Will Editorial - DC Gun Ban - Possible coming fight

Will Editorial - DC Gun Ban - Possible coming fight

This is a discussion on Will Editorial - DC Gun Ban - Possible coming fight within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Syndicated columnist George Will has a very interesting column today. I'm sure it's in many other papers, but here's where I got it: http://www.dailymail.com/story/Opini...issue-is-back/ George ...

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    New Member Array mikecrw's Avatar
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    Will Editorial - DC Gun Ban - Possible coming fight

    Syndicated columnist George Will has a very interesting column today.

    I'm sure it's in many other papers, but here's where I got it:

    http://www.dailymail.com/story/Opini...issue-is-back/



    George Will: Ah, the gun control issue is back
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    WASHINGTON -- By striking down the District of Columbia's extraordinarily strict gun control law, which essentially bans guns, a federal appeals court may have revived gun control as a political issue.

    It has been mostly dormant since autumn 2000, when Al Gore decided he was less interested in it than in carrying states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania:

    "Gore Tables Gun Issue As He Courts Midwest" (The New York Times, Sept. 20, 2000). The appeals court ruling appalls advocates of gun control laws, and should alarm the Democratic Party.

    The court ruled 2-1 that D.C.'s law, which allows only current and retired police officers to have handguns in their homes, violates the Constitution's Second Amendment: "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."

    This ruling probably will be reviewed by the Supreme Court, which 68 years ago seemed to hold that the amendment's first 13 words circumscribe the force of the rest.

    That is, there is a constitutionally protected right to "keep and bear" guns only insofar as the keeping and bearing are pertinent to service in state-run militias.

    In 2000, advocates of stringent gun control thought they had won their argument with historical evidence when an Emory University historian, Michael Bellesiles, published "Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture."

    This book, which was awarded the Bancroft Prize, the most coveted honor for American history scholarship, argued that when the Second Amendment was written, guns were not widely owned or reliable enough to be important.

    Therefore the amendment was written to protect only the rights of states, not of individuals.

    Before long, however, other scholars argued that much of Bellesiles' "research" consisted of meretricious uses of, fabrication of, or disregard of, evidence, and the Bancroft Prize was rescinded.

    And in 1989, Sanford Levinson of the University of Texas Law School had written in a Yale Law Journal article, "The Embarrassing Second Amendment," that the amendment's language, properly read, is an embarrassment to those who favor whittling away the amendment's protection of the individual's right to own guns.

    He noted that if James Madison, the foremost shaper of the Constitution, and his colleagues in the First Congress intended the Second Amendment to protect only the states' rights to maintain militias, the amendment could have simply said: "Congress shall have no power to prohibit state militias."

    Or as Virginia's George Mason, who opposed ratification of the Constitution because it lacked a Bill of Rights, said: "Who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people."

    When Madison and others fashioned the Bill of Rights, they did not merely constitutionalize -- make fundamental -- the right to bear arms.

    They made the Second Amendment second only to the First, which protects the freedoms of speech, press, assembly and worship.

    They did that because individual dignity and self-respect, which are essential to self-government, are related to a readiness for self-defense -- the public's involvement in public safety.

    Indeed, 150 years ago this month, in the Dred Scott decision, Chief Justice Roger Taney said that one proof that blacks could not be citizens was the fact that the Founders did not envision them having the same rights that whites have, including the right to "keep and carry arms."

    Increasingly, however, some constitutional scholars and judicial rulings argue that several restraints the Bill of Rights puts on government can be disregarded if the worthiness -- as academics or judges assess that -- of government's purposes justifies ignoring those restraints.

    Erwin Chemerinsky, professor of law and political science at Duke University, argued in The Washington Post last week that even if the Second Amendment is correctly construed as creating an individual right to gun ownership, the D.C. law should still be constitutional because the city had a defensible intent (reducing violence) when it annihilated that right.

    Sound familiar?

    Defenders of the McCain-Feingold law, which restricts the amount, timing and content of political campaign speech, say: Yes, yes, the First Amendment says there shall be "no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech."

    But that proscription can be disregarded because the legislators' (professed) intent -- to prevent the "appearance" of corruption and to elevate political discourse -- is admirable.

    If the Supreme Court reverses the appeals court's ruling and upholds the D.C. gun law, states and localities will be empowered to treat the Second Amendment as the D.C. law does -- as a nullity.

    This will bring the gun control issue -- and millions of gun owners -- back to a roiling boil.

    That is not in the interest of the Democratic Party, which is supported by most ardent supporters of gun control.

    Will may be reached by e-mail at georgewill@washpost.com.
    _____________________________________
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " --By Robert A. Levy
    Monday, March 12, 2007 -- Op Ed -- The Washington Post
    _____________________________________


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    Senior Member Array briansmech's Avatar
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    Increasingly, however, some constitutional scholars and judicial rulings argue that several restraints the Bill of Rights puts on government can be disregarded if the worthiness -- as academics or judges assess that -- of government's purposes justifies ignoring those restraints
    what. the. f....???

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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikecrw View Post
    In 2000, advocates of stringent gun control thought they had won their argument with historical evidence when an Emory University historian, Michael Bellesiles, published "Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture."

    This book, which was awarded the Bancroft Prize, the most coveted honor for American history scholarship, argued that when the Second Amendment was written, guns were not widely owned or reliable enough to be important.

    Therefore the amendment was written to protect only the rights of states, not of individuals.
    Ummm...IIRC, Bellesiles book was not peer-reviewed before publishing, hence, everyone took his information at face value. It was shortly after he was awarded this "Prize" did someone go back and look through his sources and deem that he made half of it up or that his sources were not trustworthy??

    I'm going to go back and research more on this....

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    Quote Originally Posted by briansmech View Post
    what. the. f....???
    Government intrusion into the Bill of Rights is nothing new. The 10th Amendment has been losing power basically since it's inception, traditionally by saying that the "interstate commerce clause" pretty much makes state's rights non-existent.

    The 1968 gun law(s) was the first MAJOR gutting of the 2A, based on exactly what Mr. Will is saying here - the People and their elected representatives threw away the Constitution and the intent of the framers for political expediency in the wake of some highly public shootings...

    It never works, it never fixes anything, and (as we all know here in the choir) it is simply a temporary feel-good for the ignorant. The problem is that, once given away, we almost never get our rights restored...
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Oh yeah...he got spanked:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/seckora/seckora102802.asp
    "..Emory University announced on Friday afternoon that it had accepted the resignationof history professor Michael Bellesiles, the author of Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture. The award-winning book stirred up controversybecause it appeared to confirm what many scholars already believed: that the Second Amendment protects only a collective right to bear arms and that individual gun rights were unimportant to America's Founders. The facts, however, were not there to back up Bellesiles's contention."


    http://hnn.us/articles/691.html
    [On December 16, 2003] However, serious historians also raised a number of questions concerning what appeared to be sloppy research. In the January 2002 issue of the William and Mary Quarterly, some of Bellesiles’s research in probate records was criticized for misattribution and lack of verifiability. Facing a political firestorm, Emory University in Atlanta appointed a committee to investigate the allegations. Following the committee’s report (available on Emory University’s website), Bellesiles resigned from Emory, and Columbia University rescinded the prestigious Bancroft Prize it had awarded the author. In early 2003 Random House decided to end their contractual relationship with the author. Shortly thereafter, I announced that Soft Skull Press would issue a revised version of the book.

    The enclosed outlines exactly what changes the author has, and has not, made to Arming America. It demonstrates, I believe, that the totality of any errors Bellesiles (wittingly or unwittingly, I hold the latter) introduced into the book’s text do not undermine the central thesis of the book.

    This will no doubt come as a surprise to many. The conventional wisdom is that this book is “discredited.” The idea that a few changes could be made that address the totality of the legitimate criticism is at odds with the widely-held perception that the book irredeemably flawed, lock, stock and two crooked barrels. We knew that if this book were allowed to disappear, the publishing records would reflect this perception only. The world would believe Bellesiles was completely wrong. This, to me, was a completely unacceptable outcome. Financially it perhaps made little sense for Knopf/Vintage to keep it in print, or to issue a revised edition, but if there’s a larger cultural raison d’etre for independent publishers, it’s to keep important books like this one available to the American public, especially when it is necessary in order to counteract a campaign that was 1/10 truth, 9/10 smear.

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_A._Bellesiles

    Shortly after Arming America's release, several researchers, including law professor James Lindgren of Northwestern University (Ill.), pointed to evidence suggesting a pattern of serious errors. In two scholarly articles, Lindgren reported that Bellesiles:

    counted guns in about a hundred Providence, R.I. wills that could not be located and may not have existed, cited as a source, San Francisco County probate inventories -- which would be impossible as the San Francisco records were destroyed in the famous 1906 earthquake, reported a national mean for gun ownership in 18th-century probate inventories that was mathematically impossible given Bellesiles' regional totals, had (under Lindgfren's interpretation of the same files) misreported the condition of guns described in probate records in a way that fit Bellesiles's thesis, mis-cited the counts of guns in Massachusetts censuses and/or militia reports, had over a 60% error rate in finding guns in one sample of Vermont estates, and had a 100% error rate in finding gun-related homicide cases in the Plymouth records Bellesiles cited.

    Lethal Imagination (2006) These scholarly concerns caused Emory University to conduct both an internal inquiry and to appoint an external Investigative Committee. Both committees found serious flaws in Bellesiles's work, with the external committee questioning both its quality and veracity. Bellesiles publicly disputed the external Committee's findings in his 2002 statement, claiming he had followed all pertinent scholarly guidelines and corrected all errors of fact known to him. He said, "I have never fabricated evidence of any kind nor knowingly evaded my responsibilities as a scholar." On the day that the report was released, Bellesiles resigned from Emory

    Garry Wills, who had reviewed Arming America enthusiastically for the New York Times, later said, "I was took. The book is a fraud." He also told an interviewer for C-SPAN that Bellesiles "claimed to have consulted archives he didn't and he misrepresented those archives,"

    Historian Roger Lane, who had reviewed the book positively for the Journal of American History, offered a similar opinion: "It is entirely clear to me that he's made up a lot of these records. He's betrayed us. He's betrayed the cause. It's 100 percent clear that the guy is a liar and a disgrace to my profession. He's breached that trust

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    It's 100 percent clear that the guy is a liar
    WHAT?! An anti-gun zealot lied to further his cause?! I can't believe it! Say it ain't so!

    As the holder of a degree in history (though by no means an Historian) I am sickened by people like this. People in positions like these should (and, in this case at least, were) held to an extremely high standard when it comes to presenting historical "fact." A professor at a highly respected university has a lot of power to sway the public understanding of history and, therefore, to shape the future. Mr. Bellesiles abused that power in the most craven, despicable manner...
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    VIP Member Array SammyIamToday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    WHAT?! An anti-gun zealot lied to further his cause?! I can't believe it! Say it ain't so!

    As the holder of a degree in history (though by no means an Historian) I am sickened by people like this. People in positions like these should (and, in this case at least, were) held to an extremely high standard when it comes to presenting historical "fact." A professor at a highly respected university has a lot of power to sway the public understanding of history and, therefore, to shape the future. Mr. Bellesiles abused that power in the most craven, despicable manner...
    The good part being he got what he deserved from it. So, thankfully it worked out in the end.
    ...He suggested that "every American citizen" should own a rifle and train with it on firing ranges "at every courthouse." -Chesty Puller

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    Distinguished Member Array p8riot's Avatar
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    From my blog

    http://longtrainofabuses.blogspot.co...-think-so.html

    A Shot in the Arm for the GOP? I Don't Think So

    In todays article from George Will, he got it all wrong. Who the hell cares how it helps the GOP? They have been granting lip service to the issue of guns and to the Constitution and Bill of Rights as long as the Democrats have. Neither party really wants true constitutionalism, because they know it would seriously limit their power, and their bank accounts. It has been rightly said that the greatest enemy to our form of government is the Constitution itself.

    The Second Amendment is not the exclusive property of any political party. No one party truly represents the principles that built this country and has sustained it for the last 231 years. The D.C. Court of Appeals decision concerning the constitutionality of the district's gun ban, and their statement that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right that is inalienable, and existed prior to the formation of our country is far more than that.

    It's not about Democrats and Republicans, and it's not about hunting, or self defense. Put simply it's about liberty, and as such is a shot in the arm for all Americans whether you like it or not.
    "You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone." - Al Capone

    The second amendment is the reset button of our Constitution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SIGguy229 View Post
    He's betrayed the cause.--Roger Lane
    I was always taught in my college history classes (Vanderbilt, 1977-1981; University of Richmond, 1986-1987) that history was an attempt to find the truth, not about promoting a cause.

    Silly me....

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    Member Array MD_Willington's Avatar
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    The DC ban legal team was set up by a Libertarian, and not even a gun owning Libertarian...

    I sent a thank you to Mr Levy..

    rlevy@cato.org

    My family would like to thank you and your legal team for the monumental task of taking on the infringement of the personal rights of those living in DC.

    We wish you the best of luck with the next step in your journey to fully restore these rights.

    It is our hopes that your team will win the next portion of this case, setting a precedence for the entire nation and send a message to the elected government officials that our inalienable rights must never be infringed.


    Thank you sir!.

    MD & Family
    Many thanks for your email and your support. We'll be fighting hard for that final and most important victory in the Supreme Court.
    Regards,
    Bob Levy

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    VIP Member Array peacefuljeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIGguy229 View Post
    Ummm...IIRC, Bellesiles book was not peer-reviewed before publishing, hence, everyone took his information at face value. It was shortly after he was awarded this "Prize" did someone go back and look through his sources and deem that he made half of it up or that his sources were not trustworthy??

    I'm going to go back and research more on this....

    If I recall correctly, it was Clayton Cramer who got the ball rolling and did a lot of legwork to prove Bellesiles a lying fraud.

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    VIP Member Array peacefuljeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    WHAT?! An anti-gun zealot lied to further his cause?! I can't believe it! Say it ain't so!

    The really sick thing is that while those quotes come from people who favor the gun control cause, the fact that their colleague was forced to lie in order to make the gun control case doesn't bother them. It doesn't bother them that they are on a side of the issue that must lie in order to be "right." This kind of thing should cause them to reevaluate their belief in gun control as a legitimate cause, but strangely it does not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peacefuljeffrey View Post
    If I recall correctly, it was Clayton Cramer who got the ball rolling and did a lot of legwork to prove Bellesiles a lying fraud.

    Cramer also has a book out, That I highly recommmend!....

    Armed America....The story of How & Why Guns Became as American as Apple Pie- Clayton E Cramer.

    This book does what BellseLIES can't..it includes sources & documentation of everything........

    Cramer's book includes:

    Colonial America- guns prior to the Revolution
    Shot heard round the world- during the Revolution
    The early republic- post revolution

    (he also has as part of the introduction, info oh shooting down BellseLIES book)
    Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca

    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. If I have a gun, what do I have to be paranoid about?" -Clint Smith

    "An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." -Jeff Cooper

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    VIP Member Array obxned's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikecrw View Post
    Increasingly, however, some constitutional scholars and judicial rulings argue that several restraints the Bill of Rights puts on government can be disregarded if the worthiness -- as academics or judges assess that -- of government's purposes justifies ignoring those restraints.

    That is exactly the thing the 2nd Amendment was written to protect us from!!!!!

    So if the government’s purpose was to reduce the number of illegal immigrants, it would be OK to do away with the 16th Amendment and thus have all the cheap labor we would need?



    If you aren't happy with the 2nd Amendment, then all that is required to change things legally is to pass a new amendment. Any other action is treason, ******!
    "If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan

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    Will is right that the Supreme Court has taken to rewriting the Bill of Right for "good purposes." Look at the Kelo case where they basically gutted the right against confiscation of private property or the campaign finance reform cases where they do a lot to gut the First Amendment. It is entirely possible they would do the same with the 2nd Amendment, agree that it is an individual right but find that the government's interest in reducing violence justifies the DC gun ban. It would be a sad day, but unfortunately wouldn't surprise me.

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