Parker Decision time frame ?

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by TXplt, May 19, 2008.

  1. TXplt

    TXplt Gun Toting Boeing Driver Forum Contributor

    Anyone have any updates of when we can expect a decision from the SCOTUS on the DC handgun ban case ? I had believed it to be before mid June but am not sure. Hadn't heard or read anything except stand by. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Yea, they're sure dragging their feet on it aren't they? I mean it's so black and white, and the fact the lower courts have already ruled it went against the 2nd amendment, I don't understand why it's taken this long.

    Bunch o crap if you ask me. Then that crap about gun confiscation in Greensburg,KS., well it all gets my blood boiling...
     

  3. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

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    At the time DC vs Heller was heard, the Supreme Court said the decision would be announced "sometime in June." We aren't there yet, so be patient.

    I agree, the issue at law - does a municipality have the right to pass a gun law so restrictive that it disarms the citizenry? - is straightforward. The answer, according the the Second Amendment and common sense, is "No." But there is more to DC vs Heller than that.

    It is the first time the meaning of the Second Amendment is being debated by the Court. Given the questions the justices were asking - they were particularly interested in "machine guns" but did not define the term even by context, so we could see if they are inferring 'machine gun' as "a fully-automatic, crew-served weapon" or as "any firearm that will fire as long as the trigger is held down and ammo is fed into the chamber" - I got the feeling that A) they believe the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right and not the nebulous concept of a 'collective right' so beloved of the gun-grabbers; but that B) they do not want to issue a ruling that nullifies all laws that to one degree or another restrict what types of guns we can own. The Supreme Court takes a dim view of ordinary citizens running around with full-auto firepower at their disposal. That was made clear during the oral arguments.

    Roberts is a strict constructionist when it comes to the Constitution. He is going to issue a narrow ruling if at all possible. He's walking a tightrope. He wants to nullify the DC gun law, but at the same time he does not want to throw out GCA 68, the NFA of 1938 and the Gun Control Act of 1934 (aka The Machine Gun Control Act), as well as things like the Sullivan Law and the state laws that require permits and some degree of safety training for concealed carry in most states. Trying to get a majority of the justices to agree to that, never mind trying to write the decision (and I'd bet money he will write this one himself, it's his chance for American legal immortality), is a challenge worthy of Oliver Wendell Holmes or John Marshall.

    I think he is also aware that, were the Court to issue an opinion that deprived Americans of their right to keep and bear arms, there are enough gun owners in the United States, including members of this forum, who would not accept it and actively resist any attempt to take their guns, to start another Civil War which the government might well lose. All of this will make it difficult to reach consensus among the justices. Realistically, I think the best we can expect is an affirmation that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own guns, but that states may put restrictions on what kinds of guns their citizens may own, and on how they choose to license gun owners. Such a ruling would strike down ther DC gun law and things like the Sullivan Law, but could open the door to licensing for ALL firearms, not just pistols. You can bet the Brady Bunch and their fellow-travelers would be delighted with that.

    So don't expect a ruling that throws out all the statutes already on the books and lets you buy anything you want from a .22LR derringer to a 155mm Long Tom and that drives a stake through the antigunners' hearts. Just hope we get a ruling that does not discuss 'reasonable restrictions.'
     
  4. TXplt

    TXplt Gun Toting Boeing Driver Forum Contributor

    Thanks, Cyrano for a good discussion.

    I understand the position he's in (and the significance of the decision), but unconstitutional is unconstitutional. If we have gotten to the point we require judicial constructionism or legislating from the bench to support existing laws which aren't constitutional, our constitution has become meaningless. It's supposed to be the other way around. The Supreme Court exists with the primary charge of determining the constitutionality of a law. This ruling (although narrow in scope), ultimately should strike down the Sullivan Law, provisions of the GCA of 68, Chicago's gun bans, draconian carry restrictions, etc. These are blatent infringements on the RKBA/2A and very much against what the framers of the amendment intended. We shouldn't be basing a decision over concerns for laws which already exist--if they're unconstitutional they never should have been there in the first place and need to go away as soon as possible. I really hope this isn't the way they're thinking--if they're using this type of logic we'd still have "separate but equal." The constitution has a provision to be amended--if we decide that we want restrictions on weapons ownership the correct way to do this is amend the constitution. This is one of the safeguards of our constitution with the checks and balances and separation of powers. That way, a few folks don't get to "revoke" our constitutional rights on a whim.

    Because the bill of rights was an affirmation, I believe there are few, if any, "reasonable restrictions" on our rights -- this is a very slippery slope which can quickly rid us of liberty and of the inherent control of the government by the constitution. Anything can be declared a "reasonable restriction" by an authority just like anything can be declared a "priviledge" -- this doesn't make it so. The "fire in a crowded theater" analogy is often incorrectly cited in this regard--it's not an allowance for the government to regulate free speech; it's a verification of an individual's accountability for his actions if they cause harm to others. The two are very different. You have the right to carry your pistol. If you have an ND and shoot someone the 2A isn't a shield you can hide behind. The constitution limits government; it's not something that absolves you from responsibility. However, God granted rights favor the absolute.

    I really hope this goes well and is written well (along the obvious lines of those who wrote our constitution). It'll be bad for our nation if they decide the "safety valve"--i.e. the 2A--which guards our liberty--is to be welded shut. This'll effectively mean we have no constitutional protections whatsoever.

    Thanks again for the info !