South Carolina’s new voter ID act has been in the news lately, with various civil rights groups and the Department of Justice damning it as discriminatory and racist. In fact, DoJ Civil Rights Division Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez wrote a letter to Assistant Deputy Attorney General C. Havird Jones, Jr., Esq. concerning South Carolina’s new voter ID law, Act R54, in which he states (on letterhead which means he’s wearing his Official DoJ Civil Rights Division Enforcer of the Law beanie), “In other words, according to the state’s data … minority registered voters were nearly 20% more likely to lack DMV-issued ID than white registered voters, and thus to be effectively disenfranchised by Act R54’s new requirements.” So it is the official position of the United States Department of Justice that requiring a government issued photo ID to vote is racially discriminatory. What does this have to do with gun rights you ask? Patience grasshopper, all shall be revealed. . .

Now, we already know how the DoJ feels on the subject of literacy tests and poll taxes, these measures were merely poorly camouflaged tools used to disenfranchise minorities and (in some locales) the poor, although it wasn’t until 1966 with their ruling in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections that the Supreme Court finally put a stake through the heart of the poll tax, stating:

We have long been mindful that where fundamental rights and liberties are asserted under the Equal Protection Clause, classifications which might invade or restrain them must be closely scrutinized and carefully confined. See, e. g., Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 ; Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533, 561 -562; Carrington v. Rash, supra; Baxstrom v. Herold, ante, p. 107; Cox v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 536, 580 -581 (BLACK, J., concurring).

Those principles apply here. For to repeat, wealth or fee paying has, in our view, no relation to voting qualifications; the right to vote is too precious, too fundamental to be so burdened or conditioned. [emphasis added]

It is good to see that our precious civil rights are so strongly protected from sneaky measures designed to ensure that only a select few can exercise them. In fact, in January of 2010 the 9th Circuit Court ruled in Farrakhan v. Gregoire that Washington state’s felon disenfranchisement law was illegal because it had a disparate impact on minorities:

We are bound by Farrakhan I’s holding that § 2 of the VRA [Voting Rights Act of 1965] applies to Washington’s felon disenfranchisement law. Plaintiffs have demonstrated that the discriminatory impact of Washington’s felon disenfranchisement is attributable to racial discrimination in Washington’s criminal justice system; thus, that Washington’s felon disenfranchisement law violates § 2 of the VRA.

This ruling was overturned by an en banc panel of the court and although there were promises to appeal to the Supreme Court, I can find no further mention of the case. However, the mere fact that two Circuit Court judges were willing to look at the facts and apply this sort of scrutiny to a disenfranchisement case leads me to ask one question:

When-in-the-hell are you people going to start treating the Second Amendment like it’s actually a part of the Bill of Rights?

  • It is discriminatory to require a photo ID to vote but not to purchase a firearm.
  • It is discriminatory to require training and testing to vote but not get a permit to carry.
  • It is discriminatory to require payment of fees and taxes to vote but not to purchase a firearm or get a permit to carry.

How much longer is the Second Amendment going to be treated like the bastard step-child at the family picnic?

66 Responses to Unequal Protection For The Second Amendment

  1. Rather backwards really, since the products of wrongful voting are MUCH more disastrous and deadly than the products of wrongful gun use.

    And of course all these groups and the DoJ are calling this act discriminatory and wrong – those who would be “disenfranchised” are their biggest voting block, not to mention if you start running things with IDs, how will dead people be able to vote Democrat in the next election?

  2. For as long as those properly enfranchised and well protected (by Court Rulings and Law) voters persist in electing to Federal, State, County and Municipal Office wrong-minded persons who view the Second Amendment as “…the bastard step-child at the family picnic”.

    For as long as those properly enfranchised and well protected (by Court Rulings and Law) voters persist in believing these various levels of Government will protect them from crime.

    For as long as those properly enfranchised and well protected (by Court Rulings and Law) voters persist in accepting the deceitful propaganda of the “Gun Control Crowd”.

    Just to list the first three things that come to mind…

    • “How much longer is the Second Amendment going to be treated like the bastard step-child at the family picnic?”

      For as long as those properly enfranchised and well protected (by Court Rulings and Law) voters persist in electing to Federal, State, County and Municipal Office wrong-minded persons who view the Second Amendment as “…the bastard step-child at the family picnic”.

      This.

  3. “When-in-the-hell are you people going to start treating the Second Amendment like it’s actually a part of the Bill of Rights?”This is the question that needs to be asked of each and every representative by each and every citizen (REPEATEDLY!) They need to be reminded that their oaths include “…to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America from all enemies, foreign and domestic…….” Those enemies include, at times, themselves and/or their fellow politicians.

  4. The concept of American rights is a joke, are there any rights which are generally recognized? 1st requires permits, 2nd requires permits, 3rd was violated during Katrina although I guess we were not at war, 4th is violated constantly, 5th is violated by DUI laws, etc

    • Yup! This is what is wrong with the country. The Constitution has become a guideline, full of exceptions and special cases. The Constitution is not a guideline; it is the law of the land. It is not negotiable unless it is PROPERLY modified according to the rules codified within. Laws that are in contradiction to its amendments are illegal. The passage of such a law is an act of war and a violation of the terms of our liberty. It is your duty as an American to act with force to defend against these threats to our liberty. Politicians are not on your side. If your president, congressmen, or state and local bureaucrats pass any law that violates the constitution, they are guilty of treason. If you fail to act when your rights are taken, then you have no one to blame but yourself. We, the people, have chosen to be no longer in charge. It’s time to take back our authority.

      The constitution is not negotiable.

      P.S. – Another excellent article from Bruce. Thank you.

      • “The Constitution is not a guideline; it is the law of the land.”

        You may be disappointed to learn that being “the law of the land” doesn’t mean that there aren’t exceptions to every law. Not one amendment is an absolute right, and NEVER HAS BEEN.

        • My only disappointment is that your line of thinking has become so acceptable in our country. The fact that you accept these exceptions to the constitution is the problem.

          Excuse me, but every single one of the amendments is an absolute right. These rights can only be given away, not taken away. Why have you chosen to give them up.

          The constitution itself is just a bunch of words on paper. Big deal. More importantly, it’s what the constitution represents that is absolute: Freedom. The words in the constitution don’t mean anything unless you are willing to fight and die to defend them. The founding fathers believed they had to explicitly dictate those rules upon which they would not compromise. This was done in case anyone may forget which rules were the most important. Our governments only have the power that we give them. Since you’ve resigned to this way of thinking, well then you’ve obviously given up yours.

        • “Since you’ve resigned to this way of thinking, well then you’ve obviously given up yours.”

          Oh you’re silly. So you think that child porn should be protected by the first amendment? If not for an exception, it would be. You think we should be able to create and use things like weaponized nerve agent? Maybe I need some for self defense.

          Or maybe those are two stupid ideas. And maybe you should admit that without those “exceptions” (and a lot of others, that’s why we have a supreme court), you or someone you care about would probably be a lot less safe for no reason. No reason other than you had to be an absolutist instead of someone with perspective.

          None of which changes the fact that NOT ONE of the amendments is absolute, never has been, and you are just being ignorant if you think otherwise.

        • Greg: The history is rather the opposite. The Founders and early courts did not consider any salacious or pornographic representation to be protected by the First Amendment. Our notion of it today, spread beyond political speech, is a result of attempting to match the original intent and purpose to a very different set of cultural facts. Perhaps you already agree with this?

        • “The Founders and early courts did not consider any salacious or pornographic representation to be protected by the First Amendment. ”

          You’re making my point for me. If the absolutists had their way, there would be no call for what the founders “considered” beyond the exact words written in the Constitution, and what the courts considered would have no bearing at all. It’s only if you have the absolutist point of view that there is no room for interpretation. The fact that you even mention what the courts would think indicates you realize this is not the case.

          In any case I think we’re well into splitting hairs at this point.

        • “Since you’ve resigned to this way of thinking, well then you’ve obviously given up yours.”

          Oh you’re silly. So you think that child pron should be protected by the first amendment? If not for an exception, it would be. You think we should be able to create and use things like weaponized nerve agent? Maybe I need some for self defense.

          Or maybe those are two stupid ideas. And maybe you should admit that without those “exceptions” (and a lot of others, that’s why we have a supreme court), you or someone you care about would probably be a lot less safe for no reason. No reason other than you had to be an absolutist instead of someone with perspective.

          None of which changes the fact that NOT ONE of the amendments is absolute, never has been, and you are just being ignorant if you think otherwise. Google “first amendment exceptions” (or any other number) if you don’t believe me.

        • Please, how does one ‘bear’ “weaponized nerve agent?

          Perhaps I’m mistaken. But I’ve always believed that the second Amendment applied to arms that can be borne. Which includes handguns and rifles, might even include hand grenades, but can’t include howitzers, thermonuclear weapons, or weaponized nerve agents.

        • Not sure if you’re serious. In case you are, take the case of Ayum Shinrikyo “bearing” sarin in Japan.

        • “Not one amendment is an absolute right, and NEVER HAS BEEN.”

          The 2nd Amendment states “SHALL NOT be infringed”. “Shall NOT” is an absolute imperative. It IS absolute, as any person who wasn’t sleeping through English class could tell you. “Shall not” in ANY venue in which it is used IS absolute, in law, regulation, or warning. The 2nd is the ONLY amendment that has that imperative included in it’s wording. Your wishing for a different interpretation of that imperative is irrelevant. The fact that politicians and judicial oligarchs wish it to be different does NOT change the imperative nature of the prohibition, only that the people for whom it supposedly protects have been asleep and let it be denigrated.

        • And luckily we have the supreme court to interpret the law, not armchair experts who can’t stand the idea that someone, who knows far more than you do about Constitutional law and history, would disagree with them.

  5. Perez’s math is wrong when he says “minority registered voters were nearly 20% more likely to lack DMV-issued ID than white registered voters.” The statistic is that 8.5% of White voters lack such a card, while 10% of minority voters fail to have one. While the percentage of minority voters lacking a card is 17.6% greater than the the percentage of white voters lacking a card, the likelihood that the next random minority voter will not have a card is larger by only 1.5 out of 100 voters, or 1.5%.

  6. I would make a very different argument than Krafft. Given the disproportionate felony convictions among minority citizens joined with the much greater risk among minorities of suffering aggravated assault or murder, the laws providing automatic prohibition of gun ownership for those who committed a felony is horrendously rascist. It does not merely deny a “felon” the right to vote, which will never cost him his life, but denies him the very ability to defend his life, even (and often) in cases where the so-called felony was malum prohibitum and involved no violence whatever. (The same law, 18 USC §922, applies not just to felons, incidentally, but also to those convicted of a state misdemeanor having an unusually long sentence attached, such long sentence usually included by the state for purposes of enabling long court supervision, i.e. for drug or alcohol-related offenses.)

    • I don’t know how Bruce (whose posts I dearly love) managed to intermix voting rights, disparate impact cases and the Second Amendment, but I will make a third argument: Since felony convictions have a disproportionate adverse impact on minorities, felony convictions are discriminatory and thus unconstitutional.

      I’m big on civil rights, but the whole “disproportionate impact” analysis is a legal crock of sh!t. A disproportionate impact, without more, should be treated as a statistic, proving exactly squat.

      Now, getting back to the gun issues. When minorities force their “leaders” to take a hard look at gun control and understand it for what it is and the “adverse impact” that it has on their communities, all this bullsh!t will end.

      • I certainly agree with your characterization of “disparate impact.” Isn’t it just part of the whole sociological statistics fetish originating with the so-called Brandeis Briefs? Yes, wouldn’t it be nice if their leaders stopped backing the opinions of the liberal foundations and media that pump them up, and started to listen to their constituents? They can’t even speak with one sensible voice on illegal immigration.

  7. The assumption inherent to this article is that voting and gun ownership are so similar that these rights should function exactly the same way. Just say that out loud to yourself a few times: “Gun ownership and voting are basically the same thing.” They are not, and that is an unreasonable and illogical expectation.

    “When-in-the-hell are you people going to start treating the Second Amendment like it’s actually a part of the Bill of Rights?” There’s a valid argument to reconsider fees and checks for gun ownership as obstacles to exercising second amendment rights. But this is the kind of whiny, smug, self-righteous, the-second-amendment-is-my-most-favorite-and-therefore-the-only-absolute-right-in-the-bill-of-rights phrasing that will not get it done.

    To the poster who thinks that voting badly (presumably meaning for someone he doesn’t like) is worse than blowing someone’s head off, I simply ask that you reconsider your priorities.

    • You’re right. Gun ownership and voting are not the same. Gun ownership is a right inherent to all humans, while voting is simply a procedural act within our specific form of “government.” That said, there should be even greater protections under the law for gun ownership than for voting.

      • “Gun ownership is a right inherent to all humans,”

        Says who? Is TV ownership also a right inherent to all humans, or is it just weapons? If it’s just weapons, is it all weapons? Can I have some VX over the top of my front door in case of intruders and C4 on my lawn in case of invasion? If you’re claiming there’s an inherent right to all humans, I’d very much like to know who set it down and if it really goes that far or farther.

        • Let’s refine it to “the right to defend yourself by whatever means available, meeting force with force as necessary to ensure your own survival.”

        • Okay, I guess that means I can have the VX and C4 and anything else I want. But you didn’t answer the question about who laid this right down.

        • It is innate. My right to live and survive exists by virtue of the fact that I am alive and therefore have every right to continue in that state unless I attempt to deprive another of that right. As for the VX and C4, no thanks. VX is a pain to work with and C4 is easily approximated in any kitchen.

        • The right to property is inherent to all humans. If you obtain property through licit means, then you have the right to own and use that property for licit purposes.

          As far as your specific examples of owning explosives, you certainly have the right to own such and to use it as you see fit, as long as you don’t infringe upon the inherent rights of others. That goes for all property (and all actions), not just weapons.

    • That was me, and I stand by it. I did not mean voting for “someone I don’t like” I mean voting someone into office who then goes about dismantling the country from the inside and reducing the entirety of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution to irrelevancy, all because he had a nice haircut, smooth words, and promised to fix all your problems. How you think an irresponsible gun owner here and there is more of a danger than that, perhaps you need to question your priorities.

      And if that’s a little too theoretical, then take our current wars. Voting in a certain president led to more American deaths than irresponsible gun ownership ever could. So yes, the ramifications of voting are far more serious than the ramifications of lighter gun control.

    • But this is the kind of whiny, smug, self-righteous, the-second-amendment-is-my-most-favorite-and-therefore-the-only-absolute-right-in-the-bill-of-rights phrasing that will not get it done.

      Then please tell us, oh master, what will get it done and we will bow to your brilliance.

    • Greg: There is a difficulty in all discussions of the Constitution, isn’t there, which rests upon the fact that the divergence of cultures among the states in 1778-79 was great, local (county court house) cultures were extremely diverse, communications were poor, and therefore it required many decades before the ‘people’ and local judges could form a non-idiosyncratic view of what the Constitution said. Then it required Chief Justice John Marshall, a Virginian like Jefferson but a Federalist, to clearly establish “emphatically” whose job it was to say what the law is. The liberty enshrined in the US Constitution has only slowly been established, and that in the maelstrom of extreme immigration patterns, conflicts over slavery itself, and a slow realization that the 14th Amendment (and then others) necessarily had to be enforced upon the states. You should not be surprised by the adamant voices of people for whom the Second Amendment has primary meaning in their lives. Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn’t ‘need’ it because he has, as he says “an army” of his own. The ordinary man, the sole proprietor, and those who have had to endure where they reside a life marred by the ever-present fact of a violent criminal class free to roam after their parole is over…have been last in line to see a right once promised (and at first enforced) left almost last in line for SCOTUS attention. Circumstances change. For more than 190 years a wrongly accused criminal defendant often had no actual access to an attorney. Confessions were coerced with beatings. Horrendously abusive searches by hateful squads of goons produced occasional evidence of suspect provenance which could, despite the circumstances of its ‘discovery,’ be used at trial. Time and the Supreme Court have cured these abuses one by one. More are still to be resolved (reverse discrimination, 10th Amendment nullification). Do not fail to consider that for many people (depending on their income or location) the right to bear arms regularly and without harassment is the only means by which they can achieve a life reasonably safe from criminal predation. If that is not your circumstance, take it as a fortunate fact and not as a reason to lack empathy for those whose condition is different and whose patience is daily worn thin. It is a recognized fact that class, race, and ethnicity were all part of the long movement to suppress gun rights, that the strictest laws were often enacted by the most malignant politicians (Tamany Hall, the Mississippi Legislature), and that those with strong opinions have a legitimate grievance and scars. “My kingdom for a horse!” In that sense, recognize that the Second Amendment can indeed by more vital to many than their vote, certainly equal to it. Survival is perhaps prior to a vote in the hierarchy of rights, as is Free Speech. As blacks learned in the South, a vote which yields only a continued oppression by the majority provides little liberty. Or, with Franklin, admit that “democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what’s for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb appealing the result.”

    • Actually Greg I’m pretty fond of all of the first ten amendments, but as L. Neil Smith pointed out in an essay once I don’t have the time and energy to work on all of them, so right now I am concerned with the one which I believe is in the worst shape, and the one which is most indicative of a politician’s feelings towards his constituents. And I certainly didn’t sound whiny in my head when I wrote When-in-the-hell are you people going to start treating the Second Amendment like it’s actually a part of the Bill of Rights, I thought I sounded more fundamentalist fire and brimstone/stentorian bellow.
      You at least admit that “There’s a valid argument to reconsider fees and checks for gun ownership as obstacles to exercising second amendment rights” but you never actually answer the question: When is the second amendment going to be treated like it is actually part of the Bill of Rights? Look at the difference between the way freedom of speech and/or the press is treated vs. the right to keep and bear arms. Can you imagine the brouhaha that would follow an attempt to require manufacturers and sellers of printers and copy machines to get a Federal Printers License which would obliterate their Fourth Amendment rights as far as their business records were concerned? How about filling out a gov’t form and being required to show ID and undergo a “background check” before you can purchase a printer, then having to wait 3 or 5 or 7 or 10 days before you can pick up your property?
      Once I am able to legally walk into a hardware store, plunk down my $700 for a Tommy Gun some ammo and grenades and walk out with it 30 seconds later without ever having to fill out a form or show an ID, once I am able to sling that gun over my shoulder and walk down the street in any city in the United States of America without worrying about being ‘felony stopped’ by the cops, once I can go home with that weapon and hang it over my door and drop the grenades in my nightstand without violating some malum prohibitum child access law, then maybe I’ll start working on the problems with the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Fourteenth, Sixteenth and Seventeenth amendments as well as the “general welfare” and “interstate commerce” clauses.
      Fair enough?

      • We’re obviously not going to agree on a lot Bruce, so I’m not going to try to convert you. In response, however:

        I had to look up “stentorian.” I can see your point about how you think your tone was. Here’s my perspective: If you want to be fire and brimstone, you’ll get applause from your congregation. To everybody else, it just sounds like low-brow, appeal to the bottom denominator jingoism. I found that tone to be at odds with the rest of your piece and a turnoff. I’m not interested in reading your stuff if it’s intended to fire people up. I can decide what I’ll get fired up about, and there’s already too much appeal to emotion in the first place, especially on this subject. How about more sober, reasoned argument?

        You want me to answer you about when the second amendment will be treated like the first, but I already have answered that. They aren’t the same, they have inherently different subject matter to deal with, and saying they should be the same is ludicrous. Exercising first amendment rights for person A doesn’t inherently risk the general welfare of person B. You don’t risk killing someone by shooting your mouth off. And if you do shoot your mouth off and cause a panic, or cause an incitement to violence, then guess what? That speech isn’t protected.

        Why, if you take second amendment rights to a point where you are risking the safety of other people, should you still be protected? You wouldn’t be protected under the first amendment, you wouldn’t be protected under the second, either.

        There’s a background check to buy a gun because convicted felons and the committed mentally ill getting hold of a gun is extremely dangerous. If these people got hold of a copy machine and spread flyers around telling me the police framed them or warning me about the Chicken Cow, not so much. The difference between us is I think you want to equate these things as the same, and I’m saying absolutely not. If you want to consider all your rights and zero responsibilities, fine, but I say there is an inherent responsibility there that you can’t legally arm criminals or crazy people with firearms, or leave them around where children can easily access them.

        If you want to argue that still amounts to less freedom, go ahead. It does. But if you want to be intellectually honest, you then have to factor in the freedom lost by victims of that policy, too. There’s a loss of freedom by somebody either way, and ultimately we’re all still bearing a shitload of arms despite these supposedly oppressive policies of paying $10 for a background check and waiting a few days.

        Right now my right to bear arms would be less infringed upon if the stupid firearms industry didn’t just sell me a shotgun that double feeds every time among the 40% of other firearms sold that have defects. Right now Stoeger Industries has made me wait longer for a response from customer service than I had to wait to buy a handgun, and I still don’t have a response at all. Right now I’m a little worried that I won’t be able to bear my shotgun for 4-6 weeks while it’s getting fixed. Right now I’m looking at having to pay more than double that oppressive background check fee in order to send my new shotgun back to get fixed, because I (among many other people) got a bad one. I know, this paragraph is partly bitching because I’m mad my shotgun sucks. But isn’t maybe just a little interesting that the government’s supposedly oppressive policies of background checks and waiting periods aren’t affecting me (and apparently 40% of other gun owners) as much as the industry itself?

  8. Bruce, you are an attorney aren’t you? In that case, you know that the answer to the question:

    When-in-the-hell are you people going to start treating the Second Amendment like it’s actually a part of the Bill of Rights?

    …is, of course “when someone brings a lawsuit on those very grounds and an appellate court issues a ruling that the discriminatory treatment must stop.”

    So what are you waiting for? It shouldn’t be that difficult to find a plaintiff. Hell, you can be the plaintiff. Go down to the gun store and attempt to buy a gun without showing an ID. When you are denied that, then file your suit on the grounds that you have been denied a fundamental right.

    It will take years, of course, but as the old saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

    BTW, I’m not being facetious here – we need lawsuits like this. Such appellate (and ultimately SCOTUS) decisions are exactly how the fine contours of the law are shaped.

    I’d say the same for those of you who believe the 2nd amendment gives you a fundamental right to carry a weapon wherever and whenever you want without the need of a state issued permit. I personally don’t believe that it does, but the reality is that the law has never spoken on that issue and it won’t until someone brings a lawsuit on those very grounds.

    So bring the suit. If you think a gun law violates McDonald or Heller, bring the suit. We’ll get an answer, one way or another, but we’ll have an answer.

    • “…but the reality is that the law has never spoken on that issue”.

      I beg your pardon, but, what part of “…the right of the people to KEEP and BEAR arms, shall not be infringed” do you not understand?

      An amendment to the constitution IS the law. It trumps all other laws at any lower level and there is no higher law. Any law or any exception in contradiction is illegal. PERIOD.

    • “…who believe the 2nd amendment gives you a fundamental right to carry a weapon wherever and whenever you want without the need of a state issued permit. I personally don’t believe that it does…”

      Even if the 2nd Amendment didn’t exist, every human has the inherent right to carry a firearm wherever and whenever they want without someone elses permission. It’s called the right to property and it pre-dates the Constitution, and even the idea of government, for that matter. If you obtain property through licit means, then you have the right to own and use that property for licit purposes.

      Try applying your statement to the 1st Amendment:
      I’d say the same for those of you who believe the 1st Amendment gives you a fundamental right to carry a bible wherever and whenever you want without the need of a state issued permit. I personally don’t believe that it does…

      • Even if the 2nd Amendment didn’t exist, every human has the inherent right to carry a firearm wherever and whenever they want without someone elses permission. It’s called the right to property and it pre-dates the Constitution, and even the idea of government, for that matter.

        Try bringing a gun onto a plane and see how far that argument gets you. Or into a courthouse. Or into any one of the countless places where guns are prohibited by law. Heller specifically recognized that there are limits on the right to bear arms.

        And what about private property rights? Do I not have the right as a private property owner to decide whether you can carry a gun in my house or not?

        • Just because our government has outlawed the exercise of our rights, doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

          As a private property owner, you most certainly do have the right to decide whether I carry a gun in your house or not. And I have the freedom not to enter your house if I don’t want to give up my gun. It’s called voluntary association.

          I guess I should have said, “every human has the inherent right to carry a firearm wherever and whenever they want without someone elses permission… as long as they are not infringing upon the inherent rights of others.”

        • “Heller specifically recognized that there are limits on the right to bear arms.” Heller did no such thing. Heller stated that THIS ruling did not address those issues. BIG difference.

  9. In Illinois it is backwards. To purchase, own, shoot or transport a gun and to buy ammo you have to have a Firearms Owners Identification Card. This is a state issue ID that has photo ID on it. You can shoot a gun without out a FOID card, but someone with a FOID card has to be present while you are shooting Photo ID will never happen for voting in this state. We would have honest elections then, and that will never happen in Chicago.

  10. Ah, that is your first problem .Liberals consider the traffic code to have more relevance than the Law of the Land. Much like driving the pace of traffic at 80MPH on a 55MPH interstate, the U.S. Constitution is the law every leftist loves to ignore at high speed.

    Unless there’s a lawsuit hiding behind a tree, in which case their response is always ” I wasn’t speeding, I was thinking of the children and that is why I broke the law.”

    • FLAME REMOVED Go right for stereotyping and fuzzy thinking, and throw in some capital letters to prove my point about FLAME REMOVED being self-righteous. Unlike you, I won’t apply those traits to all conservatives as you do to liberals. It’s not a conservative dumb post that says “I can capitalize Law of the Land and that will mean more than the actual laws,” it’s your FLAME REMOVED post. [ED: Play nice Greg]

      • The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

        From that document our government derives its legitimacy. An administrative authority that ignores the Constitution can be debateably considered a rogue government, as it has no legal legitimacy.

        Much like your post, a government that selectively obeys certain sections of the U.S. Constitution in fact violates the superior law of the land, just as surely as a speeder on an interstate violates the state law by driving 30 over the speed limit. That speeder will enjoy a taxpayer funded ride in the back of a squad car if he throws back in the state trooper’s face that while he did speed, he didn’t drive drunk so he shouldn’t be cited.

        That which makes no sense on the street makes no sense in Washington, much to the chagrin of the so called “Progressives” who intend on progressing towards the failure that is Socialism.

      • Behold the Liberal debater’s tools of the trade, the Ad Hominem with his close friend the Red Herring.

        The U.S. Constitution is factually the supreme Law of the Land.

        Feel free to live elsewhere or propose a constitutional amendment if you do not like it.

        • Behold, you made no argument and got exactly the response you deserved. I see you continue the “you disagree with me, therefore you are a Liberal with ALL THE THINGS I HATE ABOUT THEM” attitude.

          Please, if you’re going to be a troll, at least learn to read. And then read things like “three branches of government” and “checks and balances” and “supreme court decisions.” Or feel free to live elsewhere yourself, since that’s where your mind went to immediately on seeing someone you disagreed with.

  11. Sales taxes are permissible where applicable, fees for training classes are as well. A fee just for a permit that is far in excess of processing and producing a permit is not acceptable. Actually , my tax dollars should already cover it just like anything else. No one pays a fee for an EBT card for public benefits.
    Once again, support for gun rights is the first test of a Statist.

  12. The courts have consistently held that no right enumerated in the Bill of Rights is absolute, and cannot be limited in any sense whatsoever. This is where we get the distinction, for instance, between ‘content-based’ restrictions on free speech and ‘time-place-manner’ restrictions. While it would be nice to have a simple and uniform bright line cutting through the Bill of Rights that delineated where liberty ends and license begins, at present we neither have such a standard nor any hope of finding one in the near future.

    • I think it’s pretty easy to find it out though. Just put in a Google search for “first amendment exceptions” and you’ll have it right in front of you: Incitement, sedition, fighting words, causing panic, and off the top of my head I think I’m missing one. Oh, and child pornography is never protected under any circumstances, ever.

      I guess what I’m saying is, if you can read this blog, you can take a few seconds to search Google and read about where liberty ends and license begins without having to go to law school.

    • It’s not that hard to read about those exceptions if you just Google them though, which anyone reading this blog could easily do.

      • Yes, but an analysis must be made for each limitation on each right – there is no simple rule that says if a limitation is found to be constitutional/unconstitutional for this right, the same must be true of that one. For instance, incarcerated persons retain their right to free exercise of religion, and this is rather uncontroversial. However, to say that implies we cannot limit the right of incarcerated persons to carry loaded handguns for self-defense would be ludicrous.

  13. So Greg, exactly where do you stand in regards to firearm ownership and the 2nd Amendment? I ask because ehile you have name called (calling someone an orang is childish) you have also brought some thoughtful contributions. You seem to be the type of commenter that mikeylotsanumbers thinks he is. So instead of reacting to what others say…what do you personally believe about firearms, self defense and the 2nd Amendment?

    • Okay, to the first point: If the original poster is going to troll, he’s going to get called on it. And not with nice language like “I believe you have written something insulting to me for an invalid reason, sir!” He’s going to get what he deserves. So yeah, I called one guy a name. You say childish, I say, don’t let people get away with that BS unscathed. Did I call names on anybody who didn’t begin by acting like “you’re unAmerican if you disagree with this post”? I don’t believe so. If I did, it was because I got hot, and I will later review and apologize.

      To your main question: That’s pretty broad. I’m new to this website so I don’t know who mikeylotsanumbers is. Here’s some stuff for you. I hope it answers your questions.

      1. I am a firearm owner. I use my guns for target practice (I just think it’s fun) and hunting.
      2. I think guns are super cool and I want more than I can practically (or financially) justify having.
      3. I think an enormous amount of responsibility goes along with the right to have guns.
      4. I take the Constitution very seriously. And when I say seriously, I mean I’ve had some constitutional law training for my job and expanded my knowledge beyond that by reading about the issues that have come up historically and some that are only being decided now.
      5. I think people who read a single constitutional amendment and say “That’s it. That’s all I need to know,” are the ones who do NOT take the Constitution seriously, and they should absolutely be called on their self-righteous crap when they claim this ignorance makes them more patriotic than thou.
      6. I think even Antonin “Strict Interpretation” Scalia has written about limits on gun rights (see if he thinks convicted felons or someone hospitalized for being mentally ill should be allowed to have them). Pretty interesting since the second amendment doesn’t say anything about that either way.
      7. I think since I’ve become a gun owner and a some-time hunter, I’ve seen a lot more of why gun owners are pissed. Handgun restrictions in CA are crazy. Lack of reciprocity (I live in Oregon) for concealed carry licenses. You need to buy three different licenses just to shoot a duck here. The fact that my uncle can’t send me his old side by side, it has to go through an FFL (with associated fees). Even the ATF agent I know thinks there are a ton of crazy gun laws.
      8. I also am frustrated that the gun culture here is so crazy in response to some of these facts. I say the OP’s whiny verbiage counters the better part of his argument, and I get talked down to by a semi-coherent troll. That’s just not unexpected in a culture where disagreement almost always seems tantamount to treason and “liberal” (as if that’s a bad thing) is thrown around like an insult.
      9. But not everybody is like that, and I appreciate people with totally different perspectives if they articulate them well. I don’t think the second amendment guarantees the right to all weapons. Other people disagree and think yeah, you have the right to own explosives and nerve agents. I disagree. Nobody’s patriotism was called into question, it was a pretty simple exchange of I think/you think and why.
      10. I despise the term “self defense” because it’s a euphemism and because it’s misleading. I also practice Judo and wouldn’t call that “self defense” either, for the same reasons. Why do I have a gun? Because (in part) if someone breaks into my house and I think they’re dangerous, I intend to shoot them full of bullets until they are dead, that’s why. “Self defense” is wearing body armor. Shooting/throwing/choking/armbarring someone, whether it is to prevent potential harm or not, whether it’s in your house or not, is an appropriately OFFENSIVE reaction to being threatened (depending on the threat and level of response).

  14. Aren’t a fair number of contributors here at TTAG lawyers?

    How about some of you guys get together and write up something we can bring to court. I’d sign a petition or whatever you have to do to ensure that the 2nd Amendment gets equal treatment.

    Just a thought…

    • A petition is not needed (and would be pointless as questions of law are not decided by means of petitioning anyway.) All you need is a plaintiff to bring a suit in Federal district court.

      I’m not a Constitutional lawyer so I’m not exactly sure who you would sue. The requirement to show an ID is printed on the instructions for the 4473 but I don’t know if it’s a part of the US code or not. Ralph or one of the other experienced lawyers will have to chime in here as to who the suit should be filed against (maybe the attorney general?)

      In any case the plaintiff should assert that on such-and-such a date, he/she attempted to purchase a firearm without showing a photo ID and was denied, and that this denial violated his right to Keep and bear arms under the 2nd amendment per Heller and McDonald.

      Really there should be a flurry of these suits now anyway, in fact I’m a little surprised that there are not.

      Most of these suits will lose, BTW, and the laws will be upheld. I honestly doubt that the SCOTUS will apply a “strict scrutiny” test in evaluating gun laws (i.e. that in order to be Constitutional, the law in question must be neccessary for a significant government purpose.) But in the course of doing so, the SCOTUS will more clearly define which gun laws are reasonable and which ones violate the 2nd amendment.

      The 1st amendment underwent a similar evolution starting in WW1 when many people were prosecuted for opposing the war or the draft.

      • I feel like having an ID at the time of purchase is a reasonable imposition for the government to make. What isn’t, though, is the “fees” and “regulations” placed arbitrarily on NFA items, the ban on full auto and other rifles/pistols, and fees to be able to ccw. If you aren’t a criminal, these should not apply to you.

        Maybe I’ll sue because I can’t afford the fees to carry concealed and therefore my right to keep and bear arms are being stifled. Lol.

        • Well, it will cost you both money and time to sue, too. I think the fact that there haven’t been a flurry of new suits based on McDonald and Heller is probably because most people are satisfied with the current gun laws or at least are not so unsatisfied as to actually do anything to change them (other than bitching about it on the internet. )

      • I honestly doubt that the SCOTUS will apply a “strict scrutiny” test in evaluating gun laws.

        Me too, Martin. SCOTUS rejected any kind of balancing test but never really articulated what kind of test would be applied, except that it won’t be a simple “rational basis” test.IMO, the requirement of an ID to prove identity, age and residency is easily justifed even under a strict scrutiny standard. I might enjoy handling a good 2A case, but I think that a challenge to the ID requirement is a loser.

        On the other point you raised, I disagree that all is quiet on the litigation front. There are probably more 2A cases wending their way through the courts right now then there were in the prior 200 years combined. They’re all over the place.

  15. A 150$ CWP fee or a 200$ ATF tax stamp fee combined with the ID’s or trust needed to file for one are a hell of a lot more discriminatory than some 10$ voter ID requirement.

    • You’ve raised an entirely different argument and one that is actually worthy of litigation. A small fee to cover the background check and paperwork costs may be justifiable; a “confiscatory” tax that has the effect of making firearms unaffordable is a whole different matter and one that courts will actually entertain.

  16. A point to note. The U.S. DOJ is enforcing a point of legislative passed law. Thus a federal legislative law would be required for equal discussion points.

    Meanwhile, legal action is progressing to address what legal limits can be placed on firearms acquistion, ownership, and carrying. The cases in the states with most strict laws will end up determining the limits of the second amendment.

  17. I hate to break it to them, but a lot of states require ID before you can vote because there’s too much voter fraud (primarily from the same Democrats who are against identifying yourself before you get a ballot – big surprise). The difference is that with guns the government (ATF) sees that you’re buying a gun, whereas with voting it’s just a volunteer checking off a box, on a piece of paper that the government will never see, so that someone using your name can’t come back and vote again.

  18. I see this thread has turned into an Absolutist Constitutional position versus a relative or ” Living Constitution” debate.
    My take is that most people, most of the time would be better with a more Absolutist interpretation. Relative and Living positions result in a steady erosion of rights over time and sacrifices of essential liberty for a tempoary safety.

    • Well said, Tom.

      Clearly there are instances where the rights protected by the constitution can lead to situations where a “bad person” can do “bad things”, and they “shouldn’t be allowed to do that”. However, this is purely a morality issue. The benefit of having these rights protected absolutely, far outweighs the cost of protecting actions that someone may consider morally wrong. To allow for exceptions and interpretations in the constitution leads to exactly the scenario described by the article: unequal protection.

      The Constitution already allows for the possibility of modification. There is a specific procedure by which the Constitution can be modified. By all means, if you think something about the Constitution should be changed, then change it. But allowing for a “living” document defeats the entire purpose in the first place.

      Please don’t forget that these amendments are not rights simply because they are in the Constitution. They are rights because We The People, have decided it so.

      U.S. Constitution = Not Negotiable.

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