Quote of the Day: Preaching to the Choir Edition

“[Miller] was generally understood to limiting the scope of the Second Amendment to the uses of arms that were related to military activities. The Court did not overrule Miller [in Heller]. Instead it ‘read Miller to say only that the Second Amendment does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, such as short-barreled shotguns . . . Thus, the Second Amendment provides no obstacle to regulations permitting the ownership or the use of the sorts of the automatic weapons used in the tragic multiple killings in Virginia, Colorado, or Arizona in recent years.” – Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens after a speech to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence’s Legal Action Project

comments

  1. avatar Thomas Paine says:

    “the use of the sorts of the automatic weapons used in the tragic multiple killings in Virginia, Colorado, or Arizona in recent years.”

    what automatic weapons?!!!

    1. avatar Thomas Paine says:

      this is a better quote from the article:

      “Stevens also had a recommendation for people who keep a weapon in their homes for self-defense purposes. “Maybe you have some kind of constitutional right to have a cell phone with a pre-dialed 911 in the number at your bedside and that might provide you with a little better protection than a gun which you’re not used to using,” he said to laughter.”

      1. avatar Levi B says:

        The man is an idiot.

        How exactly is a phone going to protect you from a violent person? Ohhhh the police, because they have such an excellent track record of crime prevention.

        1. avatar Don says:

          I still have a 1980s era cell phone. It’s easily 4 lbs. I could throw it at a home invader…there is a spot in the middle of the forehead that is softer than the rest of the head. If I hit that with the phone, I could REALLY get the attention of my assailant.

        2. avatar Not Too Eloquent says:

          There’s not a part of the forehead that is softer than the rest of the head.

        3. avatar Moonshine says:

          No, but the nerve bundle running between the eyes does make an attractive target.

        4. avatar Not Too Eloquent says:

          There’s not a nerve bundle running between the eyes.

    2. avatar jkp says:

      To be fair, the justice is an old man, and back in the day, the 1911 was referred to as an “automatic” — not “semi-automatic” — pistol. (Still memorialized in the name of the cartridge: “.45 Automatic Colt Pistol.”)

      1. avatar twency says:

        True. “Automatic” as in automatic-loading, more often shortened these days to auto-loading.

        He’s still grossly out of touch with both reality and constitutional law history.

    3. avatar Mike OFWG says:

      It is liberating and refreshing to see that someone who served on our Supreme Court could be as ignorant and uninformed as any average citizen. America is truly the land of equality.

  2. avatar Rabbi says:

    “2A does not protect weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes”

    Tens of millions of AR15s are currently possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes. So, according to Stevens, these firearms are now protected.

    1. avatar Mr Pierogie says:

      The 2A provides no obstacle? Last time I checked it said the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. So you can either infringe upon it or you can’t. You either can introduce restrictions or you can’t. If in the text it specifically forbids violation of the said right, how’s that not an obstacle again? This court is a joke, this retired justice is an idiot.

      1. avatar Mr Pierogie says:

        what the…I’m not sure why my comment posted as a reply.

      2. avatar Levi B says:

        Now now, I’m sure there’s something in the 2nd amendment about sporting purposes. Let me check…

        1. avatar Mr Pierogie says:

          I guess some of these judges think they are entitled to interpret the Constitution any way they please, thus rendering it utterly useless. Or, they could, you know, read what it says and follow the letter of the law.

  3. avatar JoshinGA says:

    And count me as a person who is happy this bozo is retired and no longer writing laws instead of interpreting them.

    Automatic weapons in Colorado, Arizona, and Virginia? Thats news to me.

  4. avatar Pascal says:

    During the VP debate, Biden made reference that the next president will have the chance to pick one or two SCOTUS. While this was made in reference to the question of abortion, those SCOTUS Selections will be used for gun control too.

    This is excellent example that the courts do not simply interpret the law but in reality are the extension of the political party they are selected by. The
    could not give a crap about the law except how it supports their agenda.

    This is why 2a will always and forever be in danger

  5. avatar Tim says:

    Seriously?????

    “Stevens also had a recommendation for people who keep a weapon in their homes for self-defense purposes. “Maybe you have some kind of constitutional right to have a cell phone with a pre-dialed 911 in the number at your bedside and that might provide you with a little better protection than a gun which you’re not used to using,” he said to laughter.”

    If said cell phone was chambered in 12 ga or 45ACP I would buy it.

    1. avatar JoshinGA says:

      Dont worry, we’re the government, and we’ll be there to help you. In 10-45 mins*.

      *Note: This is not a guarantee that your service will be rendered within 45 mins, just an average of the response time of our agents. Please refer to your handbook page 12 “How to calm down a criminal in 10 easy steps”.

      1. avatar Mr. Pierogie says:

        10 to 45 minutes? You wish… One time somebody broke into my truck in Newark, NJ. It was not really an emergency, so I called the non-emergency police number. First, nobody answered for the longest time, seemed like an eternity. Second, I was told that the next officer would be available in about 1 hour (at least). I understand that my predicament was not really a priority, but what if somebody urgently needed help? Would the cops show up quicker, say, in 30 minutes perhaps?

        1. avatar Not Too Eloquent says:

          Ummm….you are asking about emergency response times for a non-emergency number??? Let’s compare apples and oranges, shall we.

        2. avatar Mr Pierogie says:

          What I’m trying to point out is that no cops were available at all, emergency or not. Yes, non-emergency wait time was very long and it wasn’t clear what would be their response time in an actual emergency. And who’s to say what is and isn’t an emergency situation? Will a squad car be there in 5 min if you get shot, but if somebody is “only” raped, then it’s ok to wait longer? My point is that people’s right to defend themselves should not be dependent on some judge’s (mis)interpretation of the law. Cops are there to clean up the mess, not to prevent it.

        3. avatar Not Too Eloquent says:

          In other news:

          I found out today the sky is blue, that we breathe air and water is wet.

    2. avatar David M says:

      “… a gun that I am not use to using…”

      Granted I’ve never had to use a gun in a life or death situation (thank god) but I guess going to the range that is half a mile from my house more then once a week doesn’t qualify me as knowing how to use the weapon Guess that personal defense trainer I hired isn’t gonna help either… drat.

    3. avatar Lemming says:

      I’ve only seen .22s

      Surely we all remember the “cellphone gun panic?” It was sort of the “plastic guns can’t be detected by metal detectors” scare of its day.

      http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/c/cellgun.htm

  6. avatar Chas says:

    This is the attitude of the elite: “I don’t need a gun, so you don’t either.”.

  7. avatar Q-train says:

    There were unanswered 911 calls during the shooting in Minneapolis. So if you have an intruder in your home and all you have is a phone to call the police. You had better pray that there is not another emergency going on in your area.

    Good news though, if your 911 call is not answered within 10 seconds a recording will answer the line.

  8. avatar New Chris says:

    If I found a magic lamp, and got myself some wishes, one of them would be that people could no longer offer opinions on topics they knew nothing about.

    It wouldn’t solve all our problems, but it’d help.

    1. avatar Totenglocke says:

      I’d wish that the Supreme Court actually “interpreted” the Constitution as it was written and knew something about the founding of our country and then I’d wish that all our politicians would actually obey the Constitution. I’d be OK using up two of my three wishes on that.

    2. avatar Jim Barrett says:

      If you added to your wish that people could also no longer vote on issues they know nothing about, I suspect that itwould solve quite a few of our problems. An uninformed and apathetic electorate is the greatest threat to this country that we have. It allows people like Obama and the Congresscritters to pretty much do whatever they want.

    3. avatar Ing says:

      If people could no longer offer opinions on topics they knew nothing about, that’d shut down the entire internet! Well, 98% of it, at least.

  9. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I have a really hard time putting any stock in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Miller decision since the defendant never appeared in court to argue his case. With no one present to advocate for “We the People”, the arguments and evidence were totally one-sided.

    From a legal perspective, I understand how a court will almost always enter a judgement against a party that doesn’t show up. But using such a case as precedent is insane.

  10. avatar ThomasR says:

    “Shall not be infringed”; they’re only words on an old tattered piece of parchment; it’s people who make those words come to life, usually after much blood has been spilled.

  11. avatar Aharon says:

    Last night, I had a really creepy bad dream. I dreamed that, in the name of Justice and Medical-Science, the US Government cut-off my head along with the heads of many other innocent American citizens. Unfortunately, those of us with our heads cut-off continued to live with and without our bodies. Some people walked around carrying their heads. The government official justified the right of government to do as it chooses by pointing out to us a law (that was of course written by government) granting itself unlimited ownership over everything in America from each tree to each human being.

    Many are familiar with the sage advice that when attacked by a grizzly or a mob of enraged Afghani tribal women armed with knives to save the last bullet for oneself. After my dream last night, I can think of another group I don’t want to be taken by while alive.

  12. avatar DerryM says:

    Yesterday, I watched Denish D’Souza’s film “OBAMA 2016”, which is deeply disturbing. However, I would recommend doing a little follow-up reading on the film and D’Souza to mitigate some of the intensely radical conclusions he makes.
    With the prospect of the next President appointing two new SCOTUS Justices, it is imperative that Barak Obama NOT be re-elected. Any way you cut D’Souza’s information and conclusions, Obama is far too dangerous to be re-elected. If he is, all us gun owners best decide where we’ll be with Ted Nugent…in jail or dead.

    Worse yet, Obama will continue his unparallelled Federal Borrowing/Spending and drive the National Debt, which is over $16 Trillion as of this morning, while the U.S. Gross Domestic is just over $15.4 Trillion. We are nearing the “tipping point” where the U.S. economy will crash, bringing most of the rest of the World down with it.

    Retired Justice Stevens is saying what *The) Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence’s Legal Action Project paid him to say when it booked him as a speaker in an attempt to give credibility to their agenda. You’d be better-off to practice throwing your Cell Phone at an intruder/attacker than calling 911 for help if in mortal danger. Me, I’m getting a spear and some of those tactical Tomahawks…

    1. avatar Pascal says:

      If you watched that one, check this one out too

      http://www.thehopeandthechange.com/tv.aspx

      1. avatar DerryM says:

        Thanks, I’ll check it out.

    2. avatar Brian Z says:

      It’s not like he is appointing them in a vacuum. It appears as though two of the three most likely candidates are liberal leaning anyway so if they retire and he puts more liberal Justices on the bench it will just be maintaining the status quo.

      1. avatar Moonshine says:

        Scalia and Kennedy are the two making retirement noises. Both have shown themselves to be on our side.

      2. avatar DerryM says:

        It’s really about the National Debt, right now, in another 4 years Obama can/will take it over $20 Trillion. We cannot risk letting that happen.

        Obama’s chance to skew SCOTUS further to the left could mean serious trouble for all our Rights should an economic crises such as we never imagined make it “necessary” for the Federal Government to enforce “shared prosperity”.

  13. avatar Tony says:

    “The Court read ‘. . .Miller to say only that the Second Amendment does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, such as short-barreled shotguns.'”

    No it didn’t. The Court upheld the NFA in Miller because short barrel shotguns had no connection to arms in typically possessed by the MILITARY at the time. What the Court actually held was that:

    “In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a ‘shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length’ at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense. Aymette v. State of Tennessee, 2 Humph., Tenn., 154, 158.”

    1. avatar Pascal says:

      I agree, and I am not sure if Stevens was qouted correctly, but he has said and has continued to say, short of saying you cannot have any arms, nothing stops the govt from making laws to make it difficult or expensive without infridging on your rights. See D.C, IL, MA, CA, NY and NJ as to how the govt can make life miserable and not infridge on your rights per their opinion.

  14. avatar Not Too Eloquent says:

    Fortunately, TTAG doesn’t have too many posts requiring such a multitude of Captain Obvious comments. Preaching 2A basics to the readers here is like leading off a conference of Catholic Bishops with an explanation of what John 3:15 entails.

  15. avatar Greg Camp says:

    Miller was a bad decision in a number of ways. Short-barrelled shotguns were used in war, so even if we go with the idea that the Second Amendment only protects militia weapons, NFA guns should be protected. But more than that, the defense didn’t present a case. The defendants were gone–one was dead, if I recall correctly, and the other was “unavailable”–and the defense attorney didn’t have the money to fight a case that was effectively over for his clients.

  16. avatar IdahoPete says:

    Let’s show some kindness and charity here. Judge Stevens is clearly entering into the early stages of Alzheimer’s, and his senility is becoming painfully obvious. We should be grateful to him for retiring from the Supreme Court. If he wants to provide his senile maunderings to has-been groups like the Brady Bunch, and they are willing to spend their declining contributions on him, we should look at it as a good use of their money.

    Poor guy. I understand he used to have a fairly good mind, even if I disagreed with his “progressive” attempts to destroy the Constitution.

  17. avatar jwm says:

    Can’t let barry appoint any more judges.

    1. avatar JoshinGA says:

      Amen. The big O appointing 2-3 more justices would pretty much be the nails in the coffin as far as individual rights are concerned.

  18. avatar Slowburn_copy_&_paste says:

    http://archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html

    Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on
    Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
    [ Excerpt as follows: ]
    THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
    RESOLVED….

    Amendment II “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.”

    “Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.”
    Thomas Paine

  19. avatar jwm says:

    So military weapons are exempt from any regulation? Weapons normally in use with the military? So does this mean I can’t have a short shotgun but I’m good to go with a full auto m16/m4?

  20. avatar Slowburn says:

    Not that it matters, but…
    A clear read in historical context on the IIA is that it stands as a law, written into a legally binding contract / compact between all Freemen and those persons within or acting on behalf of the Federal government, prohibiting said persons from any act which could in any way be construed as so much as an ‘infringement’ on the pre-existing “Right” of the people to keep and bear arms.
    Some might recall that American Patriots fought an entire War for Independence against the most powerful Army of professional soldiers in existence at the time to secure their “Right” to keep and bear arms. As a result, they were more than a little touchy about the idea of a new Federal government, fearing it might well turn out to be a more despotic and tyrannical threat to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that King George III and his minions were. Thus, written declarations of certain pre-existing “Rights” and specific limitations on powers afforded to the new centralized government were demanded.
    In terms of a law limiting powers of the newly-formed Federal government, and given the fact that most every Freeman in the country was already well armed, ‘shall not be infringed’ is about as all-encompassing and powerful a statement as could be made.
    At the time of enactment, the word ‘arms’ represented ‘every terrible instrument of war’.

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