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Old March 3, 2009, 09:11 PM   #26
miboso
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it would be legal to libel and slander other people.
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There's the obvious "You can't yell fire in a crowded theatre." argument, which is technically a "violation" of free speech but a reasonable one, in this case.
Shouting "Fire!" in a theater and libel and slander may be illegal, but they have nothing to do with the first amendment, for Congress (so far as I know) has written no laws regarding this. If Congress has, then that would be a violation of the first amendment: "Congress shall make no law..." etc.

The wording of the second amendment must be pretty strong if people have to continually look to a misunderstanding of the first to justify violating it.
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Old March 3, 2009, 09:54 PM   #27
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In fact, Hugo Black, a Supreme Court justice, firmly believed in the plain language of the First amendment. 'NO LAW" MEANS NO LAW, PERIOD. No slippery slope, no restrictions.
I believe Scalia, Thomas, and a few others have the same view...
You can yell whatever you want, the Congress of the United States cannot write and pass a law limiting your freedom of speech. PERIOD. If you yell fire in a theatre, you are going to held responsible for the damage done by your act, in the tort system.

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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.
Seems like the above is pretty clear. It also seems like that amendment is targeted ahead of the 14th amendment, at the states in particular, as well as the Federal government.

The Constitution was written to limit the power of the FEDERAL government, and to stop it from expanding it's power, and oppressing it's people.

Last edited by Socrates; March 3, 2009 at 10:03 PM.
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Old March 3, 2009, 10:21 PM   #28
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To answer the OP. Yes, some gun laws are both legal and constitutional. The real question is: Which ones?
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Old March 3, 2009, 10:30 PM   #29
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To answer the OP. Yes, some gun laws are both legal and constitutional. The real question is: Which ones?
How about providing a Constitutional argument WHY these laws are legal?

Please explain why gun laws are legal, when the Constitution states:
Quote:
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.
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Old March 3, 2009, 10:34 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Socrates
How about providing a Constitutional argument WHY these laws are legal?
Didn't Justice Scalia just do that recently? Read what he said as he writes a lot better than I.

Also, don't put too much on a plain reading of the 2A. I have talked to lots of smart people who don't come to the same conclusion as do some about it's "plain" meaning.
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Old March 3, 2009, 10:37 PM   #31
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Scalia wrote what he did to pass Heller. If, after 200 years, the SCOTUS has dogged this issue, a RADICAL change of position is not wise. An incremental change, is.
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Old March 3, 2009, 10:56 PM   #32
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Also, don't put too much on a plain reading of the 2A. I have talked to lots of smart people who don't come to the same conclusion as do some about it's "plain" meaning.
Have those same people ever read any of the Founding Fathers' writings and known opinions regarding gun ownership?
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Old March 3, 2009, 11:36 PM   #33
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The Framers, once they were done writing the Constitution, didn't simply kick back, drink some rum, order up some cheese steaks and go down to the corner for some bodacious Philly hookers.
Bet ya Ben franklin grabbed some of those hookers....

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Old March 4, 2009, 11:24 AM   #34
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I believe our Constitutional rights are an absolute as long as my neighbor isn't harmed by my actions. If someone chooses to buy and keep 5000 ARs after a ban is placed on them, for example, I see no problem. The so called "law" is null and void by what the Constitution simply states. That person isn't doing anything to hurt me by simply owning those firearms.
We are wandering into the realm of what level of weaponery is protected again.

Can a person keep my favorite biological WMD of Anthrax in his garage if he doesn't harm anyone?

Some level of weaponery poses a substantial mass risk.

We know that we have folks who might do an extraordinary amount of damage with such weapons.

Should they be allowed to sit on them until they use them?

I googled to find that there are laws and controversy about the regulation of purchasing ammonium nitrate. Should that right to purchase be unregulated because of the 2nd Amend.?

The Constitution isn't absolute - get over it.
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Old March 4, 2009, 01:31 PM   #35
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The USSC has ruled that we have a right to own firearms and a right to defend ourselves. On the other hand they have said that they may be regulated.

I have no problems obtaining a firearm here in the great state of Texas. It takes longer to do the form and ring the purchase up than to make the call and get approval in all of my transactions. This keeps firearms out of the hands of those who should not have them. I have never been denied my Second Amendment rights under these laws.

If I have the money I can purchase a fully automatic firearm. I think the sytem here could use some change but once again I am not denied my Second Amendment rights.

What we tend to home in on is the word Freedom and we forget about the word Responsibility. With freedom comes responsibilty which means some sacrifice on your part to enjoy that freedom. Freedom and responsibility are joined at the hip.

If my buying a firearm means a little inconvenience in minutes so that criminals and people who do not need to purchase a firearm dont get them that comes under responsibility.

Without responsiblity freedom means nothing. Freedom isn't free.

Also I beleive some communities in Illinois that had banned firearms have caved in and removed those bans due to pressure from pro gun groups. In this economic hard times the communities dont have the dollars to fight in court . I beleive we will see more of these cities cave in as pro gun groups pressure them.
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Old March 4, 2009, 03:13 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Socrates
You can yell whatever you want, the Congress of the United States cannot write and pass a law limiting your freedom of speech. PERIOD. If you yell fire in a theatre, you are going to held responsible for the damage done by your act, in the tort system.
In fact there are plenty of laws limiting freedom of speech: laws prohibiting certain kinds of pornography, for example, or laws requiring permits for political demonstrations (which is a twofer, as they also limit freedom of assembly). And whether or not these laws are constitutional is also a matter of considerable debate.

As EricReynolds has pointed out, the framers of the Constitution made it possible -- not easy, but possible -- to change it, since they recognized that changing times would likely require this. And reinterpreting it has gone on regularly, also as a response to changing times. What changes might require the Constitution to be updated or reinterpreted? Well, business practices can change -- hence the interpretations of the word "person" in the Fourteenth Amendment which gave corporations the same rights as persons (a truly bad idea, IMHO, but I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time...). People's opinions about what's right may change: hence we have amendments prohibiting slavery, and giving women the vote.

Of course, for any given reinterpretation, those in favor tend to label it "strict construction," while those against it call it "judicial activism," "legislating from the bench," or some such... But which it is seems to depend heavily on the observer's point of view.

So there's nothing sacred about the Second Amendment; if enough people in this country want it changed, or, say, reinterpreted to prohibit individual ownership of firearms, it will be. (No, I am NOT advocating this, thank you very much!)

It will be interesting to see just how Heller plays out in specific cases, although, Glenn, I rather doubt that it'll protect your right to own fertilizer.
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Old March 4, 2009, 03:45 PM   #37
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My right to produce fertilizer on the Internet is protected by the First Amendment?

Here's an interesting URL referring to the use of Federal obscenity laws against the publication of birth control information.

That would seem to indicate that Federal legal penalties controlling speech existed and that utterances could be controlled outside of the tort system.

http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/96...l/brthctrl.htm
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Old March 4, 2009, 04:14 PM   #38
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Thanks for the link, Glenn. I'd forgotten about that particular use of obscenity statutes....

Here's another one, to a story about a more current prosecution under Federal obscenity statutes:

http://a.abcnews.com/TheLaw/Story?id=4222798&page=1

So, yes, Federal limitations on the First Amendment are alive and well.

And isn't there a Zen koan that goes, "What is the smell of Internet fertilizer?"

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Old March 4, 2009, 06:58 PM   #39
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The only restrictions on free speech involve using speech in ways that hurt others (libel, child pornography, etc). Since murder and assault are already illegal, the same restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms already existed before any of this communist bull**** started.

Using the restrictions on the right to free speech as a standard, any restriction on the type and non-assaultive use of firearms is unConstitutional, period.
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Old March 4, 2009, 11:24 PM   #40
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We are wandering into the realm of what level of weaponery is protected again.
Where do you get this assumption? I haven't seen one post that supports your case.

Quote:
Can a person keep my favorite biological WMD of Anthrax in his garage if he doesn't harm anyone?
Some level of weaponery poses a substantial mass risk.
We know that we have folks who might do an extraordinary amount of damage with such weapons.
Should they be allowed to sit on them until they use them?
WMD is a far cry from what a firearm is. The 2A, last I checked, was talking about firearms.

Quote:
I googled to find that there are laws and controversy about the regulation of purchasing ammonium nitrate. Should that right to purchase be unregulated because of the 2nd Amend.?
What does fertilizer have anything to do with being classified as a firearm?

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The Constitution isn't absolute - get over it.
Sorry, I WON'T get over it. If people would quit overcomplicating a simple amendment and trying to read too much into it, law abiding gunowners would be better off. This is one of the biggest problems we have today, even in our own community. It's too important to me to just walk away without a concerted effort.
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Old March 4, 2009, 11:40 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Tuttle8
Sorry, I WON'T get over it.
Tuttle, you know there have been gun control laws since the country was founded? Do you think there should be none?

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Originally Posted by Tuttle8
Where do you get this assumption? I haven't seen one post that supports your case.
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Originally Posted by vranasaurus
And while I don't believe that a machine gun is dangerous or unusual but an RPG or hand grenade probably is.
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Originally Posted by Tuttle8
The 2A, last I checked, was talking about firearms.
Where would you draw the line at what is a firearm? That can cover a lot. Some contend that since warships and cannon could be privately owned back then that all modern military weapons today should be protected. And this quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Socrates
'NO LAW" MEANS NO LAW, PERIOD. No slippery slope, no restrictions. I believe Scalia, Thomas, and a few others have the same view...
to me would indicate that it would be up to the individual to decide what a firearm is so why not WMD?
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Old March 5, 2009, 10:41 AM   #42
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Thanks for the clarification of what I said, TNG - I was off being a refined academic.

The restrictions on publishing birth control information were clearly a case of using federal law to control speech in an instance which clearly related to hurting people in some minds but not others. It was an instance of trying to constrain behaviors that may or not be harmful. Condoms - harmful or positive?

The folks who want to limit expression with anti flag burning amendments clearly indicated that some want to use the force of the federal government to control political dissent.

One argument on banning obscenity / control of violent media that is not produced illegality is the prediction that such depictions pose a generative risk to society. They will encourage bad behavior.

The limitations on extremely dangerous weaponery is that such weapons pose an exponential increase in risk if misused. That's the rationale for the full auto restrictions.

The nitrate or WMD example is a subtle and refined point. Folks argue that owning various things such not be banned as they are 'arms'. But arms evolved. The founders didn't know from full auto Glock 18s. Maybe we will have laser guns someday. Should we rewrite the 2nd to say - no laws controlling weapons based on the current gun powder techniques of 2009. So when the United Federation of Planets decides to ban hand held phasers, you would be ok with that?

BTW, if the Constitution is absolute - how come we have amendments?

Those guys who made senators elected directly were traitors?
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Old March 5, 2009, 10:51 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by TheManHimself
The only restrictions on free speech involve using speech in ways that hurt others
And firearms don't "hurt" others? If "hurting others" is a reasonable criteria for regulation then guns would be first in line don't you think?
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Old March 5, 2009, 01:00 PM   #44
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No. Cars. Drugs. Illegal immigrants. And, the real ones, criminals.
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Old March 5, 2009, 02:08 PM   #45
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Cars. Drugs. Illegal immigrants. And, the real ones, criminals.
All of which are heavily regulated, licensed and sanctioned in the case of criminals or misuse. Why then can't guns be as well? How can mere words hurt someone but a firearm can't?
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Old March 5, 2009, 03:06 PM   #46
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I'm just curious. Has anyone ever been involved in this type of discussion and actually had the other person change their mind?

It is an interesting exchange of ideas but it does seem to get pointless after awhile.
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Old March 5, 2009, 03:22 PM   #47
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It is an interesting exchange of ideas but it does seem to get pointless after awhile.
Maybe not so pointless.

As to your first question, I know I will never change Socrates or Webelymkv's mind for instance. They won't change mine either and in fact debating with them has forced me to more carefully consider my views with thought and evidence where before it was more a gut feeling. I still have the same views but they are better thought out now.

However, I recently told Glenn Meyer that one time I was googling a question about some thing on here we were discussing and lo and behold google sent me to a TFL thread. Now, I think the discussion is good for lurkers and those who genuinely want to learn about gun issues. I think our debates provide them with food for thought and it is important to show gun owners have lots of different opinions. Makes us look like we are, regular folks.

So yeah, I think it is worth it and let the readers decide what they believe.
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Old March 5, 2009, 03:24 PM   #48
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The rational can change their opinion based on evidence. The emotional usually don't.

There are two routes to persuasion. If you adopt the view that you will examine evidence then you are open to changing your mind.

In debates like this we usually see a default to emotional. Someone will call someone a Brady or a Liberal soon and then we can lock it down.
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Old March 5, 2009, 03:31 PM   #49
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It's real simple. The bad guys always have the weapons they want, or can get them, and, until we seriously try and close our borders, always will. We live in a time when gangs far out number police. They have arms, and, they don't care about any laws.

As law abiding citizens we are at a distinct disadvantage, because we actually try and follow the laws. All I want is the right to own, and protect myself from outlaws, and gangs.

Our basic problem is we elect attorneys, who think that by writing laws they solve problems, or protect people, when, in fact, most of the time they don't, and, their actions limit our freedoms.

Kali is the future of the US, so here are just a few laws.
They don't trust me with hot water. My faucets now come with a 120 degree governor, so I can't get really hot water, by law.

I can't take a shower with over a certain amount of flow, again a law.

They tell me what kind of gas cap I have to put on my car, and, I have to spend 1500 dollars to get my car to pass a smog standard, when in fact half the state is exempt, and, my Toyota has a 1.5 liter engine, which for a long time, was the smallest offered in any car.

As for gun laws. No lead bullets in areas with Condors?
No .50 BMG rifles. No assault rifles, pretty much. Can't even buy an AR 15. No magazines over 10 rounds, pistol or rifle. etc.

All of these laws were made from one, hideous public case, as a general rule, and, the politicians write them to justify their existence. One scalded child in a bathtub, by a bad mother, no hot water for 30 million people.

Wait until you are in a gunshop, and, the LEO's walk in, and, the guys start pulling out the guns that LEO can buy, and normal folks can't, because it hasn't passed the arbitrary 'drop' test setup by our super hippy liberal AG.

We are limited currently to 1343 guns 'approved' for purchase.

http://certguns.doj.ca.gov/

I just had to pay 25 dollars for a license to buy a gun, and, pass a stupid firearms test. It was supposed to be for life, but, now you have to redo it every 5 years...

Big Sisters are here, and, they rule in Kalifornia.

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Old March 5, 2009, 03:38 PM   #50
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Unfortunately all of your examples don't demonstrate the somewhat cliched Big Brother reference

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