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Thread: VIN SUPRYNOWICZ: 'And every other terrible instrument'

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    http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/16936861.html

    In a "move that surprised some observers," the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday, attorney Alan Gura, appearing before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the federal guard who sued the District of Columbia in 2003, claiming he feels unsafe because he's not allowed to keep his guns at home, "appeared to concede large chunks of his argument, moving away from an absolutist position on gun rights."
    "He concurred, at one point, with Justice Stephen Breyer that a ban on machine guns or plastic guns" (whatever those are) "would be constitutional because those weren't the kind of arms normally carried by members of state militias in the early days of the United States."
    Was it a failure of nerve under pressure, or did somebody get to this guy?
    The statement above is like saying "freedom of the press" doesn't apply to newspapers printed on modern, high-speed electric presses -- only to handbills printed one at a time on an old-fashioned hand-cranker, because that's the only kind they had back in Ben Franklin's day.
    Under such a rule, you could forget about the First Amendment protecting the free-speech rights of ministers (or anybody else) broadcasting over TV and radio -- didn't have any of that stuff back during "the early days of the United States," either.
    Nor did they have the revolvers or semi-automatic pistols you were supposed to be arguing for, Mr. Gura. (1836 and 1894, respectively.)
    The National Rifle Association, America's largest gun control organization, tried to seize control of this case early on, filing motions with the court to replace attorney Gura, et al, with their own chosen litigators, hoping to water down the impact of a possible adverse ruling by rushing to reassure the court that it's still OK to "enforce all existing gun laws."
    Defenders of the Second Amendment had their hopes raised when attorney Gura resisted that move. It now appears the NRA need hardly have bothered.
    Why go to the trouble of getting the Supreme Court to rule on whether the Second Amendment says what it says, and then offer to help the gun-grabbers pleasure themselves in court, selling out our God-given, constitutionally protected right to keep and bear machine guns, which was still legal as of Monday, albeit the BATF has tricked up ownership with a rat's nest of regulations and driven the price through the roof by illegally banning both importation and new manufacture?
    Where did our government goons get the right to field machine guns, if it wasn't delegated to them by the people? How could we delegate a right we don't have?
    Peruse pp. 66-69 of Stephen Halbrook's "That Every Man Be Armed." Federalist after Federalist vowed their proposed new government could never impose tyranny on these shores "while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights" (Hamilton, Federalist No. 29), that any encroachments on our liberties by the new government "would be opposed (by) a militia amounting to near half a million citizens with arms in their hands" (Madison, Federalist No. 46).
    "Who are the militia?" asked Tench Coxe, friend of Madison and prominent Federalist, in the Pennsylvania Gazette of Feb. 20, 1788. "Are they not ourselves. ... Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible instrument of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American. ... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people."
    Does any of that sound like the Founders meant that banning peasant ownership of handguns or machine guns would be OK if our rulers consider them "particularly dangerous"? Dangerous to whom?
    Thus encouraged by the guy who was supposed to be on our side to ignore all these sacred assurances and guarantees, Chief Justice John J. Roberts Jr. "said he favored a narrow ruling, one that would not cast doubt on an array of gun control laws," the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
    Why? If the court's job isn't to free us from laws which violate the plain language of the Bill of Rights, what is it?
    Imagine Earl Warren back in 1954 saying "he favored a narrow ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, one that would not cast doubt on the survival of our segregated school system as a whole."
    A five-member majority seemed willing to hear the arguments for freedom. Instead, they were encouraged to humor the concerns of simpering socialists like Stephen Breyer, mewling that "we give leeway to cities and states to work out what's reasonable in light of their problems."
    Imagine the outcry if the justice had offered cities and states "leeway to decide what's reasonable" in banning churches or censoring newspapers or installing "white and colored" drinking fountains.
    "Eighty thousand to 100,000 people every year in the United States are either killed or wounded in gun-related homicides or crimes or accidents or suicides," Justice Breyer droned on. "In the District, I guess the number is somewhere around 200 to 300 dead and maybe it's 1,500 to 2,000 people wounded. Now, in light of that, why isn't a ban on handguns, while allowing the use of rifles and muskets, a reasonable or a proportionate response on behalf of the District of Columbia?"
    Disassembled, unloaded rifles aren't worth much in an emergency. Only an idiot would make a long-range rifle his first choice for home defense in an urban area.
    Attorney Gura replied that folks must own handguns so they'll know how to use them when they report for military service.
    Imagine how much more powerful it would have been to ask, in turn, "Are you saying the Constitution would stand if criminals killed 100 people per year in this city due primarily to the war on drugs -- a domestic tyranny which is within your power to end tomorrow as a violation of the Ninth Amendment, by the way -- but we have to start giving up planks in the Bill of Rights if they kill 150 or 175?
    "Some of those deaths were felons killed during commission of their crimes. I assume you wouldn't disarm the police officers who shot them? Meantime, the crime rates you refer to have blossomed under the current gun control regime. The crime rates were much lower 100 years ago, when any citizen could legally carry a concealed handgun.
    "John Lott has shown in his book 'More Guns, Less Crime' that on every occasion where an American county 'allowed' more law-abiding citizens to bear arms, violent crime went down. If the stick-up artist who's accustomed to knocking over old ladies at the ATM knows the chances are now higher that the little old lady has a .45, he's going to seek a different line of work.
    "So if we were here seeking a pragmatic solution to those crime rates -- which we're not, because your job is just to make sure the legislature obeys the Bill of Rights -- then the pragmatic solution you seek, by a happy coincidence, would be precisely what we're asking you to do: Throw out all the gun laws. Take us back to the peaceful America we had 100 years ago. Enforce the Second and 14th amendments."
    But attorney Gura didn't say anything like that. He said the court can ban machine guns, because his client doesn't have a machine gun.
    There's a firm defense of principle, for you.
    Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Review-Journal and author of the novel "The Black Arrow." See http://www.vinsuprynowicz.com/.
    http://johnrlott.blogspot.com/
    I understand the sensitivity over the issue of machine guns before the Supreme Court. It was clearly a strategic decision. That decision is easier than some of the other statements that were made before the court. Personally, however, I would have said that there are no such things as plastic guns. Personally, when questions were raised about accidental gun deaths involving kids, I would have talked about the small number involved and that most of those involve adult male criminals where gun locks are irrelevant. Personally, I wouldn't have advocated that people use a gun safe (this last one I think was a real mistake). All that said, it is hard being up in front of the Supreme Court for the first time. I think that DC's lawyer actually did a good job given how hard of a case he had to make. The gun lock issue in particular makes me worried that we may win the battle over the individual rights issue, but lose the war regarding either the DC gun ban or the standard involved. If we lose it because of the gun lock question, I will be extremely disappointed. Again, all that said, at this point it doesn't make much sense to spend a lot of time worrying about things. We will know soon enough.
    It seems more than the 'anti' press may read here - or have read here because they weem to have not kept up.

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    What's next? Reducing "our" argument down to trying to get Big Brother to let us keep black powder rifles with trigger locks in safes, but being allowed to keep them assembled? Maybe in another 70 years, we can try to drop the trigger lock requirement. By 2148, God willing, we might only have to keep our unloaded black powder rifles in safes if we have "children" in the house... that would be those under age 25.

    But hey, I'm not a lawyer yet, so what do I know? I'm just some foaming-at-the-mouth redneck who believes in those things called rights, a ******* Neanderthal.

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    I lament and scratch at the wounds inflicted bywords and paragraphs hurled into existance by an ignorant existance. So easily are we oppressed, so easily we herd into the ovens, the gas chambers, the camps were the smell of death and hopeless blend to create a stew in which we drown ourselves. The thought of it is putrescence but yet we allow it, no we do it, we participate in our own demise. We run to an end because we cower from responsibility, from pain, from error, from life. Man does not wish to fail, the race is a lost hopeless people who care not to bother themselves with tasks. We have been given a planet an existance in which the limit is only in our minds. And our minds are so weak, so small. We have limitless power, we have been given organic beings in which no technology will ever catch up to and yet we place bounderies. Will no one ever truly understand what we are? We are not animals, we do not own collective intellegence. We are not a disease or a germ or a parasite. We have been given consciousness, we were choosen above all creatures to have active thought, to be aware of ourselves and the universe around us. So much has been given and still we choose death...
    Why, why do we choose suicide over the wonder that is the life given to us. Why do we choose death?

    Because we are terrified...

    We created limits we created bounderies not to be crossed and thus sealed our own fate. We created societies based on these bounderies and the blow back responce to a limit on a limitless mind is adversion. And the reaction to adversion was oppression. And thus the simple mind was governed by the tyrant. And the tyrant was governed by power and corruption.

    And yet we were given chance after chance to repair, to restart. And each time we added once more those bounderies that killed us the first time.

    So much was given but so much is required for such a gift and we are not inclined to repay. So we create these bounderies and limits so that we have an excuse not to own up to our debt. We do not want to be held responsible for this life. And so we cast these off into our grave and pay for our life with it.

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    http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/16936861.html

    The National Rifle Association, America's largest gun control organization, tried to seize control of this case early on, filing motions with the court to replace attorney Gura, et al, with their own chosen litigators, hoping to water down the impact of a possible adverse ruling by rushing to reassure the court that it's still OK to "enforce all existing gun laws."
    I have my problems with the NRA as many here do as well, but I don't think they are America's largest gun control organization...
    Peace through superior firepower

    Luke 11:21
    "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed.

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    WhiteFeather wrote:
    I lament and scratch at the wounds inflicted bywords and paragraphs hurled into existance by an ignorant existance. So easily are we oppressed, so easily we herd into the ovens, the gas chambers, the camps were the smell of death and hopeless blend to create a stew in which we drown ourselves. The thought of it is putrescence but yet we allow it, no we do it, we participate in our own demise. We run to an end because we cower from responsibility, from pain, from error, from life. Man does not wish to fail, the race is a lost hopeless people who care not to bother themselves with tasks. We have been given a planet an existance in which the limit is only in our minds. And our minds are so weak, so small. We have limitless power, we have been given organic beings in which no technology will ever catch up to and yet we place bounderies. Will no one ever truly understand what we are? We are not animals, we do not own collective intellegence. We are not a disease or a germ or a parasite. We have been given consciousness, we were choosen above all creatures to have active thought, to be aware of ourselves and the universe around us. So much has been given and still we choose death...
    Why, why do we choose suicide over the wonder that is the life given to us. Why do we choose death?

    Because we are terrified...

    We created limits we created bounderies not to be crossed and thus sealed our own fate. We created societies based on these bounderies and the blow back responce to a limit on a limitless mind is adversion. And the reaction to adversion was oppression. And thus the simple mind was governed by the tyrant. And the tyrant was governed by power and corruption.

    And yet we were given chance after chance to repair, to restart. And each time we added once more those bounderies that killed us the first time.

    So much was given but so much is required for such a gift and we are not inclined to repay. So we create these bounderies and limits so that we have an excuse not to own up to our debt. We do not want to be held responsible for this life. And so we cast these off into our grave and pay for our life with it.
    +100

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    I thought Gura did an outstanding job. My belief is he was more prepared to argue about the right being individual than the various restrictions that could be placed on it.

    Some of the justices were attempting to derail the topic. DC v Heller is about handguns in DC... nothing else. Gura could have said machine guns are evil satan spawn for all I care, as it has no bearing on any future cases regarding machine guns. Gura is concerned about the very specific question asked by the court, and he did a very good job with that.

    Nothing Gura says will come back to bite us in future cases. He simply conceded on issues that had no relation to the case. Any of the questionable arguments against machine guns and such can be dealt with in written briefs when a case involving them arises.

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    kurtmax_0 wrote:
    I thought Gura did an outstanding job. My belief is he was more prepared to argue about the right being individual than the various restrictions that could be placed on it.

    Some of the justices were attempting to derail the topic. DC v Heller is about handguns in DC... nothing else. Gura could have said machine guns are evil satan spawn for all I care, as it has no bearing on any future cases regarding machine guns. Gura is concerned about the very specific question asked by the court, and he did a very good job with that.

    Nothing Gura says will come back to bite us in future cases. He simply conceded on issues that had no relation to the case. Any of the questionable arguments against machine guns and such can be dealt with in written briefs when a case involving them arises.
    My thoughts exactly. We need to eat this elephant one bite at a time. Who knows, perhaps we'll get lucky and get 5 judges to incorporate strict scrutiny along with ruling for an individual right.

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    I understand why he presented his arguments the way he did, but at the same time I think he missed a golden opportunity. Think about it - Kennedy, of all justices, so much as said that MGs should be in civilian hands when he stated that MGs seemed to be more covered under the 2nd as they are the common weapon of choice for the military :shock:

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    Oral arguments are a sham trial. The briefs educate the Justices if they are otherwisedeficient on the issue. And the post oral discussions and memos are where they hash out the position. The Justices are very smart. Those already on the individual rights side will be making better arguments and analogies then any lawyer during orals.

    Heller was the perfect "first" modern case to lay the foundation for resurrecting the 2A. Gura was only being loyal to an interpretationof the "Miller test" that only showed his deference to the 1939Supreme Court decision. And Gura left it to the Justices to determine that, as Kennedy suggested, Millerwas deficient. Hopefully they will.

    Guradid fine.

    Lets see what late June brings us beforewe eat our own.

    And as for the NRA, they are spending a lot of money and time in CA. The San Fran gun ban was just beaten (with mostly NRAmoney)with the State SC refusing to hearSF's appeal!!! Thank you NRA!


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