Eleven Years of Ignoring the Heller Decision is More Than Enough

dick heller DC v heller scotus decision

Dick Heller signs an autograph outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, June 26, 2008, after the court ruled that Americans have a constitutional right to keep guns in their homes for self-defense, the justices’ first major pronouncement on gun control in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York gives the Supreme Court its best chance to stop cities, states and lower courts from thumbing their noses at the Second Amendment.

The late Justice Antonin Scalia wrote: “We know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding “interest-balancing” approach. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government—even the Third Branch of Government—the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon.”

This is why the Supreme Court needs to seize the opportunity before it. The lower courts have proven that they are not willing to protect our right to keep and bear arms, just like they did pre-Heller. When Heller was handed down in 2008, it effectively overruled nine different circuits.

The Supreme Court has the chance to reinforce its 11-year-old message to the lower courts: the Second Amendment is not to be weighed against governmental interests. The people have a natural right to keep and bear arms. Courts must consider that right as important as our Founders and Framers did. Until that happens, governments across our republic will continue to ignore our rights, and the lower courts will not stop them.

– Cody J. Wisniewski in It’s Time For The Supreme Court To Make States Stop Ignoring The Second Amendment

comments

  1. avatar Vlad Topless says:

    First! Europa über alles.

    1. avatar Joe says:

      Weichbirne.

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

      “First! Europa über alles.”

      Then you’ll have no problem with silencers being sold over-the-counter with *zero* paperwork…

      Just like in Europe… Right? 😉

      1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

        “Then you’ll have no problem with silencers being sold over-the-counter with *zero* paperwork…”

        No not one,Constitutionally that is what should be in place currently.

      2. avatar Guesty McGuesterson says:

        Dude, come on…this is a forum about guns. Don’t follow the anti-gunners’ practice of made-up terminology for sowing confusion and disinformation.

        There are no “silencers”. They’re suppressors, which serve to only attenuate the muzzle report, not eliminate it.

        1. avatar EWTHeckman says:

          The term used in the NFA is “silencer”, therefore that is the correct legal term even though suppressor is actually a more accurate description.

        2. avatar Anymouse says:

          The inventor, Hiram Percy Maxim, called them silencers. Can’t get a more direct source than that.

  2. avatar Someone says:

    Are you lost, son?

  3. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    What’s to stop the lower courts from ignoring another SCOTUS decision? They know damn well their letting blatant violations of the Constitution go unchecked. Another decision will knock down this one law, all the other violations of our constitutional rights will still exist. It’s the judges that need to go.

    1. avatar WI Patriot says:

      Nothing, they do it all the time, or find some obscure verbiage that they think undermines the decision…the courts are tied up with BS like that…

    2. avatar DJ says:

      Just look to illegal immigration and marijuana. States, cities and courts do as they please.

      Progressive Stalinist Democrats are ungovernable.

      Economists Martin Armstrong cycles indicate civil war 2024/2024. We have entered “The Fourth Turning” (Strauss and Howe).

      Registration, Confiscation, Genocide the Marxist history of the Twentieth Century. Genocide always follows Confiscation.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “Genocide always follows Confiscation.”

        Are we just sitting around, eating popcorn and waiting for the show to start? There are 193 member states of the UN. The vast majority have disarmed populations. Shouldn’t we have seen the world population drop precipitously already?

        1. avatar GunnyGene says:

          The rate of population growth has been slowing for several decades, and is projected to level off and begin falling around 2050-2070. Genocide has very little impact on global population growth or decline, since it is limited in scope by geography. The combination of other factors – widespread plagues, male and female fertility (which has been dropping lately), insufficient food, and other factors have a much higher cumulative effect.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Genocide has very little impact on global population growth or decline, since it is limited in scope by geography. ”

          Precisely. If being disarmed by government leads immediately and directly to genocide, we would not be looking at a world population of ~7billion.

          We need to drop fear of genocide as a justification for remaining armed.

        3. avatar Huntmaster says:

          Well that really depends on your vantage point. Why don’t you go ask the Tutsi’s in Rwanda. Their numbers over a million the majority of the actual killing happened within a time frame measured in weeks.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Why don’t you go ask the Tutsi’s in Rwanda.”

          That episode is not proof that genocide always follows gun confiscation. The overwhelming majority of governments with strict gun controls (as opposed to effective gun controls), and disarmed citizens are not slaughtering their populations wholesale, nor constantly.

          Does genocide happen in unarmed populations? Yes. Is it the norm? No. Possibility of genocide is not an effective argument supporting armed citizens. We lose, and fulfill the stereotype the anti-gun mob pushes.

        5. avatar Huntmaster says:

          Well that really depends on your vantage point. Why don’t you go ask the Tutsi’s in Rwanda. Their numbers are down over a million. The majority of the actual killing happened within a time frame measured in weeks.
          Bring back the edit!

        6. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

          I did my part in a couple of third world crap holes but I’m only one guy and I’m getting a little old for it.

        7. avatar John in Ohio says:

          “We need to drop fear of genocide as a justification for remaining armed.”

          That is good enough justification for remaining armed to me. It sucks when you are the one kneeling at the ditches.

        8. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “That is good enough justification for remaining armed to me.”

          Not seeing rampant, wide-spread, unending genocide in Europe. Are you?

          Genocide as an immediate and direct result of disarming the public is relatively rare (but deadly). I am an absolutist about guns (even convicted felons) and the second amendment, but not about to sound like a blithering idiot telling anti-gunners (and the undecided unicorns) that within 24hrs of total gun confiscation, the government will begin to slaughter its critics.

        9. avatar Brian says:

          Genocide doesn’t always follow disarmament, but disarmament is always an aspect of genocide.

        10. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Genocide doesn’t always follow disarmament, but disarmament is always an aspect of genocide.”

          Which nations in Europe have conducted genocide against unarmed citizens since 1945? The claim is shrill, desperate, tinny, overdone. Fact is, genocide is a possible, but rare outcome. The people proclaiming they have guns because of possible genocide read as if they believe genocide is inescapable, imminent, and held back only because of those shouting about genocide. If that’s all we gots as justification for originalist interpretation of the second amendment, we might as well just stick our heads in a wastepaper basket.

      2. Genocide always follows Confiscation.

        You have it backwards.
        Confiscation always precedes subjugation or genocide.

      3. avatar Ing says:

        It’s actually the other way around: Confiscation always precedes genocide.

        Genocide doesn’t necessarily follow, but government confiscation of personal weapons is never a good sign.

    3. avatar Fudds says:

      Yeah, I’m incredulous of this strict scrutiny. If the barakah had not deserted us, and rightly so, it would be one thing. But best case it’s hoping for a test made up 80 years ago by the courts to top 140 years of hostility toward the 2A by the same courts… hmmm. And will take 10 years and a lot of money to see if it has teeth.

  4. avatar Biatec says:

    I agree with Gov. William J le. Judges need to be disbarred over this stuff. Most people are anti constitution though is the problem. There are so many issues people want solved and they all would ignore the Constitution to fix those.

    In doing so we now have privacy rights, property rights, bearing arms and more all violated every day. Nothing will change until we teach people what rights are and the difference between positive and negative rights.

    Abortion, gay marriage, marijuana legalization, immigration, repealing regulation, and shrinking government even improving the economy are all issue that will seem small if we don’t elect people who actually abide by and respect the restraints on government the constitution was intended for.

    All politics should be on the making politicians abide the constitution again. The executive powers grew under Trump. He has brought us closer to a socialist nightmare.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      ‘Most people are anti constitution though is the problem.’

      Probably the greatest political issue of our time is actually school choice. As bad as the universities are, at least you get to choose which one you attend. [Imagine the uproar if Bernie & Co. got their way and passed free college but the catch was that you had no choice but to attend the public university closest to your residence (unless there’s not enough black and/or Hispanic people in your area in which case some would have to be bussed in).] The K-12 system has devolved into a giant welfare scam to suck money out of taxpayers’ pockets without actually providing a benefit to society. If people have a choice to send their kids to a charter school and actually get an education then the money dries up and the public schools either have to start educating kids or they’ll go extinct.

      1. avatar Biatec says:

        I agree completely. I just think constitutionalists in office is the only solution to that. Every election the power of the government expands.

        Republicans can repeal stuff but the ways they ignore the constitution makes it easier to bring things back more powerful and worse than before. The school system definitely is one of the most horrible things right now.

        School choice is good but as long as things are the way they are these things will inevitably get worse.

        We need a political movement around the constitution or I think any gains we get towards individualism, freedom and being left alone will be for the short term and will be lost over time due to expanding powers to change things. I didn’t sleep last night so forgive me if I say anything that doesn’t make sense. lol trying to focus.

        1. avatar Pg2 says:

          This. Yes, every election the central government grows in size and power…and we keep pretending the 2 parties represent the voters.

        2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          As I recall there was a grass roots political movement centered around the Constitution about a decade ago called the ‘Tea Party’.

          There is hope. Firearms is one area where we’re making progress in shrinking government. 15 states now have constitutional carry and ‘may issue’ is down to a handful of the most left wing states.

        3. avatar Biatec says:

          Yep. I hope so. 🙂

        4. avatar GS650G says:

          Half the states banned abortion in some form until they were ordered not to. Imagine if that decision was ignored for 10 years. Considering the questionable ground it was decided on that one might get pulled. Hence the fear for RBG health. As much as guns are hated abortion trumps it all. Hell a lot of liberals own a lot of guns but abortion is their sacred cow.

        5. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

          The Gov. and you nailed it.

  5. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Keeps coming back to the same, single issue: enforcement power. What is the penalty for lower court judges ignoring the SC? Where is the enforcement tool? When has the enforcement been used, how often, and how effectively? Why not for Heller-Mac?

    1. avatar Kyle says:

      If I’m not mistaken, the enforcement tool is the executive branch. Trump needs to send Barr to various states and arrest people for civil rights violations. He is “the teeth” to the supreme court’s laws.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “…the enforcement tool is the executive branch.”

        Andrew Jackson’s statement regarding a ruling by Chief Justice Marshall seems to indicate there is no enforcement mechanism for the SC. However….

        The US Marshal Service was created in the Executive Branch precisely to enforce federal court rulings. Since the SC has yet to ever use Marshals to enforce SC rulings, the tool is useless, degraded to curious dust. Hence, no effective enforcement tool for the SC. (It would be fun to watch the SC try to use Marshals to enforce a ruling a president refuses to follow. We are not so polite as in Jackson’s time)

      2. avatar TommyJay says:

        But Jackson was on the opposite side of the SC decision. If he represents the enforcement mechanism, and he refuses, then yes the SC is toothless.

        If Trump sides with a SC decision supporting the 2A, then conceivably he could send Marshalls or something similar.

        It’s interesting that something like a federal anti-kidnapping law contains proscribed penalties. Yet, none of the Constitutional prohibitions do, even though it is supposedly the supreme law of the land.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “If Trump sides with a SC decision supporting the 2A, then conceivably he could send Marshalls or something similar.”

          Would think that like most enforcement matters, someone must file suit to have the order/judgment/ruling enforced, and the enforcement order direct marshals to take action. But then, marshals cannot force lower court justices to file decisions IAW the SC decision. Maybe the lower court judges could be arrested, but as first offenders likely given suspended sentence, or deferred adjudication.

    2. avatar Fudds McK says:

      To me it seems like deprivation of rights under color of law. Or misconduct, racketeering or treason. Criminal thing anyway. But pretty much everyone’s favorite justice here, Scalia, believed rex non potest poccare. Common view of course, but he was extreme and I suspect a lot of people are deluding themselves about it.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Suing federal judges for deprivation of civil rights?

        Would by a skybox seat to that proceeding.

  6. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    “Independent of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. In so doing, the Supreme Court looked to our nation’s history and founding, taking a deep dive into founding-era documents to examine how the Founders and Framers understood and treated the right to keep and bear arms.”

    The founders words are clear to all but empty headed Leftist’s,the founders thought enough of the 2 nd. that they added to admonition “Shall Not Be InEffingfringed”

    “The late Justice Antonin Scalia wrote: “We know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding “interest-balancing” approach. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government—even the Third Branch of Government”

    I have news for a long list of would be petty tyrants who try to force civilian disarmament down the throats of “We The People” by the use of “interest-balancing”,the government has ZERO rights”We The People” retain the rights. The Bill Of Rights are a list of the things government is strictly forbidden to violate.

    My fervent hope is the court hears the case and returns the 2 nd. to it’s rightful place in the BOR,enough so the the eyeballs bulge out of the empty headed Marxist Left.

    1. avatar Ed Schrade says:

      Judges that constantly put forth unconstitutional rulings ( activist judges ) nedd to be removed as constitutional law permits. The libs ( socialists ) have people brain washed that judges are in their jobs for life. This may be the norm but they are removable for bad behavior. Our founding fathers would never have permitted such a mess to come about.

  7. avatar Huntmaster says:

    Government is an artificial construct. It must not be allowed to deny the natural God given rights of man including the basic right, one that even animals are accorded. The right to defend ones self.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “It must not be allowed to deny the natural God given rights of man including the basic right, one that even animals are accorded. The right to defend ones self.”

      Responding as a government agent, I would say your right to self-defense is unimpaired; use any weapon you like that is approved by governing authorities.

      Right to self-defense is a poor justification for owning a gun. Such a statement is a “needs-based” proposition. The second amendment cannot rest on “need” (although it does, but that’s for a different discussion), but on an inviolable right that is specifically identified in the BOR. “Compelling government interest” limitations are no where a delegated power of the politburo.

      1. All persons have the right to life, and the right to liberty. It is the former that is the basis for self-defense; it is the latter that is the basis for each one of us to choose the most effective tool for that self-defense.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “…it is the latter that is the basis for each one of us to choose the most effective tool for that self-defense.”

          You agree, then. You have the right to self-defense weapons permitted by government as a means of securing peace, safety and prosperity for the majority of the public. “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” We’re all in sync, here. Peace, joy and love will ensue.

        2. No. I have the right to choose my self-defense weapons. I do not consent to the government limiting that choice. As a practical matter, I have to live with such limitations but do not agree that they are legitimate.

  8. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    The Heller decision was not pro gun because it stated the Courts did have the right to ban guns as long as they left a few crumbs to the out house gang for propaganda purposes. Which could end up being that only BB guns are allowed with their velocity regulated to not more than 300 fps. Read the Heller Decision.

    READ THIS CAREFULLY AND THEN TRY AND TELL ME THE HELLER DECISION WAS PRO GUN. THE DECISION WAS A WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING. YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS UNDER THE SECOND AMENDMENT NOW.

    When the Supreme Court handed down the Heller decision affirming the Second Amendment as an individual right that trumps any and all local or state laws, I called it a Pyrrhic victory. The problem: Justice Antonin Scalia’s declaration that, “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited”

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Scalia was a bit naive thinking courts and legislatures would be reasonable in regulating guns and respect the right. They used one paragraph of his 157 page decision to justify more laws and bans.
      Don’t give them any wiggle room next time. Keep it short and leave the fluff out.

      1. avatar GS650G says:

        A better position would be to tell them any restrictions need to be put before the courts and keep legislatures out of it. We’d still get loony rulings but it would be harder and it could be appealed and tied up for years.
        Now we get laws, they take effect now, someone has to run afoul of the law to get standing, and it takes years to get it rules illegal and unconstitutional.
        This is the game they play and they are very successful at it.

    2. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      Very true,Scalia had many faults when it came to the 2 nd. .

    3. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      ‘Dicta’

      Legal writing. In United States legal terminology, a dictum is a statement of opinion considered authoritative (although not binding), given the recognized authoritativeness of the person who pronounced it.

      https://www.heritage.org/courts/report/long-standing-and-presumptively-lawful-hellers-dicta-vs-history-and-dicta

  9. avatar GS650G says:

    States use armed men to enforce their gun laws. There is irony in that.

  10. avatar Stateisevil says:

    “You will be home before the leaves have fallen from the trees”.

  11. avatar Richard Steven Hack says:

    Gun confiscation is unenforceable in this country due to sheer mass of firearms. It’s literally impossible to confiscate 400 million firearms from 80-100 million people. And any attempt to do so would result in Civil War 2.0.

    And even without that, the instant any significant fraction of those guns disappear from private hands, a massive new smuggling operation would arise as every gun manufacturer and reseller in the world realizes that the US is a massive profit generator ready to happen.

    Not to mention that there would be enough people ticked off at whichever political party was behind it to cause them to be voted out in the next election – even if a new political party has to be formed to do it.

    At worst it would be a minor inconvenience for some gun owners and buyers and would be over within five or ten years.

    So it doesn’t matter what the courts decide.

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