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Vocapedia > USA > U.S. Constitution / Gun violence

 

Second Amendment    1791

 

"the right of the people to keep and bear arms"

 

 

 

 

 

Why Is the Second Amendment So Cryptic? | NYT        3 April 2018

 

Adam Liptak,

who covers the Supreme Court for The New York Times,

explains what he calls “the most cryptic part of the United States Constitution.”

 

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39bnqI-p0zo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signe Wilkinson        GoComics        June 23, 2016

http://www.gocomics.com/signewilkinson/2016/06/23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lisa Benson        GoComics        June 11, 2016

http://www.gocomics.com/lisabenson/2016/06/11

 

Related

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/10/us/second-amendment-concealed-carry.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christopher Weyant

 Original Intent

The Hill

Cagle

11 January 2013

http://www.politicalcartoons.com/cartoon/853234dc-dfc0-4329-83e9-074cf7335a3b.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Singer

Amend the Second Amendment

Cagle

31 January 2013

 

Andy Singer draws No Exit,

a self-syndicated cartoon that appears

in dozens of newspapers, books and magazines

in the U.S. and abroad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Constitution for the United States of America > Bill of Rights

Article the fourth [Amendment II] / Second amendment        1789-1791

 

"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"

 

http://memory.loc.gov/const/bor.html

http://memory.loc.gov/const/constquery.html

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

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment02/

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights.html

Constitution of the United States of America > full text

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/24/
opinion/second-amendment-slavery-james-madison.html

 

https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=39bnqI-p0zo - NYT - 3 April 2018

 

https://www.npr.org/2018/03/01/
589397317/repeal-the-second-amendment-thats-not-so-simple-here-s-what-it-would-take

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/28/
opinion/wayne-lapierres-unconstitutionalism.html

 

https://www.npr.org/2018/02/22/
587799539/at-cnn-town-hall-sen-marco-rubio-declines-to-say-he-wont-take-nra-money

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/02/20/
587330832/supreme-court-wont-hear-challenge-to-california-s-gun-laws

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/16/
opinion/repeat-repeal-second-amendment.html

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/20/
style/dana-loesch-national-rifle-association.html

 

 

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/
opinion/guns-second-amendment-nra.html

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/26/us/
politics/supreme-court-guns-public-california.html

 

 

 

 

http://www.npr.org/2016/09/16/
494328717/trumps-second-amendment-rhetoric-again-veers-into-threatening-territory

 

http://www.npr.org/2016/08/10/
489476187/trump-s-second-amendment-comment-fit-a-pattern-of-ambiguous-speech

 

http://www.gocomics.com/chanlowe/2016/07/11

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/10/us/
second-amendment-concealed-carry.html

 

www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/06/09/
481451209/federal-appeals-court-says-there-is-no-right-to-carry-concealed-weapons-in-publi

 

http://www.npr.org/2016/05/20/
478864228/i-will-never-let-you-down-trump-tells-national-rifle-association

 

http://www.npr.org/2016/03/21/
471316349/supreme-court-suggests-stun-guns-are-protected-by-second-amendment

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/24/
opinion/effective-firearms-regulation-is-constitutional.html

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/10/06/
ben-carson-says-he-would-have-been-more-aggressive-against-oregon-gunman/

 

 

 

 

http://www.npr.org/2014/06/10/
320575201/second-amendment-s-only-sentence-generates-recurrent-debate

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/27/
opinion/nocera-right-to-bear-arms-means-this.html

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/
the-five-extra-words-that-can-fix-the-second-amendment/2014/04/11/
f8a19578-b8fa-11e3-96ae-f2c36d2b1245_story.html

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/26/
opinion/end-the-nsa-dragnet-now.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/05/
opinion/rewrite-the-second-amendment.html

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/18/
opinion/the-gun-challenge-second-amendment.html

 

http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/20/
the-shooting-in-aurora/

 

 

 

 

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/01/
gun-nuts-in-a-rut/

 

 

 

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/
2008/06/26/AR2008062600615.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justices Reject D.C. Ban

On Handgun Ownership        26 June 2008

 

The Supreme Court strikes down

the District of Columbia's

ban on handgun possession

and decides for the first time

in the nation's history

that the Second Amendment

guarantees an individual's right

to own a gun for self-defense.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/26/
AR2008062600615.html

 

 

 

 

repeal the Second Amendment

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/27/
opinion/john-paul-stevens-repeal-second-amendment.html

https://www.npr.org/2018/03/01/
589397317/repeal-the-second-amendment-thats-not-so-simple-here-s-what-it-would-take

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/16/
opinion/repeat-repeal-second-amendment.html

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/
opinion/guns-second-amendment-nra.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


John Paul Stevens:

Repeal the Second Amendment

 

March 27, 2018

The New York Times

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

By John Paul Stevens

 

Rarely in my lifetime have I seen the type of civic engagement schoolchildren and their supporters demonstrated in Washington and other major cities throughout the country this past Saturday. These demonstrations demand our respect. They reveal the broad public support for legislation to minimize the risk of mass killings of schoolchildren and others in our society.

That support is a clear sign to lawmakers to enact legislation prohibiting civilian ownership of semiautomatic weapons, increasing the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 years old, and establishing more comprehensive background checks on all purchasers of firearms. But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.

Concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separate states led to the adoption of that amendment, which provides that “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.” Today that concern is a relic of the 18th century.

For over 200 years after the adoption of the Second Amendment, it was uniformly understood as not placing any limit on either federal or state authority to enact gun control legislation. In 1939 the Supreme Court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a “well regulated militia.”

During the years when Warren Burger was our chief justice, from 1969 to 1986, no judge, federal or state, as far as I am aware, expressed any doubt as to the limited coverage of that amendment. When organizations like the National Rifle Association disagreed with that position and began their campaign claiming that federal regulation of firearms curtailed Second Amendment rights, Chief Justice Burger publicly characterized the N.R.A. as perpetrating “one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

In 2008, the Supreme Court overturned Chief Justice Burger’s and others’ long-settled understanding of the Second Amendment’s limited reach by ruling, in District of Columbia v. Heller, that there was an individual right to bear arms. I was among the four dissenters.

That decision — which I remain convinced was wrong and certainly was debatable — has provided the N.R.A. with a propaganda weapon of immense power. Overturning that decision via a constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple and would do more to weaken the N.R.A.’s ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option.

That simple but dramatic action would move Saturday’s marchers closer to their objective than any other possible reform. It would eliminate the only legal rule that protects sellers of firearms in the United States — unlike every other market in the world. It would make our schoolchildren safer than they have been since 2008 and honor the memories of the many, indeed far too many, victims of recent gun violence.

EDITORS’ PICKS

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Justin Peck Is Making Ballet That Speaks to Our Everyday Lives

Flow of Refugees to U.S. Has Slowed to Nearly a Halt
Correction: March 27, 2018
An earlier version of a picture caption with this article misidentified the 18th-century firearm depicted. It is a musket, not a rifle.
John Paul Stevens is a retired associate justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTopinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter.

A version of this article appears in print on March 28, 2018,
on Page A23 of the New York edition with the headline:
Repeal the Second Amendment.

John Paul Stevens: Repeal the Second Amendment,
NYT,
March 27, 2018,
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/27/
opinion/john-paul-stevens-repeal-second-amendment.html

 

 

 

 

 

Repeal the Second Amendment

 

OCT. 5, 2017

The New York Times

Opinion | Op-Ed Columnist

Bret Stephens

 

I have never understood the conservative fetish for the Second Amendment.

From a law-and-order standpoint, more guns means more murder. “States with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides,” noted one exhaustive 2013 study in the American Journal of Public Health.

From a personal-safety standpoint, more guns means less safety. The F.B.I. counted a total of 268 “justifiable homicides” by private citizens involving firearms in 2015; that is, felons killed in the course of committing a felony. Yet that same year, there were 489 “unintentional firearms deaths” in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Between 77 and 141 of those killed were children.

From a national-security standpoint, the Amendment’s suggestion that a “well-regulated militia” is “necessary to the security of a free State,” is quaint. The Minutemen that will deter Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un are based in missile silos in Minot, N.D., not farmhouses in Lexington, Mass.

From a personal liberty standpoint, the idea that an armed citizenry is the ultimate check on the ambitions and encroachments of government power is curious. The Whiskey Rebellion of the 1790s, the New York draft riots of 1863, the coal miners’ rebellion of 1921, the Brink’s robbery of 1981 — does any serious conservative think of these as great moments in Second Amendment activism?

And now we have the relatively new and now ubiquitous “active shooter” phenomenon, something that remains extremely rare in the rest of the world. Conservatives often say that the right response to these horrors is to do more on the mental-health front. Yet by all accounts Stephen Paddock would not have raised an eyebrow with a mental-health professional before he murdered 58 people in Las Vegas last week.

What might have raised a red flag? I’m not the first pundit to point out that if a “Mohammad Paddock” had purchased dozens of firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition and then checked himself into a suite at the Mandalay Bay with direct views to a nearby music festival, somebody at the local F.B.I. field office would have noticed.

Given all of this, why do liberals keep losing the gun control debate?

Maybe it’s because they argue their case badly and — let’s face it — in bad faith. Democratic politicians routinely profess their fidelity to the Second Amendment — or rather, “a nuanced reading” of it — with all the conviction of Barack Obama’s support for traditional marriage, circa 2008. People recognize lip service for what it is.

Then there are the endless liberal errors of fact. There is no “gun-show loophole” per se; it’s a private-sale loophole, in other words the right to sell your own stuff. The civilian AR-15 is not a true “assault rifle,” and banning such rifles would have little effect on the overall murder rate, since most homicides are committed with handguns. It’s not true that 40 percent of gun owners buy without a background check; the real number is closer to one-fifth.

The National Rifle Association does not have Republican “balls in a money clip,” as Jimmy Kimmel put it the other night. The N.R.A. has donated a paltry $3,533,294 to all current members of Congress since 1998, according to The Washington Post, equivalent to about three months of Kimmel’s salary. The N.R.A. doesn’t need to buy influence: It’s powerful because it’s popular.

Nor will it do to follow the “Australian model” of a gun buyback program, which has shown poor results in the United States and makes little sense in a country awash with hundreds of millions of weapons. Keeping guns out of the hands of mentally ill people is a sensible goal, but due process is still owed to the potentially insane. Background checks for private gun sales are another fine idea, though its effects on homicides will be negligible: guns recovered by police are rarely in the hands of their legal owners, a 2016 study found.

In fact, the more closely one looks at what passes for “common sense” gun laws, the more feckless they appear. Americans who claim to be outraged by gun crimes should want to do something more than tinker at the margins of a legal regime that most of the developed world rightly considers nuts. They should want to change it fundamentally and permanently.

There is only one way to do this: Repeal the Second Amendment.

Repealing the Amendment may seem like political Mission Impossible today, but in the era of same-sex marriage it’s worth recalling that most great causes begin as improbable ones. Gun ownership should never be outlawed, just as it isn’t outlawed in Britain or Australia. But it doesn’t need a blanket Constitutional protection, either. The 46,445 murder victims killed by gunfire in the United States between 2012 and 2016 didn’t need to perish so that gun enthusiasts can go on fantasizing that “Red Dawn” is the fate that soon awaits us.

Donald Trump will likely get one more Supreme Court nomination, or two or three, before he leaves office, guaranteeing a pro-gun court for another generation. Expansive interpretations of the right to bear arms will be the law of the land — until the “right” itself ceases to be.

Some conservatives will insist that the Second Amendment is fundamental to the structure of American liberty. They will cite James Madison, who noted in the Federalist Papers that in Europe “the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” America was supposed to be different, and better.

I wonder what Madison would have to say about that today, when more than twice as many Americans perished last year at the hands of their fellows as died in battle during the entire Revolutionary War. My guess: Take the guns—or at least the presumptive right to them—away. The true foundation of American exceptionalism should be our capacity for moral and constitutional renewal, not our instinct for self-destruction.

Repeal the Second Amendment,
NYT,
0CT. 5, 2017,
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/
opinion/guns-second-amendment-nra.html

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Guns

and the Second Amendment

 

December 17, 2012

The New York Times

 

When the Supreme Court struck down a ban on handguns by the District of Columbia in 2008, ruling that there is a constitutional right to keep a loaded handgun at home for self-defense, the decision was enormously controversial in the legal world. But the court’s conclusion has generally been accepted in the real world because the ruling was in tune with popular opinion — favoring Americans’ rights to own guns but also control of gun ownership.

The text of the Second Amendment creates no right to private possession of guns, but Justice Antonin Scalia found one in legal history for himself and the other four conservatives. He said the right is not outmoded even “in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem.”

It is not just liberals who have lambasted the ruling, but some prominent conservatives like Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The majority, he wrote, “read an ambiguous constitutional provision as creating a substantive right that the Court had never acknowledged in the more than two hundred years since the amendment’s enactment. The majority then used that same right to strike down a law passed by elected officials acting, rightly or wrongly, to preserve the safety of the citizenry.” He said the court undermined “conservative jurisprudence.”

In the real world, however, criticism has abated in part because the majority opinion was strikingly respectful of commonplace gun regulations. “Like most rights,” Justice Scalia said, “the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.”

And: “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms” —“prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons.’ ”

Justice Scalia does not say how federal courts should evaluate such regulations and the Supreme Court may need to return to this issue soon, to resolve a substantial disagreement that has arisen in federal appeals courts.

Does the court’s 4-year-old ruling imply “a right to carry a loaded gun outside the home”? That is what the Seventh Circuit appellate court concluded last week in striking down an Illinois law that prohibited most people from carrying a loaded weapon in public.

Or does the Supreme Court’s ruling on handguns support the view that public interest in safety outweighs an individual’s interest in self-defense because gun rights are more limited outside the home? That is what the Second Circuit found last month in upholding a New York State law limiting handgun possession in public to people who can show a threat to their own safety.

Where “gun violence is a serious problem,” as Justice Scalia said it is in the United States, the courts must be very cautious about extending the individual right to own a gun. The justice’s opinion made that clear.


Read related editorials on gun control:

rethinking guns and legislation abroad.

Personal Guns and the Second Amendment,
NYT,
17.12.2012,
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/18/
opinion/the-gun-challenge-second-amendment.html

 

 

 

 

 

The Human Cost

of the Second Amendment
 

September 26, 2012

8:30 pm

The New York Times

Opinionator -

A Gathering of Opinion From Around the Web

By THERESA BROWN

 

Wisconsin, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Columbine. We all know these place names and what happened there. By the time this column appears, there may well be a new locale to add to the list. Such is the state of enabled and murderous mayhem in the United States.

With the hope of presenting the issue of guns in America in a novel way, I'm going to look at it from an unusual vantage point: the eyes of a nurse. By that I mean looking at guns in America in terms of the suffering they cause, because to really understand the human cost of guns in the United States we need to focus on gun-related pain and death.

Every day 80 Americans die from gunshots and an additional 120 are wounded, according to a 2006 article in The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Those 80 Americans left their homes in the morning and went to work, or to school, or to a movie, or for a walk in their own neighborhood, and never returned. Whether they were dead on arrival or died later on in the hospital, 80 people's normal day ended on a slab in the morgue, and there's nothing any of us can do to get those people back.

In a way that few others do, I became aware early on that nurses deal with death on a daily basis. The first unretouched dead bodies I ever saw were the two cadavers we studied in anatomy lab. One man, one woman, both donated their bodies for dissection, and I learned amazing things from them: the sponginess of lung tissue, the surprising lightness of a human heart, the fabulous intricacy of veins, arteries, tendons and nerves that keep all of us moving and alive.

I also learned something I thought I already knew: death is scary. I expected my focus in the lab to be on acquiring knowledge, and it was, but my feelings about these cadavers intruded also. I had nightmares. The sound of bones being sawed and snapped was excruciating the day our teaching assistant broke the ribs of one of them to extract a heart. Some days the smell was so overwhelming I wanted to run from the lab. Death is the only part of life that is really final, and I learned about the awesomeness of finality during my 12 weeks with those two very dead people.

Of course, in hospitals, death and suffering are what nurses and doctors struggle against. Our job is to restore people to health and wholeness, or at the very least, to keep them alive. That's an obvious aim on the oncology floor where I work, but nowhere is the medical goal of maintaining life more immediately urgent than in trauma centers and intensive-care units. In those wards, patients often arrive teetering on the border between life and death, and the medical teams that receive them have fleeting moments in which to act.

The focus on preserving life and alleviating suffering, so evident in the hospital, contrasts strikingly with its stubborn disregard when applied to lives ended by Americans lawfully armed as if going into combat. The deaths from guns are as disturbing, and as final, as the cadavers I studied in anatomy lab, but the talk we hear from the gun lobby is about freedom and rights, not life and death.

Gun advocates say that guns don't kill people, people kill people. The truth, though, is that people with guns kill people, often very efficiently, as we saw so clearly and so often this summer. And while there can be no argument that the right to bear arms is written into the Constitution, we cannot keep pretending that this right is somehow without limit, even as we place reasonable limits on arguably more valuable rights like the freedom of speech and due process.

No one argues that it should be legal to shout "fire" in a crowded theater; we accept this limit on our right to speak freely because of its obvious real-world consequences. Likewise, we need to stop talking about gun rights in America as if they have no wrenching real-world effects when every day 80 Americans, their friends, families and loved ones, learn they obviously and tragically do.

Many victims never stand a chance against a dangerously armed assailant, and there's scant evidence that being armed themselves would help. Those bodies skip the hospital and go straight to the morgue. The lucky ones, the survivors - the 120 wounded per day - get hustled to trauma centers and then intensive care units to, if possible, be healed. Many of them never fully recover.

A trauma nurse I know told me she always looked at people's shoes when they lay on gurneys in the emergency department. It struck her that life had still been normal when that patient put them on in the morning. Whether they laced up Nikes, pulled on snow boots or slid feet into stiletto heels, the shoes became a relic of the ordinariness of the patient's life, before it turned savage.

So I have a request for proponents of unlimited access to guns. Spend some time in a trauma center and see the victims of gun violence - the lucky survivors - as they come in bloody and terrified. Understand that our country's blind embrace of gun rights made this violent tableau possible, and that it's playing out each day in hospitals and morgues all over the country.

Before leaving, make sure to look at the patients' shoes. Remember that at the start of the day, before being attacked by a person with a gun, that patient lying on a stretcher writhing helplessly in pain was still whole.

 

Theresa Brown is an oncology nurse and the author

of "Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life,

and Everything in Between."

The Human Cost of the Second Amendment,
NYT,
26.9.2012,
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/26/
the-human-cost-of-the-second-amendment/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related > Anglonautes > Vocapedia

 

gun violence > USA

 

 

U.S. Constitution > U.S. Supreme Court

 

 

U.S. Constitution > U.S. Supreme Court > Justices

 

 

prison, jail > USA

 

 

justice > courtroom artists / miscarriage of justice > UK / USA

 

 

 

 

 

Related > Anglonautes > Documents

 

Historical documents > USA