Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Supreme Court Second Amendment Decision Has Brought Out All Of The Hystericals.

The Supreme Court Second Amendment Decision Has Brought Out All Of The Hystericals.

This decision does not mean that a convicted violent Felony, mentally ill or anarchist has a right to go out and stock pile a barn full of AK-47s and the like, or that we all have the right to own a Thompson Sub Machine Gun without registration, or, that we all might as well buy some good fast leather and strap it on baby because dodge city has returned.

The hate remains that if all the gun haters and those who fear guns had their way those how want a gun for evil proposes would still find a way to acquire on and use it a way to take innocent life for whatever motivation. That unfortunately is the nature of our imperfect species.

A disarmed nation is ultimately an enslaved nation and a police state. I am of course a staunch supporter of the Second amendment and the Declaration Of Independence; for that I make no apologies. The evil and violence man perpetrates upon his brothers and sisters reside not in piece of steel but within ourselves.

The two second amendment decisions of the court do prohibit common sense regulation of fire arms ownership; they do, however, prohibit the disarming of private citizens and a means of self-defense against the darker instincts of some, or the day when the citizenry of this nation may again be called upon to be citizen soldiers in defense of our every right!

Violence Against Women

One advocate says a domestic violence conviction is no match for the Second Amendment -- but is he right? BY RYAN BROWN

Should perpetrators of domestic violence be allowed to own guns?

Now there’s a question I never thought I’d have to ask. Call me crazy, but I’d put people who batter their family members right up there with the mentally ill and Dick Cheney on the list of people who should never, ever be allowed near a gun. And Congress agrees; that's why in 1996 it passed a law that barred anyone convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from transporting, owning or using a gun in this country.

But that may be about to change. In a contentious 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that state and local governments cannot enact bans on firearm ownership, and legal experts predict that the ruling will bring a flood of challenges to existing gun control laws -- including those that prohibit batterers from owning firearms.

Herb Titus, counsel for Gun Owners of America, told NPR today that challenging the ban on domestic violence offenders will be first on his slate of issues to tackle using the high court's new ruling. It might sound weird to single out people who beat their children and spouses as a minority group in need of having their civil rights protected, but as gun proponents like Titus see it, firearm ownership is not a privilege, it's a constitutionally protected right, and it should not be revoked on the basis of a minor criminal conviction.

Well, it's one thing if your little infraction against the law was shoplifting or failing a breathalyzer exam. But when you are convicted of violently endangering members of your own family -- probably habitually, since domestic violence is rarely an isolated event -- it makes sense that the law can throw up barriers that make it harder for you to, you know, violently endanger members of your own family.

And it's not as though we don't know how guns play into the domestic violence equation. Approximately 700 women are shot and killed by their intimate partners each year. In fact, American women are twice as likely to be killed by their partner as a stranger -- and guns cause that risk to skyrocket. One study showed that access to firearms increases the risk of partner homicide five-fold.

Yet, despite the evidence that putting guns in the hands of convicted domestic abusers puts their partners at a fatal risk, and despite the fact that the vast majority of domestic violence victims in this country are women, gun control is rarely framed as a feminist issue. Violence against women and gun violence form a Venn diagram with a dangerous and volatile center, but most advocates are still circling in the outer waters. But that could be a dangerous misstep, especially for this particular issue. As the American Prospect points out, no women's rights organizations submitted briefs, which are used by parties not involved in the proceedings to supply additional relevant information, to the Supreme Court in this case. To be fair, perhaps they weren't on 24-hour watch for activists charging out to support the gun rights of domestic abusers. But now that the issue is out there, the longer women's rights advocates refrain from stepping into the debate, the more leeway the pro-firearms lobby will have to set the tone of their argument about the "rights" of batterers -- and if you ask me, that's a loaded gun just waiting to go off.

Supreme Court Casts Doubt On Chicago Gun Ban, Extends Nationwide Gun Rights


June 28, 2010: BY FRAN SPIELMAN Staff Reporter

The Supreme Court held Monday that the Constitution’s Second Amendment restrains government’s ability to significantly limit “the right to keep and bear arms,” advancing a recent trend by the John Roberts-led bench to embrace gun rights.

The City Council’s Police Committee is scheduled to meet this morning to consider a replacement ordinance introduced directly to the committee by Mayor Daley.
(AP file)

By a narrow, 5-4 vote, the justices signaled in a case filed against handguns bans in Chicago and Oak Park, however, that less severe restrictions could survive legal challenges.

Supreme Court opinion

Mayor Daley responded to the long-anticipated ruling at a City Hall news conference flanked by the parents of young people struck down by gun violence.

“I’m disappointed by this decision, but it’s not surprising,” the mayor said.

Although the Chicago ban remains in effect until a federal appeals court invalidates it, Daley said the U.S. Supreme Court ruling essentially “means that Chicago’s current handgun ban is unenforceable.”

The City Council’s Police Committee recessed until 1 p.m. Tuesday to consider a replacement ordinance, provided it’s ready by then.

Daley has said Chicago gun owners could be required to take a training course, register their firearms, allow police to perform ballistics tests and even purchase liability insurance.

Today, he shed no additional light on the details.

But, he expressed “deep concern about some language” in the high court ruling.

Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito wrote, that the “plight of Chicagoans living in high-crime areas” was recently highlighted when two state lawmakers urged the governor to call out the National Guard to stop the bloodbath on Chicago streets.

State Representatives John Fritchey and LaShawn Ford noted the number of people killed on the streets of Chicago “equalled the number of American soldiers killed during that same period in Afghanistan and Iraq and that 80 percent of the Chicago victims were black,” Alioto wrote.

“If, as petitioners believe, their safety and the safety of other law-abiding members of the community would be enhanced by the possession of handguns in the home for self-defense, then the Second Amendment right protects the rights of minorities and other residents of other high-crime areas whose needs are not being met by elected public officials,” Alioto wrote.

Hours after the Supreme Court ruling, Daley fired back.

“To suggest that Chicago’s elected officials haven’t done enough to protect our city residents shows many of our highest level officials don’t understand that gun violence pervades America — not just Chicago,” Daley said.

“Across the country, cities are struggling with how to address this issue. Common sense tells you we need fewer guns on the street, not more guns.”

Apparently concerned about an influx in gun sales in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, Corporation Counsel Mara Georges said, “I would urge anyone considering buying a gun at this time to wait until the new regulatory structure is in place, then carefully review all applicable laws before making any firearms purchases.”

In anticipation of today’s ruling, Daley initially planned to introduce a replacement ordinance directly to the City Council’s Police Committee and rush it through today.

But after an hour-long meeting that focused on other issues, Committee Chairman Anthony Beale (9th) recessed the meeting until 1 p.m. Tuesday.

“There’s 200 pages of documentation that we’re going through. Some of the things are giving us guidelines to follow that will pass the Supreme Court’s test. So we want to make sure that, whatever we craft, it won’t get struck down again,” Beale said.

The chairman said he has seen an early draft of the ordinance, but he refused to discuss the provisions, adding, “There may be some things that were in it that we need to take out. And there may be some things that we need to put in.”

Two years ago, the Supreme Court struck down a similar handgun ban in Washington D.C. The nation’s capital responded by requiring gun owners to get five hours of safety training, register their firearms every three years and face criminal background checks every six years.

Washington gun owners are further required to submit fingerprints and allow police to perform ballistic tests. They must keep revolvers unloaded and either disassembled or secured with trigger locks unless they have reason to fear a home intruder.

“Some of the things that they passed in D.C. are very strong. But we can probably come up with something that’s a little stronger,” Beale said, refusing to reveal specifics.

Daley hasn’t tipped his hand on all of the specifics as he awaited the court ruling. But he has said to protect first-responders, he’s prepared to go above and beyond the replacement model crafted by Washington D.C. after its handgun ban bit the dust.

Writing for the Supreme Court, Alito said that the Second Amendment right “applies equally to the federal government and the states.”

The court was split along familiar ideological lines, with five conservative-moderate justices in favor of gun rights and four liberals opposed. Chief Justice Roberts voted with the majority.

Two years ago, the court declared that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess guns, at least for purposes of self-defense in the home.

That ruling applied only to federal laws. It struck down a ban on handguns and a trigger lock requirement for other guns in the District of Columbia, a federal city with a unique legal standing. At the same time, the court was careful not to cast doubt on other regulations of firearms here.

Gun rights proponents almost immediately filed a federal lawsuit challenging gun control laws in Chicago and of Oak Park, where handguns have been banned for nearly 30 years. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence says those laws appear to be the last two remaining outright bans.

Lower federal courts upheld the two laws, noting that judges on those benches were bound by Supreme Court precedent and that it would be up to the high court justices to ultimately rule on the true reach of the Second Amendment.

The Supreme Court already has said that most of the guarantees in the Bill of Rights serve as a check on state and local, as well as federal, laws.

Monday’s decision did not explicitly strike down the Chicago area laws, ordering a federal appeals court to reconsider its ruling. But it left little doubt that they would eventually fall.

Still, Alito noted that the declaration that the Second Amendment is fully binding on states and cities “limits (but by no means eliminates) their ability to devise solutions to social problems that suit local needs and values.”

Last Friday, as Daley awaited the Supreme Court ruling, he continued to fret about the dilemma the ruling would cause police officers, firefighters and paramedics arriving at emergency scenes.

“What does a first-responder [do when they] come to your home, if you have 50 guns and you pointed a gun at your wife? You have a legal right to a gun,” the mayor said.

“Can we interfere with that display of a gun if you’ve shown it to somebody in your home? Of course not because everybody wants to sue the city. They want to sue you, the taxpayers, to try to get money out of your pocket. … That’s what we’re worried about.”

Northwest Side Ald. Tom Allen (38th) said the ban has done nothing to stop the bloodbath on Chicago streets as evidenced by the 26 people shot this weekend.

Asked whether Chicago would be more or less safe without the ban, he said, “It’s a wash. The bad guys are gonna have their guns and the good people who are responsible citizens — they will also have their guns. But they’ll do it in a responsible way in their home to protect their family or in their place of business to protect them from armed robbers.”

Daley has talked about requiring gun owners to take a training course, register their firearms, allow police to perform ballistics tests and even purchase liability insurance.

But Allen said there’s no guarantee that those measures will be any more effective than the ban itself, which was roundly ignored.

“We can make some legislation. We can add insurance as a component. And I’m hoping they will comply better than they do with mandatory auto insurance. Because one out of three people on the street doesn’t have insurance,” he said.

South Side Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) said she’s disappointed in the ruling because, “It’s better to have a ban than not to have a ban.”

But she added, “I don’t think this ruling makes a bit of difference [about crime]. It does nothing to take guns out of the hands of bad guys.”

Allen argued that “in a round-about way,” the Supreme Court ruling may turn out to be a “good thing” for Chicago.

“It’s letting us re-think the mechanism of a flat-out ban because it hasn’t worked. ... It’ll allow law-abiding citizens to register a handgun. The public perception of people running wild on the street with a gun in their holster? That’s not true. It’s in your home or your place of business,” Allen said.

“Every law-abiding citizen is entitled to have that by state law. The Supreme Court evidently has ruled that we can’t deny them that right. So, let’s find a way to identify and register the handguns. And you can be sure that those people who register aren’t gonna be out killing people.”

Chicago’s 1982 handgun freeze — and a companion requirement that existing gun owners re-register their weapons every year — have been likened to Prohibition and denounced as a widely ignored charade.

Last week, Finance Committee Chairman Edward M. Burke (14th) acknowledged as much.

“There’s widespread disobedience of the law. There’s widespread flaunting of the law by people who strongly believe that they should have a weapon in their house,” Burke said.

“Just in the last 60 days, we’ve seen three instances where law-abiding citizens who had possession of a weapon in their home shot and/or killed violent offenders in their home or in the vicinity of their home. It’s noteworthy that no one has prosecuted those law-abiding citizens. Probably, we oughta pass a city ordinance and give ‘em each a medal.”

In that sense, Burke argued that a city registration implemented to replace the ban might be an improvement.

“Nobody can register it, so the city doesn’t know. Is it not better that the city knows who has a gun?” the alderman said.

Ald. Willie Cochran (20th), a former Chicago Police officer, said training and liability insurance should be cornerstones of any replacement ordinance.

“Just like we qualify as a police officer, qualifications should be required on a regular basis,” Cochran said.

“A police officer has to go and qualify once-a-year ... for the purpose of having accuracy, knowing how to use that weapon and safety regulations. If officers have to do it [and] people in Chicago want to own guns” they should have to do the same.

With crime running rampant in many black and Hispanic communities, Cochran said he expects more people to purchase guns now that the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed it as a basic constitutional right.

“People are at a point in their lives right now where they want to protect themselves. The fact that this violence is permeating throughout the community of color is a very scary thing,” Cochran said.

“With the climate today, most people think that having a gun is a way to protect themselves ... not taking into consideration the dangers that go along with it. Will you really have time to get to that gun? More guns in the house means that a child can get to that gun. More guns in the house means that someone can break into that house and take those guns. More guns around means an offense will occur that shouldn’t, especially when we’re talking about domestics.”

No comments: