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Jun. 28 2010 - 1:04 pm | 357 views | 1 recommendation | 38 comments

Lawyers, guns & money on a Monday morning

The Supreme Court of the United States. Washin...

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There’s a reason nobody likes Mondays.

SCOTUS has once again spread joy through the land in today’s ruling that a Chicago law banning handguns is unconstitutional.

Mind you, the case did not involve hunting guns, collector’s guns, rifles, shotguns, or any other kind of gun that, arguably, has a value beyond killing people. It was just handguns – the number one instrument in America for administering death. And yes, I know guns don’t kill people …people kill people. However, it turns out that when people kill people, it seems they almost always do it with a handgun.

Nevertheless, five of the nine justices of the Supreme Court believe that owning a handgun is precisely what the Founders had in mind when they wrote the 2nd Amendment.

Somehow, the majority of the court has convinced themselves that the standards applied by the founders in making clear the right of Americans to organize armed militias were intended to protect the rights of the organized crime gangs who, today, rule the streets of our cities. Gang members rarely walk around with weapons the size of the rifles carried by our militias in revolutionary war times. No, they carry concealed handguns making it far easier for them to commit murder.

While the court did indicate that felons would remain unworthy to purchase handguns legally (like that’s ever stopped them), the field is now wide open for future felons of America to legally buy the handgun of their choice and make their bones when the mood strikes.

With today’s ruling, the final lot has been cast in the gun debate. Prior to this morning’s SCOTUS decision, there remained the question of whether the rights granted by the Second Amendment apply equally to the Federal government and the States. Two years ago, this court struck down a ban on handguns in a case involving weapons limitations in the District of Columbia.  However, since DC is an unusual animal – a federal city – the question of whether the 14th Amendment applied to gun rights remained an open question. While the 14th Amendment has been applied to the remaining elements of the Bill of Rights, the question remained open on the 2nd Amendment because of the lethal implications.

No longer.

Writing for the majority, Justice Alito says,

Two years ago, in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U. S. ___ (2008), we held that the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of  self-defense, and we struck down a District of Columbia law that banned the possession of handguns in the home.  The city of Chicago (City) and the village of Oak Park, a Chicago suburb, have laws that are similar to the District  of Columbia’s, but Chicago and Oak Park argue that their laws are constitutional because the Second Amendment  has no application to the States.  We have previously held that most of the provisions of the Bill of Rights apply with  full force to both the Federal Government and the States. Applying the standard that is well established in our case law, we hold that the Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States.

Via Time Magazine

Expect a flood of gun ownership cases to follow. Gun advocates smell blood and will not lose the opportunity to secure complete deregulation of weapons.

There is some good news. This morning’s decision has resulted in the share price of Smith & Wesson Holdings (SWHC) rising over 5%. So we can expect those handguns to keep rolling off the assembly line, keeping one of our most enduring of American aspirations– a car in every driveway and a gun hidden in every pocket– alive and well.

Speaking of money, this morning also brought some very depressing news from Paul Krugman, who writes in the New York Times –

We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression. It will probably look more like the Long Depression than the much more severe Great Depression. But the cost — to the world economy and, above all, to the millions of lives blighted by the absence of jobs — will nonetheless be immense.
And this third depression will be primarily a failure of policy. Around the world — most recently at last weekend’s deeply discouraging G-20 meeting — governments are obsessing about inflation when the real threat is deflation, preaching the need for belt-tightening when the real problem is inadequate spending.
Via New York Times

Talk about a disturbing start to the week.

I have absolutely no idea if Krugman is right or wrong. However, as I listen to the chorus of naysayers seeking to score political points as they complain about the evils of the stimulus program; and as I watch with wonder as the Senate denies jobless benefits to those suffering without work, I can’t help but marvel at the extraordinary callousness of our elected officials who appear to so easily set aside the tragedy that might befall a large number of our citizens in the years to come simply to better craft their political message.

The loss of jobs is not confined to those living in the blue states. Ideology is of little help or comfort when one cannot feed and shelter their family. And what if Krugman is ultimately proven correct?  The politicians focusing on inflation instead of taking measures to fend off a depression – because it is far more useful in the current political environment to do so – will shrug their shoulders, blame the other party and pick up their paycheck every week.

What a country.

One final question for a gloomy Monday morning – will Obama ever catch a break?

While it was sad to awaken to the news of the passing of Senator Robert Byrd, the longest serving Senator in the history of the nation, his death presents the Administration with yet another potential death-blow not of its own making.

We can all recall the difficulty created for health care reform that accompanied the loss of Senator Ted Kennedy. Now, on the eve of passing financial reform legislation and with Senator Brown leaning in the direction of voting against the bill coming out of conference committee, the loss of Senator Byrd’s vote may very well represent a death blow as the Democrats will be short a vote to fend off a GOP filibuster in the Senate.

I’m going back to bed now. Maybe Tuesday will bring better news.


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  1. collapse expand

    RIck,
    If anybody can show me reasonable analysis of empirical data that proves that handgun bans reduce murder, I buy your point.
    As far as BHO “getting a break”: He got a huge break when the low-brain Republicans decided to nominate John McCain as his opponent. Beyond that, the job is a tough one. Obama has too little leadership experience to excel in it. He’s a nice guy and smart as hell, but all that in train car loads cannot make up for a lack of experience. Obama is a stirring speech deliverer, and that’s about where it ends.
    I read everything that Krugman writes. He knows his shit. We are in a heapa trouble, boss! The political mood of the developed nations is remarkable Hoover-esque. We need a Slick Willy to helps us BS our way outa this jam. Hillary 2012? Count on it (or suspend disbelief)!

    • collapse expand

      The whole empirical data argument is, my opinion, a false way to go. Yes, there is some empirical data. Chicago murder rates are down since they made it hard to get handguns. In DC, the rate also went down, but, to be fair, it has continued to go down even after SCOTUS struck down their law.
      The truth is that you will never have real empirical data until you ban handguns and see what happens-and that is not likely to occur.
      So why not apply a little common sense. We do know, via Justice Dept. figures, that handguns are used more in murders than any other weapon of choice. Thus, is it crazy to extrapolate that removing the handguns might lower those murder rates? Let’s face it, if bad guys were forced to walk around carrying large rifles, they would be more likely to get caught, wouldn’t they? And if handguns were not in the home, when a domestic disturbance gets out of hand, a more unwieldy weapon might give the victim more of a chance, no? I can’t prove to you that this would be the case – just as you cannot prove it would not. So – why not a little, simple common sense. If I were asking to give up something essential – you know, like sugar in your diet, I could understand the complaint. But why can’t another weapon of choice satisfy?

      As for Hillary- you never know. I’m not sure I would count on it, given the difficulties and the poor track record of challenging a sitting president – but it certainly could happen.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  2. collapse expand

    A dear person not too long ago opined that our civilization (I don’t dare attempt to define that) is falling irrevocably into another dark age. Every time I read a post like yours today, it appears to be proving so. The great divide between the haves and have nots continues to grow (so what’s new), as does the potential for violence … This doesn’t make me want to press harder for peace and justice, but instead I seem to just want to turn my back on the continuing madness of it all. Hey, we’re just a bunch of crazy monkeys. I’m comin’ to believe that nothing much will come of anything we do, unless it’s by pure blind chance.

  3. collapse expand

    Rick,

    Show me some real data that indicates more guns = more crime.

    Your argument is simply lieberal talking points unsupported by any facts.

    Try again.

    And for the record, if you haven’t actually read Heller and McDonald you should. Those five justices you don’t like actually looked at the historical record for a change. Unlike your four favorites they didn’t emote their way through a decision.

    • collapse expand

      ragnar – I’m not sure I’ve seen so many assumptions in one small note in a long time!

      For staters, I don’t deal in talking points – liberal, conservative or any other brand of nonsense. I don’t think you have to be a liberal to have concerns over what happens when there are so many guns on the streets. As for the empirical evidence you seek, see my response to leonkelly above. I’m not telling anyone that they can’t have a gun. I’m simply saying that we do know that the majority of murders in this country are committed by handguns. I’m not saying that those people could not have been killed some other way – but, again, handguns are the weapon of choice for killers. Is it a huge leap of common sense to question whether we just might be better of without them?

      I have indeed read by Heller an McDonald many times. And again you make an assumption that I “don’t like” the five judges who voted as they did on this issue – while the other four must be my favorites.

      Isn’t that a bit simplistic? My own opinions on decisions of the court do not turn on the individuals who sit on the bench. indeed, those whom I often disagree with are some of the finest legal minds in the nation. If you actually read what I have written in the past, you would know what a silly comment you make.

      If you want guns, be my guest. But, really, is there some benefit in questioning the intent of those who believe that guns kill people and just maybe we’d be a bit better off with less of them around? I’m not revolting because the court ruled as they did. And I understand the basis of the majority’s argument. However, you are absolutely wrong when you suggest that the minority failed to make their point. The majority may not agreed with the points – but you’re silly when you suggest that there was no basis to the arguments of the minority.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        You’ve read McDonald “many times”? Thats a nice trick considering the opinion was just released yesterday at 10AM.

        So if you’ve really read the opinion you would have seen that the minority opinion was based on specious reasoning and wishful thinking. Breyer’s dissent especially was so ludicrous I’m concerned for his mental faculties.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
        • collapse expand

          Since you find a need to question, I have a service that delivers supreme court opinions when they come out. I had it within minutes and, yes, I did what I always do – I read it a number of times as I find that this is necessary to fully grasp any decision.

          Your analysis of the dissent is as poor as your crystal ball skills when it comes to discerning how many times I’ve read a case. While you may not approve of the dissent’s reasoning, if you had any idea whatsoever as to what you are talking about, you would know that the dissent was pretty much what the dissent has always been whether you find it of value or not. What’s more, Breyer’s dissent was, without question for anyone who understands the court system, the most relevant. He points out that this court stopped short of deciding the case – they merely stated their interpretation of the law and kicked it back to the lower courts to figure out how it applies to the case at hand. This is an absolute nightmare for the lower courts.

          I’m guessing you are not a lawyer. If you are, you might want to keep it a secret or you’ll embarrass yourself further. If you are not, why don’t you study a bit before engaging in ad hominem and ridiculous attacks.

          There are many rational arguments to support the majority opinion and you are certainly entitled to agree with their ruling. But your desire to demean the minority is foolish and reveals a clear lack of understanding of the actual issues.

          In response to another comment. See in context »
          • collapse expand

            Yeah, I’m not a lawyer. I guess I need to go to law school to understand what the 2nd Amendment means despite its language that clearly gives people – the same people in the 1st Amendment – the right to keep and bear arms.

            Your parsing of my rights is where you are wrong. Parse your rights and leave me mine.

            In response to another comment. See in context »
  4. collapse expand

    As far as cutting Obama a break, even though I did support him, I think he needs to actually carry through on some of his campaign promises before he deserves a break. And no his toothless financial and healthcare reform don’t even start to count. And don’t even get me started on his promises to clean up the MMS with that dimwit Salazar at his side.

  5. collapse expand

    The Warren Zevon tribute is nice. The man died too early.

  6. collapse expand

    Rick, your point about “…when people kill people, it seems they almost always do it with a handgun” is orthogonal to this discussion. Besides, I believe that distinction belongs to automobile owners, not gun owners.

    The question is whether the right of an individual or a group to self defense is real or whether it can be abrogated by a city or a state. Would you deny a woman the right to own a handgun to protect herself from a possessive, abusive ex-boyfriend? Would you deny a shopkeeper the right to protect his shop from thugs in a crime riddled neighborhood? Would you deny someone in the witness protection program the right to carry a concealed weapon to ward off assassins?

    These are real situations. These are real people. And let me state up front: I don’t want someone to be just learning how to use a handgun when they need it. I want them learning how to use it long before they need it. Otherwise, that option of using a handgun in self defense will not be practical or available to them.

    We shouldn’t have to ask Mommy Government, may I please learn how to protect myself? And who the hell is the city of Chicago to usurp that right from it’s citizens?

    My children are learning to shoot. Right now, it’s just gun safety, BB pistols and target shooting. As they get older, I will teach them to shoot the real thing, accurately, and with appropriate training.

    I hope they never need to use this training. However, just as we teach people how to skid a car safely, we should teach them how to use a handgun safely.

    I want my children to know their skills and capabilities before they get in to a situation where they might need to use a handgun to defend themselves. They need to know know what a clear target looks like and how to hit the targets they’re aiming for. I’d rather see that, than to see them get in to a bad situation and have to rely upon a police force that may be too many minutes away.

    Unfortunately, people do die by handgun violence. And many of them are those who would use them to kill others. I am dismayed that things have to get that bad, making such violence necessary. Nevertheless, we need to deal with those issues before things get out of hand, instead of waiting for these people to do their deeds and then to punish them.

    • collapse expand

      If I knew what “orthagonal” meant I would respond.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      I decided to respond despite not knowing what orthagonal means—

      “Would you deny a woman the right to own a handgun to protect herself from a possessive, abusive ex-boyfriend? Would you deny a shopkeeper the right to protect his shop from thugs in a crime riddled neighborhood? Would you deny someone in the witness protection program the right to carry a concealed weapon to ward off assassins?”

      1.I’d rather see the woman report the abusive ex-boyfriend to the police and bring the appropriate action in a court of law if she is frightened to the point of fearing personal harm. That is what the law if for.
      2. Shopkeepers who keep guns to ward off thugs in crime riddled neighborhoods are typically dead before they get to pull the trigger. Why not move to a better neighborhood?
      3. I don’t really give a rats ass about criminals in witness protection who want to ward off assassins.

      Here’s some for you.
      1. Would you rather than children who walk around at night continue to be accidentally killed by parents who shoot before they ask?

      2. Would you rather that little kids get their daddies guns and accidentally blow their own brains out or a friends because there is no lock on the weapon — you know, the locks that SCOTUS struck down in the Heller case in DC?

      3. Would you rather than everyone be armed and shoot first whenever they get upset? Is this your idea of a civilized society?

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        “1.I’d rather see the woman report the abusive ex-boyfriend to the police and bring the appropriate action in a court of law if she is frightened to the point of fearing personal harm. That is what the law if for.”

        Yeah, that restraining order will work wonders.

        Tell that to the women who get beat up or killed while waving the paper around.

        “3. Would you rather than everyone be armed and shoot first whenever they get upset? Is this your idea of a civilized society?”

        Perhaps you could show some actual evidence for that. Law-abiding gun owners with concealed carry permits don’t act like that. And they seem to be the ones you want to disarm. Why exactly do you want law-abiding gunowners to be disarmed?

        In response to another comment. See in context »
        • collapse expand

          Except that pursuant to yesterday’s ruling, states will be able to do what they do in Arizona which is allow handguns purchased in the state to be non registered and carried as concealed weapons. Is that your idea of proper management of weapons?

          And why do I want law-abiding gun owners to be disarmed? Because they are all law abiding until they aren’t. When a previously law-abiding citizen gets into a domestic dispute or a fight with the neighbor (recently happened herein LA), loses it and kills someone, what then? Sure, they were previously law abiding. they are no longer and they go to jail – their victim is dead.

          In response to another comment. See in context »
          • collapse expand

            Actually, the court’s decision allows for reasonable regulations. Arizona has chosen to allow people the liberty to more or less freely exercise their rights under the Constitution. Other states may make stricter rules and still be within the Court’s intent. Sadly, they won’t be able to disarm people so that the criminal element can run free, as you apparently support. Must be nice living in that ivory tower. Try seeing the world from the street sometime.

            In response to another comment. See in context »
  7. collapse expand

    My guess is you may need those guns to survive the anarchy of another economic crash (or in some opinions, a deepening extension of the current one.)
    There is a very real relationship between financial failure and the breakdown of societal structure that has nothing to do with what is Constitutionally “correct”. What one may have thought of as an “inner city” problem among the urban poor turns out to be endemic to any neighborhood under financial hardship or stress, as has been well documented in this last economic meltdown. A rise in violence, drug use, domestic abuse, etc. occurs with the “when you ain’t got nothin’, you got nothin’ to lose” mindset. There is already a huge amount of pent-up anger in the country, tons of hate-filled rhetoric, and feeling of helplessness for the overall situation, (highlighted by the disaster in the Gulf.) Keep piling on the tinder and flinting sparks on it…
    There is often talk from the “Right” about the “intellectual elite” – I fully understand the SCOTUS ruling on an abstract intellectual level, but what about the practical real world result of it? More and more and more handguns cannot possibly equate to less use. To say otherwise defies any kind of rational logic.
    It’s great for Jake to train his children properly, but assuming that others will do so is a tremendous leap in faith. Surely one would hope the states would pass laws requiring registration and training, but that is not the case – in Arizona it is now legal for any adult to buy a gun and carry it concealed without any kind of training or permit. In fact, if the gun is manufactured in Arizona, (since it doesn’t cross a state line) it doesn’t even have to be registered! Makes one think of the Mark twain quote “Truth is stranger than fiction.”
    As to Obama “catching a break” – we could ALL use that break. I honestly believe the Republicans will do anything they can to keep the economy failing until they can regain control of the government.

  8. collapse expand

    So as easy as that language is to interpret, it means something else, but on the other hand, it is dead wrong to torture some people we caught dirty as hell to save hundreds of millions…. guess that’s the main difference between liberalism and conservatism.

  9. collapse expand

    Mr Ungar I take it you don’t live in Chicago. Murder rates and shooting are not down. It is a well known fact that The Federal Govt doesn’t include Chicago in their statics because of the skewered numbers.

    I live here and on any given night one can listen to Police Scanners and know that their are more that are not being reported.

    However recently two families were saved after breakins because the owners of these homes had Hand-Guns. Criminals will always have guns. Now the law abiding and tax paying citizen will have protection.

    • collapse expand

      I don’t know if it is a well known fact that the federal gov’t doesn’t include Chicago in their statistics because of skewed numbers. I do, however, have to wonder why they include other cities with higher murder rates…but not Chicago?

      Also – I didn’t get the numbers from the federal government – I got it from the local Chicago newspaper.

      And for every example you give me of people saved by someone having a handgun, I can, unfortunately, give you at least double the number of deaths caused in homes in the heat of anger because a handgun was present. Even in Chicago, more murders take place in domestic situations than any other.

      And its not the law abiding citizens I’m worried about. What tax paying has to do with it is beyond me. I pay lots and lots of taxes and I’m a law abiding citizen. If you feel safer as a result of today’s ruling, cool. I very much do not.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  10. collapse expand

    I have a novel idea. Many pro gun folks like to harken back to the days of yore when interpreting the intent of the Founders and what was written in the Constitution regarding the Second Amendment. Let’s be strict constructionists in this sense: Any private citizen can own and carry a weapon, but it has to be what the Founders owned and carried. Flintlock, smooth-bore, black powder, muzzle-loading muskets and pistols. Only law enforcement and the military are allowed modern weapons. Modern weapons will be confiscated from private citizens. Now this would truly be a strict constructionist interpretation and practice of what the Founders had in mind for the citizenry. Folks could even drill with their neighborhood militias on week-ends. You could even carry your musket or pistol openly anywhere you wish.

  11. collapse expand

    The real problem with this decision is, as you noted, the basis of federal decision on the rights of the states.

    In the process of studying history and Federalist papers, I’ve become more convinced of the idea of the rights being negative rights to the federal government. Yet, this ruling only shows the federal government has rights to apply rights to the states. Now, any interpretation can be applied directly to the states, overriding state laws. Many of which already have laws, and had laws conflicting with constitution before becoming a state. Now, anything can be “interpreted” is a right and cast that ruling to all states. Which seems completely opposite of the original intentions. In ten years, this interpretation could change and restrict guns in all states under the same pretense.

    And don’t get me started with Krugman and his weak Keynesian theories. He’s just mad that Europe didn’t follow his ideas like the US govt. did (or used to). Greece has been a perfect example of what Keynesian theory does.
    http://www.cobdencentre.org/2010/05/material-evidence-greece-keynesian-folly/

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-lewis/the-coming-keynesian-cata_b_605661.html

    And his so called prediction of the housing bubble… that he just so happen to suggest in 2002.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/02/opinion/dubya-s-double-dip.html

  12. collapse expand

    I am an ex-felon. My crimes were all financial and did not in any way involve violence or the use of force. I also live in a dangerous neighborhood. I do so because the costs for housing in dangerous neighborhoods are less than in safer neighborhoods. As an ex-felon, my job prospects have been limited and I do not earn much money. One of the ways I can live on the income my restricted opportunities provide me is to live in the less expensive, more dangerous, neighborhoods. Living within one’s means is a very good way to avoid the temptation of committing another crime, thus my frugalness is also good for society.

    However, because I live in a dangerous neighborhood, the US Supreme Court says I should have access to a hand gun to protect myself. Oh, except I shouldn’t because I am an ex-felon. What other right protected by the US Constitution is forever lost due to a felony conviction? As long as owning a gun was a privilege, not a right, something akin to a drivers license, then the restriction on ex-felon ownership was reasonable. I have lost many privileges because of my transgressions, but not any rights. May I not speak my mind as others? May I not worship as I please? Do I not still have the right to print my thoughts unrestricted by government censorship? Do I still not have the right to remain silent, have any attorney, a trail by jury, the right to indictment by a grand jury in capital cases? Shall I not receive just compensation should my property be taken by the government? In all respects, my rights under the Constitution are the same as any other citizen once my confinement and parole are complete. I am not a felon, but an ex-felon. My debt to society has been paid.

    What unique quality about the Second Amendment allows it to be lost forever from a felony conviction by mere law? None.

    And thus the fallacy of the Supreme Court’s ruling is laid bare. if something is a Constitutional right, it must remain even after a felony conviction. It cannot be lost for rights are not granted by government or sovereign, but by our mere humanness, and are not the government’s to take away. They are ours prior to the existence of government and remain ever so. Only those specific powers we delegate to government are given up, traded in the grand bargain of freedom for ordered liberty. Our states and governmental subdivisions must have the ability to arm themselves to keep the peace and maintain order, but such right is not an individual one. The ability to defy the collective society by use of force, through a weapon such as a gun, is the very essence of what is lost by the creation of government. Just as the right to swing one’s arm ends at one’s neighbor’s nose, the right to individual protection through deadly force is ended by the creation of a democratic society.

    How sad that people who call themselves Originalists do not understand even the most basic principals of our American experiment. Some rights do not end at the jail house door, but most privileges certainly do and the rights suffer certain restrictions. Once the punishments period ends, all rights are restored. If ex-felons can’t own guns, then gun ownership simply cannot be a Constitutionally protected right.

    • collapse expand

      Interesting point.
      It also raises other questions regarding things like voting – a right or a privilege? Felons are denied the right to vote, I believe. Thus, by your analysis- which I really do think is interesting – that would make it a privilege. Most experts, by the way, believe voting is a privilege despite the fact that our entire system is built on it.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        Voting is not guaranteed by the Constitution, only a republican form of government (Article 4, Section 4). States also cannot deny the vote based on a protected classification or above 18 years of age. Voting is denied to all sorts of people, other than ex-felons. People younger than 18 and those who do not have citizenship, for example, typically cannot vote. Those groups still enjoy the Constitutional protections provided by the Bill of Rights. (The only people I know denied those protections are in Guantanamo, but I suggest that is an abrogation of our Constitution and that discussion is a rather different kettle of fish.)

        I happen to live in California, which does not deny the vote to ex-felons. Once one has completed incarceration (which includes parole), one may register and vote again. Nothing prevents a state from lowering the voting age to 14 (the age at which most states hold people criminally liable for their actions) or allowing permanent residents, but not citizens, from voting (there are certain elections for special property taxes for improvement districts that allow all owners, regardless of citizenship, to vote here in California. Even a corporation votes in that election.)

        My personal belief voting is akin to military service, an obligation of citizenship. In most times and places, few people actually serve in the military, but there are times when many are required to (WWII is a good example). We never achieve 100% in voting, nor in military service. In most elections, few people vote, but they are the ones who know about the issues and vote. There are times one is called upon to vote and one must do so.

        I am in law school (yes, ex-felons can become lawyers) and am considering filing a lawsuit to be able to buy a gun, just to see what the courts would do. Unfortunately, I really don’t want to buy a gun, as I think they are dangerous and stupid. I’d much rather cower in my bathroom calling the police than confront an intruder with a gun.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
        • collapse expand

          Speaking of intruders…
          Hot tip I’ve seen online for good self defense. Get some of those cans of wasp spray. They shoot about 20+ feet and can take down an unsuspecting intruder quickly and still allow a safe distance from intruder.
          I keep a couple of cans safely stored in the house. Plus, much safer than a gun with kids around.

          In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      Well said. Your story’s premise shows exactly why the ruling is flawed and the Bill of Rights should NOT be interpreted as positive rights. As you noted, it now gives privilege of the federal government to give, or not give, you that 2nd amendment right to you based on interpretation. Meaning these rights are not longer given to you by natural human rights, but now by the government.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  13. collapse expand

    rganar

    “Must be nice living in that ivory tower. Try seeing the world from the street sometime.”

    Your constant assumptions are entertaining – not only to be but to other readers whom I’ m sure are getting quite a chuckle out of your suggestion that I am viewing the world from the ivory tower.
    You should try doing some homework from time to time. It actually doesn’t hurt to know what you’re talking about.
    And yes, clearly I’m rooting for the bad guys on the street. That’s what this is all about. It’s a good thing that you suggest that only left leaning posters have negative things to say -because if this is you being positive, I’d hate to see your negative side, particularly when I suspect you are loaded for bear. But then, isn’t that really what so much of the gun thing is really about? People can feel strong and powerful because they have a gun. People like me, who don’t carry guns, have to always think about the danger element of offending or standing up to the big man with a weapon who might use it.
    The remarkable part is that the justification for so many weapons owners is that they want to be ready to protect themselves from the government when what they are really saying is “I have a gun so don’t mess with me.”

    • collapse expand

      Rick,
      You have isolated the embarrassing truth:

      “…what they are really saying is “I have a gun so don’t mess with me.””.

      The handgun discussion is seldom had with factual representation, else it would end quickly with the pro-gun argument being completely disabused. More often than not the discussion devolves into pure psycho-babble without foundation. Your point of view has a great deal of merit, even for a modestly pro-gun advocate like me.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
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    I am an attorney in Southern California, and a frequent writer, speaker and consultant on health care policy and politics. To that end, I am active member of the Association of Health Care Journalists. Based in beautiful Santa Monica, California, I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to be a contributing editor to True/Slant. I've recently finished a book designed to make the health care debate understandable to the average reader, and expect it to be out in the next five months or earlier. In my 'spare time', I continue to write for television and, occasionally, for comic books.

    My checkered past includes stints in creative writing and production for television where I did strange things like founding the long running show "Access Hollywood" and serving, for many years, as the president of the Marvel Character Group where I had the distinct pleasure of being one of Spider-man's bosses.

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    Followers: 333
    Contributor Since: February 2009
    Location:Santa Monica,CA

    What I'm Up To

    Media inquiries:

    Melissa Van Fleet

    Ken Lindner & Associates, Inc.
    2029 Century Park East, Suite 1000
    Los Angeles, California 90067

    310-277-9223