Dennis A. Henigan

Dennis A. Henigan

Posted: July 16, 2010 03:13 PM

New Court Ruling Throws Cold Water on "Gun Rights" Celebration

What's Your Reaction:

For those in the extremist gun lobby and the libertarian right who view the Supreme Court's recent Second Amendment rulings as assault weapons ready to blow holes in America's gun laws, the Seventh Circuit's ruling this week in U.S. v. Skoien must be a bitter pill.

Skoien is no doubt the most significant lower court ruling on the Second Amendment since the Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller two years ago recognizing the right of individuals to have guns in the home for self-defense. The Seventh Circuit heard the case en banc (i.e. with all eleven judges sitting) and, by a vote of 10-1, upheld the conviction of Steven Skoien for violating the federal law barring possession of guns by individuals with misdemeanor convictions for domestic violence. Skoien, like many other convicted gun criminals, saw Heller as a way to avoid punishment by seeking to strike down as unconstitutional the law he had violated.

The Skoien ruling is a bucket of cold water thrown on the "gun rights" celebration following the Supreme Court's decision last month in McDonald v. City of Chicago striking down Chicago's handgun ban.

First, because appeals courts rarely sit en banc, seldom do they rule by such lopsided majorities. In sports terms, this one was a rout. More importantly, the 10-judge majority reflected the full sweep of the ideological spectrum. The majority opinion was written by Judge Frank Easterbrook, a leading conservative jurist and intellectual, and joined by six judges appointed by Republican Presidents and three appointed by Democratic Presidents.

Second, the restriction on gun ownership under attack in this case was not among those specifically blessed by the Heller majority as "presumptively legal," even under Heller's newly-discovered right to guns for self-defense. Whereas Heller had said "nothing in our opinion should cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession firearms by felons and the mentally ill" (among other "presumptively lawful" restrictions), it said nothing about misdemeanor domestic violence offenses.

Significantly, Judge Easterbrook's opinion reads the Heller language not as created a "comprehensive code" of permissible regulations, but rather as standing for the broader proposition that it remains proper to bar gun possession by some categories of persons, "leaving it to the people's elected representatives the filling in of details." Since the core of state and federal gun regulation has long been directed to keeping guns out of the hands of defined categories of dangerous people, this degree of legislative leeway promises to make gun control largely safe from successful constitutional attack. For example, it suggests that reasonable ways of enforcing these categorical prohibitions (like extending Brady Law background checks to private shows at gun shows and elsewhere) remain unthreatened by the new Heller right.

Third, the Seventh Circuit rejected any suggestion that Heller's reference to the presumptive legality of "longstanding" restrictions means that only those restrictions on the books in 1791 are currently permissible. After all, as the Circuit Court pointed out, even the "presumptively legal" prohibition on possession of guns by felons was not passed by Congress until 1938. Judge Easterbrook might also have added that it would be incongruous to allow as constitutionally permitted only the laws in place at the founding, when the Heller Court made handguns constitutionally protected because they are commonly owned for self-defense at the present time. That was not the case back in 1791.

Finally, for the court in Skoien, the constitutional test was not historical in nature, but rather was whether the statute at issue is "substantially related" to its objective of "preventing armed mayhem." The court had no trouble concluding that "both logic and data" demonstrate the lifesaving importance of barring domestic abusers from having guns. The court cited studies showing that domestic assaults with guns are far more lethal than assaults with other weapons, that guns in the home increase the risk of homicide, and that guns in the homes of domestic abusers are particularly a threat to police responding to domestic violence calls.

The Seventh Circuit's approach suggests that Second Amendment challenges will end up showcasing the impressive research, particularly by the public health community, documenting the devastating toll of gun violence on families and communities, as well as the importance of strong gun laws to public health and safety. Showcasing the importance of gun laws is not exact what the "gun rights" folks had in mind when they were celebrating the Heller decision two years ago.

It is easy to understand why libertarian bloggers like Josh Blackman are upset about the Skoien ruling, which he cites as evidence of the "epic failure" of both Heller and McDonald to truly establish a constitutional basis for the gutting of America's gun laws. Blackman frets that Judge Easterbrook's opinion in Skoien sets forth "a framework that will likely be relied upon by most courts." If he's right, and I think he is, strong gun control laws have little to fear from the Second Amendment.

For more information, see Dennis Henigan's Lethal Logic: Exploding the Myths that Paralyze American Gun Policy (Potomac Books 2009)

 
 
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HUFFPOST BLOGGER
messy   50 minutes ago (9:51 AM)
Apparently the Appeals court has decided to nullify the Supreme Court decision in "District of Columbia v. Heller " in order to give the latter a chance to reverse itself. Until at least two conservatives leave the court. That won't happen.
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SewaneeLeftist   60 minutes ago (9:41 AM)
Oh, the irony of the atrocious Heller decision enabling good gun control legislation.

Very enjoyable.

Also deeply enjoyable to see other courts joining in on the side of protecting the social contract by supporting governmental regulation of the instruments of violence, as well as giving short shrift to the selective originalism with which Scalia dresses up his bench-legislating rightwing political agenda and fabrication of new law.
dancingstu   1 hour ago (9:18 AM)
For those of you who play army in the woods and call yourselves the "militia", I hope you know that when there's an armed insurrection against the federal government, the President has the authority to compel you to fight on behalf of the government. If you would be unwilling to defend the authority of the government, you're just an armed gang, not a militia.

"Whenever the President considers that unlawful obstructions, combinations, or assemblages, or rebellion against the authority of the United States, make it impracticable to enforce the laws of the United States in any State by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, he may call into Federal service such of the militia of any State, and use such of the armed forces, as he considers necessary to enforce those laws or to suppress the rebellion." 10 U.S.C. section 332
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messy   49 minutes ago (9:52 AM)
The second amendment was passed for just that sort of thing.
dancingstu   2 hours ago (8:56 AM)
If anyone thinks that the Supreme Court's decision means that state and federal governments can no longer impose any restrictions on gun ownership, he's fooling himself. Think of all the individual rights that have been recognized for over a century:, such as speech, press, and religion. Your freedom of speech doesn't include the right to threaten people or create a public disturbance. The freedom of press doesn't give license to knowingly publish libelous statements in a desire to cause someone harm. Your freedom of religion doesn't make it okay to force 12 year old girls to marry 50 year old men.

In the case of the Second Amendment, there will continue to be licensing requirements and restrictions on the types of guns you can own and where you can carry them. If you think otherwise, you're deluding yourself.
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sisyphus93   30 minutes ago (10:10 AM)
In my home state, it is easier to acquire a handgun now than when I moved here 8 years ago. Plus, we have acquired shall-issue CCW. And castle domain laws. Gun ownership has increased dramatically during the last 10 years.

Whose deluded?
demsrsilly   3 hours ago (7:49 AM)
Total bans work! See Chicago and D.C. No gun violence there.
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sisyphus93   30 minutes ago (10:11 AM)
Yep, two Democrat success stories!
rhymney   9 hours ago (1:19 AM)
When you are convicted of a crime you can be denied basic constitutional rights, for instance they will not allow inmates to own guns in prison. Many felons and ex-cons don't get to vote. This ruling isn't some watershed event.
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HisPetGoat   9 hours ago (2:06 AM)
It means there is no unalienable individual right to possess firearms.
demsrsilly   3 hours ago (7:45 AM)
The only right I know that is close to being absolute is the 5th in a criminal matter.

Other than that, there are restrictions on every right. You do not have an absolute right of free speech, you do not have an absolute right preventing search and seizure.

The 2nd is no different.
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cobaltbluedog   12 hours ago (10:47 PM)
" I am the militia"
Delusions of adequacy
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JimInHouston   11 hours ago (11:18 PM)
Ya don't really know what the militia is, right?
dancingstu   2 hours ago (9:03 AM)
Is it a group of rednecks playing Army in the woods who occasionally blow up federal buildings or plan to assassinate police officers in order to start the apocalypse?
RevJimIII   11 hours ago (11:21 PM)
I am neither delusional or incorrect.

http://guncite.com/gc2ndmea.html
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HisPetGoat   11 hours ago (12:02 AM)
I think if you were enrolled or called into military service they would give you a nice gun and some boots. I hear they cook for you too.
RevJimIII   11 hours ago (11:26 PM)
"Is your militia recognized be your Governor, Homeland Security, the National Guard, etc? "

Yes.

TITLE 10 > Subtitle A > PART I > CHAPTER 13 > § 311 United States Code

§ 311. Militia: composition and classes
How Current is This?
(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.
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Dimensio   9 hours ago (2:08 AM)
At least one Huffington Post commenter has stated that the federal law that you have referenced is invalidated by his ignorance of it and by his choice to ignore it.
dancingstu   1 hour ago (9:14 AM)
Very well then. You would agree that, if there were an armed insurrection (by rogue elements of the Tea Party, for example), the President would have the authority to call upon your militia to suppress such a rebellion against the federal government.

"Whenever the President considers that unlawful obstructions, combinations, or assemblages, or rebellion against the authority of the United States, make it impracticable to enforce the laws of the United States in any State by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, he may call into Federal service such of the militia of any State, and use such of the armed forces, as he considers necessary to enforce those laws or to suppress the rebellion." 10 U.S.C. section 332.

If you would not submit your "militia" to the authority of the President, then you're actually just an armed gang.
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CelticDragon   11 hours ago (12:03 AM)
Cobaltbluedog...According to the United States Code, you are probably a member of one of the militia classifications, technically.
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Dimensio   9 hours ago (1:29 AM)
I am curious; have you any rational commentary to offer, or is your position so devoid of merit that you are able to present only hyperbole devoid of any fact?
spacewalker   13 hours ago (9:59 PM)
All i know is my wife and i went out and got NYS pistol permits recently to enjoy the benefits given to us since the McDonald ruling. NYS was very difficult to get permits prior to this and we got ours very easily,so if anyone attempts to break and enter in our home we are now protected. We will be happy to go to the range together to practice,and when our two sons get old enough we will be making sure they get their permits as well. My twelve year old already is very good with a rifle(.22 just like my dad showed how to shoot with) and when my 8 yr old boy is old enough he will learn as well. Dad was a full bird colonel in the army and left us quite a large gun collection including 12 pistols.The gun grabbers can celebrate this small victory all they want because in the end it won't mean much. The local paper issues an insert weekly that shows all burglaries(red dots)and all robberies(yellow dots)on a street map and there are many in and around our neighborhood every single week.Calling this ruling a victory is the usual m.o. for Mr.Henigan and his fellow gun grabbers from the Brady center,but as the courts continue to interpret Heller and McDonald we can be confident law abiding Americans will continue to use the 2A to protect their families and property without any interference by people like Mr.Henigans group.
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ECBA88   7 hours ago (3:50 AM)
I'm glad you're doing so. If, however, you had demonstrated a consistent tendency to beat or otherwise abuse your wife, I would be considerably less comfortable with you having the ability to kill when you want to.

However, I think the application of that restriction should be as limited as possible. The intention of the Framers was to encourage an armed populace, and it's difficult to justify limiting that except in cases where a citizen was demonstrably likely to use their firearm to commit a murder. Law abiding citizens, or even people with criminal records that don't include a serious reason to consider them a continued threat (and if they're still a threat, why aren't they in jail?) should be able to defend themselves from those who might harm them. Gun control advocates miss the point when they try to take guns away from people who can be trusted to keep and use them responsibly. After all, illegal firearms are available, and some who are barred from owning them legally will acquire them.

I don't own a gun, although I've had very basic training in the use of a .22 rifle, and I hope never to feel the need to own one. But unlike many so-called "leftists" who are unable to examine multiple sides of an issue, I strive to remember that other people's attitudes and situations are both different from my own and equally legitimate--as long as they aren't committing murders. Thanks for posting.
highplainswoman   4 hours ago (6:14 AM)
Greetings! I freely concede my fears of guns stems directly from the fear of the impetuous and impulsive side of myself, which is why I relentlessly try to be rational and logical, especially in issues that ultimately boil down to issues of life/death and public safety.

I have watched my next-door neighbor teach his two step-sons how to use guns and treat them with respect. It makes ma a little nervous, since I actually knew someone who inadvertently killed someone else through an accidental discharge of a gun (Human error at fault there, I suspect--and humans do get careless, in addition to being impulsive, etc). What I don't understand is this: we assume people have the right to travel freely throughout the country, yet, for reasons of public safety, we ask people to demonstrate a certain level of proficiency (via driver's licenses) before getting behind the wheel. We also ask, again for reasons of public safety, a great proficiency in handling the big 18-wheelers in the form of a chauffeur's license. Why is it an infringement on constitutional rights to ask for a demonstration of a certain level of proficiency in the handling of guns? And if we're not going to ban assault weapons from the general public, why aren't we asking for a higher skill level in the handling of such high-powered weapons? (And we don't allow developmentally-challenged people to drive; why allow mentally-ill people to possess guns, too??)
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JimInHouston   3 hours ago (8:04 AM)
"Why is it an infringement on constitutional rights to ask for a demonstration of a certain level of proficiency in the handling of guns? And if we're not going to ban assault weapons from the general public, why aren't we asking for a higher skill level in the handling of such high-powered weapons? (And we don't allow developmentally-challenged people to drive; why allow mentally-ill people to possess guns, too??) "

Well, for several reasons.
1) Such training must never be used as a vehicle for gun confiscation. Possible alternatives are universal gun training (in schools) or training that is free of charge and unassociated with actual gun purchase.
2) Shooting safely isn't as touch as handling an 18 wheeler...concentrating on the 4 safety rules goes a long way.
3) "Assault weapons" are clearly not what you think they are, are not "high-powered", and deserve no additional regulation.
4) "And we don't allow developmentally-challenged people to drive; why allow mentally-ill people to possess guns, too??" We DON'T "allow" that. Please understand the laws. The RKBA people on this cited have pointed this out many times.
Sean 6399   17 hours ago (5:58 PM)
Nice, so all the gun grabbers have to do is find a way to classify everyone in the country as mildly threatening in order to deny them gun rights. Shouldn't be too tough for you guys. Whip up that fear and loathing!
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HisPetGoat   14 hours ago (8:26 PM)
Being obsessed with devices designed only to kill people is intrinsically threatening.
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CognizantImpiety   14 hours ago (8:35 PM)
Guns are not designed "only to kill people".

I use guns to shoot paper targets.

I use guns to protect me and mine, they don't necessarily need to be
fired to do so.
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CognizantImpiety   14 hours ago (8:39 PM)
2nd Amendment states:

the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Unfanned.
research   13 hours ago (9:38 PM)
my Precious?!?!??
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Dimensio   12 hours ago (10:19 PM)
No mention was made of any obsession. Your statement is therefore a non-sequitur.
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CelticDragon   11 hours ago (11:59 PM)
I am obsessed with not being bashed by anti GLBT bigots.

I am a trans woman who has been stalked, threatened with assault in person twice, and my spouse has been menaced and harassed in public.

60 % of trans women report being assaulted and/or raped at some point.

I do not intend to join that statistic. Therefore, I am armed with a number of weapons, including two assault rifles. I will protect my family and myself. I have seen what law enforcement does...or fails to do....when GLBT people are under attack.

No thanks.
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realitytrumpsbull   13 hours ago (9:58 PM)
In one sense, you are correct in stating that a nanny-statist type approach to public safety would be to go around, make a blanket clause that covers all bases, and start loading up the back seat of the squad car with confiscated firearms. In theory, they could do something like that. In practice, in other countries where gun ownership by the general public is prohibited, they just shoot you, and take the gun anyway. Why? Because in those countries, the police ARE the military, and vice versa, and to them, an armed public is just a threat to be dealt with.

In this country, where presumably you start off with a clean slate, no criminal record etc., you also have the right to keep and bear arms. Comma. Some cities that have chronic gang problems, have special restrictions in place on what kind of firearms you can have and keep within city limits, which the criminals blithely ignore and go about their business regardless. That having been said, of what value is any gun law, come right down to it? Given that this is the United States, and you can probably just about get anything for the right price, what do gun laws really do to a thriving black market? Not much, because people want what they want, and they buy it:
http://www.nytimes.com/1999/12/21/us/criminals-black-market-in-guns-detailed.html
Organized defeat of background checks.
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George Hanshaw   18 hours ago (4:48 PM)
What a misleading title.

I don't think ANYONE expected that the Supreme Court's recent decisions on the Second Amendment meant that convicted felons couldn't be prohibited from having firearms, any more than the constitutional assurance of 'freedom' for the people meant that convicted felons couldn't be incarcerated. In fact, the two Supreme Court decisions upholding the Second Amendment specifically said that there were exceptions - for cause. Just as voting rights can be terminated if you are a felon, your right to keep and bear arms can be terminated if you are a felon.

It seems like the author is creating a strawman argument, then declaring victory.

This is much ado about nothing, and a good editor would have never let the article even be posted.
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tehixe   17 hours ago (5:12 PM)
First of all, this is a report of an actual case. It is not an author fabricating anything, it happened.

Second of all, it's a case about whether a misdemeanor conviction can get you prohibited from owning a gun. And the argument that it shouldn't it not a straw man, it was argued before the en banc 7th circuit. Which slapped it down, hard.
RevJimIII   17 hours ago (5:18 PM)
Which you will find most of us who argue pro 2A agree with the decision for the most part. This article was an attempt to make something of what is really nothing. You will find hardly a single vote to allow those who have been convicted of a qualifying crime to carry or purchase firearms.
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Old Jarhead   17 hours ago (5:18 PM)
He was building straw men. The NRA, to the best of my knowledge, did not support Skoien. But the author was quick to lay the defeat at the NRA's feet, as if they had somehow been defeated, and that all was now lost in the pro 2A camp. Mr. Hanshaw called it correctly.
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George Hanshaw   16 hours ago (6:36 PM)
“First of all, this is a report of an actual case. It is not an author fabricating anything, it happened."

Nor did I say it was. I said the title of the author was deceptive. It is. No one - and certainly not the Supreme Court - ever indicated their two rulings provided an unrestricted right to bear arms.

"Second of all, it's a case about whether a misdemeanor conviction can get you prohibited from owning a gun. And the argument that it shouldn't it not a straw man, it was argued before the en banc 7th circuit. Which slapped it down, hard.”

Actually, that is NOT correct. The circumstances were that this individual has TWO convictions of domestic violence and was on PROBATION from the second of these convictions, one of the terms of which was that he would not possess a gun. He was nonetheless found to have three guns, a shotgun, a rifle, and a handgun.

http://www.leagle.com/unsecure/page.htm?shortname=infco20100713141

Nobody seriously expected this guy to win this case, hence, the title is misleading.
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George Hanshaw   16 hours ago (6:39 PM)
Actually, the interesting thing was that one judge actually dissented.....
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CapeJack   17 hours ago (5:35 PM)
Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than two to one among Florida felons whose rights have been restored. I don't think most Republicans let alone conservatives would support a 2A right for them even if the cons leaned the other way. It seems like bad policy. But when you start restoring rights to convicted felons you open the slippery slope of having to specify WHICH rights based on the conviction so that if OJ ever gets out he won't be getting Johnny Cochran's son to get his gun rights back.
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HisPetGoat   14 hours ago (8:27 PM)
Should "felons" not have the right to defend themselves? They probably have greater need than the general population.
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CognizantImpiety   14 hours ago (8:47 PM)
"Felons" give up some of their rights because they committed felonies. It is called "punishment" and has nothing to do with rights conferred to law-abiding citizens by the US Constitution. If someone shows a clear and present danger to themselves or others, the prudent thing to do is disarm them.

I have a right to protect me and mine with firearms, and if a militia becomes necessary to protect ourselves from a bad government, then I'll be ready to do my duty.
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JimInHouston   14 hours ago (8:51 PM)
...and that is the argument that some folks use for restoring 2A rights to felons "who have paid their dues to society". However, it is an argument for which very view 2A proponents have any sympathy. At best, some of us might support restoring rights to non-violent felons only.
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George Hanshaw   10 hours ago (1:01 AM)
I suppose all of us have our opinions about that. I have friends who think that once criminals 'have paid their debt to society' they are just like everyone else and should not have their past held against them in any way. Personally, I think that attitude is ridiculous. The person who has raped or murdered or robbed someone is NOT, even after they have served their sentences, the moral equivalent of someone who has never committed such acts, and probably never will be.

I have no problem with their civil rights being restricted. Hell, I think that anyone who has served time ought to have a 10% surtax on their income - from whatever source including welfare - until they have paid back the government for the cost of their incarceration.
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realitytrumpsbull   13 hours ago (10:05 PM)
The case they were talking about specifically mentioned misdemeanor domestic violence. You say you lose your rights as of having committed a felony.
rhymney   9 hours ago (1:32 AM)
He was a repeat offender (2).
research   19 hours ago (3:46 PM)
The Liberal Founding Fathers were for individuals right to own guns for self defense and the militia.

Even Gandhi was for individual right to own guns, he said it infantilized citizens to be unable to defend themselves with deadly force.

If you can't trust the citizens using guns, you shouldn't trust them driving cars, or the Democratic Republic.

What is optimum regulation of guns in that context?

Do we want every upstanding citizen to be armed all the time?
We allow that every hunting season.

Background checks seem reasonable.

Keeping records of who requested background checks, and bought guns,

is questionable.

With our Surveillance Society(brought to you by the Bush Conservatives), I would guess some agency will know. Are all gun shows are videoed: facial recon software to track attendees?
If 95% of all citizens have guns, That data will be of little use. He has a gun, yeah, so what? So does everyone else.

If we all going to be packing, I would prefer not to see the weapon, I would rather it be kept safely hidden, unless needed, No Brandishing. Even in the old wild west, many saloons, businesses and churches could insist people check their guns .

Multinational corporations, Republics, local police and war loads, will be able to get gun data on almost everyone. Everyone's public video trail will be stored automatically, ready for access by “authorized entities only”.

Welcome to the future.
cliffstep   19 hours ago (4:02 PM)
Yeah. What a brave new world that has such men in it.
Somewhere , somehow , we will have to come to grips with all of this. Those "for" are not all gun nuts. And those "against" are not all ...whatever they call us.
I cling to the hope that reasonable people can devise reasonable laws.
Perhaps that's the problem: something truly reasonable will make no one happy.
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CapeJack   16 hours ago (6:36 PM)
That seems reasonable enough. You start. Can you be just a bit more specific on the new law we need that's going to be THE one - more effective and with more teeth than the other 20,000 we already have?
RevJimIII   18 hours ago (5:10 PM)
"I would rather it be kept safely hidden, unless needed, No Brandishing. Even in the old wild west, many saloons, businesses and churches could insist people check their guns . "

While I don't disagree with most of your post, this particular bit does need to be addressed. I open carry because it is more convenient, comfortable and legal to do in my State (as I believe it should be everywhere). Your ability to see my weapon has no bearing on its effectiveness or safety record and is not considered brandishing. Despite there being some limited regulations concerning the carry of firearms in the 'old west', saloons, businesses and churches are private property and were as well as still are (mostly) able to limit this activity at will by law. Public places are another debate.
research   16 hours ago (6:13 PM)
I agree, just wearing exposed guns, is not brandishing.

But I prefer the mystery of not knowing who has a gun.

It spreads the benefits of armed citizens:

You never know WHO is carrying,

so you treat everyone with respect.
research   16 hours ago (7:01 PM)
Yes, I like a reasonable argument too, thanks.

An exposed weapon is subject to theft.

Exposed weapons, create a "deadly" atmosphere. Subjective, I agree, but I love the old Trek Kirk Commnet:

Yes we are killers, but we are not going to kill, today.

As a Personal defense, I go to great length to conceal what I am capable of, this is basic tactics. At the same time the overt show of a gun, can be effective in certain situations.

I find most good citizens treat everyone with respect. It's the problem folks that do not. The problem folks tend toward paranoia, so the implicit threat that anyone can have a gun, can be very effective.

And really, I just don't like to be reminded that we can easily kill each other, though I never forget it.
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tehixe   18 hours ago (5:10 PM)
"Be reasonable?" That is madness, pure madness! Obviously there are only two positions: the extreme position and its exact opposite! ;P
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realitytrumpsbull   12 hours ago (10:23 PM)
Yep, global digital states of East Germany, where everyone's guilty, until proven otherwise, and no one's immune from indiscriminate surveillance, government, corporate, or even private. Get used to being patted down, felt up, questioned, poked, prodded, and followed for no good reason by people that decide that you don't quite look right and are therefore Suspicious and Not A Good Person To Have Around, etc. A Scanner, Darkly might not be all that fictitious. What were you going to type online there?

Maybe 21st century law enforcement strategies don't involve anyone really having any rights, 2nd, 4th amendment, any of that. There was the whole Patriot Act thing. Or, maybe the Mob has taken over the business? Best place for a crook to hide is inside one of those uniforms...and apropos this story, sometimes officers of the law go nutters themselves, and beat their spouses, go on shooting rampages, sell/use drugs, run drug rings, have sex with minors/other men/farm animals, get involved in other illicit business, so forth ,and so on, and end up losing their jobs over it.

I think there's one good argument against having guns: It makes it more difficult to kill someone else if you should happen to fly into a rage. And, if you're prone to having a short temper, maybe you should reconsider that firearms purchase. Guns don't kill people, people kill people, but people not holding firearms are less likely to lodge bullets in other people when angry.
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tehixe   20 hours ago (2:58 PM)
What strikes me is how heavily the gun nuts flock to a story like this. It's like a swarm, replying to every post. They must *really* care about the issue. I mean, not *really* care, because they're doing no good whatsoever by talking to random strangers on this forum. If they really cared, they might do something that, you know, mattered. But still, to waste a Sunday yelling at people who don't like gun rights online, that's commitment is what that is.
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mackbolan   19 hours ago (3:23 PM)
thats why we are winning at all levels and support for gun control is at an all time low....
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tehixe   19 hours ago (3:36 PM)
I wasn't suggesting that the gun control lobby doesn't matter. I was suggesting that you people flooding the forums here don't matter. You're wasting your time, and a lot of it judging by the multiplicity of replies to every pro gun control comment.
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Dimensio   19 hours ago (3:38 PM)
Given your own presence within this discussion, is not your admonishment hypocritical?
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CapeJack   16 hours ago (6:21 PM)
Well, not exactly. Maybe a bit disingenuous? But I was being honest (if not sincere) in my message, which was that uh, um... NO!! I MEANT EVERY WORD AND I'M STANDING BY IT. So THERE!!
jeg   18 hours ago (4:28 PM)
Well, you're the first person to use the phrase "gun nut" I've seen in the comments... congratulations for bringing a well-reasoned argument to the table... Oh wait-- You didn't, you just spent time insulting people.

Answer me this... If the government can decide, for whatever reason, that someone is no longer "allowed" a consitutional right such as the second amendment, what stops them from deciding that the first amendment isn't "allowed"? The fourth amendment? The fifth?

I don't want to see kids on every street corner with AK-47's (or shotguns, which would be easier) either, but it's a serious question about legal rights, and the ability of the government to take them away. Every time the government announces a new "War on Something", it might as well be labeled "War on the Constitution".

If you feel I'm a bit of a nut for caring strongly about that, well, that's your problem.
Ohio9   15 hours ago (7:41 PM)
Well if it's so useless then why are you here?
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jsgaetano   21 hours ago (1:59 PM)
Sounds like the NRA has found it's new case to bring before the far right activist SCOTUS. If they can get them to nullify this case, the NRA will have achieved their goal to arm criminals, the insane, and terrorists.
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Old Jarhead   21 hours ago (2:04 PM)
Welcome back, js. Maybe you haven't checked the posts of most of the pro 2A advocates here. We are almost universally in agreement with the decision. So, you seem to be mistaken. Have a great day.
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jsgaetano   12 hours ago (11:11 PM)
Better check your NRA talking points before you agree with something. Your hasty words today may be cited against you tomorrow after "you" change your mind on the matter.
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Dimensio   21 hours ago (2:10 PM)
The National Rifle Association has issued no statement of support for permitting domestic abusers to possess firearms, nor have they stated a "goal" of "arming criminals". You are therefore lying.
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Dimensio   21 hours ago (2:10 PM)
The National Rifle Association has also stated no "goal" of arming the insane nor of arming terrorists. Your statements in that regard are also lies.

Because you are willfully and demonstrably lying, you are not a credible source of information.
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Jim Pasterczyk   12 hours ago (10:58 PM)
Maybe not a goal but not something they're going out of their way to help prevent either. So maybe they're agnostic about it, wouldn't mind if it occurred nevertheless. That would be consistent with their "enforce the current laws, we don't need any new ones" mantra.
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jsgaetano   12 hours ago (11:09 PM)
Of course they don't state it in so many words. But just look at the cases they bring before the SCOTUS... like when they defend the "rights" of dealers at Red State gun shows to violate gun laws.
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CapeJack   20 hours ago (2:32 PM)
"...far right activist SCOTUS." It only seems that way to those who spew misinformation and flagrant lies. It is actually akin to the far left activist and failed community organizer in the White House. (Ever hear of checks and balances?"
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jsgaetano   12 hours ago (11:05 PM)
Funny how the far right calls it judicial activism when the left follows the law and precedent, and yet when they ignore law and precedent, it's called "checks and balances".
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tehixe   20 hours ago (2:56 PM)
I think the SCOTUS will uphold this ruling. A 10-1 en banc decision, written by Frank Easterbrook based on a pile of data -- even Thomas will have a hard time disagreeing with that. All it will take is one conservative justice voting with the liberals on this one, and I think more than one of them will, if the second circuit came down so hard against the defendant in this one.
wbthacker   21 hours ago (1:24 PM)
By all means, celebrate this ruling. I'm a pretty "fanatical" defender of the Second Amendment, and even I don't object that the court decided this man -- twice convicted of domestic violence, and found in possession of three guns less than a year after the second conviction -- can be prohibited from owning guns.

As for the rest of your conclusions, I'm not impressed. I didn't expect gun control supporters to roll over and go to sleep following Heller and McDonald, nor for all the judges in the country to fall into step behind the rulings. So I'm not surprised a circuit court would try to narrow the impact of those rulings, nor that Chicago would enact a new unconstitutional law to replace the one that was struck down.

I'm satisfied that now, the burden is on gun haters to show how their schemes pass constitutional muster. Just a few years ago, groups like yours were telling us we had no constitutional basis at all, and the burden was on us to prove otherwise. Against the huge victories of Heller and McDonald, this ruling is just a footnote.

But the main reason you should be pleased with this ruling, Mr. Henigan, is that it keeps the controversy alive. People working at the Brady Center, and at the NRA, are in no danger of losing their careers. You'll all still be able to make good money on the ongoing legal and legislative battles over gun rights.
cliffstep   20 hours ago (2:20 PM)
As someone whom you would consider a gun hater , I have nothing but respect for your reasonable post.
This issue will be with us for a long time , and will be better dealt with through recognition of each other's rights and responsibilities.
RevJimIII   20 hours ago (2:29 PM)
Can I ask what it is you hate about guns? I am seriously curious about people who take an anti gun stance and their real reasons or justifications, not the canned irrational fear we hear about often.
grossmont328   14 hours ago (8:35 PM)
I have a suspicion that the Brady Campaign is probably letting people go or already has since their fundraising efforts have been less than successful for a good while
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NameUnknown   24 hours ago (11:07 AM)
OOOH, Guns are sooo "Butch". Saddle up the horses wranglers and head 'em off at the pass.
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Kassandra   23 hours ago (11:14 AM)
Fanned
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Kassandra   23 hours ago (11:15 AM)
The myth that keeps the gun love affair alive and anyone who gets in the way...dead
RevJimIII   17 hours ago (5:21 PM)
What myth? The only myth I see concerns your assertion that there are deaths associated with law abiding citizens who endorse the bill of rights.
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JimInHouston   21 hours ago (1:22 PM)
So, now we start over with the hateful, ignorant and bigoted stereotypes.
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Dimensio   20 hours ago (2:11 PM)
Have you any actual rational commentary to offer?

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