John Paul Stevens: ‘There’s No Need for All the Guns We Have in the Country’

Image courtesy Oleg Volk. Used with permission. blog.olegvolk.net

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens reminds me of a feral cat who just won’t go away.

From the Washington Post:

…But one particular loss lingers and, Stevens says, brings grim reminders almost weekly: the court’s 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which found the Second Amendment protects a right to individual gun ownership unrelated to possible military service.

“Unquestionably the most clearly incorrect decision that the Court announced during my tenure on the bench,” Stevens writes in his new memoir, “The Making of a Justice.”

Heller and the Second Amendment, Stevens said in the interview, produce “such disastrous practical effects. I think there’s no need for all the guns we have in the country and if I could get rid of one thing it would be to get rid of that whole gun climate.”

Yes, if we did away with all the guns in our country, the strong could readily molest the weak with impunity. The young and the strong could run roughshod over the old, the weak, and the infirm – people like former Justice Stevens.

And governments could enact tyranny upon its peoples and kill as many subjects as possible.

That doesn’t sound like a good place to be, now does it, former Justice Stevens?

comments

  1. avatar pwrserge says:

    If I could get rid of one thing, it would be vermin like Stevens and his Demokkkommie cronies.

    1. avatar Mad says:

      Right on

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      We sure don’t need him sucking our oxygen.

      “President” Ford was truly worthless in every regard. His boss, Tricky Dick “guns are a *EXPLETIVE DELETED* abomination” Nixon wasn’t a whole lot better.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        “Dick” WAS Nixon. As in Richard M. Nixon. A different age and Nixon was far from the worst US president the US.

        You some kind gov’t school edumacated millennial?

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Read his comment again, slower this time. Then the polite thing to do would be to apologize.

        2. avatar Nanashi says:

          Nixon supported total gun bans. Watergate had nothing to do with that making him a bad president.

          The last good president was Hoover.

        3. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          Hoover was a clown of a POTUS, constantly meddling in the private sector to no good end.

          The system of ag subsidies we have in the US traces its instigation back to not FDR, but Herbert Hoover.

          The last really good POTUS we had in the US, IMO, was Calvin Coolidge. “Silent Cal” – who actually CUT the federal budget. He also didn’t think that people in the US should have to worry about every utterance of the POTUS, every day. Hence his nickname – “Silent Cal.” Coolidge said of dealing with the public: “As president, you have to stand every day for three to four hours to meet all sorts of visitors. Nine-tenths of them want something they ought not to have. If you keep dead-still they will run down in three minutes or less. If you even cough or smile they will start all over again.”

        4. avatar Miner49er says:

          Both Coolidge and Hoover were republican presidents who’s financial mismanagement and subservience to Wall Street bankers led to the Great Depression. It took FDR several years to pull us out of the hole that the Republicans has put us in. This is similar to what happened in recent history with George W. Bush’s mismanagement leading to the recession of 2007-8, thankfully Obama was able to rescue us from that economic debacle.

        5. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

          Yeah, and he also hit 26,000 in the Dow, and brought back thousands of jobs to our country! Whoops, my mistake.

        6. avatar Barnbwt says:

          Annnnd the miner removes what little doubt there was he’s a socialist ‘redneck revolt’ type who likes learning about guns he’d presumably press to the backs of our heads.

          My family’s cattle were slaughtered by your dear leader FDR’s federal agents to prop up prices for the more politically connected/bribey big ranchers. No compensation, and the corpses were doused in oil & burned in front of my great grandparents so they (broke-ass farmers) couldn’t even eat their destroyed property & livelihood.

          Fuck your disgusting Great Leap Forward New Dealing bullshit, you would-be thieving murderer. Ignorant peasants have the excuse of naïveté when communists come to town; people like you who must surely know better and still promote that vile faith are simply evil.

  2. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    We should be empathetic. Dementia is a sad state.

    1. avatar edward kenway's ghost says:

      God does not pity fools. Neither should we.
      “…And mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity: but I will recompense thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.”
      Ezekiel 7:4

      1. avatar Banker in oregon says:

        Mr. T does though

        1. avatar enuf says:

          I liked that guy. Best character on the A-Team. Bummer he had such a fear of flying.

      2. avatar WhatAboutThe2A says:

        God’s also not real / a human fabrication so…your point?

        1. avatar edward kenway's ghost says:

          Obviously, no point. Not to you, anyway, even though it was stated in plain English.
          Perhaps you’d prefer a Koranic verse instead. Sorry, not happening.

        2. avatar Barnbwt says:

          “Oh boy, someone quoted scripture! Now I get to tell them their god is a lie! What joy, what pleasure, what a dopamine rush it is to express my superiority to total strangers who’ve done nothing to offend me or anyone!”

        3. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

          Yeah, it doesnt take a lot to “trigger” most trolls!

        4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          WhatAboutThe2A,

          In order to claim categorically that something does not exist, you have to literally be all-knowing. Since you do not know the name of my best friend in 5th grade elementary school, you are most certainly NOT all-knowing. Therefore, you have no authority to categorical claim that there is no God.

          In case you are really dense: we can only make categorical claims for what we can actually detect through sensation to our physical senses (sight being one example). This means it is impossible to prove the absence of something because we have no way of detecting the absence of something. For example, no one can claim that a container is truly empty (devoid of every possible matter, energy, and who knows what else) because it could contain a form of matter or energy or something else that we do not yet understand and do not know how to detect. All we can say is that we cannot detect any known form of matter or energy in a container.

  3. avatar Sean G./The Rookie says:

    The only “grim reminder” I associate with Heller is that it was 5-4 decision, instead of 9-0.

  4. avatar FedUp says:

    Imagine a world without “Justice” Stevens…

  5. avatar Huntmaster says:

    2nd- 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.

    OK Judge, I’m looking at it. Exactly what is it that they got wrong?

    1. avatar WI Patriot says:

      No, no, no…you didn’t “interpret” it correctly…

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “No, no, no…you didn’t “interpret” it correctly…”

        It is not so much misinterpreataion as it is failure to understand that all elements of the constitution are subject to reasonable restrictions, because no Right is absolute. And government has a compelling interest in promoting public safety, therefore government is the best arbiter of what is reasonable.

        1. avatar Someone says:

          I can almost hear the Founding Fathers discuss this whole Constitution idea:

          – We need to get all together into one country and under one government to protect ourselves.

          -Yeah, like we had it under British, right?

          -Well this time we give very limited powers to the government, make a list of them and the government must not do anything else.

          -But what if it tries to anyway and starts to take our rights away like George #3?

          -Well, let’s make another list of things that the government must not touch with 5 yards long stick and add it to that first list to make it totally clear!

          Hundred years later:
          -The Constitution is a cute little piece of parchment, but when we in the government needs to do something, we can’t let some constitutionally protected rights to slow us down. It’s for your own safety!

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Hundred years later:
          -The Constitution is a cute little piece of parchment, but when we in the government needs to do something, we can’t let some constitutionally protected rights to slow us down. It’s for your own safety!”

          Ain’t it thuh truuuth, ain’t it thuh truuuth.

        3. avatar WI Patriot says:

          It was a sarcastic reply…meaning the the left do and will interpret anything and everything just to fit their narrative and/or agenda…

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “It was a sarcastic reply…meaning the the left do and will interpret anything and everything just to fit their narrative and/or agenda…”

          Of course; I was just piling on more sarcasm.

        5. avatar Mark N. says:

          His interpretation was that there was an individual right, but only in connection with service in the militia, based on the introductory clause. In other words, you have the right to keep and bear arms SO THAT you can serve in the militia. He concluded that Scalia’s interpretation eliminated the introductory clause and removed the right from its intended purpose.

        6. avatar Aaron Walker says:

          Nothing but 🐎💩!

        7. avatar ozzallos says:

          Oh, that’s right. He’s referring to that ‘Bill of Needs’ that I’ve heard so much about.

        8. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Oh, that’s right. He’s referring to that ‘Bill of Needs’ that I’ve heard so much about.”

          Actually…no. The entire exchange was sarc on top of sarc.

    2. avatar Miner49er says:

      Well, in those days the word regulate meant rules and restrictions, in this case passed by Congress.

      No rights are absolute, all are tempered by the rights of others, meaning you can’t exercise a ride if it infringes on other peoples’ rights. And the requirement of a well regulated militia puts the burden of regulation meaning rules and restrictions, on Congress to pass laws to bring about a well regulated militia. Otherwise you get events like this:

      “Investigators say an 8-year-old boy found a gun in a vintage military jeep on display at a baseball stadium and believed it was a toy. The boy shot his mother, who is now in critical condition, and the owner of the jeep has been charged with reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon. WMC’s Joyce Peterson reports.
      A Tennessee mother was hospitalized in critical condition after her 8-year-old son accidentally shot her at a college baseball game, police said.”

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        Is it painful to be so stupid?

        1. avatar Someone says:

          It sure is. Unfortunately it’s felt by others around the afflicted.

        2. avatar Miner49er says:

          Is it painful to not be intellectually capable of replying in a cohesive and logical manner?

          Is it painful to not have the facts on your side and be forced to nothing but an ad hominem attack without any basis in reality?

      2. avatar DrDKW says:

        Well, I didn’t put my loaded gun in that Jeep. But because someone else was an idiot, we all must give up our second amendment rights, along with the right of due process, and any other rights that government decides we’re no longer entitled to!

      3. avatar Thomas says:

        @Miner49er “…Well, in those days the word regulate meant rules and restrictions, in this case passed by Congress…”

        You can troll here, but you will not spread your lies here,

        The phrase “well-regulated” was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of something being in PROPER WORKING ORDER. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected.

        Establishing government oversight of the people’s arms was not only not the intent in using the phrase in the 2nd amendment, it was precisely to render the government powerless to do so that the founders wrote it.

        1. Excerpt from Name Madison Research Library.

          David I. Caplan, who has examined this issue in depth, provides this analysis:

          “In colonial times the term ‘well regulated’ meant ‘well functioning’ ― for this was the meaning of those words at that time, as demonstrated by the following passage from the original 1789 charter of the University of North Carolina: ‘Whereas in all well regulated governments it is the indispensable duty of every Legislatures to consult the happiness of a rising generation…’ Moreover the Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘regulated’ among other things as ‘properly disciplined;’ and it defines ‘discipline’ among other things as ‘a trained condition.’”

          Privately kept firearms and training with them apart from formal militia mustering thus was encompassed by the Second Amendment, in order to enable able-bodied citizens to be trained by being familiar in advance with the functioning of firearms. In that way, when organized the militia would be able to function well when the need arose to muster and be deployed for sudden military emergencies.

          Therefore, even if the opening words of the Amendment, “A well regulated militia…” somehow would be interpreted as strictly limiting “the right of the people to keep…arms”; nevertheless, a properly functioning militia fundamentally presupposes that the individual citizen be allowed to keep, practice, and train himself in the use of firearms.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Establishing government oversight of the people’s arms was not only not the intent in using the phrase in the 2nd amendment…”

          Correct. It was/is Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16 that established central government oversight of the peoples arms.

      4. avatar Owen says:

        That’s revisionist history. “Well regulated” meant a “well trained” at the time of the writing of the second amendment.

        1. avatar Owen says:

          What Thomas said. I typed too slow. Ha!

        2. avatar M1Lou says:

          If you want to modernize the idea of “well regulated”, it would be can you “shoot, move, and communicate.” A modern well regulated unit would need to be able to do these things in order to function at a basic level.

      5. avatar Mark N. says:

        You’ve been in California too long. “Well regulated” means, in the usage of the day, well trained. And nothing more.

      6. avatar Mister Fleas says:

        “Well, in those days the word regulate meant rules and restrictions, in this case passed by Congress.

        No rights are absolute, all are tempered by the rights of others, meaning you can’t exercise a ride if it infringes on other peoples’ rights. And the requirement of a well regulated militia puts the burden of regulation meaning rules and restrictions, on Congress to pass laws to bring about a well regulated militia.”

        Actually….
        http://constitution.org/cons/wellregu.htm

        ….how does it feel to be so wrong?

        1. Proposed 25 September 1789
          Ratified 15 December 1791

          The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

          Bill of Rights
          Unenumerated Rights

        2. avatar Miner49er says:

          You folks can cite all the opinion articles you care to, but a much better idea would be to actually consult a dictionary of that time.

          And thankfully, Providence has provided us with the 1828 Webster’s dictionary, recognized as the American dictionary. So what does the 1828 Webster’s dictionary define regulated as?

          “Regulated
          REG’ULATED, participle passive Adjusted by rule, method or forms; put in good order; subjected to rules or restrictions.”

          Yep, they said rules or restrictions, meaning to a requires Congress to regulate, or place rules and restrictions upon the right to keep and bear arms as a part of the militia.

          Ol’ Dan’l Webster didn’t say nothing about no clocks.

          Are you folks saying that the Webster’s dictionary of 1828 is wrong?

      7. avatar Ben Hurdurr says:

        “Well Regulated” as in trained, equipped and in a state of comparative readiness throughout the militia. Like a properly working mechanical watch is well-regulated.

        From Constitution.org:
        “The phrase “well-regulated” was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected. Establishing government oversight of the people’s arms was not only not the intent in using the phrase in the 2nd amendment, it was precisely to render the government powerless to do so that the founders wrote it.”

      8. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        “Well, in those days the word regulate meant rules and restrictions, in this case passed by Congress.”

        No, it did not, it meant “In proper working order”, you nattering nit-wit…

        1. avatar Miner49er says:

          You folks can cite all the opinion articles you care to, but a much better idea would be to actually consult a dictionary of that time.

          And thankfully, Providence has provided us with the 1828 Webster’s dictionary, recognized as the American dictionary. So what does the 1828 Webster’s dictionary define regulated as?

          “Regulated
          REG’ULATED, participle passive Adjusted by rule, method or forms; put in good order; subjected to rules or restrictions.”

          Yep, they said rules or restrictions, meaning to a requires Congress to regulate, or place rules and restrictions upon the right to keep and bear arms as a part of the militia.

          Ol’ Dan’l Webster didn’t say nothing about no clocks.

          Are you folks saying that the Webster’s dictionary of 1828 is wrong?

        2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Miner49er,

          The authors of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights began drafting those documents in the 1780s, using the meaning of words that those authors learned in the decades prior. Thus, your statement that we should use the definition of a word in a dictionary which was published 40 years after the documents in question — and likely 60 to 80 years later than the meaning that the authors learned — is silly.

          What we should be doing is using dictionaries published in the 1750s (or thereabouts) to clarify the meaning of the words in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution (which necessarily includes the Bill of Rights).

    3. avatar Mad Max says:

      We need a Constitutional Amendment that requires the words in Constitution to be interpreted based on the definition of the words as recorded in the1940 edition of the Funk & Wagnalls dictionary.

  6. avatar Kyle says:

    We dont need to imagine a world without guns, we can read about it. Its History.

    The world without guns was very simple. It was a world of Kings, and Emperors. A world where the strong thrived and the weak obeyed or else the strong killed them at the point of a sword.

    Humans are a violent race. Take away, wish away if you prefer, our guns and we will just find other ways to kill each other.

    1. avatar Huntmaster says:

      Those wealthy and powerful enough to afford expensive armor and swords anyhow.

      1. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

        Or in the present tense; up-armed bodyguards!

    2. avatar California Richard says:

      …its a world where Mongolians on horse back slaughtered 1/4 of the world population by hand and created the largest, longest lasting, and most influential land empire… until the Russians and Chinese (both under the Mongol boot for centuries) used guns to end them.

    3. avatar Tom Edwards says:

      More people killed with lowly hammer, More with cars, more with Cell Phones, More with Knives, more with Blunt objects, More by Doctors. Guns is around 10th. down the list. But we are not taking them away! Besides the true gun owner is not the problem. It is your George Soros backed Thugs. Your 1/2 Black Muslin Squatter in our White house brought them out of the wood work.

      1. avatar Miner49er says:

        Well, still butt hurt over having a black man with a brown name in the White House?

        Get over it already, Obama is not a Muslim, except maybe in this strange place between your ears.

        And in Obamas eight years, he tripled the Dow Jones index in the stock market. Let me know when Donald Trump triples the DJI like Obama did. I doubt it will happen, Trump is no ace businessman having lost over $1 billion in just 10 years. He’s working all you people for suckers, just like the NRA and our buddy Wayne with his intern girlfriend and the tens of thousands of dollars he spent on her.

        All you boys been had, snookered, you was took by some billionaire conmen and Putin, Donald Trump’s favorite self hating homophobe.

        Fascinating.

        1. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

          Just cant seem to get away from the fuckin Obummer trolls, can we?

        2. avatar Owen says:

          The national debt increased by more under Obama than all previous presidents COMBINED. He burdened his children’s children and beyond. That is his legacy.

        3. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

          Not his whole legacy, remember; he almost single handedly took us to within a year or so of being Venezuela North!

        4. avatar Deliverance says:

          The best thing about Obama is his legacy… and that’s Donald Trump!

        5. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

          Bang!

        6. avatar Ing says:

          Two words for you, Miner: “jobless recovery.”

          That’s how Saint Obama “fixed” the financial crash of 2007 — by prolonging it into a second depression.

          Sure, the Dow Jones went back up to unprecedented heights…meanwhile, unemployment rates stayed sky-high and the GDP made virtually zero progress. I remember when Barack the Bold told us all that this was just a new normal and we shouldn’t expect to prosper like we had in the past.

          What’s the new Democrat slogan going to be this time around, I wonder… Make America Stagnant Again?

        7. avatar Mad Max says:

          Trump is two years, four months in and the DJIA is up over 35%. About the same as Obama except Trump’s employment and GDP numbers are way better.

          The big difference is that Obama’s policies helped the elites get rich at the expense of the average American worker while Trump’s policies are designed to help small businesses and the average American worker at the expense of Globalists.

        8. avatar Dave G. says:

          @ Miner49er: Your politics are as bad as your knowledge of history. Daniel Webster didn’t write the dictionary, Noah Webster did. And if you were more versed in language you would know that all languages, and the meanings of their words, change with time. As an obvious example, in my lifetime the meaning of “gay” has gone from “being happy” to “being homosexual.” It is just possible that the word “regulated” might have picked up some new connotations or preferred definitions between the late 1700s and 1828 when Noah Webster published his dictionary. Modern usage doesn’t change the fact that what the founding fathers MEANT by “well regulated” was what we would now call “well trained.”

    4. avatar barnbwt says:

      “Man has killed man since the beginning, and each new frontier has brought with it new places and new ways to die. Why should the future be different?” -Col. Corazon Santiago

    5. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Exactly. As I’ve pointed out to anti-gun dreamers and creamers: “Go ahead. Abolish ALL guns. I’ll enjoy the outcome.”

      These yammering idiots are usually females who think that if they ran the world, all would be kittens and butterflies, and they could just wave their hand like Queen Sheeba and make stuff happen. They’re engaging in intellectual onanism, of course. Someone has to straighten them out, and it might as well be me.

      I have to point out that in a world without guns, men of my size will rule. I’ll have a harem of as many women as I want, and a whole bunch of humunculi to do my bidding, and that will be that.

      The women then start spouting something that includes: “Oh, but we’ll just get the police to…”

      “What ‘police’? There won’t be any ‘police.’. Do you want to see how the world works without guns? Then go back 600 years and look. The entirety of human existence was predicated upon one thing: Might makes right. In that world, there are no ‘public servants’ who are volunteering to take a beat-down for something like ‘public service.’ Noooo. That’s not how this is going to work. If you’re asking the statistically tiny minority of large men (ie, taller than 6′ or 6’1 – which is less than 10% of caucasian men in the US – above 6’4″ is a very, very small minority) to do your bidding, you’ll need to promise these men something substantial – like piles of money, vast tracts of land, exotic women from other continents, the best looking women from this continent, and so on. You mouthy women who think you’re going to still boss men around in such a world are going to get a rude awakening… you’ll do as you’re told, and you’ll like it. But because I’m such a swell guy, I’ll be a nice tyrant, and start by telling you to go make me a sammich.”

      As Chairman Mao said: “All political power emanates from the barrel of a gun.” No guns, no easily distributed political power.

  7. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

    Actually, what you meant to say was, “there’s no need for all the self righteous pundits and politicians in the country”.

  8. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    We also don’t need old, fogey Statists telling us what rights we do and don’t need to exercise; yet, here we are.

  9. avatar edward kenway's ghost says:

    Proof perfect that even a Supreme Court Justice sworn to uphold the highest laws of the land can be seen as an incompetent fool.

  10. avatar aircooled says:

    He says that Heller was wrong because it produced “disastrous practical effects”. I totally fail to see how an unconstitutional law should be allowed to stand because of “practical effects”. You sir, have completely forgotten the purpose of the SCOTUS.

    1. avatar aircooled says:

      IF the Constitution truly is producing “disastrous practical effects”, we already have a working amendment system for correcting that. Letting unconstitutional laws stand just undermines the basis of out laws.

    2. avatar Bob Jones says:

      Disastrous Practical Effects = The Opiod Crisis spawned by “progressive” Obamacare

      Giving free or cheap medications to anyone who can fool a poorly trained naive doc. The “poor” patient then sells the dope on the street. Makes color xerox copies of the prescription and gets it filled fifteen times all over town. Folks do that with Cashier’s Checks all the time, why not prescriptions.

      1. avatar Miner49er says:

        You believe the opioid crisis was caused by Obama care?

        Fascinating.

        Yep, the idea of people like you having access to large magazine capacity semi automatic rifles is very frightening, I believe we do need the rules and restrictions inherent in the 2nd Amendment requirement for a well regulated militia.

        1. avatar Thomas says:

          “…Yep, the idea of (the) people ̶l̶i̶k̶e̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ having access to large magazine capacity semi automatic rifles is very frightening…”

          Said only EVERY DICTATOR & TOTALITARIAN EVER!

          Responsible for over 262 million murdered through executions and intentional mistreatment of unarmed civilians. That is what the Second Amendment protects us from.

          Goodness the trolls are out early this spring…

  11. avatar tdiinva says:

    It’s retired Justice, not former Justice. He is still a Supreme Court Justice. Life means until dead.

  12. avatar Jeff says:

    Ever since I was in the fifth grade I wondered about the self defense aspect of the 2A. Clearly, it protects citizens who want to keep and train with militia weapons. It would seem very weird to say that they must be inoperable and useless for self defense. And self defense may be protected in other ways.

    But I didn’t find Heller super convincing on this point. Some states even had self defense as a part of their version of the 2A, but it didn’t end up in the 2A.

    Where am I going wrong?

    1. avatar Paul says:

      You’re not going “wrong” so much as failing to see the whole picture. The Bill of Rights didn’t sprout out of a vacuum. There was much discussion before, during, and after the rights were adopted. If you read the writings of those who lobbied for, and voted for, the Bill, you will quickly discover that those men clearly intended that every adult male in the United States be armed. Further, they intended that those arms be “military grade”. Men were intended to pick up their personal weapons, and muster with their local militias, when called. Local militias were on call to turn out for duty with the state militia, and/or the US Army.

      If you really want a clear picture of what the Second means, you should read Thomas Jefferson, his writings, his correspondence, and the correspondence of those he wrote to. It is abundantly clear that they intended us to overthrow the government, if and when government becomes tyrannical.

      1. avatar Jeff says:

        I get the argument for militia and overthrowing tyranny. The argument made by Stevens in his dissent of Heller was that it didn’t specifically apply to self defense from plain criminals.

        Armed self defense is a critical right, because otherwise the government can just outsource its tyranny to criminals. That’s apparent in many urban black neighborhoods, unfortunately. But why is that not made explicit in the 2A? Why does it only make reference to militia (which I believe includes all adults as potential militia to defend the country against its government) with no mention of self defense?

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Why does it only make reference to militia (which I believe includes all adults as potential militia to defend the country against its government) with no mention of self defense?”

          To paraphrase Obama, the constitution only tells government what it cannot do, not what it can do to citizens. JP Stevens looks at the constitution as a limit on citizens, as in, “If the constitution does not identify specifically a right exerciseable by the populace, such rights do not exist. A plain reading of the constitution and BOR eplicitely states that rights not spelled out in detail are retained, without enumeration, by the people (and thus the States).

          The Second Amendment was not a declaration of limited rights, but a red line the government daren’t cross. Implicit in keeping arms is the ability, and right, to use them lawfully, for whatever purpose. The constitution, or Second Amendment, does not enumerate hobby manufacturers, collectors, inventors, gunsmiths. Stevens’ logic would mean that the only purpose for firearms is militia duty, not manufacture, maintenance, use for hunting or sport, or anything eles.

          People like Stevens’ are happy to say, “Well, it is obvious that this or that purpose we approve is included. But it is not obvious that self-defense is permitted because it is not spelled out specifically.”

        2. avatar neiowa says:

          Jef – considerable evidence that major segments of the FBI are lawless. No good.

          Sam – Obumer wiped his ass with the Constitution. Though as a good muslim would probably just used his bare left hand.

        3. avatar Someone says:

          “To paraphrase Obama, the constitution only tells government what it cannot do, not what it can do to citizens.”

          That’s where our half white ex-president/constitutional scholar would be wrong. At least my copy of the Constitution does tell in no uncertain terms what the government can do. Powers delegated to it are perfectly clear. The Bill of Rights also lists some of the things that the government must not do. What’s missing in my opinion is the part which states what punishment awaits those in government who do what they are not empowered to, or what is prohibited by the BoR.

        4. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

          Obviously you havent read the new “revised Obummer Constitution”. Another term of that poser, and it would’ve usurped the original in all the classrooms.

    2. avatar Vorkon says:

      What didn’t you find convincing about Heller?

      The core argument in Heller is that the Second Amendment is divided into two parts, a prefatory clause and an operative clause. There shouldn’t be anything to convince there; simple knowledge of the English language and the ability to diagram a sentence makes this clear. There is no way for “A well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state” to modify “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” It states a purpose, much like the prefatory clause of a speech, or even the Constitution itself, but like other prefatory clauses, and unlike a law which actually directs someone to do or not to do something, it doesn’t outline any specific action that must be taken. Just because the preface of the Constitution states that its purpose is “to form a more perfect union,” does that mean that any law that is not perfect is unconstitutional? Of course not. That’s not what the flowery language before a statement is supposed to be for.

      Should the prefatory clause, as a clear statement of the framers’ intent, be taken into consideration in edge cases, where the operant text of a law is unclear? Of course, that’s why courts consider things like framers’ intent. But like I said, framers’ intent only needs to be considered in edge cases, where the plain text of a law is unclear. When the plain text of a law is clear you follow the plain text, and it doesn’t get much more clear than “shall not be infringed.” You might have some wiggle room about what “keep and bear” means, or what is meant my “arms,” or even what it means to “infringe” upon something, all of which are addressed in Heller, but those are very narrow considerations, and for the most part the text is as clear as any law can get.

      All that does raise the question of, “why did the framers bother to include the prefatory clause in the first place,” but ultimately that’s a question for historians, not for the courts.

      (The answer is pretty simple, though: The Second Amendment was passed as a compromise between a side that wanted a Federally mandated militia, and a side that wanted to limit the power of the Federal government, and was afraid that giving the Federal government the power to implement a militia would give them too much power, and lead to tyranny. This is clearly spelled out in Congressional records. Both sides, however, agreed that a) there should be a militia, whether or not its existence is mandated by the Consititution, and b) that the Federal government shouldn’t be able to restrict the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The side that didn’t want a Constitutionally mandated militia was able to convince the side that did that, as long as the government could not infringe upon anyone’s gun rights, regardless of the purpose, the government would also never be able to stop the formation of a militia among the people, thus giving both sides everything they wanted. The milita clause is there to mollify the side that wanted a mandated militia about the fact that their concerns were being addressed, but very specifically does NOT directly modify the operant clause. The entire POINT of the Second Amendment was that it was supposed to be a way to ensure the government could not prevent th formation of a militia, without directly mandating a militia. Claiming that the arms it mentions can only be used for militia purposes defeats the entire purpose of this compromise, and effectively mandates a militia.)

      Like I said before, though, all of that is just a historical curiosity, and not something for the courts to worry about. The plain language of the ammendment separates it into a prefatory and operative clause, and simple understanding of the English language dictates that the prefatory clause does not directly modify the instructions given in the operative clause. This separation of clauses is at the heart of the Heller decision, and I don’t see any good faith way to argue against it, so as long as you’re being honest with oneself, I feel the Heller decision should be pretty easy to accept.

      1. avatar Jeff says:

        I guess what is giving me pause is that neither the language nor the history seem primarily focused on self defense from ordinary criminals. Self defense seems more like side effect of being able to keep arms.

        I think the answer is that, as someone else pointed out, “keep” means for any lawful purpose. I think that’s convincing, but still weaker than the plainly protected right to keep for some militia purpose. Also, arms for self defense seem to depend more on implicit rights or other amendments like the 9th.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Self defense seems more like side effect of being able to keep arms.”

          “I think the answer is that, as someone else pointed out, “keep” means for any lawful purpose. I think that’s convincing, but still weaker than the plainly protected right to keep for some militia purpose.”

          The founders saw no reason to list every activity related to firearm possession. Their intent was to prevent the central goverment from neutering the militia through failure to arm the militia, except at the convenience of the central government. The constitution was never intended to list the privileges of the populace, but set defined limits on government function. Else, the constitution would be as exhaustive as the Library of Congress, and then we would be arguing every sentence needed specific updating to accommodate some new thing, idea or concept.

        2. avatar Vorkon says:

          Also, don’t forget that “bear” is doing a lot of work in that statement, too.

          One of the many historical linguistic quirks that they discuss in the Heller decision is that “to bear arms” has historically meant “to carry arms with the intent to use them if necessary.” (There have been some people who have tried to argue that it means “to carry arms for military use,” and although there are some examples of it being used that way, Heller was able to point out many other examples from around the time of the framing that followed the more general, “with intent to use” definition.) There must be some reason the framers decided to differentiate between “keeping” and “bearing” arms, and if carrying a gun for self defense isn’t bearing arms, I don’t know what is.

          As other have said, though, that’s kind of beside the point. The Constitution was never intended as a list of privileges the government grants to its citizens, but rather as a list of things the government can and can’t do. It doesn’t need to describe anything that doesn’t fall within that scope, especially not something they believed, as their other writings at the time indicate, was so self-evident as the right to self-defense.

      2. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “The plain language of the ammendment separates it into a prefatory and operative clause, and simple understanding of the English language dictates that the prefatory clause does not directly modify the instructions given in the operative clause.”

        Nice work here; thank you.

        However….

        The entirety of the federal court system accepts, and demands we accept, that the plain language is subject to a “reasonablness” standard. That is, no enumerated right (or any other part of the constitution) is absolute, beyond the reach of interpretation in light of the general welfare and safety of the public.

        While it is true that every aspect of the constitution may be amended (including abolished), the courts have settled on a concept that because of the inability of the founder to conceive of every change in that would happen in the future, it is up to the courts to match the original constitution with reasonable modifications (short of amendment).

        Thus it came about that the “plain language” of the day cannot be imposed into perpetuity. The rights of individuals will come into conflict, and accommodation by the constitution is necessary, reasonable and logical.

        1. avatar Mad Max says:

          “Thus it came about that the “plain language” of the day cannot be imposed into perpetuity. The rights of individuals will come into conflict, and accommodation by the constitution is necessary, reasonable and logical.”

          This is the concept of the “living Constitution” and I don’t think the founders would agree that this is in the purview of the Judiciary. The Founders provided a tool to adapt the Constitution to changing times; Article V.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “This is the concept of the “living Constitution” and I don’t think the founders would agree that this is in the purview of the Judiciary. The Founders provided a tool to adapt the Constitution to changing times; Article V.”

          Precisely. But we now live on internet time, and events move too fast to ignore the idea of a “living” constitution. Constitutional amendments are nice, but take too long. The courts have become the change agent of the constitution, in keeping with the demands of the fleeting feelings and notions of the undisciplined mob of “Me Firsters”.

        3. avatar Vorkon says:

          “Thus it came about that the “plain language” of the day cannot be imposed into perpetuity. The rights of individuals will come into conflict, and accommodation by the constitution is necessary, reasonable and logical.”

          Agreed, and that’s why I made sure to point out that it’s important to look at intent when the meaning of the plain language is unclear. Language can, and does shift. However, the amount of linguistic drift that would be required to render “shall not be infringed” unclear is so staggeringly high that any language that could do so would be hard to even consider “English” anymore. There may come a day when the meaning of “shall not be infringed” is unclear enough to require looking into the framers’ intent, but I expect that all of us, and most likely America itself, will already be long dead by the time that day comes.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “…the amount of linguistic drift that would be required to render “shall not be infringed” unclear is so staggeringly high…”

          Such a statement requires one to begin with the idea that the whole “militia” thing is not a restrictive preface. So, start with no history, no then contemporary writings, just the bare Second Amendment. Now, begin to read, “A well regulated militia being necessary….” Plain reading tells us that the subject being discussed is “militia”. Then follows a dependent clause/justification for the existence of a militia, “…to the security…”.. What follows is a dependent, restrictive phrase, explaining to which/what entity the security is to be applied: “…a free State…”. So, a militia is a necessary agency ensuring freedom for a “free State”, whether that means an individual State, or the entire union of States (please note that the capitalization of “State” is intentional by the founders, and of significance to the union). Now comes the final dependent segment of the sentence (if there is no predicate “militia”, the rest is pointless) that dictates how a militia is ensured the means to be an effective force, “…the right of the people…”(an euphamism for “militia”, not the general public), i.e. the right of the militia to keep and bear arms.

          In modern (since 1828) terms, “Since a free State needs militia to protect both the union of States, and individual States, the central government cannot prevent people in the militia from having the weapons necessary for such protection.”

          The above can readily be seen to prohibit the central government from keeping proper weapons from the militia, otherwise, the militia is completely ineffective, and dependent upon the central government to provide adequate weaponry when the urgency of war prevents rapid dispersal of weaponry to the militia.

          Now, it the good old days, the “militia” existed in the communities, trained together, and had a structure for deployment and discipline. Looking about today, the average citizen is not affiliated with a recognizable militia, therefore, we look for the closest approximation of what existed “back then”: police and national guard.

          Looking at the totality of the Second Amendment, it is plain the founders intended only to protect recognized militia units, not just Joe at the pub. Since the old concept of militia has fallen by the wayside, the closest approximation of local militia is police, and of state-level militia, the national guard.

          Everything about the Second Amendment eminates from your intital perspective: history, or modern. Thus, a shift from a historical perspective to a modern perspective is not all that great, nor unreasonable. Which is where our entire problem rests. Gun-grabber logic regardidng the Second Amendment is neither ignorant, nor fantasy. The result is unalterably opposed rendering of words; both positions logical and reasonable. This may be the one case where gun-grabbers are not just making stuff up.

        5. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

          Just more pickin flyshit outta peppercorns! Bottom line; shall not be infringed and we will not comply!

        6. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Just more pickin flyshit outta peppercorns! Bottom line; shall not be infringed and we will not comply!”

          Ah yes, the battle cry that has defeated every gun control bill/law ever created. Tired of winning, yet?

        7. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

          Personal sentiment troll. Too old to fear my government or play word games with keyboard philosophers.

        8. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “…play word games with keyboard philosophers.”

          Only comfortable in an echo chamber? Only comfortable with sloganeering and chest-thumpint? This is not good place to visit.

        9. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

          CNN called, they want their fuckin idiot back! Dont bother responding, yeah I’m blocking your dumb ass.

        10. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “I’m blocking your dumb ass”

          Thank you.

          Does that mean I won’t be able to see your comments either?

        11. avatar Vorkon says:

          “Now comes the final dependent segment of the sentence (if there is no predicate “militia”, the rest is pointless) that dictates how a militia is ensured the means to be an effective force, “…the right of the people…”(an euphamism for “militia”, not the general public), i.e. the right of the militia to keep and bear arms.”

          This right here is the fatal flaw in your theoretical gun-grabber’s reasoning. If you’re going for a strictly plain-text interpretation of the amendment, you can’t just assume that a clear statement (“the right of the people”) is just a euphemism for something else. Even without referencing any sources outside the Constitution, it becomes clear that nowhere else in the Constitution does it use “the people” as a euphemism for anything other than “the citizens of the United States.” But you shouldn’t even need to go so far as to reference the rest of the Constitution; if sentence becomes meaningless unless you assume part of it means something other than what it actually says, but works if you assume it’s made up of two independent clauses, that should lead you to believe that there are, in fact, two independent clauses.

          You said it yourself at the beginning of this excerpt: “if there is no predicate ‘militia’, the rest is pointless.” There *IS* no predicate “militia.” Therefore, unless the theoretical gun-grabber making this argument is wrong about his initial assumption that the subject of the second clause is the same as the subject of the first clause, the sentence must be inherently pointless. From this, he should conclude that there are two independent clauses. The interpretation of the Second Amendment described in Heller, that there is a separate prefatory and operative clause, does not require you to begin with the idea that the whole “militia” thing is not a restrictive preface; the idea that the whole “militia” thing is not a restrictive preface is the logical conclusion to draw from the way the amendment is written.

          I will grant you this, though, this conclusion might not be quite as obvious as I initially made it out to sound. I can definitely understand why the first impression of someone reading it in a vaccum might be that the militia is the subject of both clauses, and people are generally loathe to abandon their first impressions. I don’t think it’s an equally valid interpretation, though, even in a vaccum, as it requires the reader to assume that “the right of the people” means something other than what the plain text says. (Of course, when you DO look at it in context, the fact that “the right of the people” means exactly what it says on the tin becomes even more clear, but that’s beside the point…)

        12. avatar Sam I Am says:

          We must accept that the gun-grabber does not start with historical context, but only modern language and syntax. This is the reason for noting that the intitial orientation of the reader drives the rendering of the sentence. Abraham Lincoln noted, “Whoever molds public sentiment, goes deeper than he who enacts statutes, or pronounces judicial decisions.” In our case “public sentiment” is interchangeable with a foundation of understanding that concludes reasoning in current context, not that of being informed by a study of history.

          One of the tricky characteristics of the Second Amendment, is the reference to militia. This is highlighted by George Mason’s statement, “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few public officials.” I.E. “we the people”. That leads to analyzing the nature of militia, not just its makeup. Here it is that people begin their claim that “militia” is each individual is guaranteed RTKBA, and/or that “militia” made up of “the people” is an organized and “regulated” (as in formed and competent to serve as a quasi-military unit), that is, the police or national guard.

          The division of opinion is immovable in the larger arena; POTG will not be moved, and anti-gun people will not be moved. There are no arguements that will alter either totem. In short, the purpose of my rendering as if a member of the gun-grabber nation was to demonstrate that the beginning viewpoint is that which shapes conclusions about the Second Amendment, and that from each view a rational conclusion (though diametrically opposed) can be reached.

  13. avatar Robert Hutchings says:

    There is no need for government to wastefully spend all that money either. But what are you going to do?

  14. avatar Paul says:

    He’s partly right, at least. I don’t “need” the weapons I have. But, it’s my right to maintain an aresenal just IN CASE I DO NEED THEM!

    1. avatar User1 says:

      Any time someone says you don’t need weapons you should go out and buy another. Someone that isn’t trying to control you won’t ever mention what you need not have.

      When they stop trying to take your liberty you won’t require so many weapons, that is until they start taking steps in that direction again. Some say having that weapon makes sure they won’t even try.

      1. avatar Someone says:

        If I bought a gun every time I have heard someone say that I don’t need one I would be broke in a week.

  15. avatar FB says:

    I dont care what john thinks. His oppinion comes from the heart of corruption.

  16. avatar Texheim says:

    It’s not the Bill of Needs asshole.

    1. avatar Scott says:

      Bingo

  17. avatar RayfromBama says:

    Maybe JP Stevens should move to Venezuela where the peasants are gun-free.

  18. avatar billy-bob says:

    What we “need” is to impeach judges that do not uphold their oaths.

  19. avatar Juice says:

    Maybe we can work up a small test before we even bother with the confirmation process for Supreme Court Justice nominees. Can you read and comprehend the Bill of Rights? Do you understand the scope of the powers of the Supreme Court, and the problems of judicial activism?

    1. avatar billy-bob says:

      They use that approach during confirmation hearings, the problem is the nominees lie.

      1. avatar Someone says:

        And I thought that confirmation hearings were about who did you kiss at some drunken party several decades ago.

  20. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

    This is 100% true except that it ignores the myriad needs we have for guns.

    1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

      Or this:

  21. avatar Mad says:

    America has to be disarmed before the elite can enslave the world better to die standing than on our knees keep your powder dry and fire for effect

    1. avatar WI Patriot says:

      The “whites of their eyes”…

  22. avatar NORDNEG says:

    Go away & shut up Stevens, take Obummer , & Kerry, & Killery with you,,, most high profile figures once out of office fade back into society without the bully pulpit soapbox you & the other loudmouths I mentioned do, Write another book nobody will read or better yet , leave America to the people, not the elites.

  23. avatar Sam I Am says:

    C’mon folks. The idea that our government remains non-tyrannical only because people have guns is so eighteenth century. Our leaders are just not going to turn into Ceaușescu’s Romania.

    Look at Europe. All those nations without a gun culture are not Siberian outposts. The people are happy, and less violent on the whole. Why do gun people insist that without the ability to wage war on government the government would overnight erect hundreds of concentration camps here, when such was not the result in the old western Europe?

    Crime, you say? How can anyone hold diametrically opposed conclusions? First, POTG tout the steep decline in overal crime, while gun ownership rose dramatically. The implication? We are safer than at anytime in the last hundred years. The opposing conclusion? Crime is such that we must carry guns to protect outselves from the infinitessimal risk that we will be attacked. And POTG love to point out how illogical the anti-gunners are. The “message” from gun supporters is muddled. If the message were compelling, the alleged 100 million gun owners would be an unstoppable political force. Yet, the best that can be mustered is a near stand-off between pro and anti gun people.

    Overthrowing tyranny isn’t “selling”; simultaneous high and low risk of crime isn’t “selling”. And, “because it is our right” isn’t selling. Is the goal to maintain stasis at great expense, and an atmosphere of fear of government and crime? Or is the goal to put to bed permanently the arguement over the Second Amendment? Or do we even know if there is a goal?

    1. avatar Brad says:

      The socialists would have us believe that guns cause crime, but dropping violent crime rates with increasing guns in society proves that false. Certainly can’t have causation without even having correlation.

      Meanwhile, our right to choose to protect our families exists independent of wherever crime rates may be trending at the moment.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “The socialists would have us believe that guns cause crime, but dropping violent crime rates with increasing guns in society proves that false. ”

        Not to get into the irony of POTG using correllation to “prove” a point….

        Gun grabbers tell us that with safety improving yearly, we don’t need guns for protection. Whatever the arguement, the opposition will simply change to accommodate the change.

    2. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      You employed hyperbole a bit much here. Very few POTG assert that the loss of firearms rights would result in overnight degradation of other rights. Most also recognize that the chance they will be attack is very low. Risk tolerance is up to the individual though – not you and not a majority of people voting. In other counties (and this one to a vaguely lesser degree) the individual’s rights are indeed subject to infringement at the will of the government and majority of voters. Our government already does many very unethical things even if mass murder of it’s own citizen is not employ as it was in those more tyranical govenments of the 20tth century. I posit that the primary issue here is that government has no right to infringe on our right to defend ourselves – that self defense is fundamental right. Firearms just happen to be the most practical tools for self defense. Disarming someone is, without a doubt, a step toward controlling them more an more easily. I posit that it is a line that once crossed is also a precedence (though not the only one) for further rights infringement. It is similar to withholding taxes in that it makes future resistance to tyranny not only more difficult but more likely to not even be considered. The bottom line is that you have no right to disarm someone who is not aggressing against you and what is unethical for the individual is also unethical for the group or government. Because you figure that that it is less important to voters is irrelevant to the question of should it be tolerated or opposed.

      1. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

        Lots of verbage, both pro and con. Interesting reading for the most part, but my my favorite words and the most pertinent are” we will not comply “!

      2. avatar Sam I Am says:

        I understand your line of thought, but western Europe is disarmed. No one seriously proposes that those people are oppressed, and enslaved. If the theory of taming government through civilian armament were universally supportable, should we not see soviet style gulags throughout western Europe? Why do we insist that without guns, we will lose all our rights? We have guns, and we still don’t have all our rights. Government is not intimidated by an armed populace.

        The point of my long comment was that fighting government tyranny is a losing argument, and we should avoid that line of reasoning when talking to other than POTG.

        1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

          It sounds like you are more pragmatic than I and I am not positing that that is bad. However, I fear that guiding ones actions more heavily with pragmatism than principle makes it more likely to lose ones way. For me principle is more important than immediate or even longer term advantage. To me, things get more confusing the more politics is considered. I guess I’d rather be more certainly ethical and loose a conflict then less certainly ethical and win the conflict. For me the most important conflict between good and evil is within myself. I am willing to let the external “chips’ fall where they may in exchange for a cleaner conscience. I wish I could say I live up to this even this principle but I know that I don’t. I go astray anyway.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “I guess I’d rather be more certainly ethical and loose a conflict then less certainly ethical and win the conflict.”

          Win first, then you can be as ethical as you wish. The idea that winning a life or death struggle by adhering to some code of honor is puffery of the elites. “You’d be just like them…” No. “They” would be losers, and I the victor. Once I am the victor, I can abandon temporary unethical habits/tactics and go back to being ethical. The losers are not such people.

          Here is an ethical, pragmatic exercise for you. Someone announces they intend to kill you. They arm up, and come to your house. Getting out of the car, that person points a gun at you, and stumbles and falls. Do you use that moment to present your firearm, or do you wait until they are upright again? The fallen perp fires a shot at you, and then puts both hands on the ground to gain their feet. Do you shoot the perp to prevent a second attack, or wait until the perp is upright and pointing a gun at you?

          Real world example: During WW2, the Japanese were attempting to reinforce an island garrison under attack by Americans. US aircraft were dispatched to destroy the landing fleet and support ships. After maulinng the reinforcement ships, hundreds of Japanese infantry were in the water, a mile or so off shore. A second wave of American aircraft were dispatched to finish off the survivors in the water. This event actually happened. Ethical? Do you think those pilots and crew who killed survivors in the water were unethical, evil, irredemeable, worthy of disgrace?

        3. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

          There is a big difference between ethical behavior and chivalry. Chivalry goes beyond ethical and into foolishness. I don’t think your scenarios have anything to do with what I was getting at.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “I don’t think your scenarios have anything to do with what I was getting at.”

          Oh, but they do. We are engaged is a nasty civil war over the rights of free persons. War is life or death. Ethics and chivilery are impediments to victory, aspirational concepts to be set aside until victory, when ethics and chivilary can be reasserted as a means to sustain a society. In war, you destroy the enemy, or you lose. You don’t assert good sportsman like conduct, then claim you get the moral victory when your side is annihilted.

          Look at the present…Dimwitocrats refuse to accept the results of the 2016 election; chaos ensued. We are all about being good losers, better luck next time, hands across the isle…all the while losing more of our legacy every year. It may be “unethical”, but if we wish to win this war, we need to shove that “We refuse to accept the results” right down the throats of the rabid leftists.

        5. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

          Also I can’t be absolutely and certainly ethical anymore than you can be absolutely and certainly pragmatic, the fog of war and complexity of the world makes achieving either impossible. I am speaking of general tendencies and strategy.

        6. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “…anymore than you can be absolutely and certainly pragmatic,…”

          Only because I lack the money, tools and political power to do so.

        7. avatar Someone says:

          The government is not intimidated by an armed populace only as long as the armed populace chooses to not use their arms against said government. Lefties think they called our bluff and the situation stays as it is. They know that vast majority of gun owners are law abiding citizens who will try anything and everything before the last possibility of armed uprising. That shouldn’t suggest that an armed uprising is off the table. It’s just not coming until everything else have failed. As long as we see a chance of peaceful solution, we don’t have to kill each other.

          About gun ownership rates and criminality-
          Fact: We have more guns than ever before and at the same time the crime rates dropped. That doesn’t necessarily mean that more guns mean less crime. (Correlation doesn’t equal causation)
          What it means is that more guns definitely does NOT mean more crime. There is no correllation in the first place!

          I like the way you try to shoot holes in pro-gun arguments to make us come up with better ones. We need sparring partner to get ready for the real fight for our rights. But can you propose some better (or any) arguments of your own?
          What will work in your opinion if both practical (defense against crime) and constitutional (defense against government) arguments fall flat?

        8. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “What will work in your opinion if both practical (defense against crime) and constitutional (defense against government) arguments fall flat?”

          Ah yes, the eternal problem. Over the years, I posted a number of ideas, none of which were received uncritically. Rather than use this forum to cover old ground (your question is not trivial), send me an email: [email protected]. We can use up as much time and “ink” as you like.

    3. avatar Ing says:

      Look at Europe. All those nations without a gun culture are not Siberian outposts.

      Except for the giant part of Europe that literally is Siberia… But this is a red herring anyway. There is no reason at all why the US should be more like Europe or be compared to it. We are *different.* We have our own culture here, and it always has included guns…lots of them.

      Why do gun people insist that without the ability to wage war on government the government would overnight erect hundreds of concentration camps here, when such was not the result in the old western Europe?

      Are you forgetting the Nazis and World War 2? Or the entire history of communism in Russia? It wouldn’t necessarily happen here, and certainly not overnight. But it *could* happen. If it can happen in civilized Western Europe, it can happen anywhere. Could a US style gun culture have prevented any of it? Maybe. Maybe not. Let’s hope we never have to find out here on American soil.

      Also, let’s be clear about this: with all the guns in private hands in this country, if gun owning citizens did get together and decide to put their enemies in concentration camps, nobody could stop it. Why has such a thing never happened? Because America’s gun people mostly just want to be left alone.

      How can anyone hold diametrically opposed conclusions?

      Come on now, people do it all the time. It’s human nature.

      Plus, these conclusions are not as opposed as one might think. As low as the odds of falling victim to violence may be, it still happens. Risk isn’t only a matter of probability; it must also consider consequences. The consequences of not being able to defend yourself in that low-odds scenario can be catastrophic — as in permanent and fatal. Therefore, carrying a weapon to defend oneself is a reasonable response to a very real risk.

      None of this is selling, you say.

      You’re wrong about that. This stuff, inconsistencies and unquestioned shibboleths included, sells to a LOT of people. Problem is, there are also a LOT of people whose mindset is very different and to whom this sells not at all…and they’re perfectly willing to harness the virtually invisible violence of government to take away something we love.

      How do we reach those people? Is it even possible? I’m not sure. If we could reach those people, what would we want them to *do*? Other than back off and leave me the hell alone, I don’t know that either.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “How do we reach those people? Is it even possible? I’m not sure. If we could reach those people, what would we want them to *do*? Other than back off and leave me the hell alone,…”

        I said the twin ideas, fending off tyranny and personal safety, are not “selling” to the majority, noting the near even split of pro-gun and anti-gun voters. If the twin ideas were “selling”, the growth in pro-gun voters would be openly visible, increasing every year. If the twin ideas were “selling”, we really wouldn’t need to be discussing any of this.

        And you nailed the dilemma: what can be done?

      2. avatar Someone says:

        Agree with Ing. Except for Siberia being in Europe.

      3. avatar DrDKW says:

        But in 1942, it did happen here, practically overnight, when thousands of Americans were transported from the west coast to prison camps!
        We the people need to remember that.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “But in 1942, it did happen here, practically overnight, when thousands of Americans were transported from the west coast to prison camps!”

          Yes it did, and the roundup was not restricted to Japanese. However….war is not a normal circumstance by any stretch of the imagination. (the treatment of Japanese in Hiwaii was quite different)

          Franco-Prussian war 1870-1871
          WW1 1914-1918
          WW2 1939-1945

          Looking at the above list, note that major war in Eurpoe happened three times in 75yrs. The span of time between 1945 and 2019 is 74yrs. One might say a major European or world war is well overdue. Yet…nothing. And nothing brewing.

          Now look at US history.
          First revolution (first civil war) 1775-1783
          Second revolution (second civil war) 1860-1865

          Again, 75yrs between major warfare on our soil. Two attempts at a sitting government using force to suppress the people; none since (154yrs).

          History does not tell us that a tyrannical government in western Europe or the US is a serious threat to unarmed, or armed, citizens. The idea that an armed public prevents a third attempt in the US at suppressing the people is so remote that it is considered silly by a near 50% of the populace. Western Europe also sees zero threat of a new Hitler or Stalin.

          Point is, repelling tyranny via an armed public is useless as a justification (in this country) for supporting the Second Amendment. “Well, maybe….” Nonsense. One day, the earth will fall into the Sun. The likelihood it will happen in our lifetimes is near zero, but the consequence is catastrophic. What defensive steps are POTG taking to mitigate the risk? So it is that the risk of government suppression of the public is not serious.

          We are at war with an enemy who has a vote, and a viewpoint that cannot take POTG seriously when it comes to “selling” the idea that armed citizens prevent a hostile government from attempting to subdue and enslave the population. We need to find something that can meet the enemy effectively, rather than telling our navels we believe the only fence between tyrannical government and freedom is 100 million gun owners who cannot agree among themselves that the government is a real threat.

        2. avatar Mad says:

          Sam I am you are so decieved Muslims around the world threatening to and murdering people.women and children being sold into sex slavery antifa blm people in our own government wanting Israel destroyed serial killers gang’s drugs we need more guns it’s sad people will listen to this vomit God Guns and Guts gave us this nation and it will take the same to save it

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Sam I am you are so decieved…”

          Deceived about what, in particular?

        4. avatar Mad says:

          Sam I am you are delusional Muslims who are murdering each other and so-called infidels,antifa, black lives matter drug cartels ,women and children sold into sex slavery serial killers gang’s rapists school shooters people in our own government calling for the destruction of Israel the list is growing.what we need are more guns.America has to fall.so the elite can have power over the world when they achieve it hundreds of millions will die people in The world are ruled by emotions instead of logic and common sense.prison if you kill an Eagle but praise when you murder your own
          children we are becoming more depraved God Guns and Guts gave us our nation only the same will preserve it

        5. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Sam I am you are delusional ”

          Delusional about what, specifically?

          You may be misreading (or skimming) my comment, but, with specifics identified, I will be glad to engage in conversation.

    4. avatar frank speak says:

      are other amendments subject to this degree of scrutiny?…just wonderin’….

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “are other amendments subject to this degree of scrutiny?…just wonderin’”….

        Re: First Amendment

        “it’s time we stop,
        hey what’s that sound
        everybody look what’s goin down”

        there are lawyer strikes
        lefty lawyers strike deep
        into your life it they will creep
        it starts when your always afraid
        step out of line the man mob come and take you away”
        (-Buffalo Springfield, with adjustments)

        Hate speech
        Compelled speech

  24. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    J.P., what has need got to do with exercising freedom? Regulate the number of cars one can own next? Or the square footage of a residence? Or maybe the most should pay for their clothing so others don’t feel bad because they can’t dress as nicely? Maybe as my brother said years ago, all we need are jeans and tee shirts.

    1. avatar User1 says:

      In some places you are not allowed to own a certain car, have a certain yard nor paint your house a certain color. You are not allowed to build your home the way you want. You need permission first and you must pay.

  25. avatar jay y says:

    “This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!”
    -ADOLF HITLER

    “Ordinary citizens don’t need guns, as their having guns doesn’t serve the State.” ~ Heinrich Himmler.

    1. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

      Nuff said?

  26. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “John Paul Stevens: ‘There’s No Need for All the Guns We Have in the Country’”

    Oops, too late, oh well, better luck next time…

  27. avatar pg2 says:

    John Paul Who?

  28. avatar M1Lou says:

    Last I checked, the right to keep and bear arms was discussed at length before, during, and after ratification of the Second Amendment. It is extremely clear what was meant by the amendment by those written works, by the author, founders, and other writers of the time. Only a a dishonest fool would read all of the literature, readily available, and think or say it means something completely different.

    One of my favorite quotes on the matter from the time:

    “Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man gainst his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American.”

    Tench Coxe

    1. avatar User1 says:

      No, no, no!

      The militia is now known as the military. Therefore, the military are the only ones that should have guns and the police need to become the military. Thus, the people need to join the military or police if they want to carry a weapon around and use it.

      We love our men and women in uniform. Without them we wouldn’t be safe or free.

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        have you ever been in a threatening situation where they were not available?….it can be an illuminating experience….

  29. avatar Gordon in MO says:

    How about a list of “don’t needs”….

    All those cars
    all those shoes
    all those coats
    all that food
    all those doctors
    all those airplanes
    all that money
    …..

    Hmmmm…..almost looks like a socialist wish list.

    How about at the top of the wish list: all those socialists/communists.

    Be Prepared !

    We should keep in mind, Senator McCarthy was right.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      or in the case of Wayne…all that salary, all that expensive wardrobe and keeping that chick in an apartment across town…all on our dime….just sayin’….

  30. avatar Destro says:

    I would love a world where no weapons are needed at all.

    A world where people are excellent to each other, where there is no crime, no tyrannical governments, and no war. A world where wild animals don’t see us as lunch and meat grows on trees.

    Totally not happening lmao. It’s pure fantasy.

    1. avatar User1 says:

      First person on Mars wins!

      1. avatar RMS1911 says:

        The Martians are not amused.

        1. avatar User1 says:

          There won’t be any left to complain after we spread “disease” that will kill them all. They will disappear on their own. Then we will write in the history books that we never committed any acts of invasion, stealing, occupation and violence. We will eventually call ourselves Martians, as if we are the original population and the rightful owners of Mars. It’s their fault for losing. Once we accomplish our goal we will expand to other planets.

  31. avatar Brewski says:

    There is no need for all the politicians in the country.

    You’re welcome.

    1. avatar User1 says:

      But without politicians we won’t have law enforcement! That will be anarchy. If there is anarchy the strong will take over! We need a strong central government to enforce their laws to keep everyone safe.

  32. avatar Sian says:

    You know, guns help keep people from deciding it’s a good idea to just straight up murder you for your stupid opinions.

  33. avatar User1 says:

    It’s a great place to be if you’re young, smart and run the government. The community will provide for their dear leader.

  34. avatar Justice Robbers says:

    What’s all the fuss about? Slavery is just a tax.

  35. avatar DrDKW says:

    What Mr Stevens actually means is “There’s no need for all the rights we have in the country”!

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “What Mr Stevens actually means is “There’s no need for all the rights we have in the country”!”

      Well….of course. We can’t have too much liberty, it is too dangerous for the average person. All that libertying will just lead to people insisting they be left alone to manage their own lives. We gots a whole lot of that liberty stuff floating around unregulated. Too much of a good thing spoils the broth.

  36. avatar Ing says:

    Well, there’s no need for yet another senile socialist windbag in this country, yet John Paul Stephens is still here…

  37. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    I have plenty of need for my guns.
    What no one needs is a 99 year old has been hack of former Supreme Court judge.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      what he’s really saying is “I don’t like guns and I wish there weren’t so many of them out there”…thankfully, all he can do these days is utter an opinion that counts no more than yours or mine….

  38. avatar Jim Warren says:

    He really has no respect for the Constitution. Good that he retired. Now just go away.

  39. avatar Bubba5 says:

    “You don’t need any guns.” – Black robed man surrounded by men with guns

  40. avatar User1 says:

    Listen, guys! The supreme court will save us from people like this!

  41. avatar Troubled Soul says:

    Foolish man.
    We have many rights that can have disastrous results
    We informed arrested evil people of their right to have an attorney
    They have the right to a trial in front of a judge and a jury of their peers
    Sometimes evil people get off.
    Guess what, you can’t try them again, guess why.
    Judges make really stupid decisions
    People have died because of them.

    What other rights would he like to get rid of to make the country be his idea of a perfect place.

  42. avatar HEGEMON says:

    John Paul Stevens continues to be a talentless oxygen thief. The poster child for judicial term limits.

  43. avatar Hillary C says:

    Imagine a world without abortion!

    LIBERAL HEADS EXPLODE! Their blood-lust can’t allow for it

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      Imagine a world with no gun control laws….and expect a similar reaction….

  44. avatar Ralph says:

    There’s no fool like an old fool.

  45. avatar Chris Morton says:

    So, you want “a world without guns” in which large, strong men with clubs, spears, axes and swords ruled the world? I think we tried that. It was called the “Dark Ages”…

  46. avatar jarret says:

    ‘There’s No Need for All the FREE SPEECH We Have in the Country’ , there fixed.

    You want to open pandora’s box? Opinions must be applied to the entirety of the constitution equally. There are no bastard children here.

    1. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

      Thank you, my sentiments exactly!

  47. avatar Guest says:

    http://SpFling.com – perfect dating site for adults with smart search system to find a sex partner!

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email