods.

        Oh wait. But since it is illegal to have a shootout in an urban neighborhood, we should not have to worry because it is covered. And since all the innocent bystanders can arm themselves, that is good as backup.

        You people are not “constitutionalists. You are stark raving mad. The US has the 4th highest rate of gun related deaths in the world. Do we really want to be number 1? Ahead of Mexico and Brazil (and Estonia…who would have thougt)?

        • Steve Plunk

          Stark raving mad? Who’s arguing the absurdity of owning tanks and bazookas? And what about the countries that didn’t grant gun ownership rights? The Soviets? China? How many of their own people did they kill? What about the fact there are still gun battles though illegal? Don’t you think there will still be guns if illegal? The founders adopted that amendment for a reason and even included a mechanism for changing it if we wish. So far we haven’t wished it enough since there it is still with us.

          • valley p

            “Who’s arguing the absurdity of owning tanks and bazookas?”

            Stark raving mad if you want to live in a world where the government cannot restrict your right to any weapon you can lay your hands on, which is the implication of a fundamentalist view of the 2nd amendment expressed by Mr or Ms anonymous. And if you say the 2nd amendment right stops at handguns or rifles, then what is the basis for this? If government cannot infringe on my right to have a weapon, why can it choose which weapon I can or can’t have? It is simply illogical to argue government cannot prevent me (constitutionally) from having a handgun but can prevent me from having an RPG.

            “And what about the countries that didn’t grant gun ownership rights?”

            The Iraqis under Saddam were not only well armed, every adult male was REQUIRED to have one AK 47. That did not seem to deter Saddam.

            “What about the fact there are still gun battles though illegal?”

            Yes, gun battles in the streets are illegal. So why not have illegal gun battle with machine guns or RPGs? What is the constitutional argument?

            “Don’t you think there will still be guns if illegal? ”

            Yes. But I’m not arguing guns should be illegal. People in Chicago and DC could still own guns under the local laws, but not certain types of handguns, machine guns, and so forth. I’m arguing that it is constitutional to regulate the presence of guns in society, including restricting the type of weapon, how many one has, who sells them, what sorts of bullets can be sold, whether one needs to pass a test and be licensed, and so forth.

            “The founders adopted that amendment for a reason”

            They left few tracks as to their reason. Was it in order to have a well regulated militia or in order for people to be able to protect themselves against their government? If the latter then people would need more than pop guns. I don’t really know what the founders had in mind and neither do you, nor does Scalia. But more importantly, “arms” at that time were single shot muskets. Had there been modern weaponry, they might have written that amendment a bit differently. If we limited the constitutional right to single shot muskets I would have no problem with it.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            *anonymous*

            “Once we get to incorporation, virtually every anti-gun law becomes void. About the only ones that can legitimately remain and be consistent with other abrogations of our rights are laws about felons using guns.”

            I don’t think that will be the case. Constitutional rights are limited and the felon example is a good one. No where is it mentioned that felons cannot have a gun, yet this exception is made.

            “So next will come the “clear and present danger” argument – can’t have guns in public because it is like yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. Except that will fail a strict scrutiny test because there is ample evidence to suggest that people having guns in public does not cause crime or dangerous panic.”

            Maybe, however I do think licensing will survive. When that happens it will simply be a matter of charging excessive fees.

            *Dean*

            “So tanks, bazookas, machine guns, M-16s, and nuclear warheads are all in play then. Why should the government prevent me from being as well armed as they are? Its clearly unconstitutional right?”

            Please study the issue before coming up with comments like this. This argument has been asked and answered endlessly. See the Miller case. There is no protection for nuclear warheads or tanks because they are in no way suited for militia use.

            This argument is as old as the hills and I am surprised even you are obviously unaware of it.

            “The US has the 4th highest rate of gun related deaths in the world. Do we really want to be number 1? Ahead of Mexico and Brazil (and Estonia…who would have thougt)?”

            Again, this argument has been asked and answered. You really need to study up on this issue or refrain from commenting on it with absurdities such as this.

            The US has always had a higher rate than countries with gun control that it is compaired to on this issue. The disparity in gun related deaths has never been correlated to the comparison countries increasing gun control with the US relaxing it.

            “And if you say the 2nd amendment right stops at handguns or rifles, then what is the basis for this? If government cannot infringe on my right to have a weapon, why can it choose which weapon I can or can’t have? It is simply illogical to argue government cannot prevent me (constitutionally) from having a handgun but can prevent me from having an RPG.”

            Please, do us all a favour and pick up a book once in a while. This argument has been answered so many times one has to be completely unfamiliar with the entire situation to be unaware of it.

            For once, admit you are wrong, or at the very least ignorant and try and learn something before continuing this sort of absurd tired argument.

            “I’m arguing that it is constitutional to regulate the presence of guns in society, including restricting the type of weapon,”

            Actually you are not. You are making a statement, not an argument. If you have an argument let us hear your reasoning. The nukes and tanks thing has been dealt with. Now kindly move on to something a little less tired and give a cogent reason why you think the second amendment does not apply to guns you don’t like. And no, the fact that you don’t like the gun doesn’t count.

            “They left few tracks as to their reason. Was it in order to have a well regulated militia or in order for people to be able to protect themselves against their government?”

            Book

            Read book, please.

            Pick up book, sit down with Cheerios, read book not back of Cheerios.

            It’s the thing with all the paper in it.

            The founders gave explicit reasoning for the second amendment as well as its intentions in the Federalist Papers.

            There is no way anyone could have read the Federalist Papers and come away with the ludicrous statement that you make here.

            Please, I implore you, admit you don’t know something and read up on it. This idea that the founders left “few tracks as to their reason” is patently absurd and anyone with even the most basic knowledge of the constitution should be aware of that. It is simply not true.

            “I don’t really know what the founders had in mind and neither do you, nor does Scalia.”

            Well, except for the Federalist Papers, which was an explicit statement of the reasoning and what the founders had in mind when adopting the Constitution.

            How completely ignorant of the founding of the country does one have to be to not know that?

            “But more importantly, “arms” at that time were single shot muskets. Had there been modern weaponry, they might have written that amendment a bit differently.”

            Oh good lord, seriously?

            Rights inherent to man, given by God do not depend on technology, sorry.

            “If we limited the constitutional right to single shot muskets I would have no problem with it. ”

            Well, luckily things are not dependent on you and court precident would not support you on this. Single shot muskets are not suitable for militia use. There is no militia or army on the planet armed with them.
            Look, you simply need to go and read up a little on this. You are clearly out of your depth.

            Please, take a pause, admit maybe you don’t know about this issue and try and learn something about it. This would be an excellent time for you, in the privacy of your own home to admit that yes, Dean can be wrong. I wont call you on it and you would really be doing yourself a favour.

            Thanks.

  • Bob Tiernan

    *valley p:*

    So tanks, bazookas, machine guns, M-16s, and nuclear warheads are all in play then. Why should the government prevent me from being as well armed as they are?

    *Bob T:*

    But the 2nd isn’t really about the people’s ability to remain as well armed as the government.

    What you’re saying is that in order to keep one from having a bazooka or Stinger missile, he
    must be denied a right to have a .22 caliber pistol.

    *valley p:*

    The US has the 4th highest rate of gun related deaths in the world. Do we really want to be number 1?

    *Bob :*

    An opinion on the 2nd should not and cannot be based on such a statistic.

    Japan has virtually no guns available for people to buy (or steal), yet there is a high suicide
    rate (including the method of stepping in front of high speed trains). In other places, knives can be used to kill. A gun ban will only marginally change the statistics regarding cause of death.

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

    • valley p

      “What you’re saying is that in order to keep one from having a bazooka or Stinger missile, he
      must be denied a right to have a .22 caliber pistol.”

      Not at all. I’m suggesting the opposite. I’m saying is that if one takes the position that the 2nd amendment prohibits the government from restricting the right to own weapons, then that must mean all available weapons. What in the 2nd amendment allows the government to say we can have a handgun but not an RPG? What is the constitutional basis for that distinction?

      “A gun ban will only marginally change the statistics regarding cause of death.”

      Its a lot harder to kill an innocent bystander with a knife. A lot harder to kill 4 people in a restaurant who get between you and your estranged wife with a knife. A lot less likely that your kid will by accident stab herself than shoot herself (or a friend). A lot less likely that some road rage nut will be able to hit me with a knife in a drive by. But even if you are correct, you are making a policy argument, not a constitutional one.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        “Its a lot harder to kill an innocent bystander with a knife. A lot harder to kill 4 people in a restaurant who get between you and your estranged”

        Yawn…. this one is so tired it is ridiculous.

        A right is not abrogated by the fact that eliminating it would make society safer.

        We would all be safer if trial by jury was eliminated so that convictions were not overturned on technicalities. If the speed limit was 20 miles per hour and if freedom of the press was eliminated so subversive literature could not be published and foment insurrection we would all be safer as well.

        The fact that things might be safer without a right than with it is not an argument for eliminating that right, sorry.

        • valley p

          “Please study the issue before coming up with comments like this. This argument has been asked and answered endlessly. See the Miller case. There is no protection for nuclear warheads or tanks because they are in *no way suited for militia use* .”

          I thought the whole point was that the finding said an individual has a right to bear arms irrespective of belonging to any militia. And strangely enough, a nuclear weapon would have a lot more use to a militia (i.e. teh national guard) than a mere handgun. What use does a handgun have to a militia?

          “Please, do us all a favour and pick up a book once in a while. This argument has been answered so many times one has to be completely unfamiliar with the entire situation to be unaware of it.”

          Then enlighten me o wise one. Tell me where it has been answered, and by who. What is the basis for determining which weapons I can have or can’t have?

          “For once, admit you are wrong, ”

          This is from Rupert, who makes 6 documented errors in a single post, yet does not own up to (or defend) any of them? Please. Take your holier than thou act somewhere else. You have zero credibility telling anyone to admit anything.

          “The nukes and tanks thing has been dealt with. ”

          You keep saying that. By whom? Does the NRA agree? Where does it say nukes, tanks, RPGs, etc are ok to ban but handguns are not? That is in the constitution? That is discussed in the Federalist papers? Give me a citation.

          “Well, except for the Federalist Papers, which was an explicit statement of the reasoning and what the founders had in mind when adopting the Constitution.”

          I’m talking about the 2nd amendment Rupert. For 150 years the “well regulated militia” held sway. Last year Scalia said otherwise. Its an individual right. Can’t be infringed on. Why can’t I have an RPG then? What is the legal argument?

          “Rights inherent to man, given by God do not depend on technology, sorry.”

          Then why can’t I have an RPG? An F-16? Don’t tell me its been settled. Tell me why my inherent right to be armed as I see fit can be infringed on.

          “court precident would not support you on this. ”

          Since when does court precedent matter to Thomas, Roberts, Scalia and Alito?

          “admit maybe you don’t know about this issue and try and learn something about it.”

          Yes master. Enlighten me. Here is your big chance. Tell me where the clear line has been drawn as to what arms are infringable and what are not, and where this is mentioned in the constitution.

          “A right is not abrogated by the fact that eliminating it would make society safer.”

          Then I CAN have my RPG? Oh goodie. Can’t wait to test it out.

          “The fact that things might be safer without a right than with it is not an argument for eliminating that right, sorry. ”

          Which is exactly my point. Its either a non-infringable right or it isn’t.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >I thought the whole point was that the finding said an individual has a right to bear arms irrespective of belonging to any militia. And strangely enough, a nuclear weapon would have a lot more use to a militia (i.e. teh national guard) than a mere handgun. What use does a handgun have to a militia?

            Oh God,

            Look, please, research the issue a little. The militia is not the National Guard for reasons that have been illustrated endlessly by virtually anyone who has written on this topic. No one of any note, not even those opposed to the second amendment, holds to this argument. Even Lawrence Tribe (look up who he is) has no patience for the National Guard dullness.

            I already told you the case, look it up.

            For the love of God, get a book, or look something up. In short just to yourself, not to me, not on this blog but just to yourself, admit you can be wrong and then start to learn something.

            I told you the relevant case and you cant even be bothered to look it up, you just babble on.

            >This is from Rupert, who makes 6 documented errors in a single post, yet does not own up to (or defend) any of them? Please. Take your holier than thou act somewhere else. You have zero credibility telling anyone to admit anything.

            I have admitted to you when I have been wrong in a forthright and up front manner.

            You aren’t going to get anywhere with this sort of nonsense.

            Remember, you are the fool who though illegal aliens had no standing in front of the supreme court.

            I will warn you, I am doing the exact same strategy here that I did in that argument.

            I have even told you the case law to look up you can’t be bothered, you would simply rather continue to make the same mistake over and over and over.

            Why?

            because you cant admit you are wrong and look something up, Even when someone tells you what to look up!

            >You keep saying that. By whom? Does the NRA agree? Where does it say nukes, tanks, RPGs, etc are ok to ban but handguns are not? T

            Oh my God, you complete and utter idiot.

            I cited the case.

            Learn

            Read

            Book

            Pick up

            Obviously I have to cite the case again.

            Miller you complete boob.

            Miller you complete boob

            Miller you complete boob.

            Got it?

            Good!

            >I’m talking about the 2nd amendment Rupert. For 150 years the “well regulated militia” held sway. Last year Scalia said otherwise. Its an individual right. Can’t be infringed on

            No it didn’t. There has never been a precedent that said the second amendment only protected a group right in the sense of a militia.

            How did this inane idea pop into your head?

            The only way in which the group, or militia, interpretation has ever had any legal relevance was in statements by the justice department from time to time.

            However that is policy, not a legal finding, and the justice department has not even been consistent in that policy.

            Therefore this 150 years BS is….well… BS.

            Scalia hardly was out of step with legal scholarship on this issue with the individual rights finding. Indeed the majority of legal scholarship, from both those opposed and in support of the second amendment holds to the individual rights interpretation. Scalia’s judgment was a statement of present day reasoning.

            Interestingly, BO, who probably is not knowledgeable on this issue, was out of step with current legal theory on the matter when before the decision he held the DC ban constitutional.

            While the Supreme Court decision in Heller was not surprising, most legal scholars thought the decision would come down as it did, BO’s assessment prior to the verdict was bizarre. Thus proving one can be a lecturer on constitutional law, as BO was briefly, without knowing the specifics of a given issue, such as the second amendment.

            If it makes you feel any better, BO was clearly out of his depth on the issue of the second amendment just as you clearly are.

            But back to the issue at hand –

            You said we cant know what was in the founders head because they left precious little for us to go on.

            There are whole federalist papers written not only on the constitution as a whole but on the second amendment specifically.

            Obviously you are unaware of this. I told you of their existence, and again, you cannot admit you are wrong, so you can’t look them up. Another example of your inability to learn a damn thing.

            The federalist papers almost uniformly speak of individual rights to bear arms in conjunction to the second amendment. They specifically state the goal of the second ammendment is that every man be armed.

            If you would actually admit you dont know something, and look it up, you would have the ability to learn.

            You don’t so you are condemned to ignorance.

            >Then why can’t I have an RPG? An F-16? Don’t tell me its been settled. Tell me why my inherent right to be armed as I see fit can be infringed on.

            Miller you complete boob.

            Militia use you complete boob.

            Miller you complete boob.

            Militia use you complete boob.

            Miller you complete boob

            Militia use you complete boob.

            For the love of God, admit you are wrong and look something up and learn.

            In case you missed it.

            Miller you complete boob.

            Militia use you complete boob.

            Miller you complete boob.

            Militia use you complete boob.

            Miller you complete boob.

            Militia use you complete boob.

            >Since when does court precedent matter to Thomas, Roberts, Scalia and Alito?

            Well, since they cite it all the time, obviously rather frequently.

            >Yes master. Enlighten me. Here is your big chance. Tell me where the clear line has been drawn as to what arms are infringable and what are not, and where this is mentioned in the constitution.

            Miller you complete boob.

            Miller you complete boob.

            Miller you complete boob.

            Miller you complete boob.

            Miller you complete boob.

            Miller you complete boob.

            >Then I CAN have my RPG? Oh goodie. Can’t wait to test it out.

            Never in the history of man has there been someone as utterly incapable of learning anything as you.

            Look, this is exactly like the idiot argument you made that illegals have no standing in front of the Supreme Court.

            You know about trees and windmill siting. I have always aknowledged that. On the Supreme Court, I know quite a bit more than you and on this issue in particular. I have devoted more than a fair amount of study to it.

            On the Supremes illegal issue, I cited a tangential case to see if you would bother to look it up.

            If you had, it would have lead you directly to Plyler v. Doe, the decision which gave rights to public school education to illegal minors.

            I am doing the exact same thing here.

            I have given you the case to see if you would bother to look it up and end you idiotic argument.

            I knew you wouldn’t because I knew you would rather be a fool and keep making the same mistake.

            Your stupid RPG argument was settled decades ago. The Supreme court has answered it as has the NRA and ever legal scholar on the subject.

            Yet you act like it is a novel concept.

            It isn’t, I have answered why and given you the case laws to start discovering why.

            Of course you cannot admit you are wrong and thus you cannot learn.

            This has been another crystal clear demonstration of that.

            Thank you.

            Miller you complete boob.

            Miller you complete boob

            Miller you complete boob.

            Miller you complete boob.

            >Which is exactly my point. Its either a non-infringable right or it isn’t.

            No, your point was that it was harder to kill someone with a knife than with a gun.

            This was in answer to someones contention that a gun ban would not change death statistics.

            While both of you may be right or wrong, it is irrelevant. Rights are not abrogated by society being safer without them.

            The right to keep and bear arms is not infiringable any more than the right to free speech is.

            *WARNING* – It is not my job to give you a complete education on this subject. The case law I have cited in this and my previous post is a good first step. You will need to educate yourself further than just reading that case however.

            I would suggest you do so, the RPG argument illustrates nothing other than that the person making it has absolutely no knowledge of the second amendment or the legal history surrounding it.

            Go and learn something. I wont call you on being wrong, Ive pretty much given that up at this stage.

            This insistence you have on remaining ignorant rather than simply reading up on a subject is starting to waste a lot of time here.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            *NOTE TO DEAN – THE CASE LAW IS MILLER. LOOK IT UP*

            This is just in case you missed it. It has been posted in one line so its real easy to read.

            *THE CASE LAW IS MILLER*

            OK? there, you have it again.

            That’s three posts citing it. Maybe now you can be bothered to look it up and actually learn something rather than continuing to make ignorant arguments.

            *THE CASE LAW IS MILLER*

  • Anonymous

    Actually, I think the people SHOULD be allowed to arm themselves with tanks and missiles. But then, who could afford it? Certainly not gang bangers. The rich could – but then, have you seen what private security firms like Blackwater can already do for the rich?

    Here is the bottom line:

    The Second Amendment exists as a check of power against the government. The people retain the final right to defend themselves against oppression. Right now, the government has a standing army with tanks, bazookas, machine guns, helicopters and more. In the event of full fledged rebellion, millions of people could be cut down by Uncle Sam. Think not? Then look at the Soviet Union, China, Nazi Germany, the Killing Fields of Cambodia, Rwanda, Sudan…

    Do I think it WILL happen here? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean never.

    Now, what happens if some idiot runs amok with a machine gun? That idiot will eventually be gunned down. By cops. With bigger guns than we have. That is, if the idiot doesn’t kill himself first, or get gunned down by some other citizen first. Is this perfect? No, it isn’t. But no matter how hard you try to idiot proof the world, nature will make a more perfect idiot.

    So by all means, go buy yourself some crew served weapons.

    Now – here is the other thing to keep in mind:

    If SCOTUS rules in such a way, do you have to agree with this policy, and does America have to live with it?

    NO.

    I believe the Second Amendment, as it is written, as it was intended by the Founders, means what I have said. But we have this handy little power called “amending the Constitution.” You know, like was done to write the Second AMENDMENT.

    If SCOTUS rules (correctly) that the Second Amendment guarantees and individual right to own military weaponry and incorporates it against the states, then they may be the law of the land – but it is not necessarily the FINAL law. If you don’t like it, then start a movement to AMEND THE CONSTITUTION.

    You don’t get to ignore the Constitution just because you don’t like what it says. It is the law of the land, and the law that supercedes all others. But you can change it. Get supermajorities in Congress and 3/4 the states to agree with you, and make it so.

    • valley p

      “Now, what happens if some idiot runs amok with a machine gun? That idiot will eventually be gunned down. By cops. With bigger guns than we have. That is, if the idiot doesn’t kill himself first, or get gunned down by some other citizen first. Is this perfect? No, it isn’t. But no matter how hard you try to idiot proof the world, nature will make a more perfect idiot.

      Here here. That is what I was looking for. A full throated defense of my right to own a hummer with a machine gun mounted in a turret. Come and get me coppers! Now we are talking. Never mind these weanie pop guns.

      And by the way, you certainly proved your point about nature making a more perfect idiot.

      Rupert lies: “I have admitted to you when I have been wrong in a forthright and up front manner.
      You aren’t going to get anywhere with this sort of nonsense.”

      So I missed your admitting you mistated 1.6 million jobs as 0.6 and then accused me of lying about the correct number? I missed you admitting Arlen Specter has not been a democrat for a year, and nor for that matter was Al Franken seated that long ago? I missed you admitting that Scott Brown ran more of a campaign than merely running against health care? All this and more just last week? Boy I miss a lot around here Rupert. I need to check under the sofa for your mea culpas.

      But you are right about one thing. I can’t get anywhere laying facts out in front of your nose. I have learned that lesson.

      “The right to keep and bear arms is not infiringable any more than the right to free speech is.”

      Thank you Rupert. That is the answer I was looking for. Can’t be infringed. Then I CAN own any weapon I can lay my hands on, not just little pistols. Heller trumps Miller, and soon McDonald will trump Heller. There will no longer be any need to drag militias into this. We can be fully armed and look out for our own personal defense against all comers. The ultimate triumph of right wing nut case anarchy.

      “WARNING – It is not my job to give you a complete education on this subject. ”

      Thank goodness for that, because you seem to have no freaking idea what you are blathering about.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >Rupert lies:

        Wrong.

        I have admitted to you I was wrong about Sen Reids First name. Another Senators first name, and my statement that interest on the debt was 20% of the budget, which was a decades old figure.

        I have actually restated my admissions of being wrong on those issues several times now. Each time in response to your childish assertion that I never admit when I am wrong.

        I do, I have and I have laid it out for you again.

        Again you cannot admit you are wrong, that I have admitted such and you are mistaken in your assertions to the contrary, so you will continue to assert that I have never made such a statement.

        There it is in black and white, will you quietly admit to yourself that you are wrong and learn?

        No!

        You will continue to make the same assertion because you are incapable of learning anything, and thus I will continually be able to shoot fish in a barrel like this.

        >So I missed your admitting you mistated 1.6 million jobs as 0.6 and then accused me of lying about the correct number?

        Wrong

        What you missed is your own numbers.

        To re-iterate.

        At the time the CBO estimated 0.6 to 1.6 million jobs. Those were the figures I used and as I recall I used the high figure to calculate the cost per job in order to give BO every benifit of the doubt.

        You then the next day went on to change that to 2 million jobs.

        At that point I accused you of changing your numbers. I mean even for you, going from 1.6 M to 2M the next day is a little absurd on the Obama lap dog scale.

        >But you are right about one thing. I can’t get anywhere laying facts out in front of your nose. I have learned that lesson.

        Well, unfortunately you never argued any facts, you just went on with this absurd nukes stuff which has been answered as I have stated.

        Assertion is not argument nor is it fact. When they are refuted by case law ( Miller ) and historical context ( Federalist Papers ) as I did, you pretty much have nothing.

        Dean – You cant learn anything. I know that, you know that, we all know it.

        You still have not looked up Miller, you still are being a boob with this nit wit stuff about owning nukes.

        If it comes of the DNC fax machine you might memorize it, but as far as actually learning anything that might counter some view that pops into your head, forget it.

        Our last Supremes argument I whooped your butt when you made the inane statement that illegals had no standing in the Supreme Court.

        Does it enter your head to maybe look something up the next time a Supremes discussion comes up?

        No!

        Of course not.

        Because you cant ever learn, you cant ever admit someone might know something more than you. Even when that person admits you know more than they do on other topics,as I have.

        Here you made the inane statement that we cant know what was in the Founders heads regarding the constitution. Thus you indicated a complete ignorance of the Federalist papers which are expositions on exactly that subject.

        What kind of fool gets into a discussion of the Constitution without knowing what the Federalist papers are?

        Dean, that’s who.

        You then said nothing was written regarding what they meant in the Second Amendment.

        Again, utterly wrong.

        The Federalist papers, something unknown to you apparently, address the Second amendment pretty explicitly. It’s purpose is that every man be armed, and it says it right in them.

        You actually have to have a copy, and have read them,

        Its not an easy Wikipedia thing to learn.

        Sit down with the Federalist papers and actually read them. Then you wouldn’t make idiotic statements like the founders did not leave a lot as to their thinking with the Constitution.

        This is twice now, the first being the Plyler decision, where I have illustrated your complete and utter ignorance on the subject.

        Ill admit I am utterly ignorant on where to site a windmill and forestry. I don’t know a damn thing about them. I couldn’t identify a larch from a spruce from a doug fir at least in tree form. That’s why I don’t get into discussion about that sort of thing with you, Ill admit to your expertise.

        You need to either admit to yourself your ignorance on the matter and read up on it, refrain from entering discussions about the Constitution and Supremes precident, or get real used to looking incompetant. Take your pick, my bet would be that because you cannot admit wrong, you will pick the latter.

        • valley p

          Rupert writes once again, for what possible reason know one can ever know: “At the time the CBO estimated *0.6* to 1.6 million jobs. Those were the figures I used and as I recall I used the high figure to calculate the cost per job in order to give BO every benifit of the doubt.”

          Rupert…how utterly obtuse can you possibly be? Do I have to keep clipping in the same quotes over and over? OK, here is the exchange one more time. Let me see you deny reality once again, run away and hide, or maybe finally admit you were wrong:

          I (VP) wrote: *Economic analysis by the CBO and several non-partisan economic modelers puts the number of jobs created in the neighborhood of 2 million* .

          You (Rupert) responded: *Wrong, CBO estimated 0.6 to 1.6M . I don’t know if that’s what they actually estimated, I am just going off the figure you quoted a couple of days ago . If you are now changing that figure, that’s a whole mess o jobs in just a couple of days* .

          And here is the exact quote from me (once again) that your memory or inability to read completely flubbed:

          * IHS Global Insight, Moody’s, and Macroeconomic Advisors (all politically neutral entities) estimate the stimulus is responsible for 1.6-1.8 million jobs to date , and expect the net to be 2.5 million by the time all the money is spent. The CBO, also politically neutral, says this estimate is overly conservative, and the numbers are higher* .

          The number, 0.6 million is nowhere in sight, by a factor of 1 million. It only exists in your mysterious head. The LOWEST ESTIMATE WAS 1.6 MILLION. 1.6 MILLION. 1.6 MILLION. I AM TYPING IN ALL CAPS & REPEATING MYSELF TO GIVE YOU A BETTER CHANCE OF ACTUALLY SEEING WHAT I AM WRITING. You keep on repeating 0.6 million it as if it is some sort of alternative reality. And I guess that is what it is. Your alternative reality. Give it up. You are becoming an embarrassment, and that is quite an accomplishment here on Catalyst.

          “You still have not looked up Miller”

          Yes Rupert, I did look up Miller. The Supremes said sawed off shotguns Gatts, weapons associated with urban gangs but not “well regulated militias” can be regulated by the BATF. And in Heller 5 Supremes said (paraphrasing) screw the militia, people have a right to weapons for their own defense, at least in DC.And the same 5 are about to expand that right outside DC.

          Ergo…as our anonymous friend agrees, I have a right to a turret mounted machine gun on my Hummer, which I can demonstrate is useful for both self defense and if needed, would be very useful if I am called up to serve in a militia to help repel a Canadian invasion. What are you some sort of liberal wimp? You don’t want me exercising my God given rights? You can pry my RPG from my cold dead fingers.

          “Take your pick, my bet would be that because you cannot admit wrong, you will pick the latter. ”

          “Pot…you are black” said the kettle.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      >Right now, the government has a standing army with tanks, bazookas, machine guns, helicopters and more. In the event of full fledged rebellion, millions of people could be cut down by Uncle Sam. Think not? Then look at the Soviet Union, China, Nazi Germany, the Killing Fields of Cambodia, Rwanda, Sudan…

      Ugg, would someone like to point out that we are currently getting our butts kicked in Afghanistan by insurgents armed with small arms?

      Would someone also like to point out that the only war we lost, vietnam, was lost to an army initially armed only with small arms?

      The “Feds have tanks” argument is as old as the hills. At the time the 2nd amendment was written the British had warships and a well organized army.

      Umm, and yet again, they were defeated by an untrained group with small arms.

      Small arms have countless times either resulted in the defeat of an enemy with superior arms, or sufficiently slowed an enemy so as to allow reinforcements to come in.

      >Now, what happens if some idiot runs amok with a machine gun?

      Of course I could point out that machines guns are currently legal. While not as widely owned as other firearms they are hardly uncommon.

      And of course I could also point out that Im not sure I have ever heard of someone with a legally owned machine gun running amok and killing a bunch of poeple.

      I could also point out that up until the 1980’s McClure Volkmer act, machine guns were priced relatively the same as semi auto guns, albeit there was a $200 tax on them. Still, the difference between a $600 semi auto AK varient and $800 ( $600 plus $200 tax ) full auto AK47 hardly seems like a big deal.

      Do I remember a bunch of nuts running around machine gunning people down? Not really.

      Were there instances of this before the NFA?

      Sure, we had Dillanger et. al. However those guys seem pretty tame by todays comparisons.

      I wonder if I should point that out?

      • valley p

        “Ugg, would someone like to point out that we are currently getting our butts kicked in Afghanistan by insurgents armed with small arms?”

        Would someone with a better chance of breaking reality through to Rupert, or perhaps someone with a newspaper subscription point out to him that in the past several weeks the US military (and Pakistani military) and CIA have been kicking the tar out of the Taliban, capturing their leaders, and scattering the remainder to the hills? Their small arms are zero match for Marines, helicopter gunships, and unmaned drones.

        The getting our butts kicked part was happening under the tough talking Cheney-Bush leadership. It took a weanie Democrat to turn the tide.

        But I don’t know, if 0.6 million equals 1.6 million then anything is possible in Rupert-world. Maybe the Taliban really are kicking our butts. Maybe the moon is made of green cheese.

        “Do I remember a bunch of nuts running around machine gunning people down? Not really.”

        Once again you support my point. Let me have my armed Hummer! Back off commies!

      • Anonymous

        “Ugg, would someone like to point out that we are currently getting our butts kicked in Afghanistan by insurgents armed with small arms?

        “Would someone also like to point out that the only war we lost, vietnam, was lost to an army initially armed only with small arms?”

        What the hell is your point?

        Oh, and by the way, you are an idiot. Our enemies (then and now) have crew served weapons, grenade launchers, rockets, mortars, surface to air missiles, explosives, and a shitload of other things that are not “small arms.” You know, things that militaries have and law abiding Americans do not.

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