1. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    No Handgun Ban!

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by ValianceInEnd, Jun 26, 2008.

    WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US Supreme Court ruled Thursday that individual Americans have a constitutional right to bear arms, ending a ban on owning handguns in the capital city in its first ruling on gun rights in 70 years.


    The court's 5-4 landmark decision -- on whether the right to keep and bear arms is an individual or collective right -- said the city's law violated the second amendment of the US constitution which the justices said guaranteed citizens the right to keep guns at home for self-defense.

    "There seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms," wrote Justice Antonin Scalia in the court's decision.

    He added that the court took seriously the problem of handgun violence in cities like Washington and said leaves the city "a variety of tools for combating that problem, including some measures regulating handguns."

    "The enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home," the court ruled.

    President George W. Bush welcomed the ruling, saying he "strongly agrees with the Supreme Court's historic decision today that the second amendment protects the individual right of Americans to keep and bear arms.

    "The president is also pleased that the court concluded that the (Washington) DC firearm laws violate that right," a White House statement said.

    The ruling was a victory for gun rights advocates, but gun control proponents welcomed its endorsement of the regulation of firearms, saying it would help their cause.

    The high court had never before issued a precise ruling on the interpretation of the second amendment, which states: "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."

    Washington, home to the White House and the US administration, has some of the toughest gun control laws in the country.

    Private possession of handguns is strictly banned here, and any rifles or shotguns must be kept unloaded in homes or under a trigger lock.

    City officials argued the ban, instituted in 1976, was necessary to stem rising gun violence, and that the second amendment protects gun rights for people associated with militias, not individuals.

    The case, District of Columbia vs. Heller, was originally brought in 2003 by a federal building guard who carries a handgun on duty and wanted to keep it in his home for self-defense.

    Alan Gura, the lead attorney for the plaintiff, questioned whether the city's gun ban curtailed crime, saying it had "accomplished nothing except to prevent law-abiding citizens from exercising their constitutional right to keep and bear arms."

    The high court said the right to own guns was "not unlimited" and that its ruling did not cast doubt on laws prohibiting convicted federal criminals or mentally ill patients from keeping guns.

    Bans on concealed weapons or on carrying firearms in sensitive places such as schools or government buildings remained legal, it said.

    "This gun decision is a breath of fresh air from the US Supreme Court," said Jessica Echard of the conservative group Eagle Forum. "The majority of Americans see the absurdity of gun control and recognize the valuable self-defense function of guns."

    But Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said the ruling made clear that "the constitution allows for reasonable restrictions on access to dangerous weapons."

    "The court also rejected the absolutist misreading of the second amendment that some use to argue 'any gun, any time for anyone,' which many politicians have used as an excuse to do nothing about the scourge of gun violence in our country," he said.

    Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty said the ruling was restricted to handguns in homes and did not prevent the city from strictly regulating or banning other types of firearms, or weapons carried outside of homes.

    Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said the Supreme Court had endorsed "the need for crime-ravaged communities to save their children from the violence that plagues our streets through common-sense, effective safety measures."

    The Supreme Court last took up the issue in 1939, but its ruling on a case involving alleged bank robbers and registration of certain firearms did not directly address the question of the individual versus collective right to bear arms.


    Original Article:
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080626/pl_afp/usgunsweaponsjustice;_ylt=AjabjDW0sTtKcjpszee3sylMEP0E
     
  2. Darthgumby
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    Darthgumby Member

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    Um, that's quite a lot of extra detail there. but anyway...WOO! I' getting a gun to celebrate!
     
  3. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    Haha, that's a way you could celebrate I guess.
     
  4. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Wow... America: always moving, just in the wrong direction.
     
  5. JanesLife
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    JanesLife Member

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    Seriously. This is very upsetting. I'm tired of this 2nd amendment nonsense.
     
  6. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    As long as the hand guns are legally purchased and registered I see no real problem.
    Also locked in a gun safe so little ones can't have access to them.
    I own 4 handguns personally and the rest of the family have about 5 so 9 or 10 total.
    They are registered and locked and we have the permit to take them to the gun range to play with them.
    There is a problem though. 3 of the 4 I own will have to be destroyed when I die.
    I have a prohibited weapon license and Don has a handgun license only. So when I die they have to be turned in and the police will melt them down or whatever.
    They are collector items and I don't shoot the one. It is a german luger from whichever world war and a beautiful piece of machinery. They will never be made again and I feel that is getting rid of a bit of history that should not be forgotten.
    But this is Canada and the Liberals have done some really stupid things in a knee jerk reaction the the shooting at the university in Quebec.
    Tougher sentences for gun crimes would solve more problems than making me a criminal for having guns.
     
  7. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    Wrong direction? Please... elaborate.
     
  8. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I'm anti-guns. I think that they are unnecessary in the majority of situations (with the exceptions of hunting, military and police applications) and the average guy in the streets has no need of a firearm.
     
  9. Darthgumby
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    Darthgumby Member

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    hey, you'll be glad we can have guns when other countries decide to invade and the government crumbles and it's every man for himself. We need our guns to assemble a people's army as a last line of defense against the invaders. This is America, we don't take no crap from nobody.
     
  10. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    I own many guns and no government will take them from me while I am alive. Switzerland is the best example of how the widespread ownership of private guns poses little or no threat to the general population. In fact, such widespread ownership may actually diminish crime.

    Here in the US, police are completely useless in preventing or interrupting violent crime. For the most part, criminals know this and operate with little fear of getting caught in the act. Police are mere report-writers, who "process evidence" long after the criminal has fled the scene. Well, if a home-invasion attempt is made in my house, the criminal(s) will leave in a plastic bag with a toe tag! I keep a gun at work, one in my boat because of recent boat-hijackings, one in my truck and several at home. I even have a carry permit for a concealed weapon. I'm not willing to be a victim!

    .....NaCl

    ps My wife and three daughters go to the gun range to shoot targets for fun. I pity the idiot that ever tries to harm one of them!
     
  11. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    Little published fact from 30 years ago.
    According to some of the Canadian Military
    China has said it would never attack Canada because we had so many guns and were
    crazy enough to use them to help the government.

    I think that is a good reason to keep our guns.
     
  12. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    ^Agreed!

    Yes, if they take the guns away from the general public, it won't solve any gun-violence crime. Drugs are illegal, yet there is a huge population that manages to get them. It'd only be the same with guns if they were outlawed, only the worst people who would actually use them on innocent people would have them. Guns are a necessary defense, at least in the U.S.
    And an interesting study in Miami, Florida. For the longest time, car-jacking was quite common. People would just walk up to a car with a gun and take it. They wouldn't allow a CCW (for concealed weapon carry) in Miami for a while, but when they finally did people were panicking that the crime-rate would go up. The truth is though that the car-jacking significantly decreased because people were able to defend themselves. We need to stop sugar-coating things and living in a white cloud. Take them away and only bad people will have them. Sure the world might be better off if no form of weapon ever existed, but that just ain't the truth.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Keep in mind that the USA was a young country when the second amendment was put in place. The founders of the country realized that the enemies of a country may not all be external.

    I believe in the Second Amendment, even though I am peaceful by nature. I learned to handle guns safely at a young age, and my children have also been similarly trained. Few things are as deadly as ignorance; those who have been taught how to handle weapons are far less likely to die from stupid gun accidents.
     
  14. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    there will always be a weapon.
    a club or a sharpened stick. that is what we started with.

    guns are a tool.
    if they are used in a crime then the gunman is a fool.
    if used for the intended purpose they return to being a tool.

    Raymond and Dom have both been shooting and hunting since the age of 6.
    It was a great family sport and the rule was you shoot it you clean it and eat it.
    So they were taught not to waste ammunition.
    If Dom makes it home in Aug. we will go bear hunting.
    Where we live is quite isolated from big cities with lots to do.
    So hunting kept our teens from hanging around using drugs and boozing.
    Both boys when they come home for visits still talk hunting trips and walking in
    the bush with us.
    Next year when Sean is 8 we will hopefully be able to take him out for hunting.
    We have already told him which gun will be his.
    It started out with Don then I had it passed it onto Raymond then when Dom was
    6 it became his. It is now sitting in limbo since we are all too big to use it.
    Guns not only should be registered but they should fit the person using it.
     
  15. Darthgumby
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    Darthgumby Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  16. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    Exactly! And unfortunetaly people are mistaking them not as tools but as "weapons" for harming others. They were especially tools back when hunting was a necessity for living. Now I consider them recreational and for home-defense, which we all have a right to.
     
  17. Rebekkamaria
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    Rebekkamaria Senior Member

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    I've always been fascinated by the "I have a right to defend my home and own a gun." concept. It's very strange idea for me, because I would never want to kill anyone and I don't feel like the rest of the world is out to get me. So I'm very happy that in Finland, people mostly own guns if they want to hunt. Most people have old guns from the wars as well, but otherwise guns are just something we see in the movies. They are not necessary for our existence and I'm very glad of that.

    I would be very worried if every other person carried a weapon. It would be too easy to overreact.
     
  18. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I agree Rebekkamaria. A person who carries a weapon in order to defend themselves may use the weapon when it isn't necessary, in an overreaction. If no one carried weapons, then you wouldn't need to carry one to defend yourself from them.

    But I seem to be in the minority in that opinion. Perhaps it's because I'm not from America or the other gun-legal countries. I dunno. I just think arming the general public is a bad idea, due to their tendancy to...well, be morons.
     
  19. Rebekkamaria
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    Rebekkamaria Senior Member

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    I want to add that since we've been under the power of Russia and Sweden, we should probably feel like "everyone is out to get us"... but well, it won't help us or our country if we arm ourselves to the teeth. :-D

    I do understand that our history differs from the history of the USA, and the mindset of Finns differs from that of the Americans (this is a very small nation), but I'm always surprised to see how passionately people defend their right to carry weapons. It's just completely foreign to me.

    Hmm... I also think that Finns have more weapons per capita than Canadians do. :-D But nobody carries them outside and I don't think anyone keeps them for protection. But we've had our very first school shooting as well. For a long while that was just something we read about from the news papers. It's easy to buy a weapon in Finland as well. It's sad but true. If you don't have a criminal record and are a member of a shooting club, you can buy a weapon (and are over 18). Fortunately, most people don't think that guns can keep us safe.

    Our army is not a paid one. Every man has to go to the army after they turn 18. It's been 64 years since we were in war the last time. It's possible that it will happen again. We live with the possibility. We faught with the Russians and we held our ground and there's only little over 5 million of us (less then). Finns are known to have this thing called sisu - guts. We will defend what's ours, but we will never attack. Ten Russians against one Finn, that's how it was then, and that's how it will be if things go bad.

    But when it's peace, it's peace. :)
     
  20. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Hehe. The Finns stuck the wind up Uncle Joe when he tried to invade. That never ceases to amuse me.

    Here in Britain, firearms are illegal, and yet there is a huge problem with illegal weapons in inner city areas, with gangs of teenagers killing each other with them. I think there's been something like 17 teenagers killed in London alone, so far this year. Anyone want to guess where these weapons are coming from? I think if all countries imposed a ban on public ownership of firearms, then it would be much more effective. But then, too many countries are obsessed with their guns and gun-culture, and seem to need them to counter an apparant feeling of impotence.

    (Sorry if that's too harsh and cynical, I don't mean to offend anyone, but like I said I'm not a fan, and I'm sick of reading about children carrying guns and being killed by them)
     
  21. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    Banzai most of those weapons come from Europe. Usually from France. And a lot of the bigger weapons that are used by criminals in Britain are illegal in the US.
    Also Britain's crime rate has been going up as the gun laws have become stricter.
    In the US the cities and states that allow concealed guns have lower crime rates than cities and states that ban them.
    Something to consider.
     
  22. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    Banzai most of those weapons come from Europe. Usually from France. And a lot of the bigger weapons that are used by criminals in Britain are illegal in the US.
    Also Britain's crime rate has been going up as the gun laws have become stricter.
    In the US the cities and states that allow concealed guns have lower crime rates than cities and states that ban them.
    Something to consider.
     
  23. FlakeandFins
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    FlakeandFins Contributing Member

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    I was elated to hear this decision. Properly purchased and licensed firearms are just fine with me, and I'm happy it is staying that way.

    Some people can be irresponsible, sure, but saying that they might be used unnessecarily in an overreaction can be tagged to any weapon. Knives, mace, tazers, etc. So where does it end with that line of thinking?

    The thing is is that most of the misuse and abuse of firearms is done by people who have them illegally. So the problem with banning guns is that the people who obtain them illegally will still do so, scratching the 2nd Amendment won't stop that. Just take a look at our friends down under. In 97 the government initiated a massive firearm buy-back, and then they burned the guns. The result? A rise in "gun crime." Armed robbery went up over 40%, while assaults and murders by gun went up something like 10 and 5%, respectfully. I don't remember the exact percents.

    I have lots of friends that own guns, and I am planning on buying one in the near future. I see nothing wrong with owning a weapon, and yes I'll have it for protection. I think the question was asked as to why you would want to shoot an intruder in your house? It's not that I want to, but when I have family and their safety is threatened by a burgular, I intend on having a gun around to make sure no harm comes to them.
     
  24. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    Thank you Dom. That's a very good point.
     
  25. heyharris1
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    heyharris1 Senior Member

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    i would never give up my right to own firearms. as i now i have a small aresanal (Spelling)
    I carry a 9mm (got my cwp). If we go to war and the military runs out of ammo they can come see me. i keep plenty in stock. i dont want to sound like a sicho. but you all have to see whats going on in the usa right now. were on the verge of collapse. When everybody is out of work and people start robbing and stealing im ready. Everybody i work with keep a wide varity also.
    jim
     

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