Roe v. Wade Of Gun Control

Roe v. Wade Of Gun Control

This is a discussion on Roe v. Wade Of Gun Control within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; The Roe v. Wade of gun rights Pretty good article by Sandy Froman & Ken Blackwell about Tuesday's case before SCOTUS: By Sandy Froman and ...

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Thread: Roe v. Wade Of Gun Control

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array CT-Mike's Avatar
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    Oct 2007

    Roe v. Wade Of Gun Control

    The Roe v. Wade of gun rights

    Pretty good article by Sandy Froman & Ken Blackwell about Tuesday's case before SCOTUS:

    By Sandy Froman and Ken Blackwell

    On March 18, America could see another Roe v. Wade, only this one will be on gun rights.

    And, as a historic Supreme Court case on the Second Amendment looms, two unexpected perspectives show what is at stake in this case for all Americans.

    Between the two of us as authors, our commitment to the Second Amendment, coupled with our real-life experiences, explodes the stereotypical images of gun owners in America. We are living proof that the Second Amendment is a blessing for all Americans, and that all Americans have a vested interest in the pending court case.

    What would compel a petite Jewish woman born in San Francisco and educated at Stanford and Harvard Law to buy a pistol and end up as the president of the National Rifle Association? Growing up in the Froman family in the California Bay Area in the 1950s was idyllic. No one in my family owned guns, and we did not hunt or shoot. While real guns were not part of my life, "reel" guns were. Television Westerns like "Have Gun Will Travel" and of course, the "Rifleman," were morality plays of a sort – good guys and bad guys both used guns, except the bad guys used guns to hurt and threaten while the good guys used guns to protect and defend. That lesson was never forgotten.

    Thirty years later, as a young lawyer in Los Angeles, my political awakening came in the form of terror when a thug tried to break into my house in the middle of the night. Unable to defend myself, it suddenly became very clear that the person responsible for protecting my life and safety was I. I refused to be a helpless victim. It was time to buy a gun and learn how to use it. Later when I joined the NRA and began receiving their flagship publication, The American Rifleman, I knew that Chuck Connors was right. Guns in the hands of good people save lives.

    Growing up in the Blackwell household in the central city neighborhoods of Cincinnati informed my public policy work as mayor of the Queen City and as an undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Families like mine (who were of low income, civically engaged and responsible) expected access to firearms for safety. Then, as now, criminals were not inclined to break into a house where the owner was armed. Things were tougher in the South where the Deacons of Defense, most of whom were veterans like my father, chased away KKK riders and thugs. These groups of armed men patrolled their neighborhoods to keep them safe at night. Whether individuals or families, against random criminals or organized threats, our lives are evidence that women and minorities – especially in today's urban areas – need our Second Amendment rights.

    The Supreme Court has never settled the controversy at the heart of the great American gun debate: Whether individual citizens have a constitutional right to possess their private firearms. Now the high court has agreed to answer this question, in what will most likely be a 5-4 decision going either way.

    This month the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in District of Columbia v. Heller. It is the first Supreme Court case ever that has the promise of finally answering the question of what the Second Amendment means. Assuming that the Court does not dismiss the case on some technicality, Heller could become the definitive standard for gun rights in America.

    The Second Amendment says, "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 Heller case turns on whether the right to keep and bear arms refers to private, law-abiding citizens, or whether it is a right of the people "collectively" to have guns in the National Guard or other state militia units.

    The facts of District of Columbia v. Heller make this a perfect test case. In the District of Columbia, it is a crime to have any sort of readily usable firearm. It is illegal to have any sort of handgun – even a broken handgun – in your home. Having a long gun (rifle or shotgun) in your home is a crime unless the gun is unloaded and either disassembled or disabled by a trigger lock, with ammunition stored in a separate container. If someone breaks into your home, you have no time to have a functional firearm at the ready to defend your life or your family. The D.C. gun ban is considered the most severe gun control law in America.

    Several citizens and lawyers brought the suit Parker v. District of Columbia in U.S. District Court to challenge this law. The federal trial court dismissed the case, stating that there is no right to own a gun. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reversed, holding that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms, and therefore holding the D.C. gun ban unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has taken the case, renamed District of Columbia v. Heller because Dick Heller was the only plaintiff found to have standing to sue.

    The issue in Heller is simple, and so is the answer. The issue – or "question presented" – is whether the D.C. gun ban violates the Second Amendment right of individual citizens not connected with any state-sponsored militia (i.e., National Guard) to have guns in their home for private use. Everyone agrees that this question is simple.

    But people reach opposite answers to this simple question. Most people say the answer is "yes." The Second Amendment is in the Bill of Rights, of which every other part – freedom of speech, religion, right to a jury trial, etc. – applies to individuals acting as private citizens. The Amendment refers to "the right of the people." English common law recognized a personal right to self-defense, and the Founding Fathers were concerned about self-defense, the ability to defend your own property and ensuring that the people had the means to throw off a tyrannical government, such as the one they had just escaped in Great Britain.

    But, others answer this simple question "no." The Framers did not want a standing army in peacetime. Some therefore claim that the clause referring to a "militia" means that the Framers were solely concerned about states being able to raise a military, and that this is the only "right" conferred by the Second Amendment. Thus, they conclude, the right can only be exercised in conjunction with service in this state-sponsored militia.

    The reason people come to opposite conclusions on this simple question stems from different government philosophies, approaches to interpreting the Constitution, and the issues that are implicated in this case.

    The two philosophies here are self-reliance versus reliance upon government. Conservatives believe that government should only do for people what people cannot do for themselves. They believe that families make better decisions than bureaucrats, and that less government means more freedom. Liberals believe that government has specially enlightened leaders who should make decisions for us because some things are too important to let ordinary people decide for themselves. Liberals also believe that the purpose of government is to help people, and that everyone should give the government all the resources it needs to help others.

    The different interpretations of the Second Amendment also stem from two different ways of reading the Constitution – sometimes described as "strict constructionism" versus the "Living Constitution." Strict constructionism (the actual legal terms are "originalism" or "textualism") requires judges to adhere to the words of the Constitution. Liberals, on the other hand, believe in a "Living Constitution," which means that judges are free to insert whatever meaning they think necessary into the Constitution to make it conform to modern social trends. Whether gay rights, abortion, gun control, or whatever, it allows judges to insert their personal preferences into the law. Under the conservative approach there is no doubt the Second Amendment is an individual right, while under the "Living Constitution" a judge can simply say that modern society has evolved beyond the need for gun ownership.

    Self-reliance here means having the ability and means to defend yourself and your freedom, while government reliance means counting on the police or military. Government reliance also rejects the possibility that the people might someday have to oppose their own government, as the Framers did.

    Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit stated in Silviera v. Lockyer that "tyranny thrives best where government need not fear the wrath of an armed people." Calling the Second Amendment a "doomsday provision," Kozinski warned that assuming you can never lose your freedom, "is a mistake a free people get to make only once." Those were the Framers' concerns when they wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights.
    "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground."

    - Thomas Jefferson

    "I'm the arrow, you're my bow, shoot me forth and I will go"

    "Do not let any individual posts put a knot in your Big Boy Under-Roos"

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array ExactlyMyPoint's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    Portland, OR

    Let's elect Sandy Froman and Ken Blackwell president and vice-president.
    Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse or Rapture....whichever comes first.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array glock27mark's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    clinton township
    they"d have my vote.
    (SHERIFF BUFORD T. JUSTICE) "what the hell is
    the world coming too"



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