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The 2A Superbowl Kick-Off

By Greg L | 17 March 2008 | National Politics | 10 Comments

What may well be one of the most significant Supreme Court cases in our lifetime, D.C. v. Heller, will be argued tomorrow, and the blogosphere is buzzing with some excellent commentary about this Second Amendment case. Is the Second Amendment an individual right? And what are the permissible limits for state and local governments to regulate firearms ownership and possession if it is? That kind of examination, deferred since the 1930’s, has now opened up in what certainly is the best opportunity for Second Amendment advocates to prove their point.

Some of the best commentary on this for laymen is over at the Liberty Papers which walks readers through a pretty thorough look at the legal landscape. The Raising Kaine folks pass on giving an answer for the other side, but call the case “drummed up”.  I guess they’re not very confident about a victory here.  Scott’s Morning Brew comes down on the side of the Doug at the Liberty Papers, but cautions us Second Amendment advocates to not expect all of the ground-breaking precedent that we might be hoping for.

Tomorrow kicks off a huge day in the history of Constitutional Law.  It should be a great thing to watch.  My take is that we’re going to see a clear decision that firearms ownership is an individual right, but I agree with Scott that the level of restrictions that will be allowed will be a topic which will spawn a great number of additional cases, and no one will likely end up well pleased with the final outcome.  The SCOTUS has a history of taking a maddeningly long time to finally get things right.

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  1. JM said on 18 Mar 2008 at 9:58 am:
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    The antiwar protesters will be in town today and tomorrow, and they have pretty much promised to cause trouble. Today, Tuesday, they are doing to display their banners in front of IRS and Justice. Tomorrow is their big day. Beginning at 6 AM, they plan to block IRS, Justice and other Federal agencies and prevent employees from going to work. My building is ot a traget, but all Constitution Ave entrances will be locked as a precaution. So we will be essentially barricaded in our building, while the so-called pacifists break the law and not allow workers freedom of assembly and the basic liberty of going where they need and wish to go. The fact that they are willing to break that law makes me worry what other laws will be broken on Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, the pro Second Amendment people are at the Supreme Court today, and no one is expecting any trouble from them at all. Says quite a lot about the right and the left in this country, doesn’t it?

  2. JM said on 18 Mar 2008 at 9:59 am:
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    Sorry about the poor spelling. Hard to type with a brace on my wrist.

  3. Advocator said on 18 Mar 2008 at 11:25 am:
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    I agree with Scott’s and Greg’s take that the Supremes will recognize gun ownership as an individual, vice a collective, right, but will state that the right is not without limitations, e.g., flame throwers, machine guns, and anti-tank weapons most likely will not ever be legally owned by the individual. Neighborhood watches, maybe, but not individuals.

  4. mnd said on 18 Mar 2008 at 12:50 pm:
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    Flame throwers aren’t firearms and aren’t restricted at all.

    Machine guns are legal to own provided you pay for a $200 tax stamp.

    Anti-tank weapons fall into the category of “destructive device” under the NFA and are subject to the same $200 tax stamp.

    All items you list are legally able to be possessed by individuals.

    Also, point of clarification of terminology:

    A “neighborhood watch” like city, state, and federal government has no “rights”.

    Individuals have rights.

    Chartered organizations have powers.

    An activity that requires some sort of permission is not a right but a privilege.

  5. PWConservative said on 18 Mar 2008 at 12:53 pm:
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    I Don’t see how the court could not logically and intellectually interpret, that the right to keep and bear arms, means “Possess and Carry firearms” I Also looked up the Current and Old definition’s of “Infringe”
    I Found the current interpretation is “Encroach” and the Old interpretations are “Frustrate” “Impede” and “Obstruct”

  6. 999 said on 18 Mar 2008 at 12:58 pm:
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    You know what stand Stevens, Souter, Ginsberg and Breyer will take.

  7. Advocator said on 18 Mar 2008 at 2:25 pm:
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    Gawl-lee, MND. I’ll bet you could recognize a Navy issued M-14 quicker than I could pen a rhetorical device.

  8. Doug Mataconis said on 18 Mar 2008 at 3:52 pm:
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    This case will just be the beginning. We’re not going to see the Supreme Court say that all restrictions or regulations on gun ownership are impermissible, but I’m betting they’ll say that outright bans don’t pass muster.

    Then, we’ll see more cases over the years as the Court tries to come up with a standard of what is and is not acceptable.

    And they still have to deal with the issue of whether the 2nd Amendment applies to the States like the rest of the Bill of Rights does. The last time they ruled on that was over 100 years ago, and they said it doesn’t. I’ve got to think that will change.

    Wrap-up of the oral argument here:


  9. PWConservative said on 18 Mar 2008 at 7:01 pm:
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    I have the story up.. Apparently we’ve won

  10. Doug Mataconis said on 19 Mar 2008 at 11:18 am:
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    It certainly seems like it

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