John Paul Stevens on the Second Amendment

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Francis Di Domizio
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Re: John Paul Stevens on the Second Amendment

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:09 pm

Gentle Man wrote:Also, the fact that there were around 14,000 sawed-off shotguns in use by the military at the time of the Miller opinion indicates that guns of the type Miller owned were indeed "in common use by the militia."


As a matter of clarification, are you now equating militias with the military as opposed to free citizens able to stand up to an oppressive government? If not, then your statement does not prove the Miller ruling to be factually incorrect.

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Re: John Paul Stevens on the Second Amendment

Postby snoqueen » Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:11 pm

The court does not rule on matters of fact but rather decides how laws are to be interpreted and applied. If they're using erroneous facts, we're still stuck with the results when they rule. They don't rule on what are those facts, they rule on what are the laws.

For instance, no matter how Samuel Alito jumps and dances I will never believe a corporation is a person. I still have to follow Citizens United or take the consequences.

Same is true with a ruling that mentions how many guns the court thinks are out there.

And yes, I too find it odd how slippery the definition of a militia proves to be.
Last edited by snoqueen on Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: John Paul Stevens on the Second Amendment

Postby Gentle Man » Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:11 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
Gentle Man wrote:This was a factual error by the court.

If so, it wouldn't be the first time. But no matter, as the law is the law and the Supreme Court bats last.


And I'm sure you don't actually believe that yourself. The court is bound by the Constitution, not the other way around. There are amendments to the Constitution, none of which were placed there by any court. They may not bat often, but in the end the people bat last.

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Re: John Paul Stevens on the Second Amendment

Postby snoqueen » Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:12 pm

Well, you hope they bat last. Let's put it like that.

I think the old thing about bending the arc of justice is more like it. It can bend very slowly.

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Re: John Paul Stevens on the Second Amendment

Postby Gentle Man » Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:29 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:
Gentle Man wrote:Also, the fact that there were around 14,000 sawed-off shotguns in use by the military at the time of the Miller opinion indicates that guns of the type Miller owned were indeed "in common use by the militia."


As a matter of clarification, are you now equating militias with the military as opposed to free citizens able to stand up to an oppressive government? If not, then your statement does not prove the Miller ruling to be factually incorrect.


No, I never equated the militia with the military. The organized military is only one component of the militia. Despite what Sno just asserted, there's nothing slippery about the definition of the militia. It's clearly defined in federal law.

But speaking of slippery, you reminded me of a point I thought about yesterday. Stevens tries to rely on Miller in his reasoning. He claims, wrongly I may add, that Miller says gun ownership is a right only in connection with some military function, i.e. that only soldiers have a right to bear arms. He oddly thinks this because the Miller opinion said only military-like weapons are protected by the 2nd Amendment. The kicker is that he says, since ordinary people cannot own machine guns (actually, he's wrong), ordinary people have no Second Amendment rights. Of course, he ignores the fact that until just a few years before Miller, ordinary people COULD own machineguns without any restrictions whatsoever. So his argument takes the form of "You have no gun rights because gun rights only apply to military weapons. You cannot have military weapons.... why? Because, damn it, we just passed a law that says you can't." He borrows a though process used in Dred Scott opinion, i.e., "Heck them Negroes don't have no rights because if they did they'd be able to carry gun like the rest of us, and well, we can't have that!" Paraphrasing the opinion just a bit.

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Re: John Paul Stevens on the Second Amendment

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:30 pm

Gentle Man wrote:
Henry Vilas wrote:
Gentle Man wrote:This was a factual error by the court.

If so, it wouldn't be the first time. But no matter, as the law is the law and the Supreme Court bats last.

And I'm sure you don't actually believe that yourself. The court is bound by the Constitution, not the other way around. There are amendments to the Constitution, none of which were placed there by any court. They may not bat often, but in the end the people bat last.

Sounds like you are unfamilar with the full meaning of the Supremacy Clause.

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Re: John Paul Stevens on the Second Amendment

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:37 pm

Gentle Man wrote:No, I never equated the militia with the military. The organized military is only one component of the militia.


Please defend this statement. There is no law I can find that places the organized military of the federal government as a component of the a militia.

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Re: John Paul Stevens on the Second Amendment

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:44 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:
Gentle Man wrote:No, I never equated the militia with the military. The organized military is only one component of the militia.

Please defend this statement. There is no law I can find that places the organized military of the federal government as a component of the a militia.

G (nee D) Man believes the original intent is that all males over a certain age (slaves excluded) are part of the "unorganized" militia. He also believes he is a militia of one. Now how does one distinguish between a seditious paramilitary group and a militia?

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Re: John Paul Stevens on the Second Amendment

Postby Detritus » Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:52 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
Francis Di Domizio wrote:
Gentle Man wrote:No, I never equated the militia with the military. The organized military is only one component of the militia.

Please defend this statement. There is no law I can find that places the organized military of the federal government as a component of the a militia.

G (nee D) Man believes the original intent is that all males over a certain age (slaves excluded) are part of the "unorganized" militia. He also believes he is a militia of one. Now how does one distinguish between a seditious paramilitary group and a militia?

By the merit badges on their sashes. Obviously.

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Re: John Paul Stevens on the Second Amendment

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:02 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
Francis Di Domizio wrote:
Gentle Man wrote:No, I never equated the militia with the military. The organized military is only one component of the militia.

Please defend this statement. There is no law I can find that places the organized military of the federal government as a component of the a militia.

G (nee D) Man believes the original intent is that all males over a certain age (slaves excluded) are part of the "unorganized" militia. He also believes he is a militia of one. Now how does one distinguish between a seditious paramilitary group and a militia?


All adult males between the ages of 17 and 45 are in fact considered part of the reserve militia, so that part I get. The claim that the military forces of the US government are also part of the militia is what I'm questioning. The national guard can be called up to active federal military service, but that doesn't mean that the military is also part of the militia.

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Re: John Paul Stevens on the Second Amendment

Postby Jeerleader » Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:23 pm

Justice Stevens wrote a piece suggesting five words that could "fix" the Second Amendment to say:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.


His reasoning is based on the original intent of the amendment, on the sovereignty of states, and the misunderstanding of the scope of the right to self-defense.


Stevens was always a schizophrenic constitutional taffy-puller and his senility has only made his recent statements more ridiculous.

His idea runs counter to hundreds of years of SCOTUS holdings as to the origin and nature of our rights and specifically for the right to arms, 140 years of boringly consistent holdings that the right to arms is not granted by the 2nd Amendment thus is not in any manner dependent upon the Constitution to exist.

So apparently he has decided that the Court has been wrong on fundamental rights theory and that the right to arms is entirely dependent on the words of the 2nd Amendment and a couple new words can finally solidify that dependency and nail the coffin shut on this whole "individual right" nonsense . . .

What a doofus.

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Re: John Paul Stevens on the Second Amendment

Postby Jeerleader » Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:41 pm

Detritus wrote:like the 18th Amendment, the Second should be repealed.


Meaningless endeavor.

The right is not created (or granted or given or otherwise established) by the 2nd Amendment. The 2nd only recognizes a pre-existing right and redundantly forbids the federal government to exercise powers it was never granted (to act against it).

Detritus wrote:Whatever its original purpose and value, it has brought great harm to our society,


The criminal misuse of guns is not an exercise of the right secured by the 2nd Amendment. The government is empowered to enforce criminal law and punish those who violate the rules of society. The failure of government to effectively do that and protect society does not create a constitutional issue that demands the illegitimate restriction of lawful uses of guns.

Detritus wrote:I am against elevating the ownership and use of firearms to a fundamental right equal to freedom of speech or freedom of (from) religion.


You are arguing against a foundational principle.

Detritus wrote:We manage to own and use thousands of objects without having specific constitutional amendments supporting our right to do so.


We don't possess the right to arms because the 2nd Amendment exists, we possess the right to arms because We the People never granted to government any power to have any interest in the personal arms of the private citizen. The principle is that of conferred powers and retained rights.

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Re: John Paul Stevens on the Second Amendment

Postby Jeerleader » Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:48 pm

Huckleby wrote:Yet when I peruse the history of the Supreme Court decisions, they have taken a different view, even at one time ruling that the 2nd amendment only applies to militias:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Ame ... nstitution

For sure, that militia clause is bizarre and ambiguous.


SCOTUS has never embraced any permutation of the "militia right" or "state's right" inventions.

In fact, those theories were inserted into to federal courts by lower federal courts in 1942, by dismissing and ignoring SCOTUS in US v Miller (1939).

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Re: John Paul Stevens on the Second Amendment

Postby snoqueen » Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:59 pm

...his argument takes the form of "You have no gun rights because gun rights only apply to military weapons. You cannot have military weapons.... why? Because, damn it, we just passed a law that says you can't."


Which is exactly how laws work. Very good.

Prohibition was passed or enacted into law in 1920. Before that time people could possess and drink alcohol; after then, damn it, it was illegal. See?

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Re: John Paul Stevens on the Second Amendment

Postby Jeerleader » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:31 pm

snoqueen wrote:
...his argument takes the form of "You have no gun rights because gun rights only apply to military weapons. You cannot have military weapons.... why? Because, damn it, we just passed a law that says you can't."


Which is exactly how laws work. Very good.

Prohibition was passed or enacted into law in 1920. Before that time people could possess and drink alcohol; after then, damn it, it was illegal. See?


New here but from what I have read of you I'm surprised you equate a law passed by Congress (National Firearm Act of 1934 in this case) with a constitutional amendment.

Congress was granted no power to impact the manufacture, distribution, sale and consumption by private citizens of spirits so a constitutional amendment was needed.

Interestingly, Congress was been granted no power to impact the possession and use of the personal arms of the private citizen and the possession and use (keep and bear) of those personal weapons by private citizens is constitutionally protected by an Amendment and there are some that say simple laws passed by Congress are legitimate restricting the right . . .

Things that make you go Hmmmmmm . . .


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