We’ve Only Just Be-gunned

From the International Herald Tribune:

WASHINGTON: The Supreme Court on Thursday embraced the long-disputed view that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own a gun for personal use, ruling 5 to 4 that there is a constitutional right to keep a loaded handgun at home for self-defense.

The landmark ruling overturned the District of Columbia ban on handguns, the strictest gun-control law in the country, and appeared certain to usher in a new round of litigation over gun rights throughout the country.

The court rejected the view that the Second Amendment’s “right of the people to keep and bear arms” applied to gun ownership only in connection with service in the “well regulated militia” to which the amendment refers.

Original DVD cover.

Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority opinion, his most important in his 22 years on the court, said that the justices were “aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country” and “take seriously” the arguments in favor of prohibiting handgun ownership.

“But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table,” he said, adding, “It is not the role of this court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.”

Scalia’s opinion was signed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito Jr.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice John Paul Stevens took vigorous issue with Scalia’s assertion that it was the Second Amendment that had enshrined the individual right to own a gun. Rather, it was “today’s law-changing decision” that bestowed the right and created “a dramatic upheaval in the law,” Stevens said in a dissent joined by Justices David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer. Breyer, also speaking for the others, filed a separate dissent.


According to Scalia, the “militia” reference in the first part of the amendment simply “announces the purpose for which the right was codified: to prevent elimination of the militia.” The Constitution’s framers were afraid that the new federal government would disarm the populace, as the British had tried to do, Scalia said.

Well, in that case….

[…] Stevens said the Second Amendment’s structure was notable for its “omission of any statement of purpose related to the right to use firearms for hunting or personal self-defense,” in contrast to the contemporaneous “Declarations of Rights” in Pennsylvania and Vermont that did explicitly protect those uses.

Oh, smack!! Spank ‘im, Justice Stevens!!

President George W. Bush welcomed the decision. “As a longstanding advocate of the rights of gun owners in America,” he said in a statement, “I applaud the Supreme Court’s historic decision today confirming what has always been clear in the Constitution: the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear firearms.”

Yeah right, Chimpy. You can’t even be trusted with sparklers on the 4th of July.

On the campaign trail on Thursday, both major-party presidential candidates expressed support for the decision — more full-throated support from Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, and a more guarded statement of support from Senator Barack Obama, his presumptive Democratic opponent.


Unlike the court’s ruling this month on the rights of the Guantánamo detainees, this decision, District of Columbia v. Heller, No. 07-290, appeared likely to defuse, rather than inflame, the political debate. The Democratic Party platform in 2004 included a plank endorsing the individual-rights view of the Second Amendment.


Filed under 2008 election, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Barack Obama, Chimpy, Clarence Thomas, Constitution, David Souter, Democrats, George W. Bush, Guantanamo, Guns, humor, John McCain, John Paul Stevens, John Roberts, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito, snark, Stephen Breyer, Supreme Court, Wordpress Political Blogs

10 responses to “We’ve Only Just Be-gunned

  1. jlms qkw - jenn

    if i knew how to post pix here, i would post that one of a cartoon banging its head against a doorframe until it bled.

  2. jlms qkw - jenn

    but who is betty lou? wasn’t it a WDC security guy who brought the suit in the first place?

    utah is amok with the easiest concealed carry permit law, and an open carry movement.

  3. i have no idea who betty lou is, but i left her on the cover, because she looked so happy.
    the suit was brought by a guy from the cato institute. his name is robert levy, and he’s a lawyer and a senior fellow at cato. he’s also a member of the federalist society. he doesn’t even live in dc. he lives in naples, floriduhhhh, in a gated community where he doesn’t need a gun to protect himself.

  4. nightowl724

    “But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table,” he said, adding, “It is not the role of this court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.”

    We reserve that role for the first amendment and the fourth and…

    Betty Lou sure is having a fun ride with those justices! nonnie, you made me smile…

  5. jlms qkw - jenn

    blech blech blechity blech. barf barf barfity barf.

    that’s all on the decision, not your illustration of course!

  6. it’s amazing how the conservatives love the $hit out of the constitution when it comes to the 2nd amendment, but they dismiss it as just a piece of paper when it comes to the rest of it. betty lou is only smiling, because she is armed, nightowl. 😉

    jenn, i agree with your assessment of the ruling.

  7. jeb

    I sure hope for Betty Lou’s sake that there is not a can of Coke in that car.

    Scaly and the rest of those con$ervative a-holes don’t have to explain there high principles to all of the victims of gun violence in DC or anywhere else.

  8. jeb,
    a can of coke? i don’t understand.
    i am not hoping for it–i repeat i am not hoping for it–but there will only be a discussion when there is a mass shooting in dc or if someone famous or a member of the family of someone famous is shot in dc with a handgun that would not have been accessible before.

  9. jeb

    Nonnie, you remember Thomas and his confirmation process? The Anita Hill hearings?

    There won’t be any such discussion if/when such a tragedy occurs. We have had numerous such tragedies and Wayne LaPierre jumps out there to quickly point out (with the amen chorus in tow) that it has nothing to do with the accessibility of weapons. It is about bad parenting and irresponsibility.

  10. 💡 d’oh! forgive me, jeb, i am a little under the weather, and my brain is not functioning fully (never mind that it hasn’t functioned fully since 1987 or so).
    there will be discussion if someone famous gets shot in dc. it’s like illness. nobody ever talks about an illness in the press or on capitol hill until a senator or congresscritter comes down with it.