December 04, 2015

Salon went there

They finally said what lefties have been thinking ever since the Heller decision:

The Second Amendment must go: We ban lawn darts. It's time to ban guns

And here we again express gratitude to the Founders for making the amendment process extremely difficult. Repealing the Second Amendment would require passage of a new amendment, and there's precisely zero chance of that happening any time soon.

Any Senator or Representative who votes for such an amendment can kiss their job good-bye, and even if such an amendment makes it out of Congress (which is unlikely in the extreme) there is no way it gets ratified by 38 state legislatures. Not going to happen.

The Constitutional Amendment process is deliberately a very high hurdle. Not that it is impossible; the 26th Amendment (18 year old vote) was ratified in just 3 months and 8 days. But that's because there was broad consensus that it was the right thing to do.

There sure as hell isn't broad consensus on repealing the Second Amendment. Not to mention the entire issue of trying to meddle with the Bill of Rights for the first time ever.

Congress won't even consider this, so it's not to worry. But it's about time someone on the left was honest about what they really mean by "common sense gun control measures." Deep down it was always about banning guns.

Because after all, no one really needs a gun, do they? And if Australia, the UK, and Japan can ban guns, why can't we?

Well, here's my answer: "Si vis pacem, para bellum"

UPDATE: And if someone asks me, "Do you really need a gun?", here's my answer:

I must be getting old. I missed the memo that said that I have to prove I need something in order to buy it. I remember a time when the only reason I needed was "Because I want to."

We used to call that freedom.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 07:04 PM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
Post contains 325 words, total size 2 kb.

1 Just a note: Guns aren't banned in Australia, though registration is required and high-capacity magazines are banned (much like California).


That said, the law here fails your freedom test - it specifically states that you need a "genuine reason" for a firearm license.  That's not particularly onerous - target shooting counts as a "genuine reason" - but the government has no right to require a reason in the first place.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at December 04, 2015 11:16 PM (PiXy!)

2 Pixy, they're not banned, but the regulations are -really- ugly. I mean, okay, I live in Texas, so it's kind of like asking someone from San Francisco about pot-smoking penalties in Singapore, but oy. You couldn't even get a license for Dad's ol' .22, given its super-scary 14-round tube magazine.

Man, it's good to be a Texan sometimes.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at December 05, 2015 12:09 AM (v29Tn)

3 I would say the amendment process isn't really difficult. Rather, Congress only wants amendments the states wouldn't ratify, and so doesn't bother originating amendments. I expect if we hold an Article V convention, (We're only a few states away from one being mandatory.) we'll see a whole raft of amendments, all of them horrifying to Congress, ratified in record time.
See, what people frequently misunderstand about requiring supermajority votes in Congress, and a supermajority of the states to ratify, is that this doesn't require an amendment to have overwhelming public support. It just requires that the support be widely distributed. 51% support uniformly across the nation would suffice, 100% support in only 2/3 of the nation would fall short.

The real problem here, is that part of why Congress has stopped originating amendments, is that they've found that by suborning the Supreme court, they don't need amendments anymore to 'change' the Constitution. 
The left is quite open about what they intend with regards to the 2nd amendment: They don't mean to repeal it, as that would give the states a choice. They mean to replace just one member of the Heller majority, and then have the Supreme court issue a 5-4 decision that the amendment is meaningless.
That this won't make gun control politically popular doesn't mean much to them, They've never really accepted that.

Posted by: Brett Bellmore at December 05, 2015 04:54 AM (l55xw)

4 Avatar - yeah, agreed.  Our gun laws are a blot on John Howard's otherwise excellent record as PM.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at December 05, 2015 05:50 AM (PiXy!)

5 The left is quite open about what they intend with regards to the 2nd amendment: They don't mean to repeal it, as that would give the states a choice. They mean to replace just one member of the Heller majority, and then have the Supreme court issue a 5-4 decision that the amendment is meaningless.

Right now that would seem to be a "too late" sort of thing. After McDonald enforced the 2nd Amendment on the states and below, ending the Chicago and its suburbs complete bans, the Supremes have refused to go any further, and the only prospects now for going further are Peruta v. County of San Diego if, contrary to expectations, it survives its en banc review, and unlike Illinois it's appealed to the Supremes. Or the endless meandering in D.C., where the lower courts are dragging their feet. There's also the very odd Friedman v Highland Park, but I don't know anyone who expects the Supremes to strike down an "assault weapons" ban when in all the other cases their denying cert has revealed they think we have a right to keep and bear arms in our homes, but not outside them.

Unless you think Chicago would then reenact their gun ban (the way they did it previously wouldn't confiscate existing ones), and Illinois confiscate all the concealed carry licenses they've issued (some used in self-defense in Chicago!), which I really don't expect, although that's based on lower court law, would it be too late to appeal it?  Then again, that's a city and state I avoid at almost all costs.

Posted by: hga at December 05, 2015 08:41 AM (PpD6I)

6 As I said, they've never really accepted that we held that national conversation concerning guns, and they lost it. So they don't believe that the real obstacle to gun control is that American democracy is functioning on the topic. Diabolical mind control rays emanating from the gun industry's astroturf NRA, and politicians afraid of being murdered if they 'really' represent their constituents. That's what they think they're dealing with, because the echo chamber is pretty tightly sealed at this point; They're only talking to each other.
They think that they get the Supreme court to authoritatively say the 2nd amendment means something nonsensical, (The army can be armed!) and most people will just accept that they were mistaken, and agree that gun control is constitutional.
Then, yes, they will reenact it everywhere they can, every occasion they can.
Delusional, but rather dangerously so.

Posted by: Brett Bellmore at December 05, 2015 12:17 PM (l55xw)

7 To absolutely nobody's surprise, the Supremes denied cert to Friedman v. Highland Park; as the current majority sees it, we have a right to keep and bear arms of whatever limited types our governments allow, in the privacy of our homes, and that's it, the 2nd Amendment acknowledges nothing else.

Posted by: hga at December 07, 2015 12:40 PM (PpD6I)

8

That doesn't really mean anything. SCOTUS receives thousands of appeals per year. Every one of them is important to someone, but it's physically impossible for SCOTUS to deal with them all.

So they turn down the vast majority of them. That doesn't mean they necessarily think the appeal isn't justified.

It also doesn't mean they consider the issue settled, either. A denial of certiorari isn't considered to establish a precedent.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at December 07, 2015 12:53 PM (+rSRq)

9 That does not appear to be the case with Friedman v Highland Park, it was considered in conference 7 times over 2 months, and we're told that's pretty much unprecedented (in)action.

Yeah, any single denial of cert means little, but when the Supremes deny all appeals and let stand a host of decisions that contravene Heller and McDonald I think we are allowed to draw conclusions.
Maybe we'll be proved wrong, Peruta v. San Diego County covering California and Hawaii looks like it'll be reversed en banc, and D.C. might surprise with a pro-shall issue ruling despite Obama's packing that critical court.  But in literally every other circuit court where it was possible to appeal a pro-may issue decision, even in the face of a circuit split after the 7th Circuit forced it on Illinois (without the state appealing), the Supremes denied cert.

Otherwise Heller and McDonald look to be this generation's Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada, except for changing the facts on the ground in Illinois.

Posted by: hga at December 07, 2015 02:06 PM (PpD6I)

10 (Deletes absurdly long winded comment on the 2nd amendment's history at the Supreme court.)

The consensus at the legal blogs I frequent is that this is the Justices playing politics. The 'liberals' don't want to take another 2nd amendment case for obvious reasons. At least one of the Heller/McDonald has a different motive.
The Heller and McDonald rulings were popular with the public, they were VERY unpopular in the legal circles even 'conservative' Justices travel in. Speculation is that one of the Heller majority, probably Kennedy or Roberts, doesn't want to take the heat for upholding the 2nd again, if all that pain is going to be for nothing.
It's virtually certain that the next President is going to have the chance to replace one of the Heller majority, due to retirement or death. If the next President is a Republican, the Heller line of cases will probably be upheld and extended. If a Democrat?
A test case will swiftly be generated, and both decisions will be reversed 5-4, with extreme prejudice, and precedent be damned.
Until they know if the next President is a Democrat or Republican, there's an unofficial embargo of 2nd amendment cases.

Posted by: Brett Bellmore at December 07, 2015 02:49 PM (l55xw)

11 I think I'm going to close this now. Sorry.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at December 07, 2015 02:52 PM (+rSRq)

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