Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Safety and Security of Society

from The Kansas City Star

Some Kansas cities and the Libertarian Party are locked in a dispute, as you may know, over whether cities can legally prohibit people from openly carrying loaded weapons in public places. The party says an open-carry ban would violate both the U.S. and Kansas constitutions and state law. 

They may be right on the law, but the constitutional picture is cloudier. Let’s see why.

Kansas has guaranteed an individual the right to possess weapons since its founding more than 150 years ago. The state’s original constitution included this: “The people have the right to bear arms for their peace and security.” 

Curiously, however, late 19th century Kansans interpreted that language rather loosely. Dodge City, Wichita, and Abilene openly restricted firearms possession, and in 1905 the Kansas Supreme Court upheld a Salina gun control law by finding no individual right to carry a weapon.

“It was the safety and security of society that was being considered when this provision was put into our constitution,” the court ruled.

Winds blow and laws change, of course. In 2010, Kansas voters amended their constitution to more firmly create an individual right to bear arms, and the same year the U.S. Supreme Court said the U.S. Constitution contains a similar guarantee.

But conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, made a crucial point: “No fundamental right — not even the First Amendment — is absolute,” he wrote.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/10/19/171547/commentary-in-gun-rights-battle.html#storylink=cpy


  1. And we're supposed to be shocked that yet another newspaper exercises its right of free expression and the press to call for another right to be infringed? Well, gee, that's never happened before...

    As newspapers become increasingly irrelevant, they're just going to squawk all the louder--ultimately about how no one is listening to them any more.

  2. So if the supreme court justices don't believe that any (apparantly) of the constitution means crap, why even have a supreme court?

  3. Scalia was wrong. No other amendment says "shall not be infringed". If you look up the definition of infringed, it becomes clear, the Second Amendment IS absolute, and it means what it says. People can own and bear small arms as they see fit, and government is prohibited from limiting that in ANY way, shape, or form. It is past time for government to obey the law.

    1. So, for you, 10-year-olds can buy guns, surface to air missiles included?

    2. Mikeb, why do you keep trotting out that foolishness?

      1. Children have limited rights. They have to be cared for and guided into adulthood. The rights that we discuss here are primarily for adults.

      2. Missiles clearly don't fit the intent of arms in the Second Amendment. They don't fit into the traditions of owning and carrying weapons by individuals.