Reasonable Restrictions

This is a discussion on Reasonable Restrictions within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; The dissenting Supreme Court justices acknowledged along with those in the majority that the 2nd amendment is an individual right. Both sides stated that that ...

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Thread: Reasonable Restrictions

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    Senior Member Array 2edgesword's Avatar
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    Reasonable Restrictions

    The dissenting Supreme Court justices acknowledged along with those in the majority that the 2nd amendment is an individual right. Both sides stated that that right, just like freedom of speech and freedom of the press, is subject to certain restrictions.

    In Justice Breyers desent he states....

    "I therefore begin by asking a process-based question: How is a court to determine whether a particular firearm regulation (here, the District’s restriction on handguns) is consistent with the Second Amendment? What kind of constitutional standard should the court use? How high a protective hurdle does the Amendment erect?"

    "The law at issue here, which in part seeks to prevent gun-related accidents, at least bears a “rational relationship” to that “legitimate”
    life-saving objective."

    "Indeed, adoption of a true strict-scrutiny standard for evaluating gun regulations would be impossible. That is because almost every gun-control regulation will seek to advance (as the one here does) a “primary concern of every government—a concern for the safety and indeed the lives of its citizens.”

    In his dissent Breyer gives a history of firearms restricts at various times in earlier American history. Many of the restricts were related to the threat of fire and explosion connected with storing gun powder. While these may have been valid and reasonable concerns and served a "life-saving objective" they could NOT be used as a rational basis for the D.C. firearms regulations.

    There is going to be much debate in the future regarding what constitutes reasonable restrictions. The vast majority of 2nd amendment advocates are rational and responsible individuals. They are not oblivious to the fact that we live in a society of other individuals, and that the rights of one individual are balanced against the rights of other individuals and society as a whole.

    On the other hand those that view the 2nd amendment as an important and fundamental right expect that the restrictions imposed will be based in FACTS, LOGIC AND REASON, that they actually serve the "life-saving objective" Breyer mentions in his dissent, rather then being the result of an irrational fear of firearms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2edgesword View Post
    On the other hand those that view the 2nd amendment as an important and fundamental right expect that the restrictions imposed will be based in FACTS, LOGIC AND REASON, that they actually serve the "life-saving objective" Breyer mentions in his dissent, rather then being the result of an irrational fear of firearms.
    Not taking issue with what you have said.

    I guess my commentary and question for Justice Breyer would be: I've used firearms for over thirty-seven years, and no one has ever been harmed by any of mine through either deliberate act or negligence. If a governmental entity disarms me through fiat, and I am killed by a criminal when I might have defended myself through judicious use of a firearm, whose life has been saved? The criminal's, so he can kill others the next day? How wonderfully the objective of "live-saving" has been met in Justice Breyer's "brave new world"....
    If the public are bound to yield obedience to laws to which they cannot give their approbation, they are slaves to those who make such laws and enforce them.--Samuel Adams as Candidus, Boston Gazette 20 Jan. 1772

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    Senior Member Array 2edgesword's Avatar
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    Falcon1

    Your comment is exactly what I'm trying to get at. Your experience and those of the vast majority of law abiding firearms owners is solid evidence that the D.C., NYC, Chicago, etc. firearms restrictions are not ground in facts, logical and reasonable and do NOT constitute reasonable restrictions.

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    Senior Member Array dunndw's Avatar
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    There are no "reasonable restrictions". Whats reasonable? I think it's reasonable to own a suppressed full auto AR for home defense. I think it's reasonable to have a rifle ready to go in my car. I think it's reasonable for my NOT to have to disarm on a political whim.
    How would they feel if there were "reasonable restrictions" placed on the 1st admendment.
    I've owned/carried/shot firearms for almost 20 years. No one has every been physically harmed (other than the occasional brass burn) from any of my firearms.
    One bad guy could change that...or kill me or my wife. I'm not willing to let that happen.
    "If I was an extremist, our founding fathers would all be extremists," he said. "Without them, we wouldn't have our independence. We'd be a disarmed British system of feudal subjectivity."

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2edgesword View Post
    Falcon1

    Your comment is exactly what I'm trying to get at. Your experience and those of the vast majority of law abiding firearms owners is solid evidence that the D.C., NYC, Chicago, etc. firearms restrictions are not ground in facts, logical and reasonable and do NOT constitute reasonable restrictions.
    Precisely. I knew that was where you were going...why can't we get Justice Breyer et al. to see that?
    If the public are bound to yield obedience to laws to which they cannot give their approbation, they are slaves to those who make such laws and enforce them.--Samuel Adams as Candidus, Boston Gazette 20 Jan. 1772

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    Senior Member Array PaulJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunndw View Post
    How would they feel if there were "reasonable restrictions" placed on the 1st admendment.
    There are lots of restrictions to the 1st amendment that have been "approved" as reasonable by the courts. Think about having to get a permit for a parade or large demonstration. For a long list and more details see US Constitution Annotated - First Amendment - Religion and Expression

    "reasonable restrictions" go in different directions, and they all will have to be explored in future decisions. The opinions that go with Heller mention some of them:

    - who my be refused the right to bear arms? Felons? Drunks? people-that-look funny? ... will that person need training?
    - what kind of arms are included? Only civil-war era arms? Handguns? Rifles? Military style weapons? nukes?
    - where am I allowed to carry? At home? Concealed or open in public? inside a bar? in a court house?

    There is lots more wiggle room that has to be resolved. Heller is just a small first step. I am not sure why everybody is so excited about it.

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    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunndw View Post
    There are no "reasonable restrictions". Whats reasonable? I think it's reasonable to own a suppressed full auto AR for home defense. I think it's reasonable to have a rifle ready to go in my car. I think it's reasonable for my NOT to have to disarm on a political whim.
    It doesn't matter what you personally think is reasonable. It matters what society deems as reasonable. It is reasonable to prohibit discharging weapons into the air as a celebration. It is reasonable to disallow people in jail access to firearms. There are reasonable restrictions and it is the responsibility of society to determine the extent of those restrictions.

    There are also unreasonable restrictions. Those should be changed by way of legislation.

    How would they feel if there were "reasonable restrictions" placed on the 1st admendment.
    There are reasonable restrictions on the right to free speech and freedom of the press. Libel and slander are two obvious examples. You are not at liberty to say whatever you want. Interestingly, the NY Times committed treason by divulging classified information and aiding the enemy in a time of war. And they hid behing the First Amendment. That is an example of the press overstepping its 'exercise of its right.' The paper should have been closed and those responsible should have been held accountable.

    I find it interesting that so many want to define their own laws as if their actions did not affect others and their personal opinion were superior. The right to keep and bear arms is a God given right. We should properly educate the public and elect representatives that will not legislate unreasonable restrictions to our fundamental right.

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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunndw View Post
    How would they feel if there were "reasonable restrictions" placed on the 1st admendment.
    There are "reasonable restrictions" on the First.
    You can't yell "Fire" in a crowded movie theater for example. You can't knowingly publish lies about another person.
    There are many more.
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    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulJ View Post
    There is lots more wiggle room that has to be resolved. Heller is just a small first step. I am not sure why everybody is so excited about it
    People are excited because they think it immediately changes the law, which it doesn't.

    What is to be applauded is that the Court has acknowledged what anyone with third grade reading comprehension could have concluded: the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to keep and bear arms.

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    - who my be refused the right to bear arms?.......people-that-look funny?
    I guess I'm in trouble
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

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    Senior Member Array 2edgesword's Avatar
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    "There are no "reasonable restrictions". Whats reasonable? I think it's reasonable to own a suppressed full auto AR for home defense. I think it's reasonable to have a rifle ready to go in my car. I think it's reasonable for my NOT to have to disarm on a political whim."

    In a society there may be thousands of opinions regarding what is reasonable. In a civilized society we make compromises in order to live in peace. Are there limits to the type of compromise I'm willing to accept? Yes. But if we are going to live in peace both you and I are going to have to accept and live with some measure of compromise.

    I'm not talking about restriction based on "political whim". I'm talking about letting facts, logic and reason dictate those restrictions.

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    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    There are "reasonable restrictions" on the First.
    You can't yell "Fire" in a crowded movie theater for example. You can't knowingly publish lies about another person.
    There are many more.
    No, there are not. It is against the law to yell "fire" in a crowded movie theater. It is also against the law to murder somebody. Both are reasonable restrictions on actions.

    Gun control is not a reasonable restriction on actions, its an unreasonable restriction on the ability of somebody to commit those actions.

    It's like saying, well, you might do 'this' with 'that', so we'll make 'that' illegal, so you can never do 'this'.

    It's not reasonable, and it's asinine because normally the real crime being commited carries a higher penalty than the crime of obtaining the tools to commit the crime in the first place.
    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

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    Senior Member Array 2edgesword's Avatar
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    For those that say there is no such thing as reasonable ristricts I'd ask, do you thing it is unreasonable to prohibit a ten year old from purchasing a handgun? Do you think it is unreasonable to prohibit violent felons from owning a firearm? Do you think it is unreasonable to prohibit the discharge of a firearm in a crowded urban area as part of birthday celebration?

    The idea that restrictions should not be proactive in nature (an attempt to avoid an activity that has a high probability of infringing on anothers right to life) is irrational and NOT based in facts and reason.

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    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerbouchard View Post
    No, there are not. It is against the law to yell "fire" in a crowded movie theater. It is also against the law to murder somebody. Both are reasonable restrictions on actions.

    Gun control is not a reasonable restriction on actions, its an unreasonable restriction on the ability of somebody to commit those actions.

    It's like saying, well, you might do 'this' with 'that', so we'll make 'that' illegal, so you can never do 'this'.
    Your analogy is clever but it doesn't address the restriction on rights. Your argument concerns actions. That isn't the issue.

    You don't have an unlimited right to free speech in that you cannot slander or libel someone. Yes, slander is illegal but it is the right to free speech that is restricted. You don't have an unlimited right to keep and bear arms in that the mentally retarded are unable to buy firearms. Yes, murder is illegal but it is the right to keep and bear arms that is restricted.

    Restricting the right to free speech is identical to restricting any other right. In certain circumstances, restricting rights is desirable.

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    Member Array ryanjensen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    Your analogy is clever but it doesn't address the restriction on rights. Your argument concerns actions. That isn't the issue.

    You don't have an unlimited right to free speech in that you cannot slander or libel someone. Yes, slander is illegal but it is the right to free speech that is restricted. You don't have an unlimited right to keep and bear arms in that the mentally retarded are unable to buy firearms. Yes, murder is illegal but it is the right to keep and bear arms that is restricted.

    Restricting the right to free speech is identical to restricting any other right. In certain circumstances, restricting rights is desirable.
    I think his analogy still holds to an extent ... imagine if the courts upheld regulations on printing presses because they could be used to libel, or megaphones because they could be used to slander. Rather than punishing those who *do use* guns in illegal ways (murder, hold-ups, etc.) gun regulations punish *all* citizens, even law-abiding ones.

    No one is saying, "You can't publish a newspaper" -- they're saying "you can't print libelous statements." No one is saying, "You can't amplify your voice in public" -- they're saying "you can't say slanderous things." However, gun regulations do say "you can't own a handgun that feeds from the bottom" -- rather than simply "you can't use a handgun to commit crimes."

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