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September 19, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Scalia’s arguments rebut editorial

Another view?

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After reading the recent Heard Elsewhere column in the Sun, which featured The New York Times editorial “Personal guns and the Second Amendment,” I have a few questions:

What new law will prevent another Newtown?

The editorial complains that Justice Antonin Scalia found a “controversial right” to possess a gun in our Constitution.

As controversial as the “right” to an abortion found by a liberal Supreme Court?

Scalia has said if the Constitution is silent on a subject, the Supreme Court should be silent also and should defer to the Tenth Amendment.

Where is abortion even mentioned in our Constitution?

During oral arguments in the Heller case, Scalia asked: If the Second Amendment pertains only to the militia as some would say, why does the Constitution say “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” and not the “right of the militia ...”?

Scalia also asked whether the people in the Second Amendment were the same people in the First and Fourth Amendments. What say you?

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  1. A Constitution written in the 1700's could not possibly address many issues that exist in the 21st century. The Supreme Court will weigh in on many of those issues. The Constitution provides limited guidance on the gun issues of today and no guidance on abortion. therefore, our society will have to grapple with these issues with guidance from the court.

    I will just remind everyone, no matter what your views are on abortion, gun control and a host of other matters, that in our system of government...ELECTIONS DO MATTER...

    Michael

  2. Antonin Scalia as most conservatives, especially judges, believes in a Constitutional interpretation called "originalism" which is synonymous with "strict constructionism." However, and this is important and oft overlooked, he has said and written that the Second Amendment needs to be reevaluated with repsect to its meaning and interpretation for the right "to bear arms." He has been the first to say the Second Amendment does not impute absolute rights and powers to people to carry all current weapons.

    CarmineD

  3. "Scalia asked: If the Second Amendment pertains only to the militia as some would say, why does the Constitution say "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"

    Answer: Because, at that time, it was the practice for militia members to provide their own personal arms and the state to provide only shot and gunpowder when the militia was activated.

  4. "In 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court issued two landmark decisions officially establishing this interpretation. In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home."

    CarmineD

  5. "As controversial as the "right" to an abortion found by a liberal Supreme Court?"

    Gardner -- you seem to not understand what those rights are. The pro-abortion decisions are based on privacy -- the liberty of choice in certain matters against being dictated to by government -- not really abortion itself.

    "A Constitution written in the 1700's could not possibly address many issues that exist in the 21st century."

    wtplv -- yes it could, and does, with necessary amendments. Written Constitutions are what creates and limits governments, not people. Haven't you noticed how legislatures at every level, including our municipalities, are in overdrive cranking out new laws and ordinances, mostly eroding our freedoms to the point of extinction? That's what I mean by living in a police state.

    "Scalia is emblematic of what is wrong with America."

    Jeff -- why? He's just one vote in nine.

    "...the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table." District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. (slip opinion at 64) (2008)

  6. If gun bans don't work how do gun enthusiasts explain the success of the ban on automatic weapons? When did the last mass slaughter with such weapons occur? St. Valentines Day?

  7. "Scalia enables, in many 5-4 decisions the "police state" you dislike."

    Jeff -- you just proved my point

    "The people should not be deceived ... a major, undemocratic restructuring of our national institutions and mores is constantly in progress." -- Justice Scalia dissenting in Board of County Commissioners, Wabaunsee County, Kansas v. Umbehr, 518 U.S. 668, 709-10 (1996)

  8. "I really don't recall you having a point, let alone proving one."

    Jeff -- opinions vary, even those denying the obvious. I'm finished with you here.

    "Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion." -- Democritus (460-370 B.C.E.)

  9. The rights to equal protection under the law and the right to pursue happiness mean that government cannot tell individuals what to do. Government does NOT need to finance it but government shall not interfere. The right to keep and bear arms does not mean that arms includes but not limited to any and every deadly devise that can be designed and manufactured. A one-shot musket that is not concealable fills the bill. Larger hand guns might be OK. Small and/or rapid fire CAN be outlawed.

  10. "The right to keep and bear arms does not mean that arms includes but not limited to any and every deadly devise that can be designed and manufactured. A one-shot musket that is not concealable fills the bill. Larger hand guns might be OK. Small and/or rapid fire CAN be outlawed."

    Roslenda -- your source?

    "We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force." - Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

  11. KillerB quotes a crank and insane person, Ayn Rand, to support it's argument.