Tuesday, November 20, 2007

SCOTUS to Hear DC v. Heller

I'm nervous about all of this. I especially find the focus of the question going to the Supremes to be disturbing.
Here is the way the Court phrased the granted issue:

“Whether the following provisions — D.C. Code secs. 7-2502.02(a)(4), 22-4504(a), and 7-2507.02 — violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes?”

The first listed section bars registration of pistols if not registered before Sept. 24, 1976; the second bars carrying an unlicensed pistol, and the third requires that any gun kept at home must be unloaded and disassembled or bound by a lock, such as one that prevents the trigger from operating.

The Court did not mention any other issues that it might address as questions of its jurisdiction to reach the ultimate question: did the one individual who was found to have a right to sue have a right to challenge all three of the sections of the local law cited in the Court’s order, and, is the District of Columbia, as a federal enclave, even covered by the Second Amendment. While neither of those issues is posed in the grant order, the Court may have to be satisfied that the answer to both is affirmative before it would move on to the substantive question about the scope of any right protected by the Amendment.

It's enough that this bit at SCOTUSblog appears to focus on the "militia" or more accurately the non-militia status looks to me to be concentrating on a minor point of the Amendment and ignoring the "right of the people" part that appears to be so much more important.

Lyle Denniston has a SCOTUSwiki page on the case that is worth reviewing.

David Hardy at Of Arms and the Law shows the variations on how the questions were placed.
Court rephrased the question presented as:

"Whether the following provisions, D.C.
Code §§ 7-2502.02(a)(4), 22-4504(a), and 7-2507.02, violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes? "

DC had phrased it as:

"Whether the Second Amendment forbids the District of Columbia from banning private possession of handguns while allowing possession of rifles and shotguns."

Parker/Heller had phrased it as:

" Whether the Second Amendment guarantees law-abiding, adult individuals a right to keep ordinary, functional firearms, including handguns, in their homes."

That again makes me nervous. I have to say I prefer the last since it specifically discusses the right rather than forbidding ownership, or the really twisted way the SCOTUS chose. I wish I had some idea what that rephrasing really means. This legalese crap just gets under my skin.

Well, at least I live in a state that clearly enumerates the citizens right to keep and bear arms. This case may cause many issues, but I don't think it will cause much of a change here. (Well as long as the scum crossing our southern border from the People Republic of Massachusetts doesn't cause issues with our standing constitution.)

Of course the AssPress has given the Brady Bunch and their ilk voice on the news without having any balanced reporting from the NRA or any Second Amendment supporting group.
Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said the Supreme Court should "reverse a clearly erroneous decision and make it clear that the Constitution does not prevent communities from having the gun laws they believe are needed to protect public safety."

The last Supreme Court ruling on the topic came in 1939 in U.S. v. Miller, which involved a sawed-off shotgun. That decision supported the collective rights view, but did not squarely answer the question in the view of many constitutional scholars. Chief Justice John Roberts said at his confirmation hearing that the correct reading of the Second Amendment was "still very much an open issue."

And of course, they got the Miller case interpretation completely wrong. Nice balanced journalism from the propaganda specialists at the AssPress. In fact they court never made any finding regarding whether the 2nd stands for individual or collective rights. But continuing that fallacy will continue propagating the rights they like and removing the ones they don't. Maybe they should think this one over again.

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