Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Friday, June 6, 2014

How long will we continue to be hoodwinked by the NRA? SCALIA says there are LIMITS to the 2nd Amendment

At the end of the summer in 2013, in the wake of another in the seemingly routine occurrence of a mass shooting somewhere in the United States, I posted an essay written by Jerry Gettinger about guns. In the roughly nine months since, there have been several more such incidents. 

On Thursday, it happened at Seattle Pacific University.

The shooter was stopped before he could continue his rampage, but it wasn't a "good guy with a gun" that stopped him.
When a lone gunman armed with a shotgun at a small Seattle university stopped firing at students to reload, another student pepper-sprayed him and subdued him with the help of others and prevented more deaths, police said.
"There are a number of heroes in this," Assistant Police Chief Paul McDonagh said. "The people around him (the gunman) stepped up."
A 19-year-old man was fatally shot and two other young people were wounded after the gunman entered the foyer at Otto Miller Hall on the Seattle Pacific University campus and started shooting Thursday afternoon. When he paused to reload, a student building monitor disarmed him. The gunman had additional rounds and a knife, McDonagh said.
"But for the great response by the people of Seattle Pacific, this incident might have been much more tragic," he said.

It appears that as many as hundreds of millions of Americans have been HOODWINKED. We are or have been under the false impression that anyone suggesting any form of legislation to protect Americans from gun violence are jeopardizing or encroaching on 2nd Amendment freedoms.

That appearance and the misunderstanding undergirding it have been fostered by parochial interests. Most prominently, the National Rifle Association, which -- all pretense aside -- lobbies for firearms manufacturers. Part of that lobbying effort is to build a public perception of what 2A means. With that public perception as a basis, the NRA effectively either buys off or intimidates Congress and (with ALEC) state lawmaking bodies.

Why do I say that we've been hoodwinked?

The NRA and anyone else so inclined (and they are legion) point to the 2008 Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia v Heller. Writing for the 5-4 majority, Justice Antonin Scalia stated (in a pertinent part that has been pretty much overlooked by EVERY body),
Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. See, e.g., Sheldon, in 5 Blume 346; Rawle 123; Pomeroy 152–153; Abbott333. For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. See, e.g., State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann., at 489–490; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga., at 251; see generally 2 Kent *340, n. 2; The American Students’ Blackstone 84, n. 11 (G. Chase ed. 1884). Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should 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.26(emphasis mine)
There you have it straight from the mouth (pen ---> keyboard) of one of the most "conservative" (Right-wing anyway) justices ever to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States.

NOTHING in the opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions of possession by felons and the mentally ill; or laws forbidding carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as SCHOOLS and government buildings; or laws IMPOSING CONDITIONS and QUALIFICATIONS on the commercial sale of arms.

THAT should be all we need to know in order to begin writing, enacting and enforcing laws to underscore the rights of Americans to LIVE and to do so peacefully to the extent possible.

When the pushback starts to worry gun fetishists, they will get vocal. Well, lift up YOUR voices and be heard over them. To overcome cultural inertia will require very smart people coming up with a message that gun rights advocates recognize as genuine at the same time as it advocates for those changes within the constraints of Heller to keep our communities safe(r) from gun violence.

The answer is NOT, more guns.


NOTE 26*: "We identify these presumptively lawful regulatory measures only as examples; our list does not purport to be exhaustive."  


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