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Thursday, June 26 

Finally, A Decision That Makes Sense

The Heller verdict is in, and SCOTUSblog is following it live. I'm reading the opinion right now, but the short version is that the court just shot D.C. the bird and said, "Hey, suck it beyotches."

From the opinion by Scalia
The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
I think that about settles that. I think I hear Sarah Brady silently weeping even as we discuss this.
Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed
weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or
laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.
Quick question for you here, chief. Exactly how is any firearm not dangerous? They are all designed with one purpose in mind, the ability to throw a piece of lead down the field accurately and at a very high rate of speed. Some are designed so that the user must manually prepare the firearm for each shot, some are semi-automatic, firing a single round for each pull of the trigger, and some are full-auto; you pull the trigger and it doesn't stop until it runs out of ammunition. The only difference in the weapons is the rate at which it throws lead, not the lethality. Dying from a single shot from a .22lr means you're just as dead as if someone pumped you full of 5.56mm on full auto.

So they leave the door open for the scary looking weapons ban to rear its ugly head yet again at some point in the future.

But the good news is that they have finally made a ruling that yes, the second amendment means that you, the individual, no matter what you're standing in a local militia, have the inalienable right to own and keep firearms in your home for self-defense.

It's turned into a good day.

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Heller establishes the right of individuals to posses firearms. It does nothing to effect the Brady Bill, which requires a five day waiting period before the buyer of a firearm can take possession of that firearm.

I'm not sure why Heller would make Mrs. Brady weep, since the decision pointedly declines to address limits on gun purchases like those in the the Brady Bill. I'm also not sure why you'd seem to take joy in the weeping of the wife of man horribly wounded in a gun crime, and who has spent her life since then trying to prevent further gun crimes. Even if you disagree with her method, surely you respect her commitment. In which case, smugness is probably not the right response.

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