Thursday, June 26, 2008

I Like to See Girls of That Caliber

Dennis pointed out that I've been working all day - I totally missed the Supreme Court ruling that granted an individual right to own guns exists, and striking down the local municipal ban in DC. (Those with a sense of humour should read the link text . .) Link to the PDF

I love Dennis, but his sense of caustic comedy was off the mark for once. Unlike what the full metal jacket worshiping desired, the 5-4 majority (Scalia, Alito, Roberts, Kennedy & Thomas) ruled only that Yes, there is a right to bear arms - but not machine guns or other unusual implements of destruction - and that the DC law banning handguns for self-defense in the home is unconstitutional.

The minority wrote 2 dissents which they all joined in, twice - which was the judicial equivalent of all of them not only objecting to the majority, but hiring Demi Moore to stand up and strenously object to the majority's ruling. It looks gorgeous dressed up in Navy whites, it speaks with an inspired Aaron Sorkin script, but means absolutely nothing in the end, no matter how many times the minority comes to the same conclusion to which they all agree on.

Which makes this thing look even more baffling to me. It obvious this thing was crafted with the best right-wing talking points in regards to the Second Amendment, while balancing the necessity for some restriction in arms ownership in the interest of law enforcement in order to bring the moderates on board. The seriously gun-happy are going to be pissy because it doesn't touch the Brady Bill or let them finally pull the AK-47 out of the closet and brandish it with the pride of someone with a 3 foot long assault pecker. And it obviously gives the middle finger to gun control advocates. If anything, the first part of today's opinion simply enumerates in stone the status quo. And then because of the Rehnquist tradition of ruling with the most narrow scope tolerable, the Court simply just simply slapped only DC's restrictions, ignoring the hundreds to thousands of other more restrictive state and local laws.

The worst part is that it guts local attempts at firearms control - which is really what's important. It's the cities that need more restrictive controls, and can implement them more effectively than the federal background checks. (I read a fairly persuasive article on local control anticipating the decision a few days ago, but can't remember where) From what I understand, DC's gun problem was completely out-of-hand because of it's Federal city status (and politics) hampered enforcement, and the only solution became an outright ban. Once again, the residents of DC got shafted by the government that routinely disdains it's host city.

I've got no problems with guns and gun owners. The only time I've feared a gun possessor was a cop who I accidentally door dinged who went completely batshit on me for a few seconds before realizing it. If that story affirms anything, it's that a well-armed society may make for a more polite constabulary. :) But it's not the owners that are a concern - it's the possessors who obtain arms through means gray to black and use them to threaten, maim and kill.


Chris said...

A killer will kill. The choice weapon will decide how effectively he does so.

It's the whole "criminalizing an activity begets criminal activity" complex. Take assault rifles off the street, and the only people with them will be criminals.

The only way to effectively control guns is to ban them completely. Anything else is needless scrutiny that will only drum up more crime.

idiosynchronic said...

Chris - I dunno which is worse, your nonsensical phrasing which obscures your position or my sneaking suspicion that you're a trawler hoping to churn up some sturm'n'drang for your position, rather than actual correspondence on the topic.

Of course, I don't think we read our material any more, so it's all probably moot.

Chris said...

I read the post. I was just throwing in my two cents.

Wont be doing that again :(

idiosynchronic said...

That's too bad. But in one sentence you're advocating no-holds-barred ownership, and in the next you're then advocating compete bans on all firearms, and then last thought is back to unlimited ownership.

If you want to highlight the irony or the inherent contradictions of gradual legalization, you need to be a bit more explanatory.

Chris said...

I am for an almost absolute restriction on firearms, much alike Germany's:

A firearms ownership license (Waffenbesitzkarte) must be obtained before a weapon can be purchased. Owners of multiple firearms need a separate ownership license for every single firearm they own. It entitles the owner to purchase a firearm and handle it on their own property and any private property with property owner consent. On public premises, a licensed firearm must be transported unloaded and in a stable, fully enclosing, locked container. A weapons ownership license does not entitle the owner to shoot the weapon or carry it on public premises without the proscribed container. Firearms ownership licenses are valid three years or less, and the owner must obtain mandatory insurance and a means to securely store the weapon on their premises (a weapons locker.) Blanket ownership licenses are sometimes issued to arms dealers

A number of criteria must be met before a firearms ownership license is issued:

age of consent (18 years old) (§ 4 WaffG)
trustworthiness (§ 5 WaffG)
personal adequacy (§ 6 WaffG)
expert knowledge (§ 7 WaffG) and
necessity (§ 8 WaffG) (Necessity is automatically assumed present for Hunters and owners of a carry permits (Waffenschein)).

Persons who are

convicted felons
have a record of mental disorder or
are deemed unreliable (which includes people with drug or alcohol addiction histories and known violent or aggressive persons)
are barred from obtaining a firearms ownership license.

A Firearms carry permit entitles the owner to publicly carry a legally owned weapon, loaded in a concealed or non-concealed manner. A mandatory legal and safety class and shooting proficency tests are required to obtain such a permit. Carry permits are usually only issued to persons with a particular need for carrying a firearm. This includes licensed hunters, law-enforcement officers, security personnel and persons living under a raised threat-level like celebrities and politicians.


Regulating anything else when firearms can still be bought at Big 5 Sporting Goods and modified with a file and cordless drill to become fully-automatic is moot. I believe it will only drum up more crime, as reforming firearm laws can be a very sensitive process in the society we live in.

I didn't mean to confuse or attack you, sorry.

idiosynchronic said...

It's interesting where your legal construction comes from - I'm going to guess that you, like Milo, either served in or lived in Germany for a period of time?

The German framework reminds me a great deal like the CDL - the Commerical Driver's License because of its steeper competence and demands curve. And for some time, I've been thinking America's mistake is not treating gun licensing like driver's licensing, with competency tests, revocation for OWI, et cetera.

The assault weapons ban . . what fine piece of sorry legislation that was. I chuckle every time I watch The American President because of the successor bill as a plot element because of the holes lobbied into the first. I have to admit though, the last time I was in Scheel's, I didn't pay much attention to the number of semi-autos for sale - their inventory was so overwhelmingly oriented to manual firearms.

Anjha said...

The seriously gun-happy are going to be pissy because it doesn't touch the Brady Bill or let them finally pull the AK-47 out of the closet and brandish it with the pride of someone with a 3 foot long assault pecker.


I know that guy.

My problem Id, is not that I don't read your problem is that I read your posts, then follow the links, then sometimes follow those links and then I am left with no time to comment on the posts not to mention not remembering my initial reaction to the initial post.

Perhaps I will stop doing that.

Methinks you might be a tad troll hypersensitive, Id. Though I had a difficult time understanding the first post from Chris, I took it more as a quick post on his way to something else, rather than a troll diatribe.

I think that Chris would be the Chris that Milo posted a link to a couple of days ago...which I also followed in one of my get lost mornings.

As for the Supremes - have the ever been so blatantly fucking political?!?!

When the justices start peppering their decisions with RNC talking points - I think that it is time for impeachment. Their only talking points should be - NONE - they should derive their info from the Constitution and case law, not from the RNC or any whitehouse or any candidate. Fuckers.

As for the decision, husband and I argued about it for a while, whether the founders intended for the 2nd amendment to be one thought or two...

I argued one, that we have the right to bear arms AS a well regulated militia (that they wanted no standing army) and he argued that we have the right to bear arms AND that we should have a well regulated militia and that they were mutually exclusive. But this is nothing new - because we have always argued about guns...not necessarily gun rights but whether or not they should be in our home.

I realize that the Supremes decisions was slimmer than this argument, and I think that how they were able to argue that municipalities have the right to pass laws regulating arms and then cast aside the DC ban regulating arms is a bit bi-polar, but heh, it is the Roberts Court - anything at all is possible.

Excelllent post Id, some beautiful language used to get your points across.

But it's not the owners that are a concern - it's the possessors who obtain arms through means gray to black and use them to threaten, maim and kill.

And the above is brilliant and the whole thing in a nutshell.

I have been reading, just not replying...I will work on this.

I have to get moving today; I have volunteered to drive doorbellers to destinations so that they can sell our State Rep to the peoples answering the doors. He is a fabulous guy and my very favoritist politician.

Have a great day all.

idiosynchronic said...

I know we have a lil' ol' passel of lurkers here - I like drawing them out than actually reading Milo and Seven heartily agreeing with me in one sentence. Spread the disease!


idiosynchronic said...

I'm just crabby today - not enough sleep over the last week and no good reason for it. It's one thing when my wife keeps me up late, it's another when it's my computer habit. I'm sick and tired of malfunctioning computer parts.