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 .dej
Joined: 11/6/2007
Msg: 1
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Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun BanPage 1 of 2    (1, 2)
So the USSC Monday struck down the handgun ban in Chicago. I'm surprised I haven't seen a thread on this already. It's kind of a big deal. Daley is already saying he will replace it with as strict of a set of laws as he can get away with. 2 years ago the DC ban was struck down in DC v Heller, affirming the 2nd amendment as a right that applies to individuals' guaranteed right to keep and bear arms, but Chicago's ban stood because the Heller ruling only applied federally. In McDonald v Chicago, the court ruled that the 2nd amendment, like many others in the bill of rights, required the states to respect the right to bear arms as well.

What are thoughts on this? I know this is a heatedly divisive issue.

A few news articles:
http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2010/06/30/as-chicago-mulls-new-gun-law-daley-rips-high-court/
http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/usa/US-Supreme-Court-Strikes-Down-Chicago-Gun-Ban--97377444.html

Also Clarence Thomas, a black justice, sided with the majority opinion, but his written opinion strongly diverged from the rest of the majority, making multiple references to race issues, and seeming like the issue of blacks disarmed may have touched a nerve with him. The plaintiff in the case, Otis McDonald, is an elderly black retiree, which may have held a little sway, as a few references to freed slaves being disarmed in the wake of abolition made it into his written opinion. It may be an interesting article to some of you.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/29/AR2010062905329.html
 wvwaterfall
Joined: 1/17/2007
Msg: 2
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Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 6/30/2010 1:09:59 PM
Oh, there's a thread, but it's buried in the only place harder to find than these forums any more - the politics forum, which got hidden during the last U.S. election.

Try here:

http://forums.plentyoffish.com/datingPosts14082233.aspx#14082550

If you ask nice, we'll teach you the secret handshake and password to participate there....

I've got two thoughts on this:

First, I'm saddened that local communities not have less ability to enact gun laws they feel will serve them best.

Second, I think most people don't realize that the Supreme Court in their opinion affirmed that reasonable gun restrictions can still be instituted. They didn't define what constitutes "reasonable", but they certainly didn't issue carte blanche for any mentally ill felon to buy a tank for personal use, either.

Dave
 late™
Joined: 2/1/2010
Msg: 3
Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 6/30/2010 1:16:22 PM
Yeah, I saw that the other day, what's left, Wisconsin?
 FrankNStein902
Joined: 12/26/2009
Msg: 4
Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/1/2010 7:38:19 AM

...I'm surprised I haven't seen a thread on this already. It's kind of a big deal. ...

How are you surprised?

There has been one already started and you have been posting on it.


http://forums.plentyoffish.com/datingPosts14082233.aspx

Supreme Court rules that all Americans have fundamental right to bear arms
 .dej
Joined: 11/6/2007
Msg: 5
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Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/1/2010 10:49:24 AM
Yes, I'm now aware. It was pointed out to me in the second post. The politics forum was not visible to me.
 sarniafairyboy
Joined: 6/19/2010
Msg: 6
Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/3/2010 8:32:02 AM
friggin' legal system, still arguing after more than 230 years about something which should be perfectly obvious..that's how these lawyers make all their money I guess

I don't see how people can have such 'faith' in a constitution that can be interpreted & re-interpreted in whatever way people want to.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"

seems like fairly straightforward language, but people can argue about it for years, what it "Really" means.

what use is a statement like "people should be protected from 'unreasonable' search & seizure

then we can just redefine what 'unreasonable' means, in order to do whatever we want to do (or the gov. wants to do in this case).

that search & seizure? Oh, no, THAT was not 'unreasonable'

no country e really follows their constitution anyway, the US one is broken by gov. officials thousands of times per day, most 'executive orders' are bypassing the rightful authority of the Congress
 Confident-Realist
Joined: 2/8/2004
Msg: 7
Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/3/2010 12:35:06 PM

First, I'm saddened that local communities not have less ability to enact gun laws they feel will serve them best.

Yeah, I think local governments should enact laws based on their geography, culture. The constitution allowing people to keep & bear arms is constitutional -- but what amount, and what circumstances should that be? What would suit an environment best?

Any arms? Any amount? Anywhere? Well, there's no debate that people shouldn't be able to have surface-to-air-missles on their deck. I'm far from knowledgeable about society-research on what leads to more crimes and such... I believe folks should be able to have a gun in their household for protection... or guns for hunting if they so choose to take up that sport or hobby. If doing so causes more crime-related violence (less protection) than the protection of having one in one's house, then that's not good. Of course, if such perpetrators who are lessening the protection upon the people by use of their guns get their guns thru a black market anyway, banning guns as a whole won't solve that problem. I don't know what the whole situation is, myself.

I don't think people need to worry about all guns under all circumstances being banned. I think that will stick for a long time.

In an ideal world, there wouldn't be much of a black market on lethal hand weapons. If that were the case, in such an ideal world, allowable 'arms' for protection would be (generally speaking) non-lethal guns, and hunting-related guns allowed in certain demographics where it'd be fine, but in some places, a training license on using them and being able to have one, and that sort of thing.

People being able to walk into a McDonalds or a Starbucks with two glocks? Unless you're in a lawless place in need of protection (like Sudan), or a significant % of people already ARE without problems, I don't see how that's preventing anything.
 sarniafairyboy
Joined: 6/19/2010
Msg: 8
Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/3/2010 1:01:01 PM
^^


Just goes back to the saying of 'rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it'. There are plenty of places in the US that are rather 'lawless'. Just one example--in a coffee/donut shop in a Tacoma, WA suburb, a guy (ex-felon/warrants/mentally ill) walked in and shot 4 cops in the middle of the day.


LOL, and I'm assuming those cops, being, ya know, COPS and all, WERE armed?

AND probably had much better firearms training & practice than your average civilian.

and there were FOUR of them, not one..

didn't seem to do them much good at all.


If someone wants to kill you or hurt you and has the drop on you, sudden unexpected attack, not much you're realistically going to be able to do about it? can't protect against 'every' situation.

If I was that worried about it being so lawless somewhere I'd set a priority on moving, and in the meantime not go out much, not go to donut shops, etc. - you can have coffee at home, etc.

I mean, I'd focus on that rather than packin' a rod and just carrying on as per normal, figuring or hoping, that the gat will get me out of every type of possible trouble
 hyoid
Joined: 5/12/2009
Msg: 9
Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/4/2010 10:12:52 AM
I wonder how much the reality of firearm's technology underpinned the assumptions of the framers of the 2nd amendment.
Consider:


"going postal" was inconceivable; There were no automatic or semiautomatic weapons; reloading the firearms of the day was a time consuming process; before an attacker could reload a potential target could respond with impunity. A gun was most effective as a threat because once discharged, the shooter became as defenseless as a target.

Weapons were bulky and difficult to conceal; A loaded handgun hidden under a coat would not likely be in firing order unless extreme care was taken in not dislodging the sparking mechanism/primer.

Handguns were notoriously inaccurate and prone to misfire if not kept in pristine condition.

Guns were a very expensive, handmade commodity. The majority concentrated in the hands of the relatively wealthy; those most likely to respond as a militia against a threat to the established order.


Does compulsory registration, training or competency testing represent an infringement?

How would you frame the relevant passages of a new country's constitution, in this era of high velocity munitions, mass produced automatic machine pistols and RPGs?
 Confident-Realist
Joined: 2/8/2004
Msg: 10
Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/5/2010 11:00:49 AM
I think when it comes to allowing virtually all the people to walk around with guns in their pocket, it makes for a bad situation, and doesn't solve a security problem. In some ways it CAN help particular individuals in particular situations, don't get me wrong. But also, it opens things up to more easily allow random people to cause bad situations. IMO, it can easily lead to chaos.

I think there's a big difference between having a gun in your house to protect your area from criminals, than to let (virtually) ANYONE walk the streets with guns requiring no training and competancy.

IMO, I think people should pay for a license and get a little training. I mean, we need a license to drive for crying out loud. Maybe one license to have one in your home and/or hunting, and a higher-degree license to be able to walk the streets in allowed cities & states, with more stringent restrictions.

There's a lot of people who don't know how to use a gun, and I wouldn't trust them with a popsicle stick, let alone a 45. One has to keep the perspective of society as a whole into focus.
 .dej
Joined: 11/6/2007
Msg: 11
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Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/5/2010 11:03:53 PM

Well, there's no debate that people shouldn't be able to have surface-to-air-missles on their deck.

Because those would not fit the definition of "arms".


LOL, and I'm assuming those cops, being, ya know, COPS and all, WERE armed? AND probably had much better firearms training & practice than your average civilian. and there were FOUR of them, not one.. didn't seem to do them much good at all.

Editing out your silly line breaks: yes, they were. Visibly armed. Hence why so many people advocate CONCEALED carry.


If someone wants to kill you or hurt you and has the drop on you, sudden unexpected attack, not much you're realistically going to be able to do about it? can't protect against 'every' situation.

Yes, hence why being armed and vigilant about your surroundings is the necessary combination.


IMO, I think people should pay for a license and get a little training. I mean, we need a license to drive for crying out loud.

Yes, we need a license to drive IN PUBLIC. However, you do not need a license to operate or own a vehicle on your own property.

Only two states allow you to conceal a weapon without a license in public. And the two that do don't have shootouts in the street, or people walking into Starbucks duel-wielding glocks.
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 12
Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/8/2010 7:55:00 AM


I think there's a big difference between having a gun in your house to protect your area from criminals, than to let (virtually) ANYONE walk the streets with guns requiring no training and competancy.


It's a right to keep and BEAR arms. I wonder if we should have competency requirements before people can exercise their other rights.
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 13
Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/8/2010 5:38:04 PM


I think that a compentency requirement that a person can actually read and understand what they are reading and be able to string together a coherent answer would go a long way in the right direction........................ At least then they would be able to vote properly according to how they really felt.


That's really on a problem in Floriduh.
 slybandit
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 14
Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/12/2010 7:37:37 AM
This particular, near-insoluble, problem is yet another example of the U.S. being painfully hobbled by a badly dysfunctional Constitution which was basically a patch-up on the badly botched Articles of Confederation.

The system of government created by the U.S. Constitution was not particularly outstanding in 1786 when it was first enacted and 27 amendments later and counting, it's still a mess.

The fact that it is the oldest written constitution still in use by any nation in the world should not make it the object of uncritical worship, but of serious consideration as to it's replacement by a constitutional document that makes sense in the 21st century.

All sorts of ludicrous anomalies abound.

1. Take the gun ownership issue, to start with. The ostensible rationale is that ownership of firearms by individual citizens would secure the country against invasion, and secure the population against tyrannical government. Under current conditions, it does neither, as is amply demonstrated by the existence of plenty of free and secure countries that severely restrict gun ownership-- which, by the way, is just about ALL of them.

What it does do, when coupled with the ingrained gun-culture produced by the 2nd amendment over centuries, is produce levels of crime that other countries would consider closer to a civil war. I can certainly understand the resistance of people like Otis McDonald (or Justice Thomas) to being forced to give up their guns, but the ultimate problem is their prevalence in the first place.

But as long as that 2nd Amendment is there, the "right" of violent amoral thugs with no self-control to terrorize their neighbours will remain secure, buttressed by the specious logic that the ordinary citizens need guns to protect themselves from the thugs, who have their guns because of the rights of the ordinary citizens...you get the picture.

2. "If the 26 least populated states voted as a bloc, they would control the U.S. Senate with a total of just under 17% of the country’s population." That is a fact. It's also a one-sentence refutation of two premises, one, that the U.S. electoral system is meaningfully "democratic" in even a debased sense of the term, and two, that the U.S. Constitution deserves the uncritical reverence it is given. Basically, Congress turns into a subsidy spoils system to take wealth from large states and distribute it to small ones.

3. Nine aged members of the legal elite appointed for life to a completely unaccountable body get to strike down laws passed by elected representatives of hundreds of millions of people. Pretty democratic, that one. So nice of that legal elite to have given **themselves** that power: Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803).

4. Hey, let's try criminal law. What Earthly logic or sense is satisfied by building into the system a *right* for a person accused of a crime to refuse to answer if he is asked whether he did it?

Come to think of it, let's have juries of random people without criminal records rule on issues like DNA evidence or toxicity studies in environmental cases.

Let's also ensure that the whole system is so cumbersome and slow that 90% of the time everything is actually dealt with through a parallel system of back-room plea bargaining created by lawyers who know the system doesn't work, and rubber stamped by Judges who know it too, but pretend otherwise.

Is there anyone else out there who thinks that a level of total recklessness in creating and trading in financial instruments at the level of the largest financial institutions in the country such as to put the *entire planet's* economy into a tailspin ought to be, I don't know, punishable with a jail term rather than REWARDED with handouts of taxpayers' money? No, we need to save those valuable prison resources for people who smoke *marijuana*, evil scum that they are.

But none of these problems are ever going to be fixed or even seriously addressed. You can only get elected in the U.S. through massive quantities of very expensive advertising and you can only afford that by raising massive amounts of cash from various interests, all of whom certainly have the best interests of the ordinary citizen at heart.
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 15
Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/13/2010 7:13:46 PM


This particular, near-insoluble, problem is yet another example of the U.S. being painfully hobbled by a badly dysfunctional Constitution which was basically a patch-up on the badly botched Articles of Confederation.


There's no problem to solve. The people, individually, have the right to keep and bear arms.



1. Take the gun ownership issue, to start with. The ostensible rationale is that ownership of firearms by individual citizens would secure the country against invasion, and secure the population against tyrannical government. Under current conditions, it does neither, as is amply demonstrated by the existence of plenty of free and secure countries that severely restrict gun ownership-- which, by the way, is just about ALL of them.


The problem isn't with the 2nd Amendment. The problem is that the US is a nation of sheep. We already have a tyrannical government but everyone thinks that if we just elect someone from the other party every 2 to 8 years then the government will learn to play nice.



What it does do, when coupled with the ingrained gun-culture produced by the 2nd amendment over centuries, is produce levels of crime that other countries would consider closer to a civil war.


Absolute twaddle. I hate to break it to you, but your opinion has no basis in fact. Our high crime rates have nothing to do with guns. Less than 1% of our guns are used in crimes. Gun control laws lead to higher violent crime rates while removing restrictions on gun ownership leads to lower crime.



2. "If the 26 least populated states voted as a bloc, they would control the U.S. Senate with a total of just under 17% of the country’s population." That is a fact. It's also a one-sentence refutation of two premises, one, that the U.S. electoral system is meaningfully "democratic" in even a debased sense of the term, and two, that the U.S. Constitution deserves the uncritical reverence it is given. Basically, Congress turns into a subsidy spoils system to take wealth from large states and distribute it to small ones.


It's undemocratic because the Founding Fathers, quite rightly, recognized that democracy is a terrible system. Democracy is a system whereby 50% of the population plus one, can enslave the rest.

The Constitution, incidentally, does not empower the Congress to take wealth from rich states and redistribute it to the poor states. We can thank Progressives and Socialists for that.



3. Nine aged members of the legal elite appointed for life to a completely unaccountable body get to strike down laws passed by elected representatives of hundreds of millions of people. Pretty democratic, that one. So nice of that legal elite to have given **themselves** that power: Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803).


Again, it's intentionally undemocratic. Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner. SCOTUS is there to protect the sheep.



4. Hey, let's try criminal law. What Earthly logic or sense is satisfied by building into the system a *right* for a person accused of a crime to refuse to answer if he is asked whether he did it?


A pretty good one actually.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08fZQWjDVKE&feature=related

Everybody should watch these two videos. They explain exactly why we need this right. The first video is by a defence attorney. The followup rebuttal is by a police officer, who right away admits that everything the lawyer said was true.



Come to think of it, let's have juries of random people without criminal records rule on issues like DNA evidence or toxicity studies in environmental cases.


Oh, I have a better system. Let's have government employees decide jury trials.



Let's also ensure that the whole system is so cumbersome and slow that 90% of the time everything is actually dealt with through a parallel system of back-room plea bargaining created by lawyers who know the system doesn't work, and rubber stamped by Judges who know it too, but pretend otherwise.


What's this got to do with flaws in the Constitution? Rather, the Federal government has usurped the states' authority to regulate drugs (in violation of the 10th Amendment), resulting in a system clogged with silly drug cases.



Is there anyone else out there who thinks that a level of total recklessness in creating and trading in financial instruments at the level of the largest financial institutions in the country such as to put the *entire planet's* economy into a tailspin ought to be, I don't know, punishable with a jail term rather than REWARDED with handouts of taxpayers' money?


The fault isn't with the Constitution, but with Congress unconstitutionally subsidizng corporations.



But none of these problems are ever going to be fixed or even seriously addressed. You can only get elected in the U.S. through massive quantities of very expensive advertising and you can only afford that by raising massive amounts of cash from various interests, all of whom certainly have the best interests of the ordinary citizen at heart.


Exactly true. The real flaw with the Constitution is that it has no teeth. 99% of what the Federal government does is blatantly unconstitutional, but the Constitution doesn't assign any penalty to our representatives. The last course of action is violent revolution, but sheep are not violent creatures. My fellow Americans, we deserve the tyranny that we have.
 slybandit
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 16
Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/14/2010 2:20:53 PM
Well, let me start with CountIbli.

1. The statement to the effect that there is "no problem to solve", respectfully, is an example of exactly what I am talking about, uncritical support of elements of the U.S. Constitution simply because they happen to be in the U.S. Constitution. And by the way, I am obviously speaking about a great deal more than the 2nd Amendment.

2. The problem is BOTH with the 2nd Amendment AND with the population of the U.S. acting like a nation of powerless sheep. Serious examination of the ACTUAL legislative records of both the Republicans and the Democrats ought to lead a thinking person to conclude that NEITHER should be running the government.

3. If you are going to call a reasoned argument "absolute twaddle", feel free to actually site any source that might actually tend to establish that. The notion that eliminating restrictions on firearms ownership would lead to lower crime rates flies in the face of the fact that virtually every nation in the Western (post-) industrialized world has many more restrictions on firearms ownership and lower crime rates than the U.S. Yes, correlation is not the same as causation. But you are not going to explain it away by calling it "twaddle".

4. You state that the "Founding Fathers, quite rightly, recognized that democracy is a terrible system. Democracy is a system whereby 50% of the population plus one, can enslave the rest." Please find one statement from a 'Founding Father' that affirms what you are stating. This is a straw-man argument which attempts to defend the absence of meaningful democracy by putting forward a parody of democracy and then attacking it.

5. You also state "The Constitution, incidentally, does not empower the Congress to take wealth from rich states and redistribute it to the poor states. We can thank Progressives and Socialists for that." Actually, you do have the Constitution to thank for that. Those you define as "Progressives and Socialists" vote in laws that do that on an ongoing basis because the Constitution permits exactly that. Where do you think the expression "pork barrel" came from?

5. "SCOTUS is there to protect the sheep." Interesting rationale, but in practice, SCOTUS tends to protect those wealthy enough to hire lawyers, to the detriment of the rest. Sure, there are plenty of decisions which are exceptions-- but it is the main trend I am talking about.

6. I will watch the youtube videos you post with an open mind. That being stated, the mere fact that cops often perjure themselves and commit other abuses hardly justifies Miranda v. Arizona.

7. "Let's have government employees decide jury trials." Again, a parody of my argument. Empanel a group of people selected from outside government, who actually have some knowledge of the subject matter to decide complex cases. Have experts submit evidence to specialized judges who hear those kinds of cases all the time. The jury system has it's merits, dealing with scientific evidence is not one of them.

9. There are at least two possible readings of your point about the 10th Amendment and the issue of plea bargaining.

One of them is that you are advancing a "10th-er" position and arguing that vast elements of the Federal government are in fact unconstitutional. That position is almost certainly legally incorrect.

The other is that you are arguing, in essence, something similar to the position of the lawmakers of various states on medical marijuana issues, to the effect that drug regulation is really within the purview of States' legislative authority. The position is debatable, and in my opinion unlikely to succeed, but it is a genuine Constitutional argument.

But let me be precise: the source of the plea bargaining problem lies as much with the requirement for jury trials on cases that should have no need for them, as it does with a glut of senseless drug possession cases. Both elements contribute to the problem. Where I would refute your argument would be if, as would be predictable, in the event that the Federal government were to repeal drug prohibition statutes, and certain States were to simply enact (or retain) drug prohibition statutes, you would have no real net reduction in the number of cases. In all likelihood, you would have a worse plea bargaining problem in State Courts, and a somewhat lessened one in Federal Courts, but the problem would not go away as you seem to suggest.

10. Congress is not unconstitutionally subsidizing Corporations. The Trade and Commerce clause is easily broad enough to legalize what is being done with TARP. Now is it smart policy? I doubt it, certainly in the details. But dumb policy and unconstitutional laws are not the same thing.

11. The Constitution does not lack teeth. The population does not USE the teeth. Part of this has to do with the over-reliance on the paid legal profession to advance causes, rather than people teaching themselves how to do it.

I do not agree that 99% of what the Fed does is unconstitutional-- I'm not a 10th-er, as you can easily infer.

As for Paul K's comments: not only have I been in the same room as a copy of the U.S. Constitution, I have taken (and aced, I might add) a law-school course on the Constitutional Law of the United States. You of all people, Paul K, should know that name-calling is not argument.

What you are stating is the "job" of the SCOTUS is, in essence, a self-appointed 'job'. Read Marbury v. Madison some time and see if you disagree with me.

Originalism as a school of Constitutional interpretation is wildly overrated, IMHO, and before you lionize it you should read some criticisms of it.

First, speaking about the "intent" of a collective body is nothing more or less than a legal fiction. Individuals have "intents", groups do not. When a SCOTUS Justice (oh, let's be serious, when Thomas or Scalia) makes references to the "intent of the Framers" this is projection of that Justice's favored interpretation.

The notion that a bunch of 17th century revolutionaries could possibly have had an "intent" about something like, say, pharmaceutical regulation or control of automatic weapons makes little sense because those individuals (1) were not prescient, (2) had no experience with either.
 .dej
Joined: 11/6/2007
Msg: 17
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History
Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/14/2010 3:07:52 PM
Alright I kinda wanted to avoid this nonsense, but I've been roped in.


If you are going to call a reasoned argument "absolute twaddle", feel free to actually site any source that might actually tend to establish that. The notion that eliminating restrictions on firearms ownership would lead to lower crime rates flies in the face of the fact that virtually every nation in the Western (post-) industrialized world has many more restrictions on firearms ownership and lower crime rates than the U.S. Yes, correlation is not the same as causation. But you are not going to explain it away by calling it "twaddle".

You are comparing countries that have thousands of differences in ethnicity, laws, culture, language, geography, and uncountable others and attributing a contrast in crime rate to only one of those differences. That would definitely qualify as "twaddle" in my view. None of the other countries' crime rates improved after they instituted gun control. They were already low. Hell our non-gun crime rate is higher than the gun crime rates of the countries you aspire to compare us to. That should tell you something about your comparison and the conclusions you try and draw. Now with that said, I'll put my own objections into place.


What it does do, when coupled with the ingrained gun-culture produced by the 2nd amendment over centuries, is produce levels of crime that other countries would consider closer to a civil war.

That is basically complete nonsense. First of all, no country would consider our crime rate to be anything near a civil war. Our murder rate still has to be measured against hundreds of thousands of people, and is in the same magnitude range as any other industrialized country. Secondly, there is no rational reason to attribute a high crime rate to the presence of guns. No credible study has ever shown a cause and effect in this area. And if anything, it's been the other way around. You want to see a country that has a gun-culture and prevalence of guns? Try Switzerland. Guns are ubiquitous, found in any household that wants one, a normal part of daily life. Their crime rate is so low you might as well not keep records of it.


That being stated, the mere fact that cops often perjure themselves and commit other abuses hardly justifies Miranda v. Arizona.

Your original complaint was the right to remain silent. That was not addressed in Miranda v Arizona. The Miranda warning addressed that the defendant had to know his/her rights for statements to be admissible. The right to not incriminate yourself was based in the forced extracted confessions of history. You think that's a better idea?


You state that the "Founding Fathers, quite rightly, recognized that democracy is a terrible system. Democracy is a system whereby 50% of the population plus one, can enslave the rest." Please find one statement from a 'Founding Father' that affirms what you are stating. This is a straw-man argument which attempts to defend the absence of meaningful democracy by putting forward a parody of democracy and then attacking it.

Not a problem:

A pure democracy can admit no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will be felt by a majority, and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party. Hence it is, that democracies have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.
* James Madison, Federalist Paper #10

Please let me know if I can be of further help in allowing you to have someone else do research for you.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 18
view profile
History
Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/14/2010 4:37:08 PM
Count,

Thank you for those YouTube links. Listened to them both as I worked. Really vindicated what I've been feeling about the state for the past several months.
 slybandit
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 19
Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/14/2010 4:40:52 PM
1. "You are comparing countries that have thousands of differences in ethnicity, laws, culture, language, geography, and uncountable others and attributing a contrast in crime rate to only one of those differences."

Actually, I'm not. The argument I explicitly attacked was that "eliminating restrictions on firearms ownership would lead to lower crime rates".

Merely pointing out that yes, I am comparing countries with different characteristics does nothing to eliminate the point that I have yet to see one demonstrable instance in which one could conclude that "eliminating restrictions on firearms ownership would lead to lower crime rates" was empirically accurate-- even WITHIN the United States and comparing very similar States.

The argument I was attacking quite explicitly claimed that you could lower crime rates by eliminating restrictions on firearms. That's a "one difference" argument also-- one with no empirical support. The notion that gun control DOES have a correlation with lower crime rates HAS some empirical support. Are there other independent variables in the equation? Obviously.

2. Note that I said "closer to a civil war". Granted, it was rhetoric. So is your claim that the U.S. murder rate is "is in the same magnitude range as any other industrialized country". What exactly you mean, statistically speaking, by "same magnitude range" is pretty questionable, but you could easily replace that whole phrase with "higher than" any other industrialized country and it would be correct.

3. I love this one:
"Secondly, there is no rational reason to attribute a high crime rate to the presence of guns. No credible study has ever shown a cause and effect in this area. And if anything, it's been the other way around. You want to see a country that has a gun-culture and prevalence of guns? Try Switzerland. Guns are ubiquitous, found in any household that wants one, a normal part of daily life. Their crime rate is so low you might as well not keep records of it."

It's great to see how deftly you proceed to inaccurately describe my argument, then engage in exactly the same rhetorical strategy you started your post by condemning, by proceeding to single out Switzerland and implying, without stating it directly, that the prevalence of guns somehow lowers crime rates-- exactly the converse of what you started out claiming, that the presence of guns was unrelated to crime rates.

First, I never said the *presence* of guns was criminogenic. What I was arguing was that it is the *regulation* of guns that can be, and IS, in the case of the U.S., criminogenic. I'm willing to bet $100.00 virtual dollars you know next to nothing about the regulation of firearms ownership in Switzerland.

4. Respectfully, Miranda v. Arizona does deal with the right to remain silent. Drawing a distinction to claim 'being informed of' the right to remain silent is somehow distinct from the right itself, is specious. And there is empirical support for the position that both the right to remain silent and the exclusionary rule increase crime rates:
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=140992.

Just because the 5th Amendment may have been based upon an understanding of a past history of forced confessions (drop the euphemism-- torture is what we are talking about) does not mean that it is the best, or the only, means of ensuring torture is not employed in the system. An explicit prohibition of torture would do just that. A 5th Amendment right to refuse to answer a question put to a defendant on the stand under oath serves no useful purpose that a torture ban could not easily serve far better.

5. The passage from Federalist #10 does not state that "Democracy is a system whereby 50% of the population plus one, can enslave the rest."

First of all, Madison quite clearly opens with the distinction "A pure democracy", which is not the same thing as "A democracy". Almost no one in modern discourse who uses the term "democracy" to mean "pure democracy" in the sense which Madison meant. And his claim is of debatable historical and empirical accuracy-- there are very few "pure" democracies in evidence throughout history. It is more of a rhetorical construct, like Hobbes' "state of nature".

Second, Madison was writing in a context in which one minority, wealthy "white" citizens, were actively enslaving another minority, black people. When he refers to "the rights of property" he is, in fact, also referring to rights of property in human beings. So at the very least you are grossly distorting what Federalist #10 states.

Third, by "faction" Madison is referring to what we would call political parties or advocacy groups.

And I'd cheerfully ask you to be my research assistant, if you would just mind reading historical texts in context rather than uncritically assuming that they support any interpretation you feel like placing on them.
 slybandit
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 20
Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/15/2010 7:27:58 AM
And in response to Paul K:

1. "The fact that you took a course in the US Constitution does not make you an expert in the subject."

I never claimed to be. The comment was in response to a posting (yours) which characterized my argument as coming from someone who 'had never been in the same room as a copy of the U.S. Constitution', which was both inacurrate and belittling.

Neither you, Paul K, nor I, are going to don the mantle of authority on interpretation of the U.S. Constitution by virtue of having taken a course or two.

2. "it is hard to see how anybody could come to the same conclusions as you."

Well, I thank you for the backhanded accusation of originality, but most of what I am talking about is hardly original.

Many other people with much greater breadth of understanding of the U.S. Constitution have said very similar things. This is the sort of thing you can encounter if you read a breadth and range of commentators on the U.S. Constitution, rather than only those that happen to agree with your ideological presuppositions.

I have read originalist arguments, and I tend to find them intellectually impressive only in their criticisms of other schools of constitutional interpretation. On their own premises, I find them weak, but some are much more impressive than others.

3. "When a justice makes references to "original intent", it is based on having read, studied, and debated many times as to what the original framers actually did mean, and to call it a projection of said justices favored interpretation is to minimise all of their knowledge on the subject."

Well, first, this is a fairly extraordinary comment. I am surprised to learn that you had been a SCOTUS justice.

Look, sarcasm aside, even if you accept the not-entirely-coherent premises of originalism, any time you are having such a debate as to whether the Framers "actually did mean" this or that, in the end you are choosing *this* or *that* among competing interpretations.

At BEST, it cannot be a choice among competing interpretations of what the Framers 'did' mean, but rather a *guess* as to what the 'Framers' would have said the provision in question meant, given the information which the Justice making that choice has, and the Framers most emphatically did not have.

Saying that *this* guess as opposed to *that* guess was the original intent is an exercise in labeling.

Even that "at best" portrait of originalism cannot really stand up to scrutiny.

Again, individuals have intentions. Groups of people do not have intentions. I rather suspect, Paul K, that your personal political views would be the first to support such a proposition in any other context. Marxists and Socialists talk about the intentions of groups and classes as if such a thing was real.

Virtually every provision of the U.S. Constitution is a result of a long debate and compromise by a group of people, in which the final provision rarely resembles what a particular individual wanted. Framer A may have intended meaning A1, and Framer B meaning B1. When a Judge today says meaning A2 is the "intent of the Framers", again, that is just judicial fiat.
 .dej
Joined: 11/6/2007
Msg: 21
view profile
History
Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/15/2010 1:46:01 PM
Merely pointing out that yes, I am comparing countries with different characteristics does nothing to eliminate the point that I have yet to see one demonstrable instance in which one could conclude that "eliminating restrictions on firearms ownership would lead to lower crime rates" was empirically accurate-- even WITHIN the United States and comparing very similar States.

DC in the 2 years since the Heller decision was handed down. There's a start. In the past 20 years, gun laws have been loosening, states have been passing "must issue" laws for concealed handguns, restrictions on rifles have expired, and crime has continued falling. In some cases, I think that lower crime is a result of loosening gun regulations (in the case of issuing permits to carry in places like Florida in the mid-90s) and in some cases I think it was incidental, like with the falling crime rates after the expiration of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. Either way, to say you have yet to see one instance is merely to say you haven't looked. I don't know what comparable states there are to compare. Typically crime is lower in states with looser gun laws; I think the only argument there is a chicken v egg one.


The argument I was attacking quite explicitly claimed that you could lower crime rates by eliminating restrictions on firearms. That's a "one difference" argument also-- one with no empirical support. The notion that gun control DOES have a correlation with lower crime rates HAS some empirical support. Are there other independent variables in the equation? Obviously.

There is more empirical support for that than the opposite. I have never seen any empirical support for gun control correlating with lower crime rates. Any time a country has instituted gun control, their crime rate has either gone up or stayed the same. There is contention over whether this argument honestly works with Australia, because their crime rate was already rising when they instituted gun control, but either way, it still continued going up.


So is your claim that the U.S. murder rate is "is in the same magnitude range as any other industrialized country". What exactly you mean, statistically speaking, by "same magnitude range" is pretty questionable, but you could easily replace that whole phrase with "higher than" any other industrialized country and it would be correct.

Sorry, I'm a math person, so I find myself not using colloquial language sometimes. A magnitude range would be a logarithmic comparison. "Single digits" is a magnitude range, as is "double digits", or "triple digits". One might say that the larger the decimal place the more meaningless this term is, but logarithmically, that isn't the case. Percentage-wise it's the same, as you could reduce it to comparable single-digit comparisons by dividing all samples by some power of ten. When comparing the US crime rate to that of its neighbors in the West, we measure on the same scale. You don't have to use a different decimal place like if you were to compare, say, Jamaica, a place where private ownership of firearms has been prohibited for nearly 30 years.


It's great to see how deftly you proceed to inaccurately describe my argument, then engage in exactly the same rhetorical strategy you started your post by condemning, by proceeding to single out Switzerland and implying, without stating it directly, that the prevalence of guns somehow lowers crime rates-- exactly the converse of what you started out claiming, that the presence of guns was unrelated to crime rates.

That is not what I was implying. I was using the example of Switzerland to show that having a strong gun culture and higher prevalence of guns is not a causative factor in higher crime rates. If it were, Switzerland would have gun crime problems.


I'm willing to bet $100.00 virtual dollars you know next to nothing about the regulation of firearms ownership in Switzerland.

Man, I could be $100 virtual dollars richer. I've studied their regulation in-depth. I would wager that a Swiss-style gun regulation system here would not be very objected-to by the gun crowd nor SCOTUS.


Respectfully, Miranda v. Arizona does deal with the right to remain silent.

All I can say here is that "no, it doesn't". The right to remain silent was clearly established before the 20th century. Miranda v Arizona settled that cops couldn't question someone and use their statements if the subject did not KNOW they had the right to remain silent.


And there is empirical support for the position that both the right to remain silent and the exclusionary rule increase crime rates

I do not even need to click your link to completely agree with that statement. However, in the US we value this right very dearly. It is ingrained in our culture and history that it is better to let a hundred guilty go free than convict an innocent man. There's a lot of statistical evidence to show that ethnic diversity increases violent crime also, by creating conflict between naturally formed groups. But even if you could definitively prove that black people caused higher crime rates (or Jews, or Mexicans, or whatever), you still wouldn't be able to justify violating their civil rights. Enumerated protection of civil rights wouldn't be necessary if there wasn't concern that someone would try and make a case to take them away. Even if something can be demonstrably harmful to society as a whole, sometimes those are so important to us that we still protect it because it is a necessary to the individual. Do you see what I'm alluding to, here?


Just because the 5th Amendment may have been based upon an understanding of a past history of forced confessions (drop the euphemism-- torture is what we are talking about) does not mean that it is the best, or the only, means of ensuring torture is not employed in the system. An explicit prohibition of torture would do just that. A 5th Amendment right to refuse to answer a question put to a defendant on the stand under oath serves no useful purpose that a torture ban could not easily serve far better.

I think your sentiment here is a bit naive. Police can use any number of techniques to intimidate or extract confessions from subjects, or trick them into incriminating themselves. It happened to Clarence Gideon, and he was an innocent man.


First of all, Madison quite clearly opens with the distinction "A pure democracy", which is not the same thing as "A democracy". Almost no one in modern discourse who uses the term "democracy" to mean "pure democracy" in the sense which Madison meant. And his claim is of debatable historical and empirical accuracy-- there are very few "pure" democracies in evidence throughout history. It is more of a rhetorical construct, like Hobbes' "state of nature".

We were discussing a purer and mostly hypothetical democracy. A democracy wherein 50.1% has control is pretty pure.


Second, Madison was writing in a context in which one minority, wealthy "white" citizens, were actively enslaving another minority, black people. When he refers to "the rights of property" he is, in fact, also referring to rights of property in human beings. So at the very least you are grossly distorting what Federalist #10 states.

Third, by "faction" Madison is referring to what we would call political parties or advocacy groups.

Here is where you start to err a bit, and where it begins to show that I grew up in the US, and you did not. I don't mean this as a slam, just that I grew up in an education system that hammered this subject into me for years on end. Madison was comparing a potential US government to many governments historically around the world that came before it. The Federalist papers were a series of articles published by founders in newspapers in the colonies in support of the newly written, but yet-to-be-ratified Constitution. Madison was writing in a formal writing style, using the word "faction" to be its purest classical meaning. It's what the entire 10th Federalist paper was about. Faction referred to citizens who would form (organized or not) groups that voted along lines with interests contrary to rights and privileges of others. Federalist Number 10 was entirely about the danger of natural factions forming and being able to, by virtue of having a higher vote count, oppress the rights of the minority (the minority being that not in the plurality).

The argument was essentially that a republic must guard against faction by removing the democratic power of the people to directly form law that could underprivilege a lesser voting bloc. You originally took contention with the fact that 26 states together could control the Senate, but seem to neglect the 1787 Compromise (okay, I had to google for that year, I admit it). Hamilton's and Madison's faction concerns about the more populous states being able to control the nation's legislature and relegating smaller states to second-class citizens were solved by creating two houses: one to represent each state equally (the Senate) that had to legislatively match the population-based house (House of Representatives). This was to guard against the factions forming by pluralities bullying minority groups, and give smaller states some sort of say in the governance.

So all in all, yes, this is an intentionally-made barrier to direct democracy's inherent tendency to create factions to prevent abuses by the majority faction. The founding fathers wrote extensively about the problems of democracy in governance. Perhaps it is you that should be more careful about historical texts in context.
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 22
Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/15/2010 3:33:23 PM


1. The statement to the effect that there is "no problem to solve", respectfully, is an example of exactly what I am talking about, uncritical support of elements of the U.S. Constitution simply because they happen to be in the U.S. Constitution. And by the way, I am obviously speaking about a great deal more than the 2nd Amendment.


Well you claim that there is a problem, during a discussion about the 2nd Amendment, and didn't elucidate the problem. I'm still not sure what you're talking about. I am critical of some elements of the Constitution but the FF's got a lot right too.



2. The problem is BOTH with the 2nd Amendment AND with the population of the U.S. acting like a nation of powerless sheep. Serious examination of the ACTUAL legislative records of both the Republicans and the Democrats ought to lead a thinking person to conclude that NEITHER should be running the government.


Well I agree, I just don't know what this has to do with the 2nd.



3. If you are going to call a reasoned argument "absolute twaddle", feel free to actually site any source that might actually tend to establish that. The notion that eliminating restrictions on firearms ownership would lead to lower crime rates flies in the face of the fact that virtually every nation in the Western (post-) industrialized world has many more restrictions on firearms ownership and lower crime rates than the U.S. Yes, correlation is not the same as causation. But you are not going to explain it away by calling it "twaddle".


As others have pointed out this correlation has nothing to do with restrictions on firearms. You're comparing apples to oranges, no matter how loudly you proclaim that you are not. When you compare crime rates before and after a change in firearm restrictions, as John Lott did, you find that violent crime is increased when tougher restrictions are put in place.

And it's not difficult to understand why. The police cannot be everywhere. The vast majority of the time they're only on the scene after the crime has been committed. Criminals also target people whom they consider weaker. Criminals therefore actively avoid people who are armed (they're not suicidal, after all). So when a location has a higher percentage of armed citizens the criminals move on to other locations.



4. You state that the "Founding Fathers, quite rightly, recognized that democracy is a terrible system. Democracy is a system whereby 50% of the population plus one, can enslave the rest." Please find one statement from a 'Founding Father' that affirms what you are stating. This is a straw-man argument which attempts to defend the absence of meaningful democracy by putting forward a parody of democracy and then attacking it.


This "parody definition" is, I assume, the one that says democracy is a political system whereby each citizen gets an equal vote on every piece of legislation? You know, the system the Athenians, the inventors of democracy, had.

"June 26th, Col. Hamilton said: This question has already been considered in several points of view. We are now forming a republican government. Real liberty is never found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments. Those who mean to form a solid republican government ought to proceed to the confines of another government. As long as offices are open to all men, and no constitutional rank is established, it is pure republicanism. But if we incline too much to democracy, we shall soon shoot into a monarchy."

http://tinyurl.com/288tu7e



5. You also state "The Constitution, incidentally, does not empower the Congress to take wealth from rich states and redistribute it to the poor states. We can thank Progressives and Socialists for that." Actually, you do have the Constitution to thank for that. Those you define as "Progressives and Socialists" vote in laws that do that on an ongoing basis because the Constitution permits exactly that. Where do you think the expression "pork barrel" came from?


Where does the Constitution permit that?



7. "Let's have government employees decide jury trials." Again, a parody of my argument. Empanel a group of people selected from outside government, who actually have some knowledge of the subject matter to decide complex cases. Have experts submit evidence to specialized judges who hear those kinds of cases all the time. The jury system has it's merits, dealing with scientific evidence is not one of them.


Uh, who is going to choose who gets to be on these panels? Who is going to pay them for their time?



One of them is that you are advancing a "10th-er" position and arguing that vast elements of the Federal government are in fact unconstitutional. That position is almost certainly legally incorrect.


Is it your position that the 10th doesn't mean what it says?



The other is that you are arguing, in essence, something similar to the position of the lawmakers of various states on medical marijuana issues, to the effect that drug regulation is really within the purview of States' legislative authority. The position is debatable, and in my opinion unlikely to succeed, but it is a genuine Constitutional argument.


One merely has to look at the 10th Amendment and Article I Section 8 to see that the Federal government has no legal authority to regulate drugs within a state. They can certainly regulate INTERSTATE commerce of drugs. But if California, for example, wants to legalize marijuana then the Congress has no constitutional authority to prevent that, as long as the marijuana is made in California.Congress also cannot regulate the non-commercial transfer of drugs from one state to another.



10. Congress is not unconstitutionally subsidizing Corporations. The Trade and Commerce clause is easily broad enough to legalize what is being done with TARP. Now is it smart policy? I doubt it, certainly in the details. But dumb policy and unconstitutional laws are not the same thing.


You're going to have to spell this one out to me. How is subsidizing a corporation part of regulating interstate commerce?



11. The Constitution does not lack teeth. The population does not USE the teeth. Part of this has to do with the over-reliance on the paid legal profession to advance causes, rather than people teaching themselves how to do it.


What teeth does the Constitution have? The power to vote people into office is more gums than teeth. The use of arms against the government is an act of treason, according to the Constitution, which, sadly, nullifies the teeth in the 2nd amendment.



I do not agree that 99% of what the Fed does is unconstitutional-- I'm not a 10th-er, as you can easily infer.


That's a like saying, "I don't agree that the Constitution guarantees free speech because I'm not a 1st-er."
 slybandit
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 23
Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/19/2010 7:24:15 AM
With multiple long posts to respond to, I'll stay with one at a time. So working backwards, CountIbli.

1. To be fair, if you read some of my previous posts, I refer to other things, such as a state-by-state allocation of legislative power that empowers inhabitants of low-population states more than inhabitants of high-population states. Of course, if you are determined to defend a political arrangement like that, you can find arguments for it. But a priori, it is hard to defend an arrangement that would allow 17% of the population to determine the law for the rest.

2. Well, actually examining the legislative records of both parties (or should we call them "factions" in this context) has as much to do with the 2nd Amendment as it has to do with any element of government. The actual details of firearms regulation have a serious impact, no? And that's an element of the legislative record of the parties and representatives in question. I would think that a representative who received significant funding from the NRA (or from gun-control advocates, for that matter) ought to be viewed as suspect on this issue, if they claim to be voting in the "national interest".

3. What articles or other material from John Lott are you referring to? The argument you seem to be advancing (possibly you are missing details) does nothing to establish that firearms restrictions would increase gun crime.

One thing it *suggests*, without establishing, is that imposing firearms restrictions in one part of a country with a patchwork quilt of firearms regulation, would cause some net migration of gun crime, ceteris paribus, from a "loose regulation" locale, to a "tight regulation" locale.

Part of the issue here is that you are talking about State or local-level regulation rather than national-level regulation, which is a much more prevalent issue in a system like the U.S. in which large amounts of the criminal law are dealt with at a State level rather than the Federal level.

You would have to study the neighboring locales in which firearms regulation was not tightened, or was loosened, and establish that there was not a simultaneous positive correlation in district A (regulation and crime up) and district B (regulation and crime down). That scenario is just criminals migrating from one jurisdiction to another, with no necessary increase in crime.

The other thing is that simply imposing tighter gun regulation can ipso facto cause an increase in reported and prosecuted crime, simply because the net is broader. Increased crime *rates* can actually reflect a somewhat safer society, oddly, because similar amounts of violence can be going on, it is just that more of it is being suppressed or responded to, and therefore the rates are higher.

The other issue I have with the position you are putting forward is the massive assumption that armed criminals are as mobile as you are suggesting. The persistence of very high crime areas through generations suggests very much to the contrary, that many armed criminals, for a wide array of reasons ranging from social networks, to parole restrictions, to inability to pay rents consistently, are not nearly as socially mobile as this explanation would assume.

4. Well, what you are talking about is the system which the Athenians are presently believed by many historians to have had at certain periods in their history. The accuracy of a lot of these accounts are quite suspect.

5. Respectfully, your question is inaccurately framed. The U.S. Constitution does not need to contain phraseology explicitly permitting a particular course of legislative action in direct terms for that course of action to be "constitutional".

Take the interstate highways system, for example. Every single stretch of highway (well, excepting DC, I suppose) exists within one state or another. If the Federal Government were to spend tax dollars on building an interstate highway, that would be work done within a state, but it would quite clearly be within the power to regulate interstate commerce, would it not? Yet nothing in the interstate commerce provision says "the Federal Goverment may build, or subsidize the building of, interstate highways", does it? It would not need to: the burden is on the party claiming a provision is unconstitutional to demonstrate why, not the other way around.

7. Your argument on #7 is difficult to understand. There is an existing jury selection process (well, several different ones, depending on where you are) and there is no reason why actual knowledge of the subject matter could not be made a requirement. As for paying them, that's a political choice.

(On the 10th-er position) Nice rhetoric, but simply tossing out a question with the built-in assumption that your position on the "meaning" of the 10th Amendment is simply ipso facto or obviously correct, is hardly convincing.

If we're going to adopt argumentative techniques like that, I'd ask you why, if the 10th Amendment so obviously means what you claim it means, to the point where it simply "says" that, why the SCOTUS seems to be completely unable to just "see" that, and why they seem to share this curious blindness in common with the rest of the judiciary, the organized Bar, the majority of elected legislative officials and virtually everyone who works for any Federal agency?

Correct me if I am wrong here, but in essence you are saying the FDA (or large parts of it?) is essentially unconstitutional. Has anyone ever convinced a judge of that?

10. Read some Trade & Commerce jurisprudence. Now do I think that a lot of that jurisprudence is an example of judicial overreach, and that a lot of things that are considered interstate trade and commerce where the actual link to interstate trade and commerce is thin or tenuous? Yes. But if the Trade & Commerce power means anything, it means what those empowered to rule upon its meaning, say that it means, because it is their decisions that have practical consequences.

"That's a like saying, 'I don't agree that the Constitution guarantees free speech because I'm not a 1st-er.'"

Actually, no it isn't.
Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

The mere appearance of parallelism in language does nothing to establish parallelism in meaning.

The 10th-er's are a particular group of people who advocate that the 10th Amendment has a particular meaning, a position that very few others share.
Moreover, the 10th Amendment is meaningfully different from the 1st Amendment because the 10th Amendment does not deal with identified and specific rights, but rather the opposite.
 slybandit
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 24
Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/19/2010 8:27:13 AM
And now to dej.

1. Crime-- even if we restrict what we are looking at to gun crime only-- can continue falling, or rise, or stay steady, against a backdrop of tighter firearms regulation, or looser firearms regulation. Before you think that I'm conceding my position, read on.

Obviously, independent variables have to be dealt with. Demographics is a big one, for example. This is a gross oversimplification, but all else being equal, the more teenaged and young adult males you have as a proportion of the population, the higher your crime rate.

To phrase the argument carefully is a complex exercise, but my claim would be something like this. Nationwide and comprehensive firearms regulation that is made effective by social support and determination on the part of law enforcement to actually enforce it, will, all else being equal, yield a net overall reduction in actual gun crime, while possibly yielding a net overall *increase* in *reported* gun crime at least over the short term, simply because there will be, by definition, more crimes.

2. This discussion of Switzerland is interesting because of the massive equivocation involved in reference to "gun culture". There are plenty of firearms in Switzerland but comparatively low rates of gun crime. Swiss "gun culture" bears little resemblance to U.S. "gun culture", for one thing. The impact of nationwide "mandatory" military service for Swiss men means, in practice, that you have 55% of the adult male population have had basic training, for one thing.

3. Miranda v. Arizona does deal with the right to remain silent. But our argument here is one of semantics-- we can agree on the content of the decision and still disagree about whether it deals with the right to remain silent. You are just taking a more restrictive construction, one that would not consider a right "to be informed of" a particular right, as a component of that right.

And if we're being precise, then, Miranda v. Arizona did not deal with a suspect "knowing" that they had a right to remain silent, it dealt with an officer having the obligation to 'inform' them of that right. Just because you read it off a card, does not mean the guy actually understands it in a meaningful way.

4. "Even if something can be demonstrably harmful to society as a whole, sometimes those are so important to us that we still protect it because it is a necessary to the individual. Do you see what I'm alluding to, here?"

Well, you could be alluding to any number of different things. But I'm hardly so dense that I do not grasp the concept that one could consider certain rights fundamental, to the point that other considerations get binned.

But the U.S. also has a track record of disregarding supposedly fundamental rights when they get inconvenient. Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu had a few things to say about that. As would a few people currently in Guantanamo, if they were allowed.

5. Actually I'm not being naive. I am well aware that "Police can use any number of techniques to intimidate or extract confessions from subjects, or trick them into incriminating themselves."

I am actually divided on this subject, as I consider a certain degree of police intimidation and trickery to be legitimate, even required. It is difficult to draw the line in the abstract. The phone-book-and-mallet technique and sudden deceleration (a/k/a "he fell") are probably on the other side of the line-- as are waterboarding, extreme sleep deprivation, and a few other entertaining Guantanamo experiments.

6. We can argue forever about Federalist #10. Contrary to what you seem to think, you're not telling me anything about the Federalist Papers that I have not already heard or read for myself.

The real question is whether the current system has the balance right, and I think a serious contention can be made that it does not.

Hypothetical founding fathers brought forward into the 21st century and confronted with a modern technological society in which the population balance is vastly more skewed might well come to a totally different view as to what arrangements would be appropriate. But that's speculation: the question is whether actual citizens of the US should consider them appropriate NOW, or whether something should be done to change them.

"The argument was essentially that a republic must guard against faction by removing the democratic power of the people to directly form law that could underprivilege a lesser voting bloc."

Well, yes, but you avoid addressing the point was that that Republic at that time completely denied any democratic power to particular oppressed populations, which, when you added them up, represented the majority of the actual population. We are talking about guarding against "factions" WITHIN that privileged section of the population that got to vote at all.

So we are talking about something that would necessarily have been a very *attenuated* democracy even HAD they decided to go about it in something like the received version of the way the ancient Athenians supposedly governed themselves. Any time you have a large population of 'Helots', what you are talking about looks a bit more like Sparta than Athens, if you'll permit.
 .dej
Joined: 11/6/2007
Msg: 25
view profile
History
Supreme Court Strikes Down Chicago Gun Ban
Posted: 7/19/2010 10:29:51 AM
To phrase the argument carefully is a complex exercise, but my claim would be something like this. Nationwide and comprehensive firearms regulation that is made effective by social support and determination on the part of law enforcement to actually enforce it, will, all else being equal, yield a net overall reduction in actual gun crime, while possibly yielding a net overall *increase* in *reported* gun crime at least over the short term, simply because there will be, by definition, more crimes.

Okay. Do you have anything empirical that would support this claim? Has this happened anywhere in the world you can point to as evidence that your claim is accurate?


This discussion of Switzerland is interesting because of the massive equivocation involved in reference to "gun culture". There are plenty of firearms in Switzerland but comparatively low rates of gun crime. Swiss "gun culture" bears little resemblance to U.S. "gun culture", for one thing. The impact of nationwide "mandatory" military service for Swiss men means, in practice, that you have 55% of the adult male population have had basic training, for one thing.

So? Yes, a good portion of the population has been trained in the usage of these firearms, meaning if they were to use them criminally, it would be even more dangerous because they knew how to use them effectively. We're lucky the gangbangers here don't have that training!


And if we're being precise, then, Miranda v. Arizona did not deal with a suspect "knowing" that they had a right to remain silent, it dealt with an officer having the obligation to 'inform' them of that right. Just because you read it off a card, does not mean the guy actually understands it in a meaningful way.

I suppose I should be more strict in my language. Even if a cop reads off the right off a card, if the suspect does not understand his rights, he cannot be interrogated. For example, a suspect who does not speak English cannot be read his rights in English and then interrogated and expect it to hold up in court. The suspect must understand his rights a la Miranda.


Well, you could be alluding to any number of different things. But I'm hardly so dense that I do not grasp the concept that one could consider certain rights fundamental, to the point that other considerations get binned.

The right to keep and bear arms being the one foremost relevant to this conversation.


The real question is whether the current system has the balance right, and I think a serious contention can be made that it does not.

Hypothetical founding fathers brought forward into the 21st century and confronted with a modern technological society in which the population balance is vastly more skewed might well come to a totally different view as to what arrangements would be appropriate. But that's speculation: the question is whether actual citizens of the US should consider them appropriate NOW, or whether something should be done to change them.

I don't see any reason to believe this is true.


Well, yes, but you avoid addressing the point was that that Republic at that time completely denied any democratic power to particular oppressed populations, which, when you added them up, represented the majority of the actual population. We are talking about guarding against "factions" WITHIN that privileged section of the population that got to vote at all.

I didn't really avoid addressing it. I don't really see how it's a relevant point. Even today we have groups that are "oppressed" from representation (minors, felons). So yeah, in a discussion about factions in democracy, we're talking about factions forming within the voting population. In a hypothetical and abstract discussion of democracy, these considerations are irrelevant. The forces of faction appear in either. That the Republic at the time denied rights to some people doesn't change the hypothetical of how they were discussing democracy. It was an academic discussion more than a practical one, about how to avoid the hazards of democratic government. Those hazards exist whether anyone and everyone can vote, or whether only white property owners can vote. It just means that you count the groups that are not allowed to vote as a severe minority (0%), and thus even more vulnerable to an overpowering faction and unable to defend themselves democratically.
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