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Old March 12, 2013, 10:07 PM   #1
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If the 2nd Amendment can be restricted why not restrict the 1st?

I'm a big believer in States Rights. However, the States still don't have the right to violate the Constitution. Our Founding Fathers gave us a Constitution for which all office holders and government officials vow allegiance. Moreover, the first 10 Amendments, the Bill of Rights, are precious God-given fundamental rights that are to be applied in all 50 States; they are basic human rights if you will. Nonetheless, politicians, not only federal but local and state as well commonly violate the 2nd Amendment. Why the double standard? I mean, how can politicians in DC, Detroit, New York get away with clear violations on the 2nd amendment while such violations on the 1st Amendment by any State, county, city or district would NEVER be tolerated by the federal government?
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Old March 12, 2013, 10:28 PM   #2
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Once they get rid of the pesty 2nd they will start working on the first, they won't have to worry about people with guns protesting that action.
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Old March 12, 2013, 10:34 PM   #3
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kirb's got it right

I think the second is the easiest to chip away at. People get their panties in a bunch and want to change things in a hurry. The problem I see though is if the 2nd amendment falls, all hell is gonna break loose. But you should fight for your rights, all of them.
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Old March 12, 2013, 10:39 PM   #4
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Interesting thoughts....
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Old March 12, 2013, 11:07 PM   #5
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Hey, new guys... welcome to TFL.

You all might want to read the sticky at the top of the Law & Civil Rights page titled "Spats McGee’s Federal Constitutional Primer." It'll give you some good information on all this stuff, including how state constitutions and laws relate to the U.S. Constitution. The part about the 14th amendment is pretty important to what you're discussing -- that, and the courts' interpretations of it, is what determines how the Constitution and Bill of Rights apply to the states.
"Once the writer in every individual comes to life (and that time is not far off), we are in for an age of universal deafness and lack of understanding."
(Milan Kundera, Book of Laughter and Forgetting, 1980)
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Old March 13, 2013, 12:59 AM   #6
Frank Ettin
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Welcome, all. By all means have a look at Spat Mcgee's post on the Constitution.

A few things:

Originally Posted by SouthronPatriot
...Moreover, the first 10 Amendments, the Bill of Rights, are precious God-given fundamental rights that are to be applied in all 50 States; they are basic human rights if you will. Nonetheless, politicians, not only federal but local and state as well commonly violate the 2nd Amendment. Why the double standard?...
There can be, and often is, disagreement about what the Constitution means when applied to certain situations. Resolving those types of disagreements are the one of the things that courts do.

Until the Supreme Court decided Heller in 2008, a lot of people, including some courts, believed that the Second Amendment described a collective right. The Court's decision in Heller made it clear that the Second Amendment described an individual right to keep and bear arms.

Until the Supreme Court decided McDonald in 2010, court decision had held that the Second Amendment didn't apply to the States. Now that's been changed as well.

So there are now more than 70 lawsuits around the country dealing with core RKBA issues.

Originally Posted by SouthronPatriot
...violations on the 1st Amendment by any State, county, city or district would NEVER be tolerated by the federal government?
Except under rare circumstances, it's not up to the federal government to enforce the Constitution. If a State, or if the federal government does something that some people believe is wrong, there are various ways to challenge that act. One of the most common ways in in court, and one basis for challenge is that the governmental action violated the Constitution. So in a sense it's really up to individual, private litigants to enforce the Constitution.

It's also well established in the law that constitutionally protected rights are subject to limited regulation. The rights described by the First Amendment have certainly been regulated in a number of ways.

While the First Amendment protects freedom of speech, assembly and religion, we know there has been a history of certain regulation of speech, assembly and religion. A few examples are:
  • Laws prohibiting such things as false advertising, fraud or misrepresentation, as well as laws requiring certain disclosures in connection with various transactions, would absolutely survive a challenge to their validity on Constitutional grounds even though such laws do impinge on the freedom of speech. Among other things, such laws serve compelling state interests related to promoting honest business and helping to preserve the integrity of commercial transactions. They tend to be only as broad as necessary to serve that function.

  • If you are offering securities or certain other types of investments to the public, your written solicitation materials will have to first be approved prior to use by one or more regulatory agencies. If you are selling medicines in interstate commerce, your labeling will have to be approved in advance by the FDA, and you will have to have demonstrated, through hard, scientific data, that any claims or representations made are true. These are also laws that abridge freedom of speech, and yet they are regular enforced.

  • Laws respecting the time, place and manner of speech or assembly have also survived Constitutional challenges. Thus a municipality may require that organizers obtain a permit in order to hold an assembly or a parade and may prohibit such activities during, for example, the very early morning hours. Such regulations would be permitted only to the extent necessary to serve the compelling state interest of protecting public health and safety. Any such regulations, to be constitutionally permissible, could not consider the content of the speech or assembly; and they would need to be applied in an even handed manner based on set guidelines and not subject to the discretion of a public official.

  • In the past, laws prohibiting polygamy have been upheld against challenges that they violate the right to free exercise of religion. And if someone’s religion required the practice of human sacrifice, he can not expect to successfully hide behind the First Amendment if prosecuted for murder (or assisting a suicide if the victim were willing).
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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Old March 13, 2013, 07:08 AM   #7
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To add a little to what Frank said, one of the primary differences between the 1A and the 2A is that the 1A has been the subject of literally dozens of Supreme Court cases stretching back for many decades, so lawmakers have a clear idea of where the limits are- i.e. they have clear guidelines on how to write a law that's likely to survive a court challenge.

OTOH the number of important Supreme Court cases concerning the 2A can, believe it or not, be counted without running out of fingers, and the most crucial ones are less than 5 years old! Furthermore, although Heller and McDonald are largely considered victories for the RKBA, they do not slam the door on all regulations. There are also a number of ambiguities in the decisions.

We can expect gun control advocates to push severe regulations in an attempt to learn where the limits are. Many of the new regulations are unlikely to survive in court, but they will result in discomfort for many law-abiding gun owners in the interim.
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak
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Old March 16, 2013, 09:58 AM   #8
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Erosion of Bill of Rights is constant

All rights under the Bill of Rights have been under assault since the founding of the nation. Somewhere in the history of the nation the Supreme Court made 2 unamerican rulings. The first held that the Declaration provides no legal precedents. This means that the statements "all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with unalienable rights" and "governments are instituted among men who derive their just authority from the consent of the governed" have no legal weight. The second holds "that no right is absolute". If a right is NOT absolute then it is NOT a right. Johnson's Attorney General (Ramsey Clarke) once said "a right is not something you are given, it is something that cannot be taken away". Unfortunately the Court rejects this definition. This is due to the 2 rulings above. The court accepts the definition that a right is a government granted permission. Judge Legg claimed in Woollard that "a citizen doesn't need a reason to exercise his rights, the right's existence is all he needs". I don't expect this view to stand in light of the Court's long standing rejection of the concept of unalienable rights.
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Old March 16, 2013, 10:07 AM   #9
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rts99, can you cite specific rulings?
Sometimes it’s nice not to destroy the world for a change.
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Old March 22, 2013, 01:06 AM   #10
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Well brother they in fact have tried to restrict the 1st amendment and many times at that.
The double standard is because 1+1 is 2. So you see it is at its heart a basic mathematical principal. Thus the double standard and no there is no other reason seeing as the anti gun folks obviously morally superior to us and incapable of anything like bigotry that would create an alternate motive.
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Old March 22, 2013, 07:21 AM   #11
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The media and politicians already attack the freedom of speech by labeling people as haters or bigots because they don't agree with what is trying to be sold. It's strange the media would target people at all since they were the front line of freedom of speech in the past. Most topics invoke differing opinions but gone are the days of your differing opinion being accepted.
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Old March 22, 2013, 07:37 AM   #12
Tom Servo
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We've veered away from any specific discussion on civil rights to general media bashing, and we don't do that here.
Sometimes it’s nice not to destroy the world for a change.
--Randall Munroe
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