Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Laci Says

Although the title of the post is "Turtles all the way down," and uses this very enjoyable Stephen Hawking story to make a point, I'd call this essay "How the Supremes can be Mistaken."

The argumentum ad populum. Something is true because many or all people believe it. There is a converse to this the argumentum ad verecundiam, the argument from authority or appeal to authority is a logical fallacy, where it is argued that a statement is correct because the statement is made by a person or source that is commonly regarded as authoritative.

But, if the people or the authority is wrong, then that does not make the proposition true. So, even if 5 out of 4 of the Supreme Court justices rule that something is the law, that does not make it proper law.

The question is how does one educate the people that the popular beliefs about the Second Amendment, in particular it's being an "individual right" are The Emperor's New Clothes. There really isn't anything there. Heller was pure partisan politics which is the only reason that piece of intellectual dishonesty could have been written.

Everyone who has read the decision has found it wanting, with the exception of some gun control groups who are happy that it allows for reasonable restrictions. I have to admit that it is a harbinger of ill when I think of this in light of Cass Sunstein: "The Second Amendment: The Constitution's Most Mysterious Right", but I am not sure how the ill will come about.


It certainly is interesting how Laci points out that "some gun control groups [who] are happy that it allows for reasonable restrictions." I never noticed that, I've been so busy listening to the pro-gun crowd praising Heller to high heaven.

What do you think about calling it "partisan politics" and "intellectual dishonesty?" Do you think there's anything to those accusations?

Of course if it is true, if the Heller decision was a departure from the true juridical ideals we expect from the Supreme Court, we may be in for more of the same. But sooner or later, the possibility exists that a Court, one perhaps lacking Justice Scalia, might straighten this all out.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

47 comments:

  1. Of course, I am X so my opinion can't be trusted. Of course, that's only if you have a very small and closed mind.

    I think if the keyboard warriors who hang out here would read some of the criticism of Heller from various sources, they will find it seriously lacking.

    I find it even more interesting that they welcome seeing the Second Amendment "incorporated" to the states. That would mena that they give up yet another right to the federal government.

    As I say, I don't allow comments because I don't like wasting my time on keyboard warriors who can't offer valid and cogent criticism.

    BTW, see my "You use too many words!!!" post.

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  2. BTW, thank you, Mike! I grovel very well, especially where treats are concerned.

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  3. Wow, this woman has no clue how the American legal system works.

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  4. One thing I find logical about Heller is that it is consistent with the Court's 2003 Eldred decision.

    The controversy over the Scond Amentment stem from the prefatory "militia" clause.
    There is an obvious way to shed light on this dispute: Look for similar wording elsewhere in the Constitution. There is similar wording in at least one other place: The Constitution gives Congress the power "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

    In 1998, the Copyright Term Extension Act extended all copyright terms by twenty years. Eldred (a publisher who was expecting to profit when expired copyrights entered the public domain) challenged the law and the case went to the Supreme Court. On what grounds was the challenge? The Copyright Term Extension Act did not "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" as mentioned in the prefatory clause (where have we seen that before?). Eldred argued that extending existing copyrights did not meet those criteria and that the prefatory clause limited the power given in the operative clause.

    Sound familiar?

    The Court decided 7-2 for the government, ruling that the power of Congress to grant copyrights was not limited by the prefatory clause.

    Let's say that again: The power named in the operative clause was not limited by the prefatory clause.

    Being free of gun-related emotions and dogma, this was not a controversial decision, and most legal observers considered it just and reasonable. But does anyone see any implications for our discussion about the Heller case?

    ELDRED et al. v. ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL

    No. 01-618. Argued October 9, 2002--Decided January 15, 2003

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=000&invol=01-618

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  5. This whole collective rights nonsense didn't exist before the late 1970's or so.

    No one thought the 2nd was anything but an individual right before then and it was even taught in grade school.

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  6. FatWhiteMan said...

    This whole collective rights nonsense didn't exist before the late 1970's or so.


    How do you explain US v. Miller?

    No one thought the 2nd was anything but an individual right before then and it was even taught in grade school.

    This is argumentum ad populem. Pre-Emerson and Heller jurisprudence shows this is a false statement.

    For fun, find a copy of US v Rybar, 103 F.3d 273 (3d Cir. 1996). Note the Second Amendment argument:

    Rybar's invocation of this statute does nothing to establish
    that his firearm possession bears a reasonable relationship to
    "the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia," as
    required in Miller, 307 U.S. at 178, 59 S.Ct. at 818. Nor can
    claimed membership in a hypothetical or "sedentary" militia
    suffice. See United States v. Hale, 978 F.2d 1016, 1020 (8th
    Cir.1992), cert. denied, 507 U.S. 997, 113 S.Ct. 1614, 123
    L.Ed.2d 174 (1993); United States v. Oakes, 564 F.2d 384, 387
    (10th Cir.1977), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 926, 98 S.Ct. 1493, 55
    L.Ed.2d 521 (1978); United States v. Warin, 530 F.2d 103, 106
    (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 426 U.S. 948, 96 S.Ct. 3168, 49 L.Ed.2d
    1185 (1976).


    Next, see who was a member of that three Judge Panel.

    Mike W. I know the US legal system far better than you do. I think that would be obvious, but aren't you the one who said I used too many words?

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  7. Miller never addressed individual right or the collective right farce. Miller said that the government could tax a sawed off shotgun because it was not a military arm as normally issued and therefore would not be normally used by the Militia. Never at all did they say that the government could apply the NFA because Miller was or was not a member of the Militia. Had Miller possessed a machine gun instead, they could not have ruled as they did.

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  8. "but aren't you the one who said I used too many words?"

    Nope. You fail at reading comprehension.

    You fail at it again citing Miller as supportive of "collective rights"

    Despite your claim of legal expertise you seem to lack basic understanding of the legal hierarchy in this country.

    even if 5 out of 4 of the Supreme Court justices rule that something is the law, that does not make it proper law.

    Actually it does make it law. SCOTUS decisions are the supreme law of the land and ARE binding "proper law" whether you agree with them or not.

    Plenty of bigots disagreed with the Court's overturning of "separate but equal" in Brown but once the SCOTUS decided the case it was the law.

    Funny how bigots like you don't consider the striking down of Unconstitutional laws as a proper function of the SCOTUS.

    Please, cite where the founding fathers supported the "collective rights" view. Hell, cite where Miller supports that view.

    You obviously haven't READ Miller

    Read my post. Read the quotations directly from the decision, particularly those in bold.

    http://anothergunblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/if-i-hear-this-one-more-time-im-going.html

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  9. Laci,

    Just curious, besides Miller, do you have anything written before the '70s, or before Miller for that matter,that proves this collective rights invention? I'd be particularly interested in any appearance of the collective right theory in the 19th century.

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  10. Besides, name me one right in the BOR that I have only when grouped together with other individuals, but that disappears when I'm not in the group?

    Rights are never collective. A collective is nothing more than a group of individuals.

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  11. It is absolutely amazing to me, Mike, that here it is, 1 PM EDT and there are 11 comments on this new thread.

    It seems obvious to me that most of your 'regulars' suffer from OCD and feel a deep-seated need to 'cover' your sensible gun control posts with their own wisDUMB lest the 'truth' be exposed.

    I'm often confronted by my OCD fundamentalists who feel that they 'need' to cover my apparently agnostic postings with 'god's grace' lest their OCD-mental illness deepen.

    Odd people. Funny, but odd.

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  12. Laci,

    You bring up Miller,then cite other decisions based on Miller.

    Why not quote the actual applicable text in Miller?

    In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument.

    Notice that it presupposes an individual right and focuses on the short barrelled shotgun.
    The decision upheld the conviction on the failure to register and pay the tax.

    It didn't say there was no individual right, just that it was legal to require registration of certain weapons.

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  13. Anyway, now that the Constitutional guarantee of the fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms is a point of settled law, are you going to continue to work yourself into a frenzy of indignation about it, or are you going to move along to the presumably more productive practice of debating things that have not yet been settled?

    You are, of course, free to do what you want in that regard--I'm just curious.

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  14. There is a converse to this the argumentum ad verecundiam, the argument from authority or appeal to authority is a logical fallacy, where it is argued that a statement is correct because the statement is made by a person or source that is commonly regarded as authoritative.


    You're welcome.

    Funny, I call you on that logical fallacy on the last thread when you continually throw out your legal "expertise" as support for your position. Now we see it used in a rather twisted way in one of your posts.

    Given your beating to death of Miller, I look forward to some original thoughts from you for a change.

    And verecundiam has absolutley nothing to do with legal decisions. A logical fallacy is a device to invalidate an argument, not actual legal decisions.

    So, even if 5 out of 4 of the Supreme Court justices rule that something is the law, that does not make it proper law.


    Please post something, anything, in American jurisprudence that even implies that.

    Mikeb, do you agree with that statement?

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  15. Mud, what is an OCD? AM I an OCD?

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  16. An excerpt from Miller

    In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument.

    This excerpt uses the words has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia

    Sorry, but that quote places it in the civic right interpretation.

    I paraphrase the holding of United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939) as:

    The entire text of the Second Amendment was made with the obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of the forces created under authority of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16. It must be interpreted and applied in consideration of that purpose. Without evidence that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' is reasonably related to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment of the body organised under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16 of the Constitution or that its use and possession would contribute to the common defense.

    Decidedly civic in tone as Justice Steven's dissent points out.

    People seem to miss that this was a unanimous decision with most courts saying that the right was related to has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia. If it can be lightly overturned, than so can Heller

    For some reason, the Heller court did not feel bound by this precedent even though it was the law of the land.

    I notice that no one took up my US v Rybar challenge since that court used the collective right interpretation. No surprise there.

    You, Tom B, should read my posts on why Heller is incorrectly decided. In fact, you should look at some of the other critiques of Heller I mention both "pro-" and "anti-" gun.

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  17. What Laci the Pooch fails to realize is that laws are not "right" or "wrong". Laws are a reflection of the society that creates them. Thus argumentum ad populum/verecundiam is a fallacy in itself as populum/verecundiam is the source of law.

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  18. From Eldred:

    Petitioners' Copyright Clause arguments rely on several novel readings of the Clause. We next address these arguments and explain why we find them unpersuasive.

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  19. Laci - Please go read my post on Miller.

    has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.

    Miller lost because the Court held that the weapon in question (a sawed-off shotgun) had no reasonable relationship to a well-regulated militia. Read the decision. Miller lost because the SCOTUS ruled that his "sawed-off shotgun" was not an "arm" and thus not protected.

    Oh, and where was Miller overturned?

    Miller also states,

    "Men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time."

    Pretty obviously supports the individual rights view does it not?

    Go read my post and tell me Miller doesn't support an individual rights interpretation of the 2nd Amendment.

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  20. AztecRed,
    if that is the case, then there is the process of Amending the Constitution.


    You may wish to look up the concept of stare decisis, which is actually how the law works.

    Judges are supposedly bound by precedent. I say supposedly since the Heller majority did not feel bound by Miller's precedent.


    BTW, AztecRed, I see that you are from Oklahoma City, why not join the rebellion started at the Murrah Federal building if you believe that tyranny exists?

    Do you support that action?

    Question for you, Who decides that a society is tyrannical?

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  21. One thing I've noticed about Miller is the pro-gun guys say it supports their argument and the gun control guys say the same, citing exactly the same text.

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  22. Mike W., your analysis of Miller is incorrect.

    If the case were as you stated it, then the court would have held for Miller as sawed-off shotguns were used in trench warfare.

    You also miss the language that I highlighted that specifically says "has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia

    Miller cites to Aymette v. State, 2 Humphreys 154 (Tenn. 1840)


    But a prohibition to wear a spear concealed in a cane would in no degree circumscribe the right to bear arms in the defence of the state; for this weapon could in no degree contribute to its defence, and would be worse than useless in an army. And, if, as is above suggested, the wearing arms in defence of the citizens is taken to mean the common defence, the same observations apply.

    To make this view of the case still more clear, we may remark that the phrase, "bear arms," is used in the Kentucky constitution as well as in our own, and implies, as has already been suggested, their military use. The 28th section of our bill of rights provides "that no citizen of this state shall be compelled to bear arms provided he will pay in equivalent, to be ascertained by law." Here we know that the phrase has a military sense, and no other; and we must infer that it is used in the same sense in the 26th section, which secures to the citizen the right to bear arms. A man in the pursuit of deer, elk, and buffaloes might carry his rifle every day for forty years, and yet it would never be said of him that he had
    borne arms; much less could it be said that a private citizen bears arms because he has a dirk or pistol concealed under his clothes, or a spear in a cane. So that, with deference, we think the argument of the court in the case referred to, even upon the question it has debated, is defective and inconclusive.

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  23. MikeB:"One thing I've noticed about Miller is the pro-gun guys say it supports their argument and the gun control guys say the same, citing exactly the same text."

    That is because Miller is not the end all be all landmark decision that the anti-freedom crowd pretends it to be.

    Laci. Can you show us anything written prior to the 1970's that uses the collective right farce?

    "Judges are supposedly bound by precedent. I say supposedly since the Heller majority did not feel bound by Miller's precedent."

    Miller set no precedent on the individual vs. collective right argument because no one alive in 1939 would ever believe that the 2nd amendment was anything but an individual right.

    I will agree with you that "Heller was pure partisan politics" though. If otherwise and the dissenters used logic and the law rather than liberal bias, it would have been unanimous instead of 5-4.

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  24. Laci,

    You seem especially adept at ignoring facts

    If the case were as you stated it, then the court would have held for Miller as sawed-off shotguns were used in trench warfare.

    There was no defense presented, so there was no one to argue the government contention against sawed off shotguns.

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  25. Civic/Collective right: The right is related to a well regulated militia and common defence.

    Individual right: the right encompasses private purposes: e.g., self-defence. In the case of Heller, the right to own a handgun in the home provided that he registered it.

    The Civic/Collective right does not preclude a ban on firearms. It also does not preclude the city of Kennesaw, GA from requiring that everyone buy a gun.

    But, it does remove the Second Amendment from the concept of "gun rights". That means whatever gun rights exist are found in State Constutions, which have loads of examples of individual right language.

    Alabama: That every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state
    Alaska: A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or infringed by the State or a political subdivision of the State.
    Colorado: The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons

    Although, that could run into other issues (religious aversion to violence).

    Anyway, Miller is decidely civic/collective in tone with the phrase has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia used in the one quote.

    Heller on the other hand, found there was a purpose that did not have some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia. That is self-defence in the home.

    Miller allegedly had his sawed-off shotgun for self-defence. And as one commentator said, he was found shot to death, so his need for a firearm for self-defence was justified. Had the decision related to the firearm rather than a relationship to the common defence, the court would have found for Miller.

    The fact that Miller was not present doesn't affect the validity (the concept of default judgement).

    My paraphrase of the holding puts the two paragraphs in order and modernises McReynold's archaic writing.

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  26. BTW, the presumption of innocence also does not require that the defendant put up a defence. The case was US V. Miller--Miller did not have the burden of proof.

    The defendant does not have any burden of proof whatsoever. The defendant does not have to testify, call witnesses or present any other evidence, and if the defendant elects not to testify or present evidence, this decision cannot be used against him.

    Again, had there have been a personal right to bear arms, Miller would have been entitled to that.

    If you read my posts, you will find quite a few references to the Collective right pre-1970.

    The fact that I find Heller to be incorrectly decided, as did the dissent, along with quite a bit of critical law journal articles about this decision shows that this is still a vibrant legal theory.

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  27. "AztecRed,
    if that is the case, then there is the process of Amending the Constitution."

    Even the process of amending relies on popular support.

    "BTW, AztecRed, I see that you are from Oklahoma City, why not join the rebellion started at the Murrah Federal building if you believe that tyranny exists?

    Do you support that action?"

    I don't support that action any more than Barack Obama supports the actions of Bill Ayers.

    "Question for you, Who decides that a society is tyrannical?"

    It's not society that becomes tyrannical. It's government that becomes tyrannical.

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  28. I see Laci is bloviating again. I see I struck a nerve when I called LACI a SIBOG. Anyway, Miller states:

    In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a "shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length" at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense. Aymette v. State, 2 Humphreys (Tenn.) 154, 158.

    Miller only ruled on the possession of a sawed off shotgun (without a tax stamp) since it was NOT suitable for military use. You should note that shotguns with 18" barrel length (or longer) were not subject to NFA regulation. 18" length barrels were standard for US military issue.

    Heller is now the law of the land. Whether you agree or disagree is irrelevant.

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  29. But, it does remove the Second Amendment from the concept of "gun rights". That means whatever gun rights exist are found in State Constutions

    Really?! You do realize the 2nd Amendment is contained in the Bill of Rights for the entire United States?

    Had the decision related to the firearm rather than a relationship to the common defence, the court would have found for Miller.

    How can you say this after reading the decision? (perhaps you haven't?) The Court specifically ruled against miller because of the specific firearm in question a sawed-off shotgun.

    The Court was of course incorrect in stating that the shotgun had no relation to militia and was not an "arm" under the 2A, but Miller was dead and thus is case was not argued in front of the court.

    Also Laci, how can you have a collective right to use arms in "common-defence" while serving in a militia while not having a right to self-defense as an individual?

    If you have no right to defend yourself as an individual how can you be expected to join the militia in common-defense?

    Remember, Miller stated that citizens were to appear bearing their personally held arms. (see Militia Acts 1792)

    How were citizens to appear for service with their own arms and ammunition if they had no individual right to own said arms and use them, if needed, to defend themselves?

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  30. You, Tom B, should read my posts on why Heller is incorrectly decided. In fact, you should look at some of the other critiques of Heller I mention both "pro-" and "anti-" gun.


    Your opinion as to whether Heller is right or wrong is completely beside the point. I don't care what you think. Heller is the law of the land, and that's that for now.

    Now you, Laci, you need to answer the question asked numerous times of you for the precedent or law that states a Supreme Court decision of 5 to 4 is not "proper" law.

    Numerous people have asked this from you, so you need to either give the evidence or withdraw the assertion.

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  31. Laci (since responses are disallowed on your site) - The 'individual right' argument has been so refuted that the current direction of gun control has stopped even trying that route. The briefs to the court which tried that argument were basically ignored, and the real thinkers behind gun control strategy have stopped bothering with that route.

    There are so many arguments which don't even consider the topic of the second amendment, from basic literary analysis to a holistic review of the Bill of Rights and the amendments' positions and relationships to each other which all support the 'individual right'.

    So, how to educate everyone else when you know you're right? First, step back and take a look at reality. If everyone believes something, and you KNOW it's not true, the first person to investigate is yourself, locating an impartial person to provide the evaluation (a psychiatrist might be a good choice as they are skilled at helping such self-investigation). If after such an investigation, you conclude that you ARE correct, you could try to find others to bond with for a louder voice, run for political office, or try to put the message out there (such as your blog, becoming a reporter, etc.).

    Good luck on this, read a little more about the cause you support...but overall I'd really recommend investigating and coming to conclusions rather than your current approach of forming your conclusions and only looking at evidence you feel supports your own belief. One is science, the other is called, I was told, "fishing".

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  32. Addendum: And here I always thought the world was on the back of 4 giant turtles, all standing on the back of the great Turtle. Darn differences of opinion between Hawking and Pratchett!

    Also, in response to the 'giving up another right to the federal government', their hope is actually to affirm a right that they believe the government has always endorsed. Once again, the whole 'read/analyze/conclude' vs. 'conclude/interpret everything to support conclusion'.

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  33. I don't think it made very much difference whether Miller had a sawed-off shotgun or a machinegun for the very important reason that this was a NFA test case. Both weapons were listed.

    Additionally, Miller uses the civic right language to determine the scope of the right. The focus of the Miller opinion, therefore, was NOT the weapon. It was whether it's possession

    Thus the language would have been
    In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a machinegun at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument.

    Sorry, but that's collective right language. BUt, you can believe whatever you wish.

    After all, "it's turtles all the way down!"

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  34. I see Laci is bloviating once again. I must have hit a nerve the last time when I called her a SIBOG.

    Laci, get it straight and forget the demagoguery. Miller was NOT about some collectivist right that you (and others) seem to want to divine from the opinion. It was about the suitability of a sawed off shotgun for milita use.

    Heller is the law of the land. 2A is an individual right.

    For those who did not read an earlier post of mine: SIBOG = Self Important Bag of Gas

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  35. Once again I ask--If the Second Amendment is a collective right, what does that version of it do? Does it require something of the government? Does it restrict the government?

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  36. VOR says, "Heller is now the law of the land. Whether you agree or disagree is irrelevant."

    I don't know about "irrelevant." I think we can express opinions and argue all we want. We can predict that one day when the Supreme Court is a bit more reasonable, perhaps after Scalia retires, the law of the land will change once again.

    What would you say then, VOR? Imagine if the most severe gun prohibitions one day become the law of the land, what would you say then?

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  37. I don't know about "irrelevant." I think we can express opinions and argue all we want. We can predict that one day when the Supreme Court is a bit more reasonable, perhaps after Scalia retires, the law of the land will change once again.

    What would you say then, VOR? Imagine if the most severe gun prohibitions one day become the law of the land, what would you say then?


    Sorry mike, but according to the legal scholar Laci, the ruling (all other things being equal) will be 5-4 again and thus, not proper law.

    How's that seach going Laci? Where is the cite or law that says a 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court can be ignored because it is not "proper"?

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  38. TomB,
    I said Stare decisis is what keeps a decision from being ignored. However, US. V Miller was ignored despite its being considered solid precedent prior to Heller as a unanimous decision.

    So, I guess Heller itself is where it say that its precedent can be disregarded. Also, all it takes it to persuade a majority, or more, of the justices that your point is correct. So, there is nothing to stop a court sometime in the future from saying that the interpretation taken by the majority in Heller has no legal basis.

    Since none of you are intelligent to look up Rybar, Samuel Alito was on that three judge panel that found no merit in Rybar's Second Amendment defence. He didn't feel bound by stare decisis.

    Also, you seem to have glommed on to the pharase "individual right". The "individual right" that was mysteriously "found" in Heller is extremely limited. In case you missed it, Heller was refused a permit for one of his guns!

    You all seem to miss this, but the Civic right interpretation has nothing to do with gun rights, it has to do with constitutional interpretation. It is the only correct interpretation using Constitutional law and proper legal method.

    VoR, I couldn't give a toss for what you say. I know full well that if any of you were paying me what I charge for a defence on gun charges, you would be kissing my ass.

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  39. Seventeen, you ask the most salient question.

    It protects us from the establishment of a standing army by ensuring a vibrant militia. In practise, the US should have a military like that of Switzerland.

    Ever wonder why there are so few cases discussing the Second Amendment in the Supreme Court. The only Amendment with less jurisprudence is the third Amendment.

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  40. Funny Laci, you keep flatly ignoring the rest of MILLER which explicitely supports the individual rights approach.

    Why is that? Are you incapable of intellectual honesty?

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  41. Laci is also ignoring the fact that in Heller, all 9 justices believed the Second Amendment was an individual right.

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  42. I said Stare decisis is what keeps a decision from being ignored.

    Really? because the SCOTUS has been ignoring Stare Decisis for years in all kinds of cases.

    It's not as if it's some hard & fast rule and the SCOTUS never bucked precedent before Heller despite your insinuation that this is something new.

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  43. VoR, I couldn't give a toss for what you say. I know full well that if any of you were paying me what I charge for a defence on gun charges, you would be kissing my ass.

    Very classy of you.

    I know full well that if I needed a defense attorney for a gun charge I'd go to someone who was knowledgeable about guns and 2nd Amendment jurisprudence. I'd be better off representing myself than with you as my lawyer.

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  44. "I know full well that if any of you were paying me what I charge for a defence on gun charges, you would be kissing my ass."

    Hmmm, a trial lawyer who doesn't know how to spell the word "defence" is very telling.

    Maybe you should tell all your clients that yu wil dephend thim 2 the best ov yure abilitees(just be sure to put this in writing for the full effect).

    "In case you missed it, Heller was refused a permit for one of his guns!"

    This was due to the fact that DC defined semi-autos as fully automatic machine guns, which they, by correct definition, are certainly not.

    If you do not have the intellectual honesty to admit that semi-autos and full-autos operate very differently, then you are...uh...intellectually dishonest.

    Words matter.

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  45. "I know full well that if I needed a defense attorney for a gun charge I'd go to someone who was knowledgeable about guns and 2nd Amendment jurisprudence. I'd be better off representing myself than with you as my lawyer."

    +1 I have a few cards in my wallet if you want them.

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  46. "The fact that I find Heller to be incorrectly decided, as did the dissent."

    Clearly you need to re-read the dissenting opinions. ALL 9 Justices rejected the "collective rights" position, concluding that the 2A is an individual right.

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